How To Choose The Right Tennis Racket

How do you select the best tennis racket for your game? You may be overwhelmed by the dizzying array of rackets available in your local tennis shop or sports equipment store. Well, as an avid tennis player who has spent hundreds of hours on the court, I’ve had many rackets and I’ve learned a thing or two along the way.

The right tennis racket won’t turn a novice player into a pro, but it can really help to improve your game and to get the most out of your abilities.

I think the first place to start is with an honest assessment of your tennis game. Are you a beginner, intermediate or advanced player? If you play regularly, you probably have a pretty good idea of what your skill level is. Another thing that can be helpful is to get rated. Or just ask your tennis coach what level of player you are.

If you’re a beginner player, you may want to go out and get the same racket as Novak Djokovic, because he’s your favorite player and the racket looks cool. But since you don’t have his level of skill (yet!) you’re going to be playing with a racket that is not designed for your abilities at all and I promise you, you’ll be frustrated. Conversely, the advanced club level player wouldn’t be happy with a beginner’s racket because it wouldn’t give them the level of control they are looking for. So if you know where your game is, it will simplify things greatly for choosing the right racket.

And by the way, if you don’t know anything about tennis ratings, you can learn all about them here

One other thing to note about buying tennis rackets is that if you take up the game as a beginner and stick with it and get better and better, you’re likely to go through a couple of rackets as your play improves. Once you get close to your full potential as a tennis player, it’s less about getting help from your racket and more about tweaking your game so you’ll probably change rackets less often.

Tennis rackets basically fall into three categories, roughly correlating with a player’s skill level. Game improvement, or power rackets are designed for the beginner. They are intended to make up for the shortcomings that a beginner generally has in generating power and hitting the ball accurately. These rackets are longer, have larger heads and a larger sweet spot. They are also lighter, with more of the weight in the head of the racket to help generate power through a slower swing.

The next category of rackets is designed for the intermediate player, offering some game improvement features but also designed to exploit the higher skill level that this player has. Some people call these “tweener” rackets. In this category we see the heads getting a little smaller, the racket getting a little shorter, a little heavier and with a smaller sweet spot. The intermediate player hits the ball with more pace and more accurately than the beginner, so they need less help with power and a design that gives them more control over the higher-level shots they are making.

The third category is for the advanced player who hits the ball with a lot of pace, has very good directional control, and can execute all the various tennis shots with competence. These are often called players or control rackets. As you might have guessed by now, these rackets are generally smaller, heavier, and have a smaller sweet spot. The player at this level is mainly looking for the most amount of control for the advanced shots they are making.

So once you’ve determined your playing level, I recommend you try two or three rackets in the category that’s appropriate for you. A sports equipment store that specializes in tennis or at least has people on the staff who play, should be able to guide you to rackets that are good for your game. And they should have some kind of try-out or loaner program. Because at this point, it’s about feel and which racket you like the best and feel the most comfortable with. If you’re not working with a store with a knowledgeable tennis staff and they don’t let you try out rackets, then I recommend you go somewhere else.

I hope you’ve found this article helpful. Picking out a tennis racket doesn’t have to be that hard. And don’t forget to look for used or demo rackets too. You can save a lot of money that way. Keep practicing and have fun!