Finding the right tennis equipment is vital for any tennis player, beginner or seasoned player. First and foremost, you must find yourself a great racquet to play with.
With so many different technologies in tennis racquets, it might be a bit intimidating to find one that suits your tennis game. Let us start with the basics, you need to find the right grip size, a good weight for your game, and the correct racquet head size.
Finding the right grip size
There are a few different sizes that come standard; 4 1/8″ (L1), 4 1/4″ (L2), 4 3/8″ (L3), 4 1/2″ (L4), and 4 5/8″ (L5). The most commonly used size for men is 4 1/2″ and for women is 4 1/8″. The best way to measure the perfect grip size for your tennis racquet is to use a ruler.
With your ruler you will want to measure your dominant hand from the middle crease of the palm of your hand and measure up to the tip of your ring finger. Whatever grip size you choose, make sure you start with something a little smaller, that way, if it’s not quite right you can built it up. If you pick too large, it’s close to impossible to make the grip smaller.
One thing that many tennis players don’t realize is that grip sizes can be build up, if you decide that a 4 3/8″ grip is just not big enough, then you can always alter your grip to make it bigger. There are two ways of doing this; the first is probably the cheapest and easiest way of doing it.
With a lighter racquet you may have to swing longer and faster to get some real pace, but you won’t injure yourself quite a quickly. Similar to the tennis grip, you can modify the weight of a tennis racquet, you can purchase lead tape which goes on the head of the racquet, and you can even put some weight under your grip.
A typical beginner tennis racquet will usually start at 9 ounces then as you become stronger and more confident in your game, you can add weight or purchase a heavier racquet.
Finding the right racquet head size
Many beginners don’t know that there are a variety of tennis head sizes, there are many different sizes ranging from 88″ squared all the way up to 110″ squared. Now, what’s the difference? Well, it’s simple really; smaller head size, smaller sweet spot; bigger head size, bigger sweet spot. What’s a sweet spot?
It’s the small area in the string bed that produces the most power, spin, control, and feel of the ball. When buying your first tennis racquet you will probably want to buy a racquet with a bigger head size (100″ to 110″ square inches). With a bigger head size you will have a bigger sweet spot which will be more forgiving when making contact with the ball.
Use an overgrip, it’s similar to a normal grip, however; it’s usually not as thick, they are simple to put on and replace when needed. Overgrips come in a vast variety of colors, absorbency, and thicknesses, The other is a little more challenging and may require you to visit your local pro shop to have them do it.. You can buy a heat shrink sleeve, which is a sleeve that is heat shrunk to build up a grip either 1/2 a grip size or one full grip size.
Finding the right racquet weight
Finding the correct racquet weight is essential to your game. There are many different weighted tennis racquets, some come as light as 8 ounces and some as heavy as 12 ounces (please note, these weights are for unstrung tennis racquets).
The thing about heavier racquets is that you can swing them pretty hard and get some great pace with it, however; the draw back is that you will fatigue quickly if you are not accustom to it and there is the potential of hurting yourself if you play it for too long.
As you grow into your tennis game and become a better player you may want to toy around with the idea of playing with a smaller head size. If you do purchase a tennis racquet with a smaller head size, you should expect to hit a few shanks right off the bat, that is an indication that you are missing the sweet spot!
Though, when you do hit that sweet spot, it’s a thing of beauty, you’ll notice how quickly the tennis ball flies off the strings and how controlled the ball is. Using a smaller head size, does take a lot of practice of honing in the timing of your swing in relation to the ball. Most of the players we’ve talked to like the smaller head size because it allows them to get more pace off the ball and let’s them control points with ease.