Racket are generally categorized into Recreational, Intermediate and Advance frames. The 5 key attributes to consider when choosing a racket are headsize, weight, length, stiffness and string pattern. These are discussed in more detail below.
These frames will generate more power and depth of shot with less effort than others. They are usually large head size, lightweight, very stiff and are designed for players with slower, more compact swing strokes.
These frames provide a good balance between power and control. They are less powerful than the recreational frames but more powerful than the advance frames. They fit the player with intermediate swing strokes.
These frames tend to be heavier, with smaller head size and provides more control. They are suitable for players with longer, faster swing strokes who can generate power from their swing and are looking for more control from their frames.
Frames with larger head size are generally more powerful and have more spin potential than those with smaller head size. They are also typically more forgiving and easier to play with than frames with smaller head size. Frames with smaller headsize provide more control and better feel. This is just a reference to help choose a racket which suit your play. The frame head sizes are typically defined as follows:
Midsize: 85 – 95 sq inch
Midplus: 96 – 106 sq inch
Oversize: 107 – 115 sq inch
S-Oversize: 116 + sq inch
Generally, S-Oversize and Oversize frames are recommended for beginners or senior players. Midplus frames are recommended for intermediate to advanced players and Midsize frames are recommended for more advanced players.
A heavier racket is more powerful, more stable and transmits less shock than a lighter racket. Downside is that it decreases the racket maneuverability. Generally speaking, we recommend that players choose the heaviest racket that they can comfortably handle, for the full duration of a typical session or match (for competitive players). If the racket chosen is too heavy for the player, it will impact swing speed and affect performance. Tennis racket weight typically ranges from 225g to 340g unstrung.
A standard adult tennis racket length is 27 inches. Rackets also come in other lengths, ranging from 26.5 inches to a maximum of 29 inches. A longer racket provides more reach on groundstrokes, added leverage on serves and slightly more power overall compared to a standard-length racket. Longer rackets also have higher swing-weight which decreases racket maneuverability.
A stiffer frame will be more powerful and have slightly more spin potential than a softer frame. The downside is that stiffer frames transmit more shock at impact. The stiffness index of frames ranges as follows:
Flexible: 63 and below
Medium: 64 to 67
Stiff: 68 and above
The string pattern of a racket will influence its performance and feel. An open string pattern will increase power and spin potential. A denser string pattern will decrease the power, spin potential and increase shock at impact. But rackets with denser string patterns provide better control suited to hard hitters. Nowadays, the most common open string pattern is 16 mains x 19 crosses. A typical dense string pattern is 18 mains x 20 crosses.