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Tennis Tip: Choosing the Right Racquet!


Tennis Tip: Choosing the Right Racquet!
It's time for a new racquet, now where to start?!

Demo Days
     Let it be known that the very BEST method of certainty will be allowing racquets to stand trial. Game-Set-Match has a fantastic DEMO PROGRAM that is your key to finding what you are looking for in a racquet. $5 to try any racquet model out there for 3 full days. You may take up to six out at a time and that $30 spent demo-ing will be applied as a credit toward a new racquet in house! You really can’t beat that! Knowing the wrong feel helps you get closer to the right one and we will help you get there! Also, we run demo days at clubs all over Denver, call to schedule one for your club, league, or group and we will bring lots of racquets to try!
 
Factors to Consider when Choosing your Weapon:

The Weight of the Racquet
Are you a beginner? Typically, a lighter racquet will allow easier handling and doesn’t require you to generate as much of your own power while you are learning strokes.
Ranging from Medium to Advanced Play? The weight of the racquet determines the power— going heavier is a more stable and stronger weapon to wield-more weight to throw around! Now, don’t go all or nothing. Don’t find the heaviest racquet you can find thinking it’s for the best players. Do use reason and again, use our demo program! The thinking behind this is you are proficient in stroke execution and now you’d like to add more gusto to the shot. This will harness more control as you are not flinging around a bouncy ball (a light racquet), more like a medicine ball-you have more work to do so you will have to adjust for it, because of the weight.
As in weight training, you increase weight as you build your own strength. Going for too much weight or hitting too hard with incorrect stroke form will put strain on your elbow, forearm, shoulder, etc. and will result in unnecessary soreness and damage to your beautiful body-be smart, play smart.
 
Weights
Superlight: 8.79 oz
Lightweight: 8.8 oz to 10.59 grams
Traditional: 10.6 grams or more
 
The Balance of the Racquet
Weight distribution in the racquet is paramount. Racquets can be head heavy, evenly balanced or head light! Our staff is here to educate!

Head light means the weight of the racquet is closer to the grip than the head and that will allow for easier maneuvering (lighter swing weight). Pulling back up after a low groundstroke and getting your racquet up high for a volley is an easier job when you have less to lift!
Flipside? Head heavy means more swing weight on the racquet, giving more power to the racquet to dominate the speed produced by the ball coming toward you. Head heavy, as mentioned, is more stable and will absorb more vibration which is easier on the arm. Finding your strength level takes experience--Demo program.
 
The Stiffness of the Racquet
Beginner? A stiffer frame will give you more power, a quality that beginners are still mastering due to being unfamiliar with stroke form.
Medium to Advanced? A more flexible frame gives you more “feel,” a term everyone loves to use! More feel means understanding the physics of the momentum of the ball and choosing a refined choice for stroke and spin. When you are trying less to smash it back (which does work) and more to finesse that little yellow ball, you will be operating on more control (feel) than power.

Racquet stiffness also comes down to comfort-is it uncomfortable? Give it a couple minutes worth of play to see if adjustment to more or less stiffness becomes better or worse-it takes experimenting to get past simple adjustment to something new or if it truly isn’t right for you-get certainty.
 
Flexible Racquets:

  • Lose more energy due to greater racquet deflection
  • Transfer less energy to the ball (some call this a “dead” feeling)
  • Vibrate more and at a lower frequency
  • Provide more comfort (due to less shock) and control (due to less power)
  • Provide better feel – some athletes call this “ball pocketing”
Flexible racquets are best suited for athletes with longer, faster swings, capable of generating their own power.
 
Stiffer racquets:
  • Lose less energy due to reduced racquet deflection
  • Transfer more energy to the ball (some athletes call this a “crisp” feeling)
  • Vibrate less and at a higher frequency
  • Provide less comfort (due to higher shock)
  • Provide a crisper response with more power

Stiffer racquets are ideal for athletes with shorter, slower swings, who would like their racquet to generate more power for them.
 
The Length 
About 75% of racquets are standard length but the more powerful racquets will generally have a longer length anywhere from ¼ in to ¾ inch. The longer the racquet will give more leverage=more power.
 
Lengths
Standard: 27 inches
Long: greater than 27 inches

The Head Size
Beginner?  A larger head size will help you grab more hits simply because you have increased the surface area for success. 
Larger head size=more forgiving.
A little more power can come from a larger head size because you compensate less for twist in a small head size. On the other hand, wielding a larger object always takes more strength. Trade-offs! Not to worry though-not much variation in head size on the market because mostly, it doesn’t have much impact.
 
Head Sizes
Midsized: 95 square inches or less
Mid-Plus: 96 to 104 square inches
Oversized: 105 square inches or more
 
The String Pattern
Racquets with more mains and crosses – e.g. 18x20 – are described as having a “dense” pattern, while racquets with less mains and crosses – e.g. 16x18 – are considered to have an “open” pattern.
Fewer strings create larger “squares,” grip the ball more, and result in more spin
More strings create smaller “squares,” grip the ball less, and result in less spin
 
Intrigued??? Next month’s tennis tip will feature Choosing the right String! Stay tuned.
 
So much to know and that’s why we have an amazingly educated and friendly staff that sets us apart from the bix boxes and online retailers. Please ask us questions and learn anything you’d like about tennis with us at Game-Set-Match!
 
Some helpful Racquet Reviews by our own Game-Set-Match Staff: Leta & Rachel!
 
Racquet:  Dunlop F4.0 Tour
String Pattern:  16x19
Weight (unstrung):  10.9 oz
Head Size:  100 Sq. In.
Balance:  6 points head light
Length: 27 inches
Review:  This racquet does not feel heavy at all; it’s shark skin inspired frame design provides less drag as you swing and is great for whipping over the ball for increased spin.  The 100 sq. in. head size and Dunlop’s true oval shape allows for a forgiving string bed that offers great power.  It’s a fairly stiff racquet to play with, but enough feel for controlled volleys.  This racquet provides the best of both worlds:  Great for baseline grinding, especially heavy spin, but is also easy to maneuver at the net. 
Name:  Leta
NTRP:  4.5
Playing Style:  Mostly baseline grinding with some net play.

Racquet: Wilson Pro Staff 97
String Pattern:  16x19
Weight (unstrung):  11.1 oz
Head Size: 97 Sq. In.
Balance:  10 points head light
Length: 27 inches
Review:  This racquet plays much like its predecessor, the Pro Staff 95, but the added 2 square inches makes the racquet a bit more responsive.  The flexibility of the frame makes it great for blocking back hard shots, finesse shots, and net play.  The balance of the racquet lends itself to doubles.  Even with an unstrung weight over 11 oz., this racquet has wonderful maneuverability at the net.  The thicker beam width on this frame also provides a more solid return when chipping back hard serves.  At the baseline, the racquet was easy to whip over the ball and the 16 x 19 string pattern offers great spin production.  This is a great racquet for a powerful serve and volleyer, or a baseline grinder who likes finesse and some net play. 
Name:  Leta
NTRP:  4.5
Playing Style:  Mostly baseline grinder with some net play.
 
Racquet:  Volkl Organix 6 Super G
String Pattern:  16x19
Weight (unstrung):  9.7 oz
Head Size:  105 Sq. In.
Balance:  1 points head light
Length: 27.6 inches

Name: Rachel
Review: This racquet is one of the most versatile racquets I’ve hit with.  I typically like a smaller head size for the control, but even with the extra 5 square inches, it was very manageable. I really like the extra pop on my volleys from this more powerful frame.  And the new Super G grommets really seemed to deaden any vibration that might be coming through the racquet.  Overall, very comfortable racquet, and very playable for a lot of types of players.  
NTRP: 4.0
Playing Style: Mostly doubles playing, strong baseliner, average net game

Get Excited if you don’t already know-we are having a GIANT RACQUET SALE on All Discontinued 2014 Racquets & Demos! $75 for any Discontinued Demo & 25% OFF lowest marked prices on Discontinued 2014 Racquets. Everyone’s a Winner! Come in to Demo or Buy Today!

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