Buying a new tennis racquet can be daunting even for advanced players. Realife Tennis is committed to becoming one of the premier online resources for tennis knowledge, so this week Kevin Anderson took the time to answer your burning racquet and equipment questions.
When it comes to racquet technology, there are honestly so many factors to consider:
The great thing about online tennis retail these days is that you can access an incredible selection of racquets from all over the world. You can absolutely get a great racquet online, but I think you should definitely demo the racquet first.
Every racket has a different feel to it, and you won’t know what you like until you try it out. All tennis stores offer demo racquets. One important thing to remember is to keep as many constants as possible. If you have a couple demos, try:
If the above factors are different between your racquet choices you will not be able to test the racket; there are too many variables.
I think it is most important to test the racket properly. When you are demoing, make sure you practice ALL your shots. For example, I have tried racquets that felt very good on my groundstrokes but not so good on my serve.
Also, analyze your game to determine your equipment needs. For example, if your game is based on your serve and groundstrokes, don’t worry then if the racquet doesn’t feel as good on the volleys. If the racquet is well suited for your strength that’s most important. Of course the ideal is to have a racket that feels good with everything, but if you are struggling to find the right fit make sure it feels good on your strengths.
I think here is where the weight and size of the racket matters more than the actual model. If you are young and your racket is too big it will be hard to swing the racket properly. If the racket is either too heavy or too light it will causes your body to make adjustments, affecting your technique.
There is a lot of new technology being used. Nowadays, you can plug in chips that monitor your strokes to provide useful analysis information. Depending on how long you have been playing with your current racquet, there could definitely be some major updates in the way racquets are constructed.
An interesting way to think about racquet technology is to look at how it has changed the way professional tennis is played. As technology has changed and improved, the professional game has become increasingly powerful and physical. It is important not to underestimate the effect a good racquet has on your overall game and style of play.
What has evolved a lot over time are the new materials used to maximize the performance of the racquet. For example, my Srixon racquets are made with the latest techonology which gives the frame both power and control. I play with a Srixon Revo CX 2.0 Tour and my racquet is also designed to minimize tennis injuries, which might be one of the biggest benefits offered by new technology. I think if you haven’t had an upgrade in a long time, you would probably enjoy the improvements from some of the technological advances.
I think a racquet is very much a personal thing. If you have been playing for a long time (and grew up with wood racquets) you may prefer the ‘old school’ type racquets. While there are new technologies that are beneficial, they are not for everyone.
I still would recommend changing your racquet every couple years to keep up with technological advances and injury prevention as mentioned earlier. At the end of the day, upgrading your equipment is a small investment if you play regularly. Sometimes manufactures stop creating a certain model, or update them. I would first try the updated version of your old racquet before jumping to something completely new.
Racquet prices vary a lot, but I don’t think more expensive means better. At the end of the day, it’s really all about how it feels to you.
That said, there are some very cheap rackets you can buy just about anywhere, and I would avoid those if you are looking to play regularly. The amount you save on an ultra cheap racquet won’t be worth it to you.
Years ago my wife bought a racquet at Target, and even though it was brand new the frame was crooked; that makes the game harder than it already is! The best choice is to make the investment in a quality racquet that you love to play with.
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