The question regarding an expensive tennis racket is always answered keeping in mind your budget and level of play. Regardless of whether you want to spend more (as you have more $$$ to spare) or you wish to start strong in the game, you need to first understand what a tennis racket is.
When I took a closer look at the dictionary, a tennis racket is defined as a bat shaped devise that is affixed to a frame that is round and fortified with an array of strings. You need to grip the racket at the base and strike the ball with the head (making sure that the strings are used at the time of impact).
If you have lost focus as you are overwhelmed by the racket cost, types, specifications and brands then, simply read on to ease your quest for the best tennis racket.
Expensive Tennis Racket – The Article Contents:
1) How to Choose the Correct Tennis Racket Head?
2) How to Choose the Best Tennis Racket by Weight?
3) How to Choose an Ideal Tennis Racket by its Strings?
4) Tips to Pick the Tennis Racket that has the Best Balance
5) How to Choose a Tennis Racket via its Beam?
6) What should be the Length of a Tennis Racket?
7) What is an Expensive Tennis Racket?
8) What is a Cheap Tennis Racket?
9) Expensive Tennis Racket Vs Cheap Tennis
10) Top 5 Tennis Racket Brands and their Price Structure
11) Do You Need an Expensive Tennis Racket to Play Better Tennis?
How to Choose the Correct Tennis Racket Head?
Even before you start shelling out your precious $$$ on buying a tennis racket, you need to understand the correct way to choose one. It does not matter whether you racket is expensive or affordable.
At the end of the day, what matters is how your chosen racket is improving your game. For a starter, here is how you can pick an ideal tennis head.
The racket head is the surface area that includes the frame and the strings.
The Large Head Size:
Also known as the Oversize or Super Oversize head, this is usually within the range of 107 to 118 square inches (in terms of its area). The larger head size enables a physically weaker player to find the ‘sweet spot’ while striking the tennis ball.
Large head is also an ideal companion for senior citizen tennis players. If you are a new player and need time to adjust to the eye-to-ball connection then again, you need a larger racquet head.
So in a nutshell, the Super Oversize as well as the Oversize racket head is used by newbie or elderly tennis players.
The Medium Head Size:
Also known as the Midsize tennis racket head, the size of this head is in between 96 to 106 square inches. This is an ideal racket head size for intermediate level tennis players.
When you have learnt to have an ‘eye to ball’ contact, getting a midsized head is recommended. The ‘sweet spot’ is still present despite the head size being smaller than the Oversized category.
This head size is best recommended when your physical strength is normal. Also, your swing length needs to be average when considering this option.
The Small or Midsize Racket Head
When the size of your racket head is in between 85 to 96 square inches then, it comes under the Midsize or small category. This is an ideal racket head for low power delivery. It also offers less ball control.
So over here, a small racket head is preferred by tennis players that belong to the intermediate to professional level. You also need to be fairly tall to use a small tennis racket head.
An ideal height for using the small head should be 5 feet 11 inches and above. The ideal age should be in between 18 years to 55 years. This is when you are fit and strong enough to control the ball effectively.
How to Choose the Best Tennis Racket by Weight?
Average Weight: The average weight of a tennis racket in the year 2022 is 300 grams. This is equivalent to 10.6 ounces. So, an average tennis player should opt for this weight.
Light Weight: In case you are physically weak or a female that seeks a lighter weight (in her hand) then, opt for a 10 ounce tennis racket. The weight of light tennis rackets is 285 grams.
Heavy Weight: In case you are a six foot tall tennis player and you are super fit then, you need a heavier tennis racket. For such players, you need to opt for 310 gram heavy tennis racket. This is equivalent to 11 ounces.
Word of Advice: If you opt for a heavier tennis racket then, you shall be compromising on your control. The advantage is that you can hit the ball harder.
If you are a professional level player then, using a heavy tennis racket makes sense as you can both “hit” as well as “control” the ball well.
How to Choose an Ideal Tennis Racket by its Strings?
When you consider buying a tennis racket then, do consider the string pattern as well. The ideal pattern is nineteen strings going horizontally whereas sixteen going vertically.
Nonetheless, the number of strings is either increased to reduced, as per the player’s preference.
@ If you want more ball control then, opt for 18 strings going down while 20 are parallel. This is good for clay surfaces.
@ In case you want more spin or hit shots with power then, opt for 16 strings going parallel and 18 strings going horizontally. This is an ideal fit for grass surfaces.
@ If you want to play a normal tennis game then, 16 strings running parallel and 19 strings running horizontally is a wise option. This is the best fit for cement surfaces.
What about the String Tension?
When the question is regarding string tension then, you need to not to worry much on that aspect. The manufacturer often dispatches rackets for sale after maintaining perfect string tension. You do not need to mess around with it.
On the other hand, if you are placing your own strings manually then, you need to adjust the string tension as per your own discretion.
Tips to Pick the Tennis Racket that has the Best Balance
The balance of your tennis racket plays a vital role in determining the final outcome of your game. When your tennis racket is perfectly balanced then, your game improves dramatically.
Nonetheless, a tennis racket is not always perfectly balanced. Some tennis rackets are heavy on the head, thereby making them unbalanced. Some tennis rackets are heavy on the handle, thereby making them unbalanced.
Head Heavy: When your tennis racket head is on the heavier side, it tends to offer less control to the player. Nonetheless, a head-heavy racket helps you spin the ball more.
Handle Heavy: In case your tennis racket is handle-heavy then, it offers more ball-control to the tennis player. It also offers less spin control and permits you to play flat-out shots with ease.
How to Measure a Tennis Racket Balance Point?
This is a simple measurement indeed. While balancing the racket, simply keep in mind that the measurement is to be performed from the tip of the handle to the top of the racket head.
If the balance point is beyond the center of the tennis racket then it is head-heavy. In case the balance point is before the center of the racket then, it is handle heavy. If the balance point is in the center of the racket then, it is perfectly balanced.
>>> The length of a tennis racket is 27 inches.
>>> So, if your racket’s balance is beyond 13.5 inches then, it is handle-heavy.
>>> In case the racket’s balance is before 13.5 inches then, it is head-heavy.
>>> In case your tennis racket reaches perfect balance at 13.5 inches then, it is perfectly balanced.
So, which Balance is Best Suited for You?
It all depends on your level of play and the surface you play on. More spin is required on a grass or cemented surface. More ball control is required when you play tennis on a clay surface.
So, when you choose a tennis racket with a heavier head then, you shall deliver powerful shots. Nonetheless, you shall compromise on the ball control.
When you pick a tennis racket that has a lighter head then, you have more control over the ball you hit. Usually professional level players use a head-heavy racket while beginners prefer a light-head tennis racket.
How to Choose a Tennis Racket via its Beam?
The head, shoulder as well as the frame of the handle of a tennis racket comprise of the beam. Not all tennis rackets have the same beam. This is contrary to the popular belief.
In order to judge the beam, simply hold the racket from the tip of its handle with the head vertical to the ground. Close one eye and make a bee-line from the handle to the top head.
If the beam shifts either to the left or the right then, it is either a wide or a narrow beam racket. The average head, shoulder and handle is measured 23mm by 26mm by 23mm.
What are the Common Beams of a Tennis Racket?
Average Beam: When the tennis racket head is 22 mm to 24 mm then, it is considered to be an average beam. Both experienced as well as newbies can use the average beam racket.
Wide Beam: When your tennis racks head is 24 mm or more then, it is a heavy beam racket. This type of beam is preferred by new players that are looking to hit hard shots.
Narrow Beam: When your tennis racket is 22mm then, it is considered a narrow beam. This is preferred by experienced players, who have mastered ball control.
What should be the Length of a Tennis Racket?
An ideal length of a tennis racket is 27 inches. Nonetheless, a few may be slightly longer. The lengthy tennis rackets are best suited for providing the missing velocity to your shots.
Most professional tennis players use the average length. Some may use longer length rackets to suit their game. It all depends on your personal preference. Ideally, stick with the standard length to get the most from your game.
What is an Expensive Tennis Racket?
Let us not get into the most expensive tennis racket in the world debate as that is not what this article is all about. Nonetheless, on an average, any tennis racket that is upwards of $200 is considered expensive.
Usually, $750 for a tennis racket is considered an expensive purchase. At the same time, you can get hold of a basic tennis racket for as less as $25. Nonetheless, the difference is evident (when you compare a $25 racket with a $750 one).
What makes a Tennis Racket Expensive?
There are a number of factors that determine the true worth of a tennis racket. The quality of material used, the technology used, the quality of the racket body as well as the hype, are the main features that determine the price.
Let me walk you through the 4 main aspects that determine the final price of a tennis racket:
The Technology Used:
Use of the latest technology shall definitely determine the price of your tennis racket. Here are a few examples of technology used in enhancing the price and performance of a tennis racket:
>>> Special sleeves that absorb the shock that the strings take when a ball strikes, is one such example. These are placed onto the string and absorb impact thereby reducing the overall vibration.
>>> The mold used while preparing the racket body also matters in determining the pricing structure. The V-Shape mold is helpful in strengthening the body and allowing you to strike the ball easily.
>>> Use of alloy that is extremely light in weight is yet another technology tennis racket manufacturing brands use nowadays. Made from aluminum, the lightness of the racket, eases the paying ability considerably.
>>> The inclusion of cortex rubber onto the frame of your tennis racket is yet another technology. It helps absorb shocks and reduces vibrations caused during play.
>>> The aero-modular design of the beam is yet another technological marvel used in tennis rackets. Here, the thickness of the beam is evenly distributed. This strengthens the strings and ensures that you play the game effortlessly.
>>> Carbon included in the graphite frame further strengthens the racket body. Your frame remains steadfast even when facing tremendous impact.
>>> Expensive tennis rackets use woofer technology on the strings. This permits strings to move independently while playing a shot. This increases the ‘sweet spot’ and permits you to play the game easily.
>>> The FSI technology increases the distance between the grommets thereby allowing the strings to function independently. This further improves your overall game.
The Ingredients used in Manufacturing a Tennis Racket:
I know that this heading sounds like a recipe but the cost of a tennis racket is directly dependent on the material used. This is with special regards to the material of the tennis racket’s body.
In case your tennis racket is made from aluminum then, the cost is low. On the other hand, if your tennis racket is made from graphite then, the cost shall increase dramatically. This is because graphite is an expensive material as compared to aluminum.
Who Promotes Your Tennis Brand?
Believe it or not but the brand ambassador’s success rate has a major role to play in determining the final price of your chosen tennis racket.
Babolat is the undoubtedly the most expensive brands of tennis rackets. Rafael Nadal endorses this brand. When such a star studded tennis player is endorsing your brand, it is bound to get expensive.
The Toughness Quotient:
Yes, this is the last and final link that determines the final price of your product. An aluminum racket is weak and not as strong as a graphite racket.
While an aluminum racket is good enough to allow superb play, it is not as effective as the quality of play delivered by a graphite frame racket. Less vibrations, more effective ball control and power delivery is possible only with the help of a graphite frame.
What is a Cheap Tennis Racket?
A cheap tennis racket is one that uses basic material in its overall composition. In simpler words, there is no fancy alignment, technology, string placement or aftermarket fittings available in a cheap tennis racket.
In the above sub-header, I have discussed the finer points that make a normal tennis racket expensive. So, if these points are negated then, you shall get your hands onto a cheap tennis racket.
In my opinion, any tennis racket that falls below the $100 bill is termed as a cheap tennis racket. The $20 to $50 price bracket fits this bill perfectly.
Expensive Tennis Racket Vs Cheap Tennis – Which is Better for You?
The question whether you need to get hold of an expensive or a cheap tennis racket is not difficult to answer. If you are a professional tennis player then, you need the best possible racket. Such players do not mind shelling out $400 for a tennis racket.
With the latest technology and permissible customization, this shall be a costly affair. On the other hand, if you want to play tennis just a few times a month then, opt for a cheaper tennis racket. One that falls under the $75 price tag should be sufficient.
The extra costs while maintaining a tennis racket should not be overlooked or ignored. For example, re-stringing your tennis racket shall set you back by $60 (on an average). This includes the cost of the strings as well as the fee charged by the technician.
You also need to change the grips from one time to another. In simpler words, you should switch grips when they are worn out. The average cost of the grip is in between $6 to $10.
Top 5 Tennis Racket Brands and their Price Structure
Let me begin by the lowest priced tennis racket manufacturing brand before proceeding towards the most expensive one.
Prince Tennis Rackets:
This is a versatile tennis manufacturing brand. It offers a wide variety of models suiting your current level of play. You have the ad Phantom and Beast series for players who love spin.
John Isner is a classic example of a pro tennis player that uses the Beast series. Prince also has the Warrior series and the Tour series that are used by amateur as well as professional tennis players.
As far as the price is concerned then, you can grab a Prince racket for as low as $25 and as high as $195.
Head Tennis Rackets:
This is a famous tennis manufacturing brand and is endorsed by the likes of Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic. They offer a few series with the Speed dominating the rest.
Head tennis rackets not only provide power to your shots but also enable you to gain control. Whether it is baseline power shots of volley, Head rackets get the job done for you. They also help you with the extra spin you need to keep your game a notch up from the rest.
As far as the price range is concerned then, the cheapest Head racket may cost you $85 whereas the expensive Speed series may set you back by $235.
Wilson Tennis Rackets:
Known the world over as Serena William’s #1 choice, Wilson tennis rackets are one of the most popular choices around. These offer superior ball control and are light in weight.
They are easy to control and allow you to have an edge over others. Wilson rackets is also promoted by Roger Federer. You can opt for longer length, shorter length or large/short head Wilson racket. So, variety here is endless.
As far as the price is concerned then, you can get the cheapest for under $35. The high end model shall go for $310. The Blade series by Wilson is popular among players that wish to play the spin.
Yonex Tennis Rackets:
This is a brand that has withstood tough competition and emerged as a fighter. With decades behind its first racket, Yonex claims to include the latest technology into its rackets.
For the professional level tennis players, Yonex has introduced the VCore Pro and for the beginners, you have the Ezone Rally. So, there is a racket for every level of player.
You can get the cheapest Yonex Tennis racket for $85 and the expensive ones come in the $245 price range.
Babolat Tennis Rackets:
The Babolat is undoubtedly the most expensive tennis racket manufacturing brand out there. Top notch tennis players such as Dominic Thiem and Rafael Nadal make use of Babolat rackets.
The most popular variant is Pro Aero. These rackets offer a wide array of features enabling the tennis player to up his/her game. Another popular one is the Babolat Pure Strike 16/19.
The cheapest Babolat shall set you back by $35 while the expensive ones can cross the $700 mark. The average price range is $200. While it may not be the most expensive, Babolat tennis rackets are the most popular ones in the market today.
Do You Need an Expensive Tennis Racket to Play Better Tennis?
I have mentioned the main areas that determine the type of tennis racket that you need. Based on my inputs, you can choose a suitable tennis racket to improve your game.
So, if you are just starting out playing tennis then, you do not need a professional model. In case you are a pro tennis player then, opting for an entry level racket shall be a poor choice.
You also need to select a racket as per your chosen surface of play – clay, cement or grass. As a beginner, I always opted for a $25 tennis racket. As my game advanced I opted for a higher version – $150 range.
In reality and in all practicality, you do not need an expensive tennis racket to improve your game. All you need is the ability to learn and struggle. As your game progresses, you shall automatically understand whether you really need an expensive racket or not.
Where to Buy a Tennis Racket?
There are several ways in which you can purchase a tennis racket. Regardless of whether you want to buy an expensive tennis racket or a cheap one, buying these online and offline is an option you can exercise at will.
The Online Shops
May it be Amazon or the chosen brand e-commerce stores, you can pick the one that suits you the most. Simply pay and pick for the racket online and get it shipped to your home.
This is by far the most convenient way to get home a tennis racket. It is especially good in Covid 19 times. Nonetheless, if you want to try and then buy then, online shops do not provide this option.
The Professional Tennis Stores
There are plenty of professional tennis stores in the United States and Europe. These allow you to choose the tennis racket of your choice after trying them out. So, you can actually play a few strokes before picking one.
These shops are run by active tennis players. They are well versed with the game and can advise you a tennis racket that compliments your level of play. So, if you have a store close by then, always find time to pay them a visit.
Are You the Walmart Guy?
In case you want to pick a cheap tennis racket that is of good quality then, you can always choose a retail shop. Some of the popular ones include Target or Walmart.
Simply step into their stores and pick a tennis racket of your choice. Most basic level tennis rackets are easily available at these stores. You may not find the professional versions though. You also get a great deal on these rackets.
Recommendations by Tennis Coaches
If you play in a club and you have a tennis coach then, you can seek their advice. They might guide you to a professional tennis shop. Some may also direct you to specific stores that sell tennis rackets.
Some of these may include Tennis Express and even Tennis Warehouse. These are online stores that specialize in tennis rackets only.
You can also pay a visit to these stores and seek the advice from their professional team. They shall guide you with regards to the best tennis racket that shall compliment your current level of play.
Regardless of whether you are a beginner, intermediate or an advanced level tennis player, a good tennis racket is the need of the hour. Simply fix a budget and stick with it.
As your game progresses, you shall automatically begin to purchase professional rackets. Nonetheless, there is no scientific backing to the claim that expensive tennis rackets are necessary to improve your game.
In order to simplify your quest to purchase a suitable tennis racket, simply read this article. As you gain an insight on how a tennis racket compliments your game, buying one becomes an easy task.