How do you know how to choose the right racquet for you?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Brett, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. Brett

    Brett Semi-Pro

    Jun 9, 2004
    Appreciate any help...
  2. Tenny

    Tenny Professional

    Feb 19, 2004
    For Tenny.

    For me,

    It should be flexible (spin, comfort), 12oz+ (comfort, spin, pace), open string pattern (spin, sweetspot), standard length (Couldn't like 28inch length), prefer MP size over OS in general.
    POG OS, Prostaff 6.0 95, Head Classics (= prestige classics 600, 660) are my choices although I am around 3.5

    - Ti Radicals were very good but felt light (Felt great initially but I outgrew it) in the end.
    - Wilson Hammer6.2, HH6.2, H6 were tried but they weren's satisfying. Spin generation was good.
    - PD, Surge were very similar to each other although I liked Surge better. Too stiff overall (esp. PureDrive)
    - POG MP was OK but stiffer to my liking.
    - TT warrior was weird. I wasn't impressed at all and it looked cheap (white).
    - PS 6.0 85 was too difficult to use
    - Head Ti Classic was impressive and it's quite cheap (paid ~$40+SH for a new one). If PC600, 660 are too expensive, one can live with Ti classic instead.
  3. darkhorse

    darkhorse Semi-Pro

    Apr 1, 2005
    The best thing to do is demo a few racquets that look good to you and fit your style.
  4. ffrpg

    ffrpg Professional

    Apr 11, 2004
    Through trial and error. First off, figure out what you want in a racquet (weight, head size, balance, etc). Then demo a bunch of racquets in that category.
  5. Leon

    Leon Rookie

    Feb 15, 2005
    This is my 2 cents.
    I would go to the heaviest racquet you can swing (will help against heavy hitters, and will help prevent tennis elbow, 11oz plus is the best)
    Not to stiff, stiff = tennis elbow
    Low powered, since this way you will have to work harder to generate pace = you technique will improve. If you can't generate pace at all, try moderate powerful, so you have room to grow into.
    One handed backhand = 85"-100", two handed 90"-oversize

    Now go to the racquet finder on TW site, punch this spec into the form, demo those racquets, and get what ever feels the most comfortable/natural.
  6. POGO

    POGO Hall of Fame

    Feb 10, 2005
    Its trial and error like already mentioned. You can demo the racquet and also you can ask someone if you can try out their racquet. That is how I found my RD-7. I use to play the Wilson PS 6.0.
  7. TommyGun

    TommyGun Semi-Pro

    Jun 10, 2004
    First, go to the bookstore or library and read the racquet section in Nick Bollettieri's Classic Tennis Handbook. Tom Parry is a top notch racquet tech/guru, currently is the Volkl Player Services manager, and knows frames inside and out.

    Then, sit down and be realistic about your style:

    Do you serve and volley?
    Do you glue yourself to the baseline?
    Do you play more of an all-court game?
    Are you, like me, a midget?
    Are you taller then Wilt the stilt?
    Fast, medium, or Galopogos tortoise?

    You get the picture.

    If you serve and volley a lot or play more doubles then singles, then you want a frame that is head light, and in the 95 - 100 square, and classic 27". I agree with most, frames should be as heavy as you can handle, so stay with 11.5 oz unstrung to 12.5 oz strung. Looking for something that unstrung is around 10-12 pts head light. Put those specs in the TW racquet finder and you can look at the choices, but you will most likely come out with Wilson PS, Wilson nCode 6.1 95, Wilson PS ROK, Slaz X1, Volkl Tour 10, Tour 9, V-Engine 8,9,10, Estusa Power Beam and Power beam pro, Pro Kennex Ki 5g, PSE 5G, yada yada. Any of these sticks is good.

    Baseline or borderline dirtballer? Look maybe at something a touch longer (27.5) and a little less head light (2-9pts HL unstrung) Same weight range.

    All court? PS 90, nCode 6.1 90, Slaz X-1, Dunlop 200G, Bosworth, Fox Bosworth Target 210, Yonex MP-1, Yonex RDX-500.

    Basic guidelines are:

    Serve and Volley=headlight and classic 27, tight string pattern
    Baseline=even balance, slightly extended, open string pattern
    all court=headlight to even, smaller head (90-95max) flexible, tight string pattern (18x20)

    Again, Tom Parry does a better job then I do.

    Hope this helps.
  8. tom-selleck

    tom-selleck Professional

    Feb 21, 2005
    i seem to have a huge problem deciding between easy/nice hitting feeling vs. higher end racquet.... tweeners feel great to hit, but too many long balls, players racquet you can really go hard at it but alot of mishits.
  9. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

    Dec 11, 2004
    I think the first thing to do is sit down and have a think about your game -how you play, how you like to play, strengths and weaknesses, how much you play etc- and what you have liked or disliked about your past racquets. Factor in how much you want to spend and you should have a vague idea of what you're looking for.

    Don't worry about NTRP ratings or anything like that as it will only confuse the issue and, if you aren't a beginner, they too easily misrepresent a player's situation (they dont take into account playing style and are too often a product of ego).

    Once you've got a bit more of an idea, ask at your local pro-shop, fellow players or, if you like, post a thread here with a bit more information (a lot more than just a few words) asking for recommendations.

    See which of those fit your budget and appeal most to you then organise to hit with them. Give yourself a fair bit of time to decide (there's no dead-lines for we non-pros), cut back the list to those most likely and continue to demo them. Dont feel pressured to buy after one hit or even after two. Take into account the difference correct strings can make (factor that into budgeting) and then make a decision.

    The good news is that, in all honesty, you can play with pretty much any racquet. Obviously some are more suited than others but none have magical properties. Base your decision solely on what feels good to you and what suits you (the advice people give and their opinions as to what is 'best' should only ever be a guideline. Its NEVER gospel.).
  10. Leon

    Leon Rookie

    Feb 15, 2005
    TommyGun, why would you recomend 27.5" for a baseliner? I've never heard this kind of recomendation :confused: I'm not sure majority would benefit from this 0.5". 99% of the pros, play with 27", correct me if I'm wrong.

    Also I understand that litle less HL (more HH), will give you heavier ball, but it might lead to tennis elbow in the long run :confused:
  11. Craig Sheppard

    Craig Sheppard Hall of Fame

    Feb 19, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    I go by feel alone. Sure I have a general idea of the specs I like, but I simply hit with it to know. I can tell in less than 5 minutes if a racquet will work for me. There is a special feel I look for, a certain balance in the hand and a certain feel from the strings during a hit. If it clicks, it clicks in the first few minutes of hitting. If it doesn't, there's no point in playing any further with it. For advanced players, I don't believe in "working into" a racquet--perhaps that is true for a beginner or intermediate, but I feel I've played long enough to just know what feels right.

    This is my opinion--for a beginner, racquet choice isn't very important. The only suggestion I'd make is the racquet not be too light or too stiff. Once your strokes are to the point where you think a racquet matters, then you'll know what feels good and what doesn't for your strokes because your strokes are starting to be consistent. Then it's demo, demo, demo. I don't believe a particular type of racquet is best for a particular type of game. What works for you works for you, because you're unique and your strokes are different than someone else's.

    Everyone knows what feels good. You may not think you do, but if you try some racquets, one or two will stand out. Just trust yourself, whatever feels best with your strokes will be the best for you. I would NOT listen to someone who says "you're a baseliner, you need a racquet with xxxxx specs" or "you're a level 3.0, you need something between xx ounces and xx ounces..." Because that's crap. Anyone can play with any racquet they want--it's what suits your game, your feel, your style, and your body the best.

    Once you advance to the point you're a 4.0 or so, you'll know enough about your game and your racquets to tweak your selection when you think it's necessary. There are no "right" and "wrong" racquets. If you think it feels right, then that's all you should care about. If you pick up another racquet and it feels more comfortable, and you feel you play better with it, then switch. You're now playing with the "right" racquet for the time. Don't overthink it. What's right is what YOU think is right, and what you feel most comfortable with.


    EDIT: I wrote the above before reading any responses. AndrewD's advice is very good as well.
  12. KOtennis

    KOtennis Semi-Pro

    Feb 9, 2005
    Arcadia, CA
    everyone has good suggestions.
    but be careful not to hurt urself.
    i developed tennis elbow from demoing and trying 5 racquets in the span of 4 days or so.
  13. TommyGun

    TommyGun Semi-Pro

    Jun 10, 2004

    The added length will give you a little more racquet head speed, and therefore in theory you can generate a little more power and spin. Most "extended" frames of 0.5 inches don't really change the physics of the frame enough to lead you off to injury land. Move the full inch, like I use, and sometimes you can have problems. Mostly, if you stay head light, you should be okay.

    Not "conventional" wisdom, but prior to the past decade extended lengths and models were not as prevalent as now. So if you sit at the baseline you might now have an extended model that feels good in your hand.

    Lendl started the long trend for groundies, and now we know the Ferrero's and Corias use extended.

    The real key is to match the racquet to your game as closely as possible. I'm not a big believer in "whatever feels comfortable", because a lot of very light, head heavy racquets feel good in your hand but in the long run are bad for your game and physical well being.
  14. nViATi

    nViATi Hall of Fame

    Mar 6, 2005
    if you get a player's racquet at first you will play really horribly but in the long run it will help you get better
  15. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Feb 19, 2004
    Parts unknown
    -Determine what the heaviest swingweight frame you can swing fast is when playing someone of better ability than you. To say it should be at least a certain weight isnt right. This varies from player to player and could be any weight and I have seen really big football players who could not even swing an 11 oz frame fast. The frame should not have a head heavy balance
    -Determine what the minimum headsize (sweetspot size) is that you can reliably/consistently hit is when playing someone of better ability than you. very unlikely this will be a 85 or 90 or even a 95 headsize. be realistic and honest with yourself.
    So say you end up with something that is no more than 315 swingweight and at least 98 headsize....put a range into the TW racquet finder and it will likely spit out many good choices (maybe 98-105 headsize and 300-315 swingweight)..check out the comments on this board and with this info demo 3 and no more than 4 frames, and pick which works best for you and feels best from the lot. remember that it is an easy matter to add weight to a frame, but not so easy to take it away, so best to err on the lightside.
  16. yvp

    yvp Rookie

    Aug 13, 2004
    Take a racquet,throw it,do it again.If it lasts buy it.
    And oh,take around 10-15 diff racquets.
  17. montx

    montx Professional

    Apr 24, 2005
    First off, I would like to say, I wish I asked that question before I bought a racquet, but hey I have learned a lesson in overcoming stupidity and of the old adage, look before you leap. That was good of you to ask others.

    I bought a Head LM Radical MP and I am about a 3.5 intermediate. But I didn't know what to do so I followed the hype. I then came to realise I bought a racquet that though it plays like a dream is a little above my level.

    Now, I am purchasing a Dunlop 300G. It is an Editors Choice Racquet on TW. It is a little lower swingweight though (theorectically not as good for the elbow). In my case, I happen to find the LM Radical MP a little heavy for me, so I am trying a lower swingweight with the Dunlop 300G (300) @ 10.8 oz roughly.

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