There are a few key things to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a new racquet. Here are my 5 tips for buying a tennis racquet.
Do you find yourself lost on what racquet to get? You are not alone. Most players of all levels struggle with this question. The choice is staggering, and it is not easy to see what works best for you. I have compiled my 5 tips for buying a racquet below. I hope it will give you some guidance.
Demo if you can
You can’t know if a racquet is great for you until you play with it. You can have an idea, but you won’t know for sure until you try. That is why it is always best to demo. Not all shops offer the possibility to do it, but perhaps you can borrow it from someone or find a shop that does.
Even if you play with a racquet for two hours, you might not be sure if it is for you. It usually takes a couple of sessions to understand a racquet and find out what it does for your game. Try to get as much time as you can with a racquet before you make up your mind. And remember, the string in the racquet is also essential. An old or cheap demo string can influence the feel and performance.
Do your research
There are plenty of review sources online to get a good idea of how a racquet plays (you find my reviews here). This is a good starting point. If you are not sure at what racquets you should look at, I offer a consultation service to give you a 3-5 ideas of racquets you should consider and why.
Getting down to a list of a couple of racquets is important. Otherwise, the selection is too broad, and you might end up making the wrong decision. Understanding your level of play and playing style is vital. You can also get help from a coach or a friend.
Grow out of the racquet
A general tip is not to look for racquets that you will grow into. If you are an NTRP 3.5 and are going for a HEAD Pro Tour 2.0 – you are giving yourself a disadvantage. The racquet is heavy, has a small sweet spot, and will require a lot more work than a HEAD Gravity MP to get depth and power on your shots.
Trying to “grow into” a difficult racquet might lead you to pick up bad habits in your technique. It is better to find a racquet that allows you to play your best tennis more consistently and build on that. As you are becoming a better player and facing harder opposition, you might want to customize your racquet or upgrade it. You are now “growing out” of your racquet instead of working hard to play with something that will not bring out the best in you.
The used tennis market is great
There are loads of lightly used tennis racquets out there looking for a new owner! Unless it is crucial for you to get a brand new racquet, you can save money by buying a used one. You can trade, sell, buy, and have a lot of fun doing it. More about this in my post “Tennis on a budget“
Beware of marketing
Racquet companies want to sell more racquets. They want you to upgrade your racquet every year or so. That is why they introduce new models, with new technologies and talk about how they will change your game. Tennis racquet technology hasn’t changed that much in 20 years, to be honest. Yes, there have been some positive movements with lines like the Wilson Clash, HEAD Gravity, and the Prince Phantom (read about them in my post about my Top 3 racquets for intermediate players), but if you are using a racquet that is from 2005 – you are likely not missing much.
It is also important to understand that what the pro player use should have no impact on your choice. They usually use their old racquet from their later, junior years, painted to look like a new one. They only endorse the new one. I can understand the desire to get a fresh and great-looking design, but it might not be the best racquet for your tennis. If results and playability are what matters to you, don’t fall for the marketing – make an informed and mature decision.
I hope these 5 Tips For Buying a Tennis Racquet help you on your path to the right racquet. When you find it, commit to it until you feel like you grow out of it.
If you want to have a look at new racquets, these are a couple of our tennis friends and affiliates: