When I started my journey with tennis in the middle of the 1990s, I was using my father’s racket.
The racket was huge and heavy, and it was definitely not designed for a ten-year-old boy at the time.
I remember chronic back pain that interrupted my career for a couple of months. Other peers were also struggling with incorrect techniques caused by excessive racket weight.
Those times weren’t easy for kids to learn tennis.
Nowadays, tennis rackets come in different sizes. You can choose from hundreds of rackets that offer more power, control, or a blend of. There are different rackets for any age, height, or level of tennis.
You have to get to know yourself before selecting any particular racket that will be good for you.
The reality is that your choice of the tennis racket will affect your progression pace. If you mismatch parameters to your abilities, you’ll make it more difficult for yourself.
The simplest solution is to ask your coach or an expert at a local club what racket would suit you.
But having basic knowledge about cause and effect could save you some time and money while learning how to play.
How Much Does Rocket Head Size Matter?
Most people who begin to play tennis don’t realize how big an influence the racket head has on performance.
It’s like with the engine in a car. Generally, the bigger it is, the more power it produces. So, the head size, and any other part of a tennis racket, are essential.
Generally, there are three head sizes available in tennis:
Oversize 105” and more, Midplus 98-104”, and Midsize 85-97”.
If you are just starting out, you should search for light oversized rackets.
These will help you to hit consistently without overloading muscles.
An oversize head is preferred because of the greater hitting area called the “sweet spot.”
The large head size also makes shots more powerful, so you can fully concentrate on technique.
When you become an intermediate player, your priorities slightly change. For example, now you want to add some precision to the game, so you need better control.
The racket you use is heavier, and the head size is rather midplus. Thanks to that, you’re able to play at your own pace and keep the power under control.
Finally, we come to professionals and their rackets which are very demanding. The characteristic midsize heads and heavy frames allow for the ultimate ball feel.
But, as the hitting surface is small and less powerful, it requires high accuracy and developed muscular strength.
You might be interested in other factors, too, although they’re more niche. I am talking about terms like the beam and flexibility.
Beam size, in other words, frame thickness, is measured in three points of the racket. The tip, the middle, and the throat.
A thin frame is considered up to 24mm, while a thick frame stands for 25mm and above.
Thinner rackets have a tendency to distort on the contact with the ball.
Because of that, your shots are under control, but their speed depends more on arm strength. Such rackets are great for professionals in general.
In contrast, thicker frames are very powerful due to minor loss of energy. Therefore, they are recommended for novice players and those who are physically weaker.
You should also take a look at the racket’s flexibility or stiffness. The characteristic is indirectly connected with beam size and says a lot about the racket deformation ability.
Stiff rackets have an index of 70 and more.
They don’t absorb much energy at the impact, so you can hit the ball very hard without an effort. If you just started playing tennis, this is the best choice for you.
Advanced tennis players are powerful themselves, and their rackets have to be more flexible.
This means that the frame stiffness goes down way below 70. It requires lots of acceleration on the racket swing but provides maximum control in compensation.
Do Tennis Rackets Come In Different Lengths?
Tennis rackets come in different sizes depending on their purpose. For example, children have their own sizes adjusted to age and height.
Meanwhile, adult rackets are regular in length, although you can select extended versions too.
Junior sized rackets are usually divided into five categories.
|4 & Under||39” & Under||19”|
|4 – 5||40 – 44”||21”|
|6 – 8||45 – 49”||23”|
|9 – 10||50 – 55”||25”|
|11 & Above||56” & Above||26”|
Adult tennis rackets have one standard length of 27 inches.
This size is suitable for both women and men and is commonly used across the world. So whether you’re a beginner or travel from tournament to tournament, the standard length is just right.
However, there are extended 27.5 up to 29-inch tennis rackets, which are rare even on the professional tour to spot.
They are used by players who search for the longer laver, reach, and yet more power.
For example, Sam Querrey and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga stick to Babolat Pure Aero Plus, which is 27.5-inch long.
These rackets are very tough to control and maneuver.
Are There Any Restrictions On Racket Sizes?
Tennis regulations don’t allow you to use too big rackets.
The International Tennis Federation clearly describes how long and how wide the racket can be.
This is to prevent the game from being too powerful and fast, so the competition and show made sense.
Since there are no smallest measurements, the racket shall not exceed 29.0 inches in overall length and 12.5 inches in overall width.
This includes any extra items like head guards or weight tapes.
The racket face dimensions are strictly limited as well. The hitting area shall not exceed 15.5 inches in length and 11.5 inches in width.
The federation doesn’t specify the particular shape of the racket head, though.
For this reason, manufacturers have their own preferences to increase rackets’ performance.
When you compare Babolat, Wilson, and Yonex frames, you notice how different they look, still respecting the rules.
Perhaps, everyone who plays tennis regularly ever has a dilemma about which racket to play with.
Every single racket has other specifications, which makes it unique. But luckily, it doesn’t relate to the racket length.
Adult rackets have one standard size.
If you think about buying a tennis racket, your tennis level is the most important thing to consider.
Based on that, you will be selecting the racket head size and weight. Forget about the length because it will always be the same 27”.
Unless you’re 7-feet tall, of course.
Have you ever thought about the length while buying a tennis racket?
Did you play with junior rackets in the past?