Choosing a Racket: Power vs. Control

Head-heavy vs. head-light

Lightweight, head-heavy rackets are a good combination for the novice and intermediate player. The concept behind these rackets is to offer a light racket with more weight at the point of impact. Ideally, these rackets can be swung faster while still maintaining weight at the hoop for increased power and control.

More experienced players prefer the heavier, head-light rackets, considered to be the traditionally weighted racket. They offer more control for players who can supply their own power.

Grip size

The most important aspect of grip size is the ratio of comfort to wrist stress. A grip that is too small will be maneuverable, but will cause the muscles of the forearm and hand to work very hard to grip the racket. Larger grips are easier on the gripping muscles, but the hand/wrist will be less mobile.

For example, players with tennis elbow problems might switch to a larger grip to decrease demands on the muscles and increase leverage to resist off-center impacts. A general rule for grip selection is to hold the racket in the forehand position, you should then be able to place your index finger between the area on the grip where your fingertips end and your palm begins.

String pattern

An open string pattern has an increased gap between strings for better grip when applying spin on the ball. A dense string pattern offers more control of the ball, but requires more power for applying spin.

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