Racquet Reviews: What They Mean & How to Use Them
All tennis players love to read “racquet reviews” either as research or entertainment and I am no exception. I do a lot of racquet reviews and the very detailed review(s) is available on the membership site www.gssalliance.com.
What I want to propose here, with consumers, is what you should look for when reviewing a racquet. To remove the typical subjectivity from reviews I rely on “numbers” not what the racquet feels like in the hands of a 3.0 or 5.0 play tester. This my preference because it allows us to make a reasoned decision without any bias.
Probably the most meaningful “number” of a racquet is “Swing Weight”, or Inertia. Swing Weight is, simply, the dynamic weight of the racquet and is a function of weight distribution. For example two racquets of the same static balance can have different swing weight. So, unless you hold the racquet at the static balance point these racquets will feel different, and, in fact, perform differently.
The next most important number is overall weight. Herein lies a potential problem! That is, some players simply believe they can not play with a “heavy” racquet! A heavier racquet is a better racquet! Of course the racquet must be suited to your stature. I would not expect a beginning 12 year old to play with a “heavy” 350 gram (12.34 ounce) racquet, and that applies (maybe!) to older players as well.
Generally a heavier racquet will provide more control, more power, and less shock to your body parts. So, this is where numbers come in. If you are reading a review, and you want a power oriented racquet, look for a weight of 315 grams (11.1 ounces) a swing weight of 315 grams (11.1 ounces) and a stiffness of 70 RDC units.
If you are really convinced you need more control look for racquets in the 300 gram (10.58 ounces) with a swing weight of 325 grams (11.46 ounces) and a stiffness of mid 60’s. These properties will allow for slightly higher string bed stiffness which can contribute to improved control. Keep in mind that either racquet can be both powerful and controllable depending on your swing speed and skill level.
You get the idea! Add “numbers” to your racquet selection process and don’t rely totally on hitter feed back. The only feed back that means anything is yours!