Learn how to choose the correct racket and grip size by following our comprehensive guide below.
Tennisnuts clasify a 'heavy racket' as being above 300g. Heavier rackets provide the highest level of frame stability. Heavier weight is commonly combined with a thinner beam width to allow these players to keep their powerful strokes under control. For these reasons, they are the most competitive and are preferred by professional and advanced level players.
Lightweight rackets (below 280g), are far easier to manoeuvre, which can be advantageous in various situations from lining up a serve to switching between forehand and backhand positions. They usually come with a thicker beam width in order to maintain structural stability. As a result, they are able to help generate power very easily for players who have shorter swings and/or who are not physically very strong or athletic.
The head size of a racket is a major factor determining the size of its 'sweet spot' and in turn the consistency of powert and accuracy with which a player can hit the ball.
Smaller head sizes, which we consider to be below 100 sq inches, are recommended for advanced players who can consistently hit the sweet spot and generate a great amount of power from their swing action. These players will enjoy the benefits of a smaller head size to place their shots with high accuracy.
On larger head sizes (above 102 sq inches), the larger sweet spot will enable players to hit with power more consistently. This is ideal for players who are unable to, or have yet to, master a powerful swing. It also provides forgiveness on off-centre shots, allowing players who cannot consistently hit the sweet spot.
The balance of a tennis racket is determined by whether its weight is distributed more towards the head or the handle. Balance points are often quoted in millimetres. This length (measured from the bottom fo the racket) represents the point at which the racket can be balanced without tipping either way, so the higher the number, the heavier the racket is towards the head.
On rackets which are more head-light, the weight is closer to the hand which improves manoeuvrability on ground strokes and volleys, and in general keeps the player more in control. It is however harder to generate head speed on swings, so going for a very head-light racket may leave you struggling for power. Only advanced players should pick balances of 315 mm or less.
On head heavy rackets, the weight in the head will build momentum on swings and lead to increased power. It does however become harder to direct shots with accuracy. Social players looking for easy power from their racket should opt for balances of 340 mm or above.
For most other competitive players, both beginners and intermediates, rackets between 215 and 340 mm will be suitable depending on the factors discussed above, as well as preference. If you require more power, go closer towards the 340 mm point, or if you prefer more control, go closer towards 315 mm.
Some rackets come 'factory strung' from the manufacturers, while others are sold as 'Frame Only'. Advanced player rackets are usually sold as 'Frame Only' based on the assumption that an advanced player will have specific stringing requirements, including the type of string and tension.
Factory string rackets usually assume the playrs will want to 'pick up and play' with the rackets straight away and will not have specific requirements. As a result, they are usually string in 'all-round' polyester strings at mid-tension. We recommend sticking with these as a starting point if you are unsure what string or tension you would want instead. If you are considering a Frame Only racket, we have a separate guide on How to Choose Tennis Strings that you may find useful.
The grip size is the circumference of the handle of the racket, and the size you need will therefore depend on the size of your hand.
While the grip size is measured in inches, they are often converted into numbers ranging from Grip Size O to 5, or LO to L5. If you already have a racket and would like to get the same grip size, you can check the base of the handle to find out which grip size it is.
|European Grip size||US Grip size in inches|
|0 (L0 or G0)||4 inches|
|1 (L1 or G1)||4 1/8 inches|
|2 (L2 or G2)||4 1/4 inches|
|3 (L3 or G3)||4 3/8 inches|
|4 (L4 or G4)||4 1/2 inches|
|5 (L5 or G5)||4 5/8 inches|
There are two ways you can measure your grip size:
A rough way of finding out is by holding a racket in your normal forehand grip. If the racket is of the correct grip size, the distance between your palm and longest finger should approximately be the width of a finger (pictured below). If the gap is too small, it means you will need a larger grip size, and if the gap is too big you will need a smaller grip size.
If you do not have a racket available to measure, an alternative way is to measure your hand using a ruler. As pictured below, line up the ruler on your palm in line with the intersection of the thumb and fingers. The length from there to the top of your ring finger (next to the little finger) is roughly the right size. It must be noted that choosing a grip size is not an exact science. If you are between two sizes, you should go for the smaller one it you like to hit a lot of top spin as its easier grip to hit over the ball. For those who hit flatter, going for the larger one will allow for a more comfortable hitting experience.