When choosing a tennis racket, the grip size and the racket head size are important considerations. To accommodate a range of players, racket manufacturers make rackets in several grip sizes and head sizes. The correct grip is crucial because an incorrect size can lead to tennis elbow. The head size choice will depend on your skill level and style of play.
- Skill level:
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Open your hand flat, keep your fingers straight and close together. Notice the lines in the palm of your hand. Typically there will be three lines or creases.
Place a ruler so that the end is on the middle crease of your palm. Position the ruler so that it runs straight up to the tip of the ring finger.
Note the measurement to the nearest 3 mm (1/8 inch). This will be the grip size that is best suited for you. If the measurement is between eighths, it is better to choose the smaller size, because it is easier to enlarge a grip than to reduce it. Grips range in size from 10 cm to 11.5 cm (4 inches to 4 5/8 inches).
Increase the grip size if your hand measures more than 11.5 cm (4 5/8 inches). This is the largest grip size sold, and many times, a man's hand measures larger than this. Increasing the grip size can be done by adding additional over-wraps to the handle, or by having a professional build up the grip with a heat shrink sleeve. Playing with too small a grip size can lead to tennis elbow.
Choose an oversized tennis racket if you are a novice, a beginner, or you need more power in your game. The head size range is 690 to 870 square cm (107 to 135 square inches). Typically larger head rackets provide more power and a larger "sweet spot" or hitting area. This is the area on the string bed where, when you contact the ball, it feels solid with no vibration. A larger sweet spot allows for more success on off-centre hits.
Choose a midplus head racket if you are an intermediate player. These rackets provide a good combination of power, control, and maneuverability. The head size range is 645 to 684 square cm (100 to 106 square inches).
Choose a midsize tennis racket if you are a more advanced player, college player, or club professional. The head size range is 548 to 632 square cm (85 to 98 square inches). These rackets are low in power and allow big hitters to hit confidently with power, yet maintain control.
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