It's the secret weapon that gives your forehand pace, your backhand power and your serve authority. Tennis players rely on their tennis rackets to enhance their performance. They purchase a certain racket because they like the way it feels, and even more important they like the way it makes them play. The one unique racket becomes a signature of the athlete's style of play. Tennis players know Rafael Nadal, Fernando Gonzalez, Andy Roddick, Carlos Moya, Kim Clisters and Caroline Wozniacki play with Babolat rackets, and they've witnessed the results. Some tennis players base their purchase on these endorsements and buy Babolat rackets with the impression that they are genuine. But when tennis players realise that they own a counterfeit racket, they feel duped. This deception negatively impacts a tennis player's morale and performance. But with a little help, avoiding this fraudulent trap can help save you dollars and give you peace of mind.
Inspect the racket. There are numerous grades of counterfeit equipment on the market today, some with striking physical resemblance; but when it comes to performance technology, the original stands out.
Scrutinise the shape. Look at the frame as some fake rackets tend to be more oval and elongated. (See Reference 1.) The frame also appears to be extremely thin throughout the body of the racket, including the neck. Looking at the thickness and width of the racket should be one of the first attributes you study.
Examine the racket's balance, weight and grip. When compared to the original, the counterfeit rackets tend to weigh less in regards to the frame but are head heavy, which creates an imbalance. (See Reference 1.) This imperfection could damage the player's form, thus increasing the risk of injury. The smaller sized grips without the logo imprint are also an indicator of a counterfeit racket.
Look at the craftsmanship. This is usually a good indicator. If the paint is chipped or if the logos are off-centre, chances are you bought a counterfeit racket. Some paint jobs are especially detailed, and that makes for a difficult examination. However, if the racket fails to have a sticker of authenticity on the neck, this is a good indicator of a counterfeit piece of equipment.
Name your price. If you try to buy the racket through online auctions, the chance of purchasing counterfeit equipment is higher. Instead, try buying your materials at a sporting goods store, where the racket can be closely examined in person. If you still wish to purchase via the internet, visit an authorised dealer.
Compare the dimensions to an original. If you are still not sure, go to a sporting goods store or tennis pro shop, and compare your racket to an original version. Sometimes having a point of reference helps clarify matters.