Best Tennis Racquets for 2017
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Finding an ideal tennis racquet should be a matter of preference – there are some important factors to consider, such as what qualities you’d like the racquet to emphasize or what your play style is all about. Are you, perhaps, looking for a model that’s control-oriented, power-oriented, or just a racquet that’s balanced in both fields? Are you a defensive baseliner, offensive baseliner, or someone who plays all-court? Even if you have an answer to all these questions, it can still be hard to find that perfect racquet with so many different models around today. Have no worries – that’s why we’re here!
- WILSON ENERGY XL
- Head size: 112"
- Length: 27.5"
- String Pattern: 16x19
- HEAD Ti.S6
- Head size: 115"
- Length: 27.75"
- String Pattern: 16x19
- STREET TENNIS CLUB
- Head size: 3 sizes
- Length: 17"-21"
- String Pattern: NIP
- BABOLAT PURE DRIVE
- Head size: 100"
- Length: 27"
- String Pattern: NIP
- WILSON TOUR SLAM
- Head size: 112"
- Length: 27.5"
- String Pattern: 16x19
Top Rated Products on the Market
Wilson Energy XL Tennis Racquet
Are you, perhaps, looking for a beginner racquet that’s at the same time durable, robust, and consistent, but you don’t have a salary of a pro tennis player? Check out the Wilson Energy XL – it’s a popular model with a reasonable price and lots of praises from the users.
When it comes to sheer dimensions, the Wilson Energy XL is 27.5″ long and weighs around 10 ounces when it is fully strung. Its head has a surface of 112 square inches while the frame features the Airlite Alloy built, providing the user with the lightweight design. In our opinion, this is truly a great model for the complete beginners – it can help them hone their technique and the skill, as it has an enormous head that’s very tightly strung and gives a maximum amount of impact with less effort needed.
In addition, the lightweight design of the frame that we’ve mentioned might also be an important fact for the newbies, as the racquet goes easy on the arm and prevents issues caused by the consistent arm motions. The model also has a V-Lock bridge, the Stop Shock Sleeve (giving more control to the player), and comes at a pretty reasonable price.
In our opinion, the Wilson Energy XL is a fantastic choice for the new players who don’t have a big budget and don’t possess great arm strength. It’s obvious that it was designed with ease of use and user friendliness in mind – so if that’s what you’re looking for, search no further.
The thing that we didn’t like is the occasional excessive vibration that appears throughout the frame when the racquet comes in contact with the ball – it takes time to get used to this. Also, the handle is coated with a cheap, non-durable material.
Head Ti.S6 Tennis Racquet
Next up is the model manufactured by the famous Head, a company well-known for their high-quality tennis racquets. The Ti.S6 is the best-selling racquet in the history of this company – let’s see why!
The Head Ti.S6 has a frame that’s made from titanium alloy, being some 27 inches long, weighing 8 ounces, and having a head with 115 square inches of the surface. With an open string pattern, this racquet gives the user a maximum amount of power, while at the same time being very lightweight and easy to use thanks to its ultra-light handle.
The oversized head, of course, provides a bigger sweet spot, which is pretty great for the complete beginners. It’s an extremely durable model, having a frame stiffness rating of 75 and a 28.5mm straight beam body, which is pretty thick and makes the whole thing even more powerful. One of its biggest selling points is the fact that the racquet comes pre-strung with HEAD Synthetic gut 16 silver strings – one doesn’t have to worry about getting it strung in a shop. We also liked the comfortable SofTac grip, as well as the ShockStop technology that helps to reduce the annoying vibrations.
All in all, we think that the Head Ti.S6 is still one of the best choices for both the beginners and the recreational players, as it has an oversized head with a large sweet spot, wider than an average beam, and a durable construction that’s at the same time tough and lightweight. It’s definitely worth considering for purchase.
Even though the model features the ShockStop technology, there were still some irritating vibrations during our testing period. We would recommend you to get some high-quality shock absorbers, as the vibrations in your hand, elbow, and the shoulder put a strain on your body and lower the quality of your performance.
Street Tennis Club Tennis Racquet for Kids
Making you kids interested in playing sports is always a wise decision, as it will help them to stay healthy and improve their cognitive skills. Tennis is surely a great option here – and the first thing that you’ll need is a decent racquet for your kid. Is the Street Tennis racquet a good choice?
The first thing to notice about this racquet is surely its price – you can find it for only 20 bucks, which definitely puts it into the category of affordable racquets. It comes in three different color combinations – black/yellow, black/white, and pink/white. All three variants look colorful and attractive, and we can safely say that the manufacturer didn’t fail in this department.
Even though it’s affordable, this racquet features a pretty good build and finish – the primary material used here is the top-quality aluminum, and the racquet comes with an oversized head whether you get it in the 17, 19, or 21″ version. This provides your kid with a bigger sweet spot and lowers the chance of missing the ball, which will surely build the child’s confidence and prevent him or her from quitting playing. The whole package also includes a free video game.
Simple but durable and functional, the Street Tennis Club Tennis Racquet for Kids is an excellent choice if you’d like to make your child interested in this sport. It can be purchased in three color variations and three different sizes, and it comes at an affordable price – what’s not to like here?
There aren’t many flaws here, except the fact that you, of course, can’t use this racquet for anything more serious than teaching your kid how to play tennis. Some users report that their grips fell off after some use, but we had no such problems.
Babolat Pure Drive Racquet
Babolat’s Pure Drive is among the most popular racquets on the planet right now, and the company’s best-selling model ever. It also gained a lot of praises from its users and the other reviewers, and that’s why we had to give it a more in-depth look.
The thing that makes this model different from the previous versions of the Pure Drive would be the inclusion of the so-called FSI technology: it places the sweet spot a bit higher in the frame, giving the user more power as well as comfort inside the contact zone. The racquet also has a tighter string pattern which makes the shots more precise, while the so-called Elliptic Design makes the frame stiffer without adding any additional weight to it, but replacing it on the handle and it can take some time to get used to that.
The Pure Drive racquet also has an EVO beam, with a design that helps to lower the torque at the ball impact, as well as the Cortex Dampening System that reduces the shock and absorbs the vibrations. All of these technologies combined also give the Pure Drive a high price – it’s one of the most expensive racquets we have reviewed so far.
The Babolat Pure Drive is one of the best racquets on the market, designed to provide the user with more power, precision, and control – it’s very easy to place the shots where you want them with this thing. Both the intermediate and the advanced players will certainly like it, and we have to give it our recommendation.
Along with the high price, the only other thing we didn’t like about the Pure Drive is the fact that it takes time to get used to the frame that’s stiffer than usual.
Wilson Tour Slam Adult Strung Tennis Racquet
This racquet is a smart buy for all those tennis players who are just starting out. And they can continue using it once they get to the intermediate level – there will be no need to buy a new one! Let’s see what’s so great about it!
The Wilson Tour Slam has a pretty good feel to it – it’s lightweight, but still features a large sweet spot that allows the user to unleash a strong hit. The head of this racquet is tightly strung, which is great for the new players, as it will give them more power with less effort. Another fine feature of this model that we really liked is the presence of the so-called stop shock pads, which make a huge difference.
In simple terms, these are stabilizers that are there to reduce the vibration, and we think that a lot of people will appreciate this feature. We should also mention that this model has the Volcanic Frame Technology built into its bridge, giving additional support to the overall feel of the durability of the whole thing. The Wilson Tour Slam is also quite affordable – it’s a great option for the players with limited budgets.
As you can see, this affordable tennis racquet has a lot of good things going for it – it has a tightly strung head, the stop shock pads, and a durable frame, and all of these features will come in very handy to both the beginning and the intermediate players. It’s surely worth considering for purchase!
Unfortunately, this racquet also has some flaws. In our opinion, the biggest of them is the size of the grip on the handle, which will probably be too large for the players who have smaller hands. If you’re one of them, take a look at our other reviews of the best tennis racquets.
Things to Consider When Buying a Tennis Racquet
Purchasing the right racquet will unquestionably improve your game, and that’s exactly why you should take this thing very seriously – there are certain points that you should consider before buying one. Let’s have a quick look at them:
There are two basic types of string patterns – the open one, and the closed one. The first one will give you more power when you’re hitting the ball, but the strings will also be more prone to snapping. The closed string pattern, on the other hand, is less likely to break but comes at the cost of the above mentioned extra power.
This refers to the thickness of a string – it is measured by a number between 15 and 20. In this case, the higher number will denote a string that’s thinner, and the thin ones are the best in our opinion. They will give you more elasticity, spin, control, and power.
There are three different head sizes on racquets – mid size, mid plus, and oversize. If you’re a beginner, go for a racquet with an oversized head, as it will make your first tennis steps much easier.
This one is a no-brainer – the lighter racquets can be swung much faster and add some extra maneuverability, while the heavy ones offer more power, stability, and protect your hands from the annoying vibrations.
The racquet with a stiffer frame will bend less, and this means that the maximum amount of user’s power can be transferred to the tennis ball. The racquets with the more flexible frames, on the other hand, will cause your hits to lose some energy, but they will also put a lesser amount of strain on your arm, wrist, and the shoulder.
The string tension can significantly affect the control and the feel of the racquet. There are three types one choose from – high tension, low tension, and the one between those two. High tension gives more stability and control, while the low one allows more spin, power, and feel.
There are many types of materials that are used for racquets strings, each coming with its advantages and flaws:
Kevlar – this is the most durable material for strings, but also the stiffest one.
Natural gut – it’s extremely elastic, but sensitive to moisture and very expensive.
Synthetic gut – it’s the least expensive and very durable, but not the really the most efficient.
Multi-filament – excellent all-around performance, but also quite costly and prone to fraying.
Nylon – inexpensive and durable, but not as gentle as some other materials.
Polyester – gives you an increased topspin and more control, but very it’s also very stiff.
Finding the ideal tennis racquet should be much easier now – these points should help you to find out which frame, head size, weight, and strings will suit your play style the most. We hope that we have been helpful!
Different Types of Tennis Racquets
Buying a new tennis racquet isn’t exactly an easy thing to do – there are many facts to consider before the purchase, and we also have to say that there are over 20 major brands that one can select from. Since we’ve covered the pre-purchase points in the previous article, let’s have a look at the three common types of the tennis racquets:
Power tennis racquets
As you can guess from their name, these racquets help the user to hit the ball with more power without using too much energy. They are often recommended to newbies who didn’t yet develop their technique and the play style, but they can also be an excellent choice for players who don’t have much strength to generate enough power for their hits. Some of their key features are:
• Stiff frame
• Lighter construction
• Large in length
• An oversized head
All of these characteristics are equally responsible for the power that the user can get while hitting the ball with a power tennis racquet.
Control tennis racquets
These would be the opposite of the power tennis racquets – the players lose some of the hitting power with them, but gain control and precision. Players using these types of racquets are often seasoned and professional, as it takes some form and skill to use them properly. Their main features are:
• Heavier construction
• Short length
• A small head
• Flexible frame
Do not choose one of these racquets if you are a complete beginner – not only are they heavier, but they also rely on player’s technique, footwork, and form.
Tweener tennis racquets
The tweener racquets fall in between the previously mentioned types of racquets – they are great when it comes to all-around performance, and can provide a broad range of tennis players with a nice mix of control and power. Their common characteristics include:
• Mid-weight construction
• Mid-sized length
• Mid-sized head
They are a common choice for the recreational players, as well as for the novices who feel that they have outgrown their racquets and would like to move onto something a bit more complex.
As you can see, there is a pretty broad range of tennis racquets available on today’s market, coming in all sizes and shapes, and with different features. It can be quite overwhelming if you’re a beginner, and we hope that we’ve been helpful with this article. Good luck!
Finding Your Tennis Racquet Grip Size
Playing tennis with a racquet that has a wrong grip size can have a very bad effect on both your arm and the overall performance. A small grip usually leads to elbow problems, while the large ones can prevent you from making effective serves. Read this short guide, and it will be easier for you to determine the right grip size for your hand:
Depending on the manufacturer, the grip sizes usually start at 3 7/8 inches and then gradually increase in increments of 1/8″ to 4 ¾”. The grip size measurement represents the circumference of the handle, starting at few inches above the butt cap and also including the grip wrap.
The finger measuring method
This is probably the easiest method to determine the right grip size for your hand. Rotate the hand around the handle while trying to see the gap between your palm and the fingertips, and then use the index finger of your other hand and place it into that gap. If you can’t do it, it means that the grip size is just too small for you, while the empty space on both sides of your finger indicates that the grip size is too big.
The ruler measuring method
This method is very useful if you don’t have a racquet around. Start by opening your hand and extending your fingers, keeping them close together. Take the ruler and measure the space from your palm’s lateral crease to your ring finger’s tip. If the measurement that you get is in between the grip sizes of racquets, use the smaller size – it’s easier to increase than it is to decrease the handle’s size. Here’s an example – if the measurement stands at 4 7/16″, try the 4 3/8″ grip, and add some overwrap if needed.
All in all, finding the right grip size for your tennis racquet plays a major role in your overall game performance. Once you determine it, all that will be left to do is to choose a model – check out our reviews of the best tennis racquets and find one for yourself!
Tennis is definitely our favorite sport, and it’s probably yours also since you’re here on our website. As you presumably already know, the tennis requires players to have some proper equipment in order to get good – the talent is, of course, much more important, but a good tennis racquet definitely plays a significant role in one’s performance. If you’re about to buy your first racquet or just want to upgrade, read our reviews and you’ll probably find the one to your liking – we tested models of all sizes, shapes, and prices.
Our favorite model, though, would surely be the Babolat Pure Drive. This racquet is one of the most popular ones on today’s market, and we can see why – although pricey, it has a high-quality built and gives the users as much control, precision, and power as possible. It’s suitable for the both the intermediate and the advanced players, which makes it a product of our choice.