Whenever you’re new to tennis, things don’t seem as complicated in the beginning. Oh, you just hit a ball around over net. Seems easy enough. But then you realize just how many rules there are and how many variations there can be. From different courts giving you different advantages to your racquet, tennis is quite deep.
Speaking of your racquet, that’s what we’ll be talking about here.The racquet seems simple enough, but it’s quite complex with many unique terms used to describe various parts of it.
In this article we’ll be clearing up some of the terms used for the different parts of a racquet, and this shall help you along your journey to be a skilled tennis player.
Since the racquet has been invented, its core parts have not really changed. The models, materials, and weight sure has, but not the main components. So let’s see what those components are, shall we? First let’s look at the head.
This is where the strings are, and it’s where you’ll be hitting. The size of the head may differ depending on the racquet, but most heads are about 95 to 110 square inches.
The head’s size can affect how you play, too. Bigger heads will give your strikes more power, but they’re harder to swing. Smaller heads are weaker in power, but give you control and speed.
The beam is just another word for the head’s thickness. Different types of racquets will bring different beams, and the beam is definitely an underrated part of the racquet. The beam can greatly affect how the game plays, and we’ll explain why.
With a large beam, the strings can move around in a more limber fashion, giving your shots more power. However the free moving means less control for you. With smaller beams, it’s the opposite, giving you less power but better control over your racquet. You can do a side by side comparison to different racquets, if you so desire.
The strings are what’s in the center of the head. This is where the ball will connect, and then bounce back like a trampoline. The strings can come already in the racquet, or sold separately, and you’d be surprised at how much the strings can affect the performance.
The thickness, materials used and wear of the strings can affect power, control, vibration, spin and more.
The peak of the head of the racquet, there’s a bumper guard that protects the racquet’s impact zone. The racquet will frequently be scraped on the court whenever you do groundstrokes, and the guard prevents the racquet from any damages.
The guards are made from tough plastic, but may need replacement every now and then to avoid damage to the racquet itself.
Grommets are those plastic insets that go through the holes of the string that are located around the tennis racquets head. Like the bumper guard, the grommets are there to help keep the strings safe and secure from the rough and tough parts of tennis.
The grommets’ thickness also comes in different widths to help move or stop string movement. Wider grommets are typically used for power racquets and smaller control based racquets have thicker grommets to keep the strings from moving too much.
The shaft is the part that goes from the bottom of the head and down to the very end of the racquet’s handle. The top of the shaft is where you’ll see the racquet’s throat. Below the throat is the handle. Now, let’s talk about the throat.
Beginning at the handle’s top, the throat divides into two parts that go across both of the racquet’s sides and help shape the head. The throat’s center tends to be hollow, keeping the weight down and allowing for the racquet to flex.
Some racquets flex less and other will flex more and the less flexible racquets tend to be for power racquets and vice versa.
This is the very bottom, and it’s what you hold whenever you’re playing the game. The handle tends to be the part that is extended whenever a manufacturer wants to make a racquet that has more power.
Usually, the handle has varying circumferences as well. The length tends to be 4-4 5/8 inches. This sounds like nothing, but every inch counts, and if you pick a handle that’s too large or too little, you may get an injury.
So you may want to talk with a pro before you pick your racquet.
This is the coating of the handle. Basically, it’s the cushion that allows you to grip the racquet firmly while keeping your hand from any injuries. The grip also connects the handle to the butt.
This is the very bottom of the handle. The butt tends to be wider, which allows the racquet to keep still while you swing.
Finally, we’ve made it to the very bottom, and we find the butt cap. This keeps the bottom of the handle sealed, and is usually the place where you can find the handle size and the logo from the manufacturer.
And that’s it! Knowing these terms, you should now be able to talk with a pro without being overwhelmed by jargon.
In tennis, even something as small as the racquet ends up being fascinating. There are many parts to a racquet, and not a single one is useless. Each one differs, and gives you variety in choosing a racquet that is right for you.
Have a look at my article on buying the best fit for you.
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