Parts of a Tennis Racket – Getting to Know Your Weapon!
Dear Tennis Player,
How well do you know your racquet? Your racquet, like your car or some other mechanical equipment, has various parts that come together to deliver that winning game. It is important therefore that you know the parts of your racquet so that you can regard your racquet intimately and with confidence.
Also, this knowledge will guide you as you go to purchase your next racquet, or perhaps your first!
In this post, we will be breaking down the racquet and showing its different parts and how each part works. Hopefully, you know your racquet a little more and be able to hit your best shots ever.
1. The Head
The head of the racquet is that part of the racquet where the strings are. It is the part that is used to hit the ball in a play.
Just as there are many types of racquets for each stage and player of the game, so are there various head sizes. A racquet’s head may be anything from 95 – 112 sq.in.
The relationship between a racquet’s head size and the game of tennis is somewhat inversely proportional. This means simply that, the larger the head size, the greater the power behind every hit.
However, this also means that the player gets to sacrifice control for speed and range. On the flip side, when the head size is small, it means that the player has more control and is better able to manoeuvre the stick. Gaining the control, however, comes at an added cost of losing power.
Racquets with small head size are for pros who would rather send the ball sailing over the net with their own force of will. Racquets with a big head size is for beginners or intermediate players who are just gaining confidence on the game.
- A racquet is deemed to have a modest head size if it is anything from 95 -100 sq.in
- A racquet is considered big with anything from 101-110 sq.in,
- A racquet is called massive if it’s head size is greater than 110 sq.in
2. The Beam
The Beam of a racquet is the thickness of the racquet’s head. The length of the racquet is not increased by the racquet’s beam. What the beam does however is based on its on size and design. The beam can add to a racquet’s weight and also affect the overall feel of the game.
Wider beams can translate to more power and even add the trampoline effect (check our post on string tensions) to a game.
Finally, the beams often affect the way the stings are laid out.
3. Bumper Guard
This part of the racquet is often made with plastic. The bumper guard protects the impact zone of the tennis racquet. The use of plastic is due to its durability and will require replacement to avoid the scrapping the frame and causing a crack if not addressed.
Grommets are the plastic inserts that are found in a racquets string holes in the head of a tennis racquet head. The job of the grommets is to protect the strings from the typically harsh surface of and edges within string holes.
The size of the racquet often dictates the size of the grommet. Small raquets come with small racquets. This is to prevent too much pressure being put of the racquet frame. Big racquets come with big grommets. This is to prevent too much movement within the frame and thereby cause loss of control during the game
The strings are the most important aspect of any racquet. Without the string, there is no game. The string, when strung, provides the surface for hitting the ball. Strings come in material, thickness, and how they are strung.
The strings affect the game in more ways than one. They affect the power, control, spin and vibration of the game.
Also, the string pattern of the racquet is important for the game.
This part of the racquet begins from the end of the throat all the way to the end of the grip.
The racquet’s throat is the area where the two curves of the head of the racquet meets. Eventually, the throat becomes the shaft which extends to the handle of the racquet.
Most modern racquets feature the open throat design which makes for better balance because air has a place to pass through. Together with the large head sizes, the open throat design makes a more effective sweet spot.
The hand of the tennis racquet is the part that is held during a game. It is the part that is grip and regripped. What the string is to ball is exactly what the handle is to the player. When the manufacturers of the racquet are looking for a way to lengthen any piece of graphite, they often turn to the handle.
It is important to select the racquet with the right grip size so as to increase confidence in the game and reduce the possibility of injury. The handle’s outer circumference and its outer edge is often the sizes 4 inches to 45/8 inches.
The butt of the racquet is lowest part of the racquet. It is slight bigger than handle and prevents the racquet from sliding out of a player’s hand during play.
10. Butt Cap
The butt cap of a tennis simply seals off the bottom part of the racquet and is the part where manufacturers will put their logo, or where some technology may be attached to analyse your play.
Before we are done, all these various parts of the racquet are made with multiple raw materials. If you have read our little love note on tennis string tensions, you would know that some strings are made of natural gut, polyester or even synthetic gut.
The same with the frame of your racquet. Which may be made of graphite, titanium, or even aluminium. The goal is to give you a racquet that serves your needs, either by providing with power, less vibration, bigger sweet spot or the trampoline effect.
What this information should do for you is to help to choose that racquet that enhances your game and makes you play like a pro.