How to Choose a Tennis Racquet: Racquet terms explained

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Picking out a new racquet for yourself or a loved one can be daunting. With 20 different brands and hundreds of different models, choosing the right racquet can make one’s head spin. Kind of like what happens to me when I walk into a perfume store or cereal aisle. At Tennis Warehouse, I think sometimes, we forget not everyone is as into tennis as we are. Our everyday tennis vernacular isn’t very everyday and common to most recreational players. So I want to break down racquet terminology in layman’s terms in hopes of clarifying what makes racquets play and perform the way they do so you can make a more informed decision before buying your next racquet. (From Tennis Warehouse I hope.)

Head size

Mid - Less than 95 square inches (example: Wilson Pro Staff 6.0 85)
Midplus - 95 to 104 square inches (example: Babolat Aero Pro Drive)
Oversize - 105+ square inches (example: Prince Premier 115L ESP)

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When we’re talking head size, we’re talking about the size of the racquet head (where the strings are). Obvious, I know. The larger the head size, the larger the sweetspot. Usually, a racquet’s headsize is in proportion to the level of player the racquet was designed for. Key word being “usually.” So racquets with an oversize head (105 sq in and bigger), tend to be meant for beginner players who need that bigger sweetspot and more power. They also tend to be more stable for those times the ball isn’t hit exactly in the sweetspot. And racquets that have mid size head’s are meant for the more advanced player.

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New Tennis Brands to Suit Your Everyday Personality

blog-top-1Do you tend to keep it feminine and elegant on the court? Or are you an eclectic, playful fashionista? Maybe you trend toward a simple, sporty-chic look? Or do you rock your avant-garde style with bold and edgy styling? Whatever style you gravitate toward, we have four new brands at Tennis Warehouse that will suit your personality while you are on the court!

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One Strings Spin Deeper racquet delivers on that promise

It seems like all the racquet brands are telling me that spin is in. It’s time to add our newest racquet brand to the list. One Strings has a couple of racquets called Spin Deeper, and they feature a 14×19 string pattern.

Because I tend to hit flatter, I haven’t quite found my spin racquet companion, but that hasn’t stopped me from trying all sorts. I’ve been testing the Spin Deeper 300, although it is offered in a heavier 315g version as well. As with most spiny racquets, this one took my flat strokes and I a bit of an adjustment period, but I’m glad I stuck out the hour or so of misfires.

I am certainly spinning the ball deeper as the racquet name suggests, and I’m really enjoying the easy response of this one. The 14×19 string pattern isn’t as wide open as Wilson Spin Effect racquets so the spin hasn’t been quite as extreme, but it’s more than enough for me. What I’m noticing more than spin from the string pattern, however, is its responsiveness. The ball just flies off the stringbed. That’s helped me to hit a deeper shot with more spin and pace when pushed back deep off the baseline.

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BOS Photography

BOS Photgraphy at the BNP Paribas Open

BOS Photgraphy at the BNP Paribas Open

Every year at the BNP Paribas Open, a group of tennis photograph enthusiasts come together to form an elite squad. Ball on String photography better known as BOS consists of only three members including Jason, Chris, and senior staff member, Daniel. This year I was able to infiltrate the secret club and interview each of the members with the hopes of one day becoming BOS.

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Demo the latest racquets at the BNP Paribas Open

Mark Boone hits on the demo court. Photo by Jason (BOS Photography/TW Staff)

Mark Boone hits on the demo court. Photo by Jason (BOS Photography/TW Staff)

The demo court is the place to be while taking a break from watching matches at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.

When you head on out to our demo court you can try all of the latest racquets from the top brands such as Babolat, Wilson, Head, Prince, Volkl, Dunlop and Yonex. If you have any racquet questions, we have the right man on the job.

You’ve seen him in our product review videos, you’ve read his comments in our written reviews, now you can meet the man himself, Mark Boone, at the Tennis Warehouse demo court.

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Feliciano Lopez’s Practice Gear

Feliciano Lopez practicing

Feliciano Lopez practicing

A couple days ago we were at a Wilson photo/video shoot, filming some footage for a commercial and behind the scenes spot with some of Wilson’s top athletes including Victoria Azarenka, Grigor Dimitrov, and Milos Raonic.  While we were waiting, I spotted Feliciano Lopez getting a practice session in on a side court before his turn in the spotlight.

I snuck over to watch and found Lopez in head to toe Wilson: apparel, footwear and racquet.  His Core Logo “W” Court Tech T-shirt and Solana Colorblock 10″ Shorts had a casual comfortable look and the all white ensemble is perfect for keeping cool in the desert sun.  On his feet, he was sporting the Wilson Rush Pro’s (check out our review of the shoe).  Lastly, his racquet of choice, the Wilson Juice 100, is perfect for those seeking power and spin.

Keep checking back for more coverage of the players at the BNP Paribas Open.

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Brittany

Tennis jackets to fit any budget

Tennis Jackets: Save vs Splurge

 

It’s time for a little shopping! Should I save or splurge? Inspired by the rainy weather today here in San luis Obispo, I wanted to get a jacket. My save today is the Asics Fall Racquet Jacket in green jade and is a bargain at $54. This lightweight jacket features all the technologies you need as well as some stylish details. It features a full-zip entry and elastic binding at the cuffs and hem along with a tonal screen print and rushing on the back.  For my second pick, the adidas Stella McCartney Spring Jacket in fresh aqua is a perfect splurge item. This lightweight jacket is perfect to throw on after a match and is stylish enough to keep on once you step off the courts.The exaggerated collar make quite a statement on both the front and back.

With each of these Save Vs. Splurge blogs, I’ll first feature a “save” since everyone loves a good deal, myself included, and I am always on the hunt to find the best price. And the second will be a “splurge,” which I think is necessary at times to purchase an item that is top of the line or just released. The products will range from apparel to shoes to bags to accessories. Keep checking back in with us for another edition of Save vs Splurge!

Ad Out,

Brittany

Diadora Speed Star II

Like a typical female fashionista, shoes are one of my biggest weaknesses! Everything from cute sandals to wedges, boots to flip flops, running shoes to flats…and of course, tennis shoes!

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So when I put on the new Speed Star K W IIs by Diadora…let’s just say, I was one happy lady! Plush cushioning enveloped my feet in a sleek black and purple design. I was officially obsessed! And by obsessed, I mean I couldn’t take them off! I proudly wore them all over the TW explaining to everyone how amazingly comfortable these cute shoes were. I wore them down the hall, I wore them for a hit and I wore them in the gym…I even took them out for a walk to get some coffee because there was no way I was taking these shoes off! Nothing can beat the plush perfection of these shoes!

So comfort and cosmetics aside, why else do I love these shoes? They are quick and low to the ground, yet still stable and have a good grip on the court. Everything I’m looking for in a tennis shoe and more! While they work great on the court, I must admit that I find myself slipping these shoes on whenever I can! With a six month outsole guarantee, I know I will be getting a lot of use out of these and can look forward to a new pair if I happen to wear them down in the next 6 months.

These are quickly climbing up the ladder to be a new favorite shoe of mine…ladies, trust me on this one…check these Diadoras out!

Play with heart,

Michelle

Retro Tennis News Wednesday

Maybe it’s because my next birthday is inching up…or that lately some of the things I see and hear make me feel old (I’m pretty sure I still don’t know exactly what twerking is?!). But I feel like the world is all sorts of retro lately, even hitting the tennis world…and I like it!

Even watching the Oscars last weekend, actors I grew up watching were on stage winning awards (shout out to Jordan Catalano for any “My So Called Life” fans — who knew we would see Jared Leto up there winning an Academy Award?!). So seeing some of my favorite tennis players make their way back on to the scene (in one way or another), makes me excited for the future of tennis!
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Men’s tennis shorts for spring 2014: print is in

Print are on trend for shorts this spring. Roger Federer showed off the look at the Australian Open. Photo by Cynthia Lum.

Print are on trend for shorts this spring. Roger Federer showed off the look at the Australian Open. Photo by Cynthia Lum.

Prints are in for men when it comes to shorts this season. Notable pros to step out in printed shorts at the start of this season include Roger Federer and Juan Martin Del Potro. Here are my top five printed men’s tennis shorts.

1. Travis Mathew Men’s Spring Curtis Short – $68.00

Plaid shorts have been around the courts for ages. Everyone has done them, Nike, adidas, Fila, the list goes on. But no one has done it better than newcomer to the tennis scene Travis Mathew. Looking at the Curtis Short from a distance, you’d think this is a casual cotton short. Up close, you realize that this is a performance stretch woven short.

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