The racquet you have right now can add more power to your game. All you have to do is make sure you are getting the most from it. Read on to find out how you can tune up your racquet and power up your game.
1. String tension
Nothing makes a racquet play better than a nice, fresh string job. To add power the first thing to consider is your choice of string tension. Lower tensions are going to allow the ball to sink into the stringbed and launch back out with more energy. Conversely, a tight tension will be more board-like and will flatten the ball, robbing it of energy. Your racquet should have a recommended tension range printed on it (usually inside the throat of the racquet, sometimes inside the hoop). If the range is say 50-60 lbs, staying in the 50-53 lbs range will offer you the most power. Just remember for more power, string low.
2. String type
The type of string you choose is also going to have a major impact on how much power you’ll get from your racquet. Softer strings are going to give you easier access to both pace and depth. Natural gut is the most power string option available. Yes, it is expensive but it is superbly soft and comfortable and offers solid power even on mishit shots. Babolat VS Thermogut is probably the most revered natural gut while Klip Legend Natural Gut offers great performance at a more affordable price.
Either way, natural gut is expensive so lets look at an alternative. Synthetic multifilament strings are made from many fibers and mimic the playability of natural gut. While most are not quite as powerful as gut, they get pretty darn close and can offer better durability (especially for those living in humid climates). Some of the more powerful multifilament string available include Tecnifibre X-One Biphase, Wilson Optimus, Dunlop Silk and Prince Premier with Softflex. Tecnifibre E-Matrix (a TW exclusive!) is only $4.50 and is by far the most affordable multifilament which also offers great power.
3. String Gauge
Lastly on the string check list is gauge. The gauge, or thickness, of the string is also going to have an impact on power. To maximize power you are going to want to choose a thin gauge. A 17 gauge string will offer a nice blend of power and durability. A thinner 18 gauge will offer more power but 18 gauge offerings are not as common and durability can suffer. Klip Legend Natural Gut 18, Wilson NXT Power 18, Prince Premier Power 18 and Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 18 all offer great power in an 18 gauge.
Adding some weight to your racquet will actually boost power the most. Many people shy away from customizing their racquet as it is more involved, but dialing in the weight and balance of your racquet is easier than you think.
Adding lead weight tape at the tip of your racquet (the furthest point from the handle — apply to the inside of the hoop) will have the most dramatic boost in power. Weight added at the 3 & 9 o’clock positions of the hoop will improve both the stability and power of your racquet. Splitting the difference with weight added at 10 & 2 will improve power while adding a little stability, too. I always like to add the same amount of weight I’ve added (total amount) at the handle (hide the lead tape under the grip) to retain the same balance.
When tinkering with the weight and balance, have fun with the process. Take your time and enjoy trying weight in different positions. I like to keep the adhesive backing on the lead tape and use either masking tape or duct tape to hold it to the racquet. Doing so allows me to move the lead tape around until I find the right set up without damaging the lead tape. Once everything feels good, I remove the backing from the lead tape and apply it to my racquet. Be sure to check out the customization article in our learning center for an easy to follow guide.