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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Wilson’s Spin Effect at TW


ST105S-6Wilson came to Tennis Warehouse last week to show off and share their Spin Effect technology with some of our staff. If you have been living under a rock, then it will be news to you that Wilson debuted two very spin-friendly frames this year — the Wilson Steam 99 S and Wilson Steam 105 S. The rest of you have probably already demoed one of these racquets or are anxious to get these racquets in your hands and are curious if this spin effect is too good to be true.

The Spin Effect technology from Wilson actually increases the RPMs of every shot hit when using these Steam S racquets by maximizing the spin-enhancing string “snapback” during ball contact. It is no secret that one of the biggest changes in the game has been spin. With the new shaped polys and racquet technologies, every player is looking for the best way to enhance their game. Wilson has created a doppler based device to track the ball, spin, speed, trajectory and more. They found that the traditional string pattern actually limits the spin potential in a racquet. With this information, Wilson was able to open up and optimize the string pattern on these Steam S racquets to provide more spin for the average player. Using the Steam 99S or 105S has actually been scientifically proven to automatically add more spin to your shots — up to as many as 200 more RPMs. With these stats, an average tennis player will find that this ends up lengthening the court by a foot and lowers the net by 2 inches. You can check out this technology in depth in this video: Wilson’s Spin Effect
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