Know before you buyTim Strawn
At some point every tennis player is faced with having to find a new racquet and for the most part, it’s not a process that evokes joy from the player. However, it doesn’t have to be that way especially if you can find a competent technician to guide you through the process. Here are a few reasons why players would be looking for a new racquet:
- You’ve outgrown your old racquet due to progress in your level of play
- You’ve lost your racquet and need a replacement
- You’ve broken your racquet
- Maybe you’re just one of those people who like to experiment as technologies are introduced
- You’ve developed arm, elbow or shoulder issues
- You’ve been given bad advice and purchased the wrong racquet
Breaking it down with a little more detail……
- Beginners will need a completely different racquet than an intermediate or advanced player. Commonly referred to as “Game Improvement” racquets, beginner frames are typically head heavy in balance and lighter in weight overall. This is designed to accommodate a more compact stroke with very little backswing, a common symptom of beginning players. As your level of play advances and your stroking technique changes these racquets become harder to control.
- This happens to the best of us and sometimes the timing is just right. You were thinking of looking for a new racquet anyway so here’s your chance to do it.
- Similar to #2 but now it’s time for you to quite. Racquet abuse is a no-no and if you can’t play without smacking your racquet into the net or on the court you should find another sport………just kidding. Sometimes racquets break due to defects and when that happens you should check the date of purchase. Racquets typically come with a one year warranty and it’s always worth it to see if you can get a replacement under warranty.
- Manufacturers are always introducing new technologies and in many cases, those technologies are beneficial. If you fall into this category you’re in luck because you’ll find something new every year.
- Arm issues can be serious and there are racquet technologies that can definitely help. Shock and vibration are the two most common culprits attributed to arm injuries when it comes to tennis and an experienced racquet technician can point you in the right direction.
- There’s plenty of bad advice being thrown around out there and unfortunately tennis players are falling victim to it more often than we’d like to see. Here are just a couple of examples. If you”re told that “It’s a great racquet” you have to define “great” as it pertains to you. That racquet could indeed be a great racquet for the right player BUT, is that you? Racquets are designed for specific playing styles and levels of play but you must make sure that this “great” racquet is a good fit for you and not someone else. If you’re told that you’re getting a fantastic deal because the racquet originally sold for $200 and it’s now $100 that sounds good. But, what if you spend $100 only to find out that the racquet is totally unsuited for your level or style of play? What now? And last but certainly not the least, far too many players are being sold racquets with the wrong grip size; grips that are typically way too small for them. It may be a 4 1/4 when in actuality, the player really needed a 4 1/2 or even larger. This is usually a result of of the retailer needing to sell frames that have been sitting on their shelves that they simply could not sell so they mark them way down in an effort to “unload” them on unsuspecting consumers. A reputable dealer will measure your grip prior to selling you a racquet and this is something that many consumers are unaware of.
Buying a new racquet creates a lot of excitement for any tennis player and you don’t want to ruin that experience. Make sure you consult with a professional racquet technician before you buy so that you can ensure you’re getting the right racquet for you and your game!