Tennis Racket Selector Guide

With the number of brands and range of rackets out there, finding the perfect tennis racket to suit your game can be a difficult task! Below are some of the key characteristics of rackets that need to be considered and hopefully this guide will help you to make a more informed decision.


Tennis rackets can range from 225g to 340g. The heaviest rackets provide the highest level of frame stability to players who have a fully developed and/or a powerful swing motion. The heavier weight is commonly combined with a thinner beam width to allow these players to keep their powerful strokes under control. For these reasons, they are the most competitive and are preferred by professional and advanced level players. Players who are not strong enough will find difficulty in swinging these rackets and experience fatigue sooner during play. Generally speaking and in our opinion, a 'heavy racket' can be classed as anything over 300g.

Lightweight rackets (below 280g) are far easier to manoeuvre which can be advantageous in various situations from lining up a serve to switching between forehand and backhand positions. They usually come with a thicker beam width to maintain structural stability. As a result, they can help generate power very easily for players who have shorter swings and/or who are not physically very strong or athletic. They are also a great option for young players who are moving on to their first adult size racket as the weight is closer to that of junior graphite rackets. While there is a noticeable increase in power, there is a drop in control and accuracy compared to heavier models so experienced players or those who are in good shape physically should avoid lighter rackets as it is very easy to hit the ball too long.

The remaining rackets (between 280g and 300g) are the most popular for their ability to provide a competitive specification which most players can comfortably play with. Unless you definitely fit into either of the categories above, this is the category to look in. Within this weight range, there is a racket for every play style as they are available in a wide range of head sizes, balances and other specifications.

The weight of your racket plays a major part in your swing and should therefore be a major deciding factor in the racket you buy. It’s true that most manufacturers will offer a range of weights of the same rackets, so don’t be afraid to ask or look for a racket you like but at a different weight. Heavier rackets are generally more powerful than lighter rackets, but are less manoeuvrable and can wear a player out. Strings add around 30g to the weight of a racket.

Head Size

The head size of a racket is a major factor determining the size of its 'sweet spot' and in turn the consistency of power and accuracy with which a player can hit the ball. Smaller head sizes, which we consider to be below 100 sq inches, are recommended for advanced players who can consistently hit the sweet spot and generate a great amount of power from their swing action. These players will enjoy the benefits of a smaller head size to place their shots with high accuracy. There is however an increased risk of not hitting the sweet spot and in this case, it can be difficult to muster a decent shot.

On larger head sizes (above 102 sq inches), the larger sweet spot will enable players to hit with power more consistently. This is ideal for players who are unable to or have yet to master a powerful swing. It also provides forgiveness on off-center shots allowing players who cannot consistently hit the sweet spot to continue their rallies. Oversize rackets (above 110 sq inches) are a great option for players who struggle to generate enough power to get the ball across the court.

Certain rackets will be better suited for different sizes and strengths of tennis players. You might be a naturally strong person in which case you will need to use a racket that gives you more control and doesn’t add too much power to your game. On the other hand, you might feel you need help in producing more power.

The most popular head size is 100 sq inches which we recommend most competitive players to start at.

In summary head sizes will be typically between 95-110 square inches. Larger heads generate more power and have a larger sweet spot thus making it easier to hit the ball well. Smaller head sizes offer more control so if you are confident that you can hit the ball cleanly and you are already quite a powerful player then a smaller head size might help. Famously, Roger Federer moved from a smaller head to a larger head late in his career because he wanted more power from his backhand.


The balance of a tennis racket is determined by whether its weight is distributed more towards the head or the handle.

Balance points are often quoted in millimetres. This length (measured from the bottom of the racket) represents the point at which the racket can be balanced without tipping either way so the higher the number, the heavier the racket is towards the head. An evenly balanced racket of standard length (27 inches / 686 mm) would have a balance point of roughly 343 mm.

While the balance points of most rackets are below 343 mm (and are therefore head-light), it's still worth knowing and comparing how head-light. As an example, a racket with a 315 mm balance point will be more head-light than a racket with a 325 mm balance point, so even if all other specifications are the same, they will feel and play differently.

On rackets which are more head-light, the weight is closer to the hand which improves manoeuvrability on ground strokes and volleys, and in general keeps the player more in control. It is however harder to generate head speed on swings so going for a very head-light racket may leave you struggling for power. Only advanced players should pick balances of 315 mm or less.

On head heavy rackets, the weight in the head will build momentum on swings and lead to increased power. It does however become harder to direct shots with accuracy. Social players looking for easy power from their racket should opt for balances of 340 mm or above.

For most other competitive players, both beginners and intermediates, rackets between 315 and 340 mm will be suitable depending on the factors discussed above, as well as preference. If you require more power, go closer towards the 340 mm point, or if you prefer more control go closer towards 315 mm.

Balance is a tricky subject as it’s often down to personal choice so if possible we would recommend trying different rackets to work out if you prefer more weight in the head of the racket or more weight in the body of the racket. Head-heavy rackets are often lighter, offering added power on ground strokes, while head-light rackets are generally heavier but more manoeuvrable.


The racket flex on impact affects power and comfort. The stiffer a frame, the less energy is lost when hitting the ball, but sends more impact shock to your hand and arm.


Adult rackets can be anything from 27-29 inches long, though most are nearer the lower end of the scale. Longer rackets are generally lighter than standard frames and offer more reach and more power on serve (because you can hit the ball from higher up therefore being able to aim it down on a steeper angle). But beware because a longer racket will be harder to control so make sure you are certain you can handle it before buying a long-framed racket.



As well as your own strength you should also think about your height. In general a taller player will have longer arms and therefore their swing will be longer which will generate more speed and therefore power. You will find that if you are a shorter player then your swing will be shorter and therefore less powerful. Now this isn’t the case all the time as there are plenty of shorter players who can hit a very hard ball, we are just giving you some general advice and you must think carefully about your own body before making these decisions.

Swing speed

Basically you will have a fast, slow or average speed swing. Any tennis coach or decent tennis player will be able to look at your swing and tell you if its fast or slow or average. A faster swing will often generate more power than a slower swing in which case the racket you buy should be less powerful as your fast swing will add the power for you. You would want more control from your racket so a narrower frame will probably be right for you in this example.

Style of play

Are you aggressive or defensive? Most players are one or the other which will Influence the type of racket you should choose. If you are an aggressive player then you will probably want to try and hit the ball harder which means a more powerful racket might be right for you. If you are a defensive player than a lot of the time you will want to use the pace of the ball that your opponent has hit at you, in which case a narrower framed racket might be the one for you. 


Once you have chosen a specific tennis racket, you will need to decide which grip size to go for.

How do I choose a tennis racket grip size?

The grip size is the circumference of the handle of the racket, and the size you need will therefore depend on the size of your hand.

While the grip size is measured in inches, they are often converted into numbers ranging from Grip Size 0 to 5, or L0 to L5. If you already have a racket and would like to get the same grip size, you can check the base of the handle to find out which grip size it is.

Grip size conversion table

Grip size number

Grip size in inches

0 or L0

4 inch

1 or L1

4 1/8 inch

2 or L2

4 1/4 inch

3 or L3

4 3/8 inch

4 or L4

4 1/2 inch

5 or L5

4 5/8 inch


There are two ways you can measure your grip size.

A rough way of finding out is by holding a racket in your normal forehand grip. If the racket is of the correct grip size, the distance between your palm and longest finger should approximately be the width of a finger (pictured below). If the gap is too small it means you will need a larger grip size, and if the gap is too big you will need a smaller grip size.

Tennis Grip Size Index Finger Test

If you do not have a racket available to measure, an alternative way is to measure your hand using a ruler. As pictured below, line up the ruler on your palm in line with the intersection of the thumb and fingers. The length from there to the top of your ring finger (next to the little finger) is roughly the right size.

It must be noted that choosing a grip size is not an exact science. If you are between two sizes, you should go for the smaller one if you like to hit a lot of top spin as its easier grip to hit 'over' the ball. For those who hit flatter, going for the larger one will allow for a more comfortable hitting experience.

Tennis Grip Size Ruler Test

Buying a new tennis racket especially when you haven’t been playing tennis for long, can be a daunting experience and no-one wants to pay for something as personal as a tennis racket unless they know it’s the best option for them so feel free to get in touch to try before you buy with our demo racket service.