Buying a tennis racket can be pretty overwhelming. Whether you’re looking to buy your first racket ever or the one that will take you to the next level, there are a lot of things to consider when choosing the right racket. And one of the most important decisions you need to make is deciding the weight of your new racket.
When choosing the weight of a tennis racket, a player first needs to assess his or her tennis level. Beginners should stick to lightweight or medium rackets (weighing less than 11oz), with a head heavy balance. More advanced players, however, should choose medium or heavy rackets (more than 11oz) with a head light balance.
If you’re not entirely sure what these terms mean, we will break them down in a way that even the absolute beginner should understand. And while the recommendation above is considered to be the norm in the tennis world, there is a lot more you should take into consideration when choosing the perfect racket for your game – and we’ll cover all of it below.
Assessing Your Current Tennis Level
Probably the most important step when choosing the weight of a tennis racket, assessing your current tennis level can be a bit tricky. Sometimes you might not want to hurt your ego and accept that you are, in fact, a beginner. And some of you may be too humble and think you’re not ready for an advanced racket – when in fact you really are.
In order to help you properly assess your current level, we’ve broken it down into 3 levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.
- Beginner: you’re starting out, and have probably been playing for less than 1 year. When you’re playing, you’re mostly concerned about your strokes and making contact with the ball, rather than where your shots are going. You might be able to have short rallies, but nothing too long or too complex.
- Intermediate: you feel somewhat comfortable on a tennis court. You have probably been playing for some time, usually between 1 and 3 years. You can sustain rallies at a decent pace, which include changing directions. When you’re playing, you’re mostly concerned with where your shots are going and where you are positioned on the court.
- Advanced: when you reach this level, the racket feels more like an extension of your arm rather than a piece of equipment. You have most likely been playing for at least a few years. When you’re playing, you focus on more advanced aspects of the game, like tactics, strategies, and momentum.
When trying to decide which of the 3 categories above you fit in, it’s important to be very honest. By doing so, you’ll be able to choose a racket weight that will take you to the next level faster – rather than picking a racket that will injure you.
Choosing A Tennis Racket Weight
Now that you have assessed your current tennis level, it’s time to understand the components of the racket weight. There are actually two characteristics you should pay attention to: the weight and the balance of the racket.
The weight of a racket is… well, how much it weighs. It is one of the most important specs you should pay attention to when shopping for a racket, as choosing a racket that is too heavy can easily give you an injury. On the other hand, picking a racket too light will make it difficult to advance to the next level. Tennis rackets are usually divided into 3 categories: lightweight, medium, and heavy.
Light weight tennis rackets normally weigh less than 10.5oz (or 285g) and are ideal for beginner tennis players. These rackets will give you a lot of power but little control. They are also not considered to be very maneuverable.
Medium weight tennis rackets are a better fit for intermediate and advanced players. These rackets normally weigh between 10.5 and 11.5 ounces (or 285 and 325 grams). They provide a nice balance between power and control, and offer decent maneuverability.
Heavy rackets are at the upper end of the racket weight spectrum. These rackets normally weigh over 11.5 oz (or 325 grams), and they are better suited for advanced – and stronger – players. These rackets offer great control, but you will need to generate a lot of power on your own. They are also very maneuverable.
The second aspect you should pay attention to when searching for the ideal racket weight is the balance of the racket. While the balance of the racket is not as important as the overall weight of the racket, it can greatly influence how effective your shots are.
The balance of the racket essentially measures where most of the racket’s weight is concentrated. Depending on whether most of the racket’s weight is on its grip or its head, the player’s feel will be very different.
How To Measure Racket Balance
Measuring the balance of a tennis racket is quite simple. Essentially the “balance” number measures at what point of the racket (lengthwise) the weight of the racket is. The balance measuring starts at 0 (at the bottom of the racket’s grip and advances in ½ inch increments. A racket measuring 28 inches in length with a balance of 14 is considered perfectly balanced.
The 3 Types of Racket Balance
When it comes to the balance of tennis rackets, we usually divide rackets into 3 different categories: head light, balanced, and head heavy. Each one of these categories has positives and negatives, which we’ll cover below.
A head light racket has most of its weight centered in its grip rather than its head. Such rackets are very maneuverable, which allows the player to change directions and grips easily. On the other hand, these rackets do not give the player a lot of power – which makes them ideal for intermediate and advanced players.
Balanced rackets have their weight evenly distributed between their head and grip. As previously mentioned, a racket measuring 28 inches would be considered balanced if it had a balance score between 13 and 15. These rackets offer a combination of decent power and maneuverability, which makes them great for all court players.
Finally, head heavy rackets are ideal for players who need help to generate more power. Since most of the racket’s weight is located in its head, powerful shots will come more naturally to the player. These rackets do not offer as much maneuverability, but usually beginners do not need this feature as the pace of their matches is slower.
Tennis Racket Weight Chart
|Light Weight||Medium Weight||Heavy Weight|
|Weight (in oz)||Less than 10.5||10.5 to 11.5||More than 11.5|
|Weight (in grams)||Less than 285||285 to 325||More than 325|
|Ideal For||Beginners||Intermediate and Advanced Players||Advanced Players|
Tennis Racket Balance Chart
|Head Light||Balanced||Head Heavy|
|Weight Focus||Grip||Evenly Distributed||Head|
What Is The Right Racket Weight For You?
At this point, you should have a good idea of which type of racket will be a good fit for you. But we love to make sure we cross the “Ts” and dot the “Is”, so we’ll summarize the best type of racket weight for players at each level.
Beginner tennis players should choose light rackets with a head heavy balance. This will give them easy power, so they can focus on using the right technique rather than hitting the ball hard.
As they continue improving, intermediate players might wish to switch to e a medium weight racked with an even balance. Such rackets will provide a good overall balance – enough power but this time with a bit more control. This will help players develop confidence in their own game.
Finally, advanced tennis players will likely end up choosing heavy rackets with a head light balance. When playing at a high level, players need to have great control and maneuverability, while they are able to generate power themselves.
Our Favorite Rackets
Below we have listed out some of our favorite rackets for each weight category. If you’re looking to purchase a new racket, you should really take a look into these.