If you’re just getting started with tennis, then it can be extremely helpful to have a thorough understanding of the different parts of a tennis racquet. This way, when friends, coaches or teammates reference a specific part of the racquet, you’ll have a clear understanding and can speak knowledgeably about the each part yourself.
If you’re in the process of purchasing your first racquet or finding a new racquet, then it can also be tremendously helpful to understand each part and how it impacts performance of your racquet, so that you can better evaluate and select a racquet. Once you’ve had a chance to learn more about the parts of a tennis racquet be sure to check out our detailed guide to best tennis racquets for 2018.
The Different Parts of A Tennis Racquet
Over the years, racquet technology has evolved leaps and bounds; however, the core parts of a tennis racquet have for the most part remained constant. Let’s break down the individual parts of a tennis racquet with a brief explanation of each part.
As we review each part, here’s a diagram you can use as a point of reference.
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The head of a tennis racquet is where the strings are placed and it creates the primary hitting surface. Head sizes can vary greatly from racquet to racquet. However, generally speaking, most head sizes will typically fall between 95-110 square inches. For beginner racquets, we recommend 100 square inches or greater which allows for a greater margin of error.
Generally speaking, the size of a racquet head has a direct influence on the overall power of a racquet. That is, the bigger the head, the more power and the smaller the head, the less power, but the more control a player will have.
The beam of a tennis racquet is simply the thickness of the racquet head, which tends to differ between the three different types of tennis racquets. Perhaps one of the most overlooked parts of a racquet is the beam which can have significant implications on overall racquet performance.
Often times power racquets will have a larger beam, which allows the strings to move more freely and therefore help generate additional power. On the other hand, with control racquets, the beam is often smaller allowing for less movement (or less power) and more control.
You can easily compare the beam of various racquets by placing them on the ground side by side. It’s another component that you may want to consider when purchasing a new racquet.
While not directly connected to a racquet, your tennis strings are a core component of a racquet, which when strung provides the flat trampoline like hitting surface for striking a ball.
Tennis string comes in a variety of gauges or thickness and materials and can have a tremendous impact on overall racquet performance. Strings and the tension you string a racquet at can directly impact: power, control, spin and vibration while playing.
At the top of racquets head covering the beam a bumper guard protects the impact zone of a tennis racquet, which is often scraped across the ground when hitting groundstrokes.
Typically bumper guards are made from durable plastic and over time will require replacement to avoid scraping the frame of a racquet, which overtime may lead to a cracked frame if not addressed.
Tennis racquet grommets are plastic inserts that extend through the string holes around the entire head of a tennis racquet. Grommets help protect the strings from the typically harsh surface and edges within string holes.
In addition, the thickness of the grommets often come in a specific width per tennis racquet to allow for or constrict movement of the strings. With power racquets you’ll often find that the grommets are wider allowing for free movement of the strings, while control racquets will have narrower grommets to help prevent too much movement.
The shaft of a tennis racquet extends from the bottom of the racquet head down to the butt of the racquet or the very end of the handle. At the top of the shaft you’ll find the throat of the racquet and then below it the racquet handle.
The throat of a tennis racquet starts at the top of the handle and splits into two sections, which extend outward on both sides of the racquet to begin the formation of the racquet head.
The center of the throat is hollow to keep the weight of the racquet down and is where much of the flex in a racquet comes from. A “stiff” racquet will often provide less flex at the throat of the racquet to help generate additional power when hitting.
The handle of a tennis racquet is the bottom part of the racquet shaft and is the portion of the racquet that is held when playing tennis. When manufacturers are looking to lengthen their racquets to provide an “extended” version, which provides leverage and more power, they often lengthen the handle to do so.
The circumference of handles or the length of the outer edge of a handle for racquets ranges from 4 inches to 4 ⅝ inches. It’s important to select the correct size handle to ensure comfort and limit the possibility of injury from a handle that is too small or too large.
The grip of a tennis racquet is simply the outer covering of the racquet handle. It helps give your hand a firm grip on the racquet, provides a cushion surface to protect your hand from the harsh surface of the handle and also helps ensure a firm connection of the racquet butt to the handle.
The butt of a tennis racquet is the bottom most portion of the racquet handle. It’s slightly wider than the handle which helps ensure the racquet stays put in your hand as you swing.
The butt cap of a tennis racquet simply seals off the bottom part of the racquet handle and it’s a common spot where racquet manufacturers will place their logo as well as the racquet handle size.
There you have it! Now that you have a complete understanding of the different parts of a tennis racquet you should be able to speak with confidence about your racquet.
Did you find this article helpful? If so, we’d love to hear in the comments below. Of course if you have any questions feel free to ask. We’re more than willing to help.
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