A racquet’s handle has eight sides or bevels, which help prevent the racquet from twisting or rotating in a player’s hand. They also serve as useful guides when learning how to grip a tennis racquet.
Shaft & Throat
The shaft is the part of a tennis racquet that extends between the head and the handle, which will either have an open or closed throat.
Older wooden racquets typically feature closed throats, while virtually all modern racquets have open throats, which splits into two sections and extends outward to begin the formation of the head, as does this racquet.
The throat’s design is a primary contributor to a racquet’s flex. A “stiff” racquet will often provide less flex at the throat to help generate additional power when hitting.
The head refers to the entire oval portion of the racquet, in which the strings are installed to create the hitting surface.
Head sizes can vary significantly from racquet to racquet. However, generally speaking, most head sizes will typically fall between 95 and 110 square inches. For beginner racquets, we recommend 100 square inches or greater, which allows for a higher margin of error.
Generally, the size of a racquet head has a direct influence on the overall power of a racquet. A racquet with a larger head will give a player more power, while a racquet with a smaller head will lend less power – but more control.
The rim of a tennis racquet refers more specifically to the outside edges of a racquet’s head, which you can think of like the edge of a cup.
The beam of a tennis racquet refers to its side, which may be thicker or thinker depending on the type of tennis racquet.
The beam is often an overlooked part of a racquet, which can have significant implications on overall racquet performance.
Power racquets will tend to have a wider beam, which increases the stiffness while allowing the strings to move more freely and, therefore, generating additional power.
On the other hand, control racquets typically have smaller beams, which makes for a more flexible frame while limiting string movement, resulting in added control.
You can easily compare the beams of various racquets by placing them on a table or the ground side by side, which is worth considering when purchasing a new racquet.
Around the racquet’s head, you’ll find plastic grommet strips. They are inserted through the side of the frame to protect the strings from the sharp edges of the drilled holes that allow the strings to pass through.
The individual barrels or tunnels along the grommet strip that insert through the frame are called grommets.
Sometimes, the width or design of the grommets changes to allow or constrict the movement of the strings.
With power racquets, you’ll be more likely to find grommets that are wider, allowing for free movement of the strings, while control racquets will have narrower grommets to help constrict movement.
You’ll find a bumper guard at the top of a racquet’s head, which helps protect this area and the strings as it periodically scrapes or comes in contact with the court.
Despite their durable plastic material, bumper guards will require replacement to protect and prolong your racquet. If not replaced, the frame may be exposed and lead to a crack or premature breakage.
Tennis strings are a thin piece of material installed throughout the head of the racquet, which provides the flat trampoline-like hitting surface.
Tennis string comes in a variety of gauges, or thicknesses, and materials, and the type of string you use can have a tremendous impact on overall racquet performance.
Furthermore, the tension you string a racquet can directly impact power, control, spin, and durability.
The strings that run vertically within the head of a tennis racquet are the mains.
The strings that run horizontally are the crosses.
When woven together, tennis strings form the face of a tennis racquet.