Tennis Racquet Weight & Balance Explained - A Helpful Guide with Charts

Tennis Racquet Weight & Balance Explained

A helpful guide with charts

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The topic of tennis racquet weight and balance can be a bit complex. In particular, it can be challenging to understand how weight and balance affect racquet performance, and perhaps more important, how to evaluate a racquet based on these attributes.

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of racquet weight and balance. We’ll also review how these aspects of racquet design affect performance, so you can make a more educated decision when purchasing a new racquet.

If you’re in the market for a new racquet, be sure to check out our 2020 guide to the best tennis racquets.

Article Contents

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Getting Started with Tennis Racquet Weight

Typically, racquets range from 8 ounces to about 13 ounces. At first glance, that might not seem like much of a difference. However, believe it or not, there’s something for everyone in that range.

Lightweight Racquets

Lighter racquets are typically easier to swing and maneuver and offer up effortless power but tend to provide less overall stability and control when hitting. As a result, these racquets are great options for beginners or players who have limited strength and shorter, compact swings.

Generally, lighter tennis racquets feature stiffer frames and larger head sizes, which is a result of the type of players tennis brands have in mind when designing these racquets.

Midweight Racquets

Racquet’s in the middle of the weight range try to strike a balance and provide players with solid all-around maneuverability, control, and stability.

As a result, racquets that fall in the mid-weight range tend to be the most popular category of tennis racquets on the market that appeal to all levels of players from beginner to advanced.

Heavy Racquets

All things being equal, the heavier the racquet, the more power it will offer. As a result, heavier racquets tend to feature smaller head sizes and flexible frames that allow advanced players to find power through full swings and proper technique while maintaining excellent control.

Heavier racquets also help reduce shock and vibration when hitting as there is more mass to absorb it. However, by their nature, heavier racquets tend to be more difficult to maneuver and harder on your wrist and arm, and as a result, can cause new players problems.

Babolat Tennis Shoe Sale - June

Racquet Weight Charts

It’s important to find a racquet that has the appropriate weight, which aligns with your level of play to help maximize your performance.

In the following chart, we provide a rough overview of how you should think about racquet weight based on your level of play.

Lightweight8-9.5 ouncesBeginnerHigh
Midweight9.6 – 11.5 ouncesBeg. + Inter.Medium
Heavy11.6 – 12.6 ouncesAdvancedLow

To help further illustrate the types of tennis racquets that fall into each range, let’s review a selection of racquets per category.

Lightest Tennis Racquets

Excluding kids and junior tennis racquets, here’s a list of the lightest available adult tennis racquets as of 2020.

Head Titanium Ti.S5 Comfort Zone107 in²
690 cm²
2977 pts HH
Head Titanium Ti.S6115 in²
742 cm²
3188 pts HH
Head Graphene 360 Instinct PWR115 in²
741.93 cm²
31410 pts HH
Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Stretch OS110 in²
710 cm²
30711 pts HH
Wilson K Factor KZero118 in²
761 cm²
2984 pts HH

Midweight Tennis Racquets

Here’s a selection of popular tennis racquets that fall into the midweight range. The vast majority of available tennis racquets fall into this weight range and represent the most versatile group.

Babolat Pure Drive100 in²
645.16 cm²
3164 pts HL
Wilson Clash 100100 in²
645.16 cm²
3127 pts HL
Head Graphene 360 Radical MP98 in²
632.26 cm²
3246pts HL
Babolat Pure Aero 2019100 in²
645.16 cm²
3244 pts HL
Wilson Blade 98 16×19 v798 in²
632.26 cm²
3284 pts HL

Heaviest Tennis Racquets

Last but not least, here are the top five heaviest tennis racquets currently available for purchase.*

Wilson Pro Staff RF9797 in²
625.81 cm²
3359 pts HL
Volkl C10 Pro98 in²
632.26 cm²
3308 pts HL
Yonex VCORE Pro 97 33097 in²
625.81 cm²
3327 pts HL
Volkl Power Bridge 10 Mid93 in²
600 cm²
3228 pts HL
ProKennex Heritage Type C98 Redondo M98 in²
632.26 cm²
32410 pts HL

*Heavier older models are available for purchase. However, we’ve limited our selection to current models sold by top retailers for simplicity.

Static Weight vs. Swingweight

One of the questions that come up as players start to consider racquet weight is the difference between “static weight” and “swingweight.”

Static Weight

Static weight refers to the weight of a tennis racquet as measured by a scale, typically referenced as strung or unstrung weight.

As the name implies, strung weight is the weight of a tennis racquet with tennis strings installed. This weight is measured by placing a strung racquet on a scale to calculate its weight.

For reference, tennis strings will add roughly 15 grams (.5 ounces) to a racquet’s static weight.

Unstrung weight, on the other hand, is simply a measurement of a tennis racquet’s weight without strings installed.

As you shop for tennis racquets, keep in mind that some websites will list the strung weight, while others will list the unstrung weight. Keep that in mind as you compare.


Swingweight is a measurement of how heavy a tennis racquet feels when swinging to hit a ball, which is a function of static weight combined with the balance or distribution of weight. Said another way, it’s how difficult a racquet is to swing.

All things being equal, a racquet’s swingweight will increase as the weight of the racquet is shifted toward the head of a racquet. If the weight shifts toward the handle, the swingweight will decrease.

One of the best analogies for thinking about swingweight is to consider a hammer. If you hold a hammer from the handle and swing, it will feel heavier in the way a racquet with a higher swingweight would feel.

However, if you flip the hammer and hold it from the opposite end and swing, it will feel lighter because the weight is in your hand, which is the same sensation you’d get with a lower swingweight. Wilson put this analogy to use with their popular Hammer line of tennis racquets.

Over the years, manufacturers have modified racquet weight and balance to develop different styles of racquets that cater to certain types of players, while at the same time pushing the limits of overall racquet performance.

A machine like the Babolat RDC can accurately measure swingweight.

Helpful Tip
While racquet swingweight is an exact measurement calculated by a machine, it’s most beneficial as a comparative data point. That is, if you play with one racquet that has a swingweight of 280 and another that is 325, you’ll begin to develop a sense for the different feel associated with each swingweight.

When evaluating racquets, it’s worthwhile considering this measurement based on your preference.

Tennis Racque Balance

Closely tied to racquet weight is balance, or more specifically, how weight distributes throughout a tennis racquet. The three categories of racquet balance are head heavy, head light, and balanced.

Head Heavy (HH)

Generally, tennis racquets that are head heavy will provide players with more power. Maneuverability comes from the fact that these racquets tend to be lightweight.

As a player swings a head heavy racquet and makes contact with a tennis ball, the extra weight helps provide greater force on contact. It also helps maintain a reasonable level of stability to prevent the racquet head from moving or twisting dramatically.

Head Light (HL)

With head light racquets, the weight of the racquet is greater toward the handle and is a common balance amoung heavier tennis racquets, which helps players maneuver them. Stability comes from the weight of the racquet and lower stiffness ratings.

Head light racquets that are on the heavier end of the spectrum absorb more shock and vibration. As a result, heavier frames tend to be easier on a player’s arm, assuming an individual can comfortably play with the racquet for an extended period.

Balanced (EB)

A balanced, or equal balanced racquet, is one where the weight of the tennis racquet distributes equally throughout. Balanced racquets try to strike a happy medium with enough weight in the head to provide power and stability, while at the same time providing enough weight in the handle to help prevent excess shock and vibration.

Midweight tennis racquets tend to be closer to equal balance because the weight class doesn’t require distribution toward the head or handle for the racquet to perform.

Racquet Balance Chart

To illustrate how racquet weight and balance affect swingweight, let’s take a look at a chart with three different racquets.

Yonex EZONE 98 (305): Heavy Weight - Swingweight ComparisonBabolat Pure Drive Team: Mid-weight - Swingweight ComparisonPrince Textreme Warrior 100L: Low Weight - Swingweight Comparison
Yonex EZONE 98 (305g)
Strung Weight: 11.3 oz
Balance: 6 pts HL
Swingweight: 317
Babolat Pure Drive Team
Strung Weight: 10.7 oz
Balance: 4 pts HL
Swingweight: 316
Prince Text. Warrior 100L
Strung Weight: 9.6 oz
Balance: 5 pts HH
Swingweight: 315

As you can see above, even three racquets with significant variations in static weight can have similar swingweight by modifying the balance or distribution of weight throughout the racquet.

How to Measure a Racquet’s Balance

A racquet’s balance point is its center of gravity or the location along the length of a frame where it balances horizontally.

Here are the steps required to measure a racquet’s balance point using a balance board scale:

  1. First, place a racquet on the scale’s bar.
  2. Next, align the butt of the racquet with the reference mark that corresponds with the racquet’s length, i.e., if you measure a 27-inch racquet, you’d ensure the butt of the racquet aligns with the 27-inch reference mark.
  3. Once aligned, begin to rotate the scale’s bar that the racquet is resting on until the racquet achieves balance.
  4. Then measure the distance from the 27-inch reference mark to the racquet’s butt to determine the racquet’s balance.

Dunlop Balance Board Scale

An eighth of an inch represents a point, which is most commonly used by retailers to express a racquet’s balance point, i.e., 4 points head light.

Alternatively, you may find a racquet’s balance point shown as a measurement, i.e., 320mm or 32 centimeters, which is the distance from the butt, or bottom of a racquet’s handle, to the balance point. A balance board scale will also provide this measurement.

How to Select an Ideal Racquet Weight & Balance

While there is no exact formula for identifying ideal racquet weight and balance, there are some steps you can take to help narrow your options.

First off, take some time to understand the different types of tennis racquets: power, control, and tweener. Doing so will help you learn about the common characteristics that tend to make up the different types of racquets and help limit the number of options.

Next, shop around for a few different racquets that appear to match the criteria for the type of racquet you feel is appropriate for your level and style of play. As you identify a few racquets, take note of their weight, balance, and swingweight. Our list of the best tennis racquets for beginners is a great place to begin if you’re just getting started.

From there, it’s ideal that you demo each racquet to experience the differences firsthand. Your local tennis shop or racquet club will likely have a selection of racquets to try, or you can take advantage of one of the many demo programs that online retailers now provide.

As you begin to play with the racquets, you’ll likely start to develop a preference for a specific type of feel.

You should be looking to find a racquet you feel comfortable with and one that doesn’t put undue stress on your wrist and arm. If it feels too heavy in your hand or your arm or wrist hurt after playing for 30-60 minutes, it’s likely too heavy, so try something a bit lighter.

As your game progresses, your choice of racquet will likely evolve to help complement your level, style of play, and preferences, so it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get it perfect the first time. Sometimes it can take playing with a few racquets for an extended period before you’ll be able to narrow it down to a racquet that you truly enjoy.

Helpful Tip
If possible, work with a racquet technician or tennis pro to help determine the appropriate racquet weight. They regularly work with a wide range of players, so they’ll be able to help you quickly narrow the options and also provide you with recommendations and feedback by evaluating your skill level and style of play.

Customizing Racquet Weight & Balance

To a certain extent, players can customize tennis racquets to add weight and adjust the balance.

For the most part, customization of a racquet will involve adding weight. Unfortunately, it is not nearly as easy to reduce a racquet’s weight, short of removing the stock grip or overgrip.

If you find a racquet that seems to match most of your criteria, but you think a few slight modifications could make it feel just right, then it’s worth exploring customization. If you’re handy, you may opt to customize the racquet yourself. Otherwise, you may choose to work with a professional to make changes.

A racquet technician is specially trained to handle racquet customization and can be particularly helpful when customizing more than one racquet to ensure an accurate match.

Wrapping Up

Tennis racquet weight and balance are key attributes to consider when selecting a tennis racquet, but it doesn’t have to be painful.

Hopefully, our guide has helped provide you with valuable insight into how each impacts racquet performance.

Do you still have questions about tennis racquet weight and balance? If so, let us know in the comments below. We’d love to help!

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37 replies
    • TennisCompanion
      TennisCompanion says:

      Hey Joe,

      Great question. 4 pts HL is simply a measurement for the balance of a racquet or, more specifically, how heavy a racquet feels when you swing the racquet to hit a ball.

      Ultimately this means that the racquet contains more weight towards the handle of the racquet and less weight towards the head of the racquet.

      Hopefully that helps. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

      All the best,

    • yassine
      yassine says:

      Hey Jon,
      Follow up question, let’s suppose you have an x headlight racket, you add 7g to the handle (under the butt cap) and 4 grams to 12 o’clock. What’s the new head light balance?

    • TennisCompanion
      TennisCompanion says:

      Hi Yassine,

      If you make those changes to your racquet, the new head light balance would have to be measured using a balance board to be absolutely sure of the change’s impact.

      All the best,

    • TennisCompanion
      TennisCompanion says:

      Hi Martin,

      Thanks for your question.

      Comparing the two, a racquet that is 7 pts HL will have more of the racquet’s weight distributed toward the handle, while the 4 pt HL racquet will have more distributed toward the head.

      Assuming everything else was equal between the two racquets, the 7 pt HL racquet would be easier to maneuver. However, since that’s likely not the case, I’d need to see the rest of the racquet specs being compared to provide extra context. I’d be happy to do that if you share them.

      All the best,

    • TennisCompanion
      TennisCompanion says:

      Hi Iten,

      Both static weight measurements are valid, but it’s important to compare using the same across racquets. If you can provide more context for what you were thinking or if there was a specific part of the guide that you could help clarify, just let me know.

      All the best,

  1. Takemi
    Takemi says:

    I am using 6pts HH now… The version of my racket balance is 8pts HH.
    It s will make a big difference if i change to the new one?

    • TennisCompanion
      TennisCompanion says:

      Hi Takemi,

      It depends. If the new version of the racquet is 8 pts HH, it means that the balance point has moved 2/8 of an inch up the racquet toward the head, which can be noticeable.

      Keep in mind that balance is only one measurement that you need to take in the context of other specs. For example, if the manufacturer moved the balance point of a racquet toward the head but decreased it’s weight slightly, it could theoretically maintain the same swingweight, i.e., how it feels when swinging, so the change would be less noticeable.

      If you share the two racquets you’re comparing, I can help be more specific.

      All the best,

  2. jose luis velazquez
    jose luis velazquez says:

    i would like to know when you see a raquet that says strung weight, i would like to know, what weight does it show on the racquet it self, is it the strung weight or the unstrung weight….

  3. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    My daughter who just turned 12, changed from a raquet (babolat) weight: 275 g / 9.7 oz to a raquet HEAD weight 295 g / 10.4 oz. Her wrist started to hurt, 1 month after making the change. My question is if you think the change in wight could affect her wrist? Although she is 12, she does not have too much strength when she hits, compared to other girls her age.


    • TennisCompanion
      TennisCompanion says:

      Hi Andrea,

      I’m sorry to hear about the trouble your daughter is having with her wrist. It doesn’t seem like a huge change, but it could certainly be the culprit. However, other factors could be causing her discomfort as well. These might include:

      • Swingweight
      • Frame stiffness
      • Strings

      If the racquet she switched to is only a few grams heavier, but more of the racquet’s weight skews toward the head, then the swingweight or how it feels swinging could have increased more than the weight of the racquet itself.

      As for stiffness, a higher stiffness rating will typically lead to more shock and vibration making its way to the player’s arm.

      Lastly, some strings offer more comfort than others. If she changes strings, this could also be a contributing factor.

      If you share the exact racquets, I can do my best to provide objective thoughts on the differences. Of course, pain can be the result of overuse, improper technique, or simply an accident, so as I’m sure you already have, I’d encourage you to check in with her doctor as well.

      Good luck, and let me know else I can help.

      All the best,

  4. David maskell
    David maskell says:

    Can I change a balance from 4pts headlight to 3pts headlight if so where would I put lead and how much lead.

    • TennisCompanion
      TennisCompanion says:

      Hi David,

      Absolutely. You can accomplish this by adding weight to the grip by using a different type of grip that weighs a bit more, adding an overgrip(s), or adding tungsten putty inside the handle by removing the butt cap.

      How much you’ll need to add should be measured with a balance board to achieve the desired effect.

      All the best,

  5. Andy
    Andy says:

    I’m still struggling with this new technology. I’ve been playing tennis for 30 years and play to a good standard. I currently play with a Head Prestige tour Youtek (320g) which I thought was more head heavy. I am looking for a similar type of racket to change to, does anyone have any ideas which might be the best option?

    Many thanks


    • TennisCompanion
      TennisCompanion says:

      Hi Andy,

      I’m familiar with the racquet but haven’t been able to dig up the 320g version and the rest of its specs. Would you be able to search for your racquet online to dig up the exact specs so I can provide some recommendations for you?

      One place to start would be with Head’s current line of Prestige racquets that would serve as the modern replacement.

      However, if you’re looking to switch because you’re not a fan of the racquet, then it would be helpful to understand your motivations for changing and what you like and dislike about your current racquet.

      All the best,

  6. jp
    jp says:

    I don’t understand how two racquets with the same static weight and balance can have different swingweights.

    • TennisCompanion
      TennisCompanion says:

      Hi JP,

      Two reasons come to mind for why you might be seeing this discrepancy.

      First, if the racquets you are comparing are different lengths, then this would be the culprit as points don’t compare across racquets of differing lengths. Instead, you’d want to look at balance as a measurement from the butt of the racquet to its balance point. These are sometimes listed on websites, but not always, which can make it tricky.

      The other reason is that could be cause for confusion is rounding. A point equals 1/8 an inch. If the measurements are different, but they’re both rounded in the same direction, then you can end up with a slightly different swingweight.

      Here’s an example for context:

      Wilson XP1 Racquet

      • Strung weight: 10oz / 283.5g
      • Balance: 13.97in / 35.48cm / 2 pts HH
      • Swingweight: 320

      Prince Textreme Premier 110 Racquets

      • Strung weight: 10oz / 283.5g
      • Balance: 13.95in / 35.43cm / 2 pts HH
      • Swingweight: 323

      As you can see, they are both rounded up to 2 points HH, but the actual measurements are slightly different, resulting in a minor change in the swingweight. Here’s a third racquet to show how the length changes things as well:

      Volkl V-Feel 2

      • Strung weight: 10oz / 283g
      • Balance: 14in / 35.56cm / 2 pts HH
      • Swingweight: 317

      Great question – I hope that helps.

      All the best,

    • TennisCompanion
      TennisCompanion says:

      Hi Steve,

      All things being equal, the 4 pt HL racquet would have more weight distributed toward the handle, while the 2pt HL racquet would have slightly less toward the handle. However, both have most of their weight distributed in the direction of the handle.

      All the best,

    • TennisCompanion
      TennisCompanion says:

      Hi Harshil,

      7 pts HL refers to the balance point, which in this case, is closer to the racquet’s handle. In other words, more weight is distributed in the direction of the handle.

      All the best,

  7. Walter
    Walter says:

    Dear Jon,

    My current raquet weights 289 g (10.2 oz) and has balance 33 – 4 pts HL. Which would be the result with other 4 pts HL raquet if the weight is more or if it is less?

    Thank you for your advisement.

    Walter Pérez

    • TennisCompanion
      TennisCompanion says:

      Hi Walter,

      I’m not 100% sure I follow, but racquets of differing weights can have the same balance, i.e., 4 pts HL. A heavier or lighter racquet with the same balance would be a preference for the player selecting the racquet. One isn’t necessarily better or worse. Hopefully, that helps!

      Al the best,

  8. Pete
    Pete says:

    I use Artengo and when i play , after sometimes i get some pain in hand especially after the serve.
    Is it because of the vibration during the serve or should i prefer HL over HH? or what will be the best fit ?

    any idea.. ?

    • TennisCompanion
      TennisCompanion says:

      Hi Pete,

      The pain you’re experiencing in your hand can be the result of a variety of different factors, and while the balance of your racquet could be a contributing factor, it may not be the root cause.

      For example, if you’re serving with improper technique or using a racquet that is too heavy, then these could also be the cause. My main recommendation would be to check in with a doctor.

      As a general rule, players that are looking to reduce shock and vibration to their arm will opt for racquets with heavier frames that feature HH balance and lower stiffness ratings. The combination of these attributes will typically lend themselves to more comfortable tennis racquets.

      All the best,

  9. yassine
    yassine says:

    Hey Jon,
    Follow up question, let’s suppose you have an x headlight racket, you add 7g to the handle (under the butt cap) and 4 grams to 12 o’clock. What’s the new head light balance?

  10. Robert
    Robert says:

    Planning to buy a tennis racket online, but it is confusing for because i don’t know what is the weight written in the racket itself. For example, written in tennis racket; let say weight=10.9 oz. I don’t know if this is strung weight or unstrung weight. pls. clarify

  11. Suzan
    Suzan says:

    Dear Jon
    My daughter is 13 years old her weight is 56 kg and her hieght is 162 cm she is carrying a Wilson burn 280gm and we need to upgrade to blade 290gm would that be harmful I need advice please

    • TennisCompanion
      TennisCompanion says:

      Hi Suzan,

      Happy to help – thanks for stopping by.

      Your daughter is right on the cusp of what I’d consider an acceptable height and age range for moving to the Wilson Blade 104 v7.

      My gut reaction is that it sounds premature. Although the racquet is only 10 grams heavier, it’s also a half-inch or 1.27 cm longer.

      Many kids her age would be moving from a 26 inch (66 cm) racquet to a full-sized 27 inch (69 cm). I realize she’s already using a full-sized racquet, but based on her age, I’d imagine it hasn’t been much more than a year or so that she’s been using it. When it comes to kids, I like to err on the side of caution to protect their health and ensure they can enjoy the game injury-free for years to come.

      The other factors that I’d take into consideration when advising a young player would be their skill level and build or strength. As her parent, you’re best equipped along with a coach to consider these factors when making the change.

      Hopefully, these thoughts help you in your decision-making process.

      All the best,

  12. Venkat
    Venkat says:

    Hi Jon, I’m 63, a regular recreational doubles player, currently using Wilson Prostaff RF97LS, which is 3 pts HL, 306g (10.8 oz) strung, and 97 head size. I would like to move to a lighter racquet, of slightly larger head size (not more than 105, and head-light. Can you suggest some racquets that I can try out?

    • TennisCompanion
      TennisCompanion says:

      Hi Venkat,

      Thanks for stopping by and asking a question – happy to help.

      For now, I’m going to assume you’re looking to stay in the Wilson family of tennis racquets, here are three worth checking.

      All of them feature a 100 square inch head size and are a bit lighter, but it’s not much, so you can easily add a bit of weight to any of these if you’d like a bit more substance.

      Wilson Blade 100L v7

      • Weight: 10.6oz
      • Balance: 1 pt HL

      Wilson Ultra 100L v3

      • Weight: 10.4oz
      • Balance: 4 pts HL

      Wilson Clash 100L

      • Weight: 10.3oz
      • Balance: 6 pts HL

      The Clash will feel the most dramatically different, but I threw it in there as an option because many players are surprised by how much they like it, so it’s worth a demo to see what you think.

      If you’re looking to move outside of the Wilson family, I’d be happy to provide a few extra recommendations to check out. Also, it would be helpful to understand why you’re looking to change racquets and what you like and dislike about your current racquet.

      All the best,


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