Tennis Racquet Facts

The Evolution of the Tennis Racquet 

14th Century – Use of a, “Racquet” began.

1500
 – Racquets with the familiar, “Oval” or “Tear Drop” shape are in widespread use.

Racquet development sees only minor changes for the next 100 YEARS! Wood Lamination Technology and String Quality leading the way during the time period.

1874 – Major Walter C. Wingfield patents, “Racquet and Rules” for outdoor Lawn Tennis Game in London.

1889 – First metal racquet developed but never sees widespread use due to construction issues.

1967– Wilson Sporting Goods introduce the first popular metal racquet, the T2000 which is stronger and lighter than wood racquets.

1975
 – Weed Racquets introduce the first, “Oversized Head” racquet head but the idea is slow to develop because of the expensive price.

1976
 – Prince Racquets introduces two, “Oversized Head” racquets. The cheaper, “Classic” and expensive, “Pro” models. Although welcomed by amateur players, the mixture of flexibility and power in the frames resulted in too much unpredictability with the aluminum construction in where the ball would end up for more powerful professional players.

1980
 – All racquets are now constructed of either an aluminum or a graphite composite, eliminating wood.

2015 – Time for something NEW ! OJOEE Racquets introduces never-before-seen cross bar technology which optimizes the characteristics of the racquet, providing greater control and power for the player.

The True “Sweet Spot” of Current Tennis Racquets

Today’s racquets have three different hitting zones and are to be considered as three distinct sweet spots. 

But in a general sense, the sweet spot should be the area of the racquet head that produces the best combination of feel and power.  "OJOEE Sweet Spot"

The first zone starting at the upper middle of most racquets is the one with the least vibration known as the “node of the first harmonic”.

Just below the node of first harmonics is the zone known as “center of percussion” where the minimal amount of shock to the hand occurs. This provides for the best “feel” and stability on ground strokes.

Below and the “center of percussion” and just above the handle is the zone of the highest “coefficient of restitution” which is where the greatest amount of rebound speed is transferred back to the ball creating a point of power on the racquet.

General Racquet Characteristics that Affect your Game

Grip – A common method for finding your grip size is by first identifying the 3 main creases in your hand.  Then lying your hand down, palm up with your fingers together, measure from the base of your middle crease of your palm up between you middle and ring finger to the top of your ring finger.

Head Size – The most common head sizes ranges from 95 sq inches to 110 sq inches.  The larger the head size typically the greater power, larger sweet spot and greater opportunity for  twisting pending where the ball meets the racket.  While a smaller head size offers more control, more maneuverability at a given weigh and less opportunity for twisting.

Length of Racquet – Typical length of a racquet is 27” to 29”.  A longer racquet provides more reach for ground shots, more leverage on serves and slightly more power.

String Pattern – Less strings as referred to as an open pattern, where as more strings relate to a dense pattern. The more open pattern provides for greater power and more spin control. A closed or dense pattern allows for more ball control.

String Tension – The lower string tension offers more power and significantly less stress on the arm.  While a higher tension offers more control and slightly better spin.

String Type – There is a large variety of string types which come in 3 main categories; Nylon which is a good all around string, Polyester & Kevlar which has good durability and Hybrid which offers a balance of string qualities. The strings you use becomes more of a personal choice based on your style of play.

Weight & Balance –  Racquet weights typically range from 10oz to 13 oz.  A heavier racquet can provide more powerful, more stable and transmits less shock.  While a lighter racket is maneuverable and can be swung faster.  Whether a head or handle heavy racquet as opposed to a balanced racquet is better for you, comes down to a personal preference.