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It’s All in the Racket

Posted on Sep 01, 2014 in Seaside Tennis , Tracy Townsend , September-October 2014

Want to “buy” a better game? These days you can with the incredible advances in racket technology. Every company makes a great frame, but they all differ slightly in their design and belief of what is optimal for performance. Some manufacturers distribute the weight more in the head of the racket while others believe in a center weight for balance, and yet others believe in taking weight out of the head.

Game-improving rackets provide weaker players with more power. Thicker beams and improved materials such as titanium, ceramics, and basalt are just some of the components used in today’s rackets that amp up the power potential. Oversized heads are also easier to hit with and provide bigger “sweet spots” for those players who don’t hit it perfectly every time. Nothing like a little forgiveness in a racket.

Good players benefit from thinner beams and spin technology in the stringing patterns. The added power of a weaker player’s racket is not always a good thing for the big hitters in today’s power game. Smaller head sizes are faster through the air and can create their own power. Really good players have both power and variety in their games, and the racket is like a magic wand in their hand.

One of the most anticipated new racket releases is going on right now. Roger Federer has switched rackets, and the wait for his new frame, the Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph, is over. After going through 127 prototypes, Federer is switching to a more modern racket in hopes of gaining more power to keep up with younger, stronger hitters. His racket is not for everyone, though. Most of you would think it is too heavy with too small of a head. He seems to have no trouble hitting the center of the racket, and the additional weight, once he gets it moving, adds the power needed at his level.

The bottom line is you need to demo a new racket soon. Otherwise your friend with his or her new frame may bury you. Come try the new Pro Staff Federer racket at Seaside Tennis and see if it is the correct one for your game. See you on the courts. c

Tracy Townsend is a resort Tennis expert and his company, 30A Tennis, manages Seaside Tennis on behalf of the Seaside Community Development Corp. You can reach him at or call (850) 231-2214. For news events and court conditions, find Seaside Tennis on Facebook.

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