Technology has given the sports industry a leap up in speed and power. The trend is evident in every sport, and tennis is no exception. Those who don’t change racquets every year or two are likely to miss the ball — literally.
Racquets are now made from titanium or a composite of materials that are more powerful than ever. The days of wood and aluminum are so far past that they seem ancient when you talk about them. Lighter, stronger materials have made it possible to hit the ball at incredible speeds. It has even changed the way we now teach the game. Loopy shots of the past have been replaced by low, penetrating shots that are just above the net as the ball crosses, and yet the ball lands deep in the court. It’s great for pushing opponents back. To combat that, we now teach you how to catch the ball on the rise.
String is the equipment that has had the most upgrades. Polyester, gel-filled, textured, and shaped strings are just a few of the new options on the market. Soft strings have been improved for players with arm and wrist injuries. Harder strings have been built for increased power and spin. It really is amazing to see how the different strings respond and the different effects that can now be created on the tennis ball.
Balls are more technologically advanced as well, now made specifically for different court surfaces. The material the ball is made from is so much better than the ball from the past. And with the new QuickStart tennis for 10 and under players, balls are made softer and flatter for the slower swing speeds of children.
Shoes are also improved from the basic ones of the past. Shoes are made in hard, soft and cross training versions. They are lighter in weight than ever before, and they are engineered to be cooler. Today’s shoes are made to accommodate any foot or foot problem a player may have.
Now, tennis clothing is even referred to as equipment, due to its high-tech fabrics. It wicks away moisture. It protects you from the sun with special UV blocking. It breathes to keep you cooler. Apparel can also block the wind to keep you warmer and dryer. I would never play these days in a cotton tee shirt like I did in the past. Remember how it would weigh three pounds at the end of a set?
The Seaside Tennis Pro Shop is prepared to elevate your tennis game with an upgrade of your outdated equipment. With cutting-edge technology, as well as the latest in strings, shoes, accessories and fashion-forward trends, you can certainly get your game on here. And with private and group lessons from friendly pros you will soon know exactly how to use it all to your advantage.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (850)231-2214. For news, events and court conditions, find Seaside Tennis on Facebook.