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Tennis Racquets

     When purchasing a tennis racquet the first thing to know is that the ratio of heavy and head-light is the best choice. These are optimal for performance as well as for avoiding injury. A racquet that is light and head-heavy is generally reserved as a poor choice.

     Some players may argue that because you can swing the light racquet faster, it will hit harder than a heavy racquet. If you have the time and energy to execute long violent strokes, you can swing the light racquet faster and get greater head velocity on impact. However, this causes three problems which include: a violent stroke is harder to control; when you are stretching for a shot, you don't have time to execute a long stroke, so velocity will be small and because racquet weight is small also, your shot will be weak; and lastly, the light, fast racquet will slow down a lot on impact, stressing the arm.

     When looking at tennis equipment, a player needs a racquet that will gives increased ball speed for the least effort (efficiency), and which will not stress your elbow or shoulder (elbow and shoulder safety). What you don't want is to put in a lot of effort on an uncontrolled shot that wrecks your arm.

     The light, head-heavy racquet has a high swing weight, which is good for pace and spin. But in combination with light weight, there are these drawbacks which include: (a) a light and head-heavy racquet is bad for the elbow and shoulder (b) it feels heavy and sluggish to position for volleys and returns; (c) the power comes from your effort, not the racquet, and you have to work a lot harder to get a certain ball speed than with a heavy and head-light racquet.

     A surprising benefit of research in outer space is a design concept for a better performing tennis racquet. The concept is to taper the strings in such a way that shifts the center of percussion (also called the "sweet spot") toward the toe (the outer end of the racquet, farthest from the player's hand). The major difficulty in designing a high-performance tennis racquet arises from the difference between the position of the maximum speed (the toe) and the position of optimum vibration (the sweet spot).

     In a typical older design, the sweet spot is at the geometric center of the strung area of the racquet. The impact of the ball on the sweet spot causes minimal strain to the player's hand. However, the average player tends to strike the ball farther out toward the toe, and to obtain maximum power on serves, it is necessary to strike the ball as close as possible to the toe. So, performance can be improved by moving the sweet spot outward.

     In terms of the width of mesh, a wider string area offers a greater hitting area. Players' all have their own style so a player with a hard and precise return will often use a smaller mesh. Regarding the length of handle, a longer handle offers better momentum in a hit. If a player is strong in first place than they will often use a shorter handle.