Tennis players generally spend most of their time researching tennis rackets to improve their game.
Choosing a balanced racquet that suits your needs in terms of size and weight is crucial for providing you with adequate power and control.
However, some people adhere to a particular brand.
When it comes to the racket’s balance, a lot of people tend to overlook it. In this guide, we will discuss the importance of balance with a tennis racket.
We will also discuss what it is, how you measure it, and how you can achieve it to improve your game.
What Is Tennis Racket Balance?
To measure racquet balance, it is necessary to know where the weight of the racquet is located within the frame.
Ideally, the handle and head of a racquet should not touch a table, even if it rests on a half-inch wood dowel at the balance point.
The principle is the same as when you hold a pen horizontally and balance it on the fingertip.
The balance on a standard 27 inch tennis racquet with a 13.5 inch dowel resting on top is said to be even when the tennis racquet balances when resting on the dowel.
You would have to place the dowel closer to the racquet’s head if you wanted to make it balance if the dowel was farther away from the head.
To move the headlight in closer proximity to the handle, an appropriate frame would be needed.
You might think that handles are heavier than hoops, despite the names, but this is not the case. The weight is the same on both ends.
Compared to the longer half of the racquet, the shorter half acts heavier because of the difference in the distribution of materials between the shorter and longer halves.
To counterbalance the effect of the heavier mass at a greater distance from the equilibrium point, it is necessary to have a smaller mass closer to it.
Also Read: Best Tennis Racquets For Intermediate To Advanced Players
The Three Racquet Balance Types
If the most weight of the racquet lies in the handle, then it is called a headlight.
A light handle will be described as a headlight if most weight is focused on the handle. Head-heavy people tend to carry more weight in their heads.
On the other hand, Balanced people have an even distribution of weight throughout their body. The following are some of the advantages and disadvantages of each.
1. Head Heavy Racquets
In head-heavy racquets, the racquet’s weight is more concentrated on its head. There is more mass at the back of the racquet when it makes contact with the ball when it comes into contact with it.
There is generally less static weight for head-heavy racquets than those with a headlight frame.
At first, it may seem like an appealing idea, as you will be able to get a lighter, more powerful racquet than a heavy headlight frame.
On the other hand, there are quite a few trade-offs involved. First of all, racquets with heavy heads are a lot harder to maneuver than a frame with a light head.
A head-heavy racquet is more difficult to swing and control. In playing with a racquet that is biased toward the head, you feel that it controls your movements.
Take the example of swinging an axe normally, then flipping it over so you’re swinging it from the handle rather than the blade. Immediately you will realize just how convenient it becomes this way.
2. Head Light Racquets
The weight of a headlight racquet is distributed more evenly towards the racquet’s handle, reducing drag and making the racquet easier to maneuver.
There are several reasons why these frames are heavier than head-heavy ones in terms of the static weight. This is to ensure that a sufficient amount of power is produced.
One of the most common features of a headlight frame is that virtually every top 100 player uses it. The majority of ATP professionals rely on headlight racquets to play at their best.
In my opinion, there are two reasons for this. The majority of professional players play short, fast swings, which means that their racquet needs to be easy to swing both in fast-paced rallies and at the net.
In terms of technique and racquet head speed, using something that is head-heavy and produces more power than what they need makes little sense.
3. Even Balanced Racquets
The tennis racquet’s weight is evenly distributed across its frame in the form of an equal balance or a balanced racquet.
Based on the balance of a standard 27-inch racquet, the headlight would be zero points, and the balance would be 13.5 inches.
A few pros use close even to balance frames, but by and large, most of them are using headlight balances, which I think says something about the situation.
A few misconceptions exist regarding certain players; for example, many fans believe that Sampras used a racquet with equal weight because he put lead at three and nine positions on the racket.
The frame of his racquet was a headlight, meaning that he was unable to volley, and Sampras used a head heavy or even racquet.
This type of information is usually found in commentary like “Rafa’s racquet head has been weighted,” which gives the impression that the frame is very heavy.
It should be noted that the tailweight often counterbalances the weight, so this is not the case.
How Do You Measure the Balance of a Tennis Racquet?
It is possible to measure a tennis racquet’s balance of points in three different ways:
- By using a DIY method
- By using an RDC Machine or a similar device
- By using a balance board
If you are interested in a quick test, you can try balancing the racquet on your finger, you should be able to figure out where the bias lies without getting measurements in centimeters and converting them to points.
It is also possible to use one of the three methods mentioned above if you prefer a more precise method.
In this case, you will receive a measurement that will be either inches or centimeters. By comparing, you can get an idea of how many points headlights or head heavy have.
Which is Better: Head Light Or Head Heavy?
There is no doubt that lighter heads result in better balance in racquets, as they are more efficient at producing power.
The impact force of racquets with light heads is reduced. They do this by lowering the point of impact on your shoulder, elbow, and wrist.
However, the racquet can also possess a high swing weight and mass simultaneously.
On the other hand, a head-heavy racquet’s high moment and torque may increase your risk of developing a tennis elbow.
Maneuverability is another reason why headlights win the day over other lights. The racquet is easier to position for volleys and returns and does not feel heavy as it swings the whole afternoon.