A Guide to Choosing the Best Racket for You
Overview: Choosing a racket can be a daunting task these days. Currently, the top four manufacturers make over 90 different options for players to choose from. This can be confusing and frustrating for even the most avid and knowledgeable. player. Hopefully, this article can help you navigate the process.
Many of the rackets look similar and have names that are just as similar which just makes things more confusing. There are three to four versions in every line that a company makes. Many of them look cosmetically identical and have names with subtle differentiation which can be confusing but also
Understanding the different brands and models: There are several companies that produce rackets today. Much like car companies, these brands offer at least one model for each category of playing level. Car companies offer options such as full-sized sedans, mid-sized sedans, compact sedans, sports cars, SUVs, and Pickup that directly compare to the models their rival brands produce. Just as the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord are mid-size sedans with similar specs, the Wilson Blade 98 and Head Radical MP share almost identical specs. This can also be helpful as you can get the category of racket that is best for you from almost any brand.
You may have always played with (and liked) a certain model or brand of racket in the past. If you do and feel strongly about this preference, that’s great! Simply use the examples of racket models below based on playing level and pick out a couple that suits your needs and playtests them.
The Racket of Your Favorite Player: The rackets that the pros play with are not the rackets you can buy from your local dealer or online superstore. They are customized to the specifications of pros and usually not available to the general public. The pro’s rackets are painted to look like the rackets that are for sale.
Even if you could get your hands on a pro’s racket you probably wouldn’t want to play with it anyway. They are too heavy and control-oriented for the average player. There are models available that look just like most pros rackets for every skill category and from every brand. As long as you pick a racket that is appropriate for your level you can use one that looks just like your favorite ATP or WTA pros.
Your Teaching Pro or Coach’s Recommendation: If you have a teaching pro or coach that can recommend a racket or at least help you with identifying your playing level that’s great. The pro probably knows your game better than you do. Take a recommendation from them and go with it. Don’t hesitate, it’s unlikely that they will send you in the wrong direction.
Playtesting a Demo Racket: Once you have figured out what racket category, racket brand and/or model of racket you think maybe ideal you should playtest a demo racket. We recommend that you playtest only one or two rackets at a time. It is very easy to confuse yourself by trying too many rackets at once. This is self-defeating as it can make the process more challenging. You can demo rackets from your local shop or one of the larger online retailers. They have programs that will directly ship you rackets along with a return address label.
One note on demoing rackets is to keep things consistent. If you are used to playing with a specific type of string or grip on a racket you should try to get the demo strung and gripped identically to your current racket. This cuts down the variables of using a new racket and makes telling the difference between your racket and the test racket easier. If you find a racket that you demoed that you like a lot, the best thing you can do is go for it. You can confuse yourself by trying more rackets after you’ve already found a great one. The rackets today are all excellent and it’s hard to go wrong once you’ve found the appropriate category.
Beginner’s Racket (0.0-2.5): This category is the easiest to navigate.
BABOLAT: Pure Aero Lite, Pure Drive 110 2021, Pure Drive Lite 2021
HEAD: Extreme Lite, Instinct Lite, Speed Lite, Gravity Lite 2021
WILSON: Burn 100ULS v4, Clash 100UL, Clash 108, Pro Staff 97UL v13, Ultra 100UL v3
YONEX: EZONE 100L, EZONE 108, VCORE Ace, VCORE Feel
Intermediate Racket (2.5-3.5):
BABOLAT: Pure Aero Team, Pure Drive Team 2021, Pure Strike Team 3rd Gen, Pure Drive 107 2021
HEAD: Extreme S, Speed S, Gravity S 2021, Radical S 2021
WILSON: Blade 100L v7, Burn 100S v4, Clash 100L, Pro Staff 97L v13, Pro Staff 97L v13, Ultra 100L v3
YONEX: EZONE 98L, VCORE PRO 100 280
Tweener Racket (3.5+):
BABOLAT: Pure Aero, Pure Aero Rafa, Pure Drive 2021, Pure Strike 100 3rd Gen,
HEAD: Extreme MP, Instinct MP
WILSON: Blade 104 v7, Burn 100 v4, Clash 100, Ultra 100 v3,
YONEX: EZONE 100 Naomi Osaka LE, VCORE 100, Yonex VCORE 100 (300), Yonex VCORE PRO 100 300
Modern Player’s Racket (4.0+):
BABOLAT: Pure Aero Tour, Pure Drive Tour 2021, Pure Strike 16×19, Babolat Pure Strike 18×20
HEAD: Prestige Tour, Speed MP, Gravity MP 2021, Gravity Tour 2021, Radical MP 2021
WILSON: Blade 98 16×19 v7, Blade 98 18×20 v7, Clash 100 Pro, Clash 98
YONEX: EZONE 98, EZONE 98 Tour, VCORE 98
Classic Player’s Racket (5.0+):
BABOLAT: Pure Aero VS, Pure Strike Tour
HEAD: Prestige MP, Prestige Pro, Speed Pro, Gravity Pro 2021, Radical Pro 2021
WILSON: Pro Staff 97 v13, Pro Staff RF97 v13
YONEX: VCORE 95, VCORE PRO 97 310, VCORE PRO 97 330, VCORE PRO 97HD 18×20
|Classic Player Rackets (5.0+)||Modern Players Racket (4.0+)||Tweener (3.5+)||S – Sport (3.0-4.0)||Beginner (1.0-2.5)|
|Babolat Pure Aero VS||Babolat Pure Aero Tour||Babolat Pure Aero||Babolat Pure Aero Team||Babolat Pure Aero Lite|
|Babolat Pure Strike Tour 3rd Gen||Babolat Pure Drive Tour 2021||Babolat Pure Aero Rafa||Babolat Pure Drive Team 2021||Babolat Pure Drive 110 2021|
|Head Graphene 360+ Prestige MP||Babolat Pure Strike 16×19 3rd Gen||Babolat Pure Drive 2021||Babolat Pure Strike Team 3rd Gen||Babolat Pure Drive Lite 2021|
|Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Pro||Babolat Pure Strike 18×20 3rd Gen||Babolat Pure Strike 100 3rd Gen||Head Graphene 360+ Extreme S||Head Graphene 360+ Extreme Lite|
|Head Graphene 360+ Speed Pro||Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Tour||Pure Drive 107 2021||Head Graphene 360+ Speed S||Head Graphene 360+ Instinct Lite|
|Head Gravity Pro 2021||Head Graphene 360+ Speed MP||Head Graphene 360+ Extreme MP||Head Gravity S 2021||Head Graphene 360+ Speed Lite|
|Head Radical Pro 2021||Head Gravity MP 2021||Head Graphene 360+ Instinct MP||Head Radical S 2021||Head Gravity Lite 2021|
|Wilson Pro Staff 97 v13||Head Gravity Tour 2021||Wilson Blade 104 v7||Wilson Blade 100L v7||Wilson Burn 100ULS v4|
|Wilson Pro Staff RF97 v13||Head Radical MP 2021||Wilson Burn 100 v4||Wilson Burn 100S v4||Wilson Clash 100UL|
|Yonex VCORE 95||Wilson Blade 98 16×19 v7||Wilson Clash 100||Wilson Clash 100L||Wilson Clash 108|
|Yonex VCORE PRO 97 310||Wilson Blade 98 18×20 v7||Wilson Ultra 100 v3||Wilson Pro Staff 97L v13||Wilson Pro Staff 97UL v13|
|Yonex VCORE PRO 97 330||Wilson Clash 100 Pro||Yonex EZONE 100 Naomi Osaka LE||Wilson Pro Staff 97L v13||Wilson Ultra 100UL v3|
|Yonex VCORE PRO 97HD 18×20||Wilson Clash 98||Yonex VCORE 100||Wilson Ultra 100L v3||Yonex EZONE 100L|
|Yonex EZONE 98||Yonex VCORE 100 (300)||Yonex EZONE 98L||Yonex EZONE 108|
|Yonex EZONE 98 Tour||Yonex VCORE PRO 100 300||Yonex VCORE PRO 100 280||Yonex VCORE Ace|
|Yonex VCORE 98||Yonex VCORE Feel|
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