When you’re new to tennis, things don’t seem so complicated at first. You hit a ball over the net. Seems pretty easy. But then you realize how many rules there are, how many variations there can be, and the many parts of a tennis racket. From different tennis courts that give your racket different advantages, tennis is quite deep and complex. Speaking of your racket, that’s what we’re going to talk about here. The racket looks pretty simple, but at the same time, it’s pretty complex with many unique terms used to describe various parts of it.
In this article we will clarify some of the terms used for the different parts of a racket, and this will help you along your journey to being a skilled tennis player.
Diagram of the different parts of a tennis racket
Parts of a racket vs features
It is worth noting the difference between the various parts of a tennis racket and the specifications of a racket. The parts of a racket refer to the name of each component that all rackets share, while the specifications are the measurable nuances that make each racket unique, such as the weight of a racket. Both are useful to understand, especially when buying a new tennis racket. However, for this article, we focus on the parts.
The different parts of a tennis racket, explained:
Since the racket was invented, its central parts have not really changed. The models, materials and weight certainly have, but not the main components. So let’s see what those components are, first let’s look at the throat.
Starting at the top of the handle, the throat is divided into two parts that cross both sides of the racket and help shape the head. The center of the throat tends to be hollow, keeping the weight down and allowing the racket to flex. Some rackets flex less and others flex more and less flexible rackets tend to be for power rackets and vice versa.
This is where the ropes are, and this is where you’re gonna hit. The head size can vary depending on the racket, but most heads are about 95 to 110 square inches. Head size can also affect the way you play. Larger heads will give more power to your strokes, but are harder to swing. Smaller heads are weaker in power, but give you control and speed.
The rod or frame
The frame or reed is just another word for the thickness of the head. Different types of rackets have different frames, and the frame is definitely an underrated part of the racket. The frame can greatly affect the way the game is played, and we’ll explain why. With a large rod, the strings can move more easily, giving your shots more power. However, free movement means less control for you. With smaller frames, it’s the opposite, giving you less power but better control over your racket. You can make a side-by-side comparison with different rackets if you wish.
Con una caña grande, las cuerdas pueden moverse de una manera más ágil, dando a sus tomas más potencia. Sin embargo, el movimiento libre significa menos control para ti. Con marcos más pequeños, es lo contrario, dándole menos potencia pero mejor control sobre tu raqueta. Puedes hacer una comparación lado a lado con diferentes raquetas, si así lo deseas.
The strings are what’s in the center of the head. This is where the ball will contact, and then bounce back like a trampoline. The strings can come already in the racket, or sold separately, and you’d be surprised how much the strings can affect performance. The thickness, materials used and decompusure of the strings can affect power, control, vibration, spin and more. If you want to know more about tennis strings and how they affect your game check out this article.
Racket frame protector
At the top of the racket, there is a frame protector that protects the impact area of the racket. The racket is frequently scratched on the court each time a groundstroke is made, and the protector prevents the racket from being damaged. If you have this part torn off, don’t worry, we all have it. The protectors are made of strong plastic, but may need to be replaced from time to time to avoid damage to the racket itself.
The washers or rings
The washers are those plastic laces that go through the holes in the string around the head of the tennis racket. Like the frame protector, the washers are there to help keep the strings safe and protected from the hard, rough parts of the sport of tennis. The thickness of the washers also comes in different widths to help move or stop the movement of the strings. Wider washers are usually used for power rackets and smaller control rackets have thicker washers to prevent the strings from moving too much.
The heart or neck
The neck is the part that goes from the bottom of the head to the end of the racket handle. The top of the shaft is where you’ll see the throat of the racket. Below the throat is the handle. The neck is the part that goes from the bottom of the head to the end of the racket handle. At the top of the shaft is where you will see the throat of the racket. Below the throat is the handle. Now let’s look at the handle.
This is the bottom part, and it’s what you hold when you’re playing the game. The handle or grip tends to be the part that extends whenever a manufacturer wants to make a racket that has more power. Usually the handle also has several circumferences. The length tends to be 4-4 5/8 inches. This sounds like nothing, but every inch counts, and if you choose a handle that is too fat or too small, you can get hurt. So you may want to talk to a professional before choosing your racket. This depends mostly on the size of your hand.
This is the coating on the handle. Basically, it’s the cushion that allows you to grip the racket firmly while keeping your hand away from any injury. The handle also connects the grip to the base of the handle. Now, it is advisable to place a tennis overgrip over the grip as it is not tight enough to prevent hand slips from sweat and is not very pleasant to touch.
This is the bottom part of the handle. The base tends to be wider than the handle itself, allowing the racket to be held still while swinging.
Some rackets come with a rubber strap that fits over the top of the grip tape for added security, which can also ensure an overgrip as an alternative to the standard grip tape.
The handle cover
Finally, we got to the bottom and found the lid of the handle. This keeps the bottom of the handle sealed, and is usually the place where you can find the size of the handle and the manufacturer’s logo.