Understand the terms the manufacturers use

…and how they can affect you and your game

1. Knowledge that helps choose the right racket

When buying a racket there are so many variables between manufacturers and even within brands that having an understanding of the terms can help make the descriptions more meaningful.

2. Knowing whether someone knows their racket facts

If someone is recommending a particular racket it can be helpful to know if they know their stuff. Withers experts won’t ever try to blind you with science or flood you with technical terms but some people might and it is a protection to know whether someone is truly knowledgable or just ‘blagging it’.

The main technical terms used to describe a tennis racket


The balance point is the point on a racket where it balances, simple as that! Place your racket on your finger, mark the racket where it balances, this is your racket balance point.

Scientifically on a 27” tennis racket that does not have a grip, butt cap, strings and buffer guard on, it is 34.30cm (343mm) BUT as soon as you add any of these, and let’s face it you will need to add all, the racket balance will change from its stated figure. A higher figure than 34.30 on the racket will mean that the racket is heavier in the head, a lower number will mean its lighter in head. What is best is purely down to your choice, there are reasons for all (head heavy, head light or even balance), its just finding something that suits your game.

We can definitely help you choose, pop in and see us for a chat. We will certainly be able to offer advice and/or try a racket demo or two. Please call us if you need any help.


Generally refers to vibration and/or shock damping. Handle systems can offer vibration dampening, frames may have dampening systems included, a soft string can offer dampening too. This all adds to the comfort of the frame and feel on the ball. What is right for you depends on you!! You can buy vibration dampners that fit on the bottom of your string bed, these are relatively cheap and do work but these take vibration of the string NOT the frame. Grips can offer vibration dampening qualities too, a more padded grip DOES dampen vibration.


We often say “The pick up on this racket feels great“ – What we mean by this is the initial feel when literally picking up the racket! Does it feel head heavy, does it feel head light, does it feel nice etc etc !!!!! Again your preference will be different to others, it is only feels good if YOU like the feel!!

Grip Sizes:

US Europe
4 inch L0
4 1/8 L1
4 1/4 L2
4 3/8 L3
4 1/2 L4
4 5/8 L5

Grip Size:

Standard tennis grip sizes range from 4-1/8 to 4-5/8 inches. The optimum grip size would allow you to fit your index finger between the palm and longest finger. Player preference obviously allows for exceptions to this rule. While many “experts” suggest using the largest comfortable grip size, keep in mind it’s easier to increase handle size. In fact, most of today’s racquet handles cannot be reduced in size.

Badminton and Squash grip sizes are usually standard in the UK, meaning there are no options per frame!!!

Head Sizes

Head Size Square Inches Square Centimeters
Midsize: 85-92 548 – 593
Midplus: 93-105 594-677
Oversize (OS): 106-115 678-741
Super OS: 116+ 742+

Head Size:

Refers to size of strung area of a racquet and usually measured in square inches. A larger head size provides more power and a larger sweet spot, while a smaller head size gives you more control. The figures shown are based on tennis rackets.

Sweet spot:

Simply put, the area of a strung racquet that provides the greatest energy return (power) and accuracy with the least amount of shock or vibration. The size of the sweet spot can be determined by a few factors, the size of your racket head, the tension on your frame (usually the tighter the tension the smaller the sweet spot) and the string used can also alter your racket sweet spot.

Swing weight:

Measure of how heavy a racket feels when swung, basically how you move it through the air. Swing weight is dependent on several factors, including racket weight, length, balance and head size. A heavy swing weight racket is more powerful than a light swing weight racket, but will be less easy to move. Also, a heavy swing weight racket can be relatively light in overall weight by placing the majority of weight in the head. A trend initiated by Wilson with their Hammer rackets, the objective is to retain manoeuvrability without sacrificing power by distributing most of the overall weight to the top of the frame where ball contact is made.