With so many different tennis racquets out there, all of which at first glance look the same. How do you know which to choose? Unless you play competitive tennis, you probably have no idea. This guide is here to help.
As with almost anything, do not simply pick a tennis racquet based on the colour or because your favourite player uses that tennis racquet. This may have detrimental effects on your performance.
If you are new to the game, then we recommend a lightweight racquet with a larger head. The larger head provides more power and is more forgiving (allowing for mistakes, if the ball doesn’t connect with the center or, ‘sweet spot’).
More experienced players however, may want to invest in a heavier tennis racquet with a smaller, mid size head, as this allows more power & control.
Other important things to consider when choosing a tennis racquet include:
Balance: This is the weight distribution of a tennis racquet. A light-headed racquet, or one that is evenly balanced, enables beginners to have more control without the risk of fatigue or getting tennis elbow.
Weight: The weight of a tennis racquet determines how quickly your arm will become fatigued. Lightweight (or approx. 250-300g) is easier to swing but lacks fast, hard power shots. Determining which weight tennis racquet to get depends on your physical ability as well as your training/ability.
Grip: Choosing the wrong grip size is the fastest way to end up with wrist, elbow or shoulder injuries. The best way to determine which size grip you need is to test a tennis racquet out (which you can do at Sportsmart).
Frame: Tennis racquets are rated for stiffness from 10-100. A flexible tennis racquet frame (rated under 69), results in less power. However, a stiff frame (rated over 69) can result in greater arm strain. Frame stiffness comes down to a matter of preference.
Strings: A racquet with a string configuration of 16×19 (open string pattern) allows for more give and spin, but also tend to snap more. A racquet with an 18×20 (closed string pattern) is a lot denser, therefore less prone to snapping. This configuration is more suitable for a player who has great ball control and power.
These are the main features to look out for. However, it is worth also considering if the tennis racquet comes with interchangeable grommets. Which are designed for advanced players who want to mix up their game. Lastly, Graphene XT technology, is a special frame material that makes a racquet lighter, without losing stiffness or power.
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Basketball can be played on many different surfaces; from synthetic indoor flooring to outdoor, concrete and asphalt. It is important that whatever basketball shoes you pick can withstand the surface that you typically play on. If you play basketball indoors, it is also worth checking if there are any rules about the type of shoe you can use on an indoor court.
In addition to the basketball court surface, the level you are playing at is another big factor to consider when purchasing basketball shoes. A casual player may opt for a better value option than a highly competitive player who plays multiple times a week. Other important aspects to consider when purchasing your new basketball shoes include:
- Cushioning and stability
Basketball requires many start–stop movements along with quick direction changes, running and jumping. A basketball shoe that hasn’t got enough cushioning can result in strong jolts in your legs. For the sake of your joints, it is important to ensure you have a correct fitting shoe, as well as shoes with enough cushioning, stability and grip to ensure you don’t hurt yourself or jar your joints. A good quality shoe with a strong grip is perfect for basketball, to ensure you don’t slip over with any sudden direction changes.
It is important to ensure the fitting of basketball shoes is perfect. Again, with the amount of movement involved in basketball it is easy to roll an ankle. One way to help prevent this is to ensure your feet are snug in your shoes, to prevent any extra movement within the shoes. This also helps to prevent blisters due to rubbing. A better fitting basketball shoe will also provide more comfort and overall support.
It is inevitable that your feet will get hot and sweat, no matter what sport you play. To reduce this effect, choose good-quality, breathable basketball shoes. They will be more comfortable and better fitting, with less pressure on your feet.
What is the point of compression clothing?
Compression wear is the best to wear when engaging in demanding physical activity. It helps boost circulation – resulting in more oxygen being transported to the active muscles, helping to improve performance. Compression wear can also help to reduce muscle fatigue. Compression wear is lightweight, breathable and body firming, making it ideal for both low and high impact training, competition as well as recovery.
How does compression wear work?
Compression wear works through the use of strategically placed panels. These panels wrap and support the major muscles being used in physical activity. Compression wear helps to reduce vibration and fatigue in the muscles. It can also help to keep you feeling dry, as the material is designed to wick moisture away from the skin. Many high-end compression brands contain a 50+ UV protection, making it perfect to wear all year round.
How does compression wear fit?
Most compression brands determine size using the BMI index, weight and height. Compression wear should be quite tight to work effectively.
At Sportsmart we stock compression tights, tops, shorts and socks. We also offer both normal compression and thermal compression – perfect for winter.
Sport is our life. It’s been in our family and team for almost 50 years.
As our valued Smart Card members, we celebrate your passion for sport.
We understand what the experience and enjoyment of sport means to you, as we share these values.
We will support you by always offering a great range and quality service from our knowledgeable and dedicated team.
Is cricket your life? Is tennis your life? Is athletics your life? Is basketball your life?
Whatever your sporting passion, we understand. Because at Sportsmart, SPORT IS OUR LIFE.
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To go in the draw:
- Follow Sportsmart on Facebook and Instagram.
- Comment with which sport is your life, and why, on the relevant post on either our Facebook or Instagram pages.
Winners will be picked at random and notified via our Facebook and Instagram pages on Tuesday 5th September.