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The Ultimate Guide to Custom Tennis Rackets
By Jack Oswald
Do you want to personalize the racket? Are you looking for more power, speed, and shot accuracy? Then racquet customization is for you. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced, we can all benefit from tweaking a tennis racquet to match one's desired playing characteristics.
Perhaps you are asking, what should I do when designing rackets, and what is its purpose? Customizing a tennis racquet can be done in several ways, from adding lead tape to change the overall weight and balance of the racket, to changing strings and string tension and using different grips, all of these things influence the playing characteristics of your racket. We're going to show you exactly how and why it's done. Read on for these killer tips!
Who Should Have Their Racquets Customized?
Racquet modification will probably be overkill if you're a complete newbie because it will be challenging to discern subtle differences in performance.
Instead, we'd advise concentrating your efforts on mastering good technique and a sense of the game before thinking seriously about any personalization.
However, if you're an intermediate to an experienced player, you might find that your racquet benefits from a few little adjustments.
Of course, you probably have an idea of what you might like to change if you're thinking about personalizing your racquets. However, it can also be confusing what you should change to get desired results, so we've put together a comprehensive guide.
Why is it good to customize your racquet?
There are two causes for wanting a customized tennis racquet:
As we already mentioned, you can adjust the racquet's specifications to improve your game on the court by using a personalized tennis racquet. Some common alterations that players make include:
Adjusting the racquet's overall weight balance
Changing the equilibrium point of their racquet
Changing the balance of the swing weight
Enhancing the stability of their racquets
Each of them can be adjusted to match a player's personal preference based on how the racquet feels to them and they're playing style. The control, power, or capability of a player to make different shots, however, may be directly impacted by these alterations.
Athletes will match or tweak all of their racquets to the same weight and balance once they identify the specifications that work for them. You don't want to feel a difference in balance or weight if you have to switch racquets in the middle of a match.
Even if you use two factory racquets that are identical, there could be a little variation in these specifications. As your skill level rises, a small variation in weight could mean the difference between making or missing a shot in a crucial match.
To achieve the best level of consistency, the vast majority of top players modify their racquets. Some athletes, like Roger Federer, shell out tens of thousands of dollars annually to have the same individual string their racquets and make any necessary customizations from tournament to tournament.
The second reason you might want to modify your racquet is to make it more distinctly you. Some tennis clubs have quite rigorous dress requirements, such as mandating that all players wear white while on the court.
In a sport where tradition usually dominated, changing the look of your racquet or other tennis gear allows you to express yourself more freely without breaking the rules of the game.
Customizing for Performance
The weight, balance, and swing weight of a player's racquet are the most frequently altered parameters. Let's examine how altering these racquet specifications can improve your performance.
To avoid mistakenly altering the racquet's balance, you must be strategic while adding weight to your racquet.
Any adjustments you make to the balance should be considered carefully.
Keep in mind that every time you add weight to your racquet, the balance of the racquet will change to that side (unless you add additional weight to counterbalance).
Racquet Balance Point
Your racquet's center of mass is the balance point. The racquet's point at which it would sit flat on your finger without toppling is an easier way to describe it.
In order to make the racquet head-light and more agile, many players choose to keep the balance point closer to the handle. Overall, racquets that have their balance point higher on the head of the racquet tend to be lighter.
If you alter your racquet's total weight, you must distribute the adjustment uniformly across the racquet unless you wish to move the center of mass. Players frequently add lead tape weight to their racquets at the 10 and 2 o'clock positions to increase stability.
The additional weight essentially prevents your racquet from turning once you make contact with the ball. Additionally, it increases the sweet spot, allowing you to strike the ball more cleanly when it is at the top of your racquet's head.
Even more, stability can be added by slightly lowering the weight of your racquet at the 3 and 9 o'clock positions, which will also increase the sweet spot's size.
Tennis Racquet Swingweight
The inertia that the racquet produces as you swing it is known as swing weight. The racquet will generate more momentum if the majority of its weight is close to the head, which will enable you to hit harder.
The trade-off is that you give up maneuverability. By altering the balancing point and overall weight of the racquet, swing weight can be controlled.
For instance, if you increase the weight of the head of your racquet by adding lead tape to the inside rim, the balancing point will be moved further from the handle. Lead tape placed under your grasp has the opposite effect.
There are several businesses out there that can alter your racquet to your specifications. However, with a few basic tools, it's extremely simple and inexpensive to experiment with changing your racquet at home.
You'll need a small scale that can weigh your racquet down to a tenth of a gram if you intend to modify it. To obtain this level of accuracy, you can use a postal scale or several food scales.
A balance board is also necessary to keep track of how your racquet balances before and after alterations.
Additional items you might find useful include:
Using double-sided tape to reapply the grip's sticky backing
tungsten tape or lead tape
Important note on Lead and Tungsten Tape
You may simply modify the balance of your racquet by adding minor amounts of weight with lead or the currently more popular tungsten tape.
There are two sizes of tape: 14 inches and 1/2 inch. In general, 4 inches of 1/4 inch wide tape weighs roughly a gram, but always double-check the tape's specifications before using it.
One of the most popular methods players employ nowadays to alter their racquets' specifications is tungsten tape.
Customize the Weight of Your Racquet
You must add an equal amount of weight on either side of the balance point if you wish to alter the weight of your racquet without altering its equilibrium.
By applying lead tape to the inner edge of your racquet's frame, you can add weight to the head of your racquet. Alternatively, you can add lead tape under your grip to rebalance your racquet's balance away from the head.
As an alternative, you might attach the lead tape to the frame's bottom, close to the throat. The added weight won't materially alter the overall balance of the racquet because this location is so close to the balance point.
Making your Tennis Racquet more headlight
You can add weight to the handle of your racquet to change the balance so that it is more headlight. The butt cap on the end of most racquets can be removed.
You can insert cotton balls into the area at the end of the handle after removing the cover. Before resealing the cap, tungsten putty can be added to the cotton.
Not all racquets allow you to remove the butt cap to access the interior of the handle. If so, one choice is to buy tennis racquets with a reduced grip size and then use a heat shrink sleeve to increase the grip size of the racquet to your preferred level.
These useful sleeves, which come in full and half sizes, will make the handle heavier while still letting you keep your desired grip size. Be weary, however, that they sometimes round off the shape of the handle, making it harder to feel the individual bezels.
If you already own a tennis racquet or aren't able to afford new ones, switching to a leather grip is an affordable method to reduce the weight of your racquet's handle. This may result in some increased weight due to the leather's weight.
Other Equipment You Can Personalize
While tennis racquets are renowned for implementing customization tactics, if you need to also tailor your equipment to match your lifestyle and daily routine, consider checking out custom tennis bags.
The Cancha Racquet Bag is the world's first modular tennis bag, meaning you add different accessories to match your lifestyle and daily routine. If you want a separate bag for your shoes, work gear, and racquets, Cancha's got a dedicated accessory for that. What's more, you can choose between a number of colors to match your style. Check it out here.
Conclusion: Ultimate Guide to Custom Tennis Rackets
You may probably recognize the advantages of a bespoke tennis racquet no matter who you are.
You can fully realize your potential when you customize your racquet to meet your style and ability level. Additionally, experimenting with your racquet might be enjoyable.
It's common to have to experiment with numerous specs until you discover the one that works best for you, and as your skills improve, you might find yourself making even more adjustments.
If you're a complete beginner, improving your game will be much more advantageous than altering your racquet's specifications.