Thinking of Customizing Your Tennis Racket?
SOYou're thinking of customizing your racket? Awesome! Here's the 411 on racket customization - why to do it, who it's for and how to do it. Let's start with why you should customize your tennis racquet.
Why customize my tennis racquet?
For this, we made this handy infographic 🙂:
Who should customize?
Below is a run down of different playing levels and if you should customize your racket or not. That being said, if you want to give it a shot, by all means, please do!
Beginner - NTRP Rating under 3.0 / UTR under 3.0
Swings at this level are generally shorter with lower racquet head speeds. Ideal rackets for this level are lighter weight rackets with larger racket heads. So, we'd recommend not investing in customizing your racket just yet - but, if you're intrigued, give it a shot.
Intermediate - NTRP Rating between 3.0 - 4.5 / UTR between 3.0 - 6.5
At this level, the swing path is longer with a medium/fast swing speed. Rackets here are a bit heavier (10 - 11oz, 285g-310g). Players at this level understand their swings and mechanics. With higher racket head speeds, customization recommendations include increasing stability with lead or tungsten tape, modifying stringing properties and/or adding weight for power. Players could also consider changing the balance of the racket too.
Advanced - NTRP Rating over 4.0 / UTR over 7.0
Swings at this level are the most controlled and the fastest. Rackets here are heavy (11 - 12oz, 310g-340g). Players in this level are generally making significant changes and doing less common customizations. Key areas of focus here are to adjust maneuverability, adding stability and exploring stringing properties for added feel/control, instead of focusing on extra power.
What are the various ways to customize your racket?
Common racket customizations:
- Change strings material, size and tension
- Change replacement grips and overgrips
Less common racket customizations:
- Add weight various parts of the racket on the frame, throat or handle.
- Changing grip size using heat shrinking.
Rare common racket customizations:
- Adding silicone to the handle for increased weight and improved dampening.
- Adding epoxy to the handle for increased weight but no change to dampening.
- Nails for rackets with a foam core for added weight.
Tungsten putty and lead weight added to the racket butt cap for more weight and maneuverability.
Adding cotton to the butt cap of the racket to secure the added weight.
Adding epoxy instead of lead tape for added weight in the butt cap.
Lead tape at 10 and 2 o'clock for more weight and stability. It's put under the head guard to it's more discrete.
Example of lead tape positioning on different racket.
Another racket closing the head guard on added lead tape.
Here are some of the tools you may need to customize your racket:
- Weighing scale
- Balance board [google for image]
- Swingweight mobile apps (Racquet Tune, Swing Tool)
- Weight tape (lead or tungsten) [google for image]
- Tungsten putty or silicone [google for image]
- Cotton balls