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Hello Tennis lovers!
Do you just love to watch tennis? Or do you also love to play it? If you love to play tennis, you definitely have a racket or more! But have you ever thought of the materials of your lovely rackets that made it possible for you to have fun?
Nowadays, the materials that are used to make your racket are usually aluminum, steel graphite, etc, But long ago, most of the rackets were made out of wood and leather with natural gut strings!
There are many things to consider before making and designing a tennis racket. So, as you are interested I guess, let’s have a tour in the world of rackets to help you know what tennis rackets are made of?
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- 1 Background of Tennis Racket
- 2 How To Determine Which Material to Use for Making Tennis Racket?
- 3 Overview of Most Common Materials for Making Tennis Rackets
- 4 Graphite
- 5 Material Used in Tennis Racket Grips
- 6 Materials Used to Make Racket Strings
- 7 Video Tutorial on Making Racquets
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions
- 9 Last Words
Background of Tennis Racket
The first evidence of using rackets in tennis is from the 15th century. The first rackets were made of wood and used to be of different shapes and sizes. Wooden rackets were not as comfortable as today’s rackets are!
Until 1965 the major material for tennis rackets was wood. The first aluminum racket was marketed by Spalding Company. It became popular among all sorts of players.
Nowadays there are many types of materials, sizes, and shapes used to make tennis rackets. For example, new material is graphite fiber-reinforced thermoplastic viscoelastic polymer. But most of the rackets are made of aluminum, graphite, and fiberglass. (More about racquet background)
How To Determine Which Material to Use for Making Tennis Racket?
There are so many materials that can be possibly used for making rackets. Good brands use good materials to make. But how to determine which one is the most suitable?
There are some characteristics of a tennis racket that helps it to make the player enjoy a smooth and comfortable sport. So, let’s see what to consider to choose the right material.
A tennis racket is supposed to face the ball a countless number of times. If it’s too heavy, it will be uncomfortable for the player. So, materials should be chosen carefully.
The wooden rackets used to be 370-430g. But Aluminum reduced the weight to a maximum of 200g.
The lighter the racket the faster it will swing. Not only the total weight but also the distribution of weight is very important to determine which material is to be used for making rackets.
It is very important for a tennis racket to be flexible to handle the ball. But it can’t be too flexible to make the player face difficulties. This characteristic can be referred to as bending stiffness also. The more flexible it is the more it bends.
But how do they determine which material is more flexible and suitable for making a tennis racket? Scientifically they use young modulus to determine the flexibility.
It is better to use materials with low density and high stiffness to maintain the proper weight of the racket. Bending stiffness is proportional to Young’s Modulus.
Usually modern rackets are made of materials that allow the player to enjoy almost vibration-free playing. Most of the players find it disturbing if the racket vibrates a lot and for a long time. So the less the vibration of the materials the better it is for making tennis rackets.
Overview of Most Common Materials for Making Tennis Rackets
As I have stated before that the most common materials that are used for making tennis rackets are aluminum, graphite,carbon fiber etc. But not the full body of the racket is made of the same materials. Grip materials and string materials are different. So, let’s see what are the common materials for a tennis racket.
Aluminum rackets are the most used rackets for tennis. Most of the newbies start playing with aluminum rackets. Usually, the aluminum rackets are less expensive than graphite.
Aluminum rackets are a combination of several alloys such as zinc, magnesium, copper, etc. The aluminum frame of rackets is usually bi-hollow or tubular. The design of the frame makes sure it is flexible.
Tubular tennis rackets with aluminum frames are suitable for experienced players.
Graphite frame makes the racket stiff. So most graphite rackets are suitable for players who tend to hit the ball with more power.
Rackets can be made of graphite frame or composite graphite frame. Copper, titanium, tungsten can be used as a composite.
Composite Graphite frames are more flexible than pure Graphite frames and help to reduce vibration. So they are very suitable for the newbies.
In my opinion, newbies should avoid boron tennis rackets. Because they are durable but not forgiving enough. This characteristic makes it difficult for the player to control it and play comfortably. As a result, arm injuries can be a common phenomenon for you.
But these are great for experienced players.
Material Used in Tennis Racket Grips
There are different types of materials used to make tennis racket grip. The type of material depends on the player’s comfort. You don’t want to feel bad to hold the racket, right?
The manufacturers make sure the racket is comfortable for you. The most common materials that are used to make a tennis racket grip are rubber, leather, synthetic polymer, etc. These materials are soft at the same time helps to maintain a good grip.
To improve friction, the racket grips are often designed with curved, textured, or patterned surface. It makes sure you have good control over the racket. Manufacturers performs different tests to choose the right texture for you!
Materials Used to Make Racket Strings
As the modern rackets are usually lighter and stiffer, so they tend to have softer and more flexible strings. Basically, strings directly face the ball in tennis. So the String materials and pattern of the strings are really important.
The most common material for strings is polyester as it offers high resistance properties. Nylon core strings offer good performance and amazing flexibility.
There is another type of string material- Nylon gut, that is made from animal intestines. This type of racket is very expensive.
String tension plays a vital role in choosing the right type of material for racket strings. String tension is measured in pounds. The higher the tension, the tighter the strings are. So materials are chosen carefully so that it can maintain the proper string tension.
Video Tutorial on Making Racquets
Frequently Asked Questions
As you have already known about the materials and things to consider for making a tennis racket, it’s time for you to know about some frequently asked questions.
What is the most expensive tennis racket?
The most expensive racket in history is the Proximus Diamond Game Prize. This is actually a trophy that is made of pure gold! The ball attached to the racket has 1700 pure diamond stones!
What Are The 3 Parts of a tennis racket?
The 3 parts of a tennis racket are the head, shaft, and handle. These 3 parts also have some different parts. Such as the middle part of the shaft is known as the throat of the racket.
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So, we have gathered all the information about tennis racket materials for your convenience. Your duty is to find the right racket for you.
As a newbie you need to focus on the control and should increase your power gradually. No matter what the material is, graphite, boron,aluminum or composite, make sure you are comfortable with your racket.
You have learned about what a tennis racket is made of from this article. Now go for your racket and enjoy super tennis!