Far from the days when Tennis was played with a bare hand protected only by a glove, Tennis is, today, a very popular sport that seven out of ten Americans play regularly. Chances are you will find a tennis player on your holiday shopping list.
There are some delightful Christmas gifts to give the tennis enthusiast that will not only be greatly appreciated and enjoyed, but will get plenty of years of use too!
Which Tennis Racquet?
One of the most critical elements of playing tennis is the racquet. Some go so far as to say that the racquet is second only to physical skill and stamina of the player. A few very noteworthy brand names that make well-constructed racquets include Avery, Babolia, Boris Becker and Dunlap.
Tennis Racquet Materials
There is such a wide variety of racquet materials available; below is a list of some of the most popular materials used in racquet construction:
- Graphite Racquets: Graphite is the most common base ingredient in the majority of racquets today. Extraordinarily strong for being fairly lightweight, it offers solid control and terrific power. These are great beginner and advanced racquets for tennis players, as stiffer racquets don’t protect the arm and shoulders from the shock and vibration of repeated impact, which can lead to “tennis elbow” and other problems.
- Boron and Kevlar Racquet: These two graphite-resembling fibers weigh even less and are firmer than graphite. Kevlar (used in the construction of bullet-proof vests) tends to conduct a great deal of impact to the shoulders and arms. Not advisable for beginners.
- Aluminum Racquets: Considered as the “old standby”, this considerably less expensive racquet affords decent power with a great deal of “feel” (the sensation one gets for how one is hitting the ball and where that will lead it). Titanium is comparable to aluminum, and either would be a beginner’s best bet.
- Wood & Fiberglass Racquets: Despite the fact that many people still have wood or fiberglass racquets, these tend to make the game of tennis more difficult and ultimately harder than necessary.
When selecting a racquet, the head size correlates to power; the larger the head, the more power the racquet will have. A larger head also quite simply offers a wider area for the ball to hit, and therefore also offers a larger sweetspot. Modern racquet sizes range from 85 to 135 square inches, the most common measuring between 95-110.