In this article we will look at head light vs head heavy tennis racquets: which one is better?
We normally choose tennis racquets by looking at their brands, weights, heads sizes, etc. However, whether a racquet is head light or head heavy is massively important in determining how it plays.
This post will help you decide which option best fits your skill level and age group, as well as the style and format of tennis you play.
Head Light vs Head Heavy – How Can You Tell?
The balance point of a racquet is the place where, when supported there, it will neither tip towards the head nor the grip. If the head is relatively heavy, the balance point will be closer to that end, whereas if the head is lighter, the balance point will be closer to the grip.
Manufacturers produce a variety of racquets with different balance points. I will look at why you might want a racquet with a particular balance, and suggest a couple of popular options. So let’s look at why you might want your tennis racquet head light or head heavy.
What Does Head Light Mean In Tennis?
Most adult racquets are approximately 68.6 cm long. If the balance point of the racquet is at the mid-point, 34.3 cm from the butt end, it is said to be evenly balanced. If it is any less than 34.3 cm, the racquet is said to be head light.
Sometimes, the balance of a racquet is described in terms of ‘points’. This is based upon imperial measurements, and one point corresponds to 1/8” away from the mid-point. If a racquet is said to be ‘3 points head light’, the balance point is 3/8” from the centre towards the butt end.
Head Light Tennis Racquet Advantages
The more head light a racquet is, the more manoeuvrability it is likely to offer.
Most advanced players prefer head light racquets as their technique allows them to develop plenty of power- they are looking for something which offers precision and control.
Net players will also generally favour a head light balance, as they need to be able to move the racquet quickly into position when the ball is being hit hard at them.
Head Heavy Tennis Racquet Advantages
Head heavy racquets feel heavier when you swing them, although head light racquets are often heavier overall. By virtue of more of the weight being in the head, a head heavy racquet allows you to develop more power.
Head heavy racquets are often favoured by club players who lack the technique or strength to develop high levels of racquet head speed.
Is A Head Heavy Racket Good For Doubles Tennis?
For older players with slower swings, a head heavy racquet helps to produce more power from the back of the court and a faster serve, which can both be advantageous in doubles.
Aside from this, however, the relative lack of manoeuvrability will be a significant drawback for most players, as this will hinder their net play. Overall, most players would find a head light racquet more suitable for doubles.
Can a Head Heavy Racquet Cause Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is generally aggravated by the torsional stress of swinging a racquet, and the vibrations transmitted by lighter, stiffer frames.
Head heavy racquets typically offer the worst of both worlds, as they are often light and stiff, but feel heavy when you swing them.
If tennis elbow is a concern for you, you should aim for a heavier frame with a head light balance, giving stability and manoeuvrability.
Best Head Light Tennis Racquets
Almost all advanced players will use a head light racquet. A couple of the most popular options are described below, although there are many more good choices.
1. Babolat Pure Strike 16×19
The Pure Strike is 4 points head light, and is regarded as an excellent all-round racquet. It offers a balance between power and spin, along with excellent manoeuvrability and control due to its head light balance.
2. Head Graphene 360+ Speed MP
The Speed MP is another highly manoeuvrable frame, thanks to its 4 points head light balance. The racquet offers excellent control and precision, and many players enjoy the way it feels easy to swing. To get the most out of it, you need to be able to generate your own power, and it may not be ideal for tennis elbow sufferers.
Best Head Heavy Tennis Racquets
Head heavy racquets are typically aimed at beginners and older players who are looking for extra power. The following are two options which are worth considering.
1. Head Ti S6
The Ti S6 is 8 points head heavy, with a slightly lengthened frame and a huge 115 square-inch head. It is a lightweight racquet, weighing in at 252g strung. Due to the head size and balance it offers the forgiveness and power which many crave, but it is not the most manoeuvrable, and should be avoided by tennis elbow sufferers.
2. Babolat Boost Drive
The Boost Drive is not quite so extreme as the Ti S6, as its head is ‘only’ 105 square-inches, and it weighs around 10% more. It is 3 points head heavy, meaning that it is fairly powerful and a little more manoeuvrable than the Ti S6.
Essentially, the Boost drive is a good option for beginners and older players: it does not offer the same power and forgiveness of off-centre strikes as the Ti S6, but it provides a little more stability and comfort.
Head Light vs Head Heavy Tennis Racquet SUMMARY
This article has addressed the question of why you might want your tennis racquet head light vs head heavy. In brief:
– Head light racquets are more manoeuvrable, which will help your net play and general control.
– Heavier, more stable racquets are generally head light, and these are better for tennis elbow.
– Head heavy racquets can help older players and beginners who want more power.
– Head light rackets are generally better for doubles.
– Advanced players almost always use head light racquets.
– The Babolat Pure Strike 16×19 and Head Graphene 360+ Speed MP are worth considering if you want a head light racquet.
– If you prefer head heavy, try the Head Ti S6 and the Babolat Boost Drive.
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