Finding the right swing weight for your tennis racket can seem confusing. First, it isn’t as dependent on the physical racket’s weight but more on your swing, so this will be different for everyone.
Generally, swing weight measures how heavy a racket feels when you swing it. This might be heavier for some, especially if they hit the ball with more force. Most players have a swing weight between 300 and 330 RDC, with 300 being lighter.
Are you still wondering what affects tennis racket swing weight? There is much more to learn, so keep reading!
Table of Content
- What Determines Tennis Racket Swing Weight?
- The Range Of Tennis Racket Swing Weights
- How Do You Measure Racket Swing Weight?
- How Does Racket Swing Weight Affect Performance?
- What Swing Weight Should You Use?
- How Can You Change The Swing Weight Of Your Racket?
- What Are The Differences Between Swing, Strung, And Unstrung Weight?
- Final Thoughts
What Determines Tennis Racket Swing Weight?
The swing weight of a tennis racket is measured by both the amount of mass and its distribution you use when hitting a ball. In easier terms, this relies heavily on how hard and fast your racket connects with the tennis ball. You might also think of this as how heavy your racket feels in your hand while you play.
Most times, the more force you use on the court, the heavier your racket will feel. Lightweight handling will result in a lighter swing weight, which can also be an advantage for match play/longer court time.
Here’s a video explaining this further:
The Range Of Tennis Racket Swing Weights
Most tennis racket swing weights fall between 300 and 330-350. The universal swing rate many players use is around 320, offering a nice middle ground. As we said, you don’t want to be too heavy with your swing, as this can take a toll on your wrists over time.
It’s worth mentioning that swing weight is used as more of a reference for tennis playing. You shouldn’t hyper-focus on it, but take note of how your wrists and arms feel after a match and adjust your force/weight accordingly. Some prefer a heavier, sturdier racket, while others like a lightweight feel.
How Do You Measure Racket Swing Weight?
There are a couple of ways to determine your racket swing weight. First, the easier method is using a swing weight machine that will swing your racket, measuring its weight at various speeds. These systems are used to develop rackets and train players to use less or more force when hitting a shot.
The other way to measure racket swing weight is on your own, which you can do by gathering these items:
- Two Pencils
- Heavy book or weight
- Meter/yardstick or tape measure
- Table edge
- Weight and balance
Next, you want to follow these steps:
- Measure the distance from the end of the handle to the bottom of the top string.
- Hang the pencils over the table edge and place the book on top for support. Then, hang your racket from the pencils.
- Tap or push the handle to set the racket in motion. (Use little force)
- Let your racket swing a few times, marking a point on the floor to calculate where your racket is swinging.
- Start the stopwatch just when the swing reaches your mark.
- Stop the watch precisely on the 10th swing. Time to one-hundredth of a second and repeat this 2-3 times.
- Add your values to this calculator.
- Your result is the swing weight of the racket.
More in-depth instruction about how to measure racket swing weight by yourself.
How Does Racket Swing Weight Affect Performance?
Although often overlooked, racket swing weight plays a significant role in tennis. As mentioned, your weight can be on the heavier side of the spectrum (350 RDC) or lighter, closer to 300.
Either way, you are using power to connect your racket to the ball, ultimately trying to get it across the net and score a point. The more weight your racket swing has, the stronger the serve/return will be.
Racket swing weight affects power in how you can get the ball across the court. For instance, the heavier your racket weight, the stronger serve or return you will have. A high height of 350 RDC will always be more powerful than 300-320. However, most players fall closer to 320 with their racket swing weight, so consider that the average.
Overall, racket swing weight affects the control of your stroke greatly. Higher weights work best because you need a good grip on your racket and a powerful enough swing to connect with the ball. However, too much weight and force can cause your swing to be less controlled, so a weight of around 320-330 should be good.
As your racket swing weight increases, this can cause less maneuverability on the court. Although you want a powerful stroke, using too much force will create less margin of error for the ball. We recommend a middle-ground swing weight of 320 for the ‘best’ maneuverability.
Some experts even go as far as to say a swing weight of under 300 could result in prime maneuverability during a game.
Tennis racket swing weight certainly impacts stability, serving, and returning the ball. Generally, too little weight results in fragile stability, and too much weight can tip the balance of your playing. Unless you mean to hit a fast, sharp ball into your opponent’s court, there’s no need to dramatically increase the weight of your racket swing.
One of the most critical factors swing weight plays into is your comfort. A heavier racket swing could cause damage to your wrists. This is a common problem for tennis players; some even undergo surgery or rehabilitation. Lighter racket swings may mean less power for your serves and returns, but that’s not always bad.
If your wrists, hands, or joints feel tense/sore after a game or practice, it could be time to pull back on the weight of your racket swing.
What Swing Weight Should You Use?
The best swing weight for most tennis players falls between 300 and 320. As we covered, lower swing weights make maneuverability easier while playing tennis, while higher swing weights equal greater power. You might need a higher racket swing weight when serving, then moving down to 300 for the rest of the game.
Each player is unique, so testing a few different weights and adjusting them to fit your playing style is fine. A leisurely tennis player will likely want to stay around 300 RDC, while a competitive one in a tournament wants to go between 320 and 350+.
How Can You Change The Swing Weight Of Your Racket?
One way to change your tennis racket’s swing weight is by adjusting the strings and handle. Generally, you want to add two 2-3-inch strips of TW tungsten tape to the inner hoop of the racket’s tip.
This will increase its swing weight, but not to the point you will feel uncomfortable while playing. Tennis Warehouse explains how doing this should add around a 5- to 7-point swing weight increase. Some tennis rackets also have “trap doors” at the bottom, which you can fill or empty out to adjust racket swing weight. Add putty into the handle’s trap door for more weight, and remove it for less.
To decrease a racket’s swing weight, you can remove any additional tape on your racket and swap the strings out for lighter materials. You can even consider replacing your racket grip with a leather one if it is currently synthetic, as they weigh less.
This video may also be helpful:
What Are The Differences Between Swing, Strung, And Unstrung Weight?
For those confused about the differences between swing weight, strung weight, and unstrung weight, here are their meanings and differences:
The swing weight of your racket comes down to the force you are using plus its overall weight. You will usually see tennis players have a swing rate close to 320 RDC, although, with modifications, this can fluctuate.
Another way to think of this is how heavy your racket ‘feels’ as you hit the ball: focus on the movement. Unlike strung weight, your racket’s swing weight can differ each time you hit the ball, depending on your force.
The weight of your racket once the strings are installed. Generally, rackets come with middle-ground weighted strings, which you can change to heavy or light ones.
Tennis strings add roughly 15-20 grams or a half-ounce to a racket’s static weight. It’s also important to realize that strung rackets weigh approximately 0.5 ounces more than unstrung ones.
Unstrung racket weight is what your racket (with no strings) weighs. Although most people purchase pre-strung rackets, some players prefer to start with a specific weight unstrung and customize their racket from there.
The average weight of a tennis racket is between 8 to about 13 ounces or 226 to 369 grams, so the strings plus base “unstrung” racket weight can both impact swing weight. All are connected.
In this post, we discussed racket swing weights and how these can affect things like power, control, maneuverability, stability, and comfort.
Most players stay at a racket swing weight of 300-330 RDC, although using less weight for everyday playing and more for competitive play/serving might be best. Everyone will be different, so feel free to adjust your racket!