In tennis, each player has a racquet that you swing to hit the ball over or around a net into the opponent’s court. Different racquets with different ratings are categorized and designed for different plays and players’ preferences. With that said, you might wonder, what is swing style rating in tennis?
The S number is used to describe swing style rating in tennis (S1, S2, S3, S4, S5, S6). They show the type of racquet you have. A higher rating indicates that the racquet will be harder to swing, while a lower one is easier. The lower the number, the better your swing will be and longer.
The most common racquet is the S4 which is designed for competent intermediate players. The S6 is a high-power racquet designed for lower-level players. The S1, the lowest rating, is designed for “tweener” players. Such players have a good stroke but are moving to a more versatile players’ frame.
Racquet frames are given a flexibility rating ranging from 0 to 100, with most racquets falling between 50 and 80. Low ratings are less than 60, medium ratings between 61 and 68, while high ratings are greater than 69.
Additionally, there is a swing weight measurement that ranges from 0 – 1000. Most racquets have a swing weight that ranges from 280 to 350g. Swing style rating indicates how heavy it feels to swing a racket.
What Does L Mean In Tennis Rackets?
You might have seen an L, accompanied by a number on your racquet, and wondered if it is also a swing style rating in tennis.
The L indicates the size of the racket’s handle (L1, L2, L3, L4, L5). The larger the number, the larger the racket handle is, and consequently, the smaller the number, the smaller the racket handle is.
The racquets get lighter, stiffer, and more potent as you decrease the L’s and go higher with the S’s.
The L4 and L5 are described as long, fast swings. However, the L5 tops with longer swing style than L4.
Why Is Swing Style Rating Important?
For any player, you will know that choosing the perfect racquet that best suits you and your gameplay is key to winning. With a vast number of racquets to choose from, it can be challenging to decide which one is best for you.
There are three main aspects of racquet specifications that you can differentiate from each other. These include the weight, head size, and balance of the racket. Swing style rating helps you to know which racket falls under which category and their specifications.
The main categories in respect to the type of player include:
- The ultimate control
These are primarily racquets over 300g in weight with 98sq and below in head size. Their beam width does not exceed 0.8 inches. These racquets mostly suit advanced to intermediate players. They have a high headlight balance.
- Powerful control
Like those of ultimate control, they, too, suit advanced to intermediate players. These racquets’ weight ranges from 280 to 300g, with their beam width being between 0.8inches and 1 inch. They have a head size that ranges from 98 to 102sq.
These rackets have a slight headlight balance.
- Lightweight power
They are primarily for beginner to intermediate players. These racquets’ weight does not exceed 280g with a head size of over102sq. Their beam width is 0.98inches and above.
These racquets have even too heavy a headlight balance. All these categories have swing style ratings making it easy to select the best racket for your gameplay.
What Does Head-light Mean In Tennis?
To further understand swing style rating in tennis, it is essential to know what other tennis terminologies refer to. Such include headlight or head-heavy.
Head-light or head-heavy generally describes a racket’s weight distribution. If the bulk of the racquet weight is concentrated in its handle, the racquet is a headlight. When greater weight is concentrated in the head, it is referred to as a head-heavy racquet. More so, if the weight distribution is in the middle, the racquet is called even balanced.
Head-light racquets are the most commonly used. The weight of the racquet is heavier towards the handle, which makes them more flexible. Generally, they are heavier in static weight than head-heavy frames to guarantee they can create enough power.
Unlike headlight rackets, the head-heavy ones have a lower static weight as their weight is more distributed in the head. However, they offer more power potential as there is greater mass directly behind the ball upon contact.
The maneuverability of the headlight racquets makes them more preferred. Head-heavy tends to be harder to swing and control.
For the even balanced racquet, their weight is distributed throughout the frame. They attempt to bring a fine balance by having enough weight in the head to offer power and stability while also having enough weight in the handle to prevent unwanted shock and vibration.
How To Choose a Perfect Tennis Racket?
To sum what swing style rating is in tennis, you must know the different aspects that constitute swing style rating which subsequently involves knowing how to choose a perfect racquet.
As much as it is hard to conclude there is a perfect racquet, you can get a racquet that is best for you and your gameplay with the knowledge of swing style rating.
Some elements include;
- The head size and head shape
As discussed above, these affect the type of racquet and its swing style rating. Generally, they fall under three broad categories: midsize, ranging from 85 square inches to 96 square inches; the mid-plus ranging between 97 square inches to 105 square inches; and oversized, which ranges from 106 square inches to 135 square inches.
- Racquet weight
This influences the swing style rating with different weight distributions favoring different plays.
- The balance point of a racquet
This is the point along its length where weight is evenly distributed between the head and the handle. A balanced racquet will have its balance point precisely in the middle of its length.
Some other aspects may include frame stiffness, swing weight, the beam, or, as discussed, its grip size.
Nonetheless, swing style rating in tennis generally helps categorize racquets and, more importantly, helps you choose which is best suited for you.
My Favorite Tennis Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Below you’ll find my top tennis equipment recommendations would like.
- Racket: My preferred tennis racket is the Wilson Ultra 100 V3. This racket is made from graphite and carbon fiber, making it durable, firm, and easy to swing. The racket weighs 300g, making it lightweight yet not too lightweight to generate power. The racket’s main benefit is power. I like to add multifilament strings to the racket, such as Wilson NXT Soft 16 (recommended tension 52lb/23.5kg), because they are comfortable and soft on the arm with a great feel to the game.
- Tennis balls: Best tennis balls are always pressurized, and I like them having extra-duty felt, which is fit for hard court play. I like Penn Championship Tennis Balls, and so does the ITF because these balls are approved for competitive play. So yes, these are the real deal.
- Tennis shoes: I can’t stress enough the importance of comfortable and supporting shoes. ASICS Gel-Resolution 8 tennis shoes are unique because the balance between durability and support mixed with comfort is something out of the ordinary.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.