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What is the Right Grip Size for Me?

Head Line
Use the Head Line on your palm to measure your optimal grip size.
Take a look at the palm of your left hand. If you look closely, you will see three major and distinct lines.

The lower line (palm readers call this your LIFE LINE) starts at the base of your hand where your thumb connects to your wrist. Follow this line and you will see that it curves around the base of your thumb and ends up near the base of your index finger.

There is also an upper line (palm readers call this your HEART LINE) that starts below your pinkie finger and runs across your palm to the base of your index finger.

Between these two is a middle line that starts between your index finger and thumb and then heads across your palm before vanishing about three-quarters of the way across. Palm readers call this your HEAD LINE. This is the line that is used for measuring tennis grip size.

Using a ruler, measure the distance between the tip of your middle finger and the HEAD LINE immediately below your middle finger. That is your grip size. When choosing a tennis racquet, this is the optimal size.

A grip significantly larger than this will make if difficult to generate power on your serve. A grip smaller than this may lead to tennis elbow.

Remember that a slightly smaller grip can be made to fit by adding an additional layer of grip or overgrip on the racquet handle. However, a grip size cannot be made smaller.

So if you must purchase a racquet that is not the perfect size, choose one that is up to a quarter inch smaller than optimal so that you can build the grip up to your optimal size.

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Wrong Product – Right Price

It doesn’t matter what you are buying — racquets, shoes, string, accessories — price should not be your most important consideration. If it is, you will almost certainly make a poor decision.

In the past 24 hours, for example, we have had two customers make poor decisions because they had price-focused tunnel vision. One spent twice as much as she should have because she refused to consider a less expensive pickleball paddle that was perfectly suited to her needs. Another saved $40.00 but walked away with shoes that will actually detract from his on court performance and may actually lead to injury.

We understand that price has to be a consideration at some point in the purchasing process. That is completely reasonable. But it should never be a starting point.

Sports are about performance. The products that you purchase for sporting activities must not hinder or detract from your performance.

All too often, customers come into our store with the preconceived notion that expensive is good and cheap is bad. While this may be generally true (most products are priced according to their input costs), it is not always the case. Sometimes, the better option is the cheaper one.

How can you know? Come into our store and ask our experts.

Staff at Racquet Network are trained to ask questions. They want to know what level you will be playing at and the context you will be playing in. They will also want to know what problem you are trying to solve. Once they have this information, they will be able to help you select some products that fit your needs.

Often, our staff will come up with a category of products that will support your performance goals. And within that category, there will be items at different price points. At that point, price considerations become appropriate. But not before. Otherwise, you run the risk of buying the wrong product just because it is offered at the right price.

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The Other Side of the Net

Tennis HandshakeIn an average year, Racquet Network staff sell racquets to more than 2000 customers. Some know exactly what they want when they walk through our doors, but most do not. Most need some help.

In order to ensure that we are connecting customers with racquets that are properly suited to their needs, we ask a series of questions that focus on frequency and style of play. The frequency questions are easy for most people. Most customers tend to have a good idea of how often they will be playing with the racquet they are buying.

The more difficult questions are those related to the customer’s style of play. Most people haven’t really thought about how they play. Are you an attacker or a defender? Are you a pounder or a placer? What are your biggest weapons: serves, serve returns, volleys, drop shots or something else?

They way you play matters. If your game is based on a big serve, you will want a racquet that helps you serve even bigger. If your game is purely defensive, you will want a racquet that enhances defensive shotmaking. Whatever your game — tennis, squash, badminton, pickleball or racquetball — the racquet you choose must fit your playing style.

An equally important consideration is the opposition you will be facing on the other side of the court. In tennis, for example, if you are playing an opponent who hits hard penetrating ground strokes or punishing first serves, you will want a stiff frame to counter with. Why? Because the last thing you want when you are playing a pounder is a soft frame that flexes on contact and sprays the ball in unintended directions.

The same is true for badminton players. You may want to play an attacking style, but if you are part of a drop-in group and half of the players are better than you, you will probably be attacking half of the time and defending the other half. In this case, you might be wise to choose a balanced racquet that allows you to play both styles. Or you might choose to have two racquets in your bag: one for attacking and one for defending.

Think of your racquet bag as a tool kit. If the only tool in your kit is a hammer, you will have to treat everything like a nail. But if you have a hammer, a screwdriver and a pair of pliers, you will be better equipped to deal with a variety of tasks.

New players tend to buy one racquet and use it for everything. The same is true for professionals who are able to impose their game on opponents regardless. In between these levels you will find some smart players and some not-so-smart players.

The not-so-smart ones buy the same racquet or the same category of racquet over and over. Look in their bags and you will often find a half dozen racquets in different colours and styles all of which do exactly the same thing.

Smart players, on the other hand, have a variety of tools in their chests. At the very least, they will have one racquet for attacking and one for defending. The smartest will have a variety of frames customized in a variety of ways to use against the opponents they play most often.

Choosing the right tool for the right job is essential for most advanced intermediate players. In games where the margin of difference is often only a couple of points, anything that gives you an advantage — or takes away an opponent’s advantage — is worth taking a look at.

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