So what are tennis rackets made of? If you asked me that question 20 years ago the answer would be wood, but nowadays there are so many lighter, stronger and more resilient materials it warrants a deep dive into the details.
What are Tennis Rackets Made of?
The days of cumbersome, rigid and wooden rackets are now long-gone, in fact if you still have one laying around, it may be considered an antique and be more valuable than you think. Graphite, carbon-fiber and other man-made materials have allowed for the introduction of much lighter, powerful and more flexible rackets in the game of tennis.
Rackets today are made up of a variety of different materials. Typically, a racket will mostly consist of either elastic graphite or carbon fiber. The main benefit of these materials is their ability to form aerodynamic shapes, and their lightness. In turn, these factors allow for the racket head to be swung at a faster speed through the air, and therefore players are gifted with the ability to hit the ball harder, and generate spin. This of course was not possible for those playing in the pre-1970’s, as solid wooden rackets limited players immensely.
In addition to the aforementioned main elements of a tennis racket (graphite and carbon-fiber), tungsten and titanium are also vital components. These solid metals provide rackets with extra stability, making them more firm, thereby giving players the best of both worlds – modern rackets are flexible and can be “whipped” to produce spin and so on, but nevertheless are sturdy pieces of equipment.
Beginner rackets are often formed out of aluminum. This allows for a bigger, thicker and heavier racket which holds much more power than a standard graphite frame, and therefore suit those who are new to the game. Titanium rackets are highly durable, in addition to offering “easy” power on shots with minimal movement.
Nylon is used to make almost all tennis strings nowadays, and vinyl leather-like grips are proving highly popular amongst professional and recreational players alike. Leather produces a more natural sensation upon the striking of a ball than other grip materials, giving the player a better “feel” of his/her racket. It also enables you to switch grips (move your hands around the racket to adapt to playing a certain shot) smoothly and quickly during rallies. Leather is most notably the grip choice of Roger Federer. The butt of each racket (circular base of the racket below the grip) is usually plastic, and of course all rackets are now covered in paint to improve their aesthetic appearance and make them more sellable for manufacturers.
So, what are tennis rackets made of? Evidently, tennis rackets are made up of a culmination of different materials and products. Fortunately we can leave this scientific and technical matter to the experts and simply enjoy the fruits of their labor; light, maneuverable and powerful modern tennis rackets.