Are Tennis Rackets Unisex?: Men’s vs Women’s Tennis Rackets?

are tennis rackets unisex

There sure is a lot of debate when it comes to men’s and women’s tennis rackets. Some people say that there is no difference, while others insist that there are some key distinctions. So, what’s the real story?

Some people seem to think that there is no difference, while others claim that the two varieties are completely different in terms of size, weight, and shape. So which is it? Is there really a difference between men’s and women’s tennis rackets, or are they essentially the same?

In this post, we will take a look at the evidence and try to settle the debate once and for all. Stay tuned!

The answer

There is a distinct difference between the tennis rackets used by men and women. Men’s tennis rackets are typically larger, heavier and have a larger head. This is because men tend to be stronger than women (on average). As such, they need something that can help them maximize their power when hitting the ball. A bigger racket head helps in this regard since it will give you more surface area for your swing. This means you can swing faster and hit the ball harder.

This is not to say that women cannot use men’s rackets or vice versa. There are certainly female tennis players who prefer using bigger rackets just like there are male tennis players who prefer smaller ones.

men's vs women's tennis rackets

The difference in the rackets is in the weight.

Women are not expected to deliver powerful shots, so they can make do with lighter rackets. These are typically 75-85% of the weight of men’s tennis rackets.

This makes it easier for women to maneuver their rackets and have better control of the shots.

In fact, some men prefer using lighter tennis rackets too since this makes them play a faster game. They use these lightweight rackets for volleying or other types of shorter plays.

There are often models of the same racquet line, for men and for women, but again, this doesn’t mean a women’s racquet can be used solely by women.

Are Tennis Rackets Unisex?

Lots of sites and manufacturers label their tennis rackets in categories like “rackets for women” or “rackets for men”. But the truth is tennis rackets are not gender specific. Tennis rackets are unisex. They all are designed characteristically and similarly on the basis of their body, weight, sizes, grip, density, head size, spin powers and string patterns. There is no difference in these designs of rackets for women and men except for their cosmetic which is their colorful, appealing appearances that attract women and men differently according to their taste. 

Do some manufacturers produce rackets specifically for men and women?

Some companies do manufacture rackets for men and women, but those specifications are based on general or common preferences of both the gender. Like how some women prefer lightweight rackets so you might see a company selling “tennis racket for women” and the racket is lightweight with easy grip and firm string design giving good spin and ground strokes. The same goes for “tennis rackets for men” and the rackets are specially designed heavier than others having flat and firm grip according to the physical abilities of the gender. So, you can find designs specifically for yourself that fits your strength and physical abilities. 

Why do sellers, market their rackets gender specifically? 

Have you heard the term of gender marketing? Yeah, that is what these retailers and marketers do. Women and Men both have different perspectives and choices while buying a product. Women are the world’s most powerful consumers and they are more discover- oriented buyers than men. Their hedonic ways to consume a product gives these sellers a benefit to market their products differently. This is the case for tennis rackets consumers too. For instance, you see a beautiful pink racket with attractive design and a simple gray colored racket and both of them are same in structure, weight, head size and string pattern, which one do you think is more appealing? Of course, the pink one with that attractive design. That is why retailers use this “pink tax” tactic to attract their consumers and sell them in a high price. 

You might also come across some famous brands being associated with renowned and famous tennis players like Serena Williams with the Tennis brand Wilson, Naomi Osaka with Yonex, Novak Djokovic with HEAD.  They are sometimes marketed like “oh Serena uses a Wilson racket, it is definitely good for women” or “buy the racket from HEAD because Novak uses it, must be the best choice for men”. When in reality all these rackets are same in their structure and cord and the only difference is their appearance. 

Men and women both can play with the same rackets?

Like we mentioned before, rackets are not gender specific and anyone can play with any rackets. It all comes down to your preferences, skills, playing rank and physical abilities. It really depends on you and your choices. Choosing the best racket is extremely important because the whole tennis sport depends on your racket. So instead of thinking about buying tennis racket for women or men, focus on your skills and your performance level.  Just look for the racket that fits your comfort level and you are ready to step foot in the court. 

If there is no difference then how do I choose the best racket?

Tennis is such a fun sport. You always feel excited and dedicated when buying a tennis racket, but beware! Don’t let beautiful and colorful appearances deceive you into paying a good amount and not getting the results you expected in the court.

Women and men both play differently and it is related to how our body functions biologically not how strong you are or how great the racket is.

There is no argument on this. That is why these tennis racket producers and manufacturers noted all these little details and produced different types of unisex rackets that fit a person’s body and control perfectly.

This is why there are some details and styles that you should keep in mind before buying a racket.

The most important thing is power and grip control. Women tend to go for rackets that are lightweight and grip sizes that range from 2 to 3 as a heavy racket might affect the powerful hand movements. Men usually have broad and strong palms and wrists and they opt for rackets with grip sizes 3 to 4. 

The second part to look for is the head size. The Head of a racket is the area that controls the target coming from the opponent, racket balance, and pressure from the arm in specific directions. The larger the racket size, the greater the power it will generate. Heavy rackets that weigh 300gm+ are generally recommended for men because of their strong hand grip and control power. They opt for rackets with larger head size and heavier weigh that offers them powerful control. Meanwhile, women go for rackets with a smaller head size that gives them a forgiving racket. For beginners, it is suggested that men should go for rackets with mid-plus or large head sizes and women should opt for standard range head size.

Do the differences in head size and weight only specified for women and men?

These differences in head sizes, grip control and power are not only just for women and men. These can also be applied for beginners and professional athletes (both men and women), increasing the size and weight of your racket as the time passes so you can practice with every kind of tennis racket and improve your performance. Playing with any racket is great if you are a beginner and just playing it as a hobby, unless you are planning to become a professional and taking your game in a court then you should keep your physical abilities in mind.

Rackets are not gender specific, but physical abilities-specific 

No racket is designed specifically for a gender, but you should choose the best racket that fits your physical abilities and body control. You are the one controlling and using the racket not your gender. It is experience, practice and performance that give off the best result using the suitable racket. So, you don’t have to dwell much into the marketing tactics of specifying rackets on the basis for gender. Just keep your physical abilities and preferences in mind and go for the best racket you can find.

Are women’s tennis rackets smaller?

No, they are not. While they come in different weights and shapes, they are mostly the same length as men’s rackets which measure 27 inches (70 – 73 cm) long. And head sizes vary, can top at 120″ and reach up to 90″.

How should men and women tennis players make a good choice for themselves? 

At the end of the day, it all depends on the preferences of men and women when it comes to choosing a tennis racket or any other product. Both of them opt for tennis racket designs that fits their control, comfort, handling and gripping, functionality and also experience. Generally, lots of men and women tennis player use same rackets regardless of their sizes and weight and they go head on head in the court, giving their best performance. Also, there is nothing wrong in going for tennis racket design that has a colorful, distinctive and appealing appearance because that would be your preference and you should go for what you love.

How to choose the right racket for you?

There are many factors to consider when choosing a racket, but it is first important to decide whether you want an oversized or undersized racket. A larger head on the racket gives you more power but will make maneuverability difficult. If you’re not sure of your strength, err towards an undersized tennis racket so that it becomes easier for you to control the ball.

Then, you need to think about your playing style. Do you want to do short bursts of fast volleying or longer groundstrokes? If the latter, then a heavier racket would be ideal for you.

While women have smaller hands with less grip strength than men, they tend to have better fine motor skills. Since this is the case, a smaller racket head can be more useful since you won’t find it as difficult to maneuver as you would with a larger one. In addition, there is less torque on your arm as well.

Understand that these are just generalizations. There are of course men who prefer using lighter rackets and there are women who use the same ones as men due to their preference of hitting harder shots.

Which type of frame is best for me – graphite, aluminum, or steel frames?

A graphite racket is often the lightest, but it can also be more flexible. Aluminum rackets are strong and sturdy, which makes them great for playing powerful shots. Finally, while steel tends to be heavier than both types of other rackets, they do transmit energy better due to their solid metal composition.

What size tennis racket should an adult woman use?

Most women and adult men, have hands that comply with a L2-L3 grip or a 4 1/2″- 4 3/8″ grip . So, the appropriate size tennis racket for an adult woman is between 4 3/8″-1/2″ inches in grip size.

Head size can vary according to the playing style of the player. Larger head size can give more power to the player, but it may be difficult to control. For a slower stroke play style, you would be better off choosing a racket with smaller head size. With that said, there are always exceptions to using rackets with different head sizes in tennis so it is best to use what feels comfortable for you.

How do women choose tennis racket weight?

You should always start with selecting an appropriate head size and then go on to choose the best possible balance for your height, strength, body type, fitness level, etc. The weight for women is between 9.5 to 10.5 ounces, or 270-295 grams overall.

Because every single ounce can shift your whole experience when you swing your racquet, and even more drastically if you place it in a certain position on the frame, the weight of the racket is probably one of the most important factors to consider when choosing a tennis racket.

Are all tennis racquets the same size?

No, it is not the same. Some manufactures use one standard frame size for their entire collection, which can also vary from model to model. Fortunately, there are some companies that have different sizes depending on the pre-determined weight of the racket. This is why finding your tennis racquet size is important if you are considering buying a new racket or replacing an old one.

Does it matter what tennis racket you use?

Yes, it does. The best tennis racquet for you is the one that will allow you to develop your game and reach your optimum potential. Generally, older players may prefer using a lighter racket than younger ones since their strength levels are lower and they need more control over their shots.

And men want heavier rackets than women since they want more power behind their shots and generally have more strength in their forearms. Also, it is important to remember that the frame size you choose should correspond with your height and weight as well as your natural swing style.

Final Thoughts

There are many different types of tennis rackets for both men and women. The type you choose will depend on your skill level, game style, height, weight, and other factors. However, there is no evidence to suggest that one racket would be better than the other if they were used by someone with a similar profile.

I found that the racket you choose may depend on many factors. Women who play tennis should consider their grip strength, hand size and playing style to find a racket that suits them best. Men with larger hands might find it more difficult to maneuver a lighter-weight racket because of how much control they’ll have over it.

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