Nearly all of us amateur, weekend warrior, club, and league players have all ordered up a few tennis racquets to test out. Yes, the demo program that many retailers offer is a great way of picking up your next new tennis racquet. Basically, you can select up to 4 tennis racquets – older models, new models , and everything in between – have them shipped to your house, use them for a week and send them back! All you really have to pay for is the shipping. Ordering your demo racquets can almost be as intimidating a picking out a new racquet, so I’ve come up with a few tips for your demo program go a little better.
With so many tennis racquets, how do you know which ones to pick? If you currently already play tennis and have a tennis racquet that you use on a regular basis, I strongly recommend sticking close to your racket specs. Here are some quick tips to remember before ordering your demo tennis racquets:
- If your current tennis racquet weighs 10.5 ounces, then try to pick frames that are close to that weight, perhaps one that is heavier and one that is lighter. Heavier tennis racquets produce less shock and more power!
- Do you current have a dense string pattern (18×20)? Try a racquet that has an open string pattern (16×19). Tighter string patters give better control where as open provide less control but ample spin.
- Do you currently have arm problems, tennis elbow, shoulder pain? You might have too stiff of a tennis racquet, try a frame with more flex which will reduce the vibration your arm encounters.
- Love that Wilson Pro Staff 6.0 85 you have been using for the last 10 years? Hate the twist in the frame when you make ball contact? Try a bigger head size! Larger tennis racquet head sizes produce less “twist” upon contact with the ball.
- Have the old model of the newest tennis racquet available on the market? Most racquet manufacturers update their popular racquet models. New technologies can help you tennis game, so try the new version of what you have in your bag.
- Or you can do what a lot of players do, demo the racquets that your favorite tennis players use.
Ok, those are some tips for picking out the demo tennis racquets that you will have with you for 7 days. But now that you have them, how do you properly demo them? Do you pick up the first demo and start hitting with it? Or do you use one demo racket for ground strokes, one for serves, or one for volleys? What is the best order to really utilize the tennis racquet demo program?
The schedule I use when testing tennis racquets is quite simple really, I use the tennis racquet that I use as my regular frame (Donnay X-Dark Red 94 @ 60 lbs) to warm up. After I have gone though my entire warm up routine, forehands, backhands, volleys, and points; I pull out one of the four demo rackets and continue to play points. My reason for testing tennis racquets this way is because I will have a better idea of how a particular frame performs when I have found my range and my body and brain are ready to completely absorb the information that I’m receiving when hitting with the demo racquet.
I try to hit a solid hour with one demo per session, you will be tempted to hit with all of the demos in one day to see which one is better. Unfortunately this is highly ineffective; basically by doing this you are really limiting your swing to adjust accordingly to the racquet you are testing. My suggestion would be, try to hit with a different demo racket on different days, then think about which one you liked best. Then the day before you send them all back, take them all out and give each one a quick go to see if you still liked the one you initially liked.
After all that demoing that you have done, you might just be one step closer to picking out your next tennis racquet! There are a few things to keep in mind, you are not obligated to purchase of the racquets you demoed, you can demo for as long as you need until you find the perfect tennis racquet. Another thing that you have to consider is the tennis racquets themselves, they come pre-strung by the retailer so you might find that the racquet is strung too tight with totally different strings than you are used to, so just keep hitting with them and you’ll know when you’ve found the right tennis racquet.