If you've ever bought or borrowed a tennis racquet you may have noticed that they are not all the same. The size of the heads vary, and this is true for the grips and shafts.
There are practical reasons for these differences. It isn't a matter of mood or matching your outfit.
The strung surface is found contained within the head of the tennis racquet. Somewhere within the strung surface is the sweet spot, the spot that sings when struck, taking the tennis ball the furthest difference with the least amount of effort.
Heads come in different sizes. Over-sized heads measure between 100 and 140 square inches in the strung surface.
The sweet spot is bigger on this type of head, and the areas around the sweet spot that offer a pretty good return are also bigger. Mid-sized heads cover the range between 85 and 100 square inches.
Pros tend toward the 85 and 95 square inch heads, according to Dummies.com, and amateurs tennis players seem to like the 95 to 100 square inch range.
Standard heads used to be 80 to 85 square inches. These are no longer being manufactured. If you've got one of the old ones though you will know that their smaller area don't hit as effectively as the newer ones.
A good tennis racquet for a beginner is going to look different than a tennis racquet for an experienced tennis player. A racquet with a bigger hitting area gives the beginner more area with which to try to connect with the tennis ball, and when they connect it's done with more power.
The bigger head which is good for the beginner, is not such a great thing for the experienced player. That's because the bigger head is also more awkward to use than a smaller one. So what is lost going for smaller hitting area is balanced by having greater dexterity.
The beam on either side of the racket's head increases the racquet's depth, another way of saying its thickness. Wide beams bring more power to your swing. The downside of that extra power is that shots may be harder to control.
The grip of the racquet comes at the bottom end of its shaft. Grips are between four inches and four and five-eighths inches in diameter.