In this article, we're going to debunk the major misconceptions about tennis rackets.
A flexible or stiff racket? What tennis racket should you choose? A stiff racket is too hard to play with, it's going to hurt my arm! Not at all!
Stiffness is measured in Rahmen, abbreviated Ra, and ranges from 55 to 75.
This is a technical measurement made using the same machine that determines the swingweight (see “racket swingweight”).
Below is a video showing the measurement of an Artengo TR960 racket with an Ra of 70.
In a nutshell, what you need to know about racket stiffness is:
A stiff tennis racket is a racket that returns a lot of the energy from the ball when it hits the racket head (little bending). This gives you more power. A racket is classified as stiff when it has an Ra of 70 or more.
On the flip side, a flexible racket is one that is less powerful, with a much longer contact time between the ball and the racket head (a much greater degree of bending). This offers much more control and precision.
Flexible rackets are generally used by high-level players with a strong arm who can hit the ball hard.
NB: It's important to note that the comfort felt by a player using a stiff or flexible racket is subjective to each player. Everyone will have a different preference.
The specifications set out by Artengo's product manager Eric, product designer Pierre, and product engineer Yvan will determine the stiffness by modifying the width of parts of the racket frame.
The wider the sections, the greater the stiffness.
The thinner the sections, the more flexible the racket.
Like a good recipe, the stiffness is determined at the design stage.
By following the product engineer's specifications, the racket manufacturer will have several possible solutions to meet the brief: they can play with materials: A and B.
Material A will be used for stiffness, while material B will be used to create a more flexible racket.
You now know all about racket stiffness. This feature is "built in" and cannot be adjusted.