Junior rackets typically come in smaller sizes than adult racquets. The average head sizes for junior racquets are: [19"—82 sq. in.], [21"—90 sq. in.], [23"—98 sq. in.], [25", 26"—100 sq. in.]. Sizes smaller or larger than average can be selected using the browse option.
Weight is related to resistance to movement in a straight line. For example, the racquet resists your lifting efforts until you apply a force equal to its weight; only then can you lift it. You can feel the racquet’s weight by picking it up by the tip or handle, allowing the other end to hang down, or by picking it up at its balance point. Weight influences balance and swingweight, but it is rarely what the player experiences directly when interacting with the racquet.
Even the smallest racquet details have noticeable effects on performance. For handle grips, leather is more or less obsolete because of its uneven friction resistance. Synthetic fabrics are now more widely used as they can be textured or patterned to improve friction. Texture analysis of various fabrics can be used to assess how different patterns of handle grip affect performance. The shaft connecting the racquet head to the handle is another important feature. Shaft flex ratings can be determined in a similar way to the head. A flexible shaft will better absorb shock, while a firmer shaft will deliver greater power by holding the head and strings correctly. Whatever their choice, players are affected by the flex of the shaft and the head; the characteristics of that flex vary by the materials used.
Until the 1970s, almost all racquet sports employed wooden racquets with leather gripped handles and natural gut strings. The introduction of aluminum and steel frames paved the way for increasingly lightweight and durable materials. Now most racquet frames are light-weight graphite or graphite composites, incorporating materials like titanium, Kevlar, and fiberglass. These increase frame flexibility, while remaining cost effective.
The number of mains—strings running from handle to head—and crosses—strings running from left to right—in the string bed. A denser string pattern puts more strings in contact with the ball. If you want more control over your shots and are less concerned with power, you want a dense string pattern, such as 18 mains × 20 crosses. An open string pattern, like 14 mains × 18 crosses, gives more power but less control.