Those who wish to pursue a lifelong career in tennis often focus on finding professional coaches or sharpening their techniques. However, they tend to overlook another critical factor, which is choosing the right racquet.
Among the ever-growing selections of tennis racquets, the ones made from graphite and aluminum seem to enjoy widespread popularity.
Unfortunately, many players, especially newbies, are still puzzled by the differences between these two materials. That’s why in this informative post, we will equip you with the nuts and bolts of graphite vs aluminum tennis racquet so that you can select the most appropriate option.
Overview Of Graphite And Aluminum Materials In Sports
Graphite is relatively robust, but this material is still known for its lightness in weight. Therefore, it provides players with not only ample hitting power but also great control and flexibility.
When used in sports equipment, graphite is available in either pure form or a composite blend with other thermoplastic and fiberglass materials. And when it comes to tennis racquets, graphite is often employed as the base ingredient.
Graphite is considered a significant upgrade from laminated wood, a traditional material that used to be all the rage among tennis players in the 1970s. Unlike wood, graphite is sensitive to shock, thus allowing vibration to easily transfer from graphite composite racquets to the arms and shoulders.
Meanwhile, aluminum has long been utilized in sports equipment, way before graphite. And as of now, it is continually deployed in such gears, especially in more affordable models.
Athletes’ preference for aluminum can be attributed to the decent power and incredible amount of “feel” this material has to offer (“Feel” refers to the perception when you’re striking and the sense of control over the ball’s direction).
Graphite Vs Aluminum Tennis Racquet: 3 Key Differences
Graphite is not on the same par with aluminum in terms of weightlessness. For this reason, novice players often find it challenging to swing graphite racquets whenever they’re attempting a power serve.
However, this is precisely why some seasoned players lean toward this material. Because these professionals have already mastered the techniques of serving the ball vigorously, they have no trouble with doing a power serve. In addition, graphite racquets tend to offer extra power, enabling them to gain the upper hand in their tennis matches.
On the contrary, aluminum is renowned for its unparalleled weightlessness, thereby giving players greater precision when striking the ball. They also don’t need to exert too much physical force when using aluminum racquets.
But obviously, such lightweight material cannot allow players to deliver forceful strikes.
Graphite is a robust material in comparison to other metals used in tennis gears. This means graphite racquets are not prone to breakage, even when players do not correctly swing them.
This brilliant stiffness also results in graphite racquets’ long lifespan. They can resist harsh external elements, including biting wind, high humidity, or sweltering heat.
On the other hand, aluminum is no match for graphite regarding the power it provides. For this reason, it is almost impossible to strike tennis balls at a high impact if you opt for aluminum racquets. Furthermore, if you try too hard to power serve, you may cause your newly bought racquets to fall apart.
Also, aluminum racquets are by no means hard-wearing, especially when used outdoors for extended periods.
Graphite tennis racquets tend to be on the pricey side. But because they enjoy more outstanding durability, their higher price tags are justified for the most part.
In addition, graphite racquets are aimed at veteran players who wish to compete against strong contenders. Such players are often more than happy to invest in a high-performance and long-lasting racquet that can significantly increase their likelihood of winning.
But this is not the case for aluminum. Since aluminum racquets have been around for decades, many manufacturers offer this product, thus driving prices down considerably.
What’s more, aluminum racquets are low-cost since they are more susceptible to wear and tear. Unfortunately, this means they need routine fixing or replacing.
Which Is Better: Graphite Or Aluminum Tennis Racquets?
As each metal has its upsides and downsides, no material is superior to another. Therefore, your job is to familiarize yourself with their distinctive properties and find out the one that better suits your needs.
In short, graphite is heavier and pricier, but it is also stiffer and longer-lasting. Therefore, it can help your tennis frame withstand a greater impact, as long as you have enough vigor and endurance to handle such a sturdy material.
By contrast, aluminum is cheaper and lighter. This notable lightness allows players to gain greater control over the power of their strikes and the ball’s direction. But on the flip side, aluminum racquets are not durable and cannot help players serve the ball at a high impact.
Watch this video to learn more about aluminum racquets:
Based on the characteristics mentioned above, graphite racquets are highly recommended for experts who need to play against formidable opponents. Meanwhile, their aluminum counterparts are well-suited to those who have just started out.
We hope our side-by-side comparison between graphite vs aluminum tennis racquets has enabled you to identify the differences between these materials. Also, if you have already used racquets made from these metals, don’t forget to comment below to share your first-hand experiences!