When to switch to a professional racket
The rackets that are recommended for an advanced level of play respond to increasingly specific needs, but require a very high level of preparation, technique and knowledge to be exploited to their full potential. As your level of play rises, there will come a time when a high-end racket becomes the only way for your skills to truly blossom. It is therefore necessary to examine the benefits of switching to a professional racket on multiple levels: the athletic and technical struggle of transitioning to more complex equipment, and the ability to identify a racket whose characteristics are in accordance with your style of play.
How do you identify a professional racket?
There are various parameters that will help you identify an advanced level racket. Rackets of this level tend to have increasingly unique and specific characteristics. In this category, diamond and teardrop rackets are more common, balancing is shifted towards the head of the racket on most occasions. Furthermore, elements such as the surface of the plate or the heart of the racket often feature specific technologies depending on the brand or model. Finally, professional rackets are manufactured with the highest quality materials. This makes them extremely resistant to time and impacts.
The balance of the racket depends on the intended style of play. Rackets that are intended for an attacking style of play tend to be tilted towards the head of the racket, as opposed to control rackets, which are often balanced in the centre or towards the grip. Also, top tier rackets are usually heavier.
Same goes for the shape of the racket, which is designed accordingly to the style of play. Among the advanced padel there are many teardrop and diamond frames, which are the two most suitable shapes for an offensive game. There are of course also numerous round models for control rackets, as well as some hybrid shapes.
Among the advanced level rackets, you will find a great variety of internal and external stiffness. Thanks to the improvement of the quality of the materials, it is possible to find different values of rigidity obtained through different combinations. For example, harder racket faces may be matched to softer internal rubbers and viceversa. You will also find different combinations of carbon fiber and glass fiber layers for the platter (or even alluminium, basalt and other), as well as various types of internal rubbers.
As anticipated, within this range of rackets you will be able to find multiple structural elements specifically created for a given model. For example, there are unique technologies for the heart of most racquet, which are able to absorb more vibrations, as well as lightening the perceived-weight during a stroke. Among other examples you will find the hole pattern, the length of the grip, and especially the texture of the surface of the racket face, which greatly influences the spin output.