We've been talking about finding a new tennis racquet in the last few posts and now, at last, I have to get some demo racquets. So once you've picked out a few racquets that you think might help your game, how do you actually get your hands on those racquets and try them out?
Well, in my case, I happen to be lucky enough to live about 12 minutes from a fabulous tennis shop – Tennis Express. You've probably heard of them since it seems they have been advertising out the be-jesus during the last few Slams. So I drove myself right over to Tennis Express and talked to their resident racquet expert.
He asked me a few questions and I told him how often I play (3 to 4 times a week), what my style of play is (mostly doubles, like to volley and be up at the net), and how I like to hit the ball (ground strokes with top spin). I also told him what racquet I was currently playing with and why I thought I needed to move onto a pretty different kind of racquet. And I told him what I thought I was looking for in a new racquet.
He then suggested 3 different racquets for me to try out. They ranged in head size from 105 to 118 and were from 3 different manufacturers. I asked a few more questions but ultimately went with his recommendations. It cost me $30 to take these 3 racquets out for a week (and I can recoup a portion of that $30 if I buy a racquet from them).
Now, if you're not so conveniently located near a full-service tennis shop that has all of the current racquets available for you to demo, don't despair. Most of the large on-line retail outlets have demo programs where you can have racquets shipped to you to try out. See, for example, Tennis Express and Tennis Warehouse. These demo programs can be pretty cheap. For example, had I done the on-line demo program with Tennis Express, I could have had up to 4 racquets for a week for only a $14.95 FedEx shipping fee (Tennis Warehouse charges a $10 to $20 shipping fee depending on how many racquets you decide to demo). The only drawback to demo-ing through an on-line program may be that you have to pick out which racquets you want to demo all by yourself. But I'm sure you can give these on-line retailers a toll-free call and have this discussion if you want. And, if you've read up on your racquets as previously discussed (see the previous Doing Some Research post and the Picking Out Some Racquets post), you probably have a good idea of what you'd like to try out anyway.
© Kim Selzman 2010
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