What are tennis rackets made of?
Until the late Seventies, tennis racket frames were constructed by bonding together thin layers of wood, predominantly ash, but nowadays wooden racquets are considered obsolete, as are those made from aluminium, fibreglass or steel. That said, aluminium tennis rackets are lightweight, yet highly durable and resilient, so are still offered as a basic, inexpensive alternative for junior players and beginners of all ages.
Generally speaking, though, it would be fair to say that, in modern tennis, graphite – a naturally- occurring form of crystalline carbon – has taken over taken over the mantle held by wood for much of the twentieth century. Graphite, itself, is a strong, but lightweight, material; it is flexible, but not elastic, and can be formed into aerodynamic shapes, which travel faster through the air, allowing tennis players to hit the ball harder, with no loss of accuracy or control.
Most modern tennis rackets (known as tennis racquets in British English) contain graphite in one form of another, but 100% graphite racket frames tend to have a stiffer feel and transmit vibration, so are typically best suited to advanced players who hit with power. Graphite-composite rackets frames, on the other hand, consist of a more flexible, more forgiving blend of graphite and other materials, such as Kevlar, titanium and tungsten, which is suitable for players of all abilities, including beginners.