Discount Tennis Zone

Discount Tennis Zone

Welcome to where you can find all the accessories you need to become a tennis pro, and at discount prices!

Tennis Accessories

These are some of the accessories we’ll cover here at Discount Tennis Zone:

  • Rackets
  • Tennis Balls
  • Caps and Visors
  • Handle Tape
  • Strings
  • Wrist and Head Bands
  • Lotions Feet and Hands
  • Rosins
  • Water Bottles

Use this list to make sure your not miss that one accessory that might just improve your game tremendously.  Look through each post on each of these accessories to see if something on this list might be something in your game that you recognize as lacking or needing improvement.  Sometimes a small investment in something that seems irrelevant might help your game a lot more than you think. Personally, I found that rosin and goo tape kept the racket from slightly slipping in my hand as I was taking a shot.  By adding the right grip and good anti-slipping accessories, I was able to gain better control of my shots.  I knew I was having problems on some shots (where the racket slipped a lot).  But, what I didn’t realize is that I was having slippage on a lot more shots than I thought.  So, adding that small accessory of gripping tape improved the control of my shots tremendously.

Tennis Rackets

Rackets

What type of game do you play?  Power?  Finesse?  The type of racket can really help you if you choose one that fits your game.  Or, it can really hurt you if you choose one that doesn’t cater to your needs.

Power

Choose a power racket if you mostly rely on power for your game.  A power racket will be strung tight and will be very rigid.  The sweet spot for a racket like this is very small since the strings will be very tight.  But, with that tight rigid feel you will get more power from your serves and those kill shots down the lines.  Someone that is newer to the game can’t typically get away with a super powerful racket as they haven’t yet mastered complete control of the racket to be able to hit those small sweet spots.  So, if you are a newer player, you should start with less tight strings, and use a racket with a bigger head or a larger sweet spot (or both).  If you do choose a tight string, also realize that it may not last as long due to the extra pressure being put on the strings.  If you really want that extra power, choose your string type carefully as some strings will do better at the tighter pressure.

Finesse and Control

Choose a finesse racket if you rely on control and finesse to run your opponent into the ground.  A racket with finesse will have a much larger sweet spot and the head of the racket may even be larger to give you complete control.  You may not be able to overpower your opponents with a racket like this, but for newer players a racket like this is much more forgiving with the larger sweet spot.  For more experienced players, it can still be an advantage by giving you that complete feel for how to control drop shots that just clear the net, or can be very helpful for a good volley game.  A more experienced player can even get better spin on a ball to give their opponent trouble as the ball moves out of where they are expecting it to be after the bounce.  Rackets like this are typically strung not as tight to give more “grip” on the ball as it comes off the racket.

The folks at Midwest Sports provide a great tutorial for helping to choose the right racket.

Where to find tennis racket deals

Grip

Another important factor for a tennis racket is the grip.  If the grip is too thick for your hands, you can often lose some control on the racket.  If the grip is too thin, you can sometimes lose power.  This About.com article “Finding Your Tennis Racquet Grip Size” describes a good way to measure and choose a grip that is appropriate for you.

Now that you have the proper grip width on the racket, the next important thing is to know how to use that grip.  This video shows the best way to hold the racket and goes into some very technical details that you can use to make small adjustments to how you’re holding the racket.  These adjustments are small, but could have big returns in the improvement of your game.  Enjoy!

 

Tennis Balls

Tennis Balls

You might think “tennis balls are tennis balls”.  But, there’s more to it than you might think.  Various factor come into play like durability or the ability to endure high altitudes.  Some balls are made for clay courts.  Others for indoor types of courts.  The folks at Tennis Express go further in depth on the various factors you might want to consider when buying tennis balls.

Local Choices

Typically, you can find great tennis balls at store around you.  Here are a few:

Tennis Express in the link above also lists several tennis ball manufacturers that might meet your game style.  Either buy the balls from Tennis Express, or use the info there to pick up the tennis balls that you need the next time you hit one of the local stores above.

Game Strategy

The pressure of the air inside of the tennis ball can cause a huge affect on the play of the game.  If your game relies on power, you should buy balls that have more pressure inside of them. There are ball pressure containers that can be used to maintain ball pressure.  With a higher ball pressure, the ball will bounce higher and fly off your racket faster.  If you are playing an opponent that has more power than you, then if you want to even the score a little, keep a stash of lower pressure balls.  This will reduce the power advantage your opponent might have.

If your game is more of a finesse game where you use ball placement to run your opponent, instead of just powering the ball past your opponent, then you might want to use a tennis ball that has less pressure.  These balls will not bounce as high and will keep the game at a slower pace.  You should also have more control on your placement, especially if you do a lot of drop shots just over the net.

Your Playing Level

The ITF even recommends that beginner players start off with lower or “slower” tennis balls.  They are trying to push beginners to start with these “slow” balls so they are not frustrated by how difficult it is to control the higher pressure balls.  Using the “slower” balls gives the player more time to see the ball and more control of the ball in situations like the serve or volley.  The ball also comes off the ground slower to give the player more time to see the ball, making it easier to strike the ball.

As you improve and become more competitive, you should increase the pressure of the ball to match your abilities.  Just remember that as you increase the pressure of the ball, it might enhance your ability to power through the ball and hit the ball so it has more velocity.  But, you should always remember that your opponent is also getting those same advantages.  So, in a competitive environment, you might want to choose the pressure of the ball based on both your advantage and your opponents advantage, choosing the pressure that will help you the most.

Once you are at an expert level, you can keep your tennis balls at a higher pressure using a ball pressurizer container.  These containers twist to squeeze out the air inside the container which pushes the balls into a smaller space.  The pressure from these containers compresses the air inside the tennis ball and results in a springier ball.  Sometimes if a ball isn’t too old and “leaky”, these containers can revive a tennis ball that has lost some of its spring.

Caps and Visors

Caps and Visors

An accessory that is often used by frequent tennis players is a cap or visor.  Tennis pretty much invented the “tennis visor”.  This cap with the missing top is well known as a hat used for tennis.  Other sports like golf or even sometimes baseball use these visors.  But, the primary sport for these types of hats is tennis.

Some use the cap or visor to keep their hair out of their eyes during play.  Others use it to try and get a little more protection from the sun.  Others use it to try and keep the glare of the sun out of their eyes so it doesn’t affect their ability to see the ball during shots.

Advertising

Should you be fortunate enough and talented enough, you might find that companies are wanting to sponsor you.  The sports visor is one way they might get their name or logo onto you for advertising.  Typically in these cases, you won’t be needing to shop for those types of visors as the company will be happy to pay for and provide the visor with their name and logo.

The Rest of Us

The rest of us that will never be good enough to warrant a sponsor will have to shop around if we want to have the latest and coolest cap or visor.

Band Type

One of the most important features of a good cap or visor is the type of band that it has.  Here are some of the various types we’ve researched:

    • Elastic
    • Tabbed
    • Velcro
    • Clip on

Elastic

An elastic visor just has material around the band that stretches and “grips” your head.  These types of visors are fine for looks.  But, a serious player will likely have problems keeping one of these on their head.  Over time elastic visors tend to lose their elasticity and just can’t continue to do the job.

Tabbed

The “tabbed” type of band has tabs on one side of the back of the band, and holes on the other side.  This give the wearer the ability to adjust the tightness of the band by sliding the tabs over to the holes that provide a tighter setting.  Typically these types of hats last longer than the elastic hats.  Most of these type of band clasps have close enough tabs that one of the choices can work for you.  But, occasionally the tabs are too far apart and you can’t quite get the tightness you want without giving yourself a headache.

Velcro

A Velcro band has become more popular than the tabbed, because it provides the ability to set the band circumference to what ever length you need.  With this type of band you can put the visor on your head and just pull each of the sides to exactly the level of tightness that you want.  The down side of Velcro is that it can sometimes become “dirty” with hair or threads or other “litter” that makes the Velcro attachment less strong.  Once the Velcro becomes “dirty”, you can sometimes clean it to get it back to the “tackiness” that it had before.  But, occasionally, the Velcro can become tattered enough that it just doesn’t keep it’s hold anymore.

Clip On

A clip on visor is one that doesn’t wrap all the way around your head.  Instead it has a firm structure where the form of the “clip” keeps the visor on your head.  Typically these types of visors are not good for a competitive type of tennis game as they just can’t be kept on your head as you run around the court stopping fast as you play the game.

Where to Buy

These place have a good variety of caps and visors:

Conclusions

The bottom line is that the choice for you cap or visor is a choice of style and comfort.  But, if you’re buying online, and you are the type of tennis player that will be playing hard, then you should be aware of the type of band that the visor has or you may find yourself leaving the visor in the bag because it just doesn’t work well while playing.

Lotions for Feet and Hands

Lotions for Feet and Hands

Tennis is a very hard sport on your feet and hands.  While playing you are spending a lot of time running and changing directions.  You are stopping hard and pushing off hard to move towards the ball.  All of this activity is very hard on your feet and you will likely develop thick calloused skin as a result.

The same thing is true about your hands (or at least your dominant hand).  The racket is very hard on your hands.  The torque of the racket puts tremendous twisting pressure from the racket onto your dominant hand.  Some players will also use both hands for the backhand.  So, any “two handed” players will develop issues with calloused hands.

All of this activity can leave your hands and feet in a terrible condition.  You can always use lotions or creams or oils to soften your beaten down dry skin.  But, you want to find the best lotion for dry skin around to keep from having your feet and hands from looking like reptiles.

These various types of lotions or creams can be very helpful:

  • Grip Lotions
  • Hand Creams
  • Feet Creams
  • Face Creams

Grip Lotion

A good grip lotion can be very helpful to maintain a good grip on your tennis racket.  A good antiperspirant lotion can be especially helpful you if often find yourself wiping your hands on your shirt to keep your hands dry.  It gets especially difficult to keep those hands dry after you’ve been playing a while and all of your clothes or towels just can’t absorb any more.

Hand Cream

A great hand cream can be very helpful to restore your hand skin after a long match.  The best hand cream around is a must if you don’t want Godzilla hands at the dinner table at your next special event.  If you pick one of these creams that meets your needs (read the descriptions), and faithfully use it immediately after your matches, you can immediately being the skin restoration process.

Feet Cream

The same thing can be said about your feet.  Tennis beats the heck out of your feet.  So, find the best foot cream is something you’ll want to do to keep your feet from succumbing to the beatings they take during a tennis match.  The same thing applies here that you should faithfully apply liberal amounts of foot cream after your matches to allow the healing process to being as soon as possible.

Face Cream

If you play outside very often, the wind and sun can take its toll.  The best lotion with sunscreen should be applied before you head out to the court.  Strong SPF protection (use at least 30 SPF or higher) can be crucial in keeping those wrinkles at bay.  And, if you find your matches going long, don’t forget to re-apply your lotions after an hour or so.  Wiping the sweat away from your eyes, or just the sweating alone can cause your sunscreen to no longer be effective.  After your match, a good facial cream can sometimes be just what you need.  If you can find the best face cream to use, you can delay the aging that outside tennis can have on your looks.