You just bought a new tennis bag to bring your gear from home to school and your local courts with. It’s got a cool design, your favorite colors, and has pockets for all your stuff.
After you load it up and get ready to go, you’re faced with a decision. Should you sling it over your shoulder with the shoulder strap?
Would it look cooler if you carried it in your hands instead? Will you throw out your back if you use it as a backpack? Decisions!
Okay, so it’s not actually that important of a choice. However, carrying your tennis bag correctly will help you to avoid injury, avoid damage to the bag, and make you look like a pro.
Depending on the bag you have, how heavy it is, and how long you need to carry it, you can decide where it belongs.
Protect Your Gear
It doesn’t necessarily matter how you hold a tennis bag or backpack as long as it is sealed and not upside down. If you jostle it a lot and the gear isn’t correctly secured, you may damage your racket or mix up the contents of your bag.
Using a tennis bag or backpack with sealable pockets for accessories and ways to secure the gear is a great way to minimize the risk of damaging things. You can also find bags and backpacks with padded compartments for your rackets to further protect them.
Wearing your tennis bag incorrectly could cause some physical discomfort, especially for longer periods of time or if the bag is too heavy for you. For example, if you overload your bag and hold it on your shoulder all day, you’ll likely experience discomfort after a while.
Additionally, if the handle strap is thin and unpadded, you could leave some marks or cuts on your skin from the wear and tear of the strap moving in your grip, which could affect how you hold the racquet. In most cases, however, you may just get a hand cramp, sore shoulder, or stiff back which can hurt your game, but should fix itself quickly.
The Safest Way to Carry Your Bag Type
While the optimal way to carry your bag will vary on its weight and your strength, many bags are designed to be held a certain way. This keeps things in place and minimizes the risk of injury. Depending on the type of bag you choose, you can consider a few carrying styles.
Backpacks are the most versatile option for carrying your gear. Many bags, such as the Babolat-Pure Tennis Backpack come with 2-3 different ways to carry them: padded backpack straps, a hook to hold in your hand, and a shoulder strap. If you are frequently on the move and for long periods of time, the easiest way to carry the bag is on your back.
Backpacks have 2 straps, which disperse the weight of the bag to each shoulder rather than strictly to a single shoulder or your hand. This is the easiest way to carry heavier gear, and if you have a Babolat-Pure Tennis backpack, you can take advantage of travel features like the earphone port. If you need to sit down or don’t have a lot of gear, you can swap to the shoulder or hand straps and have no problems.
Many standard tennis bags open from the top with a zipper securing the contents. They also can have larger main compartments without much secure storage, causing the gear to fly around the compartment if you tilt it too much to the side or up and down. This means that you have two options for carrying them: hand straps and shoulder straps. This either puts all the weight on your hand or single shoulder, which can easily get uncomfortable.
An example of a tennis bag with a shoulder and hand strap would be the Wilson Advantage II, which comes with padded shoulder and hand straps to take some of the pressure off of you. This option is fine for shorter distances and lighter bags, but it is not as good of an option as backpacks with multiple straps are for frequent travelers and heavy bags.
Cases and Wheeled Bags
While uncommon, some people who struggle to lift heavy bags elect to go with a rolling bag or case to carry their gear. These bags have wheels that allow them to roll on the ground, removing the need to lift them up and down. They are common with players who travel frequently, making them incredibly mobile but both expensive and bulky. This makes them a poor choice for new players who aren’t traveling or carrying a lot of gear.
The primary reason to think about how you should be carrying your bag is for comfort, so there are no rules you need to follow. If you have a backpack but enjoy slinging it over a single shoulder, you can do that! As long as you do not hurt yourself or damage your gear, go with whatever looks the coolest!