Brandon Nakashima’s Racket and Strings

Want to know exactly what Brandon Nakashima uses on-court?

We’ve taken an in-depth look at Brandon’s racket and string to see what one of the brightest prospects in tennis is using.

Let’s take a look at Nakashima’s racket and strings.

How Do Nakashima’s Racket And Strings Contribute To His Improving Game?  

Brandon Nakashima is part of the next generation of tennis stars with huge potential who plays a dynamic and powerful brand of tennis. The reigning Next Gen winner is coached by Eduardo Infantino who has previously mentored the likes of David Nalbandian and Juan Martin Del Potro and clearly the 21-year-old Californian is in good hands.  

Here we examine his racket and string to see how his choice helps his tennis game take him into the world’s top 50. 

Nakashima’s Racket

Brandon plays an athletic brand of all-court tennis, built on a blend between power and accuracy, underpinned by a solid serve that has improved exponentially, creating a glut of ‘plus one’ opportunities. He is definitely a standard bearer for the modern style of power-orientated tennis.

In his own words, Brandon has used his current racket, the Babolat Pure Strike for 5-6 years and he loves the Pure Strike’s ability to offer some power without forsaking control. And given his game style, we can see why he has been so loyal to this specific frame.  

The exact frame used by Nakashima has the following specification. 

Head: 98sq inch 

Weight: 327 strung 

Length: 27”

Balance: 3-Points Head Light

Swing-weight: 325 

String pattern: 16×19

Why does Nakashima use this frame? 

In his early 20’s and in peak physical condition Brandon has no issue with providing his own power, and in reality, he benefits from playing with a frame that helps temper things a little. 

The Babolat Pure Strike is no slouch in the power stakes but Babolat do have other frames for those who require help in generating velocity (Pure Drive) so they have engineered the Pure Strike with a slimmer beam profile (21mm, 23mm, 21mm) for players who value more control over added firepower.  

Interestingly, while Babolat offers the Pure Strike with a control-focused 18×20 string bed, Nakashima does play the spin-friendly 16×19 option so he has a broad array of shot-making options available to him, more than the denser string bed which really helps to straighten things out for those who favor absolute accuracy. 

(To explore the full range of Babolat Pure Strike frames we have a comprehensive guide – here).

Babolat Pure Strike Tennis Racket
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Nakashima’s Strings

Brandon is among a huge number of professionals who play a hybrid set-up, using Babolat’s RPM Blast in his crosses and their VS Touch in his mains. By using a natural gut string in his mains his string bed has a decidedly ‘plush’ flavor for an enhanced feel while the addition of RPM Blast brings a hint of spin and power.       

As for tension, Brandon strings at between 52lbs-54lbs (24-25kg) but feels comfortable adjusting the tension relative to the playing conditions. When playing in the heat and the ball is flying through the air Nakashima is happy to increase his string tension, and in cooler conditions, he will happily reduce tension to add some juice to his shots. 

Why Does This Combination Work for Brandon Nakashima?

We like that Nakashima has found a frame that suits his game and has kept that as a constant for over five years. As a young player whose game has evolved with speed, he could have been tempted to experiment or have been lured away by rival manufacturers. But by keeping his hardware the same he has removed a variable and created the headspace necessary to focus on other aspects of his game. 

As tennis geeks, we always love to sample the latest frames and test the newest technologies, but for a professional who needs as few distractions as possible, we are on board with Brandon’s approach. 

What Is the Takeaway for Your Game?

When looking for a new racket it is easy to be persuaded by advertising or a desire to copy your favorite player, but the most important criteria to focus on are your own game style, physical capabilities, and potential. A little introspection goes a long way when it comes to finding the right weapon and assessing your game, rather than your favorite ATP players, can really help. 

In Brandon Nakashima’s instance, we have a player who needs plenty of control with just a touch of spin and only a little power, and if he used our excellent custom fitting service we would have no hesitation in suggesting the Pure Strike for his game. So, if you are considering a new frame and strings let us know and we can ensure your options are perfectly matched to your game, just like Brandon!

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