Watching tennis can be memorizing. With high-level events and well-known athletes like Serena Williams, it’s easy to fall in love with the game and want to pick it up.
With the noticed devotion from the fans and the players to tennis, it caused tennis gear manufacturers to provide a wide variety of products to the consumers. When choosing a racket for the entrance levels of tennis, this can be slightly overwhelming.
No need to fret as these are the top 10 best tennis rackets for beginners in 2021. First, it’s crucial to answer some of the most important questions every player should ask.
Table of Contents
- 1 In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks
- 2 How to Choose a Tennis Racket for Beginners
- 3 The Top 10 Best Tennis Rackets for Beginners
- 3.1 1. Best Overall: Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Tennis Racket
- 3.2 2. Best Lifespan: HEAD Ti. S6 Tennis Racket
- 3.3 3. Best Price: Wilson US Open Tennis Racket
- 3.4 4. Best Balance: HEAD Geo Speed Tennis Racket
- 3.5 5. Best for Men: Wilson Tour Slam Tennis Racket
- 3.6 6. Best for Women: Wilson Tour Slam Lite Tennis Racket
- 3.7 7. Best for Kids: Wilson US Open Junior Tennis Racket
- 3.8 8. Best Drive: Babolat Boost D Tennis Racket
- 3.9 9. Best Size: HEAD Ti. Conquest Tennis Racket
- 3.10 10. Best Weight: Wilson [K] Zero Strung Tennis Racket
- 4 Best Racket Brands
- 5 FAQ
- 5.1 How can I be sure about my decision for a racket if I don’t know what type of player I am?
- 5.2 How long does a racket last?
- 5.3 How do I know when my racket needs to be changed?
- 5.4 Why else would I need to change my racket?
- 5.5 What if I choose the wrong racket?
- 5.6 Does it matter which strings I string my racket with?
- 5.7 Does the different categories of each racket change the racket?
- 5.8 How do I know which tension to string my racket at?
- 5.9 What is an overgrip, and do I need it?:
- 5.10 How do I know which handle/grip size to choose?
- 5.11 What is the appropriate level of stiffness for a beginner?
- 5.12 Do I need to choose a beginner’s racket, or can I use what the pros have?
- 6 Conclusion
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Picks
How to Choose a Tennis Racket for Beginners
Many rackets, for any level, have the same goal in mind, and this is providing a unique blend of elements to produce the right racket for your needs. Many rackets will offer similar feels but with slight variations to address different playing styles.
Heavy rackets give you more powerful drives, but is that what you’re looking for? They also weigh more on the elbow and joint, so is that okay with you?
The weight and stiffness of a racket can also be significant when it affects elbow or joint pain.
With there being many different levels and classes of weight for each racket line regardless of who the manufacturer is, a light racket is preferred by many beginners for the reasons mentioned above.
These examples demonstrate the different ways that selecting the right tennis gear could add to your game. To make the right choice, you must know who you are as a player, and more importantly, where you want to end up as a player.
Sometimes what we think may be the best racket for us may not actually be the best racket.
This is because, as beginners, we are striving to improve to a new level. If you hit too flat and need to add topspin to your game, a racket that has a more open bed string will be better for you.
Below are the main features of tennis rackets. When broken down into individual sections, we can understand how the changes will affect your game and determine a racket that is most suitable for you.
Heavy rackets have a lot to offer players, like more stability and power. When you make contact with the ball with something heavier in your hand, less vibration and fluttering can be counted on.
It’s essential for beginners who use heavier rackets to have two things.
The first is the strength to handle a heavy racket. At first, it may feel too heavy, but this should go away after a few days. If it doesn’t, you may not be strong enough.
The second is having good technique. Heavier rackets add stress to the arms, and with the wrong technique, this could cause injuries like tennis elbow.
Light rackets are for those that need more maneuverability. This means that the racket needs to get in and out of a position quickly. Return of serve is a shot where you need good maneuverability.
Lighter rackets are sometimes better choices for those who like to move the wrist quickly and play with a lot of spin. You will need to put the extra drive behind the ball as it will lack what a heavy racket will have.
Often beginners may opt for light rackets to start because it is easier to finagle. But if you’re someone who can really handle the weight and pick things up quickly, a heavier racket is always a progression most move towards.
Tennis rackets for young adults and adults typically range from 27 to 29 inches. This is the standard because of regulations and what is legal for using a racket during competition.
The length of a racket affects four things when it comes to hitting the ball.
- Power. The power comes from adding extra inches on a racket and can be seen quite easily on groundstrokes and even more so on serve.
- Reach. It may be a no-brainer, but with more inches on a racket, the more places you can reach. However, don’t let extended reach fool you.
- Maneuverability. Extended rackets become much harder to move, and sometimes this is not an optimal choice for a beginner.
- Spin. This increases quite a bit as power down with the extra inches to the racket.
Extra inches may sound like a good idea considering what it has to offer. However, for a beginner, the only real benefit is the extended reach. The other elements may be too difficult to control, which is why opting for a shorter racket in length is always a better idea.
Tennis rackets for kids have very different lengths than adults, offering a different size for every age group.
Here are the racket lengths for kids based on their height and age.
Ages Under 4: If the child is 40 inches or shorter, a racket length for them should be 19 inches.
Ages 4 to 5: If the child is 40 to 45 inches, a racket length for them should be 21 inches.
Ages 6 to 8: If the child is 45 to 49 inches, a racket length for them should be 23 inches.
Ages 9 to 10: If the child is 50 to 55 inches tall, a racket length for them should be 25 inches.
Ages 10 and up: If the child is 55 inches tall and up, a racket length for them should be 26 inches. Or the child may be strong enough to move towards an adult racket which is 27 inches.
Rackets for competition can not exceed 29 inches and are never recommended to be used. Often, they aren’t produced, so it’s not something one should fret about.
This is where we mention the ‘Sweet Spot.’ Every tennis racket has a point that gives the most punch to the ball. When the racket’s sweet spot meets the ball, it gives the most fluid feeling of ball-striking.
The smaller the head size, the smaller the sweet spot. This is why beginners often opt for a beginner sweet spot, as there are three categories of racket head sizes.
- Midsize (85-97 inches)
- Mid-Plus Size (98-104 inches)
- Oversized (105+ inches)
Midsize rackets are actually the smallest frame and sweet spot. This racket head size offers the most control and often needs to be hit in the focused area to avoid errors.
Mid-plus size offers the best of both worlds between the midsize and the plug size. The slightly larger sweet spot allows the ball to be hit slightly off-center and has both the control and power a player is looking for.
Oversize is a very common head size for beginners as it has a large sweet spot and allows players to continually hit off-center and still provide a clean-feeling hit for the player.
The larger head size is better suited for new players.
Rules state that the racket head size can not exceed 12.5 inches in width and 15.5 for the hitting surface area.
Aluminum is light, budget-friendly, but not sturdy. Graphite is a better quality racket, and it’s a popular choice for beginners. It can commonly be referred to as graphene technology by a lot of racket manufacturers such as HEAD.
Aluminum has started to phase itself out just as wood did when transitioning to light metals.
Prime quality rackets are made from carbon fiber. These tend to have features that beginners might not readily use at these early stages. They’re also the most expensive.
Aluminum and graphite are both excellent choices for beginner tennis players.
A racket will typically have the recommended string tension listed next to the racket dimensions. Depending on the racket, you may find yourself stringing your racket anywhere from 45 (loose side) to 60 pounds (tight side).
Stringing the racket at a lower tension will do several things:
- Drive. Add more juice to the drive.
- Comfort. Provide more comfort to your arm.
- Feel. Give you a better feel for the ball.
But because you are gaining all this, you are forgoing control. This is why stringing the racket too loose for a beginner is not a great idea.
On the flip side of things stringing the racket too tight can have a few effects:
- Control. More control is definitely one of them.
- Spin. More spin is also something that a player can count on.
Balance is what the weight distribution is throughout the racket. It can be evenly distributed or put mostly in the head (top) part of the racket, or it can be placed in the handle (lower) part of the racket. All three of these options produce very different results and outcomes.
Head Heavy rackets have their most weight in the head part. These are the powerful rackets that provide high stability but might cause a bit of soreness in your arms.
Equally distributed weight offers the balance between head heavy and head light or handle heavy rackets. This is to try and still have enough power and stability at the top while reducing the shock and vibrations at the bottom.
The mid-range rackets are always a good idea for beginners because it offers the best of everything without the racket becoming too heavy or too hard to control. Even players at the top levels play with mid-range rackets and have equal distributions throughout their rackets.
Head Light rackets pack their weight in the grip. These are actually the heavier rackets overall. This situation offers a lot of maneuverability and dynamic freedom, but it’s not very stable at the tip, so it could twist and miss if you’re not a high precision player.
If it is a headlight and a lighter racket, you will likely experience a lot of shock. Head light rackets try to get rid of this by increasing the overall weight of the racket.
The swingweight is closely related to the racket weight and balance. This is the weight rating of how the racket feels in your hand and while swinging rather than what the actual weight is.
The swingweight comes from where the weight is distributed and whether a heavy racket feels lighter and has better maneuverability or light but feels heavy.
The racket’s swingweight will increase as the amount of actual weight is distributed towards the top of the racket. This is because it becomes a little more challenging to swing as the weight is farthest away from your hands.
This is an expression that’s best translated by the bang you make as you hit the ball. The power of the hit is highly dependent on the player, but a substantial part of it comes from the gear.
The weight of the racket is critical, heavier rackets induce strong shots. The length and hardness of the racket are also significant. They should both be on the high side to maximize drive.
Beginners don’t need a powerful drive just yet. They could wait a bit on this one and gain comfort and easy manipulation of the racket.
Few beginners’ rackets are able to get a delicate balance between high drive and comfort. This is a perfect choice if you’re just starting out and want to keep your racket through to the intermediate and advanced stages.
Stiffness of the racket is often included on all retailer’s website and rackets as it plays an essential role of the racket. The stiffness of a racket is how much flexibility a racket has when the ball makes contact with the strings.
The more a racket frame bends forwards and backward upon contact, the more flexible it will be. This is not something that you will be able to see with the eye, but it will be something you can feel.
The higher the stiffness rating, the lower flexibility the racket has, and vice versa. The rating is referred to as an RA number and is usually between 50 and 70 on a number scale for most rackets.
The players rely on the manufacturers to tell us the racket’s stiffness as a machine used to determine it can cost $4500 and is not usually available to the every day or even seasoned player.
For most beginners, a racket that is slightly less stiff is better as it absorbs shock and offers a little more control than stiffer rackets.
The Top 10 Best Tennis Rackets for Beginners
With all that information in mind selecting a racket still may seem overwhelming. It’s a lot for any beginner to learn, and a lot of rackets will try to offer the best of both worlds.
Pinpointing ‘the one’ could be a bit tricky, and manufacturers sometimes overwhelm us with all the features they offer.
This list is all about specifying the right racket to suit a player’s style. This optimization is essential for developing your skill and also enjoying the game.
After reading through this list, it’s always a great idea to call your local tennis shop and demo a racket out for a few days so you can actually feel the differences and see how this information lines up with the racket.
1. Best Overall: Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Tennis Racket
The Wilson Hyper Hammer, as the name suggests, is a powerful racket, with a large head size and head heavy balance made of Hyper Carbon.
It punches a good drive, but it’s not too heavy on the arms, and the large head size makes it especially suitable for beginners. It’s a forgiving racket that doesn’t put too much emphasis on accuracy.
Its price point lies between the $80 and $100 marks, which makes it a little bit above the budget-friendly options, but easily within the affordable, and considering its features, it certainly has a lot of value for the money.
The racket, as all rackets do, comes in different head sizes, making it slightly more customizable for one’s needs. If it is too powerful, to begin with for you, but you enjoy the way it feels, opt for the mid-size racket than the oversize to give you more control.
2. Best Lifespan: HEAD Ti. S6 Tennis Racket
The HEAD Ti.S6 is a head heavy racket with a large sweet spot area. It’s lightweight with about 8 Ounces total weight and an extra length shaft of about 27 3/4 inches.
It’s a hard-strung racket capable of hitting powerful balls far into your opponent’s side. It’s also moderately priced and exceptionally durable.
This cocktail of features makes the Head Ti S6 perfect for a serious beginner who wants to continually accumulate experience and develop his skills, all the while using one trusted tennis racket.
This racket is sturdy enough to last for a while, and it has the combination of power and agility needed for intermediate and seasoned play.
It’s recommended for players who have shorter to medium compact swing because of it’s maneuverability, with the weight being distributed mainly to the head.
3. Best Price: Wilson US Open Tennis Racket
The Wilson US Open tennis racket is an admirable piece of gear with stability, power, and control, all at a budget-friendly price within the $40 to $80 range.
This is great alone for beginners because often a beginner doesn’t know whether they will advance quickly in tennis or whether they will take it easy and play time to time.
Often for those looking to play more seriously, their first racket is changed after a year. This is why it’s a great starting point for all beginners.
It’s made from fused graphite, which is the material of choice in beginner’s rackets. It’s strong, lightweight, and well prepared for quick action.
It’s a head-light racket, with a medium hardness, which gives you the chance to play a slow and strategic game with short balls or a fast-paced match with strong swings.
4. Best Balance: HEAD Geo Speed Tennis Racket
The Head Geo Speed is balanced in more than just its weight. It focuses on offering an even amount of optimal features instead of focusing heavily on only one.
This moderation serves beginners well, as the Head Geo Speed has a wide sweet spot with an oversized hitting area of 105 inches squared, it’s overall length is around 271/2 inches, and it weighs 10.4 Ounces.
It’s a head-light racket, which allows for more freedom in swinging, and it’s strung to absorb the impact of the balls, as opposed to transmitting it to your arm.
In addition to all these metrics, it employs the ‘Geo Power’ technology, which adds more power and extra control. This isn’t something we often meet with Head-Light rackets, and the great news is, it’s a moderately priced racket.
5. Best for Men: Wilson Tour Slam Tennis Racket
The Wilson Tour Slam is a racket that’s well suited for power delivery and high action games. It’s a head-light, hard strung racket that’s quite capable of packing a punch, and it’ll nicely complement your determined swing.
Despite packing a punch, it has shock-absorbing pads on the racket that can frequently be felt with light rackets.
It’s designed with dimensions conducive to that playing style with a weight of 10.3 ounces and a tip-to-toe length of 271/2 inches. Grip sizes range from 41/4 to 41/2 inches, which is the regular male grip.
The Wilson Tour Slam is made from Aluminum, which gives it both its lightweight and its budget-friendly price placement. It also comes pre-strung making it an easy choice for beginners not having to think twice about what string they will start out with.
It’s suitable for beginners who’d find a high-energy game more enthusing that a muted slow match. It’s also relatively tolerant of ball placement with its wide sweet spot diameter, so the game will keep going nice and smooth, giving more space for learning and fun.
The most important thing to remember about this racket is that it offers a lot of power, and control might be something that is harder to have.
6. Best for Women: Wilson Tour Slam Lite Tennis Racket
The Wilson Tour Slam Lite is similar in its basic concept to its twin, the Wilson Tour Slam, but it considers the requirements of a slimmer framed player. This means that the racket is a little bit stiffer than others. The more stiff a racket is, the more power you will feel.
This racket comes with a slightly lighter weight of 10.2 Ounces, a little larger head size of about 112 inches squared, a suitably smaller grip of 4 3/8 inches, and harder string formatting for a power boost.
It focuses on comfort too, and since the hard strung head wouldn’t absorb much of the slamming, so the design adds ‘stop shock sleeves,’ which are strategically placed rubber fillets to limit the impact to the racket’s frame rather than the player’s frame.
Women just starting out in tennis practice find the Wilson Tour Slam Lite an understanding and encouraging piece of gear. It’s highly affordable price holds a lot of motivation as well. You might like it too!
7. Best for Kids: Wilson US Open Junior Tennis Racket
This is a tennis racket specially designed for kids, and it’s approved as well qualified for 10-year-olds and under.
Its dimensions suit the kids’ small build and developing strength. The 6.6 to 7.8-ounce weight, small grip size, 21 to 25-inch length, and tight string formatting are all on point for the young ones.
The Wilson US Open Junior tennis racket has an inherent inclination to boost the power of their shots, so this will easily get the young beginners all excited to send a few balls flying and to start gaining confidence in their abilities.
It’s made from Aluminum, which explains the comfortable dynamic characteristics and also the moderate price point. The aluminum is why a kid can last hours with this racket without feeling fatigued or any kind of discomfort.
8. Best Drive: Babolat Boost D Tennis Racket
This racket is geared towards the beginner who wants to raise the stakes a little, the intermediate player who wants to upgrade from the average performance racket, and the seasoned recreational player who has a knack for aggressive play.
The Babolat Boost D is made from carbon fiber, which gives strength, maneuverability, and comfort. It has a 105-inches head size and a remarkable lightweight of 9.8 ounces. This counts as an oversized racket but offers the maneuverability of a mid-plus or midsize racket. This is a rare blend.
It’s high strung to give the necessary punch, and all this action is balanced out by a Head-Heavy orientation to maintain its stability and provide extra power for a drive. This racket rates unbelievably well in the spin department because of its stringbed setup.
The price isn’t bad for new and intermediate players and might seem like a bargain for seasoned ones!
9. Best Size: HEAD Ti. Conquest Tennis Racket
The overall dimensions of this racket are optimal for beginners. It doesn’t go too far with any single aspect of its design and offers smooth, well-adjusted performance for any mode of play.
It’s a Head-Light racket with an oversized 108-inches squared hitting-surface. It weighs around 9.7 ounces, with a length of 27 inches and a 4 1/4 grip. This means that the sweet spot is rather large, and even your off-center hits will feel smooth and powerful.
This points towards good comfort and speed, which leaves out stability and control, but that’s taken care of as well.
It’s made from Titanium with a technology that reduces vibration in the racket, thus giving it far more stability as it comes face-to-face with a strong shot. The material is also durable and can last longer periods of time than some other options on the market.
10. Best Weight: Wilson [K] Zero Strung Tennis Racket
The Wilson K Zero brags about being ‘the lightest K-factor racket.’ It doesn’t just flaunt lightweight and comfort, though. It offers the power and stability as well. Let’s find out how they do that!
It’s a Head-Heavy high strung racket, with a vast hitting surface of 118 inches squared, and featherlight weight of 9.1 ounces. The grip size goes from 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 inches, which covers small to large hand sizes.
This racket is made from graphite and depends on the frame’s geometry for the interesting combination of comfort, agility, power, stability, and forgiveness.
It’s an excellent choice for beginners, the price, which lands around the $100 mark, might be a point to ponder, but it’s a durable racket with plenty to offer, so the price is well justified.
Best Racket Brands
The rackets listed above comes from the world-leading racket brand manufacturers serving the top professionals to the beginners like you. Each brand tends to follow similar models when producing rackets, and that’s why it’s important to know each brand and what they specialize in.
The major three are Wilson, Babolat, and Head. Let’s take a look at each of them.
Wilson rackets are hard to miss, consider two of the very best players in the world have been using them for the majority of their career. Serena Williams and Roger Federer, among many more pros, have been using Wilson since they merged as Wilson Sporting Goods Company in 1931.
Wilsons has a modern look these days, with most of their rackets now featuring a simple black frame and one bold color. The bold color tells you what the racket type is as each of its rackets have their own colors. The Ultra, for example, is blue.
Wilson has a wide range of products to choose from, offering something for everyone from beginner to advanced. They are also a U.S. based company.
Babolat is a French company based in Lyon, France. Babolat got it’s start making natural gut string back in 1875 and has become a leading racket manufacturer since. Babolat is no stranger to having world-known athletes such as Rafael Nadal himself, king of the clay. Or consider Caroline Wozniacki, grand slam champion.
Babolat has always been known for its striking power and its consistent design that could be recognized anywhere. The colors have stayed relatively the same over the years with blue and white, yellow and black, and a red and white mix.
Their product range is slightly smaller than Wilson, offering a consistent line of rackets that have been loved by all ranges of players.
When someone mentions HEAD, they might automatically think of Maria Sharapova, a dynamite in the game since she was a young girl. HEAD became a tennis manufacturing company in 1969 after making ski equipment since 1950. They were the first company to make a metal racket during the era of wooden rackets.
The rackets themselves are striking with bright and bold colors that make them look fierce and beautiful all at the same time. They have just as big a product range as Wilson offers, making it a perfect company for beginners to choose from.
They are well-known for updating technology, specifically the Graphene 360, offering perfect scores in every category.
There is so much to learn when it comes to beginning tennis. Questions come up all the time, and that’s why this FAQ asks all the things you need to and answers them as well.
While you’ve got a pretty good gist on the subject of choosing a racket thus far, there are always a few things we forget to ask until we are in the situation.
Here are some of the common questions that come up when choosing and purchasing a racket.
How can I be sure about my decision for a racket if I don’t know what type of player I am?
Not knowing whether you need more or less power can be tricky. The best way to approach this
confusion is by going to Tennis Warehouse or your local tennis store/club and demoing many rackets.
Usually, for a small fee, you can choose a few rackets to try out for a few days. It’s best to select rackets that are entirely different in specs from each other so that you can get a better feel for what works and what doesn’t.
Generally speaking, if you know you are a strong athlete, you can opt for rackets with a little more weight as you will be able to maneuver it just fine. The one thing most beginners can be sure of is that they want a racket with a more prominent sweet spot as it’s likely they will mishit quite a bit in the beginning.
How long does a racket last?
The answer to this is not so simple and requires a multi-part answer. Generally speaking, rackets last about two years, according to the USTA. This is because the moment you string a racket, you start to pull on the frame, and the more often it is hit with, the more shock it is taking.
Where this answer can vary depends on the frequency that you are hitting with the racket and how much you are getting it strung. In general, beginners are not getting their rackets restrung frequently enough, so this isn’t a huge issue.
A racket that isn’t getting much use could last as long as you need it to, as long as there are no cracks in the frame. Having said that, your racket won’t perform the same way it did when you first got it. For recreational players, this may not matter.
How do I know when my racket needs to be changed?
There are two ways to really tell if a racket needs to be changed out.
- The first way is obvious, and this is physical distress on the racket. Scratches and chips to the frame are normal and happens naturally the more you play. However, what you need to look out for is cracked frames. This is different. A small crack can really throw the balance off a racket and not only not perform, but also cause injury like tennis elbow.
- The second is all about the feel. If you feel like you are improving, but the racket is not making the same moves it used to, this is because the racket has gone through its life span. This is because of the natural changing of the racket frame mentioned above. However, for beginners, this is less likely to be felt and the reason you need to change rackets.
Why else would I need to change my racket?
The amount of dedication and improvement to the sport will also determine whether you need a racket change or not. Some people improve relatively fast, especially if they are starting out at an older age. It could be as little as a year that you might find yourself needing a more advanced racket.
This is not as likely, though, as a beginner’s racket should be enough to get you through the first two years of learning to play. From there on, you will know your game and know how to choose an appropriate racket based on your game style.
What if I choose the wrong racket?
The great thing about beginner’s rackets is that they are all designed with a beginner in mind. Most rackets today, even at the professional level, have aimed to bring the best of everything to one racket.
This means that even the pros who use the Head Gravity are looking for a bigger sweet spot with more control but enough power to strike the ball well. What this means is that for the most part, you can’t really go wrong with choosing a racket as a beginner because refinement of rackets come with the refinement of your game as it grows.
Having said that, if you don’t like your racket within a certain amount of time of using it, most racket manufacturing companies may offer a buy back deal if it hasn’t been beaten up.
Does it matter which strings I string my racket with?
Choosing the strings actually matters a great deal. The good news is that often Wilson, Head, or Babolat will sell strings recommended to go with your racket purchase. Having said that, there are a few different materials that may make the racket feel much different than if you played with something else before.
Most beginners start with synthetic-gut because of its fair price and an all-around playability that beginners are looking for. However, if you are injury-prone and have shoulder and elbow issues, choosing a softer string is always a good idea.
Natural gut is one of the best options for a soft-on-the-arm type of string. The downside to this is that it is also one of the most expensive strings out there to purchase.
Does the different categories of each racket change the racket?
The sizing of the racket and the weight-class of the racket can dramatically change what you are playing with. A racket such as the Head Speed S is a super light racket and will feel different than the Speed MP, which is one weight class size up.
The Yonex Ezone 100 Lite is much different than the Yonex Ezone 98. The 98 is much heavier and stiffer.
The key to these rackets is knowing what they are suitable for and then determining what the appropriate weight is for you while keeping in mind that more stability and power comes with heavier rackets.
What won’t change from the light to heavy racket versions is the weight distribution, the frame, or the string bed. These all remain the same.
How do I know which tension to string my racket at?
The wide-range of tension options listed on a racket may not be helpful for those having no idea where to start. This is purely a trial and error system where beginners might want to consider their strength and playing style.
A player who is not very strong and doesn’t consider themselves to be aggressive may opt for a looser tension like 50 because it will make hitting the ball a lot easier. On the opposite spectrum, a player who has played sports their whole life might find that hitting the ball with a low-tension offers no control. They might want to play with 54-56.
Playing indoors and outdoors and at different altitudes also affects how a racket should be strung. Sometimes players will opt for a looser tension outside because of factors like wind resistance. Inside, the ball comes much faster, and players may tighten their strings to swing more freely.
The best bet here is to try a few different tensions out and see what’s most comfortable.
What is an overgrip, and do I need it?:
The regular grip that comes on the handle is usually not the only grip that a player will use. This is because this grip will quickly lose its tackiness and become difficult to hold after a short period of time.
The over grip is a thin grip that is placed over the main grip to add comfort, tackiness and adjust any sizing to the handle. The overgrips can be changed as frequently as one needs but typically can last beginners about one to two weeks depending on how much sweat it absorbs.
They are relatively cheap compared to standard grips and can be bought at many clubs and online stores.
How do I know which handle/grip size to choose?
Racket handles come in sizes 0-6 but most commonly 1-4 or 4 ¼, 4 ⅜, 4 ½, and 4 ⅝. To know what grip feels best, it’s always good to try out the different racket sizes. When your hand gets tired easily from holding the handle, this means the grip is too big. If it’s too small, you can always add another overgrip to make it a bit bigger.
However, there is such a thing as the ruler test for those who have never held a racket before or don’t know where the best place to start is.
Step 1: Place all fingers tightly together like you are telling someone to stop.
Step 2: Place a ruler to the horizontal crease all the way up to the tip of your ring finger.
Step 3: This is the size that you should play with.
Or you can use the finger test. Hold the racket like you would for hitting a forehand. A finger from your opposite hand should be able to squeeze in a fit snuggly from the tips of your fingers on the racket to your palm.
What is the appropriate level of stiffness for a beginner?
This question varies like some of the other requirements of a racket, such as the size of the head or grip size of the handle. Generally speaking, the stiffer a racket is, the more power you will have. Therefore you will need to have more accuracy as the racket frames tend to be slimmer, offering a smaller sweet spot.
A super stiff racket is not ideal for a beginner because it may have too small of a sweet spot and have too much power for them to control. It’s often recommended that beginners err on the side of a flexible racket as any off-center shots can usually be saved.
Do I need to choose a beginner’s racket, or can I use what the pros have?
Often beginner players are inspired by what they see on TV and want to replicate the same beautiful shots as Roger Federer. While using the same racket as Federer is doable, it also will make the introduction into tennis a bit harder for those totally unfamiliar with it.
Rackets at the advanced levels come at a steep price, and often the design differences can be felt right away, and they tend to become much different from one another.
Beginners rackets know what type of player they are getting into as everyone usually starts out in a really similar way. Advanced rackets are worth the investment once you have taken the time to figure out what kind of player you are and what type of player you want to be.
Until then, a beginner’s racket is the perfect fit.
Starting tennis should be all about having fun and keeping the excitement that led you to the sport in the first place. It’s easy to get overwhelmed quickly with the number of products on the market to choose from. The good news is there are specific rackets that are meant just for beginners that will allow them to transition into the sport smoothly.
These top 10 rackets for beginners have been proven time and time to be fan favorites, and we’re pretty sure that by now, at least one of them caught your attention. With this list, there is no need to worry about missing anything, as this is the ultimate guide to what you need to know.
Now that you are well acquainted, have a great match!