Buying a new tennis racquet, especially when you haven’t been playing tennis for long, can be a frustrating experience. After all, how do you know what you are supposed to look like in a racquet when you are new to the sport?
Trust us, we get it. The experience can be daunting and time consuming, because let’s face it, nobody wants to end up with a racquet they don’t like. So we took the time to break down a few things that every beginner should know about tennis racquets, their own game, as well as a few other tips!
It's tempting to start with an expensive racquet loaded with features or to copy the model your favorite player uses. However, this strategy can hurt your game because you’ll likely end up choosing a racquet that you don’t have the skill to use properly.
Why The Right Racquet Matters
It’s important to play with an appropriate tennis racquet when learning the game. If you use a racquet designed for beginners, you should experience far more success than a racquet designed for an advanced player.
With the right racquet, you’ll be able to get more balls over the net and into the court. You will enjoy playing tennis more. If you enjoy playing, you’ll want to play more. If you play more, you’ll improve quicker.
Your tennis racquet matters. It’s worth spending a bit of time researching your options.
First a few basics before we dive in:
Racquet Head Sizes:
Oversize: 105” or larger
Midplus: 98” to 104”
Midsize: 85” to 97”
Lightweight Frame: 9 – 9.7oz / 255 – 275g
Medium Frame: 9.8 – 11oz / 275 – 310g
Heavy Weight Frame: 11oz / 310g or heavier
Factors To Consider When Buying
Body Size and Strength
Certain racquets will be better suited for different sizes and strengths of tennis players. You might be a naturally strong person in which case you’ll need to use a racket that gives you more control and doesn’t add too much power to your game. On the other hand, you might feel you need help in producing more power.
In general you will find that the wider the frame of a racquet then the more power it will give you. If you get a chance to look closely at the professionals on television you will see that the frames of their racquet aren’t actually very wide. This is because generally they are powerful players and capable of generating their own power rather than needing their racket to help them.
What Type of Swing do you Have
Basically you will have a fast, slow or average speed swing. Any tennis coach or decent tennis player will be able to look at your swing and tell you if it's fast or slow or average. A faster swing will often generate more power than a slower swing in which case the racquet you buy should be less powerful as your fast swing will add the power for you. You would want more control from your racquet so a narrower frame will probably be right for you.
Style of Play
Are you aggressive or defensive? Most players are one or the other which will have an effect on the type of racket you should choose. If you are an aggressive player then you will probably want to try and hit the ball harder which means a more powerful racket might be right for you. If you are a defensive player than a lot of the time you will want to use the pace of the ball that your opponent has hit at you, in which case a narrower framed racquet might be the one for you. Obviously you should take into your body shape and your swing speed here.
This will typically be between 95-110 square inches. Larger heads generate more power and have a larger sweet spot thus making it easier to hit the ball well. Beginners often do best with racquets that have a head size larger than 100 square inches. The large head gives you a big target to hit the ball with and increases the size of the sweet spot.
The downside of using a bigger head is the additional size means you’ll have to sacrifice some control. However, if you’re a novice, it’s a tradeoff that will likely improve your game during the learning stages.
Adult racquets can be anything from 27-29 inches long, though most are nearer the lower end of the scale. Longer racquets are generally lighter than standard frames, and offer more reach and more power on serve. But beware because a longer racquet will be harder to control so make sure you are certain you can handle it before buying a long framed racket.
For most adults, we recommend starting with a 27 inch (68.58 centimeters) frame, as it’s usually a sufficient starting point.
Plus, the majority of tennis racquets on the market are 27 inches (68.58 centimeters), so you’ll have the most options, and if you switch racquets, it will be one less aspect to consider.
Another important factor to consider is the weight of your racquet. If you’re a beginner, it’s a good idea to stick with a racquet under roughly 11 ounces (312 grams). Racquets generally start at about 8 ounces (227 grams). If you’re a smaller person, you might want to start with a racquet on the lower end of this weight range. A light racquet is easier to maneuver and can help prevent injury from using a racquet that’s too heavy.
Tennis racquet grip sizes range from 4 inches to about 4 ¾ inches. The size of your hands helps determine the ideal size grip you should use for the most comfortable fit and prevent injury.
If it’s too small, you won’t have a solid grip, which can lead to injury from over-gripping, while a grip that’s too large can put extra stress on your arm muscles and won’t be comfortable.
How to Choose a Tennis Racquet Grip Size
There are several ways to measure your grip size. Arguably the easiest way is to measure your hand with a ruler or measuring tape.
Look for the prominent crease that run through the top of your palm
Line up your measuring tape or ruler with the edge of your ring finger
Measure from the top of your ring finger to the crease in your palm. The measurement should be somewhere between 4 and 4 ¾ inches.
You may also want to try a racquet one size above and below the size you measure to see how they feel. When buying a racquet, it’s easier to make the grip bigger than smaller. Adding an overgrip to your racquet will increase the grip size by roughly 1/16 of an inch.
It’s most important to remember that your grip should feel good. While we can guide you to the approximate size that you should start with, it ultimately comes down to personal preference.
Racquets We Suggest
Head Titanium Ti S6
The Head Titanium TiS6 is best suited to a beginning to intermediate level player with a slow to medium speed swing who requires a generous sweetspot. Open string pattern further enhances sweetspot without sacrificing control. Ultra-light swing weight maximizes maneuverability, while super-stiff construction maximizes power on any stroke.
Head Geo Speed
The Head Geo Speed (prestrung) racquet from Head features Geo Powered technology from Head tennis. This prestrung frame offers ideal amounts of power and touch to beginner level players. Take your game to the next level with this beginner level racquet that features an oversized head in a lightweight, controllable package – allowing for ideal play out on the court.
Babolat Evoke 105
The Babolat Evoke 105 tennis racquet is the perfect racquet for the beginner to casual level player looking for a lightweight comfortable frame that will allow beginner level players the ability to progress their game. The evoke 105 is a racquet that will generate power while very easy to handle.
Dunlop Team 285
Take to the court with the Dunlop Team 285 tennis racquet. This racquet is the perfect frame for the beginner player looking to hit shots with a solid crisp feel. Dunlop has included “HM6 Carbon” technology with a 100 square inch head which really helps dampen out vibrations. Play with the perfect blend of power and control with the Team 285 from Dunlop!