How to Select a Beginner Tennis Racket


How to Select a Beginner Tennis Racket

The most common choice for beginners, male or female, are light rackets with large head sizes and head heavy balances. However, I do not think this is right, and is mainly a gimmick to buy new rackets as you go up in NTRP rating or your tennis level. Why?

First of all a lighter racket is a must. From 270g to 300g. If you are a very hard hitter then i suggest going for something heavier at about 310 – 315 grams max for men, and max 300 grams for ladies. Any heavier and you will start feeling more pain than usual as a beginner which may result in injury, not just muscle tears.

Secondly, head sizes do not help beginners with learning tennis. The objective is to try to hit the ball in the center of the string bed. Even with a bigger head size of 105 or 110, it does not make a significant change in the size of your racket sweet spot, thus it is better to just use a racket of max 100 sq in and get used to it since whether you use a bigger or smaller face, you are going to have to learn how to hit largely in the center of the tennis racket.

Lastly, the balance of the racket. I recommend slightly head light or balanced. Why? Because beginners tend to have terrible technique or weak wrists, and using a head heavy racket will pull on their wrist as they swing thus getting injured easily. By using a more balanced or head light racket, it is much more forgiving and easier to swing and learn to hit with a full swing, especially for ladies. It also will help you understand how to use your legs to hit as you will not be able to generate power with just your arm with a head light or balanced racket. Which will help you transition to a much better player quicker.

Do not waste your money and time getting a “beginner” racket.

1. Price

From my personal experience, many beginners are willing to spend about $200 dollars on a tennis racket. But if you do not have the budget to purchase something new. Try to get a racket that is 2-3 years old, even a second hand racket at a reasonable condition of 8/10 can be bought for $80 to a $100 dollars, new if you are lucky. Do not waste money on shops that sell “beginner” rackets, because they will most likely be unsuitable for you or give you issues with your wrist etc.

2. Weight and balance

Weight is one of the most important factors when choosing a racket. No matter beginner or advanced. Generally, weight is going to give you more or less power, stability etc. A heavier racket is more powerful than a lighter racket. But power should not be a concern to you as a beginner. But whether you can effectively use the racket and learn the correct techniques without getting injured. That is the most important.

I recommend for men, anywhere from 270g to 310g unstrung weight. 300g is ideal for a beginner. For women, i recommend anywhere from 270g to 290, 280g being the deal unstrung weight for a beginner.

You may think you can use a heavier racket because the professionals use it too. However this is something you have to slowly work up to. I have played full time for 10+ years and as an asian man, have never passed 312g of unstrung weight. I tried using heavier rackets but my shoulders get injured in a matter of 2-3 days.

Talking about the balance of the racket, I have many students who have used light but head heavy rackets and they have all either used too much arm, or get wrist pain especially ladies. Once they switched to something balance, they feel much more comfortable and their injuries start to subside.

It is not easy to swing a racket with a heavy head with proper technique as a beginner because the distance between your wrist and the heaviest part of the racket is further away. I promote balanced racket or a slightly head light racket so that the player can understand how to use more of the body to hit as the racket will not be able to produce power as easily, however it is much easier to control and lock the wrist, thus leading to an easier time learning the proper mechanics.

3. Hype and Marketing

Many businesses hype their new products and use professionals to promote them. However the professionals are mainly still using their old rackets, some even have been using the same racket for 20 years, just changing the paint job. Do not be fooled.

4. Head Size

It is the actual strung area of the rackets head and is usually measured in square inches. A lot of people will tell you that the bigger the head size the bigger its sweet spot. But it is not entirely true, the difference is minute. Just get a racket size of anything from 98-100 sq inch.

FAQs

1. I found out this tennis racquet with “New Technology”. Is it a good buy?

Don’t believe the marketing hype. You can see a lot of manufacturers often market their rackets as “new and improved” or ” has a bigger sweet spot” or “new technology racket”. Sadly, many players not just beginners fall for these marketing hypes. The first thing you should do when choosing a racket is don’t ever believe the hype.

In fact, there hasn’t been any substantial breakthrough in racket technology in the last 3 decades. The manufacturers and their marketing departments have the drive to convince people to buy different rackets more frequently than they actually need them. That is why they are making the latest buzz and all those commercials.

2. Which length to choose?

Generally, rackets with a length of 27 or 28 inches are perfect for novice players. This gives the players more power with great control. It is also important to remember that the longer the racket(29 inches or more), the more power it gives but less control.

3. Which material should I get?

There are several types of materials used in making a tennis racquet. Graphite racquets are extremely light, easy to swing and powerful. Aluminum racquets are affordable but not as durable as graphite racquets. Kevlar and carbon fiber tennis racquets are premium racquets and the most expensive. For beginners, graphite or aluminum racquets will do the job.

4. How do I find a racquet with power?

Looking for more power? Select a heavier racquet. Power is all about weight. The heavier the tennis racquet the more power it can generate.

5. How long should a racquet last?

It all depends on how you take care of your racket. Durability is not an issue when it comes to high-quality rackets. They are extremely durable and will last for many years.

6. What is a sweet spot?

All tennis racquets have a sweet spot. You can find the sweet spot in the center of the hitting surface. It’s a matter of physics, nothing else. It takes practice to determine how big or small your racquet’s sweet spot is.

7. Are there men and women’s tennis racquets?

Tennis rackets are not made specifically for men or women but this is not the case for kids or juniors. There are rackets that specifically caters to juniors and kids.

Tennis rackets for beginners 2020

Babolat House String 2018 Pure Drive Tennis Racquet (4-3/8)

BABOLAT 2018 PURE DRIVE SPECS

Head Size: 100 in² / 645cm²
Length: 27in / 68.5 cm
Strung Weight: 11.2oz
Balance: 12.99in / 4 pts HL
Swingweight: 321
Stiffness: 71
Material: Graphite
String Pattern:16 Mains / 19 Crosses

FEATURES

The Babolat Pure Drive 2018 has acquired new advanced and technological features. It is ideal for all level of players; starting from beginners, intermediate to advanced players.

The racket is designed with a high-quality absorbing material; SMAC that is incorporated into the fabric to ensure a smooth, comfortable and convenient play. At the level of the FSI technology, the racket’s quality string had witnessed changes in terms of spacing and grommet shaping allowing an added power, extra control and enhanced spin.

The Pure Drive’s woofer system gives the racquet more power by letting the ball fly even more compared to other racquets. Thus, this tennis racquet is great for volleys and serves.

In terms of specifications, the racquet’s head size is about 100 square inches providing a larger sweet spot. It weighs around, 10.6 ounces unstrung with 16x 19 string pattern.The length of the racket measures approximately 27 in. long with a balance of 12.99mm.

PERFORMANCE

At the level of performance, one should anticipate an absolute power by using the Babolat Pure Drive racket. When on the court, the racket reacts with so much power to any striking of the tennis ball.

Players will definitely feel the pop while putting huge spins on every ball hit with long strokes. Generally, this racket provides the player with a lot of spin and power, but may be too powerful for some. If you feel like your balls are going long, try adding some weight to its handle.

  • POWER

The Babolat Pure drive offers a great amount of power for its players. In fact, it is its best feature. You will be surprised by how powerful your hits will be.

For some, this might be a little worrying as they might fear to be over hitting and losing their control over the ball. Therefore, if you find yourself in a similar situation, you should add some lead tape to the racket handles to make the racket more head light.

  • SPIN

The Babolat Pure Drive has great spin potential. Any player using this racket will feel at ease striking from any part of the court as long as you are utilizing the racket properly

Indeed, the racket is designed to make it easy to deliver and accomplish any solid topspin, no matter your level.  At the tennis court, when you are singling a groundstroke, the FSI string power material puts an emphasis on the spin derivation and maximizes it.

In fact, unlike the denser string models, the design of the Babolat Pure drive strings generate a good amount of friction once it meets with the ball allowing for more and better spins.

  • COMFORT

The racket is more or less a flexible racket that won’t give you prolonged discomfort after long.

  • SWEET SPOT

The Babolat Pure drive has a maximized string pattern that includes a new spacious grommet for an effective sweet spot, making it ideal even if the ball doesn’t have a contact at the center.

Babolat 2019 Pure Aero Lite Tennis Racquet, Quality String (4 1/4)

This racket is similar to the babolat pure drive, with a little more spin as well as control as it is slightly heavier.

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