Best Tennis Racket for Beginners
If you have just started playing tennis, buying yourself a good beginner racket is a great idea.
It will allow you to enjoy tennis more, and you’ll have a better experience and hit better shots.
However, there is a large range available, and some rackets are not designed for beginners. Pick the wrong one, and you’ll end up struggling.
Below you’ll see the ultimate 10 rackets, plus you’ll find a useful guide as to what to look out for. What’s important to you – a large surface area, so you have a better chance of hitting the ball? Power, weight, or grip size?
All these factors can make a big difference to your game. Please go through the guide and decide what’s most important for you. Then choose from the ultimate 10 beginner tennis rackets.
What are the common features of beginner tennis rackets?
Some factors should be considered when choosing a new tennis racket. The three most important attributes are grip size, head size, and weight.
Finding the right grip size is crucial because too small or too large a grip can lead to an injury.
It’s more important to choose a racket that feels comfortable rather than strictly relying on measurements.
Although it’s a good idea to select the right racket according to the grip size, you need to keep in mind that there is no exact science behind it.
The easiest way to measure your hand is to use a ruler to determine what the right size is for your hand.
Simply measure the distance between the tip of your hand’s finger up until the bottom crease on your hand. The point starts between your pointer finger and thumb and runs on the sides.
Once you get the exact measurements, check the racket’s grip and make the right choice.
You can read more on selecting the correct grip size here.
Usually, racket manufacturers and retailers describe the racket’s weight as the strung weight, which refers to the racket’s weight with strings.
The role of weight in the performance of a tennis racquet is fundamental and rather crucial.
But, beginner players should avoid buying a heavy racket. Instead, you should opt to buy a lightweight racket. That’s because a lighter racket will be more comfortable for you to hold for an extended period.
Additionally, it will be easier to move.
A majority of tennis rackets weigh between 10.5 to 12.6 ounces.
Beginners should not buy a racket heavier than 11.6 ounces.
Tennis rackets for beginners usually have an oversized head, roughly between 102 to 110 inches.
However, an advanced mid-size racket head will measure around 95 to 100 square/inches.
Wondering why beginners would need a bigger tennis racket head?
Because a bigger or wider head will provide a larger sweet spot and ensure a better, more responsive contact with the ball, that’s true, even if it doesn’t strike the dead center of the racket.
A racket’s head size will either be a centimeter or a square/inch measurement of its head where you find the strings.
Typically, the ideal head size for beginner tennis players is from 100 to 107 square/inches.
A racket’s head size should be an important consideration for beginners because a larger head size increases the error margin when swinging because of the larger stringbed.
Secondly, the ball will keep hitting the frame if the head size is too small, which is very frustrating when you’re learning.
A larger head size provides easier access to power and helps players develop proper techniques to generate power independently.
Other Main Features to Check Out
While beginners don’t need to worry too much about these features, it is always a good idea to become familiar with them. Here are a few other characteristics to look for in a tennis racket.
Ever head of HL, HH, and EB rackets?
These symbols represent the racket’s weight distribution, which is generally measured in points.
So, HL refers to Head Light, HH means Heady Heavy, and EB means Equal Balance.
When measures, the balance will be depicted in points, such as 4pts HL.
Beginner tennis players prefer to buy HL rackets, as they are more convenient to maneuver and swing.
Don’t confuse swing weight with strung weight.
The swing weight is a measurement of how heavy a racket feels when a player swings it.
You can use this measurement to make a comparison between various rackets.
A tennis racket’s balance has a considerable impact on the swing weight. It is mainly expressed as a numeric value, such as 324.
A racket’s stiffness is represented as an RA rating.
It indicates the amount of flex a racket exhibit.
It is also expressed as a numeric value, such as 67. Generally, the stiffer a racket is, the more energy or power it will return to the ball. A-frame with a higher flex will generate less power and offer more control to the player.
A racket’s beamwidth is its frame’s width, measured in millimeters.
A thicker beam generates more power. Conversely, a thinner beam results in less power.
Some rackets feature a steady beam width all the way around, while others’ beam width may vary at different locations around the frame.
A racket’s string pattern refers to the numbers of vertical/main and cross strings.
A racket with fewer crosses and mains will have an open string pattern, for instance, 16×19.
Or else, you can get a closed string pattern, like 18×20. Open string patterns will offer superior spin and power, whereas a closed string pattern ensures better control.
What tennis racket size should I get?
Players who have just started to learn tennis should ideally start with a lighter racket with a larger head size.
It is generally referred to as an oversize tennis racket.
The reason we suggest it is such a racket will help in contacting the ball consistently.
And, it will help you learn to rally without wearing out your arm muscles.
When buying a tennis racket, beginners should look for a few things, including oversize head size, lighter frame, and more power.
How much does a decent tennis racket cost?
Tennis rackets are required if you want to play, but they do not have to cost a fortune.
The truth is that some rackets can be expensive, but there are also affordable options available. Some of the best will be discussed later in this guide.
So, as a beginner, you can expect to find a reasonably good quality junior tennis racket for as low as $30.00 and an adult tennis racket for around $60.
A racket’s cost varies according to the weight and material.
A starter racket is most suitable for beginners and infrequent tennis players or anyone playing with lower-compression balls.
A racket made of aluminum is generally lighter and more affordable.
An expensive racket will include carbon graphite, either entirely or in composite form.
If engineered correctly, a graphite racket will offer better rigidity and ensure increased power and better impact stability, all of which leads to greater control.
A professional tennis player analyzes the frame shape and brand’s proprietary technology to accomplish their desired playability attributes, which complement their game style and physical characteristics.
Also, you should keep in mind a racket comes with additional ongoing maintenance costs.
The costs associated with racket maintenance may include annual grip and string replacement, which will probably set you back approximately $30-$35.
Should I get a heavy or light tennis racket?
The best tennis racket would be lightweight rather than a heavier one for beginners.
In pure racket terminology, this means its unstrung weight should be between 240g to 275g.
Because newcomers will have to master new techniques and absorb the impact of ball contact, they will have to develop the required skills and mussel power.
Therefore, a lightweight racket will allow them to easily master these new movements without feeling any aches or pains. It also fairly reduces injury risks.
However, the choice also depends on the player’s size and strength.
Certain tennis rackets are better suited for players of different sizes/strengths.
If you are a naturally muscular person, you should opt for a racket that provides more control and doesn’t add a lot of power to your game.
Are expensive tennis rackets worth it?
This depends entirely on the player.
It isn’t necessary to invest in an expensive racket right at the start of your tennis journey.
Although it is unlikely that inexpensive or cheaper rackets will be low quality, you may never know, especially if the brand is relatively new or unknown.
The inexpensive tennis racket materials may be suitable for an inexperienced player who only wants to play tennis for fun. That’s because this type of material is usually more flexible, so less energy is transmitted from the racket to your arm.
Hence, if you are a beginner player and intend to play tennis occasionally, there’s no need to pay hundreds of dollars on a tennis racket.
On the flip side, if you are serious about playing tennis regularly, a cheaper quality racket will not only affect your game but also prove to be a bad financial investment.
For someone hoping to go professional at some point, a high-quality and slightly expensive branded tennis racket will be a safe investment.
In a nutshell, playing with an expensive tennis racket means it may take a little longer to master a technique, but it is most definitely worth it if you are in it for the long term.
Do expensive tennis rackets make a difference?
There’s no doubt that expensive rackets make a considerable difference. Generally, the more expensive racket offers a better string job, while less expensive rackets won’t have great strings.
However, if you feel that the strings are good and you can play with them, any racket would be good regardless of its price tag.
You should keep in mind that strings are responsible for contacting the ball, and therefore, it is better to invest in a racket with great strings.
Strings make a huge difference in a racket’s performance and are among the major factors that determine its cost or quality. Pro players always use freshly strung rackets.
A cheaper racket contains strings made from the standard synthetic gut.
In contrast, expensive rackets feature natural gut and polyester strings, which aremore suitable for performance-oriented players as these offer better spin and durability.
What rackets do most pros use?
There are so many racket brands available in the market that it becomes hard to choose anyone.
So, a better way to figure out which one is the best is to pick your favorite brand or go for the brand endorsed by your favorite tennis player.
Here is a brief overview of the rackets pro tennis players use and their endorsed brands.
Naturally, the best players wouldn’t compromise upon the most important tennis gear- the racket.
Wilson rackets are the preferred choice of players like Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Kei Nishikori, and Stefanos Tsitsipas.
Federer, particularly, has his own signature
Wilson racket that’s been a top seller since the time he started winning Grand Slam tournaments.
Wilson happens to be the most recognizable of all tennis racket brands as well as golf, basketball, baseball, and many other sports.
Just a few decades ago, Babolat was nowhere in the league of industry bigwigs, but today it’s a major player in the sports industry and is known for making solid strings.
Babolat jumped up in ranking after its rackets were endorsed by Rafael Nadal, Garbine Muguruza, Dominic Thiem, and Caroline Wozniacki.
Babolat is known for creating the best junior-level rackets as well, and accessibility has been the company’s primary focus to date.
Babolat creates some of the industry’s best rackets from pros to beginners.
When players like Andy Murray, Novak Djokovich, and Ash Barty endorse a brand, people are bound to take notice.
Head isn’t a novice in the industry. It has always been one of the most reliable and strong competitors in the sports gear industry.
Head rackets are suitable for all skill levels as the company creates multiple racket lines to suit the broadest range of play styles and skills.
John Isner is the face of Prince and always uses its rackets.
However, Prince has a reputation for being popular among the senior players, who still like to use its rackets post-retirement.
Prince creates highly advanced and modern rackets, but at the same time, it creates a dedicated line of rackets for beginners and intermediate players.
How often should you get a new tennis racket?
There is no specific or perfect formula to determine how often you should replace your old racket with a new one.
Assuming that you don’t intentionally splinter, a racket can last at least two years or more, after which you may start thinking about getting a new racket.
However, keep in mind that this 2-year rule applies to those club-level players who usually play tennis 2 or 3 times a week.
Those playing tennis once or twice a month don’t need to worry about replacing their rackets even after 3 to 4 years. They only need to restring the racket annually, and it will last a long time.
As far as materials are concerned, aluminum rackets are more flexible, so these can naturally bend out of shape over time due to heavy-hitting and poor maintenance. On the other hand, a well-cared-for graphite racket will last many years.
Remember that strings are for a racket as the engine is for a car.
They account for at least 50% of the racket’s overall playability.
Hence, it is essential to care for the strings more than the racket’s grip or frame. Ideally, players should change their racket’s strings the same number of times in a year as they play tennis in a week.
This means if you play three times a week, you should refresh the strings thrice in a year.
Also, invest in a good tennis bag or racket bag to enhance the life of your racket.
A case or bag will protect the racket from scratches, scrapes, and bumps and keep the strings and grip dry.
Do not store your racket in direct sunlight, and keep them as close to room temperature as possible to reduce tension loss and ensure consistent playability.
What is the most powerful tennis racket?
Power rackets are a great option for players with a short slow swing.
Oversized head, a longer length of 27 to 29 inches, and lightweight are key features of power rackets.
This category of rackets is designed to offer players easy access to power.
That’s why power rackets have a larger head size, stiffer frame, open string pattern, and lighter weight.
The large head size improves a player’s margin for error when swinging, and when combined with an open string pattern and stiff frame, the racket returns more energy to the ball.
Moreover, the lightweight frame allows the player to swing and handle easily. Power rackets are popular among beginners because of these attributes.
Should you get a wider frame racket?
A wide-framed racket will give you more power.
If you watch pro tennis players closely, you will notice that their racket frames aren’t too wide.
That’s because they are already very powerful players and can generate power on their own.
However, the case is entirely the opposite for beginners. They need their racket to help them. That’s why power rackets are a preferred choice for beginners, as these give them a tremendous margin to improve their game.
It is easier to swing with a light and wide framed racket, but this doesn’t mean you should buy the lightest racket.
Generally, the weight should be between 250g and 350g.
Narrow frames are ideal for more skilled players as they have perfected their technique and can use the smaller head size to play precise and accurate shots.
Beginners cannot immediately achieve the same skill and expertise level, so they should go for a lightweight and wide framed racket.
A racket weighing 250g to 275g would be most suitable as it will be moveable, and you will be able to hone the technique.
Does a tennis racket make a difference?
Tennis rackets play a significant role in the game, but it is more about the players’ skill, passion, technique, and training than the racket. It is not appropriate to say a tennis racket will make a huge difference because every player is different.
Tennis rackets play a vital role in enhancing your tennis expertise. If your racket is not the correct size and quality, you won’t find it comfortable to play with it.
Therefore, your shots won’t be accurate, and you will struggle to improve your game.
Ultimately, it is the skill with which and the passion with which the player uses the racket that makes the difference.
Men's vs. Women's Tennis Rackets- Is There any Difference?
Beginner tennis players often wonder if there is any difference between tennis rackets for men and women.
The fact is that virtually all rackets are unisex, and there is no difference between them.
Therefore, men and women can use the same models of rackets.
However, the Tecnifibre T-Rebound is an exception as it is specifically marketed for women.
According to Tecnifibre, the company focuses on creating rackets as per their common physiological traits.
Nonetheless, almost all other tennis rackets are suitable for male and female players.
Top Ten Best Tennis Rackets 2021
1 - Head TI S6
For older teens and adults who have just started to play tennis, the Head TI S6 is an ideal, budget-friendly tennis racket.
Its titanium structure, lightweight (approx. 8.9oz strung), and the brand name’s reliability. This racket is our top pick for this list.
Due to its lighter weight, you can easily control it from the baseline and avoid developing tennis elbow, a common muscle injury among beginners.
You can generate more power on your shots because this racket has a larger frame, and the weight is more or less balanced towards the head.
Another great feature of Head TI S6 is its large 115 square/inches frame size, so it has a huge sweet spot to deal with situations when you mishit the ball.
Its 16×19 string pattern helps the player generate topspin on shots as well.
This racket’s main strings spread wider as they move further away from the handle. When combined with frame technology, the racket creates an excellent feel.
Furthermore, it is the best value racket if you want to become an avid recreational player.
For advanced players, this isn’t suitable because it will be challenging to maneuver for a fast-paced game.
Incredible baseline power
Very lightweight, so it helps prevent injury and tennis elbow.
A large sweet spot helps improve shots.
It isn’t ideal for intermediate-level players.
A little bit bulky, so it cannot be maneuvered comfortably at the net.
2 - Babolat Pure Drive 110
Babolat is known for making the highest quality and reliable tennis rackets on the market.
The Pure Drive 110 is proof of that. It is perfect for adult beginners who have a large budget and are looking to improve fast.
It is a lightweight racket, making it easy to maneuver at the net.
This racket has a large 110 square/inches head, so it’s a given that the Pure Drive 110 would have a bigger sweet spot.
Another great feature is that this racket has a wider frame and string pattern.
These features help the player generate spin and improve their game profoundly.
It is also an excellent choice if you want to transition into an intermediate player, as you won’t need to change rackets once you progress in skill level.
Great power to ace groundstrokes
The huge sweet spot, so you will never miss a shot.
Allows better control than many high-end beginner rackets.
Best racket to learn to hit topspin.
Ideal for beginners and intermediate players alike.
Quite expensive than most starter rackets.
Inappropriate for high-level intermediate players.
3 - Wilson Clash 108
Wilson’s Clash series of tennis rackets are one of the best options for beginners and high-level intermediate players.
The Clash 108 helps you improve your technique fast.
It features a 108 square/inch head size that naturally creates a huge sweet spot, which beginners need the most. Moreover, it is a flexible racket offering excellent control and comfort.
The Wilson Clash 108 has an extra .25″ length that adds power to your groundstrokes and serves.
Beginner tennis players who want to learn to hit with topspin should certainly invest in the Clash 108 because it can provide plenty of spin.
We found it one of the most comfortable and forgiving tennis rackets that we tested. But, the downside is its price tag.
It is definitely an expensive one, but it is worth the investment if you want to ensure faster skill level improvement.
Ideal beginner racket for maximum control.
Ensures faster improvement at the game.
Outstanding mobility for doubles.
The added length and larger head size offers more power.
Easy on the arm.
Quite an expensive racket compared to other beginner rackets on the market.
4 - Head MicroGEL Radical
The Head MicroGEL Radical is suitable for players at various skill levels and is an excellent Tweener racket for people who want to proceed to the intermediate level quickly.
It is one of the more budget-friendly options for beginners.
The racket features a 98inch head size, making it perfect for control and maneuverability.
To add to the control, it has a tighter 18×20 string pattern, and the 11oz head weight further adds power.
For athletic players with relatively good hand-eye coordination, the Head MicroGel Radical is a great choice, especially given its reasonable price.
It is an ideal racket for both beginners and intermediate level players.
But it is not recommended for advanced adult players. Its small head size is also not a suitable option for people who haven’t played sports or usually struggle with hand-eye coordination.
Ideal beginner racket for control.
Perfect transition racket for not only beginners but intermediate level players.
For doubles, it offers adequate mobility.
A good option for those with amazing hand-eye coordination and for athletic beginners.
Its head size is relatively small for a beginner racket.
A bit heavy for a beginner player.
5 - Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 (oversized)
Players who require a balance of control and power should look no further and invest in Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 oversized racket.
This is one of the best products from the hammer line of rackets from Wilson.
It’s undoubtedly an oversized racket at 110 square/inches. Moreover, it features a tighter string pattern at 18×20, which is better than most beginner rackets.
The Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 will help you place your shots perfectly over the court.
It’s considerably lightweight with 9.8oz but is still heavy enough to help you transition to the next level.
However, as is usually the case with most beginner level players, the Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 isn’t suitable for upper level or advanced intermediate players.
But, it is an excellent starter racket that improves your game tremendously if you practice regularly.
Ideal for beginners and intermediate players.
Tight string patterns ensure a better feel and control.
For a beginner, this racket allows good mobility at the net.
Not enough power compared to other starter rackets.
6 - Babolat Pure Aero Lite
The Pure Aero is the preferred choice of Rafael Nadal, which proves it is among the top-rated rackets.
This is a lightweight version, which is why it is called the Pure Aero Lite. Hence, it is ideal for beginners who want to progress towards more advanced levels.
Pure Aero Lite features a sturdy and wide frame to help new tennis players create maximum power.
Its 100 square inch frame is, although low for a beginner’s racket, however, it’s just enough if you have good hand-eye coordination.
With just 9.5 ounces weight, this racket swings like a breeze and is amazing for those learning to play tennis.
The Pure Aero Lite’s frame design and string pattern are beneficial in adding more spin as you proceed to the next level.
In our opinion, this racket is ideal for athletic beginners and recreational tennis players who intend to go up on their game level.
Great spin and control for a starter racket.
It helps a player to improve faster.
Adequate sweet spot for maximum comfort.
Better feel that many hyped beginner rackets.
Its small frame is not too helpful for a beginner.
7 - Wilson Tour Slam Tennis Racquet
It is perhaps one of the best budget tennis rackets for people who want to improve their game and are tight on the budget.
Its 112 square/inches head size allows a larger sweet spot and offers a great feel for the price tag.
It is slightly bulky with around 10.3oz weight, but still, it is well within the ideal tennis racket weight range for beginners.
Given its low price, the Wilson Tour Slam tennis racket is a good option to help you determine whether you enjoy playing tennis or not.
However, if you plan to play tennis more seriously and want to move to the intermediate level, it isn’t the right choice.
A bigger head size allows a larger sweet spot.
Has the reliability of a trusted brand like Wilson.
It cannot help you improve your game.
A bit heavier than other starter rackets.
8- Wilson Burn 100LS v4
The Wilson Burn 100LS v4 is one of the medium-priced tennis rackets that offer a solid mix of features.
So, you get the best of both worlds, as it’s made by one of the most trusted brands in the market and comes at a reasonable price.
This racket weighs 10.5oz, so it isn’t too heavy, and it is easy to maneuver.
Beginners will find it most suitable as the 100 square/inches head size is enough to help them enjoy plenty of margin of error when swinging the racket to hit the ball.
Wilson Burn 100LS v4 has an open string pattern of 18×16 with a stiff frame and RA rating of 71.
There’s no doubt that this racket delivers good power and makes it super easy to generate topspin.
Its head-light frame allows superior power, maneuverability, and control.
It features Parallel Drilling to ensure a more forgiving and consistent string bed response.
It is made with high-performance carbon fiber for enhanced frame stiffness.
The addition of an orange bumper guard protects the racket hoop.
Doesn’t have a control frame.
Advanced players may not prefer the weight.
9- Head Graphene 360+ Instinct PWR
The Head Graphene 360+ Instinct PWR features 115 square/inch head size and is slightly lighter at 8.6oz, but at the same time, it is a bit longer at 27.7″.
Hence, you can expect plenty of power, error margin, and topspin.
The extended length helps you enjoy extra momentum and leverage for regulating pace and spin.
It’s not only perfect for beginners who have just started learning the game but for savvy doubles experts who require extra power on volleys and serves.
Built with Head’s signature Graphene 360+ technology, which blends the power and stability of Graphene 360 and SpiralFiber in the racket’s lower head, it provides a cleaner feel at impact.
Easy spin and power.
Graphene 360+ allows players to maintain maximum stability and more power.
Designed for players from beginner to intermediate level.
Offers an innovative and modern design with an asymmetric style.
Lightweight and flawlessly blends power and maneuverability.
Not suitable for playing high-level tennis, but useful for intermediate players.
Lacks some plow through that takes away some control.
10- Yonex EZONE Ace
Although Yonex is known for creating rackets for experienced players, the Yonex Ezone Ace is a fantastic option for new players with an exceptionally low price tag.
It features a 102 square/inch head size, which is definitely a great starting point, but certainly not as big as others on this list.
Furthermore, it weighs 9.7oz strung and has a 16×19 string pattern that offers a great blend of controlled topspin and power.
All in all, the Ezone Ace is a comfortable racket that’s less stiff than other beginner rackets, and hence it’s a worthy contender for players who are concerned about their arm health.
Offers medium power with its faster and longer swing.
Huge sweet spot.
Suitable for all types of players.
Features vibration dampening Mesh technology.
Doesn’t offer much control for big hitters.
Less spin than expected from a Yonex racket.