Kids Tennis Racket Size
An unsuitable tennis racket may result in a child not being able to play tennis properly. This may subsequently lead them to stop playing tennis altogether, so it is important to make the correct choice.
This article will explore the rules and tricks that will help a parent pick the correct sized tennis racket for their kids.
While there are no hard and fast rules to pick the correct sized tennis racket for kids, there are two main points to consider:
- The length of the tennis racket
- The grip of the tennis racket
Merchant of Tennis Rule of Length
This is a straightforward and effective way to assess the length size your child needs for their tennis racket.
Ask them to stand straight and hold the racket with their playing hand. After they have a firm grip around the racket, ask them to hold it straight down against the side of their body. There will be three possible scenarios:
- The tip of the racket touches the ground. In that case, it is too long for them
- The racket falls above your child’s ankle bone. Meaning, it is too short for them
- The ideal case is when the racket is an inch or two above the ground.
If the tennis racket is too long, the child will have difficulty swinging it. Moreover, since the tennis racket will be too long for them, the racket’s head will be too far from their hand.
This will make it nearly impossible for them to find the sweet spot on the racket’s face.
If the tennis racket is too short, the racket’s sweet spot will be too close to the child’s face. As a result, they are likely to miss-hit their shots.
Secondly, a shorter racket will also mean their shots have less power than they are supposed to.
Approximate racket length for different age and height
For those who don’t own a racket at home, these measurements below should give you a solid idea of what racket length is appropriate.
It will also be a suitable reference if you are purchasing the racket online.
|Age||Height||Length of Tennis Racket|
|2 to 4 years old||40 inches or below||19 inches|
|4 to 5 years old||40 to 44 inches||21 inches|
|6 to 8 years old||45 to 49 inches||23 inches|
|9 to 10 years old||50 to 54 inches||25 inches|
|10 years or older||55 inches or above||26 inches|
It’s important to note for children up to 8 years old, which includes 19-inch, 21-inch, and 23-inch rackets, they are relatively lightweight.
They are made specifically for children, keeping in mind their muscle strengths. Hence, each racket has an age recommendation. So, chances are there will be no need for measuring the racket against the child’s height. Although, due to individual differences, it is always recommended you do so!
Grip Sizes for Children
This is the second main criteria to use when deciding which tennis racket to buy a child; it is equally important as the tennis racket length.
Grip size is essentially the circumference of the racket’s handle and is measured in inches. Choosing the correct grip size is not too complicated for a kid, as is the case with adults.
This is simply because most manufacturers produce a 4-inch grip size for almost all children’s tennis rackets.
Although all children are not the same, there is a chance the 4-inch grip may not be suitable for every child; it could be either too small or too large. In that case, the grip needs to be customized according to the child’s needs.
Changing Grip Sizes
If the grip size is too large for the kid and it needs to be reduced, that can be a little challenging. This is because reducing the grip size may result in the racket becoming uncomfortable.
The best solution here is to take the racket to a tennis coach or the nearest tennis shop. Then they can work with children to see if the adjustments made work for them in terms of comfort and suitable grip size.
If the grip size is too small and it needs to be made bigger, that should not be a problem. The easiest way to overcome this is by building upon the existing grip.
Doing so will probably increase the grip size by 1/16 of an inch.
It is quite unlikely that the grip size will still be small for a child. Again, this can be done simply by approaching a tennis coach or going to the nearest local tennis shop.
Exceptions when choosing a Racket Size
It’s important to understand that the recommendations mentioned above regarding approximate lengths for different ages and heights do not always hold.
This can be because there are always children in a particular age group who are much taller or much shorter. The other reason is skill level.
Once a child has been taking lessons for a long time and has developed sufficient competence at the sport, they may handle a racket that is slightly longer than the recommended length for their age group.
However, for that to happen, they must start with a right-sized racket. Moreover, this transition can only be made at the coach’s recommendation.
Racket Recommendations for Specific Age-Groups
Up to 8 years old: Children aged 2 to 3 years old can use the 17-inch sized racket the Wilson Sporting Goods Company makes.
The company also makes good quality, lightweight tennis rackets of 19 inches and 21 inches for children older than 3 years.
9 to 10 years old: If the child has been playing tennis for a while now, it is essential to consider their skill level, and not just their age and height.
The recommended grip size for this age group is 25 inches, and if the junior is competitive, they should try out performance rackets, like Clash 25 and Ultra 25 v3. These tennis rackets are heavier than what the child may have been previously used to.
They are also made with stellar carbon performance, similar to tennis rackets used by adult players.
If the child is a beginner or does not feel comfortable playing with a heavier racket, they should continue using recreational rackets. These will be lighter and hence, will not impact their performance.
11+ years old: the recommended racket length size for this age group is 26 inches. They are heavier than 25-inch sized tennis rackets and will help a child transition to an adult frame.
If the child is a competitive player, they can use high-performance tennis rackets. In that case, some recommendations include Clash 26, Ultra 26 v3, and Pro Staff 26 v13. Wilson Sporting Goods Company manufactures all these models.
Adult Frame: there is no set time for children to transition to the adult frame, as it will wholly depend on their skill level.
If they are comfortable with 26-inch sized rackets, then with their coach’s recommendation, they should be able to transition to slightly lighter adult-sized frames.
Some recommendations for such tennis rackets include UL rackets, including Ultra 100UL V3, Pro Staff 97UL V13, and Clash 100UL.
In conclusion, it may take children some time to find the right tennis racket for them. It is possible that some tennis rackets of the recommended length and grip size according to their age may not sit right with them due to varying comfort levels.
Nevertheless, after some experimenting, they will find the right tennis racket for them!
Children must start playing tennis with a suitable racket because starting with the wrong racket will only hinder their progress!
Not just that, they will also stand at risk of injury and will not be able to have fun in the court. So, make sure your little tennis players start with the correct sized racket!