Tennis is a great sport to get into when you are young. I myself got into tennis a little later in life than I would’ve wanted, but it’s the getting into it that counts. I work with a lot of young kids aged 6-12 and all of them complain that their parents get them racquets that are just way too heavy for them. Most parents think that all racquets are the same, but they have no idea that kids need junior racquets. Junior racquets are specially made with a size and spec in mind that benefits kids, no matter if the kid is 5 years old or 11+ years old.
This guide is aimed at pretty much any kid who is 7-10 years old; tennis companies bank on the fact that they can market to kids of different ages and make more money without actually making new stuff. I am here to dispel that shady tactic used by them.
At the end of the day, you have to look at your own child’s physical capabilities and buy a racquet that you think they can handle. If you are a player yourself then it’s awesome, but even if you are not this one is mainly aimed at you.
My favorite junior racquet, that I recommend to countless parents whose kids are just starting out is the Babolat Junior Nadal 25”(Find it on Amazon Here). It’s an awesome bang for the buck racquet, and kids seem to love it because Nadal is always a kids favorite.
If your kid is someone who’s been playing for a while but their old racquet needs replacing. I would recommend the Babolat Pure Aero Junior 25” (Amazon Link Here).
This is a racquet for kids that are around the 7-11 years range that play in tournaments or have been playing for a while. The weight is a little higher than the Nadal one, but the construction is solid and plays very well.
I actually tried the second one myself, because some kid gave it to me to test. I would say I really enjoyed the feel of it. I wouldn’t play with it myself, but I would totally recommend it to any kid in that age group without hesitation. Babolat is the go-to for junior racquets, but I will recommend some other companies too that I think are good. But if ever in doubt, just buy a Babolat racquet and you should be more than fine.
Whether your kid is a beginner or has been playing for a while it is great to get them into a great mindset when playing tennis. These tips will help them out if they want to take their game to the next level.
The racquets that I recommend on a regular basis to kids that do not like Babolat for some reason or the other are:
- Wilson US Open Junior Racquet 25” (Amazon)
- Wilson Junior Pro Staff Tennis Racquet (Amazon)
- Wilson Junior Pink Tennis Racquet (Amazon)
I love these racquets besides the Babolat ones, they look cool and kids love their colors. Kids love new and cool colors, so show them these and pick from whichever they like. Once they start playing with one racquet, they will start enjoying it and develop their game according to it.
Should You a Buy Racquet Made for That Age Group?
I love to answer this question to the parents that come to my local tennis court because it is not answered on the internet. When you go onto big branded tennis websites like Tennis Warehouse and Tennis Express, they like to categorize racquets.
Let me tell you one thing, a kid who is 9 years old can easily play with a racquet that is made for an 11-year-old. The weight and length specs do not change in this spec, it is corporate shilling that makes these companies money. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule, but that’s at the extreme end of the spectrum; for example, children aged 3-6 can’t really handle the longer racquets. Same is the case with racquets that are made for kids that are 11 years or older, they might not get enough power from a racquet that is made for kids aged 7-10.
The 11+ years old racquets are pretty close to adult racquets, barring some weight and length discrepancies. So, if you have a 13-14-year-old, get them an adult racquet that is a little lighter than normal adult racquets. Doing this gives them time to grow into the racquet and learn the ins and outs without feeling like they are ill-equipped for the future. You can be future proof in tennis unlike tech, and this is one of the many reasons I love tennis as a hobby or passion.
Ever get worried that your child is struggling with confidence on the tennis court. Whether they start missing balls under pressure or lose all hope when they start losing. This post should be very helpful to them. Read it and then implement it for your kid and they will thank you when they grow up.
Can Kids Play with Adult Racquets?
I got into tennis when I was 10 years old, and in Pakistan, there was no concept of junior racquets then. I had to play with my father’s antique 13 oz Yonex Widebody racquet. You can probably guess where this is going, as I did not have the most swell of times. I felt so little under the pressure of the racquet, and it caused a few issues later on as I predominantly started hitting with my wrist and a buggy whip forehand.
Would I have benefitted from a junior and lighter frame or not is a discussion for another day. For the purposes of this post, I would recommend that if you have an 8-year-old, get them a junior racquet that I have recommended above. They will thank you, and your wallet will thank you because they are way cheaper than normal racquets and are specially made for youngsters.
What to do About Strings for Junior Racquets?
Unless you have a seasoned junior, who has been playing since the age of 3 or 4, a beginner 8-year-old will be very rarely breaking any strings. Junior racquets generally have a lower tension tolerance because kids need the lower tension. Beginners don’t generally break strings whether they are adults or kids, because of bad technique and in-efficient shot mechanics. They do not employ topspin and it takes around 6-8 months to consistently hit shots with topspin, only if they are being taught and figuring it out themselves.
If your kid did break their string, then I would recommend something that is a little soft on the hands. Something like the Signum Pro Poly Plasma should work well. You can find it pretty much anywhere and it’s also available on Amazon, right here.
You do not need special strings for kids, my brother was younger than me and he started breaking strings pretty early, so my dad switched to a polyester string for him. He still breaks them a lot but it takes him two to three weeks which is better than 5 days he took before.
Can an Adult Play with Junior Racquets?
Well, adults can do pretty much do whatever they want because they make their own choices, but I would certainly not recommend it. Junior racquets are made with kids in mind, they are not supposed to be handled by adults because of their material and build quality. While an adult can play with an 11+-year-old’s racquet, it would be very inefficient and not worth it.
Junior racquets are generally lighter than adult racquets and they can cause serious elbow damage because of their lower weight. There is a huge misconception that heavier racquets cause tennis elbow. Lighter racquets and bad technique cause tennis elbow.