Tennis is such an exciting game. I remember watching it on TV and just getting mesmerized by it. My father was so passionate about it and he certainly put that passion in me.
He still plays at an age (54) where most people switch to Golf (not poking fun at you golf, you are a great game too) because of the lower physical standards the game requires.
I had it easy when selecting a racket/racquet because I had a lot of choices to choose from. From light to heavy, my father had a great collection of them. I could pick one up and change it the other day if I did not like it. I should’ve focused my game on one racket but I was naive back then and things did work out okay in the end so I wouldn’t complain.
But, when you don’t have someone for this job, you can get confused about all the various choices of rackets that see on the market.
Most of the times there are no labels on the rackets/racquets that differentiate the beginner level ones from the pro level ones and you have to play the guessing game.
No need to worry about that, I am writing this guide for this exact purpose. Hopefully, after reading this guide, you will able to make an educated decision and pick a racket that suits your needs and as a beginner, your needs are minimal at the start so you only have to worry about the learning processes of this beautiful game.
No matter, if you are a beginner or an advanced player who players the tournament circuit, my absolute favorite recommendation is the Babolat Pure Aero Series of Rackets. The most popular choice for beginners is the Pure Aero Lite or The Pure Aero Team. You can find the Pure Aero Team on Amazon by clicking the link here and the Pure Aero Lite here
Both of them are designed with beginners and intermediates and mind and provide great pace and spin without sacrificing the stability that you get with heavier frames.
Remember when you are starting out you should be starting out with something light so as to eliminate the barrier to powerful shots.
Most of us are not as strong as the pros or other advanced players so light rackets can be very enjoyable for us.
What To Look For When Buying A Racquet For a Beginner
There are a few things which you should consider when buying. You do not need to absolutely memorize them by heart but knowing them is great when recommending other people what to buy or for your own guide in the future.
For beginners, I recommend adhering to guidelines I provide, so as to remove as many variables as we can before stepping on the court.
Do not worry, you don’t and won’t need the next best racket that the big companies produce. Once you have yourself a racket, it’ll stay new for the next 10 years or so if you take normal care of it and do not smash it willy nilly.
Weight is something subjective to most people, for example I like my rackets to be in the middle in the 320 grams range which is why I prefer something like Head IG Youtek Radical MP Rackets, they may be out of production now but I got mine 6 years ago and they still serve me pretty great.
For some people, who have great upper body strength would prefer something with more of a heft like something like the Wilson Pro Staff 97 RF Signature which is around 357 grams. But as a beginner most of us are not very strong in the upper body plus our technique is not as efficient as the pros so having a light racket will really benefit us.
Keep things simple and buy something light that you think you can handle with ease without having sore muscles the next day as those can be extremely demotivating and stop you from learning altogether.
Do not do that to yourself if you are a beginner, learning tennis is like going to the gym, if you go very hard at it the first day, you will have pains in every part of your body the next day and you’ll be cursing the trainer and yourself. Start slowly and build upon it, that is the key to long term success.
The head size is usually measured in square inches but some people use square centimeters too.
Pros usually don’t go higher than 100 sq.inch and not lower than 95 sq.inch. The lower the head size of the racket the stiffer it feels and the more stable it feels.
But you need more power to perform the same shots as you can perform with half the power, the higher head size you go. And the sweet spot at which the ball contacts the racket gets smaller which is pretty counter intuitive for our purposes in the beginning.
I recommend sticking to 100 sq.inches but not going higher than 105 sq.inches because the extremely big head sizes make things a little harder and makes the adjustment period when switching to smaller rackets that much harder.
The Babolat Pure Aero Series fit into this category wonderfully, they have two great light rackets that you can try out and they usually are a fit a for a lot of people.
It’s pretty common knowledge among coaches that most beginners should start out with a pattern that is forgiving for them, and all the bigger head-sizes are designed with them in mind. The more open a string pattern is, the more power and spin you are able to generate on the ball.
For pro players, power and spin is not a big issue and that is why most pros prefer a string pattern that is more closed and provides ample control of the ball for extreme shots. A 16×19 string pattern is the recommended choice for beginners as it provides a great platform for them to learn how to generate power and spin into the ball without having to worry about it.
So, for beginners, if you are one or you want to buy a gift for someone who just started tennis recently buy a string pattern of 16×19.
Every retailer has this information explicitly listed, so as to take the confusion out of the equation.
Grip sizes are personal preference but there is some sort of method to measure your own grip size and choose the the size that suits you. This video elaborates more on this, so watch this and choose the racket that fits your own hands.
Choose a grip size too big and you won’t be able to handle the racket and choose a grip size too small and the racket won’t fit your hands and you’ll just wrap around the racket.
There is a recommended tension level for for rackets and it is written on the racket. To keep things simple always get your rackets strung at the middle of the recommended spec.
For example, if I have a racket that has a recommended string tension between 49-62 pounds, I would get it strung to 55-56 pounds.
As long as you feel like you are a beginner, follow this rule and you can experiment after you develop some skills in the game.