The most convenient answer to the question is that it is not, Tennis is not only for the rich. But you will probably not be convinced by that so I’ll try and detail all of the things that made me pursue the sport and that so in a very budget oriented manner.
Tennis has been labeled as a sport only reserved for the rich as it has a very big potential to sell expensive equipment and people do buy that equipment but let me tell you something. It’s not the equipment that makes a good tennis player, it’s the hours that you put on the tennis court that make you a good tennis player.
My Personal Experience
So, my dad is very passionate about tennis but us as a family was not the richest. But we still had the disposable income to play tennis 6 days a week every month. As a beginner, you do not need the best of the best to get started. You probably don’t even need very expensive equipment at an experienced playing level.
I for one can attest to that. I started playing tennis with a racket/racquet that was around $30 and that stuck with me for me than 3 years. It was a starter Babolat Racket and I loved it to bits. Our local club wasn’t the most expensive either. For like $40 bucks a month, me, my brother and my father could play tennis. And the courts were pretty good too. Definitely not tournament worthy but why would someone who is practicing how to hit a forehand consistently into the court want a professional court.
Later on, I had the chance to attend University, based on the performance of my tennis skills even then I played trials with a very budget oriented $50 Racket. And the feeling you get by beating people who have expensive tennis gear with your budget stuff is priceless, to say the least. But that racket broke in a couple of months into university and I decided to get my first pro racket and that was the Head IG Youtek Radical Mid Plus in 2012.
It was my first $120 racket and while it provided a really solid feel for the ball and my groundstrokes, it definitely did not propel my game into the stratosphere. I had to work really hard on the courts practicing and running drills the same way I used to before.
To this day I still use the same racket and it is still my favorite one. And that is one good thing about tennis rackets, they do not depreciate like a lot of other things in this world. You just need to replace their strings in like 2 or 3 weeks and they are good as new. Its been more than 5 years now and my racket performs just as well as it did 5 years ago. So, to all the people who say that Tennis Is For The Rich and try to deter you from joining this awesome game, I call BS. Show them this article and they’ll be convinced by why it is not as expensive as some stereotypes have made it out to be.
So, I hope this gives you a little insight on how I developed my game with not spending a lot, at all.
Tennis Can Be Very Affordable
So, by now I hope you are convinced by my personal anecdote to start tennis if you haven’t already. I’ll repeat it here again if you have been skimming up to this point, Tennis is not just for the rich. Let’s create a list of the equipment you might require to start playing tennis.
Some Tennis Balls
So, as bare-bones as this may seem. This is pretty much what you need.
Finding A Good Budget Racket/Racquet
As a beginner neither do we need to get the best thing out there nor do we want something that is a kids toy. So having a budget of around $30 to $40 is pretty Ok, I would say. You can find pretty cheap and awesome rackets/racquets on Amazon. You do not need to worry about the expensive stuff now, as it does not help in the start.
I have posts for all kinds of different racquets ranging from beginners to advanced players, for beginners I recommend you go through my Best Racquets For Beginners Guide. It is designed to explain what to look for in a good racquet and actually picks out a few awesome racquets for you to buy too.
Start with something easy to swallow so, if you decide that this game isn’t for you, you won’t regret purchasing an expensive racket. I would recommend one of the two starter rackets on Amazon. The Wilson Tour Slam which can be found for around $30. You can check the latest pricing by clicking here
Or if you have a bit of bigger budget, you can check out the Wilson Energy XL which is around $50. You can check the latest pricing by clicking here.
Both are great for starting out, they have great reviews on Amazon and you probably only that at this point. If you take care of these rackets, they can surely last a long time. Remember to use the recommended tension for the strings if you ever break them. And new strings can be procured for around $10, which you do not need to worry about when you are starting out as beginners do not tend to break strings.
Finding Tennis Balls
Tennis balls can found for pretty cheap and they can last a long time for beginners. While some intermediate players do prefer new balls every time they get on the court, it is not at all required. Pro Tournaments have new balls every 7 games to avoid variance and keep the level of play always optimal which we do not require at the club or beginner level. You can buy a can/tin of balls for around $4-$5. I recommend buying a bunch of cans so to avoid the hassle of buying a new one every time the old balls lose pressure or their material.
You can check out the current pricing for balls on Amazon. There is not a lot of variance in tennis balls. Some are bit lighter than the others but most of the times they play the same and only the pros of NCAA players can notice the difference.
Finding A Court
Well, it can be pretty easy, as long as you are not living in a remote area, public tennis courts are scattered all around cities. They have nets and lights too sometimes, you just need a tennis buddy and some balls and you can play as long as you want.
While some will argue that to play good tennis you need like $300/month membership to a club with showers and changing rooms. Personally, I would recommend staying far away from these clubs as you don’t need those facilities most of the times and you can scrape by just fine with a tennis court and some balls.
Finding A Tennis Partner to Hit With
This might be the hardest part of starting tennis for people who are little introverted like me for example. But you can definitely find people at your workplace or in your college who might be willing to play. Try to ask your friends, one or two might be willing to help. There are lots of tennis communities in different cities where you can find people that are just starting out or have been playing for a couple of months but are beginners still.
Even if you skimmed through the article you might be convinced that it is not just a game for the rich. And whoever says that is just trying to deter you from having fun. So, take the plunge into the awesome world of tennis if you haven’t already. I have set up a few articles for beginners to get into the game and learn it step by. Be sure to visit my Beginners Section
Remember The Game is About Having Fun. Have a great day