Learning tennis is hard enough, but if you buy a racquet that isn’t suited for a beginner, well let’s just say that you will have a hard time. This guide is aimed at helping you find that right type of racquet according to a beginner’s need. Let’s look at the best tennis racquets for beginners
If you are looking to improve your forehand or just want to learn the basics of it, I have the perfect guide (it is a little long) waiting for you. It’s a 5-day forehand improvement guide and should help you learn the game the way it is meant to be learned.
List of the Top 11 Best Tennis Racquets According To My Own Testing
If you just want my top picks for the season, then this list would do you just fine. All the links go over to Amazon, so you can rest assured that your purchase won’t be botched down. Let’s get into the top 16 tennis racquets that I would choose if I were to start tennis today.
What To Look For in a Tennis Racquet For Beginners
Woah, head size is a really complicated topic at times. During the early 2000s, pretty much every coach used to recommend a bigger head sized racquet. I was in the same boat when I started, my dad gave me a 105 sq.inch racquet and sent me off to the races.
I would say it worked out pretty okay for me, as I wasn’t the strongest kid on the court and a 12-year-old with a full sized adult racquet isn’t going to play that well anyway.
It is simply common sense with this, the bigger the size of the head, the easier it is to hit the ball without missing it.
Racquets have a sweetspot, to make it easy, it is the spot on the racquet with which the racquet hits with the maximum power. Big racquets have big sweet spots and that allow beginners to hit the ball without having the perfect technique all the time.
When you go out on the court for the first time as a beginner, you will certainly not have the best technique in the world. It is going to take countless weeks, after which you’ll get a certain feel for the ball and the collision with the racquet head.
Do yourself a favor and don’t go for a players racquet as your first. Those racquets are designed to give you a raw feel and professionals prefer to play without any help coming from the actual racquet.
Beginners need all the help they can get, so get a racquet (with some exceptions) with at least 100sq.inches as its head size. 100 sq.inch is actually pretty good if you want to stay with it in the long run.
Most racquets that I will recommend are 100-115, no need to go over that limit but if you find something comfortable and it goes higher than that, then, by all means, go for it.
Power comes from a lot of aspects in tennis; swing weight, the tension of the strings, balance point of the racquet, string pattern, the width of the beam, and your own ability to generate power. As a beginner, you don’t need to get into the details of all this because the manufacturers know this and a lot of them make racquets that are well balanced with a little bit of a kick to them.
Beginners hit the ball with very short strokes because of the simple fact that they are scared that the ball might end up over the fence. As the correct technique comes to you, just focus on keeping the ball in play. The racquet is going to help with the power aspect of it.
Tension on the strings should be kept in the middle of the recommended range for that particular racquet. Let’s say if your racquet says 50lbs-60lbs, then get it strung at 55lbs. This gives you a middle of the road experience with a lot of room for topspin and power.
If the string on your racquet does break, I will recommend picking something cheap like a synthetic gut or a cheap multifilament. Both of this category of strings are pretty good for beginners as they are very good and lively to play with, and don’t die like the more expensive polyester variants.
When you go to the gym for the first time, you do not start with the heaviest weight in there. You are not going to have the best of times if you try to handle it. The same applies to tennis, beginners need a racquet that is light and easily maneuverable. Since the muscles are not tuned to the weight and mechanics of the game, a lighter racquet will help slowly ease into the game.
Racquets for beginners usually stay around 9-11 Oz, and going higher than 11 is not recommended if you would like to enjoy tennis.
The good thing about a light tennis racquet is that you can always add a little bit of weight to increase the feel and power of the racquet, so you shouldn’t feel like you may regret buying a light racquet at the start.
Remember one thing in tennis, smaller grips can be made bigger by adding grips and lighter racquets can be made heftier by adding weights, but it doesn’t work the other way around.
Always be on the conservative side when picking a racquet as going overboard might make things a little hard to adjust to.
I have a full guide written on this topic on my tennis racquet grip size guide. Basically, a lot of the beginner racquets come with grips that are in the middle of the scale. Since a lot of people have average hands, it works out pretty well for them.
But if you are a little afraid that the grip might be a little too big for you, then order a size smaller than your actual size.
It might actually help you more with the topspin aspect of the game since the smaller the handle the easier it is to hit the ball with a lot of topspin. Let me say though, getting a big grip and then asking if you can make it smaller or not is a very tough ask. Unless you have a background in woodworking and racquets, this is not a simple hack job.
Most people are going to be content with 4 ⅜ on the grip size, I personally like 4 ¼ with two overgrips on it. It stays lower than 4 ⅜ and it gives me the best of both worlds in regards to hitting the ball flat and with a lot of topspin.
There’s another post that I wrote on the differences of replacement grips and overgrips, and I would recommend that you check it out because you are going to go through a lot of grips if you end up liking this glorious game.
HEAD Ti S6
Probably the most sought after beginners racquet that I have come across. I guess the reason people like it so much is that it is relatively cheap and complements a lot of game styles.
The racquet has a very big beam, which compliments power shots even though the racquet is on the lighter side of things (8 Oz). The head size is great for beginners but towards the extreme end of things (115 sq.inches). The stick is comfortable for pretty much anyone who wants to get into tennis. It is slightly on the head heavy side, but that is one of the reasons it hits the ball with so much power.
The titanium model makes it very comfortable to hold and wield with as much or as little control as possible.
It measures in at 27 ¾ “ which is a little higher than a lot of players frames, but it gives a little higher swing arc. It is essential to hitting the ball with power, even though you might not have the biggest swing in the world.
A lively frame with excellent torsional stability, the Head Titanium Ti S6 will perform best in the hands of players with compact to medium stroke styles seeking an extra large sweetspot that blends a nice balance of power tempered with an open string pattern; ideal for spin artists with an all-court game.
Babolat Pure Aero Lite
The jack of all trades, the Pure Aero Lite from Babolat is back to fight another day. My father loves all variants of this racquet, he has the non-light version, but even when I made him try the lite version, he was extremely impressed.
The playability and comfort of this racquet are second to none, and if somebody is kinda on the fence about this racquet and another one, I easily recommend this one without even thinking about it.
Beginner to Intermediate players will love the precision and spin potential of this racquet. The racquet boasts FSI Spin Technology, which is just a fancy way of saying that the string pattern is generally more open than other racquets in this category.
The more open the string pattern, the more topspin, and power you can get into the ball.
The beam width and shape of the racquet is probably the best in the business, not only does it look good, it cuts through the air for a faster racquet head speed.
This is very good for beginners as you can hit the ball with pretty good power, even if you have a relatively medium stroke. Juniors transitioning to Adult tennis would appreciate this racquet a lot, as it looks stunning, performs great and is not miles heavier compared to the racquets that they used to play with.
At the net, this racquet’s speed is an asset on fast exchanges and reaction volleys. The lightweight also helps on service returns where this stick comes around fast and delivers a very accurate ball.
Prince Textreme Tour 100T
Prince has started making great racquets again and the Prince Textreme is no slouch. It is slightly on the heavier side of things, so if you want to skip it, you can. But it goes without saying that this racquet does not feel like a heavy frame at all.
Extremely comfortable, the balance and stiffness rating of the frame is perfect for people who have arm problems.
The beam is a little narrower than comparable frames, but that is what gives this racquet such a plush and awesome feeling. The groundstrokes are a breeze to hit with this racquet, with any kind of string setup you can expect this racquet to be a total rockstar.
At the net, the 100T moves into position very quickly and performs great on fast exchanges. The speedy feel also comes in handy on service returns where this stick comes around fast and delivers a very accurate ball. All in all, this is a solid option for intermediate players who want speed, spin, and precision in a maneuverable package.
The racquet also has the added benefit of looking stealthy cool, which I know for a fact that a lot of people love to watch. This racquet boasts great potential for customization down the road as it resembles a total players frame in a very light package.
Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3
Ah the old and trusty Wilson Hyper Hammer, I remember it being used probably 10-12 years ago. I only tried this racquet once from a friend of mine but it was an awesome experience.
This racquet is the ultimate Beginners racquet that Wilson continues to make, even after all these years. The racquet is pretty similar to the Head Ti 6, so you can see if you like the color of this racquet or that one, you can pick what you want.
It has a 110 sq.inch head size which is pretty forgiving for beginners because of the increase in sweetspot.
At 27.5 inches, it provides a little more leverage and reach than a standard length racquet, without impeding reaction to balls hit close to the body. It might be something that feels weird at first, but I have seen players getting used to it and never wanting to go back to standard length racquets, so you can pick your poison with this one.
HEAD Liquidmetal 8
Head used to make some awesome beginner/player improvement racquets and the Liquidmetal is in that same category. Old model, but it such a great choice for the price it is that I just had to put it in my list.
I have extensively played with this racquet in my intermediate days, there is just something about this racquet that brings so many awesome memories. The oversized frame and a head heavy body, it is great for total beginners to people taking it up a notch. It maintains a comfortable aspect, so you can have a very good time while enjoying the game.
Easy to maneuver, the Liquidmetal 8 will benefit both players with short and medium swing lengths. From all areas of the court, I found the Liquidmetal 8 to be very stable for such a light racquet – helped by an almost even balance. Stronger improving players will find good control by adding more spin to their strokes with the Liquidmetal 8 – easily done thanks to the racquet’s spin-friendly stringbed. At the net, the racquet feels stable, controllable and very comfortable.
The black and silver beauty can be found right here on Amazon, it’s one of the cheaper frames so it’s worth a collection addition.
Babolat Drive Max 110
Picture a player’s frame but basically magnified by huge proportions. That’s the definition of the drive max 110. Great looking racquet and a great fit for not only beginners but any coaches out there that are slowly turning old and have to feed balls to young aspiring players.
The sweetspot is the size of a dinner plate, as a coach pointed out in the customer reviews on tenniswarehouse.com.
The racquet is great for players who are just starting out with this beautiful game, easy access to power and very easy on the arms too. Anyone looking for a little bit of control with some power would greatly appreciate this heavy duty light frame.
Be easy on your arms while playing, your muscles are not yet developed for the game. You can find it on Amazon by clicking the link here.
Babolat Pure Drive Lite
An extremely good looking frame and a perfect start for beginners. This racquet has it all when it comes to people who have started out the game, and have been playing for a few months.
The light frame coming in at 286 g/ 10.1 Oz is a great starting point for people who also want the looks and feel of the Pure Drive but are looking to customize it according to their own game.
The same FSI technology graces this racquet with great spin potential and any beginners that are looking to introduce themselves into the world of extreme topspin should look into it. Babolats are known for being extremely comfortable because of their cortex technology and this racquet is not lacking in that department either. Any old people struggling with arm problems, this racquet is very comfortable and doesn’t let the vibrations from the racquet and ball impact your arms and elbows.
From the baseline, the Pure Drive Lite moves through contact with remarkable ease. As a result, less advanced players will find it easier to generate the stroke speed needed for effective pace and spin. Spin is further enhanced by this racquet’s open 16×19 string pattern, making this an obvious choice for the burgeoning topspin player or anyone who could use the easy access to spin. At the net, this racquet’s fast feel will not only enable you to react quickly to incoming shots, but it has enough power for hitting piercing volleys. Finally, players looking to serve more aggressively should love how fast this stick moves through contact. With some impressive updates to the overall feel and comfort, the Pure Drive Lite continues to be a great option for the improving player who wants an easy path to pace and spin.
To grab a hold of this awesome racquet, please go over to the Amazon link right here.
HEAD MicroGel Radical Head
No matter how many times I include this racquet in my lists, this racquet is the jack of all trades and to top it all off is pretty cheap compared to all the other $200+ racquets.
This racquet is great up until the advanced level pretty much, and you can start at a relatively beginning stage too. I will say that this racquet is not super beginner friendly and might require you to generate your own pace and power, but in the areas that it lacks in power and pace, it more than makes up for in comfort and maneuverability.
The MicroGel Radical brings an excellent level of comfort to every shot. There’s some noticeable flex from the hoop of the racquet, resulting in a comfortable and plush feel as well as a sense of increased dwell time. My testing of this racquet found lots of control from all areas of the court. With the ball striking well into the stringbed, spin production comes easily as does judging the depth and direction of shots.
At the net, the racquet offers a very mobile feel for a player’s racquet. The level of control and feel continues to impress at net and players who like to push forward will find lots of performance here. Players with developed strokes will find moderate power, but with a heavy emphasis on control and feel.
Wilson Burn 100 Team
Ever since the start of 2016, Wilson revamped their racquet lineup and started thinking about beginners to intermediate players. Wilson has always made solid racquets, this is a company that has made a lot of grand slam winning racquets.
The Wilson Burn 100 Team is pretty similar to the player variant of the same racquet (Wilson Burn 100), you get a lighter frame which makes it easy for beginners to swing the racquet. Coming in at 283 grams and a swingweight of only 294, the racquet feels like a feather going through the air.
Any female players that struggle in the power department might like this racquet a lot because of its comfortable feather like qualities.
Wilson also adds a perforated Cushion-Aire grip to further soften the ride. From the baseline, the Burn Team comes around with remarkable ease to deliver controllable power on big cuts. Improving players should have an easy time controlling the racquet’s angle and speed through contact – a fact that definitely helps with spin. At the net, the lightweight not only makes for easy positioning, but it leads to quicker reaction times when the pressure is on. Finally, this racquet’s speed and surgical targeting should unlock some aggressive serving. Ultimately, with its controllable power and user-friendly access to spin, the Burn Team offers an impressive level of playability for the price.
The racquet feels cool and looks cool at the same time. I am personally a fan of these stealthy colorways that Wilson has introduced into the industry.
Babolat Pure Aero Team
For 2018 Babolat decided to change the Pero Aero Team a little bit, and it was essential that they didn’t destroy the playability of the racquet. Going from Aero Pro Team to the Pure Aero Team, and increasing the already great playability was a challenge for Babolat and did they come out swinging.
I had a blast trying this racquet out when one of the beginners in the club gave it to me to test it out. The power comes naturally do this racquet which I feel was a little lacking in the older models of the Aero Pro Team.
Updated with FSI Spin Technology, the Pure Aero Team features wider spacing between the crosses for a tighter grip on the ball. Additionally, Babolat has widened the grommet holes, giving the strings a greater range of movement so that they can move further out of position before snapping the ball out of the stringbed with greater spin.
Factor in the maneuverable swingweight (305 RDC) and you have an easy swinging racquet that will enable players from across the skill spectrum to create effective pace and spin. From the baseline, the Pure Aero Team plays with a surprising level of comfort and stability for its lightweight. Full swings deliver an impressive combination of pace and spin, and the firm beam provides a very crisp and accurate response.
Players looking to start serving with more spin and pace will love how easily this stick explodes through contact. The maneuverability is also a huge asset on service returns where the Pure Aero Team not only comes around fast but delivers a high level of accuracy.
Check out this awesome racquet on Amazon by clicking on the link here
Babolat Pure Drive 110
Looking for a racquet that punches in the same ballpark as the player’s racquet as the Babolat Pure Drive? Look no further, this beast of a frame is just what you need, and I have to say that I don’t generally like the bigger frames, and I even I liked it a lot.
Ideal for beginners and maybe even veterans of the game that might be getting on with their ages. The racquet has the same good look that a lot of people love, and it pretty much just feels like an oversized Pure Drive.
The power potential with this racquet is a lot higher than a lot of other racquets because of the thicker beam width and stiffness rating but if you are a beginner, you will prefer the easy power over anything else.
It also comes with an extended 27.6″ length, which will enable you to attack the ball with extra momentum for easy power. As with other members of the 2018 Pure Drive family, this update comes with FSI Power Technology, which includes diamond shaped grommet holes and wider string spacing, giving your game an extra boost of power and spin. Other technologies include a revised Cortex dampening system with a specialized rubber material for greater dampening.
This racquet is great if money is not an issue and you want to get into some serious powerful tennis. Check it out on Amazon, right here
Wilson Burn 100 LS
Control and power are the main game of this racquet. It is a slightly conservative racquet for my tastes because it tries to do everything within reason. But I wouldn’t mind recommending this beauty to a beginner.
The 100 sq.inch frame is great to transition into more advanced hitting after you’ve successfully gone past the gates of a beginner. Highschoolers and old veterans are going to enjoy it because of it’s relatively lightweight compared to the power you can get with this thing, all being within reason of course.
Thanks to this racquet’s grippy 18×16 Spin Effect string pattern, there’s plenty of bite for bringing the ball down sharply with spin. This model also comes with Parallel Drilling, which reduces string on racquet friction in order to create a livelier, more comfortable string bed. From the baseline, the Burn 100 LS feels light, fast and accurate. Spin comes very easy, and there’s enough precision to inspire confidence when swinging for power.
Wilson has created an impressive update to the Burn 100 LS. With its faster feel, this racquet is a must demo for strong beginners and intermediate level players looking for explosive acceleration and spin friendly performance.