Which kids tennis racket is best?
Tennis is a great sport for children of all ages. It is non-contact, so the chances for injury are limited, and it helps them develop athleticism and motor skills. Tennis is also social, and if played as doubles, helps kids learn about teamwork.
Like any sport though, the right equipment is vital to an enjoyable experience. In the case of tennis, this means a quality racket that is just the right size for a child’s small body. The Wilson Roger Federer Youth Racket is one such option. It comes in four sizes, so kids can continue to use the same racket as they grow by simply buying the next size up. It also features a bumper guard to help keep the frame in good shape and has a lightweight construction that makes it easy for children to manage.
What to know before you buy a kids tennis racket
Choosing the right size
Getting your child the right size tennis racket is important for several reasons. If their racket is too large, it may be unwieldy, making it difficult to manage, and cause excess fatigue. If the racket is too small, it will be harder to hit the ball. Both of these things can result in them enjoying the sport less.
Kids and junior tennis rackets range from 19 to 26 inches in length. You can use the following guide to determine which size is best for your child based on their height.
- Under 3 feet 11 inches – 21-inch racket
- 3 feet 11 inches to 4 feet 4 inches – 23-inch racket
- 4 feet 4 inches to 4 feet 8 inches – 25-inch racket
- 4 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 2 inches – 26-inch racket
The grip size refers to the circumference of the handle, and it can vary from model to model, even for those of the same length. For kids rackets, the grip sizes range from 3.5 to 4 inches. The best way to find your child’s grip size is to hold various rackets in a store. If that isn’t possible, you can use a ruler to measure from the middle horizontal line in their palm to the tip of their ring finger. This should give you a general idea. If you are still unsure, it is best to choose one slightly smaller than you think they might need since you can always add extra grip tape to increase the handle size a bit.
Along with the size of the racket, the weight affects how easy it is for a child to manage it. You don’t get a lot of choices in racket weight though, since you won’t find the exact same model made in two different weights like you might with length or grip sizes. That said, if your child is on the cusp of two different sizes and you opt for the longer one, it is often a good idea to buy them a lightweight model when possible.
What to look for in a quality kids tennis racket
Children are notoriously rough on their items and tennis rackets are no different. As they learn to play, they are likely to accidentally scrape it against the ground or even hit a fence or net post. They may also wind up dragging the racket along the ground when in a poor mood. Models with bumper guards on the head are less likely to be damaged when this happens.
String pattern is often overlooked, but it does affect how a racket plays. The most common string pattern is 16 by 19, but they can range from 16 by 16 to 18 by 20. More open string patterns are more prone to strings snapping, but offer power on shots with less force required on the player’s part.
Some kids tennis rackets come bundled with various extras that can save you money since you don’t have to buy everything separately. These can include a cover, extra grip tape, vibration dampener and even some balls. This is more likely on very budget-friendly models from lesser-known brands than it is from reputable names like Head or Dunlop.
How much you can expect to spend on a kids tennis racket
The most budget-friendly tennis rackets for kids that are still of decent quality start around $20. Premium kids tennis rackets and those for older children usually cost between $60-$125.
Kids tennis racket FAQ
Should I buy a larger racket that my child can grow into?
A. While this may seem like a smart way to save money, more often than not it is a bad idea. Getting a child a racket that is too large for them generally results in difficulty playing and frustration, which could potentially end your child’s interest in the sport.
Is there a difference between boys and girls tennis rackets?
A. Structurally speaking, there is no difference between boys and girls tennis rackets. They may sometimes look different simply due to the color schemes, but they have the same dimensions and build materials.
Do kids tennis rackets come pre-strung?
A. Nearly all kids tennis rackets come pre-strung. However, you should always carefully read the product details just in case. The last thing you want is to unexpectedly receive a racket that isn’t ready to use.
What are the best kids tennis rackets to buy?
Top kids tennis racket
What you need to know: Coming from one of the most trusted brands in the industry, this Roger Federer-inspired racket will serve young tennis players well until they grow out of it.
What you’ll love: It is available in several sizes to fit every player, and it features a bumper guard to help keep it in good condition through rough use.
What you should consider: Some players may prefer a slightly heavier racket.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top kids tennis racket for money
What you need to know: This affordably-priced racket does a good job of dampening vibrations, which should help kids play for longer with less fatigue.
What you’ll love: In addition to being lightweight, the frame is also very durable, which makes it ideal for kids just getting into the sport.
What you should consider: The white grip tape starts to look dirty very quickly.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: While this may not be from a brand you know, it’s still a decent-quality racket and it comes as part of a set with everything needed for your child to hit the court and start playing.
What you’ll love: The included cover is great for keeping the racket protected between uses. Plus, the sponge ball it comes with is perfect for young children first learning the game.
What you should consider: It is only available in two sizes, none of which are suitable for children under 3 feet 11 inches.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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