Beginners, especially men, often assume that paying more for a racquet will automatically make them better tennis players. Unfortunately, this is not true. In fact, spending too much may do more harm to a beginner’s game than spending less.
Smart beginners start with racquets that are designed specifically for beginners. Then, when they are ready, they replace their beginner racquet with a new racquet designed for intermediate players.
Look for a 27″ racquet, which is the standard length for adults. The best total weight for beginners is 10-12 ounces.
Avoid shorter racquets (under 27″) designed for juniors. Avoid heavier racquets (over 12 ounces) designed for experts and lighter racquets (under 10 ounces) designed for seniors and exceptionally small adults.
Look for a large racquet head (over 105 square inches) for more power and a larger, more forgiving sweet spot. Many recreational players will stick with a larger head all their lives.
Avoid small racquet heads which give greater control at the expense of power and which also tend to magnify mistakes. Small headed racquets are designed for expert players who are able to hit the ball within inches of their target more than 90 per cent of the time.
Look for a head-heavy racquet for more stability and less stress on your wrist and elbow. This will add more power to your strokes and help cover up your mishits.
Avoid head light racquets until you are good enough to hit the ball exactly in the sweet spot on every stroke.
Look for an aluminum frame. These frames are stiff enough for beginners.
Avoid graphite frames unless you are prepared to spend more than beginners need to spend.
Prices for beginner racquets are typically under $30.00. Graphite racquets begin at about $70 and run to nearly $300.00. You can occasionally find graphite racquets in the clearance bin for half price.
If you find one that is the right length, weight, head size and balance for about $30,00, then it is a smart buy for a beginner. Otherwise, don’t bother.