If you’re a tennis player or just a fan of the sport, that moment when your son or daughter picks up a tennis racket for the first time and begins whacking the ball around is a great day. It’s especially gratifying to see young ones fully embracing the sport and wanting to practice and get better. But what is the best kids tennis racket to choose for your budding Serena Williams or Roger Federer?
Playing the game and getting started with tennis training are fun, but they can also be pretty costly. During the growing phase, most children need a basic but durable racket. After all, in a year they could decide to move on to baseball or basketball. So investing in an expensive tennis racket at this early stage doesn’t make sense.
Since young players don’t need a fancy limited edition racket, you can go with something more basic in the beginning. Thankfully, junior rackets can be cheap if you know what to look for. They can also stand up to a lot of abuse, which is great because we know our kids won’t take the same kind of care with their equipment as adults do.
Reviews of the 5 Best Kids Tennis Racket Options
As of 2017, these are our five most highly recommended rackets for young tennis players and tennis training. None of them are particularly expensive, so you don’t have to worry about making a huge monetary investment. Just pick one your son or daughter likes, get out there on the court, and start playing!
Prince is a company well-known for its tennis gear for adults, and they also make a great junior racket. The lightweight frame is perfect for children up to age ten. Like the Wilson, this Prince racket comes in a few different sizes, so choose the one most appropriate for your budding tennis star.
What’s unique about the Prince Tour Junior is that it comes with a basic racket cover. Not many kids’ rackets come with covers. This is a good way to teach children early about the importance of taking care of their equipment.
Wilson’s Roger Federer-branded line of rackets are among the most reliable cheap tennis rackets on the market. The adult version appears on our list of the top adult beginner rackets out there, and the kids’ version gets great reviews as well.
With a large sweet spot, the Federer racket is considered a solid choice for the intermediate junior player – someone, perhaps, who has outgrown their first kids’ racket and is looking for a quality upgrade as they take their game to the next level.
Here’s a great choice for beginners. The Wilson U.S. Open Junior racket ranges from 19 to 25 inches in length and is very lightweight. The grip is narrow and short, allowing for more wielding control. It’s also affordable, making it one of the best rackets in its price range.
Best of all, this aluminum racket comes in a wide variety of color schemes, which gives your kids lots of choices to select the design they like best. Color options include green/yellow, orange/yellow, red/blue, and black/white.
The Hello Kitty racket is a surprisingly popular model, particularly among girls in the 4-8 age range. The bright pink racket features the familiar Hello Kitty logo, so it’s best for youngsters who are just learning to play the game.
Don’t let the cartoonish appearance of the racket fool you; it’s well-constructed and durable. The Hello Kitty model can be considered a best kids tennis racket because of its popularity and branding, but it’s very much a “fun” racket and not one to be used in serious competition.
The Street Tennis Club racket comes in smaller sizes from 17 to 21 inches. That makes it an ideal choice for younger kids from ages 3 to 7 and up to 55 inches in height. Its playful, vibrant designs are likely to appeal to all types of children.
This racket is no frills, but it gets the job done. As an introductory racket for a young child hitting the court for the first time, this one is a winner.
Factors to Consider When Selecting a Junior Tennis Racket
The Importance of Racket Length
More than anything else, you need to watch out for the length of any children’s racket. The length determines the weight. If the length of the racket is longer than your child can handle, they won’t be able to wield it nearly as effectively. Check out a sizing chart or read the information on the racket before you buy.
If you’re lost, use these basic guidelines as a rule of thumb. The typical adult racket is about 26” long. For a child under the age of ten, consider a racket from 19-25” in length. As the junior players grow older and taller, you’ll need to upgrade the size of the racket.
Get a Larger Head Size with Tighter Strings
The larger the head size of the racket, the easier it is to connect with the ball. Most kids play tennis for fun, not for competition. They aren’t going to have much fun if they’re always struggling to connect with the balls when they swing the racket.
Choose a model that has a larger-than-average head size and tight strings. Tighter strings allow for more power delivery, which a weaker youngster will need. If you’re particularly motivated, you can take the racket to have it professionally strung, or buy a stringing machine and do it yourself.
To select the best kids tennis racket for your son or daughter, take all of these factors into consideration. And don’t be afraid to ask their opinion, especially when it comes to racket color and appearance! Hopefully you’ll be able to instill into them a love of the sport that turns into life-long enjoyment.