Are you shopping around for a tennis racket for a youth player? That task can be a bit daunting what with the many racket brands available today and the ever-evolving regulations that seek to make the game fairer and more competitive. The good news is that as the rules and racket technology evolve so do the safety standards, particularly for kids.
While that is something worth smiling about, safety is not the only thing that you should have in mind when trying to purchase the best youth tennis racket.
You should choose one that will not only make the game enjoyable for your youngster but can also motivate him or her to outperform competitors, particularly if he or she is going to play in competitive games. We all know that kids love to win in games, and when they don’t, they tend to lose morale in the sport.
That is why we have put together this guide that will help you choose a tennis racket that will increase the chances of your junior player recording consistent success.
Top 10 Best Tennis Rackets For Kids* editor rating based on quality and value
Wilson Junior Burn Pink Tennis Racquet
|(4.9 / 5)|
HEAD Speed Junior Tennis Racquet
|(4.8 / 5)|
17-19-21 inch Tennis Rackets for Children by Street Tennis Club
|(5 / 5)|
Prince Junior Tennis Racquet - Pink
|(4.7 / 5)|
17-19-21 inch Kids Tennis Racket with a Tennis Bag
|(5 / 5)|
Wilson Roger Federer Junior Tennis Racquet
|(4.8 / 5)|
Head Instinct Jr 23 Tennis Racquet
|(4.85 / 5)|
Wilson US Open Junior Tennis Racquet
|(4.9 / 5)|
Hello Kitty Sports Junior Tennis Racquet
|(4.9 / 5)|
HEAD Instinct Junior Prestrung Tennis Racquet
|(4.7 / 5)|
How to Choose the Best Youth Tennis Racket
1. Consider The Age of The Player
The age of your youth player plays a huge role in determining the most appropriate racket. For starters, the USTA has classified rackets depending on the player’s age and skill level. While an adult racket should be 26 to 27.5 inches long, a youth racket ought to be much smaller than that. There is no “one-size-fits-all” rule but whatever you do, choose a lightweight bat that can also match your kid’s size and strength.
The following classification should make for a good guideline:
6 to 7 year-olds – 23 inches
8 to 10 year-olds – 25 inches
10 to 12 year-olds – 26 inches
Above 12 years – 27+ inches
A kid who bigger than other kids of his or her age should be able to swing a heavier racket compared to their peers, so feel free to go an inch or two upwards if your kid is bigger and stronger than others.
2. Racket Length Matters
The length is arguably the most important thing to consider when looking for the best youth tennis racket. A longer racket can generate more power compared to a shorter one, but the longer one will be harder to swing. If you get a racket that your kid can’t even swing, they will spend so much energy controlling and maneuvering the racket rather than playing the actual game, and it won’t take long before loses interest in the sport completely.
Today, youth’s rackets come in a variety of lengths, the main ones being 19, 21, 23, 25, and 26 inches. You can use your child’s height to determine which length is the best.
If your child is 40 inches or shorter, choose a 19-inch racket.
If he is 40 to 44 inches tall, choose a 21-inch racket.
45 to 49-inch tall kids are best suited by a 23-inch racket.
50 to 55-inch tall players will do better with a 25-inch racket and any child who is over 55 inches tall should do just fine with a racket that is 26 inches or longer.
3. Check the Head Size
The head of a tennis racket is usually measured in square inches. It influences the player’s ability to hit the ball in the sense that a large head increases the margin of error while a smaller one decreases the same. If your youth champ is very new to the game you might want to choose a racket with a large or oversize head as that will prevent him or her from hitting misses.
On the other hand, if he or she has some skills and experience, you can choose a medium sized head. It is totally not recommended to buy rackets with small heads for kids. Here is how tennis rackets are classified based on head size:
Small – 85-95 square inches
Medium – 96-105 square inches
Large – 106-118 square inches
Oversize – 119 square inches and above
4. Take Grip Size into Account
It is possible for a racket grip to be either too large or too small for your youth champ. Either way, an inappropriate grip size will make it hard for the child to control and maneuver the racket. Most youth rackets have a grip of 4 inches, and that is the recommended size.
However, there are some that are bigger than that – those designed for kids with above-average hands.
In case you are worried you can get the grip size wrong, simply choose the standard 4-inch racket. If it ends up being too small, you can increase it by adding an overgrip.
5. The Material
Tennis rackets come in different materials, but most of them are made of graphite. Graphite is light in weight, powerful, and durable – meaning you won’t be wrong in choosing a graphite-made racket. While graphite is the most common material, it is not the only one available for beginner rackets. Others are:
– Aluminum: the material is heavier than graphite but is extremely sturdy and reliable in delivering powerful shots. Aluminum rackets are the cheapest in the market.
– Titanium: these rackets provide good comfort and power. A point to note is that they are relatively inferior compared to aluminum and graphite.
Other common materials that you might run into are carbon fiber, boron, and kevlar. Tennis rackets made of those materials are usually very expensive and totally wrong for beginners. In fact, it is highly recommended that you only stick to graphite or aluminum. Titanium makes for a good alternative, but it shouldn’t be your top priority.
We acknowledge that choosing the best youth tennis racket is not a walk in the park, but it can certainly be an easy and fun process when you know what to look for. And that is exactly what this guide is for – to help you know all the parameters of a great youth racket.
Know the age of the player and then use our chart above to determine the size and construction of the racket (length, head size, and grip size). As far as material goes, graphite should be your top priority.