The choice is yours. But whatever you decide will undoubtedly affect the way you play the game, so make sure to choose wisely.
Today we take a look at the best tennis racquets for beginners so you can decide which one is the right fit for you and your needs.
Wilson K Factor KZero
One of the best-selling beginner tennis racquets out there; the Wilson K Factor KZero is a good choice for anyone just starting out on their tennis journey.
One the first things of note about this racquet is its weight, weighing in at only 9.1 ounces strung, it one of the lightest on the market. In terms of what this means for players, it allows you to manoeuvre the racquet quicker and complete faster swings. Because it’s so light, you will also expend a lot less energy swinging the racquet.
Another feature of note is its gigantic head which measures in at 118 sq. inches, meaning you will have a large sweet spot to work with as you refine your technique. When you combine this it’s minimal weight you can see why this is considered one of the best tennis racquets for women beginners.
This racquet is also packed with new Wilson technologies. The [K]ompact center gives the racquet additional feel, improves handling and manoeuvrability and was directly inspired by Roger Federer.
The [K]ontour Yoke gives the racquet increased stiffness at some of the key stress points, and the [K]arophite Frame strengthens the frame, offering great stability through your ball strikes.
- Large head offering huge sweet spot
- Incredibly light making for easier swings
- Packed with new technologies
- ncreased vibration
BABOLAT BOOST DRIVE
The Boost Drive from Babalot continues the lightweight theme coming in at just over the Wilson K Factor KZero with a strung weight of 9.8 ounces.
However, the racquet significantly differs with their head which is 105 sq. inches, which makes the racquet extremely manoeuvrable and agile. You still have a nice margin for error with its sweet spot, with the increased swing speed of a smaller racquet head.
The main selling point for this racquet is the patented “Woofer” grommet system. This structure, unlike other racquets, allow the strings to move slightly when they make contact with the ball, giving you greater control, and more action on power-strokes and slices.
Babolat themselves say this technology creates an extra 25% contact time through your swing. This also helps to reduce the ball shock when hitting your longer baseline groundstrokes.
- Lightweight construction gives good manoeuvrability
- More control of the ball through increased contact time
- Good shock absorption
- Smaller head requires greater precision for beginners
Babolat Boost Aero
Similar to its sister racquet (Boost Drive), this model is great for those who are looking for the best cheap tennis racquet for beginners.
Weighing the same as the Boost Drive, this racquet has smaller head at 102 sq. inches which forces you to focus on your form through your strokes. This is why this racquet is popular with juniors who are looking to buy their first adult racquet, without breaking the bank.
You still get all the benefits of the “Woofer” grommet technology for increased contact, but you also get the benefits of an open string pattern to load up on spin when playing your bigger shots.
The smaller racquet size, leads to increased speed, which means you’ll notice a difference in how quickly you can return serves and baseline groundstrokes. It also gives you greater manoeuvrability around the court, making it easier to take those shots whilst you are on the move.
- Great value for money
- Increased speed and manoeuvrability
- Good spin control
- Other racquets offer better stability
Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Stretch OS
We now take a look at one of Wilson’s best-selling racquets, the Hyper Hammer 5.3 Over Sized.
The oversized model has a head of 110 sq. inches but doesn’t feel top heavy when playing strokes. What you do feel is the extra power you gain in your strokes despite the fact that it weighs an astonishing 9 ounces full strung (it’s called “Hammer” for a reason!).
But what sets this racquet apart is its construction.
This racquet is made from Hyper Carbon which is 4 times stronger, 4 times stiffer, and 65% lighter than titanium. This means you can generate huge power without having to lug a heavy racquet around the court. Yet, despite its modern construction, this racquet is not significantly more expensive than the others in the same market.
Finally, its Hammer technology creates a large sweet spot (particularly on the 110 sq. inch head) which makes it ideal for beginner tennis players looking to develop their stroke play.
- Huge power
- Hyper Carbon construction
- Large sweet spot
- Less control than other racquets
- Slightly harsh vibration upon ball strike
Head Ti S6
The Ti S6 is the best-selling tennis racquet in the whole history of Head. It has even old sold its newer version (the Ti S7) leading to its discontinuation, such is the performance of this racquet.
This pre-strung racquet is incredibly light, pipping the other racquets to come in an astounding 8.9 ounces fully strung. However, the Head still manages to provide a racquet area of 115 sq. inches, rivalling the over-sized Wilson K Factor in terms of sweet spot size.
Of course, the little weight that this racquet has contributes to its agility and ability to swing quickly. This reduction in expended energy will really help beginners as you can begin to work on technique with its open string design, and sizeable sweet spot, without becoming overly tired.
This racquet also packs in very effective shock absorption with its ShockStop™ technology, reducing the vibrations through your shots. It also has one of the most stable frames on the market, and it is easy to see why this was once the highest selling tennis racquets in the world.
- Great all-rounder at an affordable price
- Incredibly light
- Huge racquet head
- Other racquets offer more ability control shots
Head Liquidmetal 8
This Head racquet is designed with power in mind. This is one of the best tennis racquets for complete beginners because its main feature is a “total” sweet spot, meaning you will generate maximum power no matter where the ball lands on the racquet.
Head claim themselves that the liquid metal technology adds an extra 29% power when compares to similar racquets on the market. Yet, it is not particularly heavy for a power-focused model coming in at 10.10 ounces, less than an ounce heavier that most of the models in this list.
Comfort is also a big feature of this racquet with extra dampening of vibration provided by the NoShox dampening technology and the integrated string dampener. In fact, Head have managed to reduce their vibration by 27% on this model. This is impressive considering this is still an oversized head racquet (112 sq. inches).
- Powerful racquet without being too heavy
- Less vibration that most models
- One of the biggest sweet spots on the market
- Beginners can become over reliant on the power, and struggle to adjust to more advanced racquets
Head Ti Reward
Another pre-strung racquet from Head that is popular with beginners is the Ti Reward. This model can often be picked up at nearly half the price of competitor models so if you want a cheap tennis racquet for beginners, this may be an ideal fit before moving onto a slightly more advanced racquet.
This racquet in contrast to the other’s we have looked at is focused on power and stability. It is still lightweight but comes in considerably heavier that some of the other models at 9.9 ounces before you’ve even added stings to it.
The head is still large enough to provide an easily achievable sweet spot at 110 sq. inches, and the main feature of this particular model is comfort and stability. The vibrations are much less harsh in this racquet that the other super-lightweight racquets. Which means you can generate good power on your strokes without jarring your hands or elbow joints.
- Great stability, low vibration
- Good power and large sweet spot
- Great value
- Less ball control
- Less manoeuvrable than competitors
There are several things you need to paying attention to when shopping for your beginner tennis racquet. Let us guide you through the 3 most important aspects before you decide to buy.
Buying the cheapest racquets is rarely a good idea. You will find them difficult to develop your game with and you will become disillusioned with tennis if you are playing with a cheap racquet that isn’t fit for purpose.
The usual cost for a good quality beginner racquet is anywhere between $100 - $200 but you can find good options just below the $100 mark. By purchasing a higher-priced racquet in the short term you are likely to saving yourself money because your racquet will last longer and your game will develop quicker, meaning less money spent on lessons.
Generally speaking, more or less weight is going to give you more or less power. So lighter does not always mean better, especially if you are looking to generate maximum power through your strokes.
There is a reason that most beginner racquets are lightweight, and that is because they give you a chance to learn proper technique before adding huge amounts of power to the mix.
Many learners opt for a heavy racquet and quickly switch realising they can’t handle the extra power (constantly over-hitting) or they fatigue much easier when running around the court with a heavy racquet.
Our advice would be to start light, learn the correct techniques and how to apply spin to the ball. Then you can graduate to a heavier and more powerful racquet once you are fully confident in your abilities.
Here are your usual weights, regardless of skill level:
Normal adult male: 7.9-11.3 oz.
Normal adult female: 7.2-11oz.
Head size is also a critical factor when picking your first racquet. Some people have the misconception that the bigger the head, the bigger the sweet spot, which isn’t entirely true. But it is a good idea to start with a larger racquet.
The margin for error is so much bigger with a larger head, and as you start to learn and improve you can move onto more dynamic racquets that cater to your specific style. If you start off with a small to mid-sized head you will quickly get frustrated and disheartened.
So we would recommend an over-sized head to begin with before moving on to smaller, more powerful heads that allow you to exercise more control over your shots.
Here are the different head size categories:
Midsize: 85-95 square inches
Mid Plus: 96-105 square inches
Oversize: 106-118 square inches
Super Oversize: 119 square inches and above
Overall, picking the best tennis racquet for beginners is down to personal preference. You will find a racquet that is a perfect match for you in the list above and it’s best not to take a one-size-fits-all approach.
However, there are some racquets that deserve special mentions for checking all of the boxes for being an excellent beginner racquets.
The two that top the list are the evergreen Head Ti S6 which, despite being first released in the late 1990s is still going strong and is the best all-rounder on the list. No matter what your playing style is, you will progress nicely with this stellar performer.
Secondly, if you want to buy a lightweight racquet without sacrificing on power, the Hyper Hammer 5.3 OS from Wilson is a brilliant racquet. It checks all the boxes for the beginner, over-sized head, plenty of power, incredibly lightweight hyper carbon construction and doesn’t cost a fortune either.
Why not share your story and let us know in the comments below which beginner tennis racquets have worked for you!