I do remember though, that I used that little kid’s racket for FAR FAR too long. So long in fact, that the next time I got a new racquet, it was because I had hit the ball so hard the frame of my old racquet cracked straight through!
This is the guide to choosing the best kids tennis racquets that I wish my parents had read when first giving me a tennis racquet as a kid. Because, especially when you’re first starting to play tennis, it’s very important to get the right racket and know when to switch.
We’ll cover how to choose a tennis racquet for your child and go over some of my favorite racquets.
How to Choose a Junior Tennis Racquet
If you don’t read any other part of this article, read this! The most important aspect of buying a junior tennis racquet is choosing the correct size
Size dictates everything about a tennis racquet. If it’s too short, your child won’t be able to comfortably extend their arm and they’ll find it hard to get the ball over the net. If it’s too long, it will be unwieldy, and your child will have trouble even hitting the ball.
Fear not though, for I have come up with a solution! The below method is the absolute best I’ve ever seen at being both easy to remember and very accurate.
Have your child stand straight up, nice and tall. Place the tennis racquet handle in your kid’s hand with the head of the tennis racquet facing towards the ground. Have them extend their arms by their side. If the head of the tennis racquet is slightly touching the ground or just above, congratulations you’re done!
However, if the end of the racquet is not touching the ground, you should probably move up to the next size. Or, if the racquet is too long, you’ll notice that your child’s arms will be bent.
If you want to buy online and don’t have a chance to see the racquet in person first, don’t worry! I’ve thought about you too. Below is a table that shows you the common racquet lengths by age.
Talking to Your Child
One thing to remember is that it’s important to talk to your child before buying a junior tennis racquet! You should be the one to choose the correct length for them, but they should make the final decision.
Do they want the junior tennis racquet with the smiley face on it which is shown to the right? Or do they want one which is all yellow which also happens to be their favorite color? Both of these exist, by the way, and little children love them. Click on the picture above to find out more about these child-friendly racquets.
If you want your kid to love tennis, it starts with them loving their racquet. And the only way that you can do that is to see what they think of it first.
My Favorite Junior Tennis Racquets
After knowing the correct length for your child and knowing what colors they want(or if they want a smiley face or not), there are still a lot of different rackets out there which are perfect for children.
In my experience as a tennis coach for kids, I’ve seen good and bad junior tennis racquets. Below are my favorites. These racquets can be used for all ages depending on how quickly your child advances with tennis but I also include the average age range below each racket in order to help you with your buying decision.
Wilson US Open Junior Tennis Racquet
Designed especially for the younger kids who are eager to get onto the court and play, the Wilson US Open Junior Tennis racquet is the perfect starter racquet for kids. It is made out of lightweight aluminum and features a vibrant color scheme that your kids will surely love.
Primarily, the Wilson US Open Junior racquet is for kids 10 and under and this particular racket is aimed at the beginners just getting on the court. It comes in 4 different sizes, and for your reference, I’ve included a rough sizing chart below. As always, the correct junior racquet length for your child depends on his/her height but this is a rough guide.
After buying this junior tennis racquet, I would also highly recommend buying some slower tennis balls specifically for helping your child learn tennis. These come highly recommended because they bounce slower than normal tennis balls. This gives your child more time and helps them use their junior tennis racquet to the best of their ability.
Wilson Burn Junior Tennis Racquet
For the slightly more advanced junior tennis players, the Wilson Junior Burn is a great choice for the best kids tennis racquet that can take a child’s tennis ability to the next level. This is the junior version of one of the best selling adult tennis racquets and I promise you, that it performs just as well for kids as the larger version does for adults.
Kids love the bright orange and red design that their friends can see from afar. And for girls who maybe don’t like the color scheme, there’s a pink version available just for them. On Amazon, the Wilson Junior Burn racquet is available in 3 different sizes of 19”, 21”, 25” so be sure to know what size racquet your kid needs before you buy.
Head Microgel Radical Junior XT Racquet
The Head Graphene Radical Junior XT is a 26 inch racket aimed at the 8 or 9 to teenage market. It is a faithful junior version of the adult Radical XT racket which will appeal to kids wanting to use a similar version of an adult racket. HEAD has recently updated this racket to make it better and more suitable for the children’s market.
The Radical Junior XT is made from Graphene XT technology which makes it light and comfortable to play with. Whilst not the lightest, it comes in at 8.6 oz which is by no means too heavy or unwieldy for a younger player. I particularly like the larger head size of 100 inches on this racket as it makes the ball easier to hit for kids.
As the junior version of an adult racquet, the Head Graphene Radical Junior XT will give your child the same power that some of the pro’s have. The main advantage of buying a junior version is that it is perfectly constructed for a younger person’s frame.
For kids who have progressed past the beginner stage though, the Head Radical Junior tennis racquet is the next step up. This product offers the perfect mix of maneuvrability and power from the baseline making it a great racket for the junior players looking to progress in their game.
Babolat Nadal Kids Tennis Racquet
For the slightly older kids(ages 7 – 13), I would highly suggest the highly rated junior tennis racket from Babolat, the Babolat Nadal 26 inch racket.
The frame is made of lightweight aluminium and has the same colour scheme as Rafa’s real racket which children will love as they imitate him. It also gives a good amount of power so is ideal for practicing those backhands and forehands with from the baseline.
It’s easy to handle as the grip on it is fantastic and sturdy enough to last a good few years until they are ready for the next level up. I think the head size is great for kids too at 105 inches as is the 16 x 19 string pattern because this gives them more area to hit the ball with.
Volkl Revolution 25 Junior Tennis Racquet
The weight of the racket is 8.8 oz so another fairly lightweight racket that they will find easy to use and go through their range of strokes on. The head size is 98 inches which is nice and large for them to connect with the ball on.
It has a 16 x 19 string pattern also which is responsive and balanced when making a shot. The overall feel of the racket is very nice too with it being slightly head light.