Tennis is a fun sport for everyone. It is a fun family game. It is also great for kids. It enhances gross and fine motor skills while remaining affordable.
There is not a large amount of expensive equipment associated with tennis for kids. However, a tennis racquet and tennis balls are a great start for equipment. Continue reading to find out more about tennis racquets for kids.
What is a Tennis Racquet for Kids?
A racquet is an item you hold in your hand that has a frame with a network of strings stretched tightly across the frame. It is used for striking a ball in a game like tennis, racquetball, squash, and badminton.
A junior tennis racquet is explicitly intended for kids. The length of the racquet is shorter than an adult racquet. The head is also shorter. A kid’s racquet ranges from 19 inches to 26 inches. This is just an inch shorter than an adult racquet, which is 27 inches long.
Junior frames are constructed from aluminum which makes them more affordable. A mid-range tennis racquet is constructed from graphite and aluminum. A high-end racquet is constructed from carbon graphite.
Types of Tennis Racquets for Kids
Junior Tennis Racquet
A junior tennis racquet is constructed for children because it has a shorter length and head. It is sized to fit perfectly in the hand of a child. This type of racquet is not meant for adults. The length of a junior tennis racquet starts at 19 inches and goes up to 26 inches. While there are racquets shorter than 19 inches, that is considered a toddler racquet. Therefore, they are different than junior racquets.
Racquets for Ages 1 – 4
This is the lightest racquet you can find, which makes it the best racquet for a beginning child. This tennis racquet is referred to as Le Petit. This is a great racquet for a 1 or 2 year old that is new to tennis. This racquet is 17 inches long (or 43 centimeters). In addition, these racquets are affordably priced.
This racquet is perfect for helping young children learn hand eye coordination. Specialists recommend this size for young children. A child of this age should play with inflatable balls to minimize any impact. You want to ensure that your child does not have a tennis racquet is too big.
Racquets for Ages 5 – 6
While you do not want your child to have a racquet that is too big, you do not want them to have one that is too small. By the time a child reaches age 5, a 17 inch racquet is too small. A racquet that is too small will impact your child’s ability to play the game.
By age 5, your child may need a 19 inch racquet which allows the child to feel comfortable while playing and still have fun. This is also the time that your child can start playing with foam tennis balls. This will help them progress to a real tennis ball.
Racquets for Ages 7 – 9
At this age, it is time to move your child up from a 19 inch racquet to a 23 inch racquet. You want to be careful not to go too big too fast. You might want to jump up to a 25 inch, 26 inch, or 27 inch racquet, but you do not want to get there too quickly. It is essential that you allow your child to grow slowly with the racquet.
This will negatively impact your child’s progress and transition in the game. But, on the other hand, this allows your child to develop skills that help them enjoy the game while they learn how to control the direction of the balls as they hit them.
At this time, your child can progress to a low pressure ball until they are able to handle a regulatory tennis ball.
Racquets for Ages 10 – 11
This is the age to move your child up to a 25 inch racquet. This is the age when your child goes from recreational and beginning racquets to a performance level youth racquet. A performance level racquet is heavier and intended to be used by a more competitive player.
These racquets are constructed from the same carbon fiber as a full-size model. If your child is not interested in being competitive or new to tennis, they should use a light racquet that is intended for recreational use.
If your child is taller than the average child in their age group, they may be able to handle an adult racquet. However, if you have a child that is of a small and medium height, 25 inches or 26 inches is ideal for your child.
Racquets for Ages 12 and Up
By the time your child reaches age 12, they are most likely performing well and improving their tennis skills. They are most likely using a full-size 27-inch tennis racquet. However, they can still play with a 25 inch or 26-inch racquet if they are on the small size.
It is always best if your child plays with a lighter and smaller racquet so they can handle it comfortably. It could be time to acquire a durable graphite tennis racquet if you are willing to invest in a more expensive tennis racquet. Each racquet that your child gets will be heavier and longer than the one before.
This allows your child to transition slowly to a more improved game.
What to Look for in a Tennis Racquet for Kids?
When you are purchasing a tennis racquet for your child, there are a few things to consider when you purchase your racquet. First, you want to pay attention to the size and weight of the racquet. When you have the right size for your child, it ensures that they will have fun while learning how to play the game properly.
Second, you want a racquet that is pre-strung because you probably do not want to string it yourself. Third, you want a racquet that is durable because, most likely, your child is going to bang it into fences, walls, and floors. Finally, you need a racquet that is affordable because your child may outgrow it every six months, and you have to purchase a new one.
What to Look for When Choosing Grip?
One of the most important things about your tennis racquet is the grip and the size of the grip. Unfortunately, most of the junior racquets do not offer varying sizes of grips. Instead, most of them have a standard grip size of a 4-inch diameter.
If your child has a hand that is smaller or larger than 4 inches, you may need to look for a manufacturer that has larger or smaller handles than a typical grip. It is not always easy to have your child try out the racquet. It is much easier to measure your child’s hand and grip.
The measurement should be taken from the middle of the palm to the ring finger. This will give you an indication of the needed grip size. If the grip is not the right size, it will not be comfortable for your child to play.
If you find that the racquet grip is too small, you can make adjustments to it. You can add an overgrip which can increase the size of the grip by about 1/16 inches. This is often enough to make the grip the proper size.
If the grip is too large, that is more challenging. It is best for you to visit a professional store to get this grip to the right size. They have the proper equipment to handle this adjustment.
What Kind of String Should a Child’s Racquet Have?
The rope of the racquet is a critical part because this is what the ball comes into contact with. It must be strong enough to withstand the ball speed and the blows of the racquet. Polyester strings are popular, but you should consider synthetic strings for your child in the early stages.
If they are just learning how to play tennis, polyester is the best option. Then, as they become a stronger tennis player, you can switch them to polyester strings.
What is the Best Weight for a Racquet?
You want to make sure you purchase a racquet for your child that is not too heavy. If they cannot swing or play comfortably, they will become frustrated. You want to start a small child with a racquet that weighs about 250 grams or less.
This is just a bit over 1/2 pound. You are going to want to get graphite composite with some aluminum in the racquet. If your budget allows, you may want to consider an entirely aluminum racquet.
Once your child is more advanced, you can move up to a graphite racquet. It may be best to spend a little more money if your budget allows. This will ensure your child enjoys playing the sport and does not give it up due to frustration.
The next weight transition will be to go to a racquet that is between 280 grams and 320 grams (almost a quarter of a pound). You also want to ensure that the racquet is balanced. You do not want the weight to accumulate at the head of the racquet.
Your child most likely will not grow into a full-size tennis racquet until about age 13 or older. They should be about 60 inches tall before making the switch to a 27-inch racquet. Remember, you do not want to rush the process or push them into a bigger racquet before they are ready.