Tennis Equipment

The Best Beginner Tennis Racquets 2019 Edition

If you are new to the world of tennis, it can seem like a pretty daunting task to figure out which racquet to start using. If people start throwing terms like swing weight, frame stiffness, and stringing pattern around then without a certain understanding of how racquets work it can seem like you are being spoken to in another language.

With this short guide to beginner racquets, I'm going to make the racquet choosing process much simpler for you. Often beginners never really think about what racquet they are going to use, they just pick up whatever is available to them and start trying to hit some balls. That's fine if it's a twice a year hobby, but if you are looking to improve and play more frequently you need to get the right equipment.

Even if you are a beginner with very limited knowledge of the game it is important to use equipment that is favourable to you as it can greatly impact your enjoyment and your ability to improve. If a beginner decided to use Roger Federer’s racquet, the RF97, just because he's their favourite player, then it would be hugely challenging to use that frame and make the most of their game due to the weight. Even a very experienced player might have trouble playing their best with a racquet of such characteristics.

As well as breaking down the characteristics of racquets,  I will go over some racquet choices that may be great options for someone who has just started playing the game. If you are looking to use the same equipment that you see some of the pros on TV using we are sorry to disappoint, but usually, most of those racquets require having a considerable level of skill to be able to get the most out of them. Luckily for you, most racquet brands do have variations on the more serious player's frames that can give you a similar feel to what your favourite players are rocking on the courts that you see on television.

You might like: My In-Depth Guide on How to Choose the Right Tennis Racquet

What Racquet Specifications Mean

In order for us to be able to choose the right equipment, we have to talk about racquet specifications. We are not going to into super deep or specific details to what all of the different specs mean but it is important to have an idea of how these all work. This way, when your game improves and you may want to start using a different racquet, you can have a firmer idea of what your future frame can be.

Weight

Pretty self-explanatory usually displayed in ounces or grams, for a beginner a racquet the key is finding a frame that isn't too light as it hinders stroke development or too heavy to the point it's difficult to use. For a typical adult male, you should be looking at a frame between 290-320g, a typical adult woman this should be around 280-310g both unstrung.

Head Size

Measured in square inches, if you are a beginner then it's not a bad idea to use a racquet with a mid size / large head size then they are usually more forgiving on off centre hits. An adult male should be looking at frames that are 95-100 sq inches and a female 95-105 sq inches.

Grip Size

Depends on the size of your hand of course. The video below shows you how to measure. However, I would suggest choosing something slightly smaller than you think as a smaller grip makes it easier to manoeuvre the racquet. And it's also easier to make a grip larger than it is smaller!

Swing Weight

This is important to not mistake it for the overall weight of the racquet. This is the combination of the overall weight and the balance. A racquet can be much heavier but can have a lower swing weight than a racquet that is very head heavy. So for beginners, we want to avoid racquets that are head heavy as they are tougher to manoeuvre but we also don’t want them to be super headlight as it can be challenging for them to create power. For a male, I recommend somewhere between 5-12pts headlight and for a female 3-8 pts headlight.

Quick Comparison of the Best Beginner Racquets

RacquetHeadsizeUnstrung WeightString Pattern 
Babolat Pure Drive 110110 sq. in.265g16 x 19 Check Price
Wilson Blade 104104 sq. in.289g18 x 19 Check Price
Dunlop Srixon Revo 100S100 sq. in.280g16 x 18 Check Price
Prince Textreme Tour 100T100 sq. in.290g16 x 18 Check Price
Wilson Blade 98L98 sq. in265g16 x 19 Check Price
Wilson Pro Staff 97LS97 sq. in270g18 x 16 Check Price
Yonex EZONE DR Lite100 sq. in270g16 x 19 Check Price
Babolat Pure Aero Lite100 sq. in270g16 x 19 Check Price
Tecnifibre T-Flash
265 ATP
100 sq. in265g16 x 19 Check Price
Wilson Burn 100LS100 sq. in280g18 x 16 Check Price
Prince O3 Blue+110 sq. in265g16 x 19 Check Price
Head Graphene XT
Instinct REV Pro
100 sq. in255g16 x 16 Check Price
Head Ti S6 Titanium115 sq. in225g16 x 19 Check Price

A Detailed Look at My Recommended Tennis Racquets for Beginners


babolat-pure-drive-110-racket

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Babolat Pure Drive 110

The Pure Drive 110 is both forgiving and easy to manoeuvre from all areas of the court. Players will find ample access to spin thanks to the generous hitting area and open 16 x 19 string pattern. This is a great choice for the improving player who wants a blend of power and control.

This Babolat Pure Drive 110  is a very good choice for players who are just picking up the game. A pretty lightweight frame, in fact just under what I would usually recommend but this one sneaks into my picks.

Like most Babolat racquets it is fairly powerful and has a large head which should allow a beginner plenty of forgiveness. Another benefit this racquet offers is easy access to spin due to the 16 x 19 string pattern.

If you manage to find a previous version of this racquet from a year or two ago you'll save money too. It will play the exact same as the newer model. This principle applies to almost any racquet out there. Usually, when there is a new model update, the way the racquet plays hardly changes, it is purely a cosmetic change.

AttributeSpecification
Head Size110 sq. in. / 709.68 sq. cm.
Length27.6in / 70.1cm
Strung Weight9.3oz / 265g
Balance13.37in / 33.96cm / 3 pts HL
Swingweight305
Stiffness69
Beam Width24mm / 26.5mm / 23.5mm /
CompositionGraphite
Racquet ColorsBlue
Grip TypeBabolat Syntec Lite
String Pattern16 Mains / 19 Crosses
String Tension50-59 pounds

babolat-pure-aero-lite-racket

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Babolat Pure Aero Lite

The Pure Aero Lite is a great option for players who want all the benefits of the Pure Aero but in a lighter frame. Beginner and intermediate players will appreciate this racquet's handling and comfort. Thanks to the open string pattern this racquet is also able to put a lot of work on the ball.

Crafted out of Rafa Nadal’s frame, this lighter more friendly racquet is great for beginners who might want to experiment creating more spin.

This frame is slightly heavier than the Aero Drive 110 featured above but one I'd still call a lightweight racquet. Despite that, the feature that stands out in this frame is how stable the racquet is despite its lightness. Any beginner who wishes to learn how to play with more spin and easy pace should consider this frame.

AttributeSpecification
Head Size100 sq. in. / 645.16 sq. cm.
Length27in / 68.58cm
Unstrung Weight9.5oz / 270g
Balance13.5in / 34.29cm / 0 pts EB
Swingweight308
Stiffness69
Beam Width23mm / 26mm / 23mm /
CompositionGraphite
Racquet ColorsBlack/ Yellow
Grip TypeBabolat Syntec Pro
String Pattern16 Mains / 19 Crosses
String Tension50-59 pounds

wilson-blade-104-racket

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Wilson Blade 104

Raw power, lots of plow through, and powerful returns are part and parcel of the Wilson Blade 104. This racquet isn't for everyone, but if you've got a solid technique and want to generate your own pace the Blade 104 is a worthy contender for your shopping list.

Serena Williams’ racquet of choice. Within the beginner tennis racket category, this is the racquet comes close to what you'll find an advanced player using. This model will feel considerably less powerful than the Babolat racquets so if you are a fairly strong person and want to develop proper fluid strokes this racquet might be just the one for you.

Because it is a less powerful frame with a tighter string pattern it will mean that you will need to learn to create your own power and spin, which would require more effort than using some of the other suggested frames. The dense string pattern will also help beginners with precision and is more suited to flat hitters. I would recommend demoing this racquet (ideally you want to demo anything before you buy it) but this one in particular as it's not for everyone.

AttributeSpecification
Head Size104 sq. in. / 670.97 sq. cm.
Length27.5in / 69.85cm
Unstrung Weight10.2oz / 289g
Balance13.1in / 33.27cm / 5 pts HL
Swingweight318
Stiffness66
Beam Width22mm / 22mm / 22mm /
CompositionGraphite Basalt Matrix
Racquet ColorsBlack / Green
Grip TypeWilson Sublime
String Pattern18 Mains / 19 Crosses
String Tension50-60 pounds


srixon-revon-cz

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Dunlop Srixon Revo 100S

Dunlop's Srixon Revo CZ 100S is perfect for the beginner or intermediate player who needs an easy to manoeuvre frame racquet that combines easy power with plenty of spin. This frame is well suited for the rising beginner or the strong junior who is looking for an adult type racquet.

At just shy of 300g strung the Dunlop offers a very manageable swing weight making it fairly easy to generate pace and spin. I've actually demoed this frame and it felt great for stability, feel and response on off-center hits.

If we look at the rest of the specifications this frame has quite a lot of characteristics from a ‘players frame' and is the kind of equipment someone who is more experienced would use. However, this racquet is ideally suited for intermediates and beginners.

AttributeSpecification
Head Size100 sq. in. / 645.16 sq. cm.
Length27in / 68.58cm
Unstrung Weight9.9oz / 280g
Balance12.99in / 32.99cm / 4 pts HL
Swingweight308
Stiffness70
Beam Width23mm / 24mm / 22mm /
Composition Sonic Core/Graphite
Grip Type Dunlop Synthetic
String Pattern16 Mains / 18 Crosses
String Tension45-60 pounds

cThis frame is definitely one of the cheaper ones on the list at only $139 for people who do not want to spend a lot of money on a quality beginner racquet. If a player is a bit more advanced can also find this racquet helpful. If we look at the specifications we can see that the smaller head and because it is heavier it also has the characteristics of the kind of equipment someone who is more experienced would use. However this racquet still provides plenty of easy power and spin that both and intermediates and beginners would be looking for.

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Prince Textreme Tour 100T

Ideal for beginner and intermediate players who want a fast and spin-friendly racquet. At just under 300 grams, this frame allows you to take huge cuts at the ball, resulting in an solid mixture of of pace and spin.

The Prince is a fast and lively racquet and even though it doesn't have the power from the baseline as you get from a heavy player's racquet, it offers some good stability for its weight. It's great up at net too, making it ideal for doubles. Overall this is a smart choice for intermediate players who want speed, spin and precision in an easy to use package.

AttributeSpecification
Head Size100 sq. in. / 645.16 sq. cm.
Length27in / 68.58cm
Unstrung Weight10.2oz / 290g
Balance13in / 33.02cm / 4 pts HL
Swingweight317
Stiffness62
Beam Width22mm / 23mm / 22mm /
CompositionGraphite & Textreme
Grip TypePrince Resi Pro
String Pattern16 Mains / 18 Crosses
String Tension48-58 pounds
Got a question about any of the racquets listed here or need some advice on other frames you are considering purchasing? Contact me or leave a comment below. I usually reply within 48 hours.

Jonathan

Huge fan of Roger Federer. I watch all his matches from Grand Slam level right down to ATP 250. When I'm not watching or tweeting about tennis I play regularly myself and use this blog to share my thoughts on Federer and tennis in general.

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