How to Choose the Best Kids Tennis Racket

Any parent who had played tennis in their childhood would wish that they could relive their childhood again just to play the game with the beautiful and comfortable kids tennis racket available today. While children then had to do with the available adult rackets, kids are today lucky enough to have customized rackets to play with. These rackets are so much lighter, smaller and easier for kids to handle, all, thanks to modern technology.

Jump directly to Rackets for 1 – 4 years old
Jump directly to Rackets for 5 – 6 years old
Jump directly to Rackets for 7 – 9 years old
Jump directly to Rackets for 10 – 11 years old
Jump directly to Rackets for 12+ years old
Jump directly to choosing Junior Rackets by Height
Jump directly to Kids Tennis Racket Parameters: Grip, Strings, Weight and Material

Right age to start

In fact, if you wonder when your child should start playing the game, it may be hard to believe, but the answer is between 1-2 years of age! Yes, kids rackets are so light and small today that even your interested one year toddlers can easily and safely start playing with rackets designed for them too!
However, these many kids tennis rackets now make choosing the perfect racket difficult as there are so many models and colors to choose from. There are rackets ranging from 15”to 27” in length, rackets in different colors like pink and blue and rackets with different themes! These rackets are so attractively designed that you cannot expect children to make the right choice. They will be so enthralled with the racket’s colors and designs that they make their choice not based on comfort or practicality, but based on color or theme.

You need to choose the right kids’ tennis racket for your child, and slowly help them progress to larger rackets as they grow and develop their skills. Kids need to keep changing their rackets as they grow and improve at the game.
It is better buying inexpensive rackets for children when they are younger as they may mistreat them, and also quickly grow out the racket. This is the reason why so many junior racket manufacturers produce affordably priced rackets.

Choosing by age

One of the best ways to choose junior tennis rackets is based on age. Here is a brief summary of the type of rackets for kids of different ages.

 Note: 17 inches = 17" [inches = "]
Rackets for 1-4 years old

The Le Petit tennis racket is perhaps the lightest tennis racket in the world. It is thus perfect to use to introduce your 1-2-year-old child to the world of tennis. It is only 17 inches long, very light and affordably priced at less than $20.
It is just right for your child to learn how to handle the racket and perhaps coordinate their hand-eye movement. It’s just right for them as they will only be playing tennis for fun, and not playing full matches or rallies! Just make sure they play with inflatable balls as it minimizes the shock their arms and wrists need to sustain.

Le Petit Tennis Racquet

Street Tennis Club Tennis Rackets for Kids

Prince Tennis Whizz 17" Junior Tennis Racquet

Sizes:
17 inches

Sizes:
17 inches
19 inches
21 inches

Sizes:
17 inches

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Check All Available 17″ Kids Tennis Rackets on Amazon Here

Rackets for 5-6 years old

Just like you should not give your 1-4 year old too big racket to play with, your 5-6 year old should not continue playing with their 17” racket as it only obstructs their game development. It is recommended to buy your 5-6-year-old child a 19” racket they are comfortable playing with as fun is still the primary goal of these young players!
For inspiration, you could buy them cartoon character themed rackets and if your child idolizes a certain player, they can play with the same brand their idol plays with. You can now let them start playing with foam tennis balls which helps them progress towards playing with actual tennis balls later on.

Wilson US Open Junior Tennis Racquet

Street Tennis Club Tennis Rackets for Kids

Hello Kitty Sports Junior Tennis Racquet

Sizes:
19 inches

Sizes:
17 inches
19 inches
21 inches

Sizes:
19 inches

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Check All Available 19″ Kids Tennis Rackets on Amazon Here

Rackets for 7-9 years old

This is the age when you make the biggest change in the type of racket your child plays with. You now have to shift from the 19” racket to a new 23” kids tennis racket. However do not make the mistake of buying a larger 25, 26 or 27” racket for them now, thinking they will slowly grow into it.
This only hampers their game as your child has to make a gradual transition in the game, and slowly develop their racket skills so that they still enjoy the game while maneuvering and controlling tennis balls.
This is especially important if they have not physically developed enough to safely play tennis with an adult racket. You can also shift and make them play using low-pressure tennis balls till they can handle regulation tennis balls.

Gamma Sports Kids Training (Transition) Balls

50% SLOWER SPEED
TRAINING TENNIS BALLS
15% LARGER
MEET USTA/ITF STAGE 2 SPECIFICATIONS

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Check All Available 21″ Kids Tennis Rackets on Amazon Here

Check All Available 23″ Kids Tennis Rackets on Amazon Here

Rackets for 10-11 years old

A 10-11 year child who is larger than normal in size in the build will be able to handle an adult racket. However, if they are of average or small build, then a 25 or 26” racket is a better option.
It is recommended to buy 2 rackets for kids this age as there is a chance of their breaking strings while playing. So it is better if they have a backup racket they are comfortable playing with while playing their game.

Check All Available 25″ Kids Tennis Rackets on Amazon Here

Check All Available 26″ Kids Tennis Rackets on Amazon Here

Rackets for 12+ years old

Kids this age have full access to their tennis skills and have grown big enough to play with a full sized 27” tennis racket. Of course, there is nothing wrong with them playing with their 25” or 26” racket now if they are small in stature.
It is always better if they play with a smaller and lighter racket they can control than a bigger racket they cannot even comfortably swing! However, if your kid has been playing the game for some time, and takes good care of their equipment, you may as well invest in a more durable graphite racket.

Wilson Junior Burn Tennis Racquet

Babolat Pure Drive Junior Tennis Racquet bundled with a Child's Tennis Backpack

Wilson Roger Federer Junior Tennis Racquet

Sizes:
19 inches
21 inches
23 inches
25 inches

Sizes:
23 inches
25 inches
26 inches

Sizes:
19 inches
21 inches
25 inches

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Choosing junior rackets by height

Now if you plan to buy your kids tennis racket based on their height, the best way to determine the right sized racket is by having your child stand nice and tall, and hold the racket in a normal grip.
The selected racket should be held straight down next to your child’s body and legs. Its head should be resting on the floor and its butt end pointing upwards towards the sky. Then make your child place their palm on the racket’s butt cap like they would touch a cane.
The racket is just perfect if it just touches the ground when your child’s arm is comfortably extended and resting on the tennis racket’s butt cap. However, if your child has to bend their arm to rest it on the butt cap, and tends to drag the racket, then they may end up dragging it on the court and scrape or damage the racket.
Then again, the racket is too small if it hangs above the ground or if your child’s hand does not reach the butt cap. Physically strong kids can handle bigger sized rackets while you can always opt for smaller rackets if your junior cannot handle their recommended racket size.

While buying your kids racket based on height:
· 6 year old kids under 3ft.11 inches in height should use a 19” or 21” racket while younger kids should play with a 17” racket.
· Kids between 3 ft. 11 inches and 4 ft. 4 inches should use a 23” racket.
· Kids between 4 ft. 4 inches and 4 ft. 8 inches in height should use a 25” racket.
· Kids between 4 ft. 8 inches and 5 ft.2 inches in height should play with a 26” racket.

Street Tennis Club Tennis Rackets for Kids

Wilson Junior Burn Tennis Racquet

Sizes:
17 inches
19 inches
21 inches

Sizes:
19 inches
21 inches
23 inches
25 inches

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Kids Tennis Racket parameters

Grip size

Most junior tennis rackets do not offer any choices in grip size as they have a handle on a common grip size or circumference of 4 inches. However, if your child’s hand measures more or less than 4 inches, if you search, you may be able to find some manufacturers who manufacture rackets with slightly larger or smaller grips.
It is always better to find and play with a correct sized racket, wherever possible. It’s easy measuring your child’s grip. Just take a ruler and measure his/her hand from the middle crease of the palm to the ring finger and this gives you their grip size.
There is a chance that the selected racket has too large or too small a grip for your child to play comfortably. Do not worry if this is the case as you just have to make some adjustments for a customized fit.
It is easy to increase the size of a small grip as it can be done just by adding an overgrip to it. This helps increase the grip size by about 1/16” of an inch. While this should usually suffice, to get the right sized grip, you can always turn to your local tennis shop for help at increasing your child’s grip with a permanent fix.
It is, however, more challenging making a large grip smaller. Do not attempt to do it on your own. Instead, it is better to speak to your coach or take the racket to your local tennis shop. They have the necessary equipment to make the necessary changes while maintaining comfort.

Strings

Strings are an important part of any racket as it is the strings that the ball hits while playing. The strings have to be strong enough to sustain the ball’s velocity and the child’s strokes. Polyester strings are quite popular but it is always better to buy junior tennis rackets with synthetic gut strings when they start learning the game. Once they grow older and stronger, you can always slowly shift to rackets with polyester strings.

Weight and material

Regarding the weight of the racket, you need to buy your child a racket which they can comfortably swing around without any difficulty while playing tennis. The last thing you want your child is feeling burdened and tired playing with a racket which is too heavy for them to even lift and play with.
Do not make the mistake of buying inferior quality rackets for your child. It is better paying a bit more for a racket your child will enjoy playing with. You can start out with a light racket weighing about 250 grams, preferably made of graphite composite which contains some aluminum. However, if you are on a budget, a junior aluminum racket makes a fairly good choice to start out with. Just make sure the racket is evenly balanced and does not have all its weight in its head.
You can move onto junior graphite rackets, which are meant for the serious players as adult rackets too are made of graphite. Progress from a racket weighing about 250 grams to the next evenly balanced racket weighing between 280 and 320 grams, without oversized heads.
Once your child is more than 14 years old, they are usually well skilled and strong enough to choose their own graphite racket style and manufacturer. To be on the safer side, it is better having them first try out the racket with its demo model, and they will then be able to finally decide if they want to buy the racket or not.

Babolat Pure Strike 26 Inch Junior Tennis Racquet bundled with bag

Yonex VCORE Si 100 Lite Tennis Racquet

Head Graphene Extreme MP Tennis Racquet

Weight: 250 grams
Size: 26 inches

Weight: 280 grams
Size: 27 inches

Weight: 300 grams
Size: 27 inches

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Final Remarks

Despite all the information here, sometimes your kid can prefer different racket as recommended. In fact, some professional junior players will prefer playing with a longer and different racket than mentioned in the guidelines here.
Moreover, it helps if you listen and watch out for any signs of discomfort or pain your child makes while playing tennis. For example, if they tend to hit out of the court, and you notice that they keep shaking their arm or wrist in the middle of their games, or if they complain about a sore wrist or arm, it may be because they are not comfortable with the racket, and need to change the racket.
Besides, the right choice is all based on personal skill levels and preferences.

Check also our guide to best tennis shoes and best tennis bags.

Posted in Best, BLOG.

5 Comments

    • Hi, I saw it on Wilson rackets and S means Spin effect technology. So S racket has fewer cross strings than main strings, which helps you to give a spin to the ball without changing swing speed.

  1. This is my encyclopaedia of tennis rackets for kids.
    Do you know how many times I am asked if this racket will suit my kid? So many.
    I will point them to your great article. Well Done

  2. my son is playing lawn tennis off n on since age of 4.
    now he’s 11.5 years old.looking for a good racket in babolat .his height is between 4.8 to 5 feet..with good built.
    need to invest in good racket so that change is not required soon.
    pls guide

    • Well, for that age 26 inches racket would be a nice fit. But if he is really good built and you do not want to change his racquet often go with 27 inches racket with weight around 260 grams (heavier racket could be a problem for a kid). e.g. this one Babolat Aero Pro Lite or this one

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