The 9 Best Tennis Rackets to Shop Online, According to Customer Reviews
Whether you're a tennis novice or a seasoned pro, choosing the right tennis racket is essential. Some rackets are designed to generate more power to help you serve aces with ease, while others give you more control to land the ball exactly where you want it to on the court.
There are a lot of different things to look for when choosing a racket, including head size, grip, weight, and length. Your skill level also plays an important factor in choosing the right option for your game since there are tennis rackets for beginners and those for intermediates and beyond. To help you figure out which racket is best for your needs, Shape spoke to two tennis experts to get the scoop on everything you need to know about shopping for a new tennis racket.
The Best Tennis Rackets to Shop Online:
- Best Overall: Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Tennis Racket
- Best for Beginners: Oppom Carbon Fiber Tennis Racket
- Best for Intermediates: Head Ti.S6 Tennis Racquet
- Best for Seasoned Players: Babolat Pure Strike Tennis Racquet
- Best Expert-Approved: Wilson Clash Ultra 100L Tennis Racket
- Best Affordable Option: Head Ti. Conquest Tennis Racket
- Best Pro-Level Option: Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Tennis Racket
- Best Set: Senston Tennis Racket Set
- Best for Kids: Wilson US Open Junior Tennis Racket
How to Choose a Tennis Racket
"Tennis rackets are very personal things," says USTPA Elite Pro Gavin Glider. "Years ago you could buy a racket and just make it work. In today's game, different rackets suit different play styles and swing paths." (Related: The Best Tennis Skirts for Serving the Trend On and Off the Court)
The head size of a tennis racket is one of the first things many players look at when selecting a racket. "Head sizes of modern rackets typically fall into the categories of midsize (93-97 square inches), mid-plus (98-106 square inches), oversize (107-116 square inches), and super oversize (116+ square inches)," notes Glider. According to tennis coach and USTPA Elite Pro Zoe Jeffrey, beginners should choose a larger head size as it is "easier to make contact consistently." More seasoned players should reach for a midsize racket "that allows them to play with control, feel, and precision whilst generating their own power."
The weight and length of a racket can also greatly affect your game. Lighter rackets are easier to maneuver and can add more power to your swing, while heavier rackets provide more control. Glider suggests "starting with a frame that is easy to swing and add weight gradually until it feels perfect. In terms of length, most adult rackets are between 27-28 inches. Some players like to extend their rackets by half an inch to give a little more leverage when serving. Andy Roddick made this popular." (Related: Madison Keys On Why You Need to Be Watching Women's Tennis)
Grip is another important factor, as it can affect your spin. There are two ways to determine your grip size. "The easiest way to tell if a grip is the right size is you wrap your hand around the handle using a continental grip (hold it like you are hammering a nail with the edge of your frame)," explains Jeffrey. "There should be one finger width between the tips of your fingers and the base of your hand. Another method is to measure the distance in inches between the center crease of your palm and the tip of your index finger," she adds.
While grip sizes range between one and five, the most common grip sizes, according to Jeffrey, are a two for women and a three for men. "If you're not sure about what grip size to choose, always go smaller. You can build a handle up to be thicker using overgrips, but you can't easily make it thinner," she warns. (Related: How the Pandemic Has Helped Serena Williams Reconnect to Her Life Off the Court)
The Difference Between Beginner and Advanced Player Rackets
"Beginners should absolutely look for different racket types as opposed to more advanced players," says Glider. Luckily, many brands make affordable rackets for entry-level players, so they can learn to play the sport without investing too much. "As a player develops strokes, they can move into a more advanced racket that is designed to highlight what they do well," he adds. These professional-grade rackets tend to be much more expensive, but they are well worth the investment if you are trying to take your tennis skills to the next level.
Ready to hit the court? With these expert guidelines in mind, these are the 9 best tennis rackets available to buy online that customers say have helped up their game.