You can't play tennis without a racket. When you start getting into the game, it is one of the first items you will learn about. There is the standard length you can expect from a racket and legal restrictions for your racket within professional games. If you are just getting into the game, you are probably wondering which racket is right for you, and exactly should you go about choosing one? We gathered our research to break down how long a tennis racket is and the best method for choosing a tennis racket for beginners.
The length of a tennis racket includes the space between the butt of the handle to the tip of the head. The standard length of a tennis racket is 27 inches. However, you can find rackets as short as 17 inches and as long as 29 inches.
These numbers decide the length of a tennis racket, but there are more measurements that determine the entire size of a racket. Keep reading as we give you insights into which size rackets are best suited for women and teenagers, and answer why Babolat rackets are so popular.
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How Do You Determine Tennis Racket Size?
Length is an important aspect to determining tennis racket size, alongside body, head, and grip size. Varying racket sizes are suited for tennis players of different sizes and strengths.
The body size gets determined by the width of the frame, specifically the part of the frame called "the throat." A wide frame will leave you with a smaller throat and a narrow frame with a larger throat. A wider frame will offer more power.
The head of a racket is the area where the strings create the face of your racket. This area gets measured in square inches or centimeters. Most head sizes fall between 95 and 110 square inches. Larger heads make hitting the ball easier, while smaller heads allow more control.
All players have different-sized hands, and the grip size of the tennis racket needs to match this. Grip size includes the circumference around the edge of the handle and gets measured in inches. The sizes range from 4 inches to 4 3/4 inches.
All of these individual sections of your tennis racket will determine the overall racket size. Let's go on to talk about how best to choose a tennis racket if you are a beginner.
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How To Choose A Tennis Racket For Beginners
You will choose a tennis racket based on the measurements and your individual needs. Your need as a beginner is to learn the game. Tweener rackets and power or game improvement rackets are two major styles of tennis rackets that are recommended for beginners.
Within these two styles of rackets, you want to ensure you have the appropriately sized racket for your grip and size as well. You may have to try several rackets before you find the perfect fit. As a beginner, you will want to start off with a lightweight racket with a larger head size. This allows you to hit the ball consistently while toning the muscles needed for the game.
Measuring for proper grip size can be done by measuring the length between the middle line in your palm to the top of your middle finger. The standard length of 27 inches is typically ideal for beginner adult players. The best way to choose a racket is by trying them out first hand. Grab a couple you think you'd like and get them onto the court before you decide.
Have a look at the video below for some additional tips on choosing a tennis racquet for beginners.
Read more on our blog post, “How Many Tennis Lessons Do I Need?”
What Size Tennis Racket Should A 14-Year-Old Use?
We discussed how to choose a tennis racket for adult players, but what about our junior athletes? Rackets need to be chosen accurately based on the size of the player as well as skill level. Kids aged 14 are at a stage where they have access to their full tennis skills with practice, and in most cases, big enough to play with a standard size tennis racket.
If you are unsure about choosing a racket based on age, you can choose one based on the player's height. You can tell the appropriate racket size by holding the racket in one hand and extending it down towards the leg using a normal grip. The racket should be able to touch the ground with the arm fully extended. If the arm needs to bend, then you need a shorter racket.
Some height to racket recommendations include:
- 3 ft. 11 inches > 19-21 inch racket
- Up to 4 ft. 4 inches > 23 inch racket
- Up to 4 ft. 8 inches > 25 inch racket
- Up to 5 ft. 2 inches > 26 inch racket
- Over 5 ft. 2 inches > 27 inch racket
What Size Tennis Racket Should A Woman Get?
Tennis rackets are unisex and just like with men, a racket will be chosen using characteristics such as skill, height, and play style for women. However, some aspects within these characteristics are more likely to be used by women and the same for men. Women tend to have more control and less power versus male players, and the racket used needs to match those skills.
Grip size is the determining factor for deciding on a woman's tennis racket. Men usually require a racket with a bit larger of a grip size, while women typically use a racket with a grip size of 4 1/2 inches.
Alongside grip size, women should seek tennis rackets with a bit more power and spin. More spin can be found among tennis rackets with an open string pattern and string with a thinner gauge. Power can be found in rackets with larger heads.
Read more on our blog post, “Do Tennis Strings Go Bad Or Expire?”
Why Are Babolat Rackets So Popular?
Babloat has been considered one of the greatest and oldest tennis brands. The company was founded in France, in 1875. These rackets are very popular because the characteristics of these specific rackets appeal to a large population. The focus of these rackets is on spin generating and lightweight, large tennis racket heads. These rackets are good for all tennis players, from the beginner to the professional player.
One drawback to Babloat rackets is they can be on the more expensive side, with the average cost being $135. Additionally, there can be many imposter rackets due to the popularity of the brand.
Which Babolat Racket Should I Buy?
There are a variety of Babolat rackets on the market. How do you know which one will be the best for you? The best way to choose is to review your level of experience and play style. There are three main Babolat racket styles available including, Pure Aero, Pure Strike and Pure Drive. Let's take a closer look at each style to decide which will be the best suited for you.
The Pure Aero line is the most popular type of Babolat racket. These rackets are known for their spin and power. There are rackets within this line suited for all level of players. There are options of lightweight to heavy rackets and choices in between. These are great for players looking to add strength and spin to their plays.
Rackets in this line are great for players looking for more control. These models are the lightest option and easiest to swing. Enjoy the flexible feel and power these rackets offer.
This family of racket is popular for the speed and power it gives off. Like the Pure Aero line, there is a range of weights to choose from. Beginner players are sure to find a racket within this line. There are choices for more advanced players as well.
The average length of a tennis racket is 27 inches. It takes more than the length of a tennis racket to determine the overall size. When choosing a tennis racket, you need to consider the grip size, head size, and width of the frame as well. You can choose the appropriately sized tennis racket based on your height or age. We hope you found this article helpful when deciding which size tennis racket size will best suit you.
Are you looking for more insights into tennis gear? Have a look through our blog post, “Can Tennis Players Wear Gloves?”