Paul has been an enthusiastic amateur tennis player for over 35 years. In 2013, he competed in the USTA tennis nationals in Arizona.
2021's Top 3 Rackets For Under $100
It goes without saying that finding the racket that suits you best is an important, if not vital way to ensure that you are playing your optimum tennis, whatever your skill level or experience.
Here are my selections:
- The Head Ti.S6: Comfortable and Easy Feel
- The Wilson Blade Team: Lightweight and Versatile
- The Babolat 2021 Boost Drive: Perfect For Beginners
I discuss my choices below in more detail.
The Head Ti.S6: Comfortable and Easy Feel
This racket was once the world's best seller and is still very much in demand, many years after its initial release, thanks to its awesome qualities.
The Ti.S6 is longer than the average racket, but light and easy to maneuver. Despite its lack of weight, it can still deliver power when necessary, and just as importantly, feels comfortable to handle.
Head Ti.S6 Pros:
- Large enough sweet spot to deliver power
- Exceptionally comfortable to hold and maneuver
- Ideal for both beginners and players at an intermediate level
- Large racket head makes hitting easy
- Great value for money
Head Ti.S6 Cons:
- Like with most lighter rackets, you do feel a little more vibration when hitting.
Wilson Blade Team: Lightweight and Versatile
The Wilson Blade Team is my personal favorite out of the three listed. I like its versatility. It's an excellent pick for intermediate players and enthusiastic beginners, especially if they aren't certain what their eventual tennis style will be.
Its price varies considerably at the time of writing - I've seen it advertised for as much as $119 - but if you shop around, you can find it for under $100 online.
This racket feels strong and sturdy despite its light weight and gives you an enormous amount of precision, as well as explosive power when required.
Wilson Blade Team Pros:
- Great racket for intermediate players and dedicated beginners
- Light weight
- Thinner beam construction that helps with control
- Usually comes pre-strung with Wilson Sensation strings
- Excellent value for money
Wilson Blade Team Cons:
- The light weight gives you a lot of maneuverability, but also means a slightly less "solid" feel than a heavier racket, particularly when playing at the net.
Babolat 2021 Boost Drive: Perfect For Beginners
In my opinion, the Babolat 2021 Boost Drive is my favorite affordable racket around right now for beginners. The light weight makes it easy to handle, and it can deliver both precision and pace relatively easily.
This racket has a large head size, making it very forgiving when hitting the ball. In my experience, I found it to have a comfortable to grip and provided a surprising degree of accuracy for a racket in this price range.
Babolat 2021 Boost Drive Pros:
- Ideal for beginners and junior players progressing to a full-size
- Light weight and maneuverable
- Large head size makes it easier to hit the ball
- Comfortable to hold
- Babolat's woofer grommet system adds extra power
- Very affordably priced.
Babolat 2021 Boost Drive Cons:
- Perhaps not the most durable racket around, but capable of a good performance for a number of years
Before You Buy: How to Choose a Tennis Racket
Before buying a racket, it is useful to understand your own game. Assessing whether you are at a beginner, intermediate, or at an advanced skill level, and what style of player you are, for example, whether you are a power player or someone who likes to spin the ball more.
Understanding factors such as these will give you a much better chance of picking the racket that is right for you and your game.
The main factors to consider when buying a new racket include:
- Are you a beginner, intermediate, or advanced player?
- What type of swing do you have?
- Are you a power player, a finesse player, or a combination?
- Do you have any preferences when it comes to the head size and shape, length, and weight of the racket?
- If you are physically strong, you may want to pick a heavier racket (10-11 ounces). If you are not so strong, you may prefer a lighter one, something around 9 ounces.
- How the weight is distributed is also something to look out for. Some people prefer their racket to be head heavy; others prefer head light. It's an individual preference.
- What is the appropriate grip size for you? (See below). This is crucial, but often overlooked.
How to Choose the Right Tennis Racket Grip Size
Buying a racket with the right grip size is often overlooked by beginners. It may sound trivial, but it's actually crucial. If the grip size that is wrong for you, then the racket will slip out of your hand when you are playing.
There are five different sizes of grip. You can check the grip size by "shaking hands" with the racket. If the size is correct, there should be enough room to fit the index finger of your non-hitting hand in the space between your ring finger and palm.
If you are ordering a racket online, find an existing racket that you own, or a friend's that fits, and note the size.
Achieving the optimum string tension for your game is important. Loose string tension will generally give your shots more power, but you will have less control. If you lack power, then you may want to opt for a tighter string tension.
Tighter string tension does the opposite: you will have less power, but more control. If you already have plenty of strength to play effective ground strokes but lack consistency in your shots, then you may want to consider asking for a tighter tension.
© 2013 Paul Goodman
hazel samson on May 21, 2018:
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SD on September 03, 2015:
I really appreciate your article.