The 3 Best Tennis Rackets for Under $100
2018's 3 Best Rackets 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 level of skill and experience.
Here are my selections.
- The Head Micro Gel Radical: Control and Consistency
- Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3: Powerful and Lightweight
- The Head Tis5 Comfortzone Performance: More Power With Less Effort
I discuss my choices below in more detail.
Before You Buy: How to Choose a Tennis Racket
Before buying a racket, it is useful to understand your own game. Assess whether you are at a beginner, intermediate, or advanced skill level, and also what sort 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.
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?
- Consider things like the head size and shape, length, and weight of the racket?
- If you are physically strong, you may want to pick a heavier racquet (10-11 ounces). If you prefer a lighter one, you will want 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)
Head Micro Gel Radical: Control and Consistency
This racket is made from Micro Gel, a revolutionary silicone based material, which has an extremely low density.
The Head Micro Gel Radical is designed to uniformly distribute the ball impact load around the frame to provide a sturdy feel and original touch.
Despite the racket’s light weight (just 10.4 oz), it manages to provide a feeling of comfort, control, and consistency from both the baseline and playing at the net.
My pros and cons are below.
- Great for control
- Best suited to players at intermediate level
- Sturdy and comfortable to hold
- Impact is uniformly distributed
- Greater width for more spin
- Not an ideal racket for most beginners
- Sweet spot is relatively small
Choosing the Correct Grip Size
It is worth highlighting the grip size, as it is often overlooked by beginners. If you choose a 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.
Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3: Powerful and Lightweight
The classic frame features a larger head size, which increases the size of the sweet spot, as well as generates more power.
This racket feels strong and sturdy despite its light weight, and gives you an enormous amount of control and accuracy, as well as explosive power when needed.
My pros and cons.
- Large sweet spot
- Great racket for intermediate players
- Head Heavy balance
- Because it's lightweight you do feel more vibrations
You just try to play tough and focus point for point. Sounds so boring, but it's the right thing to do out there.— Rafael Nadal
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.
I just go out there and fight for every point, and then we see how far I can go.— Caroline Wozniacki
Head Tis5 Comfortzone Performance: More Power With Less Effort
The Head Tis5 Comfortzone Performance is ideal for beginners, as well as for intermediates with a slow swing who like a larger sweet spot.
Comfortzone technology makes this racket particularly gentle on the arm. It feels smooth when you hit a shot and there is noticeably less vibration than with most rackets.
The Tis5 comes prestrung, another plus for beginners who generally don't want to bother with it.
- Ideal for beginners
- Gentle on the arm with minimal vibrations
- Very large sweet spot
- More power with less effort
- Not the sturdiest of rackets, they can break if dropped.
Questions & Answers
© 2013 Paul Goodman