If you are thinking of giving Tennis a go, it doesn’t have to cost the earth in terms of what tennis equipment you need to play tennis. The basic things you will need are a tennis racket, some balls, a pair of shoes, shorts and a T-Shirt.
Tennis Equipment you will need to start playing tennis
If you are just a beginner, then you don’t need to break the bank when purchasing your first tennis racket but there are certain things you should look out for. These include the length, head size, and weight of the racket.
For more help on buying your first tennis racket, check out our Tennis Racket Buying Guide.
Tennis Racket Lengths
The ideal racket length will depend on your age. You can use the below chart to choose the appropriate length for you.
|Under 4 years old||19in|
|10-17 years old||26in|
|18 years old and over||27in|
Adults also have the option of buying rackets with an extended length greater than 27in. The main benefit to this would be more leverage and therefore more power on your shots. It also can give you greater reach when pulled out wide on the court. However, a longer racket length is not recommended if you use a one handed backhand.
Tennis Racket Head Sizes
Tennis rackets are generally split into three different head size types: Midsize (85in to 97in), Mid plus (98in to 104in), and Oversize (105in or larger). If you are a complete beginner then it is best to have an oversized racket as they will be more forgiving of off center shots and you will have a better chance of keeping your shots in. As you become more experienced you will find yourself gravitating towards the smaller head sizes but for now, opt for an oversized racket.
Tennis Racket Weights
Tennis Rackets weights generally range from lightweight frames weighing 255 – 275g to medium weight frames weighing 275 – 310g. Tennis rackets weighing over 310g would be considered heavyweight frames and would be used by more advanced players.
If you are a beginner tennis player it is best to have a lightweight frame so that your racket will help you generate some free power on your shots. As you become more advanced, and you are more able to generate your own power, you will want to get a heavier frame so that you have greater control over your shots.
Recommended Tennis Racket – Wilson Clash 108
If you are looking for a good beginner racket, then the Wilson Clash 108 is a good pick as it is a lightweight frame, with an oversized head size that gives you good power on your shots. The Clash 108 is also good if you are worried about getting tennis elbow as it is a very arm-friendly racket.
Wilson Clash 108 Key Specs
|Head Size:||108 in²|
|Racket Length:||27.25 in|
|Unstrung Weight:||280 g|
|String Pattern:||16 x 19|
Where can you buy the Wilson Clash 108
Pressureless Tennis Balls
Pressureless balls are often used by coaches for training juniors and beginner tennis players as they have a longer lifespan than a pressurised ball and they are also less likely to bounce up as high as regular balls, which makes it easier for beginners to hit them.
Pressurised Tennis Balls
There is a huge selection of pressurised tennis balls on the market and they come in three main types: Regular Duty, Extra Duty, and High Altitude.
Regular Duty Tennis Balls
Regular Duty Tennis Balls are suited to clay and fast indoor courts. Regular Duty balls are great if you want a ball that plays fast, but as you would expect, they are less durable than Extra Duty tennis balls.
Extra Duty Tennis Balls
Extra Duty Tennis Balls are suited to asphalt, concrete, and other outdoor hard courts. In comparison with Regular Duty balls, extra duty balls play slower but are more durable.
High Altitude Tennis Balls
As their name suggests, high-altitude tennis balls are suited for tennis courts above 3,500ft.
The type of tennis shoes you need depends on the court you will be playing on. There are different shoes for Hardcourts, Clay Courts, and Grass Courts. If you are playing on an asphalt or concrete court, you can probably get away with playing using your regular runners but you will want to invest in some quality tennis shoes if you intend on joining a tennis club as the club is likely to require members to wear appropriate footwear at all times to protect the courts. If you think you will be playing on multiple surfaces then the best option might be to purchase some all-court tennis shots which are suitable for all court surfaces.
Click here for a good guide on how to choose the right tennis shoe.
Shorts and a T-Shirt
For tennis clothing, there is no need to overcomplicate matters. A simple pair of shorts and a T-Shirt is all you need.
Optional Tennis Eqiuipment
Although a wristband is not a necessity to play tennis, I would highly recommend getting one. Not only can you use them to wipe the sweat off your brow but they are also good for giving your wrist some additional support while hitting your shots.
Tennis Vibration Dampener
Tennis Dampeners are placed on your tennis racket to reduce the vibrations from the impact of the ball on your racket. The main advantage of using one is that it mutes the sound of your shots which many players prefer. Some say it can also help avoid vibrations causing issues with your arm but any arm benefits are likely to be minimal.