In recent years, there has been a growing awareness in making tennis a sport that is more kid friendly. In the past, kids were taught on the same size courts, with the same size tennis balls as adults and generally speaking significantly less attention was paid towards the appropriate size for kids tennis racquets.
Luckily, through research, and the efforts of organizations like the USTA, the sport has evolved significantly for kids to help ensure tennis is as kid-friendly as possible. Ultimately these changes help reduce the likelihood of injury and most importantly help to make sure kids are having fun in a safe environment that promotes their growth and keeps them engaged.
However, while tennis has evolved quite a bit for kids over the years, many parents are still challenged with the question of how to select an appropriate tennis racquet for their kids. In this article, we’ll tackle this question to help ensure you can match your child with the perfect tennis racquet.
Helpful tip! Ready to find the perfect racquet for your child? Click here to check out our 3 simple tips to help you find the perfect tennis racquet.
A Racquet Sizing Chart For Kids
While choosing a tennis racquet for kids is less complex than it is for adults, it’s still not an exact science. Every child is unique, therefore it’s important that we take the time to match each child with the appropriate racquet to help ensure they stay injury free and have a blast on the court. With that said, there are some basic guidelines that we can use to determine which tennis racquet will be a great fit.
The following chart outlines the approximate racquet length that is appropriate for kids of a certain age and height, which should get you pointed in the right direction. In the following sections, we’ll take a look at how you can make sure the racquet you select is a good fit.
|4 years or younger||40 inches or shorter||19 inches|
|4-5 years||40-44 inches||21 inches|
|6-8 years||45-49 inches||23 inches|
|9-10 years||50-55 inches||25 inches|
|10 or older||55 inches or taller||26 inches|
Racquet Length for Kids
Without a doubt, the most important measurements for selecting a kids tennis racquets is the length of the racquet and the height of your child. The length of the tennis racquet is the primary adjustment manufacturers have made to make them more kid friendly. While the height of your child will help determine which racquet length they should be using.
Currently, kids racquets come in the following sizes measured in inches: 19, 21, 23, 25, and 26. While the above chart can help serve as a guidepost, there are some additional guidelines we can use to help ensure we are selecting the right size.
Testing Racquet Length
One common method used to test the length of a racquet for kids is to first have your child stand nice and tall. Place the tennis racquet you have selected next to their side with the head resting on the ground and the butt end of the racquet handle pointing upwards towards the sky.
Next, have your child place the palm of their hand on the butt cap of the tennis racquet (the very bottom of the handle) like a cane. If your child’s arm is comfortably extended and resting on the butt cap of the tennis racquet, then you’ve likely found the right length racquet. On the other hand, if you child has to bend their arm to comfortably rest their hand on the butt cap or their hand doesn’t reach the butt cap, then you’ll probably want to try another size.
As a parent, it can also be beneficial to listen and watch for signs from your child while they’re playing tennis. If they’re out hitting on the court and you see them shaking their wrist or arm between points out of discomfort or they complain about a sore wrist or arm, then it might be worth taking another look at their racquet size.
Grip Sizes for Kids
Grip size refers to the circumference or the distance of the edge of a racquet handle and is measured in inches. For kids, selecting the appropriate grip size is made a bit easier than it is for adults mainly because manufacturers produce a 4-inch grip size for almost all kids tennis racquets. You may find some variation, however, you’ll likely find other grip sizes to be rare.
In some cases, a racquet grip may be too large or too small for your child. If that’s the case then there are adjustments that can be made to customize the fit. Making the grip smaller tends to be a little more challenging, so the best recommendation would be to speak to your instructor or take your racquet to your local tennis shop where they are equipped to make the changes while maintaining a comfortable feel.
If you think the grip size is too small, the easiest way to build up a grip is to simply add an overgrip, which will increase the grip size by about 1/16 of an inch. It’s unlikely that you’d need to increase the grip size too much, but your local tennis shop can help you build up your child’s grip with a more permanent fix if needed.
Buying a Kids Tennis Racquet
Now that you know how to select the right size tennis racquet for your child you might be asking yourself which racquet you should buy.
To help, here’s a selection of affordable and popular kids tennis racquets that you can buy from Amazon:
- Wilson US Open Junior Tennis Racquet (19, 21, 23, 25-inch lengths)
- Hello Kitty Sports Junior Tennis Racquet (19, 21, 23, 25-inch lengths)
- Wilson Roger Federer Junior Tennis Racquet (19, 21, 23, 25-inch lengths)
- Street Tennis Club Children’s Tennis Racquet (21 inches)
- HEAD Instinct Junior Prestrung Tennis Racquet (21 inches)
- Babolat Nadal 26 Junior Tennis Racquet (26 inches)
Hopefully, you find something you and your child like!
With a little effort, you can have your child matched up with a great racquet in no time at all. Doing so will help prevent injury that can be caused by using a racquet that’s too large and keep your child out on the court having fun for hours.
Still have questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below. We’re here to help!
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