Top tennis players do battle using rackets which cost $250 or more in stores. These are designed using modern materials and boast a number of design features that are intended to optimize performance for advanced players. If you play at a similar standard to Federer and Djokovic you will require something similar, but, if not, there are many other, often cheaper, rackets that may be better for you. Equally, juniors need good quality rackets which have been reduced in size to reflect their stature, and these will generally be cheaper than adult rackets. Beginners or occasional players will tend to prefer a cheaper racket that looks nice, as more advanced features will be of little use to them. It is probably easier, therefore, to look at the cost of different types of rackets, rather than calculating an overall average.
A beginner tennis racket can be obtained for under $30, and a small racket for a junior beginner could be even cheaper. However, more advanced junior rackets can cost $100 or more. Expensive rackets offer performance advantages for advanced players, but these are of little benefit to many club players.
If you want a cheap and basic racket, try Walmart, but use a site like Tennis Warehouse for more advanced options.
The Average Cost Of Tennis Rackets
In the USA, the bulk of tennis racket prices will fall into the price range of $15 – 300. A good club player might expect to pay anything between $150 and $250, depending upon their enthusiasm for the latest design. A smart player might look for special offers on rackets that first appeared a year or two ago, in order to get a high-quality racket at a reasonable price.
How Much Does A Beginner Tennis Racket Cost?
For a beginner, the kind of sophisticated technology that Nadal or Zverev might demand is completely unnecessary. A simple graphite, or even aluminium, frame with nylon string will be more than adequate to allow a player to learn the basics of the game. After a few months, if they are still enthusiastic and improving, they will probably be ready for something more expensive.
Nonetheless, no beginner should need to pay more than $100 for their first racket, and there are some quite reasonable options for $20-30.
How Much Do Kids Tennis Rackets Cost?
For very young children, the small rackets they use to hit low compression balls do not require any expensive materials. A simple aluminum racket will do the job for $15-20. This probably applies equally as they grow, moving through the range of racket lengths from 19-23 inches.
Once a child is old enough for a 25-inch racket, they may also be ready to start to play with green balls, the firmest of the low compression options. At this point, racket construction begins to matter a bit more, and advanced juniors will need something more than a basic aluminum frame. The best 25-inch frames resemble tour rackets and can cost almost $100.
The next stage is to move on to a 26-inch frame, which can be used for green or standard yellow balls, and the most expensive examples of which can significantly exceed $100 in price. Of course, if a child just plays for fun, a cheap racket will suffice, but serious players require quality equipment.
Are Expensive Rackets Worth It?
As with everything, the answer to this question depends on what is important to you. If you play professionally, you will hope that the very latest, most expensive rackets will offer you the critical edge in performance that will make a difference to your career. The top professionals will be given rackets by their sponsors anyway, so price is likely to be of no significance to them.
For club players, if they are wealthy and like the idea of using the latest equipment, buying expensive rackets is worthwhile for the satisfaction it gives them. For anyone else, analyzing the playing characteristics of rackets and trying them out should enable them to find a mid-priced weapon that suits them.
As explained earlier, it is more than possible to get a racket which was the latest thing one or two years ago for between $100 and $180 in the ‘clearance’ section of various tennis websites, providing quality equipment at a reasonable price. For players on a budget, expensive rackets are certainly not worth the extra cost.
Cost Of Buying Rackets (Walmart vs Tennis Warehouse)
Walmart offers an excellent range of primarily aluminum rackets for beginners, intermediate players, and young juniors. If you are buying a racket for someone in any of these categories, it is hard to go wrong if you are paying $15-70 for a racket.
Tennis Warehouse is primarily focused on the rest of the market: advanced juniors, club players, and advanced competitors. They stock the latest frames, and you can expect to pay $100-300 for your choice of racket. Having said this, their clearance section contains previous years’ models for prices in the $100-150 range, which will be ideal for many.
Tennis rackets can certainly be expensive, but if you are not too worried about having the latest frame from one of the top manufacturers, there are significant savings to be made. Demo a range of rackets, without limiting yourself to the latest models, and try to find a good discount on something you like.