It can be a complex process when buying a tennis racket for an adult. You have many things to consider.
You first need to find out what grip size is suitable. You then have to decide from a seemingly endless selection of models.
Before you even consider the string you will have on the racket.
Is the process any simpler when selecting a children’s racket? For children under 13, it is more straightforward.
Most racket shops will have a size guide that corresponds to age. For example, what racket is suitable for an 8-year-old?
Most manufacturers will advertise rackets based on the player’s age. Wilson states that their 23-inch rackets are intended for 8-year-olds. It is better to choose a racket based on the player’s height rather than their age.
In this piece I will be discussing:
- How to choose a children’s racket and the main considerations
- Two rackets I recommend for 8 year olds
- How often juniors should change their tennis racquets
A 23-inch racket will be suitable for most 8-year-olds. However, not everyone grows at the same rate.
It is thus important to choose a racquet that is suitable for the specific player. Don’t assume that one size fits all.
How To Select A Racket For Kids?
The most important thing to consider when choosing a children’s racket is its size.
A racket that is too big will be hard for the child to control. They will use most of their energy to work out how best to maneuver the oversized racket.
If they had a smaller racquet, they could devote all their attention to improving their technique.
On the other end of the scale, using too little racket will restrict their reach when playing.
A child using a racket that is way too small for them won’t even be able to hit a two-handed backhand. There is not enough space for both hands.
The first thing you will need to do is work out the size of the child you are purchasing for.
Below I have attached a table showing the recommended racket size for several heights.
|<3.3 ft||19 inches|
|3.3 – 3.7 ft||21 inches|
|3.7 – 4.1 ft||23 inches|
|4.1 – 4.6 ft||25 inches|
|4.6+ ft||26 inches|
It would be nice to think that once you have the correct racket size, you are done and can go out and buy the racket.
Unfortunately, there are some other things you need to consider.
You will need to also decide on a budget for the racket.
If your child is a beginner, just starting out, you can get away with buying a cheaper racket from a standard multi-sports store.
If you are a parent buying a racket for your 8-year-old who has never played before, the most important thing is suitable equipment, not top of the range.
You are, at this point, probably not interested in whether they are going to win Wimbledon one day.
Perhaps your child has been playing for a few years with a cheap racket.
If you’re confident that your kid is hooked on tennis and wants to take it seriously, investing in a better-quality model would be worth investing.
The important thing is to get a racket made of graphite. With some cheap models, the frame will be manufactured from weaker metals and, in some cases, even plastic.
These rackets are not as durable.
Another thing to take into account is your child’s preference. This is something I have seen many times.
A parent will give their son/daughter a brand-new racket for Christmas or their birthday.
The kid will then come to training, see another color racket, and want that instead. Just make sure it is a color your child will like.
With these three factors in mind, you should have no problem finding a suitable racket.
Best Rackets For 8 Year Old
For this section, I am going to recommend two rackets.
Racket A will be aimed at someone who has played tennis once or twice and is keen to play more.
Player B is an established player who wants to start competing.
At 8 years old, children are all over with what they want to do.
One minute it is tennis, the next football and then before you know it it’s dance.
As player A has only played tennis a little and might change his mind, I’m not recommending an expensive racket.
For player A, it is not hugely important which racket you select. This is provided it is the right size and comes from a reputable tennis brand.
I often like to recommend rackets like Wilson Roger Federer 23.
The reasoning is simple. I hope that having a famous player’s name on the racket will encourage them to ask questions.
If they start asking questions such as “Who is Roger Federer?” It will increase their interest in tennis. They may then want to watch Federer on TV.
It is a little trickier for player B, but my main priority is giving them a long-lasting racket. Of course, it’s also a bonus if it is the same model as a competitive adult racket.
This allows them to train with one model, and as they grow, they simply get the next size up.
The Yonex Ezone 23 inch is a good choice for many aspiring 8 year olds.
The adult version of the Ezone is a reliable competition racket used by some top players. Naomi Osaka and Nick Kyrgios, to name a few.
By using a racket like the Ezone, it makes transitioning to larger rackets much easier.
Also read: What Tennis Racket For 14-Year Old?
How Often Should Juniors Replace Rackets?
There are two main reasons for replacing a junior tennis racket.
One is when the child has outgrown it, and the racket is too small for them.
The second is if they purchased a cheap plastic racket to try tennis out and have now become serious.
If you are unsure when your child is too big, you can always refer back to the size guide.
Let’s assume you bought your kid a 23-inch racket, but they have grown a bit.
If your child has grown above 4.1 inches, they should be able to cope with a 25-inch racket. If you’re unsure, you can always ask a coach for their opinion.
The main reason for wanting to upgrade from a cheap plastic racket to a graphite one is longevity.
Even if the racket is usable, the quality is lower, and thus it will not last as long. It is, therefore, a good idea to get a better model sooner rather than later.
Related: What Tennis Racket For 5 Year Old?
The most important piece of advice I can give when choosing a racket for an 8-year-old is to choose based on height.
The main reason manufacturers will advertise on age rather than the height is it is simpler for parents and staff.
Many employees in multi-sports shops don’t have a clue about tennis.
It is thus easier for them to recommend rackets to people based on age and hope their height corresponds to it.
Perhaps you played tennis when you were 8 years old. What size racket did you use?
If you grew up in the wooden racket era, you used a full-size adult racket.