View Full Version : New players racquet for small 13yr old

04-04-2006, 03:05 PM
Hi guys,

I'm looking for a new racquet for my son and have become very confused by the various racquet reviews out there. So, I'm interested in all your suggestions. Primarily I'm looking at Wilsons as I can get a good deal through his coach.

Physically: He's still pre-pubescent 5'1", 100lb, small hands(4-41/8" grip),wiry athletic build,strong in legs with no upper body strength.

Game style: Advanced junior - aggressive all courter. His strokes are reasonably compact(not loose) Good flat serve, developing kicker. Double handed backhand. As you can imagine hard struck ground strokes challenge him at the net (struggles to maintain grip?)

Current Racquet: Fischer GDS Rally 102sq" Head 10.5oz Stiffness rating 63
16X19 String Pattern
String: Gamma ZO Power strung at 57lb

Why change? It is likely that he will grow significantly over the next 18 months as I'm a solid 6ft and his brother is a 6ft 2" 16 yr old. His current tweener racquet has served him well for the past 2 yrs, however his improvement and general playing style warrants a move toward a players racquet.

I intend to have him demo a couple but need to short list as there is probably 6-8 ncodes that may be a consideration.

My concerns:

String Pattern ? I've read many pro's and cons for open and dense string patterns. Will this be a major factor in racquet selection ?

Head size ? I think a move to a smaller head size will suit his playing style and from a player development consideration allow him to generate more racquet head speed on serve and groundstroke. Talking to a friend who's son is slightly older, he mentioned his son struggled with the smaller sweet spot when he changed to a racquet with a smaller head size ?

Stiffness ? My understanding is that stiffer racquets are more powerful. That said I believe a less stiff and/or slightly heavier racquet may suit given his relatively weak wrist strength and therefore inability to control volleys against firmly struck groundstrokes.

Grip Size: At the moment he is between 4-41/8" so he uses a 41/8" with no normal grip, just an overgrip. Some of the ncodes start at 4 1/4" grip size can they be customized effectively ?

My 5 top picks so far: nblade, nPS 95, ntour, Nsixone 95, nPro All of these are quite different types however I can see many positives and some negatives for all.

:confused: Your top two picks with a suitable string suggestion ?????

04-04-2006, 04:20 PM
well, i too am a small 13 year old (5 2' 100 lbs) and i know it is not fun to play with a racquet that doesn't give me enough power and is too heavy. So, i would probably cross out the nblade, and the nsixone. However you do want it to be stable at net. Does it have to be wilson? If so the Ntour, surge, 6.2, and npro could be nice options. If those would give him too much power the nPS would be decent If it doesn't have to be wilson, the flexpoint instict and radical, babolat pure storm and aropro derive, Dunlop m-fil 300 and prince 03 white would be viable options.

04-04-2006, 04:23 PM
i agree with 300gkid. i was going to recommend the dunlop mfill 300, prince 03 red or white, and head instinct and radical. I am also a thirteen year old, 5'8", 115 pounds. I am using the racquets mentioned in my signature. (look under my post)

04-04-2006, 04:52 PM
buy stick that weighs less that 10 oz at max max!!!!!!!!!!! look for a control and power or just power sticks. Buy a oversize, always os for a beg. Go for wilson hammer or prince thriple threat and thunder cloud. I have a 13 year old with a w-line w4 and he love it so do it. Juniors and women should go for w-line if you got the bank.

04-04-2006, 05:10 PM
Please ignore the post above mine. He (or she) has no idea what he/she speaks of.

No one should ever use a stick that weighs under 10 oz. Those things scare the crap out of me. Unless one's technique is near perfect, and I doubt that that is the case with junior players, those things are going to lead to tennis elbow galore.

The problem with those racquets is that they simply cannot stand up to the impact with the ball as well as heavier racquets can. Also, to make up for the lower swingweight, the racquet companies make them head heavy (another recipe for disaster) and very stiff (the worst part of it all).

This is not by any means recommending a player's racquet to your junior. I believe that most developing juniors are not ready for 12+ oz sticks either. Instead I recommend a moderately flexy, medium weighted racquet. The nPS 95 is very nice. The Head Radical series is very good too. If necessary, you can always get the oversize, but I believe that the midplus will definitely sufficient for an all-courter.

04-04-2006, 05:11 PM
you could try an Nblade? i hear that it is somewhat heavy... not much over 12.oz? really flexible, and good control. even if its light, you can also customize with lead tape.

04-04-2006, 05:14 PM
acctually, i was wrong. nblade is 11.1 and the ncode six-two is 10.5. both seem like good control rackets. and like i said about customizing with the lead weights.

04-04-2006, 05:17 PM
The nBlade seems to be a good control racquet but I worry about its seemingly high swingweight. As for the nSix-Two, I played with that myself and it is a rocket launcher. It gives good power to every shot, but I had to conciously put heavy spin on the ball or it would go out. If your kid needs some (make that lots of) extra power, this may be a good choice. Otherwise, avoid.

04-04-2006, 05:23 PM
i would look at the babolats the rackets 300gkid said. i myslef am 13 years old and i use a head radical midplus

04-04-2006, 05:24 PM
i like to take every opportunity i get to recomend the 300g (or m-fil 300 which i haven't hit with) because it's simple, nothin too fancy about the technology, it's great for growing players like myself, and it's cheap, definately a good buy.

04-04-2006, 07:05 PM
Over the last few weeks we've sampled a large number of 11oz rackets for my 12 year old daughter (5'6, 120# advanced junior). She's currently playing with a weighted prince beast (316g, 3pts HL). The primary objectives are a little more comfort, a little more control, and a bigger grip size.

Although the stats on a lot of the rackets were similar, they all felt and played differently. I suggest getting a bunch of demos and just have the kid pick them up and hold them. Some will feel right to him and others won't despite the close specs. Then take a couple of favorites out to hit, this will also quickly narrow the field. Pay close attention to the swingweight that he is comfortable with. He won't know what that means so you will have to look closely for similiarities in specs on rackets that he likes.

Make sure there is a significant improvement/ advantage gained before you invest good money. GDS rally is a decent enough racket to begin with. He is likely to grow a great deal over the next couple of years and 41/8 is a small grip. He could easily be at 43/8 in eighteen months. It's difficult to increase grip size without significantly altering the balance pt and weight. In other words, you might be in the same position next year again, not because there's anything wrong with racket, the grip will just be too small.

A good place to start is with a couple of wilsons, npro 98 and surge. Very similar rackets that play very differently. We haven't reached any conclusions yet in our search, but I've been having a personal love affair with the npro 98 (even though my slices float). Good luck!

04-04-2006, 07:36 PM
I suggest demoing the PK Type R (http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpageRCPK-KTR.html). It's stable, comfortable, has some heft... try it out.

04-05-2006, 12:06 AM
I rekcon your son's getting to the stage where he's biulding his own power, and therefore no longer requires the services of a head heavy/super stiff racquet. Therefore i would stay away from the Wilson Hammer range, and most Dunlops/Babolats. My personal recommendation would be a Prince O3 Red, or a Yonex RDX300/RDS003. These have a 16x19 string pattern, the best pattern for spin, if your son plays that way. Give the Head racquets a try as well.

04-05-2006, 03:24 AM
check my posting here:

Best arm friendly racquets?

04-05-2006, 03:35 AM
I sort of feel like if i had switched to an ultra player's racket when i was younger i would be better now, i'm talking like a ps 6.0 85 or like a tour 90. Call me a sucker, but im starting to understand why pete sampras said kids should all start out with wood, and then graduate up. I think if you get ur kid a 6.0 85 or tour 90 or something now, it will be very tough at first probably, since hes still quite young. however, these rackets grow on you, and instead of switching to these rackets later, in my mind the longer you use them, the more comfortable you generally get with them, and thus his technique and his shot placement/variety should start improving even at this age. that said i agree power wise that some of the other rackets mentioned so far are better for kids his age as far as giving them the power they need to not get frustrated. but if hes an advanced junior, and especially an alcourter, with my experience, i say get him hooked to the ultra player rackets early, it will help him down the line as he develops and becomes a 6'2" beast of a tennis player.