Best adult beginner racquet?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by jamauss, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. jamauss

    jamauss Hall of Fame

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    I've been playing tennis for a long time but just recently my wife has begun coming out and hitting some balls with me. The problem is, she's using my racquets right now which are meant for someone that swings hard and uses plenty of topspin.

    I'm trying to find a good racquet for her - something that's good for an adult beginner. I'm thinking something that's lightweight and provides enough power that she doesn't have to swing too hard to get it back over the net. She's still practicing getting control of her shots and motion while she plays. I'm thinking an oversized head (100 to 110 sq. in) would be ideal for her right now so she has as big of a sweet spot to play with as possible.

    Now, before I buy any racquet, I'll be demoing them for her to try out. I was looking at the Prince Turbo racuqets - like the Turbo Beast or the Turbo Outlaw. They're available in oversize models and seem like good beginner racquets.

    Anyway - I thought I'd consult the experts that hang out here on the forums and get your input. What'dya think?
     
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  2. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    #2
  3. jamauss

    jamauss Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the link Marius.

    She's fairly strong (she's 27, still in decent shape). Did I read that right - the Prince classic Graphite OS is rated really high in terms of arm safety?
     
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  4. 156MPHserve

    156MPHserve Professional

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    Since it's a girl, if her budget allows it, I'd recommend the 03 Tour.

    - It's forgiving (03 System)
    - 100 sq inch forgiving frame should be good for a beginner
    - arm friendly
    - player racquet yet light enough
    - quite powerful which is good for beginners and ladies
     
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  5. thejerk

    thejerk Semi-Pro

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    I bought my wife a Polaris 660 with double wedge made in Austria at a salvation army for $4. She has had lots of rackets but she actually likes it and can hit with it the best. I bet you could find her a real killer deal at a salvation army or store like that. I just bought a 110 Spectrum Comp demo for $2. I hit with it today and it hits kinda like the oversize pog. If i could get more in that model i'd probably switch to it.
     
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  6. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    I sometimes like old racquets, but I don't like something about them:

    - you don't have the datasheets (and stiffness, weight, swingweight ARE important)

    - the material might have fatigue
     
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  7. thejuice

    thejuice Hall of Fame

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    I was owndering the same thing for my wife (28 year old former track star). I took her out and hit her a basket of balls and she really enjoyed it (especially compared to the few times I took her to hit a bucket of golf balls at the range...SHE HATED IT). She did say that the racquets I bought her off e b a y was too heavy (it was one of the Prince CTS sticks) so I let her use my M-Fil 300 which she liked more. She said that she would like something just a little lighter so I was thinking that maybe it would be a good idea to get her an N1 to learn with. I know the N1 is not on Marius' list of best arm friendly racquets but I am trying to build her confidence and love for the game so why not have her use something that is under 10 oz and stiff enough to just get the ball back?
     
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  8. Midlife crisis

    Midlife crisis Hall of Fame

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    Marius, I have to disagree with your recommendation. Even though what you recommend are "arm safe", you know nothing about the size and stature of this woman. She might be 5' and 90 pounds and have never been athletic, and a 300 gram racquet will only make her not want to play. For a long time, and I mean LONG as in more than a year or two, she is very likely not to be at a level where she will see incoming ball speeds and spins that will make for arm problems, no matter what racquet she uses.

    To jamauss, I'd get a big, medium priced racquet from one of your local sports discounters, like Big 5. Something around $40 - $60 will get you a very nice hitting racquet, and it won't cost you so much that when she outgrows it, it'll hurt to have to give that racquet up. Depending on her size and athletic abilities, choose something appropriate in terms of weight, keeping in mind that heavier is going to be better but not at the expense of her enjoyment in playing. Have her choose the racquet that feels best to her. If you want to do better, I'd restring the racquet with a nice multifilament string and put a stringbed dampener on it. Get her hooked on the game, have her decide how seriously she wants to play, and then make your NEXT racquet purchase with arm safety in mind if she wants to play and play hard. Otherwise, she may not outgrow this racquet for quite a few years.
     
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  9. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    former track star?

    I start such strong ladies on 6.0 85, no joke, and one year later they have classic strokes, and they learn to use the inertia of the racquet, not to muscle it.

    OK, so you don't want to go that far as I do. Still, M-Fil 300 was a good choice for her, a versatile, well rounded racquet, which would help her implement correct strokes.

    N1? even if not hurt (superstiff racquet), as this racquet is too powerful, she will learn tennis all wrong: played from the elbow and from the wrist, with short strokes. And, as an extra, she will only use one hand instead of supporting the racquet with two hands for most of the time.

    Then you will need to pay till retirement age for pros to correct all that. If she doesn't get elbow or wrist problems, heavens forbid.

    Let's not speak of the price. 3-5 times the one for M-fil 300. Reasonable? Not to me.

    But if you want to satisfy racquet's industry need for changing your racquet every year ....
     
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  10. thejuice

    thejuice Hall of Fame

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    LOL!!!! As if right on que. I knew you would respond. I actually appreciate the feedback. I was thinking the same as you but she was thinking that she would like a lighter racquet. She and my daughter are the only two people in the world that don't listen to me so maybe I can get her to start (btw, my daughter is only three years old).
     
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  11. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    A racquet which was mentioned by ladies here as being appreciated and safe was Volkl Catapult 8 V-Engine. Also around 300g.
     
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  12. bcaz

    bcaz Professional

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    Over the last 12 years or so, the Volkl V1 series has been touted as a versatile stick that accommodates beginners, intermediates, and skilled players. I agree. The mid-plus at 102 sq in, or the oversize, is relatively light weight but very comfortable for the arm and offers a generous sweet spot. It's a racquet that will allow you to grow your game without having to switch. They are relatively expensive, but they're worth it.
     
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  13. thejerk

    thejerk Semi-Pro

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    I buy my wife all kinds of rackets from discount stores like Salvation Army for $2 to $4 dollars. She knows a little about rackets since she has to deal with me all the time. LOL. U can find all kinds of good rackets. You can always put a nice multi string or gut and string it loose in any racket. It would probably last her for a while. Maybe your not as cheap as me or my wife but u can get her just about anything. I'd say go get a cheap racket. I'll bet you could get a real nice old racket. Imo, the old rackets feel alot more solid. Don't worry if a frame is wore out. If she likes it, she likes it. If she doesn't like it, get her another. And another. She might even get interested just trying out frames. If so, she'll know what she wants.

    My wife broke a racket one time. It was an fpk ultra something or other. It was somewhere between 110 and 135 sq in. ok. I wanted to be mad at her, it was a nice racket, a friend of mine wanted it because he could hit forehands and serves that hurt if you didn't get out of the way, with it.

    It was cheap though. And, she got into tennis enough to break a racket, so I couldn't be to mad at her. Matter of fact, it was kinda cool.
     
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  14. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    Hi,

    That is a great pick for a beginner (V1) and you can grow with it. The Prince ThunderCloud and Bandit O/S are also two frames with low SWs... light mass, generous sweetspots, arm safe.. and very cheap. These two frames will also carry a player to at least 3.5 level. They will also help provide the beginner early hitting success... the key to keeping the beginner come back to the court. If the frame is too demanding and they do not experience some early success... it is formula for failure and them leaving the game before they can enjoy this game we all love. I know others here will say.. Start them with the Wilson 6.0 85.. to promote proper strokes.. not me.. I want to grow the game... not kill it.

    Regards,
    Steve
     
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  15. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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  16. North

    North Professional

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  17. brtennis

    brtennis Rookie

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  18. arnz

    arnz Professional

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    I would second the Thundercloud OS, but not so much the Bandit because of its head heaviness. The thundercloud is pretty amazing, it looks like it should be bad for the arms, light and stiff, and yet when I tried it, I never felt so much as a twinge. Its pretty forgiving on off center shots. It also sounds like it should be one of those weed racquets, but for its size and weight, its on the lower scale of power.
     
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  19. Pancho

    Pancho Semi-Pro

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    POG for a beginner? No way!

     
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  20. tennisnj

    tennisnj Professional

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    I agree w/the postings agreeing with the V1, T-Cloud & Bandit, b/c I've played a great amount w/each of these 3 frames. For a beginner, there's no better racquet then the Bandit. It's terrific for control, power & spin for a beginner. The V1 gives a little more power, about the same amount of spin & a little less control, & the T-Cloud provides the most control, not as much power or spin as the other 2. This is based on MY Personal observations; playing w/these racquets & from other people's opinions. These observations are simply opinions. What works for me may not work for anyone else. When players become more advanced, if they still like these racquets (which I do), they can modify them to suit their evolving game. The supposed better players on this board don't all play withplayers racquets.
     
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  21. Pancho

    Pancho Semi-Pro

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    I agree with you on that. V1 is NOT a beginner's racquet - too heavy and little power. I would suggest an ultra light racquet to begin with.
     
    #21
  22. legolas

    legolas Banned

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    o3 tour mate
     
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  23. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Of course, I am totally opposed to them, including all the Ns from Wilson.

    For those who want to read up:

    http://www.racquetresearch.com

    Some of you might want to read Danna's story here (a lady using stiff, light racquets such as the O3 Red, and that's not the worst case):

    Tennis Elbow Questions
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=76887
     
    #23
  24. simi

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    Contents of this post deleted. It was a poor attempt at humor.
     
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  25. jamauss

    jamauss Hall of Fame

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    nevermind...didn't know
     
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  26. simi

    simi Hall of Fame

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    Sorry. Didn't mean to offend. It was posted in jest (notice the smily at the top) playing on the stereotypical male/female relationship (which we all know is not reality).

    By the way, my wife and I just celebrated our seventh anniversary. I believe we would both classify it as a strong marriage. The original topic is of interest to us too. It would be great to get my wife out on the court too.

    Again, I apoligize and deleted the contents of the post.
     
    #26
  27. rfprse

    rfprse Professional

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    For any adult who is in decent shape, I don't think s/he needs to learn tennis with beginner's frame (well at least, as long as s/he is serious about learning tennis).
    It's hard to understand why we need to think that beginners need beginner's racquets which have big oversized head, stiff, light, & probably head heavy frames. All these features don't seem to encourage the beginners to develop proper techiques, because they allow the instant gratification without the negative feedback to lead the players to learn to hit the strokes properly.

    If the reason to play the game is just to run around, chase the ball, with extra incentives such as scoring, winning or losing in the name of tennis, learning tennis with the beginner's frames and being stuck with bad habbits (e.g. arming the ball, no weight transfer,...., etc.) is not so bad. Of course, some beginners do develop good techniques even with the beginner's frame, but it does require a good instructors who cares and pays attention. (Considering the way in which usual clinics works, it's not so likely.) And again, they may get serious about tennis because of the "love & fun" of the game, but then, they need to learn (unlearn) tennis all over again. In a sense, starting with beginner's frame can be just a waste of time and money, falling under the spell of the marketing scheme from the racquet industry.
     
    #27
  28. saralara

    saralara New User

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    I m a beginner in tennis. I totaly disagree with a light tennis raket for a beginner.
    I made the experince that it had no control.After having so many rakets...
    Babolat Pure Drive ( Good, Marius you advised me to stop playing with it! My wrist pain stoped too..) I got a Völkl V1 and Dnx V1. Even they are so stiff, but they feel comfortable. I love to play with my V1.
    Last month I got from friends, because they stoped to play tennis, 2 Pog Os ( 12 years old!) and a Völkl C10 98. They are a bit heavy, but I found it better then the light rakets.


    Best, before you buy a tennis raket you demo them. I m against "beginners" rakets, etc.

    Lara
     
    #28
  29. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Over the past 12 months I've had a fair bit to do with novice players as part of a tennis programme I help out in and through my girlfriend who started tennis (just hitting with me once a week) about 8 months ago. These are just a few observations I've made in that time when dealing with beginners.

    1. Don't give them a racquet with a low 'STATIC' weight to begin with (until you have a good idea of what weight they can manage).
    Give them something with reasonable weight and see how they handle it before going to something lighter (you can work that out over the course of a couple of demo days)
    2. If at all possible, give them a racquet with a low swingweight.
    That will make it easier for them to handle the fuller static weight.
    3. Give them something with good flex in it.
    They don't need a stiff racquet in order to generate power and that shouldn't be their main aim at the beginning.
    4. Look for a racquet with a generous sweetspot and a larger than 95sq headsize.
    You want them to develop confidence and to enjoy the game. A larger headsize (with larger sweetspot) makes it easier for the vast majority of people to hit the ball consistantly. If they do that then things remain 'fun' and they stay motivated to keep playing (there are obviously exceptions but Im talking about the 'vast majority' of beginners who don't have exceptional hand-eye co-ordination and won't go on to be serious competitors)
    5. String the racquet loosely.
    That will ensure comfort and allow them to generate power without needing an overly stiff frame.
    5. Choose a soft string.
    Consider using natural gut (use your own judgement on that) as it will provide a bit of extra power and extra comfort. I think that's especially appropriate for someone who is just a casual player. Gut may seem very expensive but, for those types (especially a woman) it can last far longer than expected. My girlfriend has a hit with me once a week for 1 hour maximum and she's yet to break a string in 8 months of hitting. Over that period of time she's had the same gut strings in her racquet. Anything apart from gut would have lost its feel by now.
     
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  30. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Good point. If you're not a string breaker (and most ladies aren't), and if they are strung well (gut takes a bit of stringing expertise), nat gut lasts a lot.
     
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  31. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    I'm in a similar situation and I'm kind of thinking about getting my wife an O3 Pink!
     
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  32. AndrewD

    AndrewD Legend

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    Marius,
    As a beginner my girlfriend isn't sensitive to a drop in tension but she knows the difference between a comfortable and a harsh hit. Natural gut (especially in combination with a low tension and a flexible racquet) offers the best possible chance that she won't experience the latter. End result is that she got hooked on the sensation of making good contact with the ball and Im very confidant that the nat. gut strings were an integral part of that.

    For what it's worth: she's not a large girl or overly strong but currently uses a 12 ounce Volkl t10mp Gen2 (flexible plus low swingweight) and is quite happy with it. Id prefer her to drop back to something in the 11-11.5 ounce range but it's next to impossible to find something these days that fits the flexible, low swingweight (sub 320), 98+sq bracket.
     
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  33. SteveI

    SteveI Legend

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    AndrewD,

    Very nice post indeed. When you work in the grassroots of tennis as you and I seem to.. your rules of racket selection are right on the money. The bottom line is that you want to create a successful, safe and engaging enviroment for your students. You do that and they will continue to return for more instruction and therefore improve fitness and a overall better feeling of self-worth on and off the court. I know that I will not be creating pro-tennis players I am more concerned with creating life-long players and solid citizens. If I see a outstanding prospect.. I do my best to direct them on a path that will be in-line with their expectations (DI Tennis.. etc).

    Have a good one Andrew..
    Steve
     
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  34. Midlife crisis

    Midlife crisis Hall of Fame

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    Marius,

    Danna's story has **NOTHING** to do with this situation. Danna was apparently a player who had a USTA team that she captained. What about her level of play is similar to a beginner lady player? Do you think they'll see the same ball speeds? Do you think they'll swing as hard?
     
    #34
  35. Pancho

    Pancho Semi-Pro

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    03 red is NOT a beginners racquet. 03 silver is a better one for beginners.
     
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  36. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    you make your logical connections, and I make mine.
     
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  37. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, really?
    Stiffness: 74 (and other "choice" characteristics)
    Use it yourself, if you like it this much, but don't recommend it to
    others.
    And you ask me to pay $259.99 for it.
    You must be a racquet industry spokesman.

    Those are the racquets which are probably used by those wearing elbow braces (because of their TE) the whole time and having wristy and elbowy techniques ...

    I don't remember seeing too many such people using moderately heavy to heavy racquets, even if it happens.
     
    #37
  38. coach

    coach Semi-Pro

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    what's ever cheapest because if someone is any good and learns quickly (proper technique) they will quickly outgrow that initial racquet and the next one too. I bet a lot of us were the same way when we were improving quickly.
     
    #38
  39. Midlife crisis

    Midlife crisis Hall of Fame

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    I've had a private exchange and presented this analogy, and was asked to post it here. The exchange revolved around the suggestion to have the beginning lady player use a more traditional player's racquet, and this is basically what I said in this exchange:

    Let's say your wife does not know how to drive. Michael Schumacher is one of the best drivers in the world, and he is sponsored by Ferrari. So, do you ask your wife to learn to drive in a Ferrari? One with a tight, heavy clutch, manual transmission, low slung for good handling but with limited visibility to all corners, with heavy steering for good feel, and by the way never mind that rear wing that gets in the way when you're looking backwards - it helps with high speed stability. The skittish handling? Don't worry about it - when you're driving really well you'll come to appreciate that. After all, one day you may find yourself driving like you'll need all the capabilities of this car, so let's have you learn to drive using it now.

    You obviously don't do that - you get something taller, with greater outward visibility, with an automatic transmission, with low speed potential, with lots of safety features like traction control. If you want to drive like Schumacher later on, you'll need a new car.

    So, why this elitist attitude and try having everyone, including non-athletic women and children, try to learn using a player's racquet?
     
    #39

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