Cheapest usable racquet?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Alex1, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. Alex1

    Alex1 New User

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    A friend claims that any racquet is ok for recreational tennis, even a $20 one from Wal-Mart. In many endeavors, there is a floor to price/quality level, below which you're just wasting your time.

    What do you think?
     
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  2. Return_Ace

    Return_Ace Professional

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    I think your friend's right tbh.

    I know many friends who only play tennis at school for the social scene.. they aren't looking to develop strokes or compete at higher levels, just to have fun and muck around with friends.
     
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  3. PlayerOnLI

    PlayerOnLI New User

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    Not sure what you're actaully gonna find in the $20 range that wont have a picture of Dora the Explorer or Sponge Bob on it.

    I'm sure the $20 Wal-Mart special is usable. But how are you planning to use it? Are you looking to pick up the game or just to have a racquet in the garage for when you want the hit the courts once or twice a year?
     
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  4. Zielmann

    Zielmann Semi-Pro

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    He's correct. If you haven't had any real training before, and only want to be able to go hit with some friends on occasion, it doesn't make any difference what racquet you get.

    I would agree that there is a "floor to the price/quality level". But you don't need a high quality racquet to use every once in a while. Sure, you'll feel a difference between a $200 frame and a $20 frame, but as far as playing is concerned it doesn't matter at that level. You wouldn't be able to fully appreciate what the better frame does for you.

    Also, those all-titanium things you get at wal-mart will last forever (including the strings in them). I've seen some where the heads are more oblong than rounded now, but they still work. If a higher quality racquet took the beating that some of the cheap ones do, there's a good chance that they'ed break at some point.
     
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  5. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    As long as the racket is of decent weight and can handle stringing at high enough tension (40+ lbs) then it should work fine to hit.

    Prince Classics and Prince Pros were (and are) quality frames. A lot of "cheaper" rackets are still based on this technology and are quite usable.

    Even basic "graphite" frames are still good. I remember an article in Tennis Magazine (years ago) where they stated that some racket technologies were selling for the $200-$300 range that were eventually selling at the $50-$60 range. I was convinced then that it's not that the technology is that much better, but moreover, the marketing and resulting revenues were what were driving new racket sales.

    Remember, a single common graphite racket can last decades, even with regular stringing for the vast majority of "players" out there.

    Racket companies have gotten really good at convincing people they need the newest tech to compete through their marketing campaigns.
     
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  6. K90Vapor

    K90Vapor New User

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    They have a Head Ti Eclipse @ Target for $35. I went home one weekend and forgot my racquets. My mom had this racquet and I used it for a few days.I was suprised how well it hit and with a good set of strings it would be a really good racquet. Its a just light oversized racquet I'd recommended it
     
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  7. Murray_Maniac

    Murray_Maniac Banned

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    If your serious about tennis, dont even think about $20 walmart racquets. You could find a deal on a nice old graphite racquet for that price maybe @ a garage sale or on the huge auction site. But the cheapest high quality racquets available on tw and stores are $80 racquets like the dunlop m-fil and the head liquid metals. Oh yea & the prince graphite racquets (diablo, pog, nxg, warrior) even though there slightly over $100, its worth it.
     
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  8. 2nd_Serve

    2nd_Serve Professional

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    Get a real serious racket unless your just going to hit around with your friends everyone once in a while, and mess around
     
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  9. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Do like me and get a couple of Prince CTS Synergy DB 26's......I got one for $15, the other for $10. Both from used sporting goods shops. Two great rackets for $25.

    Admittedly, to most people that looks like old junk, but there are great racket deals to be had at garage sales, e-bay, and used sporting goods shops.

    .....and to those that know me.....no, they haven't replaced my PS85s, the Princes were fun to re-grip and re-string. I'm carrying them around to let other people borrow, or for me to have a different feeling hit from time to time.
     
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  10. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Target closes out Head and Prince racquets every year less than $20. Purchased the Head Ti 5000 and 5003 for $11 and $8 each. They were 102" versions of a Ti.Radical. They are playable but with gas prices being so high, the auction site looks more attractive.
     
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  11. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Found a Chicago bumperless PS 85 for $16 from Play it again Sports. Hard to find such great deals lately. They had those old Spalding Pro Series NOS racquets that seemed to use the Head Prestige molds. Locally, we had tons of new Cayman sticks painted in Michigan, Ohio State, and other college colors and logos dirt cheap, under $25.
     
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  12. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Yeah, the deals are getting a bit thin.....not for the "collectible" types.....

    I don't think I'll be getting another SV PS85 with case for $6 like I did last December.

    There are still many usable frames still be be found at great prices.
     
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  13. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

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    I have no idea why people are afraid to answer this question.

    Of COURSE, the racquets you can buy for $20 at Wal-Mart have a definite performance ceiling.

    There are racquets available through this site which can be (and often have been) used right up through the top ranks of the professional levels -- and which are available for less than $75. Usually because they are no longer "current fashion."

    As long as you don't need to use the model that's painted exactly like the one your favorite player uses, you can get a professional-caliber stick without dishing out 200 bones.

    A few quick examples of racquets you can use just fine at recreational level, but can also "grow into":

    The LM Radicals -- currently selling through TW for about $75. The OS was considered a power baseliner's dream racquet only a few years ago. You could still take it out and pound with the best in the game today, if you had the game to back it up. The MP size is a very versatile stick, and would be good for anyone up to and beyond college level who played all-court, or doubles.

    The Prince NXG's are currently selling at around $70 on this site -- albeit mostly in smaller grip sizes. People decided they weren't an improvement over the POG, but they're solid racquets, available in a variety of styles. All pro-tennis worthy.

    The Prince TT Warrior. Got the seal of approval from multi-slam winner and world #1 Pat Rafter less than a decade ago. Awesome stick, even by today's standards, particularly if you enjoy doubles or net-crashing singles. Sells here for $70.

    The Dunlop M-Fils. The 200 series was considered their "pro level" racquet. The 300 series a little more "recreation friendly," but still with plenty of high-level devotees. Either of these racquets will allow you to ascend as high as your athletic ability and dedication allow. And both can be had for $70. The drawback? They're ####ing hideous. They look like candy canes.


    Any or all of those should meet your price/performance guidelines. The lowest-price bats TW sells that will be fine for the recreational beater (because truly, at that level, it DOESN'T matter what you use), but will also be fine if you progress upward on the tennis ladder...no matter how far you ascend.
     
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  14. Satch

    Satch Hall of Fame

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    My friend hits with wilson 6.1 but cheap model 25$ one, and he does it well, let's say that he is around 3.0

    it does matter what you use at any level, and IMO you get over that cheap sticks after 10 matches, you need something more serious, that sticks are for kids for playing on the street or something, every recreational player should get the players racquet if he plans to hit at least once a week.
     
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  15. Alex1

    Alex1 New User

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    Thanks. If I understand correctly:
    • For goofing around, any racquet.
    • For eventual serious play, start around the $70 level (LM Radical, Prince TT Warrior, etc).
     
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  16. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    [*]For goofing around, any racquet.

    [*]For eventual serious play, start around the $70 level (LM Radical, Prince TT Warrior, etc). Check the used market
     
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  17. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Even for recreational play I dont think that people should use the cheap 20 dollar racquets from walmart or target. I would say the lower limit is probably 40 for a regular priced cheap graphite racquet.

    The problem with the 20 dollar raquets is they are usually multipiece aluminum racquets. Due to the fact that they are multiple pieces glued, tacked, welded together the vibration on them is insane and will make your arm start hurting within hours.

    Go for the cheapest graphite racquet you can find and make sure it is one piece and not 2 or 3 pieces glued together.
     
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  18. VGP

    VGP Legend

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    Have you seen recreational play lately? Especially from people that play a couple of times a year?

    It's not a matter of technique or even keeping score, or injury for that matter. They're not playing hard enough to hurt themselves. It's a matter of fun with friends for some.

    A $20 racket does fit the bill.
     
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  19. Return_Ace

    Return_Ace Professional

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    That pretty much sums it up tbh.
     
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  20. Satch

    Satch Hall of Fame

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    anybody who doesn't earn money from tennis is amateur, and some call it recreational player, but there are various players, some around 4.5-5 and some around 2.0, i think that anybody above 2.5 should use something better...
     
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  21. Z-Man

    Z-Man Professional

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    Get a Prince TT Bandit, TT Warrior, an AA LE Radical or a LM Radical. All are cheap, all are good frames.
     
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  22. 1hand4ever

    1hand4ever Rookie

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    See if you can get one used
     
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  23. Hot Sauce

    Hot Sauce Hall of Fame

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    The cheapest racquet I used that was playable is the AG 200. It really depends on what level you would call recreational, though. IMO, a Wal Mart racquet would only be usable until the 3.0 level.
     
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  24. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    you can get very good quality players racquets at the big auction site.

    I got all 4 of my copper aces for $60 total.. i.e. $15 each which is cheaper than the kmart/walmart racquets.
     
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  25. Hot Sauce

    Hot Sauce Hall of Fame

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    You can also get completely screwed by fake racquets. I wouldn't recommend the bay for tennis racquets.
     
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  26. adams_1

    adams_1 Semi-Pro

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    Not for new stuff, anyway. You're usually pretty safe with old racquets though.
     
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  27. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    I just think you need to be an educated buyer and your fine with new or used.

    Ive bought my last 3 speedport black racquets, new, from the bay and they have all been genuine prince racquets with no defects. Too make sure each time I got one I would take it up to my local pro shop and compare. Same weight, balance, everything. Hell I even broke one and got prince to warranty it!!! LOL.

    Just be smart, check feedback, make sure they are not an overseas seller. Most of the time these guys selling racquets are employees of the company, reps, or certified usta pros who get cheap/free racquets and resell them.

    Speedport black retail: 199 + tax
    My last 3 have been: 120 - 140 no tax shipping included.

    Not a bad deal.
     
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  28. kungfusmkim

    kungfusmkim Professional

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    Techno Pro!
     
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  29. Zielmann

    Zielmann Semi-Pro

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    Let's not forget what the OP was...

    If by recreational he means "only going to hit with some friends" or "not going to take lessons or care to really get good" then yes, a cheap wal-mart racquet is fine. If you are in that category and have a little extra money to spend, then go for something cheaper on the liquidation page from TW or something, just cause it's a better quality racquet. But never spend $200 on the newest thing when you can't really appreciate what it will give you.
     
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