Need Help: racket for my 12yr old niece

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by BorgPulse, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. BorgPulse

    BorgPulse Guest

    She is just starting out but taking lessons this summer and then going to tennis camp (Tennis and Life in Minnesota) near the end of the summer.

    She is relatively small for her age but plays soccer all the time and is in good shape. I would like to see her use a full-size racket unless someone can convince me otherwise.

    So far my thoughts are: Prince 03 Hybrid Spectrum (mid + or OS) or
    Wilson nFury two OS

    Any comments? (especially from tennis pros!) Thanks in advance...
     
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  2. bladepdb

    bladepdb Professional

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    That's great that you want to move her to a full-size racquet, and I don't see why she shouldn't use one. I have an 11-year old sister and she started using a 27" racquet. It's working well for her, no issues on the arm or anything. Coincidentally she also plays soccer :)

    At any rate, the biggest decision you probably have to make is OS vs mid+. The thing is if you're a beginner you're encouraged to start with OS since you don't have a developed stroke. It results in a more forgiving racquet that gets more shots over the net if you mis-hit than you would with a mid+.

    Some people recommend starting off with a player's racquet rather than an OS racquet so that you can actually start developing that stroke early on. I would not encourage this readily because it does have a tendency to be a little harsh on the arm since player's racquets are designed for developed strokes. More importantly, they're not as forgiving as an OS racquet. As a result, a beginner might be disheartened.

    I would then suggest going for nothing more than a 110 sq in racquet, 107 if you can find a decent one.

    As far as picking a specific racquet, that is not the most important thing at the beginner point. It's more crucial to go with a fairly light-weight (<11 oz), head-light by a couple of points, OS racquet.

    On that note, the nFury OS is a good choice for a beginner's racquet. I am not familiar with the Prince Hybrid Spectrum so I cannot comment there. I would also suggest the Head Liquidmetal 4. The reason I really like the LM 4 as a beginner's racquet (and had my sister actually play with it!) is because it really allows you to gauge where you want to improve in a racquet when you move up. It is 102 sq in so it's not that much different than a mid+ racquet, but other than that, I think the quality of the racquet more than makes up for the smaller headsize.

    Again, try not to get too bogged down with racquet technologies and the like. Keep it simple with a 100+ sq in head size and a close to even racquet balance (more importantly, not more than 1 or 2 pts head heavy), and more than likely the other specs will work out for you.
     
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  3. BorgPulse

    BorgPulse Guest

    Thanks for the insight! The only thing that concerns me about the Head you mentioned is the swingweight: it lists at 335 - that would be on the high end of what I hit.

    Here are the specs on the Prince 03 Hybrid Spectrum OS:

    Power Level: 925
    Length:: 27.0
    Headsize:: 110 sq in
    Flex:: Firm
    Cross Section:: 25-27-25mm
    Weight:: 9.3oz unstrung
    Balance:: 13.5in/34.5cm
    Swing Weight:: 293
     
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  4. bladepdb

    bladepdb Professional

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    Yeah the swingweight is a little on the high side, but it's one of those things that's relative to the person.

    It's best to play it safe and the O3 Hybrid Spec looks very appealing. I would probably choose that over the nFury. Are you considering any other racquets or are those two the ones you've given serious thought?
     
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  5. BorgPulse

    BorgPulse Guest

    Those are the only two that seem to make sense so far...I'm thinking she'll probably like the looks of the Prince as well. It's a discontinued model, but one place has both 1/8 and 1/4 grip sizes in stock. Pretty good deal - around $90.
     
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  6. Fumoffu

    Fumoffu Rookie

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    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpageRCYONEX-RDS308.html

    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpageRCYONEX-RDS002.html

    Anyone of those would be fine. Both have an ample amount of weight to make sure she develops full-bodied swings with swingweights she can handle, paired with enough power and forgiveness that it won't frustrate her love of the game. Yonex also has fabulous quality control, so should she ever begin to play tournaments and want a couple more, she wouldn't have to worry about that. Just go to the store, pick one up, and bam. Unlike the gear heads on these boards..
     
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  7. BorgPulse

    BorgPulse Guest

    I like the RDS002 as an option - little worried about some of the comments about arm/elbow pain - suppose I could get it strung on the low end of the range w/gut - would give her some more power to work with...
     
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  8. superstition

    superstition Hall of Fame

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    Wilson T-2000.
     
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  9. Fumoffu

    Fumoffu Rookie

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    a lot of the girls around here use the 003, which is why i reccomended that, but yeah I do agree with your decision to lean towards the 002. The extra .25inch would help her with some power and such, but I think starting her off right is equally important. as for arm pain and such, making sure she doesn't use polys and is taught proper form should be enough to prevent that.
     
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  10. BorgPulse

    BorgPulse Guest

    Good idea...that's the one your mom uses, right?
     
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  11. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    no, Donnay Borg for obvious reasons :)

    PS85 since many here love and highly recommend it.:)
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2008
    #11
  12. Pro_Tour_630

    Pro_Tour_630 Legend

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    in that case get her what she likes, looks are important to a 12 year old girl
     
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  13. BorgPulse

    BorgPulse Guest

    I have a Bancroft Borg, 4 5/8M; that should work OK too :) Problem solved.
     
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  14. meowmix

    meowmix Hall of Fame

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    I'd actually recommend AGAINST the prince spectrum. While bladepdb makes a valid point that OS's are more forgiving in terms of shot making, a lightweight OS that "firm" will probably result in more arm pain that anything else. The two main contributing factors to arm pain are stiffness and technique. The spectrum seems to be a stiff as heck type of racket- I'd avoid it. Also, it seems that your daughter may be playing for some years. You want to get her a racket that'll last her a while. Those lightweight OS's are called game improvement rackets for a reason: they start you off, but within the year, they're either too powerful for you, or they're too light, or they don't have enough control. An athletic girl like your daughter will probably need a new racket by the beginning of next year.

    That being said, I'd recommend moving up into a higher weight category. Nothing more than 11.5 ounces, since she IS still young, but I think she can probably handle it. Swingweight is a large factor, but don't really worry about it. The Head LM4 mentioned above has a relatively high swingweight, but it actually swings fairly easily. If you plan on demoing (highly recommended, considering it costs 12 bucks to demo 4 rackets from TW for a week), I'd put that on the list. I'd also put the Head LM Radical MP on the list. While it's listed as a "player's racket", it very forgiving. It's fairly light, fairly lowerful, and a very nice racket all around. It'll really stay with your daughter for a while, as that's a racket that people of all levels love and enjoy. The only con about the racket is its paint job- I don't really care for it. I'd also throw in the Wilson nTour. That's a racket that's similar to the Radical in terms of weight and power. Personally, I didn't particularly like it (then again, I play with a 12.2 ounce racket), but many people love it. It's a very nice racket. There's also the plus side that quite a few WTA pros have "used" it. Finally, I'd throw in the Prince O3 Shark MP. Personally, I haven't played with this one, but from what I've heard, it's a very nice racket. It's slightly more powerful than the rackets mentioned above, but still very controllable.

    Also, make sure your daughter likes the LOOKS of the racket. At the age of 12, looks matter quite a bit.

    You'll also notice that all of the racket's I've recommended cost under 85 bucks. There's no reason to be spending 200 bucks a racket, especially when there's such a nice selection of rackets that have been on the market for a while and are selling for such a low price. Good luck!
     
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  15. Miami Tiburon

    Miami Tiburon Semi-Pro

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    My daughter is eleven years old and has been playing for a year, lessons the whole nine yards.I started her with the prince 03 junior racquet she used for like 3 months.She tried my Dunlop 500 Aerogel one day and was hooked on it it made a big difference to use a full size racquet.The Dunlop 500 is a good choice you might want her to demo it.My daughter trains everday and has had no arm issues of any kind.
     
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  16. stanfordtennis alum

    stanfordtennis alum Hall of Fame

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    babolat z-lite.. good and light racquet
     
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  17. rockbox

    rockbox Rookie

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    I bought my wife a Prince Thunder Cloud and it is a very good beginner racquet.
     
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  18. superstition

    superstition Hall of Fame

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    My mother has never played tennis. She did softball, band, and cheerleading.
     
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  19. 2nd_Serve

    2nd_Serve Professional

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    I actually made my friend try the Prince Hybrid Shark. It's only 90 dollars, and it's a very nice choice for a beginner. I'm talking about the shark with holes. After 3 months of playing with that, he already moved on to a different racket. It could just be him, but I think the racket helped a lot.
     
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  20. 2nd_Serve

    2nd_Serve Professional

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    I meant like, moved on to a different racket as in, the K6.1 95. He's developed really fast. And I was saying I think the racket did a part of it.
     
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  21. Dark_Angel85

    Dark_Angel85 Rookie

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    Personally, it really depends on whether or not your niece plans to advance to become a 'player' or just a regular recreational tennis player.

    Investing in something for the long term is definitely good if she plans to become someone really good and established in tennis albeit playing for her school, going serious in tourneys and stuff. Getting her accustomed to a 'player's racquet' would be worthwhile though she still needs to handle the heft of a player's racquet.

    To me, I still feel that a 12 year old should be given a lighter racquet <300 grammes. If she is someone who just started, she'll not have gotten the strokes and is still trying to find the rhythm in the swings and trying to get her timing right. If you offset these things and aim for a heavy racquet, she'll have to swing harder, put in more (if not too much) effort just to be able to get the racquet up. Which can be very demotivating when you're trying hard to accomplish something bigger rather than just trying to adjust to the racquet.

    Get something that she CAN USE NOW. When she becomes a good player later on, getting different racquets will be a lesser problem compared to getting something too heavy and unmaneuverable now.

    :)
     
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  22. BorgPulse

    BorgPulse Guest

    Thanks - I think that's the racket I'm leaning towards - you're speaking of the MP I assume?
     
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