New starter gear for son

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by, Dec 3, 2009.

  1. Banned

    Dec 2, 2009
    My son is 18 and wants to start playing tennis on a regular basis. I want to get him some shoes, racket, shorts, and a shirt. However, I don't want to spend too much because he might quit. Need help. Thanks.
  2. jwbarrientos

    jwbarrientos Hall of Fame

    May 31, 2009
    I assume you are in the wrong section.
  3. lawrence

    lawrence Hall of Fame

    Feb 14, 2007
    shorts, shirt, dont worry too much.
    shoes you'd probably want to get him some actual tennis shoes though, but if you think he might quit just get him to play in his joggers/runners until he looks like he's interested

    as for rackets, why dont you just lend him one of yours?

    THESEXPISTOL Hall of Fame

    May 5, 2009
    I wish my dad cared like you do when i started tennis..
    I wouldn't concern about shorts and shirts..
    I don't know what your budget is.. but here we go
    You can buy him an excellent starter kit:

    Something from nike of adidas in sale would be pretty nice. I'm not a big specialist on this one. I never had problem with sports shoes my entire life. I think my foot are very regular.

    I would get him 2 x Head Liquidmetal Radical MP (2 x 70$)
    A pretty nice racquet, cheap (you can buy two for the price of one a top model), is neither light neither heavy and will put him in a position where he will have to do a correct stroke to get some power.

    Strings (very important):
    A reel of gosen sheep Micro 17 (35$). A real nice string for begginers.
  5. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

    Jun 24, 2009
    At Large
    A beginner doesn't need two rackets - he will do just fine with one. For the same price as the Head LM Radical MP that the previous poster suggested you can get a LM Radical OS or even a Microgel Instinct (check TW competitor sites).

    Also, a beginner doesn't need a reel of string. Just get it restrung at your local pro shop with whatever they carry as their standard synthetic gut on an as needed basis (as often in a year as he plays in a week, or whenever it breaks).

    Shoes - just make sure to get him something tennis specific, or if you can't find any in your price range, get him a low cut basketball shoe. Running shoes and cross-trainers don't provide enough lateral support and you could ruin the shoes and/or his ankles.

    Shirts - nothing special, just look for a good deal and buy several of them. Plain 100% cotton can usually be found for $5 at the big W mart or quick dry shirts can be found for under $10.

    Shorts - anything as long as they have side pockets.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2009
  6. Aces09

    Aces09 Semi-Pro

    Jun 15, 2009
  7. tennis005

    tennis005 Professional

    Sep 26, 2009
    Texas, USA
    When I started playing tennis, I just wore normal shoes, athletic clothes, and played with a 20 dollar aluminum racket from wlmrt. Usually for beginners, normal running shoes hold up just fine but you can always pick up a pair of tennis shoes for a descent price. The wlmrt racket is just like for the first few months. If he really likes tennis, pick up a couple of good onsale racket here on TW. Something like a Head Liquidmetal.
  8. david5

    david5 New User

    Aug 6, 2009
    wow i wished my dad cared bout my tennis. he only found out i played like a month since i started (but he has long hours at work so i forgive him). anyway since ur son's a beginner i would prob say dnt get something too expensive until he is more experienced. mayb get a head liquid metal 4 or something like that nd any shirt will do, nd get shorts with pockets to hold the ball wen servin.
  9. Dave M

    Dave M Hall of Fame

    Mar 23, 2007
    Noooooooooooooooooo, i've seen too many injured ankles etc from using athletic/running shoes.They are designed to let your foot move in the wrog way to offer good support for tennis.It doesn't matter how much you spend but do get a well fitted pair of sport specific trainers.His feet will thank you for it!
  10. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

    Apr 25, 2007
    Per what other posters have said I would make sure you get tennis specific shoes. In a way this is likely to be the most important thing to remain injury free.

    Anything from the sale section would be good:

    Two of my favourites for good price/quality relationship are:
    - Adidas Tirand III - cheaper version of the Barricade shoe, great for casual players
    - Nike CourtBalistic 1.2 - again a cheaper version of the 1.3 for the more casual player

    Both are excellent shoes

    Avoid the temptation to go "Walmart" on it. These are rarely any good and often can cause arm injury if used to play competitively (my opinion)

    There are some good raquets in the sale section of TW here:

    Personally I am also a big fan of the Liquidmetal Radical MidPlus. This is everything an athletic beginner will need through to the intermediate stage. A very popular racquet with good reason, suits many styles of play and will grow with your son's ability. Your son will only need one racquet initially. Have it strung with whatever syn gut the local stringer carries in the middle of the tension range of the racquet (printed on it).

    For the rest any t-shirt/shorts will do just fine.

    Re balls, I would avoid the temptation again to go "cheap" on the balls, the good balls really are worth the money. Personally I find the Wilson US open balls a good deal. Here is a thread with lots of info on tennis balls:

    Hope it helps and good luck to your son,

    Cheers, Orig
  11. duusoo

    duusoo Rookie

    Jun 25, 2009
    I support the Microgel Radical MP. Good price at TW, really can't go wrong on this one. Avoid the Target/Walmart trap.
  12. Edward DFW

    Edward DFW Rookie

    Apr 15, 2009
    dude, a lm radical mp is for a 4.5 player and up not a beginner... it might be a good value and a good racquet (i have one, ordered it by mistake instead of the OS) but it is NOT for a beginner.

    anyway... to answer the original poster's question:

    shoes: go to academy or another sports store and see which ones he likes that are inexpensive... when I started playing again I did it in running shoes and while I did not injure myself, I did put my ankles at risk, get him some real tennis shoes.

    apparel? not a huge priority... if he has athletic shorts / pants and shirts use that, if not use whatever he has with whatever shirts... this isn't really important... if you want cheap sportswear go to ross or marshalls or a store like that... if you care

    racquet? go to walmart and get a head Ti Tornado for 25-30 bucks

    balls? you can get mesh bags full of pressureless balls also at walmart for low prices

    do that and if he shows more interest upgrade
  13. Edward DFW

    Edward DFW Rookie

    Apr 15, 2009
    "The LiquidMetal Radical racquets are designed with the stronger intermediate to advanced player in mind. Best suited to 4.5 + level players."
  14. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

    Apr 25, 2007
    Heya Edward,

    I see what you're saying but I tend to find it depends a lot on what type of player we are talking about. Most players of my age learned when 12-13oz mids were the norm and did just fine. I do agree that times have changed however and today you should however take what advantage you can get from the equipment but I think the key distinction is between Adult beginners and Athletic juniors.

    Personally I feel that an athletic player should just go straight away with a relatively forgiving MidPlus. I find this business of transferring racquets at different "levels" of play to be a bit misleading. If you get a relatively forgiving MidPlus racquet at a good static weight you will be just fine for the majority of your playing life and won't have to change swing styles/feel/playing style to adjust.

    At the end of the day I think the racquets have a lot more to do with what you like than what is "best" for your game and a relatively forgiving MidPlus for me is the best "average" pick, hence the recommendation.

    As an aside I feel TW's "ratings" of racquets by NTRP level to be ridiculous. The idea that this should be a 4.5+ level players racquet I find strange. I would say that anything from a 3.0 to a 5.0 would find this a great racquet giving a suitable level of hand-eye coordination and athleticism.

    Still it would be interesting to hear what the OP went with in the end and how it has worked out? Any verdict?

    Cheers, Orig
  15. SirGounder

    SirGounder Hall of Fame

    Sep 16, 2009
    My younger brother just started playing tennis about 3 months ago.

    First couple times out: Adidas shorts that he already had and a tshirt. I let him use my APDC and he wore running shoes.

    He came home from college and we hit the courts: Same clothing. He tried my TFight 320 VO2 and I gave him an old pair of Wilsons I got for $30. I gave him the racquet to take to school because he loved it so much. He said the shoes were way better on his ankles too.

    You can always have your son demo racquets the first couple times or use one of yours just to see if he wants to stick with it. Like the other have mentioned, a pair of sale shoes would be a good idea. When I started I wore my basketball shoes and they worked fine.

    There is no sense in buying tennis specific clothing imo. If he has athletic shorts of some sort and a tshirt he's good to go (my buddy that plays every other week for the last 3 years plays in Dickies shorts).
  16. TahoeTennis

    TahoeTennis Hall of Fame

    May 19, 2009
    big 5 and Sport's Authority seem to have some great beginner racquets around the 50$ range. I agree that shoes are the most important equipment and would check **** and or the aforementioned stores. If he becomes hooked for life, like myself, then you can upgrade accordingly.
  17. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

    Feb 11, 2004
    Yes, shoes are probably the most important thing at first. Running shoes are soft for cushioning, but don't have the stability needed for moving sideways. As someone mentioned, I have seen way too many sprained ankles from wearing running shoes for tennis--mostly beginners. I'd say buy some closeout shoes if you know his exact size and the brand he wears, but otherwise, you need to get him to a store and try them on. Then, get a racket with the correct grip size. Go to some big chain just to let him feel the grips on several brands of rackets. Find the size and brand he likes the feel of best. I'd order from the closeout section of TW. They have some really good buys. You can even buy closeout shoes here, but I'd sure have him try some on some place first.
  18. Edward DFW

    Edward DFW Rookie

    Apr 15, 2009

    I agree that it is better to start off with a more demanding racquet BUT ONLY IF you know that the player is planning to play for the long term and budget is not a concern.

    Starting with a more demanding racquet is going to make it harder for someone to catch on and make things more frustrating. Its also more expensive.

    The Ti Tornado is a pretty nice racquet with good weight, even balance and a nice beam that isn't too thick (not too powerful, not too weak). For $25-$30 at Walmart you really can't go wrong.

    I used the Ti Tornado when I started playing again after 15 years. It served me well.

    If not that I would look for a Prince Triple Threat Scream or something like that. No need to spend more than $50.

    Most of the budget should be spent on shoes and lessons.

    Specs for the Ti Tornado:

    Head Size: 110
    Length: 27.50 "
    Strung Weight: 11.1 oz.
    Balance: 0 pts Even Balance
    Composition: Titanium
    Beam Width: 23 mm
    Power Level: Moderate
    Swing Type: Moderate to Full, Medium and Powerful
    String Pattern: 16 Mains x 19 Crosses
    Grip Type: Head Hydrosorb
  19. origmarm

    origmarm Hall of Fame

    Apr 25, 2007
    Heya Edward, I guess it's one of those cases of getting different advice from every person you's hard when you don't actually know the kid if you know what I mean.

    On this we definitely agree however.
  20. 10s talk

    10s talk Semi-Pro

    Apr 23, 2007
    try The Tennis Warehouse for good deals on everything

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