Racquet suggestion for my girlfriend who is a beginner

Lelandt50

New User
Title pretty much says it all. Looking to get a decent stick for my girlfriend that she can grow in to. She’s demoed the Babolat pure drive, didn’t have a strong positive or negative reaction to that. Tried a pure strike today, didn’t like that at all. I’m a fairly advanced player (played D1 college) who’s used a pro staff 6.1 classic most of my life. I’m only saying this to explain why I’m sort of inept on beginner racquets. Anyway, she’s still learning the strokes, she’s got plenty of strength so she doesn’t need a trampoline. Open to any recommendations. Thank you.
 

SinneGOAT

Hall of Fame
I would try something like a Wilson clash 100 or a head radical mp along with an ezone 100. More beginner racquets with some more control than a pure drive but won’t be underpowered like a blade would.
 
If she’s still learning the strokes I’d say something off the shelf at Walmart honestly. I have always felt like super new people don’t know what they want in a racquet because they don’t know what they’re looking for. No need to drop $150+ on a racquet there’s a good chance she hates in 6 months to a year anyway. If you/she wants a “real” racquet to start, I’d try a pure drive, clash 100, blade 102/104 (whichever it is right now), and something like a head instinct or extreme all next to each other. I feel like that gives a good impression of what there is on the market and she’ll be able to hone in from there
 

socallefty

Legend
My wife started with a Pure Drive 107, but switched to a Pure Strike after 18 months. I feel like an oversized racquet is good when beginners are still in the stage of bunting the ball as the sweet spot is bigger. Once they learn the basics of hitting topspin, they can switch to a 98-100 sq inch racquet that they can use for many years.
 
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prince textreme tour 100 or 100L, warrior 100, Dunlop cx400 tour, any 98-100 size racquet with mid flex. Tho many manufacturers make similar racquets, the shape of the grip is a differentiating factor. Head/Tecnifibre and Prince are on opposite ends of the spectrum. Maybe buy used if you go for a more costly model.
 

TagUrIt

Hall of Fame
The brand to me isn't as important as the head size. I think most beginners should use a racquet that's easy to swing (lightweight) and large sweet spot. Any 105-115 is a good place to start in my opinion.
 

mtommer

Hall of Fame
I would suggest the Head Radical Elite/Team or Microgel Radical MP that can be had for $50-$90. They're still decent racquets, low cost and allow your gf time to figure out if she'd like to stay with tennis.
 

Lorenn

Professional
Title pretty much says it all. Looking to get a decent stick for my girlfriend that she can grow in to. She’s demoed the Babolat pure drive, didn’t have a strong positive or negative reaction to that. Tried a pure strike today, didn’t like that at all. I’m a fairly advanced player (played D1 college) who’s used a pro staff 6.1 classic most of my life. I’m only saying this to explain why I’m sort of inept on beginner racquets. Anyway, she’s still learning the strokes, she’s got plenty of strength so she doesn’t need a trampoline. Open to any recommendations. Thank you.
SO what we know...
Looking for a slightly more advanced than true beginner racquet.
She didn't hate the Pure Drive
Didn't like a advanced tweener(Pure Strike)
She is Strong and working on basics with a attentive coach.

How motivated is she?
How is her eye hand coordination?
Is she having fun?
One Handed or two handed backhand?

Goal of a true beginner racquet is to get them to their second racquet. Many want to skip the first racquet as it tends to last about a year or so. I would ponder maybe the Wilson Ultra Comp(56 dollars) from Costco or Head Ti.Instinct(30-40). You can then donate them to charity or keep them as a backup. If you want something slightly more advanced Gravity S. If you think she is good at 100 Speed MP(360+). Prince Textreme Tour 100 290. You might want to string for a little extra pop. If they seem a little too advanced but close maybe try the older Speed Graphene XT. Radical Xt would be an option if they have solid eye hand coordination.

Just try to remember the goal is to have the new player enjoy the game enough they want to buy a new racquet.
 
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golden chicken

Hall of Fame
So another question would be, does your girlfriend take full swings at the ball, or is she more like poking or tapping it back? If taking full swings, go for more controlled, slightly more advanced racket. If poking or tapping back, then more oversized, power end of the tweener spectrum.

My wife would take full whacks at the ball as a complete beginner. If I had given her a Pure Drive first I'd have spent more time outside the court picking up balls than inside, and that's embarrassing and makes beginners gun-shy of taking full swings at the ball.
 
I got my gf a Instinct S that was on sale for like $70. She at first blamed her lack of progress to the racket. Then after trying a bunch of other rackets as I was in a demo program at my local shop, she ended up going back to it
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
I got my gf a Instinct S that was on sale for like $70. She at first blamed her lack of progress to the racket. Then after trying a bunch of other rackets as I was in a demo program at my local shop, she ended up going back to it
When my wife began to play with me she was a complete beginner. I have a little experience as a coach (for a summer). But I didn't give her any instruction the first few times out. I didn't want to scare her away from the sport.

When she decided she wanted to continue playing and also to improve, I told her I could help her but she would get worse first because now she had to unlearn some things she was doing naturally that were wrong. She accepted, went through that phase, and can now rally fairly well with me. She even beats me when my approach shots are too kind. Most of the issues we have are with ourselves, not with our rackets.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
My wife started with a Pure Drive 107, but switched to a Pure Strike after 18 months. I feel like an oversized racquet is good when beginners are still in the stage of bunting the ball as the sweet spot is bigger. Once they learn the basics of hitting topspin, they can switch to a 98-100 sq inch racquet that they can use for many years.
I don't know very many adult women that ever learn to hit topspin. They move from bunting moonballs to hitting hard and flat. But every topspin hitting woman I've encountered started in juniors.

Until you know whether her tendons are bullet proof or not, look at comfort first. Then power and forgiveness.

Clash 100 or 108, Blade 104, Ripstick 290 would be my top choices. Clash and Ripstick fo Power, Blade for a bit more control.
 
When my wife began to play with me she was a complete beginner. I have a little experience as a coach (for a summer). But I didn't give her any instruction the first few times out. I didn't want to scare her away from the sport.

When she decided she wanted to continue playing and also to improve, I told her I could help her but she would get worse first because now she had to unlearn some things she was doing naturally that were wrong. She accepted, went through that phase, and can now rally fairly well with me. She even beats me when my approach shots are too kind. Most of the issues we have are with ourselves, not with our rackets.
I kinda did the opposite. I didn't want her to get bad habits. We also have a ball machine so it helped her a lot at first but now she prefers that I feed her at the net because it's more challenging and fun for her. I feel like the instinct S is light and closer to a regular player's racket shape and size so she could transition more easily instead of having her starting with an oversized racket. She's actually now brushing too much and have to force to hit through more.
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
I kinda did the opposite. I didn't want her to get bad habits. We also have a ball machine so it helped her a lot at first but now she prefers that I feed her at the net because it's more challenging and fun for her. I feel like the instinct S is light and closer to a regular player's racket shape and size so she could transition more easily instead of having her starting with an oversized racket. She's actually now brushing too much and have to force to hit through more.
I restrung my wife's racket with Velocity from NXT and didn't reduce the tension. I took a lot of the racket's power away, so she HAS to hit through it more. Of course, now when she gets a good strike on the ball, she generates a decent amount of topspin on her forehand. It's fun seeing her progress.
 

guilhermefdc

Semi-Pro
A couple years ago I ended up going with the Radical S for my wife. It has decent specs for a beginner, but it’s also something she could keep on using for a while longer - 10.4 oz strung (295g), low SW (307), large-ish headsize (102 sq in), flexible, but with a thick tapered beam - it’s rather powerful, comfortable and somewhat forgiving.
 

lim

Semi-Pro
I second something from the gravity line. I've played with girls that were very fit (regular gym users) but didn't have any concept of hand eye coordination or footwork from playing actual sports and they played much better with something more stable + slightly more control oriented rather than a straight up sub 10 oz tweener. A slightly heavier stick actually forced them to slow down their stroke and make clean contact rather than swatting at erratically
 

Curtennis

Semi-Pro
If your girlfriend (wife) is Japanese like mine, it’s pretty easy to pick which brand :)

I went Ezone SL as it comes in a nice white and pink. 100 sq inch, 16x18 and a decent enough weight/balance for a weaker player.
 

graycrait

Hall of Fame

Is this a tennis or marital training aid, or could it be both:) Sorry moderators, I couldn't help myself.
 
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