Best Tennis Gear for Kids 10 and Under
Finding the right gear for your 10 and under tennis player can be difficult sometimes and costly. You may end up buying the wrong size racket or shoes and the sizing for clothes can get confusing. Additionally, you have to contend with little kid tantrums and tastes that are not necessarily in their best interest. Especially when they see their friends with specific gear and they also want it. Take it from me, I have an eight-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl who have been playing tennis at least three times a week since the age of four.
I hope I can provide some guidance here. I’ll use my eight-year-old as the example given that he’s already gone through red ball, orange, and green ball, in addition to having been through numerous shoe sizes and rackets. I’m going to break this down into three categories: Rackets, Shoes, and Clothes/Accessories.
My eight-year-old started red ball one month before his fifth birthday. When choosing his first racket, we looked at esthetics and functionality. The Volkl Revolution 21” was the perfect combination of that. It’s not your usual brand like Wilson or Babolat. It’s a bit more niche than those and let’s people know that you’re willing to go deep into racket brands! He loved the way this racket looked.
At six years old, he was promoted to orange ball. To go along his promotion, we now needed to start thinking about a brand that he could connect with for years to come. We settled on Head IG Speed 23”, mostly because Djokovic uses the brand, and they make solid junior rackets. For a six-year-old you’ll need to upgrade to a 23” racket. Make sure you get a graphite racket. There are many 23” out there that are not graphite. The feel of the graphite composite will be a lot more comfortable and sweeter to hit with for your youngster.
At seven and a half, we transitioned him to a 25” racket at the recommendation of his coach, and because he was already outgrowing his 23”. Keep in mind that making the jump from 23” to 25” is really dependent on how your child is progressing. My child’s height is above average and strength-wise, he could easily handle the additional weight. We continued with Head, and got him the Head Graphene 360+ Speed 25”.
For the next size up, we’re really thinking about moving him to Babolat. In my opinion, Babolat may be a tad better than Head in Junior rackets. The kids seem to love hitting with them.
Shoes have always been a little tricky. Especially because they don’t have many tennis shoes for kids under seven years of age. That being said, we have had experience with two pretty decent brands, Adidas and Head. Out of the two brands, I would recommend going with Head. Our experience with Adidas has been that the interior sole seems to come off and it makes for a very cranky youth tennis player. We’ve had no such problems with head. Head Sprint are durable, comfortable, and won’t fall apart.
Finally, we have the clothes and accessories department. I don’t really have any advice other than always look for something on sale and a size up! My eight-year-old has been wearing the same Nike outfit for four years now and it still fits him! In terms of accessories, make sure you get a nice bag so that they can pack their lunch during tennis camps, and also some grips and shock absorbers.
Like always, don’t forget to jump on to the TennisPAL app to stay up to date on tennis news, find groups of friends to play with, and get a virtual coach to help with your tennis game.