The market is full of racquets and the options are endless these days. On the other hand, this is a good thing, but which is the best tennis racquet for seniors? Read on to find out!
Tennis is a great form of exercise for seniors. Aging affects the way your body performs while playing and can change some requirements for your tennis equipment.
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Even if you have been playing tennis your whole life it can come as a surprise when your game starts to suffer. This is likely due to age-related changes in your body that affect your strength, coordination, endurance, and balance.
These changes are a natural consequence of aging and you should get discouraged and quit hobbies and activities you like, on the contrary, it’s very important to keep active. But you also have to accept the fact that you are not as strong and nimble as you were in your youth. You have to adapt.
Choosing the right equipment can make all the difference in your game as you age. Having a racquet that better suits your current physical properties will make playing much easier. There is no shame to admit this, we all age.
Besides choosing the correct equipment you can counter the effects of aging by keeping your body strong and by improving your balance and mobility. These will help you reverse the effects of aging but of course, aging is inevitable. But taking care of your strength will help you maintain enough strength to play tennis for as long as possible.
Having the proper equipment is half of the equation so let’s look at what exactly should you look for in a tennis racquet for seniors.
Choosing The Best Tennis Racquet For Seniors
So what should you look for in the specs when choosing a tennis racquet as a senior? There are certain considerations you should take considering the racket head, weight, and material.
Here’s a great tutorial on picking the right racquet by Tennis Warehouse (YouTube embed, content not owned or created by ElderStrength.com).
The racket head
The racket head means the size of the racquet head including the strings and the frame. It’s measured as a total surface area (square inches).
Generally speaking the larger the head size is, the easier it is to hit the ball. However, most of the time in tennis hitting the ball is not the hardest part once you get the hang of it. It’s what happens when you hit the ball that is more important.
- A larger head will generate more power to the ball due to a greater trampoline effect
- Most seniors should choose a larger head (>100 square inches)
- If you are an advanced and strong player a medium head (96 – 100 sq. in.) is an option
- A small head is better for young and strong players.
A larger head will also allow for better accuracy, faster rebounds and more power when hitting the ball but with less effort.
The racket weight is measured in grams and is a very important factor for seniors. Because your strength and stamina will naturally decline as you age, every gram you can shave off your racquet will make playing easier.
Due to new technologies like carbon fiber polymers and advanced manufacturing methods, the average weight of racquets has reduced significantly in recent decades.
A heavier racket will generally put more power to your stroke while a lighter racket will be more maneuverable. The extra weight of a heavier racket will also help to absorb the shock of each hit, reducing the
The average tennis racket weighs around 300 grams and anything below 285 g is considered light and over 310 grams is considered heavy. As you can see the differences are minimal but when you wield the racket and hour at the end of your hand, every gram counts.
So what is the best tennis racket weight for seniors? Well, there are two considerations. As you age you tend to lose strength so the heavier the racket, the harder it will be to maintain control.
On the other hand, aging makes your joints more prone to injury and inflammation. Like I said a moment ago, a heavier racket will absorb more of the shock on each hit so a super light racket can aggravate your joints. This shock absorption can also help to control the racket better.
For these reasons, you should choose a racket on the lighter side considering your strength, size, and experience. Generally speaking, advanced players can handle a heavier racket than beginners even as a senior.
If you are an experienced and active 200 lbs man in your 60s you can likely handle a heavy racket much better than if you are a 140 lbs woman whos is just trying out tennis for the first time.
So the answer is “it depends” but generally speaking as a senior you should go for a lighter racket than you would otherwise to account for the reduced strength.
The length of the racket is measured in inches or centimeters. Nearly all rackets on the market measure at 27 inches in length but there are some shorter and extra-long models available.
A longer racket, at least in theory, will create a higher impact velocity on the ball, resulting in added power to the shot with the same force produced by the player.
On the other hand, this same effect will make the racket harder to control because you have a longer moment arm.
Most seniors should choose the standard length but if you are an experienced player who has good control over the racket, you could benefit from a longer frame is you feel like your shots are losing power.
Balance and beam
The balance of the racket tells how the weight is distributed between the head and the handle. A racket can be perfectly balanced, head-heavy (the head heavier than the handle) or headlight (head lighter than the handle).
The weight of the head will affect how much power will be transferred to the ball on each stroke, just like the whole weight of the racket. On the other hand, a lighter head will make the racket easier to maneuver.
Most seniors will do fine with a perfectly balanced racket. But it’s possible to play around with the total weight and the balance of the racket.
For example, if you are used to using a heavy perfectly balanced racket and due to loss of strength need to change into a lighter model, you could choose a model with a heavy head to retain some of your hitting power.
The final thing to look for is the beamwidth of the racket. The frame of a tennis racket isn’t completely straight. The beam tells the width of the head, shoulds and the handle relative to each other.
Generally speaking the wider the beam the more material and thus stability and power the racket will provide.
Best tennis racquet for seniors: Beginners
So taking into account the above criteria, I have picked recommendations in different price classes for you. Let’s start with an affordable model that’s suitable for beginners or casual players who don’t want to invest too much in a tennis racquet.
Meet the Wilson Federer Adult Tennis Racket
Wilson is the industry standard and probably the most well-known brand in tennis. I bet you have heard of them even if you don’t play tennis. The racket is named after one of the most iconic players of modern times, Roger Federer.
The racket features volcanic frame technology for power and stability, power strings and stop shock pads for improved comfort.
The racket is constructed from aluminum and features an oversized head of 110 sq. in. The racket is a bit on the heavy side, weighing at 11.5 oz (326 g), so it’s a better match for larger players.
The Wilson Federer is a good all-around racquet for beginners at an exceptional price to quality ratio. The only con for seniors is the slightly heavier weight.
Best tennis racquet for seniors: Intermediate players
My second recommendation is geared toward intermediate players. It is the HEAD Ti.S6
The S6 is a lightweight titanium racket with an oversized head of 115 sq. in. The racket is head heavy, which is a perfect combination with the super lightweight and very large head.
The S6 is also extra-long, at 27 3/4″, giving it even more power to compensate for the lightweight.
It truly is one of the lightest, fastest and most comfortable racquets on the market. It’s especially suitable for intermediates and veterans looking for maximum comfort and power.
You will definitely love using this racket!
Best tennis racquet for seniors: Advanced players
My final recommendation is for the seasoned players looking for a lighter option for their seniors years. Naturally, your own preferences will affect your decision but this is at least one premium racquet to take into account.
The Wilson Burn 100 is a high-performance carbon fiber racquet that features a medium-sized head at 100 sq. in. The modulus carbon graphite frame is designed for increased stiffness to provide explosive power.
The Burn 100 is very lightweight at 11.2 Oz (317 g) and it features a standard 27″ length with a medium-size head. The balance is neutral and the racket comes prestrung with Wilson Sensation multifilament strings.
The racket features an extra-long handle for comfortable two-handed backhands. The racket also features something called Spin Effect Technology.
It is the first racket system that actually increases the rotation of the ball without you changing your swing. This is an all-around high-quality racket with premium features and a very balanced design.
The lighter construction and the carbon fibers added shock absorption make it a perfect option for seniors. You will definitely love playing with this racquet!
Benefits of tennis for seniors
If you are wondering if tennis is a good form of exercise for seniors and older people the answer is a sounding yes! The two most important parts of your physical health as you age are strength and balance.
Any form of exercise will help you keep your strength but strength training specifically is superior for this effect. Tennis, however, involves explosive movements that challenge your muscles.
Both your strokes and moving into a position to hit the ball seriously activate both your lower body and upper body musculature.
Tennis is also almost perfect for maintaining and improving your balance and coordination. It’s simply impossible to play tennis without a good balance because the game is so fast-paced and requires you to change your position constantly in an unexpected manner. This really challenges your balance skills and is a great fall-prevention exercise for seniors.
Naturally, your eye-to-hand coordination will have to be good to play tennis because you have to be able to hit the ball. Tennis helps you maintain and improve all these skills as well as your strength.
So if you are able to play tennis or want to try it, go right ahead! It’s almost the perfect sport for seniors just like kayaking and cycling. I would advise including strength training in your exercise routine along with tennis because it’s not optimal for maintaining strength and can lead to muscle imbalances.
You can learn more about tennis in the article Tennis For Seniors – Considerations And How To Get Started.
Tennis Rackets for Seniors: Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can seniors use the same racquets as younger players?
A: Of course they can. Seniors can play with the exact same equipment as younger people. The only consideration is that your age can affect the type of racquet you should use.
This means that typically the racquet that might be optimal for your build and playing style when you were younger, might not be optimal for you when you age. Aging tends to slow you down and reduce strength. Picking a racquet that compensates for this can give you an edge.
Q: Is Tennis safe for seniors who have never played before?
A: Tennis is a great sport for improving cardiovascular health, strength, balance, and coordination. It’s also demanding. If you are a senior looking to learn tennis, I suggest you get lessons from an experienced coach that has experience with teaching tennis to seniors.
Tennis is a relatively safe sport but there are certain risks for seniors. Tennis is a fast-paced sport so there is always a risk of pulling muscles, injuring joints, falling down and increasing your heart rate to dangerous levels. So always start in the supervision of an experienced coach to avoid doing too much too soon.
Q: I suffer from tennis elbow, which racquet is the best for me?
A: If you suffer from tennis elbow, my recommendation is to get it sorted out before continuing tennis. Tendon problems are often very chronic and if you keep doing what caused the inflammation it will only aggravate over time. Changing your racquet won’t likely cure the elbow.
The best thing is to avoid doing activities that aggravate the elbow and start strengthening the muscles surrounding the joint. Strength training is a great way to improve chronic tendonitis, like tennis elbow. Just do it in the supervision of your doctor or physiotherapist.
I hope you found my recommendations for the best tennis racquet for seniors useful and decide to try them out yourself!
Tennis is a great sport for seniors that are able to play it. It helps you keep both your strength and balance while doing something fun that you enjoy.
Choosing the right racket can be a challenge but I hope with the tips I provided here you will find a good match.
Just remember you will likely have to accept that your strength, control, and explosiveness will reduce with age and choose equipment accordingly. That’s why you should probably choose a bit lighter racket than you would otherwise.
But other than that I encourage you to keep playing as long as possible. Age is just a speed bump, not an impervious obstacle that prevents you from doing the things you love!
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