5 Different Types of Tennis Rackets


A couple of tennis rackets on the ground with balls.

Whether you’re just getting started with tennis or you’ve been playing for a while, you always want to make sure you have the right tennis racket.

Having the perfect tennis racket ensures that your game is always on-point and you’re as comfortable as can be. However, with so many different types of tennis rackets to choose from, finding the right one may be a bit more intimidating than you thought.

Not to worry, that’s where the Penalty File comes in. We’re here to teach you all about tennis rackets, as well as the different types, materials, and even uses for these fun pieces of sports equipment. By the time you’re doing the reading, you’ll know exactly which tennis racket is meant for you.

Tennis Racket Materials

Before taking a deep dive into the types of tennis rackets you’ll find, it’s important to first discuss the types of materials that you might find your tennis rackets being made of.

While one isn’t inherently “better†than another, some materials are better for players than others. Here’s a quick breakdown of the types of tennis racket materials these pieces of equipment are made of.

This is a vintage tennis racket made of wood and has a leather handle.

Wood

While not nearly as popular as they once were, wood tennis rackets are a classic within the back-and-forth game.

These types of tennis rackets can really help bring out the nostalgia of once-was, as professionals steer away from these rackets nowadays, But, when tennis was just getting started–and even in its beginning heydays–wood rackets were what everybody was using.

Wood rackets are going to be the heaviest type of racket you’ll handle, simply because of the material. They also tend to put less spin on the ball in general, but they sure are a lot of fun to play with it.

If you’re looking to get into the game professionally, maybe avoid these types of rackets; but, if you’re just hoping to have some laughs, check out wood tennis rackets.

A woman tennis player about to do a serve.

Metal

A lot more popular than wooden but not as popular as a composite are metal tennis rackets. The first super-popular metal tennis racket was introduced way back in 1967.

Wilson created the T2000, which was a metal tennis racket that was said to increase power in the swing with use. Instantly, this type of racket exploded in popularity, and, soon, the wooden tennis racket was pretty much obsolete.

Nowadays, you likely don’t want to turn to a metal tennis racket, either; they’re still a bit heavy and tough to maneuver. But, again, they can be a lot of fun if you’re just looking for a good time on the court with your pals.

Composite

Wilson Burn 100ULS Tennis Racket, 4 3/8"
Click image for more info

Composite tennis rackets are going to be made out of materials like fiberglass, boron, and kevlar. In the early 1980s, Wilson decided to totally switch gears and focus entirely on crafting these composite tennis rackets.

With this drastic switch came a huge wave in popularity for these types of rackets, and everyone began to realize just how beneficial these rackets were for the game of tennis.

They’re easily some of the most popular tennis rackets on the market, both for their ability and accessibility. Tennis rackets made from these materials are much lighter to hold than both wood and metal rackets, making the swing easier for players.

This ability to hold and control the racket also allowed for more power through swings, and just overall more comfortable motion. Even today, many choose to only use composite rackets–and for good reason.

Titanium

HEAD Titanium Ti S6 Extended/Oversized 16x19 Tennis Racquet (4 1/2" Grip) Starter Set or Kit Bundled with a Black/Silver Tour Team 3 Racket Pro Bag and (1) Can of 3 Tennis Balls
Click image for more info

Other than graphite, you can also purchase high-quality titanium tennis rackets. These types of rackets are lighter than a graphite-based tennis racket and they’re even stiffer. These factors allow for better balance and control during a swing, though your power overall may not be as strong as with a composite or graphite tennis racket.

Pure titanium rackets are pricey and a bit hard to come by, but that’s pure because of their premium quality. You’ll pay top-dollar for a tennis racket like this one, but one you’ll get performance and ability that’s unheard of from a tennis racket. So, it’s ultimately up to you!

Graphite

HEAD MX Cyber Tour Graphite Tennis Racquet (4 0/8)
Click image for more info

Finally, the last main type of tennis racket material you’ll come across is graphite. Graphite is incredibly common and incredibly popular for various reasons.

These rackets are heavier than titanium but still quite lightweight. Because they’re a bit heavier, they offer better power in the swings, allowing forceful and controlled hits every time you use it. Graphite rackets are easy to use and great for those just getting started in the sport.

Graphite tennis rackets aren’t going to cost you an arm and a leg, either. They’re quite affordable and can be found on all of your favorite retailer’s websites.

A tennis racket that is about to hit a ball.

Types of Rackets

Now that you’re familiar with the materials that rackets can be made out of, it’s time to learn about the types of rackets themselves.

There are five types of rackets that we’re going to be discussing in-depth today. Everything from the purpose of the racket, their design, and materials, as well as their pros and cons, are explained down below to help you understand which tennis racket might be best for you.

Kid’s Rackets

A group of children being taught how to play tennis.

Purpose

This one is pretty self-explanatory: kid’s tennis rackets are tennis rackets designed specifically for the young ones.

For anyone under the age of around 13, kid’s tennis rackets are perfect. They’re easy to handle, easy to swing and come in a multitude of colors to keep even the youngest ones excited about the game.

Design & Material

Kid’s rackets are going to be much smaller in the frame than other tennis rackets, of course, because they’re made for smaller hands. On the same note, they will also be made of the lightest materials possible–typically aluminum.

Since they’re made for the kiddos, these tennis rackets are going to be available in practically any style and design you can think of.

Pros

Kids’ tennis rackets are obviously the best choice for the younger ones. As we mentioned, they’re lightweight, easy to swing, and have style choices beyond belief.

Weierfu Junior Tennis Racket for Kids Toddlers Starter Racket 17 with Cover Bag Light Weight(Strung)(Pink)
Click image for more info

No matter what your child is into–from bright pink colors with animals or sporty blue themes–there’s a kid’s tennis racket out there for them. Plus, they’re extremely affordable!

HEAD Speed Kids Tennis Racquet - Beginners Pre-Strung Head Light Balance Jr Racket - 25", Blue
Click image for more info

Cons

The only con about these rackets is that they’re made from cheaper materials to get that lightweight feeling.

So, they’re prone to breaking a bit more than your traditional adult racket. However, they are meant for children so the odds that they’re playing hard enough to cause damage is low. Just keep an eye on the tennis rackets after use to ensure they’re still in good enough condition for your tennis-playing kiddo.

Tweener Rackets

Purpose

Wilson Clash 100 Tennis Racquet - Quality String (4-3/8)
Click image for more info

Essentially, “tweener†tennis rackets are your go-to intermediate tennis racket. Despite what the name might suggest, these tennis rackets are made just for “tweens†or young adults. In fact, these types of tennis rackets are ideal for anyone who is truly getting serious about their tennis career–whether it’s professionally or just for fun.

If you’ve started with a cheaper racket, tweener rackets are a great step-up in the world of tennis rackets. They’re much higher-quality and provide more power than your cheaper aluminum tennis racket. Realistically, whether you’re a pro or just getting started, these rackets are ideal for everyone.

Design & Material

Babolat Pure Drive 110 Extended Oversized Black/Blue/White Tennis Racquet (4 1/2" Grip) - Best Racket for Power and Comfort
Click image for more info

Tweener tennis rackets are likely to be made out of graphite or carbon fiber. This creates for a good feel in the hand and a heavy enough racket to get you used to your swing. You’ll be able to easily work on your swing and control, getting your arm totally used to how a great hit feels.

You can find tweener tennis rackets in practically any design you can think of, in any color, and in various packs and sets. You’re able to purchase whole tennis kits that include the perfect tweener tennis racket and everything else you need to get started on your ultimate tennis journey. In general, the lightweight yet strong materials and versatile design create for the perfect intermediate tennis racket.

Pros

The pros of tweener tennis rackets are clear: they’re versatile, great for all players, and are super easy to use. Their materials make for an easy yet controlled swing that feels great in even the youngest hands.

Again, if you have your heart set on a certain color or even material of a tennis racket, you can find a tweener tennis racket that adheres to it. There are just so many options for you to choose from with these types of tennis rackets, you just can’t go wrong.

Like we mentioned above, another pro of these tennis rackets is that they’re often available in tennis racket packets. This means that you can buy a tennis racket, tennis balls, a tennis racket case, and so much more all in one.

Cons

It may sound a little silly, but one of the biggest cons to tweener rackets is their name. Because of this nomenclature, many are inclined to believe that these tennis rackets are made just for youngsters, or “tweens.â€

This isn’t the case at all! These rackets are made for any intermediate players, not just for those who are below the age of 16. They come in sizes and styles that appeal to all-ages players, but just because of their name, many stray from using these types of rackets.

This results in a player using a tennis racket that’s too advanced. So, don’t be fooled: these high-quality rackets are great for beginners.

Modern Player Rackets

A tennis racket with some tennis balls on it.

Purpose

Modern player rackets are just as they sound: tennis rackets that are made for the everyday tennis player. They are made of materials that are heavier and stronger than your intermediate tennis racket, allowing for a more powerful swing.

They’re a bit more difficult to maneuver than a tweener tennis racket, so they’re great for those who have some more experience than others. In fact, even some professionals are choosing to turn towards these types of rackets because of their durability and easy use.

So, as long as you have some experience in the sport and are comfortable around a racket, a modern player tennis racket might be the best option for you. Again, make sure you’re somewhat experienced — otherwise, these rackets might be a bit too heavy or stiff.

Design & Material

Similar to tweener tennis rackets, you’ll likely find modern player rackets in graphite, carbon fiber, or other composite materials.

However, no matter what kind of material is your favorite, you’ll likely be able to find the perfect modern player racket sporting that exact component. In general, modern player rackets are well sought-after, so they’re available in so many different designs and materials.

These types of rackets are really versatile and tend to prioritize strength and power over anything else. To help achieve these, you’re going to find sturdy graphite or carbon fiber materials to keep your swings steady, controlled, and stronger than ever. With modern player rackets, your performance will enhance tenfold thanks to their designs and materials.

A woman tennis player about to serve the ball.

Pros

Modern player rackets are crafted with specific designs and materials to allow enhanced performance. Instead of just letting you swing and do your own thing, these types of rackets actually help you improve your form and performance.

They’re becoming popular with the pros for a reason, and they will likely only continue to grow in popularity as people become more familiar with their style and feel.

You can find these types of tennis rackets practically anywhere that you buy your regular sports equipment. This makes them super accessible and great for anyone looking to make a purchase. Again, you can find these in any color or design that your heart desires, as well as with matching cases or other accessories.

Cons

Modern player rackets are going to be heavier than your typical racket. While this is good in the long-term, this can be frustrating for some.

This can make the game much more difficult than it needs to be, and you have to work harder to get the swing that you want. On that note, these types of tennis rackets are also going to be a bit pricer than your typical tennis racket, with even the cheapest rackets running at pretty high costs. Of course, it does depend on the material that the racket is made out of.

A close look at a red and black tennis racket.

Control Rackets

Purpose

Control rackets are all about–you guessed it–control. These rackets are meant to help you learn how to better control your swing and get your form to be as perfect as possible.

If you have the power in your swing but are struggling to control your tennis racket the way you want to, maybe try out a control racket. With these, you’re able to learn how to not only swing with good control but have a controlled swing that’s full of power and strength.

Typically, these types of unique rackets aren’t recommended for beginners. In fact, they’re highly suggested for those who are experienced in the sport but are attempting to polish up their skills just a bit. They’re not exactly the easiest tennis rackets to use, but that’s the point! Control rackets’ whole purpose is to get your skills honed in and perfected.

Design & Material

Interestingly enough, control rackets are going to be designed with a much smaller head than your typical tennis racket.

This helps you learn to be more accurate and hit your ball with a much smaller target. While this results in significantly less power, again, your accuracy will and control will be much much better.

While you may be used to using lightweight, stiff tennis rackets to hit your tennis balls, it’s quite the opposite for control rackets. Control rackets are actually going to be made with heavier materials and a more bendable frame.

This results in you working harder towards getting your racket where it needs to be and truly controlling your swing. It may be difficult at first, but it’s easily the best way to hone your skills.

Pros

Obviously, one of the biggest pros of these tennis rackets are their ability to help you work on control. While power and strength may take time on their own, learning on how to properly control your swing can be quite tough.

Control rackets, then, make the process so much easier. If you’re a professional or are experienced and looking to become the best player you can be, these are definitely the perfect rackets for you.

Cons

Wilson Pro Staff Rf97 Tns Frm W/O, Unisex Adult Tennis Racket, Unisex Adult, Pro Staff RF97 TNS FRM W/O, Black, 2 Child
Click image for more info

Of course, as we mentioned, control rackets aren’t the easiest to use. They’re heavy and way too flexible, making the game much more challenging than it is with a traditional racket. They can also be quite pricey because of the materials they’re made out of.

Unfortunately, control rackets are also harder to find than other types of rackets. They aren’t as common nor as popular, simply because they appeal to a much smaller group of tennis players. However, that’s not to say they’re not available at all, because if you look hard enough, you can easily find some.

Power Rackets

Purpose

Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Strung Tennis Racket (Black/White, 4 3/8)
Click image for more info

Opposite of control rackets, power rackets are designed to help you improve the amount of power you put into each swing. Sometimes, it’s difficult to learn how much power is good depending on where you want or need the ball to go. Power rackets, however, help you increase the power in your swings and get you familiar with the strength you need per stroke.

Unlike control rackets, power rackets are actually great for beginners. They aren’t too difficult to use, and understanding your own strength is crucial to the game of tennis. So, whether you’re brand-new to the game or trying to improve your strengths, power rackets are ideal.

Design & Material

Once again, even the design of a power racket is the opposite of a control racket. These rackets are made with much bigger heads for a larger surface area as well as a larger sweet spot.

Both of these things help you learn how to better hit your target with strength and accuracy. Power rackets will also be longer and stiffer than your typical racket, also aiding in your ability to hit the tennis ball with strength.

You can find these tennis rackets made out of all types of materials: it just depends on what you’re looking for out of your tennis racket.

Pros

HEAD Ti.S6 Strung Tennis Racquet (4-1/4), Strung
Click image for more info

If you’re struggling with getting power or learning your own strength per swing, power rackets are the perfect racket for you. They make hitting the tennis ball easier than ever, and you improve your form and strength with every hit. They’re somewhat easy to find and more affordable than a control racket, too.

Cons

Lastly, we come to the cons of a power racket. Of course, these types of rackets aren’t great for those looking to improve control. But, other than that, it’s honestly hard to find much wrong about these helpful oversized rackets.

A close look at a tennis player preparing to serve in a game.

Where to Buy Used Tennis Rackets Online

An old set of bat, ball and baseball glove.

How Long Should a Baseball Glove Last?