The Pro Shop

Child’s Play

Tuesday, April 02, 2013 /by

These five junior racquets are light, forgiving, and appropriately sized. Designed to allow the games of young players to develop and flourish, each measures 25 inches, the maximum legal length for USTA ten-and-under tournaments. (For more information about selecting the right racquet for your kids, click here.)

*****

Babolat Pure Drive Junior 25
Price: $69
Length: 25 in.
Head size: 100 sq. in.
Weight: 8.1 oz. (strung)
String Pattern: 16 x 20

The Babolat Pure Drive Junior features the same cosmetic as the adult Pure Drive. With its light weight and mid-plus head size, the P.D. Junior is a good choice for eight to ten year olds (50” to 55” tall) who are just getting into the game, but are nevertheless serious about developing their swings. The racquet is also available in a 23-inch length—for children six to eight years old (45” to 49” tall)—as well as a pink cosmetic.

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Dunlop M3.0 Junior 25
Price: $79
Length: 25 in.
Head size: 98 sq. in.
Weight: 8.6 oz. (strung)
String Pattern: 16 x 19

The Dunlop M3.0 Junior is a good fit for children aged eight to ten. Like its adult-sized, 27-inch iteration, the M3.0 features a graphite construction, which, relative to aluminum frames, offers superior performance and feel. What’s more, the stick is available in a 26-inch length, which, while not compliant with USTA 10 & Under regulations, suits children aged 11 and up who are not quite ready for an adult-sized frame.

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Head Speed 25 Comp
Price: $50
Length: 25 in.
Head size: 102 sq. in.
Weight: 8.5 oz. (unstrung)
String Pattern: 16 x 19

Head’s offering for eight through 10-year-olds is the Speed 25 Comp. Also legal for tournament play, the graphite stick is light and agile, and features a sharp black-on-white graphic. It’s also sold in a 23-inch length for kids six and seven years old.

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Völkl Junior Organix 6
Price: $60
Length: 25 in.
Head size: 100 sq. in.
Weight: 8.3 oz. (strung)
String Pattern: 16 x 19

USTA eligible, the Völkl Junior Organix 6 is designed to jell well with green juniors in the midst of skill development. Völkl says the 6 features a graphite construction, lending the stick additional stability, as well as the Optispot vision system—highlights in the three and nine o’clock positions that provide points of reference to the sweet spot, thus helping players connect with it.

*****

Wilson Steam Junior 25
Price: $109.99
Length: 25 in.
Head size: 98 sq. in.
Weight: 8.3 oz. (strung)
String Pattern: 16 x 16

The new Steam Junior features a lightweight, maneuverable design, as well as a unique, 16 by 16 string pattern. According to Wilson, this symmetrical string pattern offers additional spin potential and power, much like the 16 by 15 patterns built into the adult-sized, Steam 99S and 105S models. The Steam Junior also comes in 21-inch and 23-inch models for smaller children.

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