We’re a month away from the outdoor tennis courts opening up here in Woodstock. Tennis has always been one of my favorite sports. I started playing as a kid, doing camps and lessons with my friends in the summer. I played all through school, including high school where I played singles and competed in the state championship my senior year. Then I stopped playing for a while in my 20s and played infrequently over the last few years until recently and now I’m fully hooked again. It’s such a fun sport to play and I truly believe it’s something you can pick up at any point in your life.
Tennis gear has changed quite a bit since I was playing frequently and there are so many great options. Having the right tennis gear can help you be more comfortable while playing tennis, and the type of gear and accessories you need will depend on your level of play. If you’re a beginner no need to go spend a ton of money on gear. You can start with the basics and go from there. There are some things you need whether you’re a beginner or an avid tennis player, and today I’m sharing my top must have tennis gear. Read on for more.
Top Must Have Tennis Gear
Outdoor Voices Exercise Dress
This is my number pick for a tennis dress. It’s comfortable and lightweight, and has a built in shorts liner with pockets large enough to hold tennis balls. The straps are adjustable too. It fits true to size/slightly big. I sized down to an xs.
Girlfriend Alpine Lola Dress with float liner
I like all of the exercise dresses from Girlfriend but the Alpine Lola Dress with Float Liner is very soft and comfortable. It also has a shorts liner. Another great option for tennis in the heat!
Pact Athleisure Dress
Made with organic cotton this athleisure dress has adjustable straps and a built in body suit with bike shorts. It also has two side pockets and comes in a few different colors.
Girlfriend Sport Skort
I got this skort from Girlfriend last summer and I absolutely love it. I also wore it to play golf a ton. It’s really comfortable and great to wear even if you’re not playing a sport! Girlfriend runs a little small I usually get true to size or size up.
lululemon tennis skirt
The Lululemon Pace Rival Skirt is a good option because it comes in 3 lengths and multiple color options. It’s available in sizes 0-20 and is made in a lightweight, sweat wicking fabric.
For playing indoor and clay courts I wear ON The Roger Advantage Shoes. Clay courts are softer and more forgiving so tennis shoes on these surfaces can have a thinner and lighter sole.
When playing on hard surfaces indoor and outdoor I like the ASICS Gel Dedicate 7. These are an affordable tennis shoe and are a little stiff at first but don’t take long to break in.
Here are the tennis socks everyone loves.
If you’re looking for sun protection a lightweight hat is great. You’ll probably notice a lot of pros don’t wear sunglasses when playing. Most wear a visor or a hat. This hat is adjustable, moisture wicking and lightweight.
Maybe obvious but I am not a pro tennis player. I typically wear sunglasses when I play in the summer because a hat is just not enough for my eyes in the beating sun. I really like the Smith Cheetah Polarized Sunglasses because they have a large frame but don’t feel heavy and don’t move around while I’m playing.
It has been years since I bought a new tennis racquet and maybe it’s just the internet but it seems like there are so many more options. I like to have two racquets at all times because if you’re in the middle of a match and a string breaks without a backup you’re screwed. That said, if you’re a beginner, no need to have two racquets. Here’s what I like to play with:
Babolat Pure Drive
I played with Head racquets all through high school and it wasn’t until recently that I used a demo Babolat racquet and loved it. I tested a bunch of different racquets and the Pure Drive was my favorite for overall feel and control. It’s lightweight and great for low to medium racquet speed. I have small hands so my grip size is 4 1/4 (you can always get an overgrip if your grip feels too small). This is a great racquet for intermediate level players.
HEAD Ti s5 comfort zone
If you’re a beginner this is a great racquet to try. The Head TI S 6Comfort Zone has an oversized head at 107″ but still has great power and control. It’s also a great price at under $100. It’s a lightweight, well-balanced racquet and this one comes pre-strung!
Craig got me the Babolat Strike foldover backpack tennis bag for Christmas and I absolutely love it. It can fit up to 3 tennis racquets, sneakers, and tennis balls. You can also fold it over if you’re not carrying racquets. The backpack straps are padded and adjustable.
Craig has the Babolat 2021 Pure Aero Tennis Bag which can fit more racquets and has a large compartment for sneakers and tennis balls.
Do you need an overgrip for your tennis racquet? Maybe. It’s personal preference, but the purposes of an overgrip can be anything from increasing the racquet handle size to adding cushioning for comfort. They can also help absorb sweat and keep the racquet from slipping in your hands. An overgrip will also help preserve the original grip that your racquet comes with. Here are a a few options:
Wilson Pro Overgrip- Comfort – Absorbs sweat, helps prevent blisters and adds comfort without adding too much bulk to your grip.
Yonex Supergrap Overgrip – If you’re looking to add some fun color this overgrip comes in a bunch of bright hues. It also has thick cushioning and help absorbs sweat.
If you’re a beginner you probably don’t need to buy strings (unless the racquet you’re buying isn’t pre-strung). That said, if you’re bringing your racquet to be strung they can give you options. This is something I generally don’t keep on hand as I havea back up racquet and know that if I need a racquet strung I’ll have plenty of options where I take it. If you’re looking for a good and affordable string check out Prince Synthetic Gut with Duraflex.
I like to play with Wilson US Open Tennis Balls. They have great bounce and last the longest. You can also get several different options like High Altitude, Extra Duty (hard surface) and Regular Duty (clay/indoor courts). The Wilson Triniti Tennis balls have recyclable packaging which is a nice option.
Tennis Gear For Beginners
If you’re a beginner and just starting to explore your tennis game you can keep it pretty simple with your tennis equipment. The Head Ti S6 is one of top rated tennis rackets for beginners. The Asics Gel Dedicate are a great affordable tennis sneaker for beginners. In terms of tennis clothes, you want something comfortable and easy to move around in. I prefer tennis dresses, but you can also wear shorts and a t-shirt or a skirt. You really don’t need much to start out, just get out on the tennis court and have fun! You’ll be surprised how much your tennis game can improve with just a little practice and consistent play.
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