The Best 26 Inch Tennis Rackets for Juniors

Find out which are the best 26 inch tennis rackets for adults, juniors, and children.

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Tennis can be a wonderful sport for your kids to engage in. It’s entertaining, helps to stay physically active and healthy, teaches discipline and teamwork, and might even be a career in the future. The journey starts with a racket; that’s why we made a list of the best 26 inch tennis rackets for junior players after a long process of testing and reviewing all of them. 

As a parent or a guardian, it can be challenging to make the right choice when there are so many options out there, and the marketing campaigns are so aggressive that you sometimes doubt yourself. That’s why in this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know, the measurement and features you should look up, and lastly, how to tell which type of tennis racket your child needs. 

  1. Best Overall: Babolat Pure Drive 26 Inch
  2. Runner up: Wilson Clash 26 Tennis Racket
  3. Best Budget: Head Radical Jr Tennis Racquet
  4. Best Radical: YONEX Junior EZONE
  5. Best for Competitive Junior: Babolat Pure Aero 26 Junior Tennis Racquet
  6. Best for Beginners: Yonex VCORE 26 Inch Junior Tennis Racquet
  7. Best for Girls: WILSON Unisex-Youth Ultra Rackets

Best 26 Inch Tennis Rackets Reviewed 

With so many options available, choosing the best 26 inch tennis racket for juniors might be a struggle. To help you narrow down your options, we came up with the best recommendations, featuring a list of various brands, features, and prices. Here are our top picks for the best 26-inch tennis rackets.

Best Overall
The Best 26 inch Tennis Rackets Options: Babolat Pure Drive 26 Inch Tennis Rackets
Photo: Amazon.com

We listed Babolat Pure Drive as the best junior tennis racket because it meets all the requirements. This racket delivers a very good performance and is of premium quality. It is lightweight and offers a high level of power.

The Babolat brand has used new technology to make this racket extra comfortable, with a build-in cortex system that allows maximum control for each stroke. Your child can use this racket as soon as you buy it since it comes prestrung.

The Babolat Pure Drive is also durable, has a cool design, and is available in two colors. If your child loves Nadal, he will be happy to use his signature racket since this is the brand the “the king of the clay” has been using throughout his career. 

Product Specs

  • Weight: 8.8 oz / 250 g
  • Material: Graphite 
  • Head size: 100 sq. inch

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • High level of power

Cons

  • Expensive price 

Get the Babolat Pure Drive 26 Inch on Amazon.

Runner Up
The Best 26 inch Tennis Rackets Options: Wilson Clash 26 Tennis Racket
Photo: Wilson.com

For the runner up, we rated the Wilson Clash 26 inch tennis racket, but this could easily be our first choice too. This racket is lightweight and made of graphite materials. The frame is made with a new technology that utilizes carbon mapping to make this flexible and stable racket. It also allows the player maximum control, regardless of their game style or swing levels. 

This 26 inch Wilson tennis racket is very comfortable, allowing a higher margin of errors. The only downside we could find was that it didn’t come with a headcover, which you need to buy separately, increasing expenses. Apart from that, this is a great racket for your kids. 

Product Specs

  • Weight: 8.6 oz / 245 g
  • Material: Graphite
  • Head size: 100 sq inches

Pros

  • Lightweight 
  • Stability 
  • Maximum control 
  • Comfortable 

Cons

  • Doesn’t come with a headcover 

Get the Wilson Clash 26 Tennis Racket at Wilson’s Official Site or on Amazon.

Best Budget
The Best 26 inch Tennis Rackets Options: Head Radical Jr Tennis Racquet
Photo: Amazon.com

If you are on a tight budget, we strongly recommend The Head Radical 26 inch tennis racquet. This 26″ tennis racket delivers great performance and playability. It is made of graphite materials, meaning it is very lightweight. This racket is more suitable for children ages 9 to 11 who want to take tennis a little more seriously than just for fun. 

The Head Radical racket has a build-in unique dampening that reduces shock and absorbs vibration, making it very comfortable and providing a higher margin of error. The racket also offers high levels of power and is a great option for all levels of play, including beginners. 

Product Specs

  • Weight: 8.6 oz / 245 g
  • Material: Graphite 
  • Head size: 100 sq inches

Pros

  • Great price
  • Lightweight
  • Super comfortable 
  • Absorb shock and vibrations
  • High level of power

Cons

  • Couldn’t find any

Get the Head Radical Jr Tennis Racquet on Head’s Official Site or on Amazon.

Best Radical
The Best 26 inch Tennis Rackets Options: YONEX Junior EZONE

Yonex Junior EZONE tennis racket is best suitable for beginners and intermediate level junior players. It has a slightly oversized head, and the frame is only one inch smaller than the standard for adults. It is lightweight, has a nice sweetspot, and delivers exceptional levels of power.

This junior tennis racket has very low vibrations, making it very comfortable for junior players. It produces a decent level of spin and makes clean contact with the ball, giving the racket a nice feel. Your child can use this racket right away since it comes pre-strung. 

Product Specs

  • Weight: 8.8 oz / 250 g
  • Material: Graphite
  • Head size: 102 sq inches

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Nice sweetspot
  • High levels of power
  • Comfortable 

Cons

  • Not suitable for children below 5 years 

Get the YONEX Junior EZONE on Amazon.

Best for Competitive Junior
The Best 26 inch Tennis Rackets Options: Babolat Pure Aero 26 Junior Tennis Racquet
Photo: Amazon.com

If your child is already competing in tennis championships than Babolat Pure Aero 26 junior tennis racket will be a major help to improve performance, and achieve better results. This racket is made of mixed materials between graphite and carbon fiber, making it very comfortable and lightweight. It is also ideal when it comes to powerful servings.

This Babolat tennis racket delivers spin and control, which are very important features for junior players who are becoming more ambitious in their tennis journey. This is a versatile racket, easy to manage, and suitable for all types of style games.

Product Specs

  • Weight: 9.3 oz / 265 g
  • Material: Graphite mixed with carbon fiber
  • Head size: 100 sq inches

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable
  • Generates spin and control

Cons

  • Not suitable for advanced junior players 

Read More: Babolat Pure Aero Review

Get the Babolat Pure Aero 26 Junior on Amazon.

Best for Beginners
The Best 26 inch Tennis Rackets Options: Yonex VCORE 26 Inch Junior Tennis Racquet
Photo: Amazon.com

If your child is a fresh beginner in the field, our best beginner tennis racket suggestion is Yonex VCORE 26. This can be a great first racket for your child, as it ticks all the right boxes. 

The racket is made of a graphite material, is very durable, and will last for a long time. It is very lightweight, delivers power, and is easy to manage. It produces a decent level of spin and speed and offers a lot of stability in each shot. This racket has a cool design with eye-catching colors, and even comes at a great price, making it affordable for all players. 

Product Specs

  • Weight: 8.8 oz / 249 g
  • Material: Graphite
  • Head size: 100 sq inch

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly 
  • Durable 
  • Lightweight 
  • Affordable 

Cons

  • Not suitable for advanced junior players

Get the Yonex VCORE 26 Inch Junior Tennis Racquet on Amazon.

Best for Girls
The Best 26 inch Tennis Rackets Options: WILSON Unisex-Youth Ultra Rackets
Photo: Wilson.com

The Wilson Unisex – Youth Ultra racket is nicely balanced, lightweight and has a great design. This racket is the best youth tennis racket and fits kids ages 9 to 11 years old, an excellent option even for competitive junior players. It generates an outstanding level of power, which the player can tap into with ease due to the power rib throat geometry. 

The racket is very versatile and fits all game styles. It can absorb vibrations and shock, making it very comfortable for the arm, wrist, and shoulder. This Wilson racket will definitely catch both your and your child’s attention, so you might want to take it into consideration. 

Product Specs

  • Weight: 8.8 oz / 250 g
  • Material: Carbon graphite 
  • Head size: 100 sq inches

Pros

  • Lightweight 
  • Versatile 
  • Comfortable 
  • Cool design

Cons

  • Expensive price 

Get the WILSON Unisex-Youth Ultra Racket at Wilson’s Official Site or on Amazon.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best 26 Inch Tennis Rackets

There are a few factors important to consider when in it comes to kids’ rackets. Listed below is everything you need to know to make the right decision when it comes to selecting the best junior tennis racket. 

Age

Children can learn to play tennis as early as three years old when they are still in their toddler phase. Yeap, it’s never too early to learn tennis, especially if there is any chance that your child will become a pro. 

However, it’s never too late either; Federer only started when he was eight and is now one of the world’s biggest tennis stars. You should first consult with the instructor or the tennis club you want to register your child to because they might have age limits. 

Here is a chart of different categories of junior players, depending on their age group. 

junior tennis players categories

Back in the days, instructors paid little attention to catering to junior needs in the court. Children used to play in adult sizes courts with adult rackets, which they couldn’t even control. Needless to say, the results were not satisfying at all, making the game unnecessarily difficult. 

Luckily, things have changed for the betters, and many organizations, such as ITF or USTA, have pushed new policies to make tennis a children-friendly sport. They conducted new studies on what works best for children, and their efforts aim to maximize growth and entertainment. 

Thanks to these new policies, children are now required to play in courts that are fit for their age groups, while rackets and balls should match their abilities and physical strength. 

This way, children learn the basic techniques and skills better, tennis becomes much more enjoyable to them, and the chances they’ll stick with it throughout the years are higher. 

Here is the chart with tennis racket size recommendations based on junior players’ age and stage. 

Tennis Racket Size for Juniors

Grip Sizes 

If you are confused about what tennis racket grip size is and how to find the right one, I assure you it’s not complicated at all. The grip’s size refers to the racket’s handle circumference and is a measurement expressed in inches or mm, in the racket’s technical specification.

A larger racket has a bigger grip size, and vice versa. Most manufacturers produce a single grip size for children, making choosing easier. However, this is not always the case, and sometimes you might need to look up various options or even make adjustments based on your child’s needs. 

Bonus tip – If you need to make an adjustment to the racket, go for a smaller size than your child needs, and add an overgrip to increase the size until your child is satisfied with it. It will be easier and much more comfortable than making the grip smaller. 

Here is the chart with grip standard sizes fit for junior players. 

Tennis Racket Grip Size Chart

Materials & Weight

The most important thing you should keep in mind before choosing a tennis racket for your child is durability and weight. That’s why it is best to go for the materials that are lightweight and last longer, such as aluminum and sometimes a mix of graphite.

Lightweight rackets are easier for kids to play with, and they offer a high level of powers that they can tap into with ease. It helps them learn faster and perform better.

Most importantly, it will be a safer option for your child, avoiding any injury, as these types of tennis rackets are comfortable with the arm, wrist, and shoulder, have less mass to carry around the court, and allow a higher margin of errors. 

Your child’s racket should take a hit and more. Remember, this is a child and a beginner in the field, so the racket will take a few scratches too. That’s why you need to make sure that it is long-lasting to avoid unnecessary expenses. 

tennis racket weight balance

Head Size and Balance

Most junior tennis rackets have a standard or large head size. This provides a larger surface to hit the ball and a nice sweetspot. This type of racket is easy to maneuver and provides a higher power level. Headlight rackets lack control and stability, but these are features that a junior player won’t need, especially in the earlier beginner phase.

Balance is an important measurement that shows how the weight is distributed in a tennis racket’s body. The majority of junior tennis rackets fall in the category of headlight or even balanced rackets. 

Again, this feature provides high power since children and junior players don’t have enough physical strength themselves. It makes the rackets very adaptable and easy to control, as well. 

Boy’s vs. Girl’s Rackets

There is no such thing as boys’ or girls’ only 26 inch tennis rackets. All tennis rackets are unisex, and this is also true for adults. The only real distinguishment is at weight preferences, based on players’ size, but either way, junior players, for the most part, opt out of lightweight rackets. 

However, you might find different models and styles based on your child’s gender. This is only a marketing hack of manufacturers, and you can choose based on your child’s preferences without worrying about technical features. 

Your child might love many great styles, with beloved Disney princesses, spidermen, batman, etc. These can add to the enthusiasm for playing tennis by making it more attractive for young children in particular. 

After deciding about the tennis racket’s size, you can even let your child make a choice to make the process more fun for both of you. Three simple design factors will help you narrow down your options. 

  • Color scheme – most toddlers will opt out of their favorite colors, and there are many options available. Older children also prefer colors, so it’s good to ask them first. 
  • Theme – heroes, princesses, famous animated characters… your kid can choose based on what theme loves the most. 
  • Favorite tennis star – many junior players have a famous tennis star they idolize. That’s why junior tennis rackets of players Serena Williams, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, etc., are very popular. 
tennis racket price professional vs normal tennis racket

Budget

Tennis racket price is a concern for most parents when choosing the best 26 inch tennis rackets. You’ll be delighted to hear that the best thing you can do is go for affordable options. It’s not reasonable at all to spend crazy amounts on expensive rackets. Your kids won’t even be able to notice or take advantage of its features and will grow out of it sooner or later.

As mentioned above, the right tennis racket size, durability, and weight are the most important factors you should be concerned about. If you meet these criteria, your child will have the best experience in the field. Many options fulfill these needs, so you should stick within your budget unless you really want to go for an expensive racket. 

Our Verdict 

While there are many great options on this list, we would rate Babolat Pure Drive 26 inch Tennis Racket as the best junior tennis racket. It has outstanding quality, provides a high level of power, and is lightweight and highly comfortable. It checks all the right boxes, and it can be a great option as a first racket for your kid. 

Another top beginner 26 inch tennis racket is the Yonex VCORE racket, which stood out in our playtest for its durability, great performance, and high comfort it provides. This Yonex tennis racket is very lightweight, with a nice sweetspot and high power levels. It’s a great option for your child to learn the basics of the game and master the first skills. 

We would rate Babolat Pure Aero as the best 26 inch tennis racket for competitive players. This racket generates speed, and spin is easy to control and generates much power and stability, making it a great option for championship matches. 

How We Chose the Best 26 Inch Tennis Rackets

To curate this list and select the best 26 inch tennis rackets, we went through a long process of playtesting and reviewing. The main factors that we considered were the appropriate children’s size, durability, weight, and affordability. 

A few different categories help you narrow down your option while including a wide range of junior players of all stages and skill levels. The size and material specifications will help you understand better if the racket is suitable for your child. 

This guide also includes everything you need to know when navigating many racket options in the market, which will help you make the best decision possible. Please, take the measurements of the racket in careful consideration for your child’s safety to avoid any kind of possible injuries.

FAQs

Even with all that background information on the Best 26 Inch Tennis Rackets, there could still be some questions left to answer. The following collection of some of the most frequently asked questions about junior tennis rackets aims to answer those queries.

Q: What size tennis racket does a 13 year old need?

There is not a definitive answer to this question. The size of the racket will depend on the individual child’s height and arm length. For a 13-year-old, we would recommend a 26-inch racket.

Babolat Pure Drive 26 Inch Tennis Rackets is one of the lightest and most powerful options on the market. It’s great for 13 years old kids who are just starting to play tennis and need a racket that is easy to handle. The size and weight make it comfortable for them to use, while also providing enough power.

Q: What age is a 26 inch tennis racket for?

The 26-inch racket is suitable for kids between the ages of 11 to 13 years old. The weight and size make it easy for them to handle, while also providing enough power.

Q: What is the difference between a junior tennis racket?

The main difference between a junior tennis racket and an adult racket is the size. A junior racket is smaller and lighter, making it easier for kids to handle. They also have softer strings, which help with power and control.

Q: How do you pick a junior tennis racket?

There are a few different factors that you need to consider when choosing a junior tennis racket. The main ones include the appropriate size, weight, durability, and affordability. You also need to make sure that the racket is comfortable for your child to use and that it is the right fit for their game style.

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I am Mario, a professional tennis player and a USPTA certificated tennis instructor.

Here at TennisRacketBall, we differentiate ourselves from other review sites by actually purchasing and using products. We do not allow ourselves to be bribed! We are 100% honest with our reviews even when manufacturers do not like it.

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