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Tennis Buying Guide

Borrowing a tennis racquet will briefly give you a feel for tennis, but if you want to spend some quality time on the tennis court, you'll need a tennis racquet of your own. You'll find everything you need to play tennis, including tennis racquets, tennis balls, tennis shoes, and tennis apparel, on eBay Canada.

Select the Right Tennis Racquet

Select the Right Tennis Racquet

Whether you want to buy tennis racquets for yourself, for your kids, or as gifts, make sure the tennis racquets you buy match the skill levels of the tennis players who plan to use them. Popular choices include Wilson tennis racquets, Prince tennis racquets, Head tennis racquets, Dunlop tennis racquets, Volkl tennis racquets, and Babolat tennis racquets.

Buy youth tennis racquets

Equip your kids with junior tennis racquets and teach them how to play tennis. The age of your child determines racquet length. Children between 4 and 6 years old typically do best with a 21-inch tennis racquet. Five- to 8-year-olds usually move up to a 23- to 25-inch tennis racquet and 8- to 11-year-olds move up to a 25- to 26-inches tennis racquet. Older children can then transition into the adult realm of 27- to 29-inch tennis racquets.

Choose tennis racquets for beginner adult players

When buying a tennis racquet for an adult tennis player learning the sport, look for a tennis racquet in the "power tennis racquet," (also called "game improvement tennis racquet,") category. Stiff power tennis racquets, designed for people with a short swing or players who need more power, are either balanced or slightly head-heavy. These tennis racquets typically measure between 27 inches (standard tennis racquets) and 29 inches (longest regulation tennis racquets) long, weigh 8 to 9.5 ounces, and have an oversized head of at least 100 square inches. Oversized heads have large sweet spots and generate power so that you can concentrate on your technique. Power tennis racquets typically come pre-strung by the manufacturer.

Select tennis racquets for intermediate or power players

Experienced tennis players who have a long swing and generate a lot of power on their own usually prefer more flexible "control tennis racquets" (also called "player's tennis racquets"). Control tennis racquets have an 80- to 105-inch midsize head or midplus head, usually have a 1- to 1.5-inch head-light balance, and weigh between 11.5 and 13 ounces. The heavier weight in the handle and grip absorbs more shock than lighter-weight tennis racquets, which appeals to players who put a lot of power behind their swings. Like power tennis racquets, they can measure the standard 27 inches long or come in an extended 29-inch length that also qualifies for regulation play.

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Understand Tennis Racquet Features

Understand Tennis Racquet Features

Manufacturers use various criteria to create tennis racquets appropriate for certain types of tennis players. Understanding how these specifications combine to make a complete tennis racquet will help you feel comfortable with your purchase.

Know which size tennis racquet head you need

Manufacturers measure tennis racquet head size in square inches. Tennis racquets with larger heads have larger sweet spots, meaning these racquets have large hitting areas that can potentially make contact with a tennis ball. Head size also determines how much power a racquet produces. Tennis racquets with larger heads produce more power than tennis racquets with smaller heads. However, tennis racquets with smaller heads are easier to control, especially for players who produce a lot of power on their own.

  • Super-oversize tennis racquet heads: Super oversize tennis racquets, with 116- to 135-inch heads, are more forgiving than other types of tennis racquet heads. They may provide too much power for most tennis players, however.

  • Oversize tennis racquet heads: Oversize tennis racquets have heads that measure 100 to 115 inches. Oversize head tennis racquets have large sweet spots, which help beginners get solid hits.

  • Midplus tennis racquet heads: Midplus tennis racquets, sometimes called "mid-over" tennis racquets, have head sizes ranging from 95 to 105 inches. They make a good compromise for players looking for a control tennis racquet that provides more power.

  • Midsize tennis racquet heads: Midsize tennis racquets have head sizes ranging from 80 to 93 inches. They have smaller sweet spots than midplus and oversize tennis racquets. Intermediate to advanced tennis players choose tennis racquets with midsize heads more than oversize head tennis racquets because even though they require more precision, they also give the player more control.

  • Standard tennis racquet heads: Tennis racquets with heads smaller than 80 inches (typically 66 inches), fall into the vintage tennis racquets category.

Determine your tennis racquet grip size

The area you hold on the tennis racquet, called the grip, is measured in eighths of an inch, and needs to fit your hand for the greatest comfort. To find out what size grip you need, place your palm upward and extend your fingers. With your fingers closed together, measure the distance between the top of your ring finger and the last lateral crease on your palm.

Juniors typically require a grip smaller than 4 inches. Women usually fall in the 4-1/8- to 4-3/8-inch range, and men commonly measure between 4-1/2 and 4-3/4 inches. If you measure between sizes, buy a tennis racquet with the smaller grip.

You can always use an overgrip to quickly increase grip size, but you'll need professional help to grind down a grip. Certain types of grips cannot be reduced.

Evaluate tennis racquet length

Tennis racquets come in a variety of lengths designed for players of different sizes.

  • Youth-sized tennis racquets: Youth-sized tennis racquets start at 21 inches and go up to 26 inches.

  • Standard-size tennis racquets: Standard-size tennis racquets typically measure 27 inches long, but can be as long as 28 inches. Most beginners and smaller players prefer these standard-length tennis racquets.

  • Long tennis racquets: You can use long tennis racquets measuring between 28.5 and 29 inches in regulation play. These longer racquets allow you to reach for groundstrokes, offer a little more power than standard-length tennis racquets, and usually weigh less than standard-length tennis racquets with similar head size, stiffness, and grips.

Look at tennis racquet string patterns

Tennis racquets feature designs specific to different types of players. The string patterns on pre-strung tennis racquets fit and enhance these designs. More advanced players may want to buy unstrung racquets and use an open-string pattern or a closed-string pattern.

  • Open-string tennis racquet patterns: Power tennis racquets typically use an open-string pattern. When hit with a tennis ball, strings woven in an open pattern bend more, allowing a tennis ball to rally farther, and requiring less power from a tennis player. Tennis racquets with an open string pattern can also put more spin on a tennis ball.

  • Closed-string tennis racquet patterns: Control tennis racquets can use a denser, or closed, string pattern. Strings woven in a closed pattern will spin a ball less than strings woven in an open pattern. It also requires you to use more power to rally a tennis ball. However, closed-string patterns often last longer than open-string patterns, especially for power players.

Tennis racquet strings can be made from natural gut, a synthetic material, or a combination of the two. Natural gut strings offer a good feel, but do not last as long as synthetic tennis racquet strings. Synthetic tennis racquet strings work fine for beginners and last longer than natural gut strings. Combination strings used on tennis racquets provide a good feel and last longer than natural gut strings.

Choose tennis racquet materials

The latest tennis racquets have frames made of lightweight graphite or graphite composite material that includes titanium, Kevlar, or fiberglass. Composites offer more flexibility than graphite frames. Stiffer tennis racquets offer more power, but provide less control than more flexible tennis racquets. Flexible tennis racquets bend more than stiffer tennis racquets and provide less power. They make a good choice for power players who need more control, especially preventing the tennis ball from traveling out of bounds.

You may also see inexpensive tennis racquets made of aluminum, a material that tends to vibrate more than other tennis racquet materials. Aluminum tennis racquets deliver more impact to the arm of a tennis player. Vintage tennis racquets are made of wood and have leather-wrapped handles and natural gut strings.

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Get Essential Tennis Gear

Get Essential Tennis Gear

The right tennis balls, tennis shoes, and practice techniques can give you the competitive edge you need to win.

  • Buy new tennis balls: Most tennis players choose pressurized, medium-speed tennis balls with extra-duty felt. Extra-duty felt tennis balls take longer to fray when used on hard courts than regular-duty felt tennis balls. Pressurized tennis balls that have an air-filled core can lose pressure over time and lose their bounce, so for best results, play with new tennis balls. Popular brands include Penn tennis balls, Wilson tennis balls, and Dunlop tennis balls. Pressureless tennis balls gain more bounce over time, and although they have a stiffer feel than pressurized tennis balls, they hold up well to repeated use. Standard-size pressureless tennis balls work well in tennis pitching machines and for practice.

  • Beat the heat on the tennis court: Keep a sports bottle courtside and drink plenty of water to stay hydrated while you play tennis and use sunscreen to block harmful UVA and UVB rays. Also bring a towel to the tennis court to wipe away sweat.

  • Wear tennis shoes: Tennis shoes give you the type of support and cushioning you need to move around the tennis court. Buy tennis shoes in your regular shoe size; your foot will slip in the shoe if it's too big. Popular brands include Nike tennis shoes, Wilson tennis shoes, and Adidas tennis shoes.

  • Dress for tennis: You can wear whatever you want to play tennis at the park, but you need to dress appropriately to play at a club or in competition. Although your club, or the organization sponsoring a competition, will provide you with a list of guidelines, expect to buy tennis shorts or a tennis skirt, an appropriate shirt, a cap or visor, sweatbands for your head and wrists, and sunglasses.

  • Transport your tennis gear: Protect your tennis racquet's head with a racquet cover. Also pick up a tennis bag to transport your tennis racquet, tennis balls, and other tennis gear to and from the tennis court.

  • Improve your tennis technique: Although nothing beats practice and guidance, instructional tennis books and DVDs can demonstrate proper technique.

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Find Tennis Equipment on eBay

Find Tennis Equipment on eBay

Once you know what type of tennis equipment you want, go to the Sporting Goods portal, click Tennis, and start searching for items on eBay.

  • Categories: The Categories list on the left side of each page will help you narrow down your listings by item type. You'll find links for Accessories, Apparel & Footwear, Bags, Balls, Racquets, Training Aids, and Other. As you dig deeper into the site you'll also be able to narrow down your choice by specific item type or brand.

  • Keyword search: Search eBay listing titles for specific words. For example, if you want to find a Wilson tennis racquet, type "wilson" (without quotation marks) into the Search box. Click "Search title and description" to expand your results. Visit eBay's Search Tips page for more tips on searching with keywords.

If you can't find exactly what you want, shop eBay Stores, tell the eBay Community what you want by creating a post on Want It Now, or save a search on My eBay and eBay will email you when a match becomes available.

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Buy Tennis with Confidence

Buy Tennis with Confidence

Before making your purchase, make sure you know exactly what you're buying, research your seller, and understand how eBay and PayPal protect you.

Know your purchase

Carefully read the details in item listings.

  • Figure delivery costs into your final price. If you spend a lot of money, make sure the seller will insure the item when it ships.

  • If you want more information, ask by clicking the "Ask seller a question" link under the seller's profile.

  • Always make sure to complete your transaction on eBay (with a bid, Buy It Now, or Best Offer). Transactions conducted outside of eBay are not covered by eBay protection programs.

  • Never pay for your eBay item using instant cash wire transfer services through Western Union or MoneyGram. These payment methods are unsafe when paying someone you do not know.

Know your seller

Research your seller so you feel positive and secure about every transaction.

  • What is the seller's Feedback rating? How many transactions have they completed? What percentage of positive responses do they have?

  • What do buyers say in their Feedback? Did the seller receive praise?

  • Most top eBay sellers operate like retail stores and have return policies. Do they offer a money-back guarantee? What are the terms and conditions?

Buyer protection

In the unlikely event that a problem arises during your transaction, eBay and PayPal are there for you.

  • Pay safely with PayPal: PayPal enables you to pay without the seller ever seeing your bank account or credit card numbers. In fact, PayPal protects buyers 100% against unauthorized payments from their accounts. Plus, with PayPal Buyer Protection, your purchase can be covered up to C$1,250.

  • eBay Security & Resolution Centre: Visit the Security & Resolution Centre to learn how to protect your account and use eBay's quick and efficient resolution tools.

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