How to Save Money on Tennis Gear
Tennis is supposed to be fun, but there’s nothing enjoyable about going hungry for a week because you blew your entire savings on new gear. Buying all of the necessary items can quickly shrink your wallet, so you need to educate yourself about tennis equipment before you break your piggy bank. This guide explains the best ways to save money in tennis, while still buying quality gear.
Not only are tennis racquets the most important pieces of equipment in the game, they are also the most expensive. There are many factors to consider that impact your decision, such as weight, flexibility, length, head size, and frame composition. Additionally, it’s hard to settle on a racquet until you actually run around the court and take a few swings.
However, if you’re just starting out and have few preferences, there are some easy ways to save money. First, start with an aluminum racquet. You can find both adult and children’s aluminum racquets and they normally cost in the $15 to $20 range. They don’t have the same flexibility as graphite or titanium racquets, but they should help beginners control the ball.
More advanced players should scour for used racquets or clearance deals. Check with pro shops and ask if they’re selling any of their demo racquets, or check online classifieds for deals in your area. You may have to spend more money for a quality racquet, but it’s worth the investment if it lasts for several years.
Refer to iSport’s How to Choose a Tennis Racquet guide for more information on racquet characteristics and features.
It’s easy to overlook the cost of tennis balls, but buying new balls can take its toll. Quality tennis balls can cost around $10 for a set of three. If you buy them in bulk, though, you can save some extra cash. Discount stores sell balls for around $2 per can, but they’ll probably lose pressure quickly.
Although nothing can revive a completely dead ball, there are some tricks for extending a ball’s life span. Some players invest in ball re-pressurizers, which help balls maintain their pressure level. Other players store tennis balls in a cool area to keep their air level high. Ultimately, you’re going to have to replace the balls at some point, so investing in inexpensive ones and taking good care of them (i.e. putting them back in the can and keeping them cold) should help you save money.
Kevlar strings are the stiffest strings on the market, making them extremely hard to snap. Avoid buying natural gut strings if you want to save money — they’re widely popular, but tend to break faster than their synthetic counterparts.
Because of Kevlar’s stiff composition, the strings can eventually contribute to elbow and arm pain, though. Many manufactures soften Kevlar with other synthetic materials in order to dampen this effect. Check out iSport’s About Tennis Strings guide for more information.
Hot Tip: Do it Yourself
If you’re an advanced player, save some money and learn how to string your own racquet. Rather than handing your racquet over to your coach or a pro shop, opt for a cheaper alternative and string the racquet yourself. Some coaches will let you use their machines (sometimes for a small fee), or you can buy one yourself if you plan on using it often.
There aren’t many surprising shopping secrets for shoes. If you don’t want to break the bank, shop online, buy used shoes, or check out your local discount store. Opting for the cheapest pair can be risky though — you need to have proper support to avoid injuries. Like other pieces of tennis gear, balancing cost and quality is important. If you’re prone to rolling your ankles or you have knee issues, it might behoove you to invest in a quality pair of sneakers.
The Pay Off
No matter how much money you end up spending on tennis gear, you should be excited that you’re committing yourself to the game. Whether you’re an advanced player investing in a secondary racquet, or you’re a beginner buying your first pair of shoes, your purchase should lead to more court time. That being said, it’s always great to be on the better end of a bargain. Now that you know what to look for, go find the gear that suits your game and start playing!