Tennis has a reputation as a rich people’s sport, as I went through in my comprehensive article about it. However, tennis rackets often are expensive, depending on many things that I will explain to you below.
Tennis rackets are expensive because it takes a lot of designing and constructing time and valuable resources for the racket itself, strings, and grips. More expensive rackets are constructed of better materials such as graphite, whereas budget rackets are made from lesser materials.
In addition to the things above, there is storage, quality control, transporting, brand, profit margin, and more than ups the price of tennis rackets. Most of these things are taken into consideration at all prices, from food to tennis rackets.
Now, if you want to understand further the factors that make tennis rackets as expensive as they are, we need to dig deeper into each factor individually so you can get a good idea of it. Let’s start with the materials.
There are big differences between expensive and cheap tennis rackets when it comes to the material. The best and most expensive materials for tennis rackets are Graphite or graphite composites, a mixture of graphite, titanium, fiberglass, or kevlar. These materials are durable yet lightweight so that striking the tennis ball causes minimal fatigue.
On the other hand, cheap rackets are often made from metal or even wood far lesser in nearly every way than graphite or composite rackets.
You can find tennis rackets from both sides of $50 and $250, but when you look at rackets that cost +$100, you can see that nearly all of them are made from great materials that are powerful, durable, and light-weight.
Designing the racket itself is a big process that includes people from many professions. The racket’s shape and size need to be designed, string tension needs to be tested, and different material composites must be tried before the best product can be made. This process takes time and labor costs, so it needs to be paid somehow. Thus, the racket’s price needs to be according to the time and effort.
The manufacturing process of tennis rackets is quite fascinating, and it requires many things such as direct material and labor, running factory costs, maintenance costs, and quality control. Many things can be fully automatically constructed, but tennis rackets definitely aren’t one of those items. They still need a lot of human touches to be made, which only increases the manufacturing costs.
Take a look at the humble tennis racket manufacturing process below.
After the racket has been constructed, the finished product needs to be stored somewhere. You can imagine how many rackets Wilson or Yonex make rackets, so the storage space needs to be according. Also, tennis rackets are important to keep away from intense temperatures and direct sunlight; thus, the warehouses need to be flowing with cool air and reasonable temperatures.
Wilson, for example, has a worldwide reach on their rackets and other products; therefore, their items will ship from the manufacturing factory to all over the world by ships, airplanes, trucks, and you name it. This as well includes labor costs, quality control, among other costly things. Logistics naturally increase the product’s price as well.
Let’s take Wilson and Yonex as an example once again. They market their products like crazy, which is one of the main reasons they have become so huge in their space. Marketing costs a lot of money when you want space on different websites, advertisements, billboards, and everything between.
Depending on how much these brands market a single product, it is often shown in the final price. Speaking about brands, this takes us to the next factor why tennis rackets are so expensive.
The brand is a huge factor in what people trust and are willing to pay for. If you would use two identical rackets in Wilson’s name and the other in brands that nobody has ever heard of, the far majority would be glad to pay extra for that Wilson brand, status, and trustworthiness.
Brands such as Wilson and Yonex, among other ones, have established a trust for their customers; therefore, they have the loyalty of many tennis players and are well known in the core of the tennis world. This places these brands in a position to ask for more money from their customers, who often are glad to pay it. This takes us to the profit margin.
7. Profit Margin
All businesses need to make a profit, so it is even possible to run the operation. Naturally, we want a big profit margin instead of a small one in human nature, but not all brands and manufacturers are equal or even capable of pulling the same profits from their products. However, they can price their products in the way they please; the other question is whether anybody would buy.
For example, Wilson can take hefty profits off their products. In contrast, an unknown brand that sells everything under the sun and hasn’t established trust and expertise in anything is far less likely able to sell tennis rackets that it would generate a fat profit.
When you buy from well-known tennis brands, a big part of the overall price will be pure profit for the brand as well. Which is more than okay to pay, or would you want to construct such a high-quality racket yourself from scratch?
Are more expensive tennis rackets better?
As a rule of thumb, the more the tennis racket costs, the better it is. This is because more expensive tennis rackets have superior string jobs, construction materials that are more durable, powerful, yet lightweight, better handle design, and overall performance.
Simply said, the more the racket cost, the more time, effort, thought, and great materials it is made with!
Are expensive tennis rackets worth it?
In my opinion, expensive tennis rackets are certainly worth it if you take tennis seriously, have your playing style figured out, and really enjoy playing tennis. All these reasons are enough even separately to invest in a proper tennis racket.
However, if you are a total beginner and don’t even know how to strike well yet, I advise that you first hone your skills and see whether you really want a better racket. Also, as a beginner, you often don’t recognize the difference between cheap and expensive rackets, at least how seasoned athletes can recognize.
How much does a decent tennis racket cost?
There are many categories in tennis rackets. For example, junior, recreational, beginner, mid-tier, and professional. Whenever I have looked up a decent tennis racket for myself, I look above $80, but the price often goes up to $130. Therefore a decent racket will be found near the $80-$130 mark. For extra references, you can find great examples from all categories and an estimated price gap below.
- Junior Tennis Racket: $25-$40
- Recreational Tennis Racket: $30-$50
- Beginner Tennis Racket: $30-$90
- Mid-tier Tennis Racket: $90-$130
- Pro-level Tennis Racket: $110-$300+
How much should a beginner spend on a tennis racket?
Depending on whether you are a beginner who takes tennis seriously or one that enjoys the relaxed back and forth passing, you can go for a lesser racket that costs somewhere near $30-$50 or a slightly better beginner racket that often costs around $50-$90. If I start tennis again as a beginner, I would probably invest $60 for a decent beginner-level racket.
Most beginner tennis rackets are made from aluminum instead of graphite or graphite composite. They won’t be as high quality as the pro-level rackets; however, they are cheaper thus more beginner-friendly. If you are a total beginner, I won’t invest hundreds of dollars for a racket because you might not even like it after all.
My Favorite Tennis Equipment
Thanks for reading this article. I hope it brought you great value that you can implement into your own life! Below you’ll find my top tennis equipment recommendations would like.
- Racket: My preferred tennis racket is the Wilson Ultra 100 V3. This racket is made from graphite and carbon fiber, making it durable, firm, and easy to swing. The racket weighs 300g, making it lightweight yet not too lightweight to generate power. The racket’s main benefit is power. I like to add multifilament strings to the racket, such as Wilson NXT Soft 16 (recommended tension 52lb/23.5kg), because they are comfortable and soft on the arm with a great feel to the game.
- Tennis balls: Best tennis balls are always pressurized, and I like them having extra-duty felt, which is fit for hard court play. I like Penn Championship Tennis Balls, and so does the ITF because these balls are approved for competitive play. So yes, these are the real deal.
- Tennis shoes: I can’t stress enough the importance of comfortable and supporting shoes. ASICS Gel-Resolution 8 tennis shoes are unique because the balance between durability and support mixed with comfort is something out of the ordinary.
- Fan Equipment: If you’re a fan more than a player, you don’t want to miss Fan Equipment by Fanatics. You can find items from various sports that bear your favorite team’s logo, such as jerseys, gift ideas, or other surprising things.
Many things are going on behind the scenes of table tennis manufacturing, so it’s really no wonder that they can cost a lot of money. On the other hand, the racket will last years if you treat it right expect the strings that need to be replaced every year or so, so even if a racket costs much, it is money well invested.