Beach tennis is a fun and enjoyable game that has been growing in popularity around the world. The sport is a hybrid of tennis and volleyball, with some tweaks to make the game more interesting. Beach tennis emerged from Italy from where it has spread to other coastal regions of the world.
To get started in the game, you will need several equipment and accessories. Since it’s a highly-engaging sport, these items will help you play optimally and comfortable.
Having done adequate research, these are the essentials you will need to play beach tennis:
1. A Paddle Racket
The paddle rackets used in beach tennis have no strings, unlike the ones used in tennis. The market is stocked with rackets of different shapes, and manufacturers are constantly unveiling new and innovative ones. Do not get overwhelmed with the choices; below we’ll explain the different options you have.
Round paddle rackets
Round paddle rackets are the most common, where the face of the racket has a circle shape. The weight of the racket is evenly distributed making it easy to handle. The racket has a big sweet spot situated in the middle, making it ideal for novices.
Diamond-shaped rackets are ideal for heavy hitters. Its sweet spot is smaller than that of the round paddle and is a bit further up. If you hit the ball out of its sweet spot, the racket will most likely shake. As a result, it’s not recommended for beginners.
Teardrop rackets and others
Teardrop rackets mix power and control and are widely used by beginners. However, they can, also, be used by intermediate and advanced players.
Other rackets in the market either mix the above selections or present a new shape altogether like hexagonal rackets.
Things to keep in mind
- The weight of most rackets is between 11.3 to 12.7 ounces.
- While longer rackets offer more advantage on the serve, smaller ones are much easier to maneuver.
- A head-heavy racket will give you greater ball speed, but you will forego the easiness of use of light rackets
. Alight racket will let you prepare for a swing faster, while heavy rackets are more stable and powerful.
- According to the ITF, rackets should have a maximum length of around 19.6 inches.
- A racket with a coarse surface will make it easier to control the ball.
2. Extra Overgrips
Overgrips tend to wear down fast; and the last thing you want its a slippery grip. Keep a few extra overgrips in your bag, in case you need to replace your current one. A new overgrip can improve the handling of your racquet by providing you with more traction, as well as, with sweat absorption.
3. Low Compression Tennis Balls
Currently, Stage 2 balls tennis balls are used to play beach tennis; they are colored yellow with orange.
Until 2010, Stage 1 tennis balls (a.k.a. green balls by the tennis community) were used on beach tennis games. However, now, only Stage 2 balls are used, especially on professional tournaments.
These orange tennis balls are slightly softer than the Stage 1 balls and are, therefore, slower. Not only do the balls lower the risks of injury, but they also make the game more fun by increasing the rally length.
Although in a leisure game, you could play with any kind of tennis ball, it is strongly recommended only to use Stage 2 orange balls.
4. Net & Lines
Another essential part of this game is the net. You could play using volleyball nets; however, it is recommended that beach tennis nets be lower than regular volleyball nets.
Since beach tennis is kind of a new game, it’s unlikely that you’ll find these nets set up on your local beach. Therefore, we suggest that you get your own portable net set that you can install on the beach.
Cobra Beach Tennis Net System
While a little pricey, we found a
On the top everything, it comes with a 30-day money- back guarantee, as well as, with a lifetime warranty. If you would like to find more about this beach tennis system, you can check it on its Amazon page.
If you opt to get another type of net, keep in mind that according to the ITF, a beach tennis net should have a height of around 5.55 feet. Also, a suitable net structure is one that can stand steady and keep the net firm.
Your choice of the net will influence the quality of the game. Some nets, for instances, loosen up or sag, and you’ll have to keep tightening it amid your game.
Also, remember that to set it up, you will first have to look for a location clear of hazards.
5. Clothes – What to Wear?
In addition to the required equipment for beach tennis, you will need to dress appropriately, so that you are comfortable enough to play at your best. Loose-fitting clothes will be suitable depending on the temperature you are playing in.
Women typically wear t-shirts or tank tops and shorts, while men are often seen in board shorts. Some women are also comfortable wearing bikinis to the game.
6. Drinks and Food!
Nope, we are not suggesting those kinds of drinks that you’re probably thinking on! Hehe… we’re talking about sports drink, and or water to keep yourself well hydrated.
Remember that beach tennis can be an intensive game, and you need to prepare your body to play optimally. An excellent strategy to stay hydrated is to drink small amounts of liquid continually, like 200-300 ml every hour, especially in high temperatures. You can also bring an electrolyte additive powder to dissolve in your water.
Also, granola bars are a great option to nourish your body with carbs and proteins which you will be losing in the course of the game. You can also make sandwiches to eat in intervals as they are filling and they will give you the energy to play. The key is to keep yourself well nourished and hydrated.
7. A Sports or a Beach Bag
You will need a good bag to carry your sports items to the beach in preparation for the game. A good bag will have several compartments that you can use to keep everything well organized.
The main compartment, for example, could hold a beach towel, a change of clothes, an extra swimsuit, and a light jacket. Additional compartments can be used to store items you want to be separated such as sweaty clothes, flip flops, shoes, and water bottles. Since you will be playing on the beach, you need a bag that is water resistant and also not prone to wear and tear.
If there are no water-resistant compartments in your bag, you can always bring extra ziplock bags for wet clothes.
Another essential item to bring with you to the beach is sunscreen. Even though the weather might start off a bit dull as you are leaving for the game, there is always a chance that the sun will peek out. The spray kinds of sunscreen are easier to apply; however, the cream ones will usually last longer.
This is one is must have for everyone!
9. Sport Sunglasses
Although not everyone likes to wear them, sport sunglasses could potentially enhance your performance during the game. They can help you keep your sight sharp on sunny days. Also, it can increase your visibility and depth perception, while reducing glare.
Since you’re going to be constantly moving, look for sunglasses that have a snug fit and that are tight enough, so that they won’t slip or fly off.
Besides, it’s recommended to use them to protect your eyes from the sun’s dangerous radiation, especially UV and HEV rays.
10. Hat or Cap
Also, you can opt to wear a hat or cap as a protective move against the sun. We suggest getting a light waterproof quick dry cap that has a secure fit.
Not everyone wants to have items on their face when they are playing, however, if you’re a beginner, you might need to play with or without sunglasses and caps to see which way you like best.
11. Friends, Family, or Whoever Wants to Play!
As with most racquet sports, to play beach tennis, you’ll at least need another person to play with. This game is a perfect activity for your family and friends to play all together on a summer day.
Although beach tennis is mostly played as doubles, it can also be played in a singles format. Just, keep in mind that you’ll have to cover much more court.
This sport is particularly ideal for people who love going to the beach with an added interest in competitive sports.
12. Portable Speakers & Music
So, you have the sun, the beach, the good weather, your friends, and a great sport, what else can be missing? Music!
Beach tennis is generally a fun game, and you want to keep anyone involved having a great time. Nowadays, with a phone and portable Bluetooth speakers, you can play music anywhere you go.
A particular Bluetooth speaker that we really like is “Oontz Angle 3 Bluetooth Speaker”. It’s very sturdy, has a long range, and it’s water resistance. A great addition to your beach tennis kit! You can find it on Amazon.
So, this is our list of essentials you need to play beach tennis! We hope that you find it useful. Please, let us know your thought in the comment section!