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The price tag of taking up tennis: How much does it really cost to be a tennis player?

Jun 22, 2015
written by: Heather Marrin
written by: Heather Marrin
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A common concern for parents when they’re looking to enrol their child in a new sport is that it’s going to break the bank. This is an incredibly fair worry considering the number of sports like golf and hockey that do typically require deep pockets. However, despite the popular belief that it comes with a heavy price tag, tennis is arguably one of the most inexpensive pastimes to take up. Need a little proof? Here’s a breakdown of the costs associated with our favourite sport:

The Racquet:  To play tennis you require a racquet. And while some racquets do run for a pretty penny, you can definitely find one in an affordable price range starting as low as $29.99 for a junior racquet and $59.99 for an adult racquet. Ongoing costs associated with maintaining your racquet can include grip and string changes each year. This will set you back approximately $30 annually. For those just getting their feet wet, there’s no shame in hand-me-downs or visiting second-hand sporting good stores for a deal.

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Wilson Jr. Roger Federer 23 Tennis Racquet, $29.99

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Wilson Hope Lite Frame, $59.99

The Balls: A can of balls costs approximately $3.99, or they can be free if you steal them from your neighbours dog.

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Wilson Starter Easy Ball 3 Pack, $3.99

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Penn Championship Balls, $3.99

The Bag: A tennis bag is definitely not necessary when you’re first starting out, but if you start to play regularly, it may become an accessory you want to pick up to make toting your gear to and from the court a little easier. Tennis racquets can be a little awkward to carry based on their shape, so investing in a bag that’s specifically designed to hold one doesn’t hurt. It’s actually very comfortable because most bags on the market offer a lot of shoulder strap padding! On average you are looking at a $50.00 investment for a bag equipped with a racquet sleeve.

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Head Men’s Tour Team Tennis Backpack, $49.99

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Sporting Life Racquet Cover $15.00

The Apparel: When it comes to appropriate tennis attire, you are going to need running shoes, shorts and a t-shirt. Prices will definitely vary, so we will leave it up to you decide how much you’re willing to spend on your on-court style. With that said, tennis clubs prefer that you wear non-marking soles. Also shoes designed specially for tennis will help your game, so it wouldn’t be the worst idea to leave your Chuck Taylor’s at home and hit the shop for a new pair of kicks.  Tennis shoes commonly cost around $80.00, but don’t worry, you can usually pick up a really great pair on sale!

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Prince Can Women’s Scream 4 Tennis Shoe, $59.99

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K-Swiss Men’s Calabasas Tennis Shoe, $39.99

Court fees: Public courts are free and don’t require any sort of fee but can be hard to come by at times depending on where you live. For private courts, there is often a court fee or membership required. The average court fee is usually around $10-$15 per hour.

Membership: A membership to a private club will vary depending on the club.

Lessons: Since you’re just starting out you may want to brush up on the basics with a teacher. Lessons, again, will vary in cost from free to as high as hundreds for a private lesson. I mean, we’re not entirely sure how much a lesson with Daniel Nestor would cost, but we can only assume it would come at a price. If you’re comfortable with socializing, group lessons are normally very affordable (around $10 a lesson) and offer a really great way to meet new aspiring players.

Tournaments: Once you are feeling like a pro, you may be chomping at the bit for some friendly competition. From round-robins to national tournaments, there’s often a monetary entrance fee to play. For local club tournaments this is usually around $10 and this cost commonly includes a BBQ! Who doesn’t love a BBQ?

There you have it. Tennis isn’t nearly as expensive as most people think, especially when you are just getting started and playing for fun. Now that you’re feeling inspired, brush up on your on-court etiquette here, then use our court finder to locate a place to play near you. Your serve!

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