View Full Version : Feedback on Arm friendly rackets

08-16-2004, 04:11 PM
I have stopped tennis for the past months as I was suffering for TE. Presently, my conditions have improved and am thinking of starting to hit around again (the tennis bug has bitten me!). Was using Tour 90 before and would like to start again with an elbow friendly racket. I do have three rackets in mind:

Pro Kennex 5g, Volkl Cat 10, Fischer Pro 1.

Can anyone give me feedback on any of these, or better still, compare the different rackets? thanks.

08-16-2004, 08:14 PM
I used 5g for almost two years before switching to Estusa PBB about 5 months ago. For tennis elbow, PBB is head and shoulders above 5g.

08-16-2004, 08:26 PM
i've hit with the cat 10 and pk 5g and currently have the pro 1; they were both strung with some sort of multifilament at higher than mid tension. both are stable racquets that are easy on the arm. they both have decent spin potential and decent pop as well. imo, the pk 5g was a bit more cushier than the pro 1 but the pro 1 has a bit more control. if you do a search on the cat 10, people have mixed reviews on it. imo, it felt too springy and light, but your opinion may vary. i'd just try to demo all three and make your decision.

08-16-2004, 08:31 PM
Prince Graphite is also easy on the elbow.

cristian p
08-17-2004, 10:34 AM
Coming from the Tour 90, you may feel more comfortable with the PK 5G PSE as opposed to the standard 5G in terms of weight. Although the 5G PSE has a high stiffness rating, at least according to TW's listed specs, I find that it has the similar cushioned/dampened feel of the regular 5G. In addition, the added weight of the PSE will reduce a lot of the torque and twisting upon impact that some with the regular 5G have complained of. Very solid, yet cushioned. Indeed, if you can handle the 13 oz weight of the PSE and get the racquet moving, you can really knock the crap out of the ball, and with good control to boot. It's a shame no one seems to know about this frame.

And as Audidodude mentioned, the Prince Graphite has a nice reputation for being arm-friendly as well. Decent enough playing stick that I've only used it and nothing else since 1986.

08-17-2004, 12:01 PM
For the record, I use the 5G PSE. Great arm friendly racquet. Most of the folks I play with that have tried it find it a bit heavy. I, however, love the weight. I did use the POG for several years until I switched to the 5G PSE.

cristian p
08-17-2004, 11:34 PM
I do have to add that one possible concern you might have to consider from going to the Tour 90 -- or most Wilson racquets, especially the Pro Staffs -- to the Kinetic racquets is the feel of the racquet. Most of the Pro Staffs, including the Tour 90, in my experience have a fairly "raw" feel that many purists on these boards seem to like. If you're looking for something like that, you probably won't find it in the Kinetic racquets which have an extremely dampened and muted feel, which is further exacerbated if you use soft strings, from my experience hitting with them (although the 5G PSE has a slightly more traditional feel). Indeed, they feel very similar to the Babolats in that regard, and I've known a number of folks who have seamlessly switched from one to the other. It's definitely not for everyone though. Of course, the best way to find out for yourself is to demo.

I applaud Audiodude for taming the 5G PSE beast. Excellent stick.

08-18-2004, 12:05 AM
Have a look at the 6.0 95 too - very easy swinging raquet, stable, and easy on arm / elbow too. I've gone back to mine after the T90 and they are great. Don't be put off by the TW stiffness rating, they play much softer than the 67 I think they get there.

08-18-2004, 05:18 AM
Thanks for all the replies.

I do have a better picture about the rackets now. Will be demoing the Fishcer Pro one soon. Agree with cristian p about the "raw" feel of Tour 90, which I like. Unfortunately, top of my agenda is comfort and I want to recover from my TE first, so the "raw" feeling will have to go.

Just one last question, something I posted before but there were no replies. If elbow problem comes because of the shock and vibrations that has been passed down the arm from the racket, wouldn't a tweener racket with a large sweet spot be better, in contrast to the 'players' racket, which usually come with small sweetspot? Any comments?

08-18-2004, 09:53 AM
I had wicked tennis elbow after playing 6 weeks with a Head TIS5. I couldn't even pick up a gallon of milk. A month with the POG and the tennis elbow was essentially gone. Stay away from the tweeners and try a players racquet.

cristian p
08-18-2004, 10:39 AM
The issue of tennis elbow and other arm ailments is pretty multifaceted. For some people, the stiffness, weight, or whatever other factor of the racquet or strings themselves make a significant factor in the irritation of tendons, ligaments, and muscles. With more and more people swinging harder these days and using much more extreme grips, these little factors can sometimes make a big health difference to some. A change of equipment, whether it be a softer multi or natural gut string, lower tensions, or a different racquet, may be all that is needed. In Audiodudeís situation, this was the case.

For a lot of people, the problem is more technique-oriented. Indeed, the overwhelming majority of my students who have developed tennis elbow at some point are older men (i.e., those of us that arenít teenagers bursting at the seams with energy) with one-handed backhands who hit the ball late on that wing. It doesnít matter what racquet you use if youíre placing a lot of stress on various parts of your arm to compensate for poor technique. Iíd consider poor technique to be a bigger contributor to tennis elbow than racquet selection. Indeed, I work with a number of nationally ranked juniors, college players, and open level players who wield fairly light sticks like the Surge, Pure Drive, LM Radical, and so forth and have no arm problems whatsoever. If you have good technique and hit the sweetspot all the time, your armís going to be in good health more probable than not.

Finally, for some itís a health or conditioning issue. Some people may frankly be just overworking themselves or are not strong enough to handle the pounding that tennis can put on the body on a consistent basis. The solution obviously is to get stronger, which is why you always see various exercises recommended for those with tennis elbow, shoulder problems, etc. Some people may also have a health condition Ė e.g., a bone spur in the elbow Ė that will cause the ligaments and tendons around the joint to become inflamed no matter what racquet you use or how good your technique is. This is obviously the most extreme situation, and people have had surgery in order to correct this.

Everyone is different. If youíre suffering from severe tennis elbow, you need to find out the source of the problem and take subsequent remedial actions. If different strings or racquets donít cure your problems, have a teaching pro analyze your strokes to see if it may be causing your problems. Perhaps working on getting yourself stronger will solve your problems.

08-18-2004, 11:36 AM
agree w. much of what christian sez. think the 1bh struck late is stressful especially if using something stiff, light, and longer (pd+ for example), but i do think that serving w. poor technique and/or forcing the serve causes more probs than anything. i would also not suggest that someone suffering from severe TE engage themselves in excercises whilst injured. rest and anti imflammatories instead are what you need to do not work out an injured area... also, to play a very long time i really dont think stiff and light are the answers..these junior and openage people may be fine now w. that gear, but TE is a repetitive use cumulative problem and they could very well have probs later on even given good technique. not bragging but as an example i have been playing T for many years and have been lucky enough to never have a wrist, elbow, arm, or shoulder problem. i've always used flexy headlight frames w. some mass to them and technifibre nrg2 and now gut hybrid. if i even hit with anything on the stiff side for any time at all, i start to get twinges. sometimes very small changes can have a bad outcome like switching to a stiffer string or even replacing a cushion grip w. a leather one. i also think that constant screwing around w. gear causes you to be using muscles and tendons differently which can lead to damage, not to mention all the changing delaying the development of your game..my .02 FWIW. ed