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View Full Version : Looking for arm friendly racquet for flat strokes


endbegin
03-12-2009, 07:37 PM
Hello everyone,

I am hoping to tap into the massive amounts of expertise on these forums to save me from racquet analysis paralysis!

I currently play with a Wilson H Tour and my game is primarily flat groundstrokes,
eastern FH and eastern 1H BH. I would rate myself as a 3.5 - 4.0 (depending on he day). I like the racquet I am using, but the trouble is that I find it very unforgiving if I hit even a little bit away from the sweet spot and if I play for two or three days in a row, I start feeling some pain in my arm. Although the stiffness rating on the H Tour is fairly low, I feel it plays much stiffer than advertised.

Here are some of the racquets I have demoed:
1. The Wilson K Blade 98 - thought it was stiff and generated too much power.
2. Fischer M Pro no 1 98 SL - Soft and flexible, amazing spin, but hard to hit flat with. I found I lost a lot of control and tended to spray the ball sometimes. Return of serve was iffy too. I tried the UL too, but that was way worse.
3. Boris Becker 10 - very harsh racquet.
4. Wilson nTour and nTour two - did nothing to persuade me to change from the H Tour.
5. Wilson K Surge - this one had too much power and too big a headsize.

I am hoping for racquet suggestions which are arm friendly, stable on contact and suited to hitting powerful flat strokes from either wing. I don't mind if they are bit heavier that what I am using. So say under 12oz. string and with swingweight 325 or less.

I am considering demoing
1. ProKennex Ki 5
2. ProKennex Heritage C Redondo
3. Boris Becker 11
4. Volkl Powerbridge 10
5. Wilson K 6.1 Team

Any advice is very welcome.

Thanks.

Schills
03-12-2009, 07:41 PM
Flat strokes. Arm friendly. Try the Yonex RDS001 MP or RDIS 100MP which is lighter and more flexible.

amx13
03-12-2009, 07:46 PM
Any string pattern preference?. You can try either the Head MG Radical Pro or the MP. The MP is softer and with plenty room for customizing. If you like old school frames, you cant go wrong with either the Head Pro Tour 280 or the 630 (even though both are above 12 oz)

endbegin
03-12-2009, 07:49 PM
No string pattern preference ... my understanding is that a dense pattern is less spin-friendly that an open pattern. Having an open pattern does help with getting some nice kick on the 2nd serve.

PrinceO3TourOS
03-12-2009, 07:53 PM
Try the Prince O3 Speedport Pro White or the Prince O3 Speedport White, these are awesome rackets for what you're looking for :mrgreen:

jazar
03-12-2009, 11:24 PM
i'd recommend the microgel radical mp

Automatix
03-12-2009, 11:34 PM
I am considering demoing
1. ProKennex Ki 5
2. ProKennex Heritage C Redondo
3. Boris Becker 11
4. Volkl Powerbridge 10
5. Wilson K 6.1 Team

I think you already have a winner here but definetly demo.

I'd recommend Wilson nBlade but it doesn't meet your criteria:

I am hoping for racquet suggestions which are arm friendly, stable on contact and suited to hitting powerful flat strokes from either wing. I don't mind if they are bit heavier that what I am using. So say under 12oz. string and with swingweight 325 or less.

Because it is light but has a higher swingweight. So just start with the demo of the Redondo... and honestly I think you won't need to try any other racquet.

bluegrasser
03-13-2009, 04:36 AM
i'd recommend the microgel radical mp

Ditto, or the Prestige LM or FXP.

logansc
03-13-2009, 05:25 AM
Volkl C10 Pro. One of the greatest racquets ever.

endbegin
03-13-2009, 06:11 AM
Flat strokes. Arm friendly. Try the Yonex RDS001 MP or RDIS 100MP which is lighter and more flexible.

TW has the stiffness of the RDS 001 MP as 68 which is fairly high. I guess I can demo it and find out for myself, but it is so hard to tell just by looking at the numbers. Some qacquets with high stiffness play much softer and some racquets with low stiffness play much stiffer. :-?

mawashi
03-13-2009, 06:20 AM
I owned the Head MG Prestige MP n it is a very nice stick, with good comfort n is pretty good for flat hitters.

The Yonex RDS002Tour n 001 Mid are also very nice with decent comfort.

Lastly the Babolat PST is also very nice.

mawashi

DennisK
03-13-2009, 02:43 PM
You need to find yourself a nice used Dunlop Muscleweave 200G.

Or try the new 4D 200G - the 18 x 20 version.

Pushmaster
03-13-2009, 03:26 PM
MW 200G, PT 280, C10 Pro, but the PC 600 would be the best IMO. Hard to find the MW, PT, and 600 though.

T1000
03-13-2009, 04:24 PM
try dunlop or the rds/rdis midplus

matchmaker
03-13-2009, 05:01 PM
I like Pushmaster's suggestions, but those are all discontinued frames. Especially the PC600 is rather expensive and it is also a little over your criteria in that it weighs more than 12 oz strung and the swingweight is 332.

The Dunlop Muscle Weave 200g is an excellent suggestion and so would the Hotmelt 200g be.

C10 pro I don't know. It has a very open string pattern and to hit flat with it you need to string it really high and with a poly, if not balls will sail on you. It does have a manageable swingweight.

Maybe the DNX 9 would be something you like or the Liquidmetal Radical, BTW that one has a nice price tag.

I don't care for the newer Dunlops (Aerogel = plastic to me) and the Redondo, though very arm friendly is a very spinny frame, although it has a closed string pattern.

endbegin
03-13-2009, 07:31 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions so far, everyone.

For now, I am considering demoing the
- Redondo MP
- Volkl C10 Pro
- Dunlop Aerogel 200 (18x20)

I might demo the RDSs at some point too.

Does anyone have opinions on the PK Ki 5 and the BB 11?

After my experience with the Fischer M Pro 98, I am a little skeptical of really flexible frames.

Wish this decision were easier, although of course, if I don't have a healthy arm then tennis would be impossible. And we can't have that, can we? ;-)

Shawn James
03-13-2009, 09:10 PM
have some suggestions, email is jamessh@usa.redcross.org

klementine79
03-13-2009, 09:23 PM
I would recommend you take a look at your strings and tension.

For the racquets you demoed and liked but found too much power, try a poly or co-poly at mid-high tensions, or even on your current racquet. Save some time and money and try some different string set-ups before switching racquets.

Good Luck.

Power Player
03-13-2009, 09:25 PM
Thanks for all the suggestions so far, everyone.

For now, I am considering demoing the
- Redondo MP
- Volkl C10 Pro
- Dunlop Aerogel 200 (18x20)

I might demo the RDSs at some point too.

Does anyone have opinions on the PK Ki 5 and the BB 11?

After my experience with the Fischer M Pro 98, I am a little skeptical of really flexible frames.

Wish this decision were easier, although of course, if I don't have a healthy arm then tennis would be impossible. And we can't have that, can we? ;-)


I just got an AG200,and I think you may like it a lot. You can hit flat, in fact it is best for that, but I still can get excellent topspin on the ball.

So far, it feels great to hit with. Very stable, and should be good on your arm.

mawashi
03-14-2009, 02:39 AM
Thanks for all the suggestions so far, everyone.

For now, I am considering demoing the
- Redondo MP
- Volkl C10 Pro
- Dunlop Aerogel 200 (18x20)

I might demo the RDSs at some point too.

Does anyone have opinions on the PK Ki 5 and the BB 11?

After my experience with the Fischer M Pro 98, I am a little skeptical of really flexible frames.

Wish this decision were easier, although of course, if I don't have a healthy arm then tennis would be impossible. And we can't have that, can we? ;-)

I almost completely forgot Redondo LOL! Think you'll find the Redondo 93 a better frame than the 98.

mawashi

saram
03-14-2009, 05:34 AM
Dunlop has the m-fil 200's on sale right now. I hit with these for a while. Solid stick. Although the stiffness in the specs is slightly high, in reality is is a soft arm friendly racket. They are also light enough to mod with lead without becoming too heavy. For under $70--you can't go wrong.

pshulam
03-14-2009, 06:05 AM
Dunlop mil-300 (lighter than the mil-200) is also pretty inexpensive though demos are probably not available since it is an older model.

GPB
03-14-2009, 07:49 AM
I demoed the Redondo Mid and it was KILLER on flat strokes. Give 'er a try and I bet you'll like it.

And don't listen to any who says to use a poly or co-poly for less power. If you're looking for an arm-friendly racket, you're much better off just upping the tension in whatever string you usually use.

endbegin
03-29-2009, 07:35 PM
Just thought I'd post some experiences from recent demos in case someone can offer more insight or if it helps someone else:

So here goes a few mini-reviews:

- ProKennex Ki 5: I liked this racquet and it played very much like its spec, which was something that was appreciated and none of the other racquets did. I felt this was a good all-round racquet, good serves, good forehands and volleys, 1HBH was ok and was definitely arm friendly. I preferred it in singles play over doubles and found I couldn't hit touch volleys and forceful put away backhand volleys as I am used to. During singles play I felt like I was holding back on my strokes a little because if I went through with a usual full swing, I would end up hitting it long. I got to hit with someone who hits heavy topspin with a K90 and felt I couldn't match the depth and pace with this. Also not a huge fan of a 100 sq. in frame. All in all, lot to like about this racquet, but didn't really love it.

- Volkl C10 Pro: I found this to be a trend with the Volks I demoed ... they all seemed much heavier than spec. I served very well with the C10 but found it hard to come around my backhand, and with the on-the-run forehand. I felt this was a bit too much racquet for me.

- Volkl PB 10: Again, played much heavier than spec. However, with a little bit of playing time, I felt I could adjust to its weight and managed to get around the backhand too. However, I never quite managed to feel totally comfortable with it and found it hard to get any sort of consistency on my serve. Hitting balls off the sweetspot felt really nice, somehow both firm and soft. Perhaps this is the Volkl "feel" people speak of, and I liked it. But I need to hit the gym much more than I currently do in order to use this and there are only so many days in the week! :)

- Fischer M Comp 95: This one is a tough one to judge ... I had demoed the M Pro no 1 98 earlier and this felt "better" meaning it was not as flexy and I could control my shots more easily. However, it still felt a little flaky especially when trying to hit through the ball, could feel the racquet twisting a little against a heavy ball. This was supposed to have the heaviest swingweight spec but felt much lighter than the others. I used a Gamma "worm" dampener, and that just killed the feel of the racquet. Without the dampener, there was that annoying pinging sound and most balls seemed to either fly on me or just sit up in the middle of the court. I wished this experience were better, cause I loved the PJ, the arm friendliness and the price but alas ...

- BB 11 Mid Plus: Now we are getting warmer. Supposed to be a heavy racquet (swingweight wise), but didn't feel as heavy as advertised. The MP has tons of power and I could really drive the ball, unfortunately more often than not it was anywhere between a few inches outside the baseline to the back fence. I liked how this racquet served but the best part of this racquet were volleys. All I had to do was stick the racquet out in front and the racquet did the rest, and very effectively. This was very much appreciated on the backhand volleys where I could hear my arm thanking me silently.

- BB 11 Mid: I liked this better than the MP version, the power was more controllable though still packed plenty of punch. The serving and volleying experience was just the same as the MP, which was definitely a plus and the smaller head size was not a problem for me. I hit a couple of running forehands and felt the mass of the racquet just convert a defensive position into a clean winner ... for a few seconds I felt like Sampras with the crosscourt running forehand. I am on the fence with this one a little bit because of the 1HBH experience. It was ok on the BH but not as as dream like with the ...

- Donnay Pro One Mid: This racquet made me smile. Not when I looked at it because the color scheme and the lettering just seemed like they belonged into another age. But when I hit with it, I felt a certain fuzzy warmth, like when something just feels right. I thought the sweetspot was generous and I could really flatten out my strokes. I played someone who hits high loopy topsin junk, and whenever he left it short, I could step in and smack the ball flat. The BH felt like a dream, and I often I felt like running around the forehand (!!) to just get the feel of the backhand. I didn't nail it every time and when I didn't, I knew exactly why. The numerous times I did nail it though, I just loved it. I felt I could use the mass of the racquet to hit a respectable shot when the ball ended up high on the BH side. It felt heavier than the BBs and not as heavy as the PB10 and the C10 and overall it was managable. Serves, slices and volleys were fine. There were times when I swung too hard and sent the ball flying out of court, but I knew exactly what what was wrong. This racquet felt very forgiving and was the only one that seemed to do whatever you told it to rather than have the frame make you adjust. Use the right technique and footwork to feel a nice solid plush response that lands deep in the court. Use technique that is slightly off, you still have a respectable shot. Use bad footwork and technique, and scream out an obscenity or two. The price of this racquet is very tempting especially when buying two or more but I have seen some negative comments on these forums on the quality of the grommets. When I checked last, replacement grommets for the Mid weren't available. Does anyone have any suggestions?

So here is where I am now. My demo process is not yet complete because I still want to demo three more racquets: 1. PK Redondo Mid 2. PK Redondo MP and 3. Avery M3 Control. This won't happen for at least another couple of weeks, one of the reasons is that the Redondos seem to have a waitlist for demoing. I will stop the demo process after this last batch mainly because I am burned out and don't want to become a chronic new racquet-chaser. So although I appreciate some very helpful suggestions like the Dunlop AG200 and a few Heads, I don't think I will demo them. (for now). I also have a friend who agreed to let me hit with his Wilson K 6.1 Team which might happen in the future.

Note, all racquets felt very arm-friendly and I intentionally played a lot with them to push my body and see how it holds up. Never during this process did I touch my regular frame and it felt good to know there was no arm/elbow pain whatsoever. Not sure I can see why most racquets aren't made this way. They seem to me to be perfectly suited to the "modern" game.

Caveat: All these reviews are extremely biased and highly unscientific because all the racquets came with different strings, string at different tensions and there are, and likely always will be, some flaws in my technique. But thanks for reading anyway! :)