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View Full Version : New Racquets and Tennis Elbow- Observation


crash1929
02-08-2010, 12:07 AM
Switched to lighter racquet (took lead tape off babolat pd+) and smaller grip (took over wrap off).

Initially gave me tennis elbow. Rested a bit. (forced to with the rain in cali). Still using new set up....its been about three weeks and no new pain.

I'm thinking that the TE was only present for a while and my body has adjusted. hope this makes sense I'm sleepy.

makinao
02-08-2010, 04:22 AM
Where was the lead tape before you removed it?

mikeler
02-08-2010, 05:20 AM
My guess would be that the smaller grip size had more of an effect than taking the lead tape off.

jimanuel12
02-08-2010, 05:25 AM
Switched to lighter racquet (took lead tape off babolat pd+) and smaller grip (took over wrap off).

Initially gave me tennis elbow. Rested a bit. (forced to with the rain in cali). Still using new set up....its been about three weeks and no new pain.

I'm thinking that the TE was only present for a while and my body has adjusted. hope this makes sense I'm sleepy.

i think it has allot to do with how "light" the racket is.
i went from about 11.8 oz racket to a wilson hyper hammer - 9.0 oz racket and it killed my arm, had the worst case of TE ever.
been a long time recovering, went to a pro kennex 5G racket and less stiff.
light weight rackets are killers on the arm.

yemenmocha
02-08-2010, 07:11 AM
IMO the racquet manufacturers are appealing to the recreational players who play infrequently and are attracted to a light and powerful racquet.

Unfortunately it means that those of us with mature strokes and frequent play will find ourselves more likely to get injuries unless we select from the narrow range of "player's frames" or custom weight the ones made for the recreational player masses.

jimanuel12
02-08-2010, 09:00 AM
IMO the racquet manufacturers are appealing to the recreational players who play infrequently and are attracted to a light and powerful racquet.

Unfortunately it means that those of us with mature strokes and frequent play will find ourselves more likely to get injuries unless we select from the narrow range of "player's frames" or custom weight the ones made for the recreational player masses.

you are exactly correct. light rackets will kill your arm, i learned that the hard way!!!!

mikeler
02-08-2010, 09:59 AM
I went down to a 10 ounce stick which is when I developed my elbow problems.

charliefedererer
02-08-2010, 11:56 AM
IMO the racquet manufacturers are appealing to the recreational players who play infrequently and are attracted to a light and powerful racquet.

Unfortunately it means that those of us with mature strokes and frequent play will find ourselves more likely to get injuries unless we select from the narrow range of "player's frames" or custom weight the ones made for the recreational player masses.

It is probably too much to ask for, but given all the tennis elbow problems posted here, I wonder if any frame manufacturer would step up and put a warning label on their light frames? Nothing drastic, but maybe along the lines of:

"Prolonged frequent use of a light frame by adults with high swing speeds may result in tennis elbow because of the jarring effects transmitted by low weight frames.
Because we know that part of the reason you play tennis is for your health, it is recommended that adult players, and advanced juniors, who progress to high swing speeds and play frequently should seriously consider graduating to a heavier frame, better designed to reduce shock to the arm and elbow area."

This could be good for business, as the company could lay claims to being the "health-minded company" "that really cares about you". It would get some free publicicity in health columns, maybe even the NY Times!!! It would promote more sales, as players moved on to other frames (and what player would be willing to admit that they haven't "advanced" or didn't have a "higher swing speed"? It would be the perfect win-win situation where marketing an interest in health would help the bottom line.

(Of course this will never happen, because it would also invite liability lawsuits by admitting up front that their racquets were largely responsible for tennis elbow.)

charliefedererer
02-08-2010, 12:13 PM
Switched to lighter racquet (took lead tape off babolat pd+) and smaller grip (took over wrap off).

Initially gave me tennis elbow. Rested a bit. (forced to with the rain in cali). Still using new set up....its been about three weeks and no new pain.

I'm thinking that the TE was only present for a while and my body has adjusted. hope this makes sense I'm sleepy.

If this is the Pure Drive Plus GT plus, it weighs 11.2 ounces strung. On the light side? Yes. But it is not in the 10.0 ounce (strung) class of the Hyper Hammer and its ilk.

But that Pure Drive has a flex rating of 70.
As the clouds part, and you are able to step forth from your ark, that tennis elbow has a good chance of returning.
If it does you may want to seriously consider a more flexible frame. (Can't you just see youself with a new Dunlop Aerogel 4D 100, or something similar?)
And I hope you are using a soft string and have started wrist curls/reverse curls/twists and/or using a Flexbar green or blue.

mikeler
02-08-2010, 12:59 PM
70 is way too stiff if you have an injury.

crash1929
02-08-2010, 05:22 PM
I had a lot of lead tape similar to the area andy roddick has his on the 3-9 sides. The pd+ is about five years old and has a listed weight of 10.6 oz.

I know I'm going to hear it on this one but I have always used luxilon big banger at 70lbs.

So I posted thid because I am playing much better with this set up and I am happy that I have no pian. I suspected my body would adjust and so far it has. If significant pain comes back I'll switch immediately.

I remember the uncertainty I was going through when the initial switch and pain happened...so if there are others out there in a similar situation.... There is hope your body will adjust to your new set up.

charliefedererer
02-08-2010, 08:02 PM
I had a lot of lead tape similar to the area andy roddick has his on the 3-9 sides. The pd+ is about five years old and has a listed weight of 10.6 oz.

I know I'm going to hear it on this one but I have always used luxilon big banger at 70lbs.

So I posted thid because I am playing much better with this set up and I am happy that I have no pian. I suspected my body would adjust and so far it has. If significant pain comes back I'll switch immediately.

I remember the uncertainty I was going through when the initial switch and pain happened...so if there are others out there in a similar situation.... There is hope your body will adjust to your new set up.

But don't you think it should be a period of months, not weeks, to decide if your tennis elbow will return?
So do you not think it is premature to be advoacating to others that they continue to play with a racquet that has a flex rating of 70 and very stiff strings in the hope that their tennis elbow won't return?

killerzombie163
02-08-2010, 10:03 PM
I am wondering if some pain in my forearm could be attributed to my rackets light weight frame (10.7 oz) and low stiffness (60)?

hitting hard heavy balls seems to be doing that to me after like 2 hrs of play since it feels like im pushing against the ball due to the flex.

crash1929
02-08-2010, 11:17 PM
But don't you think it should be a period of months, not weeks, to decide if your tennis elbow will return?
So do you not think it is premature to be advoacating to others that they continue to play with a racquet that has a flex rating of 70 and very stiff strings in the hope that their tennis elbow won't return?


good points.

just giving a running commentary. so far so good. but i don't want to jinx myself....

volusiano
02-09-2010, 01:24 AM
I am wondering if some pain in my forearm could be attributed to my rackets light weight frame (10.7 oz) and low stiffness (60)?

hitting hard heavy balls seems to be doing that to me after like 2 hrs of play since it feels like im pushing against the ball due to the flex.

You may have to push against the ball due to the low stiffness, but at least what it means is you're using more body to help push and that takes away pressure on the elbow/arm. If you've had a very stiff racket of 70 or more, the racket transfer more of that energy and pressure into your arm/elbow instead of help dissipating it.

If anything, it's probably the lower weight that's contributing more to your arm pain and it would have been worse sooner if you've had a stiffness of 70 instead of 60.

The 3 attributes for TE friendly rackets should be higher weight, low stifness and head light balance. Another attribute is the racket technology (Kinetic for ProKennex for example).

ttbrowne
02-10-2010, 06:52 PM
Just moved the weights on my Prince Black from the 10-2 to 3-9 and it's better on my wrist and arm for some reason. I am also letting the racket do a lot of the work on volleys now that my racket is more stable with 3-9.

MayDay
02-11-2010, 12:08 AM
It is probably too much to ask for, but given all the tennis elbow problems posted here, I wonder if any frame manufacturer would step up and put a warning label on their light frames? Nothing drastic, but maybe along the lines of:

"Prolonged frequent use of a light frame by adults with high swing speeds may result in tennis elbow because of the jarring effects transmitted by low weight frames.
Because we know that part of the reason you play tennis is for your health, it is recommended that adult players, and advanced juniors, who progress to high swing speeds and play frequently should seriously consider graduating to a heavier frame, better designed to reduce shock to the arm and elbow area."

1. It better be a sticker that I can peel off really easy. Most warning labels are only there due to law suite purposes. Almost all warning labels I see on products should just say "don't be stupid". :p
2. Why not just use information available here to make the choice. We're in the information age, make use of the Internet and especially great forums like Talk Tennis.
3. Not everyone is getting TE from lighter rackets. However, it's good that we're getting information from people that have have the experience on this forum. I'm still wondering if I should give lighter rackets with low flex rating a try.
4. I hope you don't become a government policy maker. Your suggestion totaly reminded me of the San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom with his cell phone warning labels. I don't want some big warning sticker on my iPhone.
5. I guess it would be a good idea for the Chinese factory worker who's promoted to "sticker guy". Sure will impress the ladies. :)

charliefedererer
02-11-2010, 06:29 AM
As mentioned in the post, I doubt any such warning label would ever be forthcoming. It really wasn't meant to be serious proposal as I started typing, but by the time I finished I thought it might not be a bad marketing idea for a company to posture themselves as the "the company that cares about your health", and make an effort to educate about the benefits of some frames. Babolat is not going to do that as the majority of its racquets are pretty stiff. Head is now pushing Youtek, a compound that stiffens on impact! But Kennex, Dunlop, Vokl, and maybe even Wilson and Prince could put a little of health into their ads and encourage a move to their flexible player's frames as part of their marketing campaign, both to buy their brand, and move people along their product line into yet another racquet.

1. It better be a sticker that I can peel off really easy. Most warning labels are only there due to law suite purposes. Almost all warning labels I see on products should just say "don't be stupid". :p
Warning labels are not for you. They are for people who "just don't know", and sadly yes, the frankly "stupid".
2. Why not just use information available here to make the choice. We're in the information age, make use of the Internet and especially great forums like Talk Tennis.
That may seem the case to you. But why is there posted three times a week an elbow, wrist or shoulder problem by a TT veteran playing with a light, stiff frame and highly tensioned poly strings? The health and fitness forum is one of the least visited here, and my guess is that most do not click on the arm woe threads unless they have already suffered a problem. And lets face it, when most people are buying that frame, they are not googling first to see if they are buying thermselves potential arm problems.
3. Not everyone is getting TE from lighter rackets. However, it's good that we're getting information from people that have have the experience on this forum. I'm still wondering if I should give lighter rackets with low flex rating a try.
Why not? One of the benefits of a higher flex is that you don't have to string so tight to control the power. Thus you also benefit from not having the stiff strings adding to the shock generated.
4. I hope you don't become a government policy maker. Your suggestion totaly reminded me of the San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom with his cell phone warning labels. I don't want some big warning sticker on my iPhone.
Bad news for you then. Scott Brown and Barack Hussein Obama II both consult with me before making any political or policy decisions. However, I've decreed to them that they must not enact any health legislation concerning warning labels on tennis racquets, or else risk alienating the right, left, center and Sarah Palin.
5. I guess it would be a good idea for the Chinese factory worker who's promoted to "sticker guy". Sure will impress the ladies. :)
Hmm... so you think the ladies will be impressed by a sticker on your stick?

charliefedererer
02-11-2010, 06:45 AM
I am wondering if some pain in my forearm could be attributed to my rackets light weight frame (10.7 oz) and low stiffness (60)?

hitting hard heavy balls seems to be doing that to me after like 2 hrs of play since it feels like im pushing against the ball due to the flex.

You may have "graduated" to a more advanced frame.

The more you play, the stronger your arm gets, and the more muscle memory you develop to subject more punishment on that ball ... the more shock you are subjecting your forearm to.

A heavier frame has more mass to dissipate the shock now that you can really bash that ball.

Since Force = Mass x Velocity squared if you have a heavier racquet you can hit an even heavier ball, and have the benefit of a frame that will be better for your arm! (Of course this supposes that you are still able to bring that heavier racquet around as fast as the one you use now, which is usually the case, but not always.)

But since you are playing so much tennis, it's worthwhile to plan on keeping your arm in great shape to keep advancing. For the forearm this would involve some wrist curls/reverse curls/twists with a fairly light dumbell and perhaps get a hand gripper and Flexbar green or blue as well.

(The only thing is that a heavier racquet puts more strain on you shoulder, so don't neglect the thrower's 10: www.asmi.org/SportsMed/media/thrower10.swf)

charliefedererer
02-11-2010, 06:50 AM
As mentioned in the post, I doubt any such warning label would ever be forthcoming. It really wasn't meant to be serious proposal as I started typing, but by the time I finished I thought it might not be a bad marketing idea for a company to posture themselves as the "the company that cares about your health", and make an effort to educate about the benefits of some frames. Babolat is not going to do that as the majority of its racquets pretty stiff. Head is now pushing Youtek, a compound that stiffens on impact! But Kennex, Dunlop, Vokl, and maybe even Wilson and Prince could put a little of health into their ads and encourage a move to their flexible player's frames as part of their marketing campaign, both to buy their brand, and move people along their product line into yet another racquet.

1. It better be a sticker that I can peel off really easy. Most warning labels are only there due to law suite purposes. Almost all warning labels I see on products should just say "don't be stupid". :p
Warning labels are not for you. They are for people who "just don't know", and sadly yes, the frankly" stupid".
2. Why not just use information available here to make the choice. We're in the information age, make use of the Internet and especially great forums like Talk Tennis.
That may seem the case to you. But why is there posted three times a week an elbow, wrist or shoulder problem by a TT veteran playing with a light, stiff frame and highly tensioned poly strings? The health and fitness forum is one of the least visited here, and my guess is that most do not click on the arm woe threads unless they have already suffered a problem. And lets face it, when most people are buying that frame, they are not googling first to see if they are buying thermselves potential arm problems.
3. Not everyone is getting TE from lighter rackets. However, it's good that we're getting information from people that have have the experience on this forum. I'm still wondering if I should give lighter rackets with low flex rating a try.
Why not? One of the benefits of a higher flex is that you don't have to string so tight to control the power. Thus you also benefit from not having the stiff strings adding to the shock generated.
4. I hope you don't become a government policy maker. Your suggestion totaly reminded me of the San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom with his cell phone warning labels. I don't want some big warning sticker on my iPhone.
Bad news for you then. Scott Brown and Barack Hussein Obama II both consult with me before making any political or policy decisions. However, I've decreed to them that they must not enact any health legislation concerning warning labels on tennis racquets, or else risk alienating the right, left, center and Sarah Palin.
5. I guess it would be a good idea for the Chinese factory worker who's promoted to "sticker guy". Sure will impress the ladies. :)
Hmm... so you think the ladies will be impressed by a sticker on your stick?

killerzombie163
02-11-2010, 07:00 AM
You may have "graduated" to a more advanced frame.

The more you play, the stronger your arm gets, and the more muscle memory you develop to subject more punishment on that ball ... the more shock you are subjecting your forearm to.

A heavier frame has more mass to dissipate the shock now that you can really bash that ball.

Since Force = Mass x Velocity squared if you have a heavier racquet you can hit an even heavier ball, and have the benefit of a frame that will be better for your arm! (Of course this supposes that you are still able to bring that heavier racquet around as fast as the one you use now, which is usually the case, but not always.)

But since you are playing so much tennis, it's worthwhile to plan on keeping your arm in great shape to keep advancing. For the forearm this would involve some wrist curls/reverse curls/twists with a fairly light dumbell and perhaps get a hand gripper and Flexbar green or blue as well.

(The only thing is that a heavier racquet puts more strain on you shoulder, so don't neglect the thrower's 10: www.asmi.org/SportsMed/media/thrower10.swf)

Thanks for the tips. I got the Ignite Team and the higher stiffness and increased weight definitely has improved my game and dissipated the pain from the high impacts with the ball.

Now I just got to work on the other exercises.

MayDay
02-11-2010, 05:28 PM
Hmm... so you think the ladies will be impressed by a sticker on your stick?

Yeah, since I can't impress the girls with my skillz, I hope a big and long sticker for my heavy stick will at least make me look dangerous. :lol:


To the OP, please do keep us updated if your TE does resurface.

jimanuel12
02-15-2010, 09:46 AM
good points.

just giving a running commentary. so far so good. but i don't want to jinx myself....

light head - heavy rackets - 11.5 oz or better
less stiff racket - under 60 is best or around 65
throw the light racket away or sell it
stretching exercises before play for the arms
drink plenty of liquids during and after play
keep your weight down to a reasonable level

all good points to a better game of tennis

crash1929
02-15-2010, 11:23 PM
So I am playing better than ever. My game, especially my bh is much more consistent. I've notice my game change from aggressive baseliner trying to go for winners to just keeping the ball in play.

So while making the changes in my racquet I've also imporved in keeping my head still and body under control while hitting ground stroks AND the SERVE.

SOOOO now I'm wondering why is my bh more consistent with a lighter frame and smaller grip? It feels like in the strike zone I can control the frame better.Previoulsy it felt like the raquet was a bit of a run away truck in the strike zone. I notice however I'm not getting the pace and depth on my returns of serve that I block back.

I'm wondering if I should experiment further. Like putting the some lead tape back on but keeping the grip smaller.....

crash1929
02-16-2010, 01:18 AM
I think I will try adding some lead tape though not as much as I took off.. I think the key thing with me was the grip size. may be wrong.

mikeler
02-16-2010, 05:39 AM
I think I will try adding some lead tape though not as much as I took off.. I think the key thing with me was the grip size. may be wrong.


Is your slice backhand floating more with the lighter racket?

EKnee08
02-16-2010, 01:36 PM
You may have "graduated" to a more advanced frame.

The more you play, the stronger your arm gets, and the more muscle memory you develop to subject more punishment on that ball ... the more shock you are subjecting your forearm to.

A heavier frame has more mass to dissipate the shock now that you can really bash that ball.

Since Force = Mass x Velocity squared if you have a heavier racquet you can hit an even heavier ball, and have the benefit of a frame that will be better for your arm! (Of course this supposes that you are still able to bring that heavier racquet around as fast as the one you use now, which is usually the case, but not always.)

But since you are playing so much tennis, it's worthwhile to plan on keeping your arm in great shape to keep advancing. For the forearm this would involve some wrist curls/reverse curls/twists with a fairly light dumbell and perhaps get a hand gripper and Flexbar green or blue as well.

(The only thing is that a heavier racquet puts more strain on you shoulder, so don't neglect the thrower's 10: www.asmi.org/SportsMed/media/thrower10.swf)

I am around 50 and I have been playing w/ the Youtek Radical MP (around 11 oz.). I added lead to the Radto be more stable so total weight was at 11.7 oz. Played w/ Tonic 16 at 56 lbs. Have had no arm or shoulder problems with it.
Last week during a hitting session my pro gave me a Youtk Prestige MP strung w/ demo Sonic 17 (poly). Probably weighed around 12 oz. So a .30-.40 oz difference from my Rads. Was awesome! Much more stable and able to place ball on a dime. The pro thought I played much better with it.
Tried it again yesterday for a 1 1/2 hour intense drill session. Again played much better than in years.
However, my elbow has been very sore since then. My shoulder was also sore but it has dissipated over the last hour or so.
Do you think the elbow soreness is due to the Prestige or do you think it is the Poly? (I never played with a poly before)
Also, do you think that the shoulder soreness is due to the Prestige or the poly string?

mikeler
02-16-2010, 02:36 PM
My guess would be the poly.

charliefedererer
02-16-2010, 09:17 PM
^^^My guess would be the poly as well.
But this Youtek material is a strange beast, in that it stiffens more with a harder impact. Still, I would be shocked if even 15% of the frame is Youtek; it surely is mainly carbon/graphite like most frames, and with a starting stiffness rating of the Prestige MP 63 it likely remains fairly flexible even when hitting hard. Of course the Radical MP is even more arm friendly with a stiffness rating of only 59.

charliefedererer
02-16-2010, 09:26 PM
I think I will try adding some lead tape though not as much as I took off.. I think the key thing with me was the grip size. may be wrong.

For the best results for your stroke it will be key not to cross the line to where the frame is just a little too heavy to get it around quickly while feeling in control. The great thing about lead tape is that it is so easy to experiment with, adding small amounts, even layering it, and removing small amounts if you feel you went too far.
There has been a definite trend to using small grip sizes now than a decade ago, and you may have found the "best" grip size that will actually be easier on your forearm muscles, and thus lower your risk for tennis elbow. It would be interesting if your arm doing better is the change in grip size, and not the change to a "lighter" racquet.
By the way, I googled the TW stats on the PD+ and the strung weight (TW lists the strung wieght while most manufactureres list the unstrung weight) is 11.1 ounces. Certainly not a heavy frame, but not a real lightweight. (It still had that high flex rating of 70 though.)

crash1929
02-16-2010, 10:37 PM
Is your slice backhand floating more with the lighter racket?

Yip. It sure is but its not too bad. just feels a little strange hitting them. The good thing is my topspin drive is much more consistent. much more.

crash1929
02-16-2010, 10:38 PM
I am around 50 and I have been playing w/ the Youtek Radical MP (around 11 oz.). I added lead to the Radto be more stable so total weight was at 11.7 oz. Played w/ Tonic 16 at 56 lbs. Have had no arm or shoulder problems with it.
Last week during a hitting session my pro gave me a Youtk Prestige MP strung w/ demo Sonic 17 (poly). Probably weighed around 12 oz. So a .30-.40 oz difference from my Rads. Was awesome! Much more stable and able to place ball on a dime. The pro thought I played much better with it.
Tried it again yesterday for a 1 1/2 hour intense drill session. Again played much better than in years.
However, my elbow has been very sore since then. My shoulder was also sore but it has dissipated over the last hour or so.
Do you think the elbow soreness is due to the Prestige or do you think it is the Poly? (I never played with a poly before)
Also, do you think that the shoulder soreness is due to the Prestige or the poly string?

you always shock your system when you change set ups so drastically. at least that has been my experience- regardless of strings/material etc.

ogruskie
02-16-2010, 11:05 PM
Irrelevant to the discussion of the topic, but why are racquet companies so hell-bent on killing absolutely ALL feel and making their racquets extremely stiff? I tried most of the new racquets that came out, nothing could compare in terms of feel to my kblade. On top of that my elbow really suffered, as well as my game. I play without damps, but the new BLX and YT technologies made me feel as if I was playing WITH a damp (even though I wasn't). What's the point of that?

crash1929
02-16-2010, 11:14 PM
For the best results for your stroke it will be key not to cross the line to where the frame is just a little too heavy to get it around quickly while feeling in control. The great thing about lead tape is that it is so easy to experiment with, adding small amounts, even layering it, and removing small amounts if you feel you went too far.
There has been a definite trend to using small grip sizes now than a decade ago, and you may have found the "best" grip size that will actually be easier on your forearm muscles, and thus lower your risk for tennis elbow. It would be interesting if your arm doing better is the change in grip size, and not the change to a "lighter" racquet.
By the way, I googled the TW stats on the PD+ and the strung weight (TW lists the strung wieght while most manufactureres list the unstrung weight) is 11.1 ounces. Certainly not a heavy frame, but not a real lightweight. (It still had that high flex rating of 70 though.)

my pure drive plus is five years old and says 10.6oz on the frame. yeah I'm very aware NOW of the need to have control of the frame when bringing it around.