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View Full Version : Possible Right Racquet for tennis elbow/arm problem


LordOfTennis
08-11-2011, 08:39 PM
I m 42 and 3.5 single players. I had serious tennis elbow 3 months ago; probably using too heavy racquets (K90), inappropriate string (poly string) or poor stroke formation, etc. I realized I may starting getting old (42 years old???). I want to extend my tennis life longer and healthier. I decided to look for arm friendly racquet but powerful racquet (prob slightly bigger head... 98???). I demo the following racquets:

Dunlop Biomimetic 200 Plus
Dunlop Biomimetic 300
Babolat Pure Storm GT (2010 and 2011 models)
Wilson BLX Blade 98

I found the Babolat with the following good numbers:
strung weight (~12 oz, kinda light but still enough to manage hard/fast pace ball)

Swingweight: 313 (< 320 I consider is pretty good, my shoulder will not get tired easily)
Stiffness: 59 (it's great just below 60!!!)

Because of the cost, I cant afford natural gut even I know it is good for arm and performance. I use Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 16 (17 for more spin) String Red (red colour match nicely with the racquet recommended by local tennis shop. I started to play with the Babolat month ago with tennis elbow brace on. I felt extremely easy to swing and comfortable. Few weeks later, I felt the same good even without elbow brace on (sometimes I still have that tennis elbow brace on to support my arm though). I then tried to play the tournament for two straight days, 6 matches. I felt great and my shoulder and arm could manage all the way to semi final. Now, I put lead tape at 3 and 9 o'clock to improve the stability. Everything looks perfect for me now; except myself

Good luck and have fun to find the right racquet.

Bud
08-11-2011, 08:47 PM
Pro Kennex 5G Classic strung with a gut, multi or synthetic gut ;)

pheonix6579
08-12-2011, 01:18 AM
Give the Prince Tours a shot (O3, Ozone, or EXO3). You will get just as much spin if not more than the Babolat. Plus you will get the comfort as well. Drop tension a bit and boom! you have power as well. I even have full co-poly in mine and not a touch of pain in my arm, which is not something I can say for the babolats that I have tried.

vantageboy
08-12-2011, 02:57 AM
BB LONDON--52 years young w/severe elbow,shoulder--with gut or babolat xcel premium at 54m 51c-wonderful plush soft feeling. hope u get better and good luck.

Avadia
08-12-2011, 06:10 AM
Heavy, head light racquets are actually better at protecting you from elbow pain than lighter racquets. Your problem more likely stems from using poly strings or perhaps from racquet stiffness or even grip size.

Try to make sure the frame stiffness of the racquet you choose is not above 65. Anything more can be hard on your elbow. Below 60 is even better. And make sure you use softer strings. Avoid poly. And string the tensions as low as you can while still maintaining control. Finally, make sure you are using the proper grip size, and nothing too large or too small.

ProKennex makes some great arm-friendly frames. Lots of threads on here about them.

movdqa
08-12-2011, 06:16 AM
The K90 is moderately stiff so it could also be the stiffness causing you are problems. You might look for something flexier, say under 60. One of the Babolat Pure Storm models or maybe the Microgel Radical that's on sale now might help you out.

Fuji
08-12-2011, 07:29 AM
I love the Pure Storm Ltd. for arm comfort. I can hit with that stick all day long and it doesn't do a single disservice to my arm!

-Fuji

Bigtime
08-12-2011, 08:03 AM
If you are not a really heavy hitter/string breaker, and you do the math, a full bed of gut may actually be less $$ per hour of tennis played, (especially if you are paying someone a labor fee to do your stringing). The gut will hold it's tension until it breaks, so no cutting out due to mushy stringbed.

I get appx 9-12 months on 16g Klip Legend playing appx 3-4 hours per week year round, (I am not a heavy hitter/string breaker).

I have settled on the Dunlop 100 line (currently playing the 4D100 version). I have mine leaded up to 12oz + and very head light. Did have a minor bout with TE back when I was using the McEnroe Maxply and the Wilson KBlade Tour, (I think those frames had just a little too much stiffness for me).

canadad
08-12-2011, 08:22 AM
BB London helped me! On the first hit, I knew this was going to be something different. I still had arm problems, albeit slight, until I cut out the co-poly strings the racquets came with. Put some natural gut or multi in and it is very plush. I have always heard nice things about the PK sticks and would like to try some myself.

mikeler
08-12-2011, 09:26 AM
Pro Kennex 7G is a dream on the arm.

januslow
08-13-2011, 12:38 AM
I personally find pro kennex 5g (new stock 2011, not sure if there may make a difference) a bit stiff and my elbow could feel some soreness after a hitting session despite excellent playability. (Strung with B5E and forten sweet). I know there will be people who are going to say that I should be staying away from poly then because of the sensitive elbow, but I do enjoy playing with poly string and I'm glad that I have found Vantage Bastcore 20 which is soft enough to enable me to continue using similar string set-up coupled with its great playability. I have also tried EX03 tour before and I agree that it is very soft/ muted on the arm. However, it s too low powered for me. PSLGT on the other hand, is a demanding racket for me to a point that despite putting much more effort, most of my shots came off no better that other rackets that I have used before. (Quite a frustrating experience and though it is not stiff, I would not recommend it as a elbow saving racket either) My recommendation is if you are able to play with EX03 tour and enjoy the muted feel, that should be one of the best racket for tennis elbow, if not, BC20 will be a great choice too! It s a pity that it is not easy to get one to demo.

movdqa
08-13-2011, 07:17 AM
Some of the 5Gs are in the low 60s for stiffness but the Kinetic system is supposed to make it feel softer. Last night I hit with a frame with 59 Flex with full poly and my arm was fine. It felt softer than my 5G Ki5 PSE and the two racquets weigh about the same. Some racquets that look stiff based on flex may actually play a lot softer if there is a lot of mass.

I'm going back and forth on the stiff vs soft thing and I'm coming to the realization that medium flexy (59-60) along with high swingweight and high static weight may be the right combination for me. Something in the 12.7 to 13 oz area sounds about right.

Yes, the racquets are demanding but I'm hoping that they can allow me to play without having to worry about my arm.

RyKnocks
08-13-2011, 07:54 AM
Some of the 5Gs are in the low 60s for stiffness but the Kinetic system is supposed to make it feel softer. Last night I hit with a frame with 59 Flex with full poly and my arm was fine. It felt softer than my 5G Ki5 PSE and the two racquets weigh about the same. Some racquets that look stiff based on flex may actually play a lot softer if there is a lot of mass.

I'm going back and forth on the stiff vs soft thing and I'm coming to the realization that medium flexy (59-60) along with high swingweight and high static weight may be the right combination for me. Something in the 12.7 to 13 oz area sounds about right.

Yes, the racquets are demanding but I'm hoping that they can allow me to play without having to worry about my arm.


Looks like the Volkl Power Bridge 10 Mid is right up your alley. I feel the same way as you and I'm dying to try this racquet. What other racquets have you felt comfortable with that are within your desired specs?

ced
08-13-2011, 08:13 AM
Pro Kennex 5G Classic strung with a gut, multi or synthetic gut ;)

I found the 7G to be better.

movdqa
08-13-2011, 08:26 AM
> I feel the same way as you and I'm dying to try this racquet.
> What other racquets have you felt comfortable with that are
> within your desired specs?

I'm playing with the tgk260.2 (flex 59) and the tgk238.4 (63) and doing various experiments with weight placement to find something that I like. I think that I should be able to find a setup that I like between these two frames. I win more matches with the stiffer frame but my arm is sore for a half-day to a day afterwards. I think that a flex of 59 is the lowest that I need to go. It would be interesting to find something in-between but I don't know if there's anything like that in plain graphite.

LawnChairGeneral
08-14-2011, 08:09 AM
For those recommending Pro Kennex..........am I missing something? These PK frames have a pretty high stiffness (Ki 15 PSE - 66) (5g - 65) (7g - 66)

If a stiffer frame transmits more of the shock load to the arm than a more flexible frame, why are the Pro Kennex so good for the arm?
Is the Kinetic System really that good or are you also stringing low tension?
Wouldn't the Redondo or the EXO3 be better options when comparing stiffness (56 and 52, respectively) ??

movdqa
08-14-2011, 09:00 AM
I think that it's best to stick with the models in the 62-63 flex area with the Kinetic system or go with the Redondo.

niktub
08-14-2011, 09:41 AM
I think that it's best to stick with the models in the 62-63 flex area with the Kinetic system or go with the Redondo.

Apparently the Kinetics RA's start from 65 up to 67, that's why the question was asked.

mikeler
08-14-2011, 09:59 AM
For those recommending Pro Kennex..........am I missing something? These PK frames have a pretty high stiffness (Ki 15 PSE - 66) (5g - 65) (7g - 66)

If a stiffer frame transmits more of the shock load to the arm than a more flexible frame, why are the Pro Kennex so good for the arm?
Is the Kinetic System really that good or are you also stringing low tension?
Wouldn't the Redondo or the EXO3 be better options when comparing stiffness (56 and 52, respectively) ??


The Kinetic System is that good. The 7G feels much softer than the non GT version of the PST with a 62 flex. Now if you go and put full poly at a high tension, the racket can only help you out so much. Both the racket and strings are important when dealing with arm issues.

niktub
08-14-2011, 10:16 AM
Would the 03 White(RA65) be a possible option as it is supposed to be soft+powerfull.
Or maybe it's too light?

movdqa
08-14-2011, 02:47 PM
> Apparently the Kinetics RA's start from 65 up to 67, that's why the
> question was asked.

Ionic Ki 5 PSE = 63
Ionic Ki 5x = 62
Ionic Ki 5 = 61

yemenmocha
08-14-2011, 07:10 PM
Pro Kennex Ki 5 was unmatched, when I demoed almost everything reasonably described as arm friendly.

niktub
08-14-2011, 11:47 PM
> Apparently the Kinetics RA's start from 65 up to 67, that's why the
> question was asked.

Ionic Ki 5 PSE = 63
Ionic Ki 5x = 62
Ionic Ki 5 = 61

If i understand well,
the famous 5G is the Ionic Ki 5 and not the Kinetic pro 5G.
As the Kinetic 5G is always recommended that's a bit confusing.And the Kinetic pro 7G seems to had even more fans.

Limpinhitter
08-15-2011, 03:46 AM
I m 42 and 3.5 single players. I had serious tennis elbow 3 months ago; probably using too heavy racquets (K90), inappropriate string (poly string) or poor stroke formation, etc. I realized I may starting getting old (42 years old???). I want to extend my tennis life longer and healthier. I decided to look for arm friendly racquet but powerful racquet (prob slightly bigger head... 98???). I demo the following racquets:

Dunlop Biomimetic 200 Plus
Dunlop Biomimetic 300
Babolat Pure Storm GT (2010 and 2011 models)
Wilson BLX Blade 98

I found the Babolat with the following good numbers:
strung weight (~12 oz, kinda light but still enough to manage hard/fast pace ball)

Swingweight: 313 (< 320 I consider is pretty good, my shoulder will not get tired easily)
Stiffness: 59 (it's great just below 60!!!)

Because of the cost, I cant afford natural gut even I know it is good for arm and performance. I use Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 16 (17 for more spin) String Red (red colour match nicely with the racquet recommended by local tennis shop. I started to play with the Babolat month ago with tennis elbow brace on. I felt extremely easy to swing and comfortable. Few weeks later, I felt the same good even without elbow brace on (sometimes I still have that tennis elbow brace on to support my arm though). I then tried to play the tournament for two straight days, 6 matches. I felt great and my shoulder and arm could manage all the way to semi final. Now, I put lead tape at 3 and 9 o'clock to improve the stability. Everything looks perfect for me now; except myself

Good luck and have fun to find the right racquet.

The Babolat and Dunlops are all good choices. The Wilson may be, but, I don't think the K version of the Blade 98 was particularly arm friendly. I would also suggest that a heavier racquet will be easier on your TE than a light racquet. JMO! An excellent alternative to natural gut is Technifibre X-One Biphase. In my opinion, it plays about 98% equal to VS gut and is about 1/3 the price, and it holds its tension almost as well, too.

Having said that, I have successfully treated my tennis elbow with theraputic massage by a qualified massage therapist who specializes in treating tennis players. The key is to find someone who knows about "trigger point therapy."

niktub
08-15-2011, 03:50 AM
If i understand well,
the famous 5G is the Ionic Ki 5 and not the Kinetic pro 5G.
As the Kinetic 5G is always recommended that's a bit confusing.And the Kinetic pro 7G seems to had even more fans.

Bump Bump Bump

movdqa
08-15-2011, 06:01 AM
Yes, there's confusion because the Ionic line employes the Kinetic technology while they also have a line called Kinetic.

I think that the stiffer frames were due to the market realities of the overall tennis market going to stiffer and lighter. Pro Kennex still offers the Black Ace and Redondo and the Ionic 5s for those that want something softer.

scotus
08-15-2011, 08:58 AM
If i understand well,
the famous 5G is the Ionic Ki 5 and not the Kinetic pro 5G.
As the Kinetic 5G is always recommended that's a bit confusing.And the Kinetic pro 7G seems to had even more fans.

No, the 5G is the Kinetic Pro 5G, and NOT KI5.

There have been many testimonies here by posters who have used both 5G and KI5 that despite the lower stiffness rating, KI5 is not as comfortable as 5G.

scotus
08-15-2011, 09:01 AM
By the way, from personal experience, I can tell you that KI5 is no match for 5G and 7G in the comfort department.

I have owned 5 to 6 sticks of each model.

movdqa
08-15-2011, 09:04 AM
How does it compare to the Ki5 PSE? I found that racquet to be very comfortable and powerful, for those that can handle the weight and swingweight.

mctennis
08-15-2011, 09:05 AM
Pro Kennex 5G Classic strung with a gut, multi or synthetic gut ;)

Ditto this. That and the Volkl V1 Classis. Very good on the arm as well.
STAY AWAY FROM ANY POLY STRING!!!!!

scotus
08-15-2011, 09:36 AM
How does it compare to the Ki5 PSE? I found that racquet to be very comfortable and powerful, for those that can handle the weight and swingweight.

Sorry, never used Ki5 PSE.

But you are right. If one can handle the weight, the heavier the better.

However, if joint problems are already present, I would advise against excessively heavy weights.

For example, one has tennis elbow and switches to a heavy racquet he/she is not used to. It is very possible that while the new setup might alleviate some pain in the elbow, it may present a new problem for the wrist or the shoulder.

movdqa
08-15-2011, 09:56 AM
I needed a relief racquet from the KPS88 and the Ki 5 PSE was about the same weight (12.8 - 12.9 oz) and same swingweight (345) so it wasn't much of a transition and I only needed to use it for a short period of time.

If you're coming from windshield-wiper strokes with a light frame, then the Ki 5 PSE will be a rude shock. It's one racquet that will flatten out your strokes.

mikeler
08-15-2011, 10:02 AM
Sorry, never used Ki5 PSE.

But you are right. If one can handle the weight, the heavier the better.

However, if joint problems are already present, I would advise against excessively heavy weights.

For example, one has tennis elbow and switches to a heavy racquet he/she is not used to. It is very possible that while the new setup might alleviate some pain in the elbow, it may present a new problem for the wrist or the shoulder.


Excellent point. I went heavier to help my elbow which gradually got better but it ended up causing me a shoulder injury. There is an ideal weight for all of us that is good for the entire arm as a whole.

gbc08
08-15-2011, 07:10 PM
Vantage Bastcore 20. Softest racquet I've played with in a longwhile.

tennis-kid
08-15-2011, 08:28 PM
The Kinetic System is that good. The 7G feels much softer than the non GT version of the PST with a 62 flex. Now if you go and put full poly at a high tension, the racket can only help you out so much. Both the racket and strings are important when dealing with arm issues.

I totally agree with Mikeler. Pro Kennex 7G is that good. I demoed it. You can see the difference. I demoed so many racquets due to wrist problem. I found that Prince EXO3, Volkl Organix 10 ( 295), and Pro Kennex 7G stand out among all arm-friendly-claimed racquets.
Also string and tension is as important as racquet itself. Even most arm friendly racqet like EXO3 tour can feel stiff if you put poly with high tension.

scotus
08-15-2011, 09:12 PM
Vantage Bastcore 20. Softest racquet I've played with in a longwhile.

You might want to try the Prince EXO3 Tour.

I own 4 EXO3 Tours and 4 BC20's. EXO3 Tour beats the BC20 by a mile in the comfort department.