View Full Version : Longer racquets-are they harder on back and shoulder

06-08-2004, 11:46 AM
Does anyone know if a longer racquet is harder on a player's back and shoulder? I recently switched to an older racquet-Prince Thunderlite 28inch long, 110 sq inch head, flex approx 62. I always had some back problems and recently a golfer's elbow problem. Will the longer racquet make it worse?


Steve Huff
06-08-2004, 11:54 AM
I'm sure they are harder on the shoulder and arm. Not so sure about the back, but it stands to reason that anytime you use more leverage (essentially what using a longer racket is doing), you'd be adding stress to your back as well. It probably also depends on your serve motion. If you can let the racket do more of the work, the racket itself would probably be a minor issue. A deep arch in your back from hitting kick serves would be more of an issue.

Camilio Pascual
06-08-2004, 12:23 PM
With the hand as the fulcrum point, I'd say you are using less leverage with a longer racquet. The ball consequently has more leverage on you, being further away from the fulcrum point, resulting in increased chance of injury.

Camilio Pascual
06-08-2004, 12:33 PM
Okay, one of my tennis students said I should explain this. Let's pretend you are holding a racquet and are attempting to resist somebody trying to push the racquet head back. They start succeeding. What are you going to do? No, just one hand! Yes, you are going to choke up on the racquet to give them (the "ball") less...leverage.

06-08-2004, 01:27 PM
A 6'5" player is 76 inches tall.
A 5'8" player is 68 inches tall.

A 28" racquet is proportionally shorter for a 6'5" player than a 27" racquet is for say a 5'8".

27/68 > 28/76

A coach I've spoken to believes talls players would not suffer any deficit by using a longer racquet because of the above reason. However the taller player may gain a control advantage from a standard length racquet because it would be proportionally shorter to the taller player.

Assume all other things being equal.

Gaines Hillix
06-08-2004, 02:08 PM
I think Steve and Camillio have it right. It's all about how much leverage the racquet has on one's wrist and arm. Simple physics, really. I think the Thunderlite was pretty arm friendly for an extended length raquet because it was not head heavy and stiff. A softstring and cushioned grip would also help reduce any shock transmitted to the arm.

06-08-2004, 02:23 PM
I now think they are right.

Kick Serve
06-08-2004, 09:40 PM
How about the serve? You're basically hitting a ball that's barely in motion. Wouldn't an extended racquet provide a slight advantage on the serve allowing you to contact the ball at a higher point thus creating a better angle? Would you get more leverage on the serve or less?

Gaines Hillix
06-09-2004, 06:45 AM
kick serve, yes, there is some advantage to serving with a longer racquet, if you can still swing it as fast as a shorter one. You have a longer lever to work with in this situation and you'll get more power on the serve.

06-09-2004, 06:57 AM
generally speaking longer axes do not help the serve IMO. it is most usually easier to swing a racquet head fast with something shorter than something longer so i think a longer racquets most usually works against your serve....so you make the longer frame light so it is easier to swing fast and you lose the mass necessary to hit a heavy serve. not to mention loss of control w. the longer frame. i do think a longer frame allows you to hit slightly better angles tho, but w. a slight loss of control. i dont think you can name many top servers in time using longer frames. you can name roddick i guess, but his serve is kinda one dimensional IMO. my .02. ed

06-09-2004, 11:14 AM
My personal experience is that using a longbody hasn't had any negative effect on my arm/shoulder/back. Currently using Chang Ti MP, previously used Chang Graphite OS, both strung pretty tight with LaserFibre Supreme 16 @ 60 lbs. Before that used a 27.5" Prince and a 27.25" Wilson. In my case, serve is improved with the 28" racquet.