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View Full Version : What racquet are some over 40's using?


Alley Cat
07-08-2004, 10:08 AM
As a follow up to the good question below re: "older folks" and newer technology frames....what are some of you over 40's and beyond actually using? In my 40's I continue to gravitate toward slightly heavier, head light, flexible frames (Tour 10's, LM Prestige, 200g, etc.) and have not gone light. The only change has been to go to the larger head size of 95 or 98. What are some of you using? Do 12 oz+/- frames feel too heavy, or less powerful? Have you had to switch to lighter racquets to compete, or stiffer frames for more pop? Just wondering on a rainy day if I may sometime have to give up my current type of racquet. Thanks

arf22
07-08-2004, 10:20 AM
Head PT280 with a bit of lead. Still able to get it around OK at 47...

Alley Cat
07-08-2004, 11:08 AM
BTW, currently using LM Prestige MP. Its been good on the arm/shoulder and provides great control & maneuverability

d wayne
07-08-2004, 11:22 AM
Head iTour- a bit lighter than true "player's" rackets but at just over 11 oz it has enough weight and allows me to get decent racket head speed. Tried lead at 3 & 9 but found I was hitting long, then shortened strokes- went back to stock

netman
07-08-2004, 11:41 AM
Prince Tungsten Hornet MP (customized).

As stated time and time again in that thread, you sort of trade off characteristics as you get older. I love the power and depth I get on my serves, volleys and overheads using a 12 oz. racquet. The problem is by about 60-70 minutes into a tough match, my service percentages start dropping, I'm late on my shots and the error count goes up. So I've recently been experimenting with some 10.5-11oz frames and the results are promising. I can generate more racquet head speed, hit shots consistently (not late) and can hit with more topspin. My serves and volleys are not as "heavy" but they are much more consistent from start to finish of a match. So in the end, a slightly lighter racquet seems to be the better compromise for generating a consistent complete game from beginning to end of the match.

Skinny Dip
07-08-2004, 12:05 PM
48 and using the Core 1 number 6 ProKennex. It has plenty of pop, good accuracy, and great feel. For doubles I use a Pure Drive OS which has easy power and very good accuracy for an OS.

baseliner
07-08-2004, 12:13 PM
Wilson HPS 6.1 mid. Also recently brought out my Volkl C-9 and looking to demo the C-10. Based on the reviews of the n-code 6.1 may try that as well. I really haven't changed my racket due to age. Once you are used to head-light player frame that is what you tend to gravitate to.

alleycat
07-08-2004, 12:29 PM
Yonex MP 3i, which I demoed after reading about its shoulder-friendly qualities on the racquet research site. I thought it weighed around 11.3, but I had built up the grip and weighed it a couple of weeks ago and to my suprise it weighed in at 12.3. After using a Dunlop Revelation Tour Pro (red one) during my mid and late 30's I developed a shoulder impingement problem. I experimented with a lighter Head Fire Tour 10.8 racquet a couple of years ago, but found the lighter stiffer racquet made my shoulder worse. I've been very pleased with the 3i which offers a little more power than some other player racquets I've tried (Diablo MP) and has really helped my shoulder.

BTW Alley Cat as a new contributor to the boards, I'll plan on changing my registration name to avoid confusion with your posts.

Alley Cat
07-08-2004, 12:57 PM
alleycat, I found the same problem with lighter, stiffer frames. Caused shoulder tendonitis for me and when I switched back to heavier/flex racquets I have had no problems since. Hey, no worries with the reg. name...I don't post a whole lot, but appreciate the offer.

Gaines Hillix
07-08-2004, 02:09 PM
Currently using a PS 6.0 95 on my good days and a PK Laver Type S on normal days. Laver S weighs about 11.6 ozs. and 6.0 95 12.6 ozs. Both with damper and overgrip. Besides the potential arm problems, I hate the hollow, fly swatter feel of the light weight, stiff frames and I've tried a ton of different racquets. But, on the other hand, no Prestige Classics or Power Beam Pro frames for me. They're just too heavy and I'm too slow.

David Pavlich
07-08-2004, 02:22 PM
I've been using a POG OS until a few weeks ago. My wife was feeding me balls and I noticed how tired my shoulder got when hitting a slew of backhands.

I got my DB 800 out and the difference in weight, about 7/10 of an ounce, made a fair difference. It's h*ll getting old.

I must say, though, I've been serving very well with the DB.

David

Steve Huff
07-08-2004, 02:23 PM
Pro Kennex 5g. I'm 47. It's saving my arm.

NoBadMojo
07-08-2004, 03:31 PM
as i get older i find myself stringing at lower tensions and using more powerful strings (gut) and still using thin beamed flexy headlight frames. i am forced to hit the ball a little flatter because i cant generate the racquet head speed any longer and my footworks erodes as i get into the match and i can hit it as much in front as i would like. i find myself hitting a different array of shots now and going for more angles and slices and chips and charges..anything to end the point earlier on the dirt because i just cant hit w. the 20yo's from the baseline for 3 sets anymore. it's kinda fun, but also kinda humbling ;) but i like the variety better than just banging from the back anyway. i'm too old to play s.v on both serves anymore. ed

thn7530
07-08-2004, 03:45 PM
Great Topic...for us "older folk"

I am turning in my Babolat Pc's (for sale real cheap) For the Dunlop 200G XL. The XL is a bit lighter than the PC and the extra 1/2 inch has made a big difference when it comes to my serve, groundies, and net game.


Rejuvenated my came! Amazing what a 1/2 inch can do!!!! Keep it clean people LOL

gmlasam
07-08-2004, 04:13 PM
I've been using a POG OS until a few weeks ago. My wife was feeding me balls and I noticed how tired my shoulder got when hitting a slew of backhands.

I got my DB 800 out and the difference in weight, about 7/10 of an ounce, made a fair difference. It's h*ll getting old.

I must say, though, I've been serving very well with the DB.

DavidDavid, have you considered lifting weights to help remedy your shoulder problems? Shoulder exercises such as military press, and lateral raises are great to help tone up your shoulders. I too play the POG, and its really a great racquet. Been playing since I was in jr. high, I'm 28 now.

steebo
07-08-2004, 04:16 PM
48 and using Yonex RDX mid, currently strung with Lux Big Banger, but in the process of experimenting with string. I also have a RDX mid+ but haven't really used it too much.

Morpheus
07-08-2004, 04:33 PM
..anything to end the point earlier on the dirt because i just cant hit w. the 20yo's from the baseline for 3 sets anymore. ... i'm too old to play s.v on both serves anymore. ed

Ed, I'm not sure I like your attitude. Come on, man, walk tall, use your guile, and beat those cocky, young whippersnappers! Make them depart, head down, shoulders slumped, dragging their Babolat 6 pack behind them, wishing they were anywhere else but on the court with an old guy who's just kicked their arse, love and one!

bob
07-08-2004, 04:50 PM
I'm 57, around a 4.5 player and have been using a POG OS for the last year or so. I just bought a used NXG OS and so far I like it too.

As far as conitioning I do a push up pyramid 3-4 days a week. You do 1 then rest 10 seconds, then 2, then 3, ... up to 12, then go back down 11, 10, ... to 1. A pyrmaid to 12 = 144 pushups. I also do around 100 - 120 squats 3-4 times a week (no weights). What's great about the squats is that there's zero impact.

NoBadMojo
07-08-2004, 05:11 PM
morpheus i am using my guile..i hit angles, force them into the net and mix it up....then i go home and ice, score a hot tub, take some vioxx, and then a nap ;)......they really dont enjoy being thumped by an old dude like me. i can hang in w. the ranked juniors still because i have a serve. so i just try my best to hold serve and convert a break point and hang on. kids may beat me, but all they have are groundstrokes.i am glad i get to hit all the shots. ed

netman
07-08-2004, 05:15 PM
gmlasam wrote:

"Shoulder exercises such as military press, ....."

Unless you want to really honk up your shoulder. Lifting any kind of heavy weight above shoulder height, especially when it hurts, almost guarantees impingement. Surgeons make a lot of money these days off folks that did military presses for years. Lateral and front raises are great, just don't go above shoulder height and use strict form.

Flatspin
07-08-2004, 05:40 PM
I have always prefered the mid frames. Played with the wilson 6.0 mid for many years, the Head classic mid and now I presently use the i Prestige mid. The i Prestige mid has been my favorite along with the P.S. 6.0.

gmlasam
07-08-2004, 05:43 PM
gmlasam wrote:

"Shoulder exercises such as military press, ....."

Unless you want to really honk up your shoulder. Lifting any kind of heavy weight above shoulder height, especially when it hurts, almost guarantees impingement. Surgeons make a lot of money these days off folks that did military presses for years. Lateral and front raises are great, just don't go above shoulder height and use strict form.

Military press get such a bad rap because often times they are done improperly. You don't have to rack up the weights heavy. Instead of doing military press behind the neck you can instead do them in front and lower the weights when your upper arms are about parallel to the ground. Some people lower it too far down and would cause shoulder problems, just like any other exercise when done incorrectly. I've been lifting weights, including military presses, since I was in highschool, about 4 times a week, and yet to be sidelined due to injuries due to improper exercise technique. Proper form is what prevent injuries.

netman
07-08-2004, 06:02 PM
gmlasam, I hear you. I think its important to remember that the tennis serve is right up there with the baseball and cricket pitch as one of the most stressful movements the shoulder can experience. Adding the military press into the mix is just asking for trouble. If I had a dime for everyone thats been treated for impingement that said "I've been doing military presses and overhead presses for years without problem" I'd be a very rich man right now. Shoulder trauma is normally cumulative. Years of microtrauma add up until one day, "Bang!"

All I'm saying is that if you are serving a tennis ball frequently, there are better exercises than lifting weights over your head to help strengthen the shoulder. Particularly for tennis where there is no movement that involves lifting a weight straight up over your head.

David Pavlich
07-08-2004, 06:41 PM
I've been using a POG OS until a few weeks ago. My wife was feeding me balls and I noticed how tired my shoulder got when hitting a slew of backhands.

I got my DB 800 out and the difference in weight, about 7/10 of an ounce, made a fair difference. It's h*ll getting old.

I must say, though, I've been serving very well with the DB.

DavidDavid, have you considered lifting weights to help remedy your shoulder problems? Shoulder exercises such as military press, and lateral raises are great to help tone up your shoulders. I too play the POG, and its really a great racquet. Been playing since I was in jr. high, I'm 28 now.

Well, youngster, I'm 52. :-)

Actually, I hit the weights 3 days a week. However, I have to be cautious with the shoulders. I blew out my left shoulder many years ago doing a 335 lb. decline press. The rotator cuff was torn so badly, it couldn't be sown together. I'm right handed, but doing a one-handed military press, or dumbell press for that matter, is verbotten.

I do seated rowing, lat pull downs and dips, all of which help the shoulder girdle to some extent. I also do benches on a machine, curls and tricep press downs. I also do leg presses, quad extensions, hamstring curls and calf work.

As I said before, it's h*ll getting old.

David

Kirko
07-08-2004, 06:42 PM
51 yrs. using POG oversize ; strung with Gosen JC micro 17 ga. @ 72 lbs. played briefly with the Fischer Pro No. 1 but was not the same . I will never stray again from the POG !!

bookem
07-08-2004, 07:10 PM
Guess I'm the young 'un at 43...... :wink:

RD-7 w/PP 17L... been playing with it for years and sloooowly amassing stock...

Although I play a minimum 12 hours/week, unlike some of the other posters I don't 'work out' (I'd rather go out and eat out) but spend considerable time stretching, at least 1 hour daily. I've found that this keeps me in shape for matches with the kids.

Still too early for shuffleboard, in any event...

bcaz
07-08-2004, 07:35 PM
I play with Estusa PBB; I've also played with the Volkl C-10 Pro, the Head PC 600, and a variety of Wilson Pro Staffs, my favorite of which is the 6.0 95. I'm 50, and I am wondering when I may have to downshift to a lighter racquet. Right now, I feel like I need the heft to hang in against heavy baseline shots and big serves from the younger guys; I also like to serve and volley.

Some comments on the shoulder. I'm currently battling my first tennis arm problem, shoulder impingement. As has been said, I've been told abd have been convinced it is cumulative. Not just the tennis, but years of pitching, hard throws from the outfield with a cold arm, and years of traditional weight training that emphasises the front and top of the chest, arms and shoulders. (military, bench, flys, curls, etc.)

Go ahead and go through physical therapy with a well-trained practitioner and discover that one must build up and over-train the back of the shoulder, which gets little emphasis in trasitional weight training. In fact, one will be urged to avoid lifting weight above shoulder level, above all, the military press.

Even a healthy shoulder offers very little room for the rotator cuff assembly to move unimpeded by the bones above it. Once those tendons and muscles have been inflamed and swell, they will rub and fray until they tear. If you build up the front of the shoulder -- already very overdeveloped by tennis -- it will only get bigger and cram that narrow space even more.

Two solutions: 1) over-develop the back of the shoulder to pull the scapula down and free up a little subacromial space; or, 2) subacromial decompression surgery.

3) Quit tennis? Not an option ...

So I'm doing the exercises and have been ordered to lay off the rest of the upper body stuff. I won't look as good at the beach anymore, but God willing I'll be be playing tennis for years to come. Let's not make too much fun of Federer's upper body development or some of the others. They may be on to something that will extens their careers.

BC

sinoslav
07-08-2004, 08:15 PM
Hey bcaz,

So what exercises are you doing to develop the back of the shoulder? Rows? I'm trying to develop the back of the shoulder too and I'm searching for good exercises.

bcaz
07-08-2004, 08:48 PM
Here is just one starting point.

http://familydoctor.org/x1513.xml

You can google this topic and come up with many, many pieces of information. Just remember: correct form is important; use your intuition in terms of what is actually strengthening your shoulder and pulling it back rather than pulling it forward; and, if you are sore and think you have a problem, see a doctor, preferably one who knows what he is doing.

NLBwell
07-08-2004, 09:15 PM
OK, as for the tennis racket, I am currently using my 1980's Kennex Black Aces @ 13.5 or so ounces. I also have a POG weighted to over 13 oz, and a Yonex RD Ti 70 (88) at about the same weight. These are all flexible rackets and are easy on the arm. If I even hit with light stiff racket for a few minutes, I can feel it in my arm.

As far as the exercises, I tore up my rotator cuff originally (about 25 years ago) doing dips, so those aren't perfectly safe. I've been fighting shoulder problems ever since. The rowing machine is excellent - it works the upper back a lot and strengthens the arms. You (or at least I) can still over do the rowing and get your shoulder and elbow sore.

I got golfer's elbow (the inside of the joint) from the repetitive motion of teaching - feeding with my forehand volley. The more it hurt, the tighter my muscles and tendons got, and the more it hurt. After physical therapy, a cortisone shot, a lot of massage, using my magnets, and stretching, that process is slowly reversing. It is very important to keep stretched and loose - more important than strength.

By the way, taking a charge in basketball can be bad for your knee, as the metal in my knee will attest.

SC in MA
07-09-2004, 07:12 AM
I'm 54 and pretty fit. I hit mainly with the HPS6.1. I also have a Bab. Pure Control (2001), which I hit with yesterday and it felt great. I think I'll have a chance to hit with the n6.1 95 today.

I too have had shoulder problems in the past. Also lower back problems. However, both shoulder and back have held up well over the past couple of years, mainly I think because I began stretching. I try to stretch for maybe 15 minutes every morning after I walk my dog for 15-20 minutes. Stretching my leg/hip/trunk muscles have definitely helped my back. I do upper body/shoulder stretches as well. I also do irregular light weight work for the shoulders and rotator cuff.

I've found that playing on consecutive days does wear me down now. If I've rested (not played tennis) a couple of days and then play, I'm very fresh and I usually play very well, with good pace and control with minimum errors. However, the next day I'm noticeably less fresh and the unforced errors increase. Each day after that, my endurance and play definitely suffer just because my body is tired, mainly because of age (I think).

Has anyone ever tried using progessively lighter rackets over a number of consecutive days of playing tennis ? I'm wondering if I had a couple of the same model sticks, let's say a stick like the Dunlop 300G (which I've never hit with by the way-- way too light), each having different weights, but with the same balance--would that help my play over a number of consecutive days of playing. The idea is that I would use a heavily weighted one the first day, and use the progressively lighter ones on subsequent days.

atatu
07-09-2004, 07:30 AM
I'm 41 and using the Dunlop 300g oversize, nice flex, good manuverability and I can honestly say I have never served better.

Steve Huff
07-09-2004, 01:50 PM
If you really want some good exercise that's low impact, try swimming. It's one of the best cross training exercises you can do. Find a Master's team (basically, anyone over 30 or so, regardless of ability). Get in a regular routine with 2 or 3 practices a week.

living4tennis
07-09-2004, 02:12 PM
I'm a over 40 yr old woman and use an old prince graphite classic 93 midplus. My problem is exercise asthma due to pollution...not the racket. On bad days I can't get enough air and then my muscles tighten up. I don't want to use an inhaler though. Does anyone else here have this problem?

Morpheus
07-09-2004, 02:42 PM
Why wouldn't you use an inhaler if it helps you breathe?

living4tennis
07-09-2004, 02:55 PM
I'm afraid that the cortisone compounds in the inhaler would hurt me longterm. Now I go to gold's gym to run but I may have to use the inhaler because low air intake is hurting my tennis game. I get tired really fast now. On a clear day I play great forever!

Progressive10s
07-09-2004, 03:00 PM
I purchased a POG OS a couple of months ago because of tennis elbow problems that I developed from my job and not tennis. There's no doubt that racquets over 12 ounces may be a bear to handle by today's standards, but after a 10-year hiatus from the game, I had some trouble finding the feel I enjoyed as a junior player in the 70s. By using a gut hybrid amd the POG, I can relive the past.

gmlasam
07-09-2004, 04:13 PM
I purchased a POG OS a couple of months ago because of tennis elbow problems that I developed from my job and not tennis. There's no doubt that racquets over 12 ounces may be a bear to handle by today's standards, but after a 10-year hiatus from the game, I had some trouble finding the feel I enjoyed as a junior player in the 70s. By using a gut hybrid amd the POG, I can relive the past.Yes the POG is really a great racquet, a hidden treasure. There are so many new racquets out there with all the hypes, but IMHO nothing compares to the POG. Infact, it was a POG that I first learned how to play tennis on, and used it throughtout my highschool in the varsity tennis team. I've picked up some other racquets over the years, Yonex RD-7, Yonex Super RD tour 90, Head Prestige classic, PS 6.0 85 (st. vincent models), bobalot PC, Head radical tour twin tube, Gamma Trad 18, and some others I can't remember at the moment, but I keep going back to my old trusty POG mid. I'm sure you will enjoy your new POG many years down the road. I sure have.

Morpheus
07-09-2004, 04:26 PM
Small amounts of Albuterol shouldn't be a concern--I assume you only need one or two puffs prior to playing tennis (and only on days when the pollution is bad). This product is used my millions and is quite effective at alleviating symptoms of asthma. It sure has made a difference for me.

Sort of ironic that you aren't worried about the pollutants that are causing your asthma... :wink:

Craig Clark
07-09-2004, 05:47 PM
42 years old and still play three to five times per week. 5.0 level.

Wilson nCode SixOne Tour 90. 12.7 oz, 10pts HL, strung w/ VS gut at 70#. Some time spent w/ the 6.0 85/95, PBP, and i Prestige.

I've been lucky enough to avoid any major injuries after suffering a very near career ending left posterior rotator cuff tear as a teen....I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Cross train by running and lifting weights 2-3 times per week.

I've tried lots of lighter frames but can never get used to the 'trampoline' effect and 'hollow' feel of the tweeners. Further, my normally robust elbow will soon tell me I've been playing too stiff a frame!

CC

K. Wilson Moose
07-10-2004, 06:52 AM
Small amounts of Albuterol shouldn't be a concern--I assume you only need one or two puffs prior to playing tennis (and only on days when the pollution is bad). This product is used my millions and is quite effective at alleviating symptoms of asthma. It sure has made a difference for me.

living4tennis,

I agree with Morpheus. My wife has a prescription for Albuterol inhalers. It is very safe and effective. I have used it from time to time, especially in the springtime here in Atlanta. The over the counter stuff can be dangerous however.

Prestigious
07-10-2004, 11:54 AM
Age: 49
Racquet: LM Prestige MP
String: BB ALU Power @ 57#

This setup helps me compensate for what I've lost in speed and power--especially on the serve. I tried lighter racquets (9-10 oz.) and found that I was working WAY too hard to serve and return hard hit balls. Plus, like most of us in our 40s and 50s, I grew up playing 12 oz.+ racquets and prefer some meat behind my strokes. I also tried longer racquets (27.25-27.5) and found I was getting "crowded" by balls close to my body--especially at net. The length is more of a personal preference, but I have more control with the traditional (27") length racquet.

NoBadMojo
07-10-2004, 05:57 PM
or for a great core and upper body and shoulder benign workout give touring kayaking a try....it really makes your back and core and shoulders feel stronger..it's helped my serve for sure and also giving me a stronger shoulder turn on groundies. and you never really get sore from doing it. i think it's a great cross training thing along w. biking and swimming and any of the other racquet sports. my .o2. ed

esquimaux
07-10-2004, 06:05 PM
Granny sticks! :D

Ronaldo
07-10-2004, 06:20 PM
Use a Granny stick, Volkl CAT 1 FIRE but also use a Head Trysis 300 midplus once a week. All those strengthening exercises and stretching still will not cure a case of athritis in my elbow. Play every other day but a bum ticker will end that next month, open-heart surgery on August 18th. Its tough getting older but far better than the alternative. I am 46

NLBwell
07-10-2004, 07:55 PM
LIVING FOR TENNIS !!!

If you are experiencing asthma GET A RESCUE INHALER!!! You should have an Albuterol inhaler in your tennis bag at all times. An asthma attack can kill you (as it did my grandmother and a mom of one of the kids on my son's football team). The albuterol inhaler does not have cortisone. It is related to caffine - if you get in trouble coffee or a Coke will help you a little bit (versus instant relief with an inhaler.

If you think you might have some asthma trouble (maybe lots of pollution), you can take a puff or two before you play. If not, it is there if you need it. You can build up a tolerance to it, so don't overdo it.

If the asthma is persistant, a cortisone inhaler will help a lot. It may go away completely. It takes about 4 days for it to take effect. The cortisone does not get into your system, so you don't have to worry about that. You may want to wash your mouth out after you use it, so that there are no effects on your mouth. There are also new medicines that have a similar long term effect, which I believe don't have cortisone. Your doctor should know all about this, check with him (or her).