Help Me Find a Racquet That Will Save My Shoulder!

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by mrmo1115, Jul 17, 2011.

  1. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    A little intro to myself. I'm currently a junior tennis player in the middle of the college recruiting process. I'm 16 and a half and my game style is primarily a baseliner who likes to work the point. I don't really have a #1 weapon, although my forehand will be the shot that gives me a few winners or cause some errors from the opponent. I hit more of a flatter ball than a spinny ball, although I wouldn't say my shots are like drives, just a bit flatter than spinny. My serve is an area of my game I need to improve on, especially with the toss and motion. My net game is average, I have good hands, but I don't volley well when I am transitioning to the net from the baseline.

    So here is the problem. Lately I've had some issue with my shoulder/arm. Sometimes I feel like I have a dead arm and there are others when my shoulder gives me a sharp pain. Rubbing any part of the area causes me to feel pain. I've looked into whether my game could be causing my injury, but I've had the same style of playing for my whole life and I haven't had any problem with the arm/shoulder until now.

    Now I am starting to look into my choice of racquet as a possible solution to my arm troubles. At first, I thought it was possible the balance and swing weight that could have been the issue. The racquet that gave me initial trouble with the arm was the Tecnifibre 305 VO2 Max. The weight isn't very heavy 11.3 oz, especially with the Flexpoint Prestige MP (12 oz), being a previous racquet of mine, however I thought the swingweight at 325-330, and the balance at 6 pts HL were the issue. So I decided to use the Yonex V Core 98D. At the same balance and weight, (11.3), I thought that the huge difference in SW (309), would benefit and erase any issues with the arm/shoulder. However, I was wrong and I continue to feel pain in the arm/shoulder. I've finally looked at another spec that is consistent with the 2 previous sticks I've used.. Stiffness. The Tecnifibre was at 69 and the Yonex at 65, however the Yonex racquet feels stiffer due to the technology they added at the throat to increase stiffness. I find it very ironic that as I've switched sticks into the lighter weight category, I've started to develop arm and shoulder trouble.

    Can anyone validate the stiffness of my sticks as a possible reason for my troubles lately?

    This is my brief racquet history and whether they gave me any issues with the body.

    Head FXP Prestige MP (no issues, whatsoever).. which is quite odd because this is a relatively stiff racquet. Possibly because when I was younger, I didn't hit with the same force?

    Wilson K Blade 98 (no issues), stiff, yes.. but apparently not enough to cause any issues with the arm/shoulder

    Tecnifibre 305 Vo2 Max.. using this stick, issues started to arise. Arm and shoulder pain..intensifies when I'm deeper in a rally or over a long match.

    Yonex V Core 98 d (current stick).. continuing pain. Another stiff racquet. Possibly even stiffer than my Vo2 Max although it is measured at 65 stiffness.


    So my question is which racquets should I possibly look at? I'm addicted to a stiff feeling racquet, but I know that it might be the reason for my injuries lately. I want to transition to possibly a softer racquet, but not too soft where I won't be able to adjust. Some softer racquets I've tried in the past are..
    1) YTK Prestige MP (Never got along with it for some reason), although I'm willing to retry.

    Some racquets that are in my mind that I want to try are
    1) Babolat Pure Storm GT
    2) Babolat Pure Storm Tour GT

    If anyone has any insight or can help I'd appreciate it.
    Thanks for reading.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
    #1
  2. Kaz00

    Kaz00 Semi-Pro

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    What strings do you use? Also I would go with the Pure Storm Tour GT or the Limited one.
     
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  3. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    First of all, you need to take some time off, RICE. You need to see an orthopedist. PERIOD.

    Secondly, any racquet that causes pain, needs to be put down, immediately. Your shoulder problem at 16, will stay with you; it will never go away. It will only be symptomatic or assymptomatic, so remember one word: REHAB.

    Since you are looking to play college tennis, then you must be ranked. What does your coach say about your racquet choices and shoulder issues?

    Flat ball hitters play better with sticks with longer dwell times, which tend to be soft. Look at BB/Volkl, Yonex, and Kennex.
     
    #3
  4. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    I use a hybrid of Pro Hurricane Tour, which is stiff, but I throw Babolat VS Touch in the crosses, to soften things up. I've tried leaving PHT, but nothing I try.. I like. PSTGT looks too heavy and wouldn't solve anything at 12.1 with a 333 SW. LTD sounds too demanding as well with the weight. Anything 12+ would be too heavy for my arm to handle.

    Thanks for your words of advice. Rest is something I intend to immediately. I'm currently at the Clay Court Nationals. My coach doesn't have much commentary regarding my equipment being associated with my injury, however he is aware of my arm trouble. He isn't an equipment guy, picking up a racquet and playing with it. Out of the brands you've listed, the only one I'm familiar with is Yonex..which is the current stick I'm using and giving me bunch of problems. The VCore98D, but it is causing me the same arm trouble.. which I think is attributed to the relatively high stiffness. I thought the VC98D would solve some problems because the SW was only 309, and the weight at 11.3 oz isn't heavy. If SW isn't the reason.. then can stiffness be it? That's another question I have.... can it also be the 6 pts HL balance thats giving me all this problem?

    TennisMaverick, do you think at this point any racquet I play with cause pain to the same degree as both Tecnifibre and Yonex sticks?
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
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  5. FedExpress 333

    FedExpress 333 Professional

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    You shold try the Head MG Rad Mp.
     
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  6. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    FedExpress 333, thanks for the suggestion but I don't think I'll try anything in the MG line. As for the YTK Rad MP, I'm open to people's opinion on it. Although, the Stiffness on it might be a tad too low for me to adjust.

    Can anyone confirm that stiffness in my frames might be contributing to the trouble lately? Or could it be something else.
     
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  7. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    There are trainers at the Clays....go see one ASAP, and do whatever they say. Dead arms and pain to the touch is a massive issue. If you get a tear, you're done.

    If those sticks gave you an issue in the past, then sell them; they will always give you an issue.

    Have you started lifting? What section are you from?
     
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  8. Murray_fan1

    Murray_fan1 Professional

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    1. I agree with TM seek professional help for your injury first!!!
    2. Pro Kennex followed by Volkl make the most arm friendly sticks you can buy.
     
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  9. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Important: If you hit flat, you don't want a stiff frame.
     
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  10. jwbarrientos

    jwbarrientos Hall of Fame

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    +1......................
     
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  11. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    I plan on going tomorrow to the trainers table tomorrow. Lifting is something I plan on starting soon to gain some more muscle mass for college tennis. Im still skinny and don't have much muscle. I am from Eastern, New York
     
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  12. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    I will be careful in saying this, since I coach/manage players in the same section, and your coach certainly knows me, but if he isn't advising you through this, servicing your career in the juniors and with keeping you healthy for the recruiting process--no college coach will recruit a player with a pre-existing condition--and working with your folks, you have something very important to think about.

    Good luck in your next round. How many players did our section get in with all the byes?
     
    #12
  13. hunter121

    hunter121 Banned

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    Try the Head MG Rad Mp.
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    You're a coach in the East? Which center? And are you assuming who my coach is? Yeah I have to take care of my body indeed especially with the recruiting process happening right now.

    Thanks for the good luck wishes, I hope I can play. We got a bunch of players down here.. I believe more in the 16s than 18s. Including my loss today, we didn't have great success today overall. However, the East seeded players start tomorrow and I hope they fare better!
     
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  15. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    #15
  16. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    I'm not making an assumption as to who your coach is; what I'm saying, is that we all know each other in the section.

    Good luck in the back draw. Send me an e-mail through the site if you wish to talk more privately. I'll try to help you a little more without stepping on a colleague's toes.
     
    #16
  17. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks. We'll see if I can feel healthy enough to give it a go. I tried locating you're email through the site, but I could not. Any other way to contact you? I think you can contact me through email here.
     
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  18. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    You click on my name, then to the right, it says contact info, and you click on send and email.
     
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  19. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    If you're okay w/a racket that does not reward wristy shots which you may attempt when in less than optimal position, one that is very comfortable and tracks very true on straight swing paths when hitting flatter strokes is the exo graphite 93 by Prince.

    It gives me a little bit of topspin but really seems weighted for hitting a flat ball. If you are loyally attached to polarized setups, beware of the 93 because most of its mass feels allocated to the throat area. I don't know how the engineers at Prince did it, but this relatively thin beamed racket at ~7 points headlight swings clumsily.

    On almost every form of contact, though, the racket consistently produces a warm soft buzzing gentle vibration that is not unpleasant. I wouldn't necessarily lump this in with the kind of feedback, for example, I was used to getting from my Prestige--the exo is definitely dampened for taking infinitely enormous rips at the ball. Because it tracks so true, though, once you get it moving (and I have two such rackets) it really invites one to get his feet in gear so he can get behind every ball and take a huge cut, thereby softly massaging the entire arm. Its dampening is superb in a sense, neither touchy nor overly sensitive.

    It's not the best serving stick but there's the Pro Staff or the Pure Drive for that. Its clumsiness is felt on serve. Unless I am committed to swinging big on serve--not necessarily hard, but big--the frequency with which I can earn a cheap point off of my serve with the exo 93 is less often than if I were using another racket.

    All things considered, its a very nice racket for flatter strokes particularly if you like to swing out every freaking time without launching balls over the fence. Indeed, this stick is very low powered, but also very trustworthy with some damn steady pocketing at higher swing speeds for flat ball hitters.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
    #19
  20. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    Try a fake K90. It has a stiffness index of about 33. Practical way of diagnosing whether racket stiffness is causing shoulder pain. And go talk to a doctor.
     
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  21. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    I simply don't understand how acquiring a fake K90 would be 'practical.' Does every other person you see on the courts carry a fake K90 in their bag, or is the expectation that OP should go out and buy one?
     
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  22. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    "arm and shoulder pain" ? can you give a bit more detail - usually it's either elbow OR shoulder, not really at the same time - as usually there are different things that cause them.
     
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  23. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    What shots does it hurt on? I bought a Pro Kennex 7G recently and it is a dream on my arm. I also had a friend take a video of my serve on my iPhone which helped identify that my arm was not getting in the back scratch position.
     
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  24. Alzer

    Alzer Rookie

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    I've had a "dead" upper arm before. It occurred after playing in wet conditions where the balls got real heavy, the tighter i griped the racquet the more it hurt. It eventually subsided after some rest.

    Now, I have shoulder issues which has been diagnosed as tendinitis of the rotator cuff - or bursitis. Can also been known as impingement. When its sore, if I touch the knobbly part on top of my shoulder, its tender. If this sounds similar maybe you have the same issue? I ice it regularly and have cut down the amount I play until its subsided.

    Oh, and I've used the retail Prestige Pro (a stiff bat) but now use the slightly softer TGK238.5 version of the YTPP.

    Good luck in getting it sorted.
     
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  25. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    That's what I'm saying. Dead arms are no good, and are precursors to real permanent issues. That is why MLB pitchers who get dead arms, take a week off.
     
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  26. shadowshifter

    shadowshifter New User

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    I second getting it looked it. But be sure to go to someone legit; I've had shoulder tendonitis before and the doctors I saw had no idea what was the problem (aka, scans look fine, so I have no idea ... typical doctor, I guess), and the trainers at my school only kind of figured out what the problem was and how to fix it. I had to go to a physical therapist before I got a good enough rehab program to fix my issue.
     
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  27. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    I plan on getting it looked at by a doctor when I get home from my tournament. Just a quick thought of mine that I want to throw out there. I want to find a racquet that will remain control oriented but give me a little pop. Not a ton.

    I'm looking at the Storms again..a line that I have given much thought over the years but never enough interest due to the fact that I was addicted to stiffer frames.

    Looking at my past racquet history would the regular Storm GT or the Storm Tour GT be the more sensible racquet to try? I believe both racquets are relatively softer compared to my previous couple sticks.
     
    #27
  28. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I just switched from the PST non GT to the PK 7G. The storms are relatively soft but the PK has more power and is significantly more comfortable.
     
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  29. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Both of those Storms are easy on the arm, good for flatter balls, and liked by college coaches, because they don't have a lot of power, so you don't miss. They also volley much better than the PD line, which colleges coaches like because dubs is so important.
     
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  30. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    A heavier, more flexible stick will be more arm friendly than a lighter, stiffer stick. Also, a soft multi (like Tecnifibre X1 Biphase), is more arm friendly than a poly.

    HAVING SAID THAT, and having recently rehabbed my own shoulder with proper exercises, I highly recommend that you start doing rotator cuff exercises EVERY DAY. I also highly recommend that you see a physical therapist, or massage therapist, who has experience treating tennis injuries and who can treat you and teach you how to do the rotator cuff exercises.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
    #30
  31. MCN

    MCN Rookie

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    Medical advice first as others have said. If you have significant problems than there's no racquets that will help, no matter how flexy or soft. When I had TE and should probs I couldn't lift a teacup let alone a racquet and the only thing that helped was rest and gentle rehab. When I got back into tennis the racquets that helped were heavier ones (12 oz +) and low flex with low tension multifilament strings. I played with a Prince O3 Tour for a year strung at 50 lbs and it was like playing with a mattress, no feel but at least I played. Other sticks that were arm friendly were Volkls Tour 10s, PB10 mid, Pro Kennex Ki5, Yonex RDS002 Tour to name a few. All were solid and flexy and absorbed shock well.

    But do get medical advice first.
     
    #31
  32. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    Storm tour gt is pretty good, I'd demo the Prince Tour 100 too (with some lead on it).
     
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  33. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    Is the Storm Tour GT arm friendly? The 12.1 strung weight and 330+ SW is giving me some doubts it would work well, but I'm open to hearing what you think of it.

    Wouldn't the Storm GT be something I should be looking at? When I tried the Storm GT, they had some really horrible strings in them.. I couldn't really get a good feel of the stick.

    Again..the last 3 sticks I've used. Head FXP Prestige MP, Wilson KB98, Tecnifibre 305 VO2 Max
     
    #33
  34. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    It's tough to answer that...

    In my experience shoulder issues are mostly from abrupt serving technique and tendinitis is from unstable rackets.

    For the shoulder, a heavier racket can help smooth out your technique or it can make things worse if you muscle it. I had some persistent shoulder pains when I tried to shorten up my service motion and they all went away when I smoothed it out.

    Either way a heavier racket, with solid mass in the loop, should be better for lower arm issues as there is simply less shock and torque acting on the arm from the impacts.


    I'd say Storm Tour GT should be better for your arm from the rackets you mention. I hit with it about a year ago and remember it was much more stable then KB 98 and somewhat more stable then the more stiff 305 VO2 Max
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
    #34
  35. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    Wouldn't the 12.1 weight and 333 SW be too high for my arm/shoulder to handle? The softer feel would be great IMO.

    What exactly is the balance on the Pure Storm GT? 1 pt HL? Is the PSTGT 6 or 8 pts HL?
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
    #35
  36. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    What did the trainer say?
     
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  37. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    ^ They told me my best bet is to go to a doctor back home. They just tried to work my arm/shoulder
     
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  38. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    Prince EXO Tour,53 stiffness rating.

    ProKennex Ionic line

    Head Radical MP 59 or Radical PRO stiffness 58

    Use gut as mains not crosses, more plushness this way.

    Demo them, you have nothing to loose.
     
    #38
  39. jibinhe

    jibinhe Rookie

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    Shoulder issue can come from many things, not necessary from bad technique or weak shoulder muscle or rackets. In my case, supraspinatus (part of the rotator cuff) tendon inflammation is caused by muscle imbalance. My physiotherapist said I might focused too much to build a strong chest and shoulder, but not strong enough at the back. Therefore, the stronger front shoulder muscles pull my shoulder forward, which caused the problem.

    So the point is: find a good doctor/physiotherapist. For a same symptom, there can be different causes needed to be treated differently.
     
    #39
  40. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Some people here seem to be regurgitating what they've read about 'arm-friendly' rackets from the tennis elbow threads. With some shoulder injuries it's not so much the impact with the ball that causes the pain, it's the stress on the body caused by the overhead/throwing motion.

    First of all, I'm agreeing with the others who say the first thing you should do is shut it down for a week or two. You don't want to risk further injury and jeopardize the rest of your year (or worse). Also, have it looked at by a doctor (orthopedist) not a trainer. They'll probably send you in for an MRI. Trainers and physical therapists can help with your rehab, but I wouldn't trust them for diagnosis.

    Putting strength back into the shoulder is an important part of rehab, but take it slow. Resistance band training is great. Also, you have to know your body and know the what you can play through and when to stop. When I had my sholder injury it was only serves and overheads that bothered me, so I could hit groundstrokes just fine. Once it felt good again and I was ready to get back into tournaments my coach switched me to a modified/abbreviated motion on the serve that was less stressful on my shoulder. It was only temposrary and once I got hte strength and confidence back into my shoulder I went back to a fuller motion. Good luck to you and I hope your injury doesn't keep you out for too long.
     
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  41. EKnee08

    EKnee08 Professional

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    Agree with other posters re Youtek Radical MP. Also use soft string at least until shoulder improves. And yes go to a top shoulder orthopedist even if out of your insurance network since you are a tournament player.

    I have had rotator cuff surgery and years later a tear in radial collateral ligament of index finger of racquet hand.
    In both cases, top NY orthopedists and hand doctors insisted on playing with a soft, flexible racquet that will be more forgiving on the shoulder, etc.
    The radical works great for this and has terrific control. In fact, **** Tennis recommended it for this very reason. It allows room for customization. Sharapova seemed to play with some version of it.
     
    #41
  42. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    The Radical feels just a tad too flexy. I'm looking for something in the 60-65 range now. I would try the Prestige but the string bed gives me too much of a dampened feel, which I dont like.

    Im looking at the Pure Storm line. Would the Storm GT or Storm Tour GT be a better fit?

    Would some added weight (12 oz) and a higher SW give any trouble? I'm afraid the regular PS will be unstable and not give me enough pop.
     
    #42
  43. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Pure Storm Tour GT is a demanding frame on the shoulder but you should demo it since it seems like you are leaning towards it. I don't think it is a harsh frame but definitely not a soft frame either. The PK 7G plays like the stiffness rating it has but feels nothing like it. No flex but no arm pain.
     
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  44. EKnee08

    EKnee08 Professional

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    I hear you but if you want to protect your shoulder, the Radical, more flexier is the way to go.

    Regarding the prestige vs. radical, purely in comfort/protection, All I can tell you is that I was playing with the Youtek Prestige MP when I injured the index finger. After the injury rehab , I found the radical to be much more forgiving and never have any pain although I do have occassional pain with the prestige. Also never any shouldersoreness with the radical, although occassional soreness with prestige (although I do serve better with the prestige).
     
    #44
  45. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    Yeah I will try the PSTGT. You think it would be a better stick for me than the regular Storm GT? It's odd how I've gone from a Prestige into lighter tweener sticks like the Blade 98.
     
    #45
  46. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

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    As others have stated, the racquet is one step but examination and rehab therapy is another.

    Poster charliefedererer posts this link a lot:

    http://www.asmi.org/SportsMed/media/thrower10.swf

    It's called the thrower's 10 and shows a number of shoulder exercises using light weights and bands. The idea is not to use massive weights or resistance and cause further harm but to balance muscles (front, back, top) and gradually build up strength.

    Exercise technique is also very important. While the videos are good I would suggest seeing a physical therapist that can teach you how to do the exercises correctly and then you can continue on your own. Doing them incorrectly could do more harm than good.

    I was a borderline surgery candidate and have gotten by with band exercises for about 20 years now. I notice it when I lag on the exercises so I know they really help. Unless of course you already have a tear...which is why you need to be examined professionally first.
     
    #46
  47. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Never hit with the non-tour version.
     
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  48. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    100% SOP advice!

    Where do you play in the City?
     
    #48
  49. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    +1.

    Although they're listed as 52... to me they are no softer than the MgRadicals.

    I would suggest hunting down some MgPresMid+'s (if you look you can still find them on the net)... if you're looking for that stiffer-side of soft.

    I really like the flex of all the exo3 sticks I've tried... the exo3 graphites... the rebel95 and the exo3Tours.
     
    #49
  50. mrmo1115

    mrmo1115 Hall of Fame

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    I play in Long Island. I'm going to take a week off for sure..any additional rest is going to have to come from the words of the doctor tomorrow. I'm going to work on just conditioning this week while I rest up the arm.

    Demoing the Pure Storm GT and Pure Storm Tour GT. However, to me it feels a tad silly that I'm demoing two racquets that aren't similar at all. One is a tweener at 295g unstrung, and the other is a true player's racquet at 12 ounces strung.

    Although part of me thinks the regular Storm will be better for me, another part thinks that the Storm Tour will be better in other ways.

    Hopefully, one of these two frames can captivate me and I'll make the switch.

    I actually used to use the MG Prestige MP for a little while. Liked it, but went back to my FXP for some reason I liked it more.
     
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