Marius :Best arm friendly racquets?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by arnz, Dec 3, 2005.

  1. arnz

    arnz Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,228
    I wasnt sure whether I should post this in the racquet or health section, but since I'm more interested in the health benefits right now, i put it here

    Marius, I've been reading a lot lately on this forum, and you have basically influenced me about preserving my arm health, since I want to play tennis for as long as I can. You seem to be most knowledgeable about this area. I'm not that young anymore, and I definitely feel the strain in my arm

    Without any thought to how effective a racquet is for playing (meaning I'm not interested right now in how it is for serving or volleying or baseliners) I just would like to know your opinion as the best arm friendly racquets there are regardless if people say its not the most effective for playing.

    I've read on TW that Pro Kennex Ionic and Power Angle are advertising themselves as the best racquets at limiting stress and shock to arms and shoulders. I'd appreciate your thoughts on the matter as I am still running the gamut of possiblities for my next racquet.
     
    #1
  2. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    17,808
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    I am not looking too much at the advertisements for technologies, but at the fundamentals, and based on this I usually recommend these:

    heavier than 320g
    stiffness under 65
    headlight (over 4points)

    The 320g recommendation above is based on advice from doctors working with the French Tennis Federation. Check:
    http://www.stms.nl/june2001/artikel23.htm

    Also, check the FAQ section at:
    http://www.racquetresearch.com

    I think that some of the Volkl (I like 10 V-Engine Mid/MP), PK, Head (Prestiges), Estusa PBB, Prince O3 Tour (but not Red), are probably the best in terms of arm comfort.

    Unfortunately, my preferences go towards the heavier rackets (using 6.0 85, which is a bit on the stiff side, thus I am leading it up to reduce impact shocks), which is not necessarily the best for everyone.

    You might also consider (but I haven't played with them):
    Dunlop M-Fil 200
    Volkl DNX 10
    Volkl Catapult 8 V-Engine
    Volkl Tour 10 MP Generation II
    ProKennex Ionic Ki 5
    ProKennex Type C (esp Redondo)
    ProKennex Core1 No. 6
    (many of them have good references in this forum)

    I suggest you should use the above only as guidelines, search on articles on "elbow", "arm" and "shoulder" in Rackets and in this forum and see what the people are using/recommending there.

    And DEMO, of course.

    Mind you, playability is very important, thus choose something which you can play pleasurably and efficiently with based on your previous experience and demo-ing.

    In order to help you in your search, I am also posting here the links to some important industry data:

    Racquet Industry: Racquet Data 2004-2006
    (in part, courtesy of shovel99)

    http://www.racquetsportsindustry.com/issues/200602/200602racquets_outlook.html
    [/quote]

    Finally: the strings are very important

    If you want to avoid arm or shoulder issues, I'd suggest multifilaments or natural gut, strung in the lower half of the range initially, until you get the hang of the racquet. Then increase the tension incrementally based on your playability requirements and the perceived pain (if any) in your arm during play and on the day after.
     
    #2
  3. arnz

    arnz Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,228
    Thanks Marius, I just placed a demo order from TW for the Prince 03 tour and Pro Kennex Ki5. I also threw in one for the POG classic since I wanted to know what all the fuss is about, and it fits your requirements also. I wish I could also demo a Prostaff St.Vincent just to know what everyone is talking about, oh well. If none of these works I'll try the rest of you suggestions
     
    #3
  4. backcourt

    backcourt Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    Messages:
    704
    Yonex RDX 500 mp is a very arm friendly stick. I suspect the mid is also arm friendly but haven't hit with it.
     
    #4
  5. morten

    morten Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,329
    to me headlight is very important..
     
    #5
  6. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,202
    Cayman made several flexible, easy on the arm racquets and if lucky, may find an Oversize Graphite II mold with a custom Duke Blue Devil or Florida State Seminole PJ for $30 new. Search Cayman on that auction site and ck the specs for Cayman on the old Racquetresearch site.
     
    #6
  7. ezg25

    ezg25 New User

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    9
    Ronaldo,
    I was wondering if you still had the rq 700 ti.
     
    #7
  8. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,202
    My bad, will send pics today
     
    #8
  9. Midlife crisis

    Midlife crisis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2005
    Messages:
    2,577
    The racket that I have which is the easiest on my arm (meaning the least amount of discomfort the following day) is one that is 13.7 ounces/390 grams, 28" long, 7 pts headlight, and 78 stiffness, strung with a poly string. I'm guessing the swingweight is over 400 since the racket originally had a swingweight of 342 and I've since added 36 grams total to the 3 and 9 o'clock positions on the head and another two ounces in the handle. It's a reformed granny stick!

    I have significantly more muscle soreness the day after playing with my decades-old Graphite Edge or Ultra II Mid (which is still not much soreness, since I have none after playing with the 78 stiffness racket).

    So, while I think your guidelines are very good, it seems that weight is, by far, the overriding factor once you have significant amount of heft in the racket. I think the stiffness and racket balance are really secondary factors by a significant amount.
     
    #9
  10. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    17,808
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    I think I can agree to that. However, many of us also have upper limits in terms of weight, i.e. too high a weigth (esp swingweight) can generate arm or shoulder problems too, esp if not well conditioned.
     
    #10
  11. ezg25

    ezg25 New User

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    9
    Not a problem. Thanks for the help.
     
    #11
  12. bee

    bee Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    Messages:
    682
    If you really want to preserve your arm, go ahead a set. Everything else seems kinda' harsh to me now. Prokennex is good and arm friendly. I prefer the Head Prestige line as they feel more stable, powerful and flexible. A Head Prestige with natural gut it a wonderful thing! I prefer the LM Prestige Mid. And, string the gut at the lower end of the tension spectrum. Good luck!
     
    #12
  13. bee

    bee Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    Messages:
    682
    A set of natural gut.
     
    #13
  14. Midlife crisis

    Midlife crisis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2005
    Messages:
    2,577
    Thanks, Marius. It's interesting that a few months ago, I was steadfast about using a 12 ounce racket, and now I'm close to 14 ounces and still feeling like I might want a little more swingweight. I've worked out my upper body, in the gym, harder in the last two or three months than in probably the last ten years, and it seems to be paying off in helping maintain racket speed and maneuverability even though I'm using pretty hefty sticks. So, you're right about conditioning being crucial.
     
    #14
  15. arnz

    arnz Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,228
    I will have to try natural gut, obviously its very expensive, About how long would it last playing an hour or two 2-3 times a week? What is the softest string after natural gut that isnt as expensive?
     
    #15
  16. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    17,808
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    multis (multifilament)
     
    #16
  17. Chuck

    Chuck New User

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    56
    Its no longer a production model, but the Dunlop 400G is really easy on the arm. I put some lead tape on mine so that it weighs in at 12 oz. and is 1/2" head light. Great stick.
     
    #17
  18. misterg

    misterg Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    246
    I found Babolat Powery to be very very arm friendly. For arm problems PK5g is king!
     
    #18
  19. misterg

    misterg Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    246
    Powergi, I'm sorry, also Wilson sensation...
     
    #19
  20. flatpick

    flatpick Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2005
    Messages:
    120
    I would suggest a stiffness rating of less than 61. Also, not only do you want a soft string, you should have your racquet strung at the low end of the recommended tension range. The PK Type R and Ki 5 are probably the most arm-friendly racquets made - especially when you string them with synthetic gut at low tension - it's like hitting with a pillow.

    And of course, don't forget to use good stroke mechanics - get a pro to help you with that.
     
    #20
  21. AJK1

    AJK1 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2005
    Messages:
    3,219
    Prince POG OS is the best for arm safety. String with multi-filament and you're on your way to pain free tennis.
     
    #21
  22. arnz

    arnz Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,228
    I chose the POG mid...wouldnt it be the same as the OS in terms of arm safety? I like it cause its almost the same as my old prince pro 90
     
    #22
  23. Slaz

    Slaz Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Messages:
    269
    Marius, would you consider a Wilson n6.1 18x20 with BB alu at 50lbs arm friendly ?

    I know that the BB alu is kind of arch on the arm but at 50lbs, is it still the case ?

    What do you think ?
     
    #23
  24. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    17,808
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Talking about the 95sqin, I guess.

    No, I would not.

    All Wilsons higher than 65 in stiffness, and that includes my 6.0 85, are right on the fringe.

    - n6.1 95 18x20 is marginal as such: too stiff, 68, in the industry report; 64 at TW, but people reported it stiffer, and being dense doesn't help
    - I don't think BB alu would change too much its character at 50 and wouldn't help soften the racquet ...
    - if you really want to try the 6.1 18x20, I would use multis or gut in the lower 50s, but not sure how good your control would be ...; then I'd increase the tension gradually ...

    I had friends who left Wilson after TE experiences with 95 for Fischer, thus be careful ...

    I am interested myself in the racquet, never tested it, see above ...
     
    #24
  25. Slaz

    Slaz Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2004
    Messages:
    269
    Thanks for your fast answer Marius !

    I guess I will try this set up and tell you what i think :)
     
    #25
  26. Max8950

    Max8950 Guest

    Website

    Check out http://www.racquetresearch.com/. After spending a couple hours working out the equations you will not believe how badly pro-shop's and racquet advertisers are missleading the general and educated tennis public. Nobody needs to be using superlight head heavy racquets period. If you dont believe me check it out. The advertisers throw words around about the science of racquets, but they are not accurate.
     
    #26
  27. Mike Penick

    Mike Penick New User

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    18
    Warrior elbow safety

    Just though I'd put in that the midplus Warrior has been great for my elbow. I tried several racquets including older heavy ones, but the Warrior really did the trick for me. It's good for me because my elbow is virtually healed since I made it my racquet, and it accomodates my swing which is in the medium swing length range, while some of the more demanding racquets such as the Head Pro Tour 80 felt like I was hitting with a board. I added weight for awhile, but now I just use it at it's normal 11.3 oz. I've never tried the OS version, as I've been using mid to midplus racquets for years, and the midplus Warrior ended my search.
     
    #27
  28. misterg

    misterg Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    246
    Marius & Others! Searching for a soft and forgiving one, recently I playtested the Head Flexpoint Radical Tour. I's heavy, head light and very flex (about 59..). I was really impressed by the playing characteristic of this stick, but I really hated the feel of the racquet when hitting the flexpoint spod ie the sweet spot. It'a a king of "twaing" sound. See other posts on the annoing sound of this racquet... So my question is, can this factor (the flexpoint) somehow damage the arm??? The stick has it all to be a safe one and it plays great also but is seems just like to play with a broken string.
     
    #28
  29. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    17,808
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Is it just a sound, or the feel/impact is harsh too?

    I saw two posts on TE and shoulder problems with it, thus be careful:

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=80495

    The rest were positive, but ... need to keep a watch on it.

    I know that the along their history Prestiges were generally good for TE, but the Radicals went off sometimes.
     
    #29
  30. Danna

    Danna New User

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2005
    Messages:
    23
    Marius, I saw this thread and was reading along and wanted to pass along some info for you. Since I posted about me TE with the 03 red, I have found 4 other players in our community that bought the hype and got the racquet when I did. They ALL have TE. One even had the forearm swelling and pain I did. She said she has had TE before but this was different. She had numbness in her ring and index fingers, the same ones that cramped with me. I am back to playing twice a week, but not in match play and I have purchased a Volkl Cat. 8V and so far am thrilled with the racquet and the comfort. It allows me great spin and variety that my old(broken) Cat 3 just couldn't quite do. If there are 4 people with TE in my small community and all got it while playing with their new 03, I can't imagine what the true numbers must be. We are all in the 30s/40s age group so maybe that age is especially vunerable to it, but I am talking about players that have played 20+ years at the 4.0 and 4.5 USTA level and never had problems. Something to pass along to the somewhat older player that asks you for an opinion. Hope you are well!
    Danna
     
    #30
  31. Pancho

    Pancho Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2005
    Messages:
    633

    Yes, I've tried Power Angle and it's good for the arm. It does take awhile to get used to for me as it is very light and powerful. No shock to arm at all - even returning fast serves of 110 mph!
     
    #31
  32. misterg

    misterg Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    246
    It is not really harsh but definitively not muted and soft like the 5g or 03 tour for example...
     
    #32
  33. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    17,808
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    Too bad about O3 Red, I am advising against it.

    Glad to see you playing.

    Work hard on your surgical tubing and in general on your conditioning. Use this time to be your best ever in this respect.
     
    #33
  34. scotus

    scotus Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    7,620
    I find the results posted on racquetsearch.com a bit odd.

    They claim that light racquets in general are bad for the elbow, but Yonex Muscle Power 3i, which they rank as #1 in elbow safety and #2 over all, weighs only 298 grams.

    A much heavier frame POG Mid is ranked #54 in elbow safety and #75 overall (unlike its cousin POG OS, which ranked #1 over all). But Prince Warrior, which is lighter than POG Mid, is ranked much higher (#12 in elbow safetry, #16 overall).

    I understand there are other factors besides weight that play a role in all these, but some of the findings in their web sites strike me as rather strange.
     
    #34
  35. arnz

    arnz Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    1,228
    Why is the POG mid 54 places behind the OS version??? Arent they the same stick with different headsizes?
     
    #35
  36. paulfreda

    paulfreda Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2004
    Messages:
    1,612
    Location:
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Leaded up Widebody

    Curious ... what frame is this you are working with ?
     
    #36
  37. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,202
    Need to read the formulas that determine a safe racquet. Stiffness and weight are not in the equation, balance is. Wilson HPS 5.0 and Babolat PC IMHO are uncomfortably stiff but receive high marks. Dunlop Adrenalin Surge is like 10 oz but has the right headlight balance. Prince Triple Threat racquets overall received high marks. Use RR formulas, modify your favorite stick, create a great racquet.
     
    #37
  38. Midlife crisis

    Midlife crisis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2005
    Messages:
    2,577
    Prince Triple Threat RIP. Out of production since, I believe, 2000, and I've got a stash of two of 'em.
     
    #38
  39. heycal

    heycal Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2006
    Messages:
    3,451
    Are you sure? I thought old Wilmot at RR figured in mass and flex when coming up with his rankings. One would think so, considering how he railed on these topics at length in his intro.
     
    #39
  40. scotus

    scotus Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    7,620
    Go read the formulae again. Mass is accounted for under "Shock."
     
    #40
  41. PrinceO3UserInOz

    PrinceO3UserInOz Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Messages:
    107

    Thank you for this post Danna. I currently own an O3 Red, but have stopped using it as I was getting pain up my outer arm. Have purchased a Flexpoint Instinct and have no more pain.

    Thanks

    Andrew
     
    #41
  42. bee

    bee Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2004
    Messages:
    682
    There you go. The Head frames, particularly the Prestige and similar racquets, are generally easy on the arm. My racquet of choice is the Prestige LM Mid strung with Klip Legend gut 17 at 56# and with Babolat string savers. Viola!
     
    #42
  43. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Messages:
    1,588
    Location:
    Kona, Hawaii
    Hi Marius,

    Thanks for the info and links.

    I've been having minor wrist pains after each match. I'll check out some of the racquets you've suggested above.

    r,
    eagle
     
    #43
  44. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    17,808
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    yes, but also:

    check my advice here and use it, or else ...

    Pain in the hand, rather than the wrist?
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=91048

    The wrist brace might help.

    The major change you need is probably in the technique (check the links in the above). I suspect an exagerated topspin technique and stiff and harsh racquet and/or strings.
     
    #44
  45. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Messages:
    1,588
    Location:
    Kona, Hawaii
    Thanks Marius.

    Hmmm.... come to think of it, the only thing I've changed are the strings. I switched from LF Krypto/multi Phenom to SPP/Single Core Signum SF.

    Something to look into for sure.

    r,
    eagle
     
    #45
  46. RIRed2005

    RIRed2005 New User

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2006
    Messages:
    59
    shoulder-friendly racquet

    Pro-Kennex Redondo Mid-Plus, strung with Technifibre NRG 17, at 58 lbs...

    And, as important, do specific rotator-cuff strengthening exercises, and stretches...
     
    #46
  47. scooby555

    scooby555 Guest

    Te

    Hi everyone,

    I'm very surprised nobody mentions how you can easily reduce TE by simply using a flex elbow strap AND a wrist band, both work as shock absorbers.
    without the wristbands after 1 week i would be out, arm as good as dead.

    Then I use an anti vibration thing on the strings, not sure how much that helps?

    I am back to using my old dunlop revelation pro of 1994 and it is really softer on the arm. I suffer a lot of TE and i refuse to rest as I only play in summer, so currently i also treat my arm with a lot of ice packs, and its ok. I suffer but can play and its OK, i'm trying different strings at the moment but what is best for the arm and my game ???
    like to hit hard and need a string that bites so i can put spin on the ball easy.

    should i change my game ? hit with very weak tensions and not hit so hard ?
    any suggestions ?

    many thx benny
     
    #47
  48. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    17,808
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    scooby555

    I'd say post a separate thread, and delete the contents of this posting, don't mess up this thread with what can be a personalized discussion of your TE isssues. I for one will not reply here.
     
    #48
  49. VAMOS DAN

    VAMOS DAN New User

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2006
    Messages:
    93
    Fischer M Speed Pro Number One

    Head Size:
    98 sq. in. / 632 sq. cm.
    Length: 27 inches / 69 cm
    Strung Weight: 12oz / 340g
    Balance: 7pts Head Light
    Swingweight: 323
    Stiffness: 59
    Beam Width: 20-25mm
    Composition: Graphite / Fiberglass / Piezotec Fibres
    Power Level: Low
    Swing Speed: Fast
    Grip Type: Gamma Hi-Tech
    String Pattern:
    16 Mains / 20 Crosses
    Mains skip: 8T,8H
    One Piece
    No shared holes
    String Tension: 50-70 pounds

    Marius, based on your opinion of the heavyness and low stiffness, would this racquet be an ideal arm friendly racquet?

    Thanks
     
    #49
  50. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    17,808
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    I have a Fischer, not this one, but the 98 Retro model. No problems on arm at all (strung at 58lbs with a cheap poly, which I am not using usually).

    I'd say, based on what I've seen here from other users, that M Speed should be quite good.

    I remember that for older Fischers, some (NoBadMojo included) mentioned that they have too narrow a sweetspot, which could lead to elbow troubles, if you hit outside it. M Speed is reputed to have a larger sweetspot. I didn't get this feeling on my Fischer, and I purposely hit in all areas of the head.

    Check these threads too:

    Hit with the Fischer M Speed tonight
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=70531&highlight=fischer+elbow

    Why didn't I love the Fisher MSpeed Pro #1?
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=106719&highlight=fischer+elbow

    BTW, in the TW Customer Feedback, I found one complaint in terms of elbow. It might be caused by poor technique, but I wanted to mention it to you. There are no guarantees out there, but to me this seems to be a good racquet in terms of arm and shoulder.
     
    #50

Share This Page