new racket for 40-something w/ rotator cuff and joint probs

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by rmccarty, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. rmccarty

    rmccarty New User

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    Hi All,

    I'm a newbie to this forum.

    I'm in my 40s now. I played tennis in my teens, in college and in to the early 30s. The I got married, have 2 kids, dogs, house, etc.

    I really miss tennis! But because I have hyper-mobile joints and am recovering from a rotator cuff tear, I haven't played in years. My kids are 10 and 7. They've been asking for years for me to teach them.

    OK, well... I felt they're finally mature enough not to get mad if they make a mistake. So I got a kid's racquet for the kids and off to the courts we went.

    It only took me a couple of short swings & volleys to realize my old racquets aren't going to work and will make my injury worse if I continue to play with them. I have an 1980s Pro Kennex Graphite Ace and a Prince Graphite Comp. They're both way too heavy. I can't find any specs on them so I don't know their actual weight, etc.

    Right now, the kids and I are playing in the no man's land. That's as far as the 10 yo can hit the ball. The 7 yo is showing me the vocabulary words she's learned from her dad. Yippie.

    Although I probably played at a 3.0 level when I stopped playing 10 years ago, I'm no where near that now. I s#*% (no, I don't say that word in front of my kids). My 10 year old will pass my ability this year or into the next year, if she continues to play.

    So, I need a different racquet. When I played, I twisted my wrist a few times. But I didn't have tennis elbow or injuries to my shoulder. Now, I have to be careful with my shoulder and other joints, but my primary focus is my shoulder. I probably will not go beyond light strokes and volleying. I may never serve again.

    In my mind, I'm the 3.0 player of 10 years ago. I dream of ripping those backhands down the line and those volleys which barely cleared the net and not many could return b/c I had mastered short volleys with great backspin. Truthfully, I guess I'm a reborn beginner. Ouch, that hurts.

    So, I'm searching for a much lighter racquet. I found the Wilson BLX six-one lite and the Dunlop Aerogel (too may trims to name). I bet there are other very light racquets I just haven't found yet.

    I'm reading on this forum that too light is bad. I can't understand how that could be for a beginner.

    Does anyone have any advise to offer. I'd like hear all opinions but I am especially interested in anyone who has experienced a rotator cuff injury. It would so be the icing on the cake if anyone has hyper-mobile joints and can chime in.

    Thank you!
     
    #1
  2. tennisntn3477

    tennisntn3477 Rookie

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    Would highly recommend the Volkl V1 - Classic version first, Powerbridge second.
     
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  3. Icedorb217

    Icedorb217 Semi-Pro

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    I would say that the head microgel radical mp might work for you. I havent had an injury or anything but the only reason i recommend it is because its a semi light ( 11.0 oz strung) but very flexible. Also it accepted around TT as a arm friendly racket. But dont take my word for it, i have had no experience as to what you have gone through.
     
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  4. Marcus

    Marcus Semi-Pro

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    +1 for the Volkl frames, I think in your situation you couldn't find a better option.

    (IMHO)
     
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  5. Borg Forever

    Borg Forever Banned

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    Get the Wilson [K] Prostaff 88 and load that **** up with lead tape.
     
    #5
  6. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    And kiss your tennis recovery goodbye. :lol:
     
    #6
  7. netguy

    netguy Semi-Pro

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    Yeap! Volkl would be a wise choice. Also, check out Prince
    I would pick an arm-friendly stirng too.
    I would start with multifilament strings like Tecnifibre X-one, Wilson K-gut or Weiss Canon Explosiv!
    Good luck!
     
    #7
  8. ced

    ced Semi-Pro

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    check for sale/for trade section.... pick-up a Fischer

    You want to protect that arm, but still use a racquet that while useful for teaching the kids (no-man's land tennis) and can help you get your game back.
    Most Fischers are still going pretty cheap and the only place to find them is in the FS/FT section.
     
    #8
  9. prjacobs

    prjacobs Professional

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    I'd ask a local coach. I own a MG radical midplus and I find it plays stiffer than it's specs. I think in general, Prokennex is recognized as the most arm friendly frames. If you read the customer reviews they often start out with..... I bought this racquet because I had tennis elbow, but..... it's great! Also, talk to the staff at TW. They'll help. I'm older than you and I now string with natural gut. Yes, it's more expensive, but it feels great. and lasts. Good luck. Especially with the kids:).
     
    #9
  10. GorillaPeanuts

    GorillaPeanuts Rookie

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    Again with the Volkl's can't go wrong there, or even consider the EXO3 Red
     
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  11. tvo

    tvo New User

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    I have similar problems and the Pro Kennex line is very good for what you have described. Try the Pro Kennex 5G.
     
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  12. Roger88

    Roger88 New User

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    Lighter rackets require that you swing it faster and/or take a larger swing to get the same result. Rackets from the past did weigh more than they do now. Also the balance of the racket plays a part in how hard it is to swing. Head light rackets will be easier to swing.

    I would stay away from tight string tensions and string in the lower end of the tension recommend by the manufacturer. Use a soft string to cushion some of the impact from the ball. A stringer can suggest some that has this feel. Multifilament strings are usually softer than single strand strings. Vokyl rackets as already suggested have a softer feel than some others.

    You say you are recovering from a rotator cuff tear. I would ask your Dr. what exercises i could do to improve my condition.
     
    #12
  13. quest01

    quest01 Hall of Fame

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    I'd probably recommend the Babolat Pure Drive GT or Wilson BLX90, these are both excellent racquets for people with joint problems. The BLX90 is very flexible and good on the arm while the GT has a generous sweetspot.
     
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  14. Don S

    Don S Rookie

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    Absolutely this. Did you have surgery to repair a torn rotator or are you recovering from a non surgical R.C. problem? As someone with a prior history of rotator cuff problems and tennis elbow, I would talk to my doctor about how best to proceed. It's not very fun to not be able to lift your arm above your shoulder without pain and it's not worth adding more rehab time to your rotator simply for the sake of hitting tennis balls.

    That said. I'd have to second (or 3rd 4th or 5th) the Volkl V1 Classic. If you're not sure about serving again, chances are your tennis career is going to consist mostly of having fun with your kids and rallying with people around your same 3.0(ish) level. The V1 is great for every level of player so even if you get to the point physically where you can serve and play matches and be somewhat competative, the V1 will take you as far as you can go.
    You'll never outgrow it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2010
    #14
  15. ratm355

    ratm355 New User

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    #15
  16. Bhagi Katbamna

    Bhagi Katbamna Hall of Fame

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    I had rotator cuff problems and am over 40. I used a Gamma G325 and it really made a difference. Check out the Gammas.
     
    #16
  17. Hapless

    Hapless Rookie

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    The Prince O3 Red (any interation) is light and very arm-friendly. The Head Radical Lite also meets your criteria.
     
    #17
  18. CP3

    CP3 Banned

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    #18
  19. flashfire276

    flashfire276 Hall of Fame

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    LMAO!!!!! Are you trying to kill him or something???
     
    #19
  20. flashfire276

    flashfire276 Hall of Fame

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    You want something very arm friendly, and very forgiving to play with.

    Head MicroGEL Radical OS.
     
    #20
  21. CP3

    CP3 Banned

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    This is slightly off-topic but still worth mentioning: in addition to the racket, proper technique and proper conditioning are crucial.

    I would recommend doing some tennis specific conditioning in the gym for several weeks prior to playing again, and then easing back into the game.

    Find some exercises with resistance bands and medicine balls to strengthen your upper body and shoulders in particular.

    General fitness is very important. Of course, I will take my own advice.

    Second, your food intake. I have read that a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables can fight inflammation of the joints.

    I recommend proper exercise and eating in addition to the correct racket choice for your needs.

    Best.
     
    #21
  22. WhiteStripes

    WhiteStripes Rookie

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    It may technically not be "light" (given the other racquets you're looking at) since it's 320g unstrung, but the Fischer MPro 1 105 SL is the softest feeling racquet that I've hit with that's been released in the last decade. You can feel every bit of the 56RA flex. Plus, the 105 head with a 16x19 pattern makes it a bit forgiving, as the sweetspot is good-sized. I wouldn't be turned off by the 320g stock weight, as the racquet doesn't swing heavy at all. The stick as about as arm-friendly as you're going to get, and you won't find many 105+" head size sticks with solid enough weight to put it in the player's racquet category (but still not that heavy at 11.8 strung), plus a really, really soft flex.

    In addition, because the stick is discontinued, if you can find one used in the classified section or on the 'bay, it most likely won't be that expensive.
     
    #22
  23. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    The Pure Drive GT is one of the stiffest out there and I agree will cause him more harm than good. I would go with the Pro kennex 5G, that is a great racquet for tennis elbow or shoulder issues. It weights like 11oz or so and feels quite cushioned.
     
    #23
  24. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    Not sure I understand your sense of humor.

    -SF
     
    #24
  25. Tom Jones

    Tom Jones New User

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    Like others have said. The PK 5G and Volkl V1 classic should be on your short list.
     
    #25
  26. pwyman

    pwyman New User

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    Nearly four thousand posts and you apparently still think it's funny to misdirect people who are honestly looking for advice. Awesome.

    @OP If you've noticed the people who are trying to give you good advice all of the posts tend toward the pattern of a lighter racquet with a larger head and a forgiving flex. Look at racquets that are a part of that archetype. I think the posters that have mentioned consulting a physician regarding strengthening exercises have provided the most valuable information. There is almost no reason that you should be forced to use a larger, lighter racquet if you've adequately prepared your shoulder for tennis.
     
    #26
  27. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    Another vote for the Volkl V1 Classic. Very arm friendly racquet.
     
    #27
  28. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Volkl v1 or the Boris Becker V1 (on sale) mid-size are both good - around 11 oz or a bit under with strings and good dampened Volkl feel. These are good if you improve too because you can play at a high level with them. Head Radicals are good too as others have mentioned, they are very soft and flexible and around 11 oz.



    Stay away from Babolat GT Aeropro or BLX Tour 90.
     
    #28
  29. ratm355

    ratm355 New User

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    Yes, light and flexible is best for shoulder pain. However, that's also a recipe for no power so a larger head size is needed to get more power out of the stringbed which also is easier on the arm. I'm selling a Wilson nFury (flex in the high 40s and around 10oz weight) strung with natural gut in the classifieds forum that would be pretty good for you. It would have less power than those other two I mentioned though.
     
    #29
  30. buffalobill3

    buffalobill3 Rookie

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    The Volkl C10 is a arm friendly frame that's a little on the heavy side. It has a lot of flex and feel with a nice sw for its weight.
     
    #30
  31. rmccarty

    rmccarty New User

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    You guys are having such a great conversation, I'm reluctant to get back in to it. :D But, I want to say thank to you everyone who has contributed!!

    This seems to be a mostly men's tennis forum. I'm curious, have any women have answered? I'm getting alot of good advise. I wonder if these racquet recommendations are mostly for men?

    While racquets are unisex, men tend to want a little heavier racquet than women, I think. Rightly so, men are physically built to handle heavier racquets.

    I hope I answer all of the questions in your replies.

    Yes, I have been to an orthopedic surgeon who's sub-specialty is shoulders. My rotator cuff injury is a result of a head on collision (not our fault) last year. I have not required surgery at this time and sincerely hope I do not. I've been in physical therapy for a while. I'm almost finished w/ PT.

    I'm hitting with my 7 yo and my 10 yo only. They hit so lightly, I could almost return their hits with my hand. Eventually I would like to progress to playing with adults, again. I guess only time will tell.

    Thanks again for all of your help!
     
    #31
  32. catfish

    catfish Semi-Pro

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    I am a woman.
     
    #32
  33. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Wilson still has several racquet with extremely low flex numbers that also use the Triad technology. Those racquets are damped, easy on your arm, and really do not feel like an ugly stik.

    http://www.shakespeare-fishing.com/ladies.html
     
    #33
  34. rich s

    rich s Hall of Fame

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    I second that......

    I have 3. I don't have any problems with joints, tennis elbow, etc. and I had orthroscopic surgery on my Rt shoulder in 1996 to clean up a bunch of stuff from a fall I took playing softball......

    String it up with a soft mulit like Technifibre NRG2 or X-One Biphase and you will be set.

    The frame is not very demanding and you will not outgrow it anytime soon as your tennis game improves....

    I'm 44 with a wife, 8 and 6 yo kids that play tennis, house, etc.... just like you..... only difference is I'm 4.0.... it is a great raquet and it is currently at a great price.
     
    #34
  35. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Bumblebee radical OS was awesome for TE relief but that was years ago. Still own several.
     
    #35
  36. Captain Haddock

    Captain Haddock Rookie

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    It's hard to get a softer, more cushioned feel than with a Prince Ozone Tour or 03 Tour MP strung with Isospeed Control Classic at 50-55 pounds. Build up the grip with a spongy replacement grip (Resisoft, etc.) for even more joint protection.
     
    #36
  37. Matushko

    Matushko New User

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    Can you see the common demoninator here: Volkl

    I'm with the Volkl crowd, I've had 4 of them, DNX V1, DNX 8, Tour 10 v-Engine, V1 Classic and just ordered a new PB7, all great racquets and you won't go wrong with a V1, Classic, DNX or PowerBridge.

    I've read that many articles/posts & forums with older players suffering joint, wrist, elbow or shoulder pain switching to the V1 and suffering no pain at all!

    Enjoy.
     
    #37
  38. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Becker London MP

    cured me of my TE
     
    #38
  39. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    Some the suggestions in this thread are nuts.

    For rotator cuff problems the last things you'd want is a heavy or stiff racquet, not least because the serve puts more strain on the rotator cuff than other tennis stroke.
     
    #39
  40. chrisl

    chrisl New User

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    Contra-intuitive experience

    I've had a very similar experience. Upon luxating my r/ shoulder twice, I was left with a partially damaged shoulder, weakened cuff etc, etc...

    So I moved from the NBlade to the K Blade Team (300g > 289 g etc...)

    Initially it seemed to work, and for a long time I've been a strong advocate of light racquets&high racquet speeds.
    However, I still had fairly continuous shoulder problems for approx 3 years.

    Then in Sept 2011 I played with the Youtek Speed MP 315g - I won't bore you with the details but at that moment that racquet didn't interest me at all, not in the least because I was convinced that it was way too heavy for me - and imagine my surrise when it felt really good.

    So since September I have moved to a set of Youtek Speed MP 315s w/ Blast@26/25 kg, and I have no more shoulder troubles whatsoever.

    Looking back I probably overloaded my shoulder in two ways:

    -a very fast backswing/preparation, to make sure that I could develop a good swing at all times
    -a very fast and long swing to obtain high racquet speed when hitting forehands

    I think the frantic backswing probably was worst.

    So don't believe me, but test the contra-intuitive solution, it might work for you as it did for me.
     
    #40
  41. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Op light is not bad..too light can be , as can too heavy.

    Id stay in the 11oz range..see what works for you there.
     
    #41
  42. mary fierce

    mary fierce Banned

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    Activating a thread in which a guy is about to buy a racquet a year and a half ago?? Seems a little pointless, no?
     
    #42
  43. rmccarty

    rmccarty New User

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    It's been a few years since I posted this. Sorry, my response is very late. I had shoulder surgery ... twice. OMG, the pain was more than I could ever express. Two surgical procedures on my shoulder have required much patience and PT and more patience and PT. Thank you to everyone who read my thread and a special thank you to everyone who commented. Now I have to get enough strength back in my shoulder to try the recommended rackets. The Volkl V1 Classic will be the first one I try. That's still several months away, though. I was feeling guilty for not saying how much I appreciate all of your replies. :)
     
    #43

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