PS 85 and arm friendliness

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by matchmaker, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    With this thread I would like to collect comments on the degree to which the PS 85 could cause arm problems.

    Personally the PS 85 fascinates me because of its headsize, weight, string pattern which are similar to my current main stick, Wilson Reflex midsize.

    But what has always frightened me are certain other specs of the frame, more specifically the composition: graphite is fine, but KEVLAR??? And the rigidity: 66.

    Now I have been thinking that might be exagerated. Many reputedly arm friendly racquets also contain percentages of Kevlar, e.g. Volkl C10 Pro.

    Infact there is Kevlar in the PC 600 too, only under the name of Twaron, which is exactly the same thing.

    So, please tell me about your experiences. Has any of the PS 85 users developed tennis elbow problems with this stick?
     
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  2. vkartikv

    vkartikv Hall of Fame

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    First things first: There 5 versions of this frame:
    1. St. Vincent
    2. Chicago
    3. Taiwan
    4. China Ist Gen.
    5. China IInd Gen.

    I have owned all of these and the approx. flex ratings are:
    1. 62-64
    2. 63-65
    3. 66-68
    4. 61-63
    5. 65-69

    Models 1, 2 and 4 have given me no trouble whatsoever and I used to string them at 62-66 lbs with a multi/poly hybrid. Model 3 is definitely very stiff and can cause problems at even 57 lbs with a multi/poly hybrid. Model 5 has the potential to cause trouble but string choice/tension and your playing style come into the equation. I'm not all that big and put little topspin on my shots. Hope that helps.
     
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  3. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    Thank you vkartikv,

    I knew about the St. Vincent, Chicago, Taiwan and China version but not about the flex ratings.

    Supposing St. Vincents are rare and almost impossible to buy at a reasonable price, which of 2 and 4 would be easiest to find at an affordable price. I suppose the one they are selling now at TW is the Chinese second generation, so not really indicated.

    BTW, how can you tell the difference between Generation I and II from butt cap codes?
     
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  4. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I used the 85 from the mids 80's to recently, strung close to or at 70 lbs, and over the last few years using Ashaway kevlar Crossfire II 16 gauge.

    Never experienced arm pain/injury or tennis elbow.

    Typically, these things are caused by bad technique>>> not the frame.
     
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  5. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    No, this frame isnt so comfortable. kevlar and braided construction frames arent exactly known to be warm and fuzzy, and the racquet is pretty stiff. this frame also has a small sweeetspot, and miss hits aren't so comfortable especially on braided frames
     
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  6. jasoncho92

    jasoncho92 Professional

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    Well it might be because i dont get tennis elbow but it feels great to me
     
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  7. vkartikv

    vkartikv Hall of Fame

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    I don't know where you'd find the Chicago models but I come across some 1st gen Chinas every now and then on the auction site. Both China models say Chiao Ta on the inside of the throat but the 1st gen. doesn't say Prostaff 6.0 on the top of the throat. It just says prostaff in italics.

    Drak is partly right - technique has a lot to do with how this frame feels especially since it's a small head. But racquets like the PD are naturally oriented towards producing some discomfort so the racquet makes a difference too.

    I had 4 1st gen. China models and put them all on the RDC machine and they all came in at low 60s flex rating. I've never gone to 70 lbs but even at mid 60s tensions they worked perfectly fine over 3 hard-hitting sets and resulted in NO pain. Of course, don't expect to hit the spot unless you're game is adequately advanced :)

    Bottomline: Try one of these frames so you can atleast know what a GOOD frame feels like :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2007
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  8. vkartikv

    vkartikv Hall of Fame

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    What version did you use and what are you using now? Seems like you guys are having a ball out in FL :)
     
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  9. psp2

    psp2 Banned

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    Any racquet can cause arm problems to anyone. There are too many factors to single out Kevlar as the main culprit.

    For years, I played with a Yamaha Secret 4 (81 RA!!) strung with Prince Pro Blend 16 at 60lbs. in my youth. ...Never had I any arm problems.

    The other night, I demoed the Prestige MP and felt some tingling in my elbow and my shoulder felt a bit sore the day after.
     
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  10. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    I used the Chicago and Vincent. I'm now using the K90. (Prefer the Chicago)

    I do own a taiwan, and like it as well.

    The china was too "hollow" compared to the others, but still a monster frame.

    I actually hit with the 85 for the first time since switching to the K90 in april?? of this year. The strings were lose but was still sweeeeeeetttt. :)
     
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  11. Yonex.

    Yonex. Semi-Pro

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    You don't like Bombay Chaat anymore?;)
     
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  12. dr_punk

    dr_punk Professional

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    I used to experience some arm pain within the first few days of hitting with my PS 85, however like drakulie noted, it was probably due to bad technique and I just had to fit into it. Never experienced arm pain since then. I string in the high 40's
     
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  13. superstition

    superstition Hall of Fame

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    The last Chinese model I purchased felt hollow (unlike the older Chinese models), unstable, light, and flexed oddly.
     
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  14. armand

    armand Banned

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    My 1st generation China definitely feels stiffer than even 63RDC. Mine's in great condition and compared to other racquets, it's close to the Pro Staff Tour 90 and stiffer than the [k]Tour90 fo sho.

    The racquet doesn't feel harsh at all, but it does gimme elbow pain a bit. But this may be due to the smaller grip size. Inconclusive.
     
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  15. LPShanet

    LPShanet Banned

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    While I don't play this frame in particular anymore, I can tell you that the presence of Kevlar in ANY frame has nothing to do with comfort, flex or any other factor. Kevlar, if anything, would add flexibility (not stiffness), but in the quantities it's used in racquets, it's insignificant. The Kevlar is used to change the curing qualities of the graphite layup and affects the manufacturing process more than the playing process, although it does have a slight dampening effect.

    However, vkalikv's info is very useful and informative as far as relative stiffnesses go. That is what matters, not Kevlar. Use his statistical info and ignore everyone else's nonsense about Kevlar.
     
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  16. LPShanet

    LPShanet Banned

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    And the statement that tennis elbow is generally caused by bad technique is also correct. Most often it's the result of shock from late contact and/or the wrong grip on the backhand, which transfers the load to the forearm tendons, but there are quite a few variants out there. Extreme stiffness contributes to the degree of shock transmitted, which is why stiff racquets are most commonly associated with tennis elbow problems.
     
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  17. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the info vkartiv,

    Is the first gen China model the one that says midsize on the side of the throat instead of Prostaff 6.0? And as you have said on top of the throat it says Prostaff.

    I do not think I would have problems with hitting the sweetspot. I currently play with a 85 sq. inch frame and have played with other midsize frames in the past like the Becker Puma/Estusa, it is just that the Prostaff 6.0's specs have always scared me somehow.
     
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  18. superstition

    superstition Hall of Fame

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    The Prostaff is supposed to be made of 20% Kevlar. That's what it says on the frame. How is 20% insignificant?
     
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  19. LPShanet

    LPShanet Banned

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    For two reasons:

    1. The number is misleading...they say 20% Kevlar, but they really mean that there is a Kevlar matrix in 20% of the graphite. The actual Kevlar percentage by weight/pure volume is much less.

    2. Since it's not the weight bearing material in the matrix, it doesn't really affect flex very much. If you looked at the layup for the racquet, you'd find that the graphite is bearing the load and defines the flex pattern.

    The mention of Kevlar and other ingredients in terms of percent is really a marketing device, as it's hard to understand how the materials really work together without a more thorough understanding of the construction/engineering than the typical consumer has. Unlike the food that you buy at the grocery store, tennis racquets have no strict regulations about revealing content or how you express the materials if at all:) Head's titanium racquets are a good example of this. They're graphite.
     
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  20. psp2

    psp2 Banned

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    The titanium is in the paint, in the form of titanium oxide!!! :)
     
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  21. LPShanet

    LPShanet Banned

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    'zackly, and they only put it in there, so they could say it contained titanium for marketing purposes. I know...I was in the meeting when it was decided.
     
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  22. goosala

    goosala Hall of Fame

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    In college I owned the Taiwanese versions and they initially hurt my elbow but after about a couple of weeks my arm got used to the weight and flex. I would say the current Chinese version is arm friendlier and has a little more flex.
     
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