Stiff arm friendly racquets

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by laborador, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. laborador

    laborador New User

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    I like somewhat stiff racquets that weigh over 11 oz, the problem is my arm does not so Im forced to use flexy racquets. Is their such a thing as a stiff arm friendly racquet. I believe some racquets are made out of certain material that takes shock out even if the frame is stiff.
     
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  2. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    They have a list of arm-friendly racquets on another tennis site. I won't link it, but here's the list:

    GOLD STANDARD

    Head LM Radical OS
    Pacific X Feel Tour
    Head Microgel Radical OS
    Head YOUTEK Radical OS & Pro
    Volkl DNX 10 Mid
    ProKennex Redondo Mid & MP
    Avery A5 OS
    ProKennex Black Ace 93 & 98
    Donnay X Black 94
    Donnay X Blue 99
    Donnay XP Dual
    ProKennex Ki5
    ProKennex Heritage Type R
    Pacific X Force
    Pacific X Force Pro
    ProKennex Heritage Type C
    Prince EX03 Tour

    SILVER STANDARD

    Prince Original Graphite OS
    Wilson BLX Blade Team
    Head Microgel Radical MP
    Head YOUTEK Radical MP
    Prince OZone Tour MP
    Boris Becker 11
    Avery M3 Control
    ProKennex Kinetic Pro 5G Classic
    Babolat Pure Storm Ltd. GT
    Prince EX03 Rebel 95 & Rebel Team
    Dunlop Aerogel 4D 200
    Yonex RDiS200
    Yonex RD Ti80
    Donnay Platinum 99
    Donnay Silver 99
    Donnay Black 99
    Donnay XP Dual Lite

    BRONZE STANDARD

    Wilson nTour Two nCode
    ProKennex Ki 10 PSE
    Babolat Pure Storm Tour
    Babolat Pure Storm & Pure Storm Ltd.
    Yonex RQ1s1 Tour
    Head Microgel Prestige Mid & Pro
    Volkl PB 10 & 10 MP
    Prince EX03 Graphite 93 & 100
    Yonex RD is 100 MP
    Tecnifibre TFlash 315VO2 Max
    Volkl Quantum Scorcher
    Boris Becker Delta Core Legend
    Volkl C10 Pro
    Dunlop Aerogel 4D 100
    Prince EX03 Hybrid 100 & 104
    Wilson BLX Tour & Tour Pro
    Wilson BLX six.one Team
    Head YOUTEK Mojo
    Head YOUTEK Prestige Mid
    Donnay X Dual Bronze & Silver Lite
    Donnay X Blue & Red 94
    Donnay X 99 Black & Yellow
    Head YOUTEK IG Speed
    Dunlop Aerogel 4D 300 & 200
    Pacific X Force Comp

    One racquet from the Gold list that I would recommend is the Pro Kennex Ki 5 (or 5x if you want extended length). I switched from the Babolat APDGT to the PK Ki 5x with no problems. It feels more crisp than it's RA stiffness index, but it's still easy on the arm. I also liked the Pacific X Force Pro, which felt a bit softer and more flexy but was still an easy transition from a stiff frame.

    One frame that was tough for me to adjust to was the Prince EXO3 Tour 100. It has a trampoline effect, which made it hard for me to control.
     
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  3. Stringers

    Stringers Rookie

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    Others may disagree but have you tried the HEAD YOUTEK IG Extreme 2.0 both are > 11 Oz. But it does have a very high stiffness rating by TW at 69.

    We have several in our shop and I'm a big fan of this frame. With the string setup and dampener in the Pro Model, literally experience no vibrations on impact, just the feel of the ball. It's a very easy swinging frame.

    May not be for everyone or might not be for you but I definitely approve.
     
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  4. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

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    Wonder why the PK 5g classic is less arm-friendly than the ki5. Most consider the ki5 a little stiffer.
     
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  5. retrograde

    retrograde Rookie

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    From the above list, I can vouch for the friendliness of:

    - Yonex RDIS 200 MP
    - Babolat Pure Storm Tour
    - Prince Ozone Tour MP
    - PK KI5 315

    And I would suggest the PK 7G as an extended option to the PK 5G, although I don't know yet if extended lengths contribute or make things worse for TE (some suggest they do, others say no).

    I see some 95's in the list. My TE hasn't had good experiences with soft 95's like the Dunlop AG 4D 200 mostly because I mishit more with a 95.

    Funny, a hitting partner and I also noticed the trampoline effect of the Prince EXO3 Tour 100's - both the open and closed patterns (I experienced a similar bounciness with the Dunlop Bio 400 Tour). Interestingly, the Ozone Tour didn't trampoline on me like its two replacements.
     
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  6. Volley123

    Volley123 New User

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    The Volkl Organix line has stiffness ratings in the upper 60's but the technology in the frame and the bio-sensor handle make them feel buttery soft.
     
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  7. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    That's about the worst list for arm friendly racquets I've seen. The Volkl C10 pro and PB mid are very arm friendly racquets. The Prince Original Graphite Oversize was proven to be the racquet with least vibration by
    RacquetResearch.com,a website with an extensive analysis of arm-friendly racquets.
     
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  8. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    The PK 7G plays stiffer than the Babolat Pure Storm Tour Plus but is even more arm friendly. The Prince Exo Tour is the most arm friendly racket I've ever used.
     
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  9. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    According to the website where I got the list, extended length does contribute to TE, which is probably why they did not consider extended length racquets. They recommended going no higher than 27.5", which is the length of the 7G and Ki 5x. My experience with the Ki 5x showed me that it probably belongs on the list somewhere.
     
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  10. coolblue123

    coolblue123 Hall of Fame

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    BB NYC (I am using now mod'ed) (although alittle extended)
    and
    the Volkl 8 300 also fits as well.

    I want to also try the Donnay Silver Extended. I share the exact feel as well. I really like stiffer lighter frames.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
    #10
  11. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    I think that the trick to getting some arm-friendliness from a stiffer frame is to also have some heft to it. I used the old ProStaff 6.1 Classics for many years and despite their flex rating of greater than 70 (if I recall correctly), those racquets were never as rough on my arm than other rigid frames with less mass built in. I suppose that the extra weight makes the racquet more inherently stable though contact, so the ball doesn't "push the racquet around" so much. That means less shock into the arm.

    If seeking arm-friendliness is coming from some soreness or fatigue in your shoulder, be careful not to go overboard with the extra racquet weight. If your service motion is rather "quick" as you swing up through contact, a lot of heft in the racquet could potentially wear on the front and top of the shoulder that effectively "lift" the racquet to the ball. This is one area where arm-friendliness and decent weight/stability don't necessarily go together.

    I'm also under the impression that pretty much any stiff racquet (or softer one for that matter) will be inherently more arm-friendly when it's strung up with a softer, more resilient string. I've seen more than just one or two players (both younger and older) run into serious trouble after switching to harsh poly or poly hybrids. Some folks do okay with them, but many do not. On the other side of the coin, I've seen a number of players become much more comfortable with their gear after switching into softer strings. Natural gut has the best reputation for arm-friendliness, but many multifibers are also plenty soft and they're more affordable, too.
     
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  12. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

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    Most lists of arm friendly racquets will typically have flexible frames. Try the 2012 Babolat Pure Drive Roddick, Donnay Forumula, Volkl V1, or Head Extreme Pro2 for some stiffer racquets that seem to be pretty comfortable.

    String choice is also important. Leave behind poly if you want more comfort.
     
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  13. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Here's a video that explains Pro Kennex's Kinetic technology and how it prevents tennis elbow:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHjny9jjTHQ

    They do make some big claims here, and you can judge for yourself if it's hype. My racquet has a sticker on the inside part of the frame that says it was independently proven to be effective in shock reduction and it cites the MIT research.

    Some of their new frames, like the PK Q5, have stiffness in the high 60's and people on this forum who playtested them said some good things about the comfort. I haven't tried it yet. I'm happy with my Ki 5x for now.
     
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  14. vetinari

    vetinari New User

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    I have both the q5 and the extreme pro 2. I like the feel of the extreme pro better but both solid frames.
     
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  15. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi Laborador,

    1. Stiff and arm friendly is tough cookie. I'd look at either the Kinetic system offered by ProKennex, the foam filled, custom Angell Racquets, or the solid core (Zenecore) frames offered by Donnay. Small sections of vibration isolation technology in the handle, throat etc, just ain't gonna cut it.

    2. I got my first ever case of TE playing with a 2012 Babolat PD+ strung with Gut/Poly at 58/53. I went looking for something easier on my arm thinking that I'd take a step backwards in the performance category. I had very low expectations, and was not looking forward to shopping in the arm friendly aisle. Not only has the Pro One helped me recover from TE, it's also been a real game enhancer for me. I'm getting waaaaay more control, more power, and it's arm friendly just as icing on the cake. It is the best serving frame I've ever used. A real baseline bashing weapon, and oodles of feel at net. The impact feel is so amazingly sweet its tough to find adequate verbiage. Comfort, control and power are attributes that don't often hang out together, but those qualities are found in abundance in this frame. String it with Gut mains and a comfortable Co-Poly cross at mid tension, and you've added an almost clownish amount of spin enhancement to the power-control-comfort party.

    3. Customization tuning that works for me, is I get my P1s one grip size under, at 4 1/4, then replace the stock grip with two comfort grips (Wilson Comfort Hybrid) and Yonex SuperGrap OG. That brings the grip size back to a fat 3/8. Then I add the +10 grams butt cap. Seasoning an already super comfortable frame with a super comfy grip, and a more HL balance creates a Rolls Royce like plush ride. I also tend to squeeze less, and hit with a looser grip when the grip is softer, and that in itself is a big help with my TE.

    4. Somewhat related topic, tackle arm issues in phases. Phase 1: Stop playing. Get the pain and inflammation under control (Rest, Ice , Compression, Elevation, Massage, Acupuncture, Trigger point release) In my case, 2 weeks. Phase 2: Continue with ice, build strength and flexibility (Eccentric, Isometric, Twistbar, Yoga) In my case, 7 weeks. Phase 3: Gradual introduction back to the court. In my case, 2 weeks. Phase 4 : Resume Typical participation levels, but continue building strength and flexibility.

    5. Where most people fail is that they quit playing for a little while, but don't do anything to build strength while they are out. So they comeback with even weaker muscles due to atrophy and the pain fires up right away, and the cycle repeats. Sit out, get elbows/shoulders/wrists of steel, then come back. That's the ticket right there.

    -Jack
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
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  16. retrograde

    retrograde Rookie

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    I think the Volkl V1 Classics (and the BB versions) were pretty comfy considering how high their RDC numbers were and how stiff they played. The Prince EXO3 Black also comes to mind - although not quite as comfy to me as the V1 Classics, more access to spin. TW demos of the EXO3 Black came with and w/o string grommets for the O-ports. Latter seemed cushier and less prone to vibration, but it whistled in the air.

    Still, I think there are far better choices for the TE-prone such as those on the list.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
    #16
  17. Magic of tennis

    Magic of tennis Semi-Pro

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    Absolutely agree. It should be in Platinum list.
    Gold standard list above is just a reference, I do not agree with many of the racquets there.
     
    #17
  18. laborador

    laborador New User

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    ChicagoJack,

    Which Pro One have you been using. Thanks
     
    #18
  19. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Hi Laborador -

    I have the 16x19. I groove with that much more than the 18x20 version. Both frames are very control oriented, so it seems like you don't gain much control with the tighter pattern, while spin enhancement takes a hit. Guys who opt for the 18x20 are typically big hitting string breakers who appreciate going a bit longer before snapping the crosses. Most who try the P1 and don't like it, complain about the heavyish 327 swingweight. If you can square up with that, chances of liking it are pretty high. My customized specs and string set up are in my signature.

    - Jack
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2012
    #19
  20. tistrapukcipeht

    tistrapukcipeht Professional

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    Yonex 98D, 100S, Ezone Xi/ Xi 107 stiff and still comfortable. Well, ezones are more comfy still.
     
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  21. crazyups

    crazyups Semi-Pro

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    slazenger pro braided
     
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  22. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    I've tried almost all of the stiff tweeners available and I'd say that while some of them are okay comfort wise, I wouldn't really recommend most of them for anyone who is more prone to arm pain. The only stiff tweeners I would recommend in that case are the Volkl V1 (any version) and the Pro Kennex frames. A quick application of lead tape will bring the V1's weight up. I have not tried any of the recent PK frames but everyone will tell you are very arm friendly.
     
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  23. canadad

    canadad Semi-Pro

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    My vote is for the PK Q5 315, it is pretty stiff but still nice on the arm. There is also some nice power.
     
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  24. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    Ditto the V1 and the 5G, the latter of which I've hit with and certainly found to be both stiff and easy on my shredded tendons... And there's the old Prince Vortex, the only thing I can tolerate even a soft poly on, which softens impact shock like it was carved from Sorbothane. TT member Dino LaGaffe posted a measurement of the OS version of it at RA 68.
     
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  25. suppawat

    suppawat Semi-Pro

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    Not sure how stiff you want the racquet to be, but I'd guess something more than 67RA. You can try Donnay Formula 100, and Pro One 18x20. Personally, I like the Pro One 18x20 better because of better control and maneuverability. Feel wise, they both are comfortable on hard hitting.
     
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  26. jibinhe

    jibinhe Rookie

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    Volkl O8 300, basically an arm friendly PDR with lighter static weight but swing weight is about the same. You still has the stiff feeling in hitting but no arm pain after.
     
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