Brand new beginner with wrist pain - racket suggestion

#1
Hello,

I recently began playing tennis with my significant other. She has an old (maybe 10 years?) dunlop aerogel that I have been using. The specs are 98 sq in, 61 stiffness, 330mm balance. She thinks it weighs 11-11.5oz.

If it matters, I am a 28 year old woman. I have played fewer that 5 times, so usually I feel like I should wait to see if I like playing more before buying my own racket. Unfortunately, I have noticed that my wrist is hurting quite a bit every time we play, and I have a history of tendon problems. I'm wondering if a different racket may be helpful to alleviate that pain.

I have a couple of questions:
Is the racket she is loaning me suitable for beginners?
I have longer fingers than her, so I am wondering if the grip might be too small for me (it is a size 2 with an overgrip); could that cause wrist pain when turning my palm upward along with the thumb pain at the base?

Also, I would like to spend less than $100, if possible.

Thanks for suggestions and please let me know if I should provide any additional details.
 
#2
what's it strung with.....if it's poly.....cut it out and start with a thin gauge synthetic string....Tourna Quasi gut 17 is pretty good.....take time to warm up slow......hit against a bang wall in small amounts to make sure your finding the sweet spot on the racquet...see if you can do this without pain....When your hitting against a live opponent, there's a tendency to push your abilities to the edge....I stopped and started playing after 25 year layoff 3 or 4 times using soft practice balls and various racquets till I found my arm start to muscle up and feel the tendons strengthen.....I also found out my racquets which felt "boardy" and brassy were strung with poly and there were excessively light and stiff....After that I began to hit harder and harder and now can play almost like that guy from years back with no pain....I now practice on the wall as much as I hit with a live opponent....string as loose as you can...35 or 40lbs. is ok to build up your arm with
 
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#3
I'm not sure what it strung with, but she sometimes plays in local tournaments and since it is her backup racket, I can't restring it. That's why I am thinking it may be best to buy my own racket.

Since I have only been a few times, she mostly feeds the ball to me and we rally a bit (if I don't miss and launch the ball way out of the court haha). She also always tries to slow the ball down when hitting it back to me, so I don't think I am trying to push my abilities to the edge.
 
#4
If you just started and aren't sure you are going to stick with it, which you may not want to with tendon issues, then I would say just go to the local wally world or red bull's eye place and pick one of the inexpensive adult frames that is made out of graphite. Just make sure to get a grip that is sized right for you. Something that you can close your hand around, but your fingers don't quite touch the heel of your hand when you hold it.

Those frames are generally pretty good, plenty for beginners, strung with a softish synthetic gut, and you could easily play with it for longer than a year if you don't progress to a high level super quick. You'll more than get your money's worth out of it. I've hit with a lot of those cheap frames that students bring to my beginners class and I've yet to hit with one that I thought was bad.

As for your wrist trouble. My advice would be to just try and make sure that you aren't actually hitting the ball by moving your wrist. The wrist should be basically stable and not moving relative to the forearm through the contact zone. Hitting the ball by flexing your wrist is generally not a good idea.
 

time_fly

Professional
#5
Given your inexperience, your wrist pain is more likely to be from technique than from the racquet. But if you want to have your own racquet and spend under $100, I would recommend the Head Titanium Ti.S5 as a good place to start. Very easy to use and it's arm friendly at the types of pace you are likely to see as a beginner / intermediate. It's a bit too light to stand up to advanced, heavy hitters but if you reach that level you will be more than ready for a new stick.
 
#6
Given your inexperience, your wrist pain is more likely to be from technique than from the racquet. But if you want to have your own racquet and spend under $100, I would recommend the Head Titanium Ti.S5 as a good place to start. Very easy to use and it's arm friendly at the types of pace you are likely to see as a beginner / intermediate. It's a bit too light to stand up to advanced, heavy hitters but if you reach that level you will be more than ready for a new stick.
I second that. I would really advice to take a few coaching sessions to get your basic technique right, or at least stop hurting yourself. While you are at it, any coach worth his salt will be able to give you advice on racquets and strings.
 
#7
wristy slap at the ball type technique is a liability if thats what your doing...repetition at the wall is the fastest way to get grooved on hitting the ball....pay attention of course to what feels good when you hit the ball.....and repeat when you can it hit to the same place on the wall and it comes back to you predictably and hit the same good feeling shot over and over...Thats what Borg did..
 
#8
+1 to getting coaching lessons to get basic technique right first. The coach should also be able to advise you on decent racquet to buy.

Also, since you mentioned you have a history of (wrist?) tendon problem, you may want to wear a wrist support strap when you play. I wore one when I hurt my wrist (due to bad technique after a long hiatus) and it it certainly helped me to recover while still play tennis.
 
#9
Thanks everyone! I will look into taking at least a couple lessons. My gf played in college, so I didn't think I would need a coach but it seems I do.

+1 to getting coaching lessons to get basic technique right first. The coach should also be able to advise you on decent racquet to buy.

Also, since you mentioned you have a history of (wrist?) tendon problem, you may want to wear a wrist support strap when you play. I wore one when I hurt my wrist (due to bad technique after a long hiatus) and it it certainly helped me to recover while still play tennis.
My history of tendon issues cover my whole right arm pretty much... shoulder, wrist/forearm, elbow. All likely from climbing. A support strap is a great idea; I will get one and see if it helps.
 
#10
I'd recommend a extra large head, like Gamma Bubba or Head Ti6. They will allow you to shorten your stroke, easing timing and the head mass is long way from centre making large sweet spot and high stability.
See if you can find 2nd racquet in good condition and be environmentally friendly.
String with sythic gut at mid recommended range.
Pain could be due to lack of use of muscles and tight tendons. Very hard to say what causes pain.
Try a group coaching lesson as cheap and might fix few simple errors.
 
#11
I second that. I would really advice to take a few coaching sessions to get your basic technique right, or at least stop hurting yourself. While you are at it, any coach worth his salt will be able to give you advice on racquets and strings.
I will third that. Technique or rather bad technique can really be harmful to your body. Late contact, too far back in the hitting zone is a biggie.
 
#12
A big yes about some lessons....But I gotta go with a rather obscure racket choice that is designed for arm sensitive players......Get a Donnay on the auction site for cheap as long as it has the Xenecore feature.....amazing rackets that will lessen harmful vibes.....also it's not a lightweight rocket launcher....those can start bad habits and again are not great for ailing players...just got mine awhile back and it's a new day....(confessions of an ex Head Tis5 player)
 

BlueB

Hall of Fame
#13
Hello,

I recently began playing tennis with my significant other. She has an old (maybe 10 years?) dunlop aerogel that I have been using. The specs are 98 sq in, 61 stiffness, 330mm balance. She thinks it weighs 11-11.5oz.

If it matters, I am a 28 year old woman. I have played fewer that 5 times, so usually I feel like I should wait to see if I like playing more before buying my own racket. Unfortunately, I have noticed that my wrist is hurting quite a bit every time we play, and I have a history of tendon problems. I'm wondering if a different racket may be helpful to alleviate that pain.

I have a couple of questions:
Is the racket she is loaning me suitable for beginners?
I have longer fingers than her, so I am wondering if the grip might be too small for me (it is a size 2 with an overgrip); could that cause wrist pain when turning my palm upward along with the thumb pain at the base?

Also, I would like to spend less than $100, if possible.

Thanks for suggestions and please let me know if I should provide any additional details.
Technique;
Probably too small grip;
Probably too heavy racquet.

Also, do not practice too many volleys in a row.

These are the things that bothered me with a life long wrist problem.

Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
 
#14
Thanks everyone!

I probably don't want to purchase both lessons and a racket to begin with; it sounds like lessons are the priority, so I will use my SO's racket for those.

If, after the lessons, I still feel like I want to continue I may be willing to increase my budget. Are the triad xp3 or triad five blx good choices for beginners with sensitive arms or are they just overpriced marketing mumbo-jumbo?
 
#15
Thanks everyone!

I probably don't want to purchase both lessons and a racket to begin with; it sounds like lessons are the priority, so I will use my SO's racket for those.

If, after the lessons, I still feel like I want to continue I may be willing to increase my budget. Are the triad xp3 or triad five blx good choices for beginners with sensitive arms or are they just overpriced marketing mumbo-jumbo?
I have not heard alot to recommend these racquets though I owned a Triad five and played and owned many Triad racquets for the first phase of my reintroduction to tennis....they did not cure the TE though the fact that some of them were strung with poly murkys the water some....The Donnays I mentioned are foam filled frames like the Angell and they are not super stiff power thick beam frames that are not good for tendons and joints....Xenecore tech with slim beams are good honest frames that give you a realistic assessment of your power and won't aggravate your already sensitive arm......also they can be had for cheap....do not string with poly!
 

BlueB

Hall of Fame
#16
Another thing, you can easily increase the grip size by adding extra overgrips. That would also move the ballance towards the handle, which might be beneficial, in despite of making the total weight go slightly up.

Sent from my SM-G965W using Tapatalk
 
#17
The Dunlop aerogels were great frames. You will not get anything remotely as good for $100. Your wrist pain is probably a result of poor technique, possibly just holding the handle too tightly. Tendon issues must be treated carefully however, as they can take a long time to go away if they get bad.

My advice would be not to play until you are pain free. Hold the racquet as loosely as possible and concentrate on using the momentum of the frame to propel the ball, ie swing through it, not at it. There are lots of devises like soft balls, etc that can be used to strengthen your forearm muscles. Probably a good idea to start on that as well.
 
#18
@shipwreck276 one of the best rackets for arm issues ever made is the Volkl V1 (MP or OS). I just breezed over to the big auction site and it is littered with them, all for under $100. I would highly and heartily recommend it in an appropriate grip size.

I would also second lessons. I would go further to say that you would benefit great from a couple of group lessons which are much cheaper than private. From what you've said, you are a beginner and basically need the fundamentals. You could get the level of instruction you need easier (and more fun) in a group lesson. I know here the public facility has beginner group lessons for women. They all go in the pro shop first and get an Ultra (or 2) then go to the lesson. They have a blast.

Good luck!
 
#19
Thanks for the racket suggestions. I will check out the Donnay xenocore rackets as well as the vokyl v1.

It's been a week since playing (I also haven't rock climbed since I figured that could exacerbate it) and I'm mostly pain free now.

I signed up for group lessons next weekend. It's a 4 hour class for beginners spread over 2 hours each day. I think I will be completely pain free by then.
 
#20
Glad your looking into the Donnay... the XP lite 102 is amazing.....and soft strings are about as important as the frame.....check out TW university info on string softness...the Mantis Comfort Synthetic are great for the arm and cost effective as is the Tourna Quasi gut 17....good luck
 
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#21
Sounds to me like you’re using too much wrist. You shouldn’t be rotating your wrist at all. Swing from your torso and through your shoulder. The whole arm is then just pulled along. When taking a back swing, take your left arm back as well. That will make you rotate your whole body like a spring. Make sure your feet are planted flat and then just unwind your body to make contact with the ball.
 
#22
Glad your looking into the Donnay... the XP lite 102 is amazing.....and soft strings are about as important as the frame.....check out TW university info on string softness...the Mantis Comfort Synthetic are great for the arm and cost effective as is the Tourna Quasi gut 17....good luck
@mike schiffer
I ended up buying that racket online. It is prestrung with head fxp power 16 at 45 pounds. Looking at TW University, it doesn't seem particularly soft compared to your suggestions. I won't get it in time to restring (if even necessary?) before the course I'm signed up for so my choices are to use my significant others aerogel 300 (the sticker says 55 pounds but no idea what it is strung with) or this racket... which would you suggest using?
 
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#23
Mantis comfort Synthetic......google it and you might see some interesting deals....it is mega important you use a super soft string like Mantis and other with low stiffness ratings to get the best out of this frame and not aggravate your condition.....string low...35-40 and learn to hit with it....Poly is not designed for tender tissues and tendons...playing with It (Head Fxp) now may make your condition worse even with the Donnay...
 
#24
@mike schiffer

Yes, I plan on restringing it with one of the comfort strings you suggested. Unfortunately, I won't be able to before the class I signed up for (racket is supposed to arrive tomorrow evening and the group lesson is early sat morning).

I'm wondering which of my options you think would be more arm friendly (just for the one day)?
1. My significant other's aerogel 300 I played with. It is strung at 55 lbs and she thinks it is Wilson NXT 16 but not positive
or
2. The Donnay x-p 102 lite I am getting that will come with the head FXP power 16 at 45lbs

I will definitely get it restrung after the group lesson with one of the suggested strings! I appreciate all your help :)
 
#26
I saw in the twu ratings the head string fared pretty well.....give it chance and stop if the wrist gets worse....it's a stubborn injury and you might need some professional(doctor) guidance....correct equiptment can only do so much....
 
#27
@mike schiffer

Yes, I plan on restringing it with one of the comfort strings you suggested. Unfortunately, I won't be able to before the class I signed up for (racket is supposed to arrive tomorrow evening and the group lesson is early sat morning).

I'm wondering which of my options you think would be more arm friendly (just for the one day)?
1. My significant other's aerogel 300 I played with. It is strung at 55 lbs and she thinks it is Wilson NXT 16 but not positive
or
2. The Donnay x-p 102 lite I am getting that will come with the head FXP power 16 at 45lbs

I will definitely get it restrung after the group lesson with one of the suggested strings! I appreciate all your help :)
Go with your new racquet. Might as well use it to get used to it.
 
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