Developing Pain after playing with the RF97 (again)

#1
I played with my friend's RF97 (RPM 56lbs) for a few weeks, a while back. I really liked it, but I started developing a bit of pain in my elbow. The pain went away after I went back to my racket (Pure Drive & Aero - 300g models w/ Poly @58lbs) and I didn't think much of it. Besides I thought RPM @ 56 on a RF wasn't the best setup and caused my problem.

Finally it was time to pull the trigger on my own RF97 and I splurged. I bought the Laver LE and to be safe I went with a Gut-mains/Poly (59/56) setup. $330 later the racket arrived, it played great, but the pain returned. Dumb move for me to assume it wouldn't.

I called the place I bought it from but they obviously don't accept returns on used rackets. The rep made a good point though. Since the pain is in my elbow joint, and not the tendons or muscles, it may be more serious than just getting used to the extra weight of the RF.

I've stopped using it and use my Aero, for about a week and pain is 85% gone. I only ever felt it after playing, and not during. After warming up, the pain is not there either. I'm 40, lift weights, and am approaching on 4.0 rating by this season. I know the simple advice is to cut my losses and look elsewhere. I'm terrified of developing something permanent, yet, I'd like to give the RF an honest shot.

...Is it worth dropping tension, changing strings, or "easing into the racket" (Day 1-10min , Day 2-20mins, etc.) or is there something else to try?
 
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#3
59/56 is too tight. Even Federer, who plays at higher weight uses 57 in the mains. I say go down to 56/53. Also, make sure it's quality gut not some crap like Babolat Tonic. VS and Wilson gut is very good, but Klip Legend is good for a lot less.

Having said that, technique may be a big factor. If you are "arming' your stroke and don't whip it from your legs and rotation then a heavy racket can take a toll.
 
#4
Yeah 59/56 is an absolute board

Secondly I don’t think babolat rpm is a good fit in a lot of Wilson’s, can’t explain why but whenever I’ve strung rpm in a Wilson I immediately get elbow pain yet when I put it in my babolat s it’s fine. Not sure how it works

Anyway try 54-56 or 52/54 in your hybrid :)

Rf97 is truly nice with a gut hybrid. I wasn’t a fan at all but when I tried the gut hybrid it was amazing
 
#6
I gave up my pure drive because of big arm injuries, (very stiff racket and full poly lux alu), my brother advised me to take a rather heavy racket, and flexible, on the advice of a (bad) ) seller, I came out with a pro staff 97 L I think, posted at 70RA, and also strung in luxilon alu. I have never had such pain in my arm. (at 25kg), my brother tried it, and directly cut me the string, to go first to plasma 22kg (it was much better), then weiss 6 star to 23kg (it was even better) ), to finally lend me one of his executives (prestige IG S) strung in gut / cream. From that day on, I did not have any pain in my arm, I understood that: a flexible racket (63 or 62RA I believe the prestige IG S), combined with a flexible string (really flexible, because natural gut, and a relatively soft poly), stretched quite low (21/17 kg) erased any impression of rigidity, hardness and pain. since, it's with what I play. and I never want to go back to something more rigid. I even think of donnay (pro one 97 ultra soft), which has a flex of 50RA. I'm just waiting for feedback on this frame if...
 
#7
Don’t discount the increase in weight as a contributing factor, it’s not always the string set up or the racket stiffness that causes these types of injuries.
 
#8
I played with my friend's RF97 (RPM 56lbs) for a few weeks, a while back. I really liked it, but I started developing a bit of pain in my elbow. The pain went away after I went back to my racket (Pure Drive & Aero - 300g models w/ Poly @58lbs) and I didn't think much of it. Besides I thought RPM @ 56 on a RF wasn't the best setup and caused my problem.

Finally it was time to pull the trigger on my own RF97 and I splurged. I bought the Laver LE and to be safe I went with a Gut-mains/Poly (59/56) setup. $330 later the racket arrived, it played great, but the pain returned. Dumb move for me to assume it wouldn't.

I called the place I bought it from but they obviously don't accept returns on used rackets. The rep made a good point though. Since the pain is in my elbow joint, and not the tendons or muscles, it may be more serious than just getting used to the extra weight of the RF.

I've stopped using it and use my Aero, for about a week and pain is 85% gone. I only ever felt it after playing, and not during. After warming up, the pain is not there either. I'm 40, lift weights, and am approaching on 4.0 rating by this season. I know the simple advice is to cut my losses and look elsewhere. I'm terrified of developing something permanent, yet, I'd like to give the RF an honest shot.

...Is it worth dropping tension, changing strings, or "easing into the racket" (Day 1-10min , Day 2-20mins, etc.) or is there something else to try?



Hi, tell me something please, do you get any pain when you lift weights? If it happened where exactly?
 
#9
Try the Pro Kennex Q Tour 325 with a leather grip added. You will get the traditional feel with a lot more comfort. The RF is a good racquet but the PK has a nicer feel .
 
#10
I played with my friend's RF97 (RPM 56lbs) for a few weeks, a while back. I really liked it, but I started developing a bit of pain in my elbow. The pain went away after I went back to my racket (Pure Drive & Aero - 300g models w/ Poly @58lbs) and I didn't think much of it. Besides I thought RPM @ 56 on a RF wasn't the best setup and caused my problem.

Finally it was time to pull the trigger on my own RF97 and I splurged. I bought the Laver LE and to be safe I went with a Gut-mains/Poly (59/56) setup. $330 later the racket arrived, it played great, but the pain returned. Dumb move for me to assume it wouldn't.

I called the place I bought it from but they obviously don't accept returns on used rackets. The rep made a good point though. Since the pain is in my elbow joint, and not the tendons or muscles, it may be more serious than just getting used to the extra weight of the RF.

I've stopped using it and use my Aero, for about a week and pain is 85% gone. I only ever felt it after playing, and not during. After warming up, the pain is not there either. I'm 40, lift weights, and am approaching on 4.0 rating by this season. I know the simple advice is to cut my losses and look elsewhere. I'm terrified of developing something permanent, yet, I'd like to give the RF an honest shot.

...Is it worth dropping tension, changing strings, or "easing into the racket" (Day 1-10min , Day 2-20mins, etc.) or is there something else to try?
@DavidBart
Before ditching you RF 97A, try Luxilon Natural Gut 1.30 in the mains @51 lbs and Luxilon Smart 1.30 @48 lbs in the crosses. Your original 59/56 is too stiff. The setup i suggested should offer decent spin and control whilst being very arm friendly.
 
#12
Hi, tell me something please, do you get any pain when you lift weights? If it happened where exactly?
Never from weights in this elbow. A lot of other places but not there... the usual. This pain seems to be in the elbow joint and it's not constant. It's only when I move my arm a certain way. Hard to pinpoint but for example when I lift my right arm out in front of me and straighten it out all the way, and then bend it a little, I'll feel it. It's just different type of pain, not one I normall get from weights or tennis. . Again it's not severe Im just so concerned about causing anything permanent.
 
#13
Alternatively, try full bed of natural gut string.
I'm not sure I like the gut with the poly. Seems to lack spin . I've even added the Babolat string Savers and they seemed to help a little. I'm afraid I'm really going to hate a full gut. And to be honest I don't see the great feel everybody Raves about with the gut. Maybe I'm just not that in tune yet.
 
#15
@DavidBart
Before ditching you RF 97A, try Luxilon Natural Gut 1.30 in the mains @51 lbs and Luxilon Smart 1.30 @48 lbs in the crosses. Your original 59/56 is too stiff. The setup i suggested should offer decent spin and control whilst being very arm friendly.
Thanks for the suggestion. It just seems so different than what I'm used to. I LOVED my friend's the RF w RPM rough 17 at 56. It was like what I'm used to but with the plow through,contol, spin...best of both worlds. I'm not sure I would have bought it had I tried it with current string setup (elbow aside)
 
#16
Tecnifibre TFlash 300p

You will play better
No pain

It is that simple...




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I'm sure it's a great racket but that seems more in the Pure Drive Pure Aero territory. 300g /100 square inches. I might have actually demoed it a few years back.
This RF was my first foray into the control player's racquet. I think I made an expensive mistake by not demoing other options.
 
#17
59/56 is too tight. Even Federer, who plays at higher weight uses 57 in the mains. I say go down to 56/53. Also, make sure it's quality gut not some crap like Babolat Tonic. VS and Wilson gut is very good, but Klip Legend is good for a lot less.

Having said that, technique may be a big factor. If you are "arming' your stroke and don't whip it from your legs and rotation then a heavy racket can take a toll.
-You make a good point. What really attracted me to the RF is the fact that it forces and rewards proper technique. I tend to get lazy with my racquet and not prepare early enough and swing sloppy... especially after an hour or 2 on court.
-I didn't realize tonic was garbage. I actually got it in the 15 for durability.
-And finally if you're suggesting a few pounds might make a difference I'm going to step on the strings. That should bring down the tension a few pounds. I dropped 4+ lbs in my Aero w Hyper-g which someone strung too high at 62+.
 
#18
I'm sure it's a great racket but that seems more in the Pure Drive Pure Aero territory. 300g /100 square inches. I might have actually demoed it a few years back.
This RF was my first foray into the control player's racquet. I think I made an expensive mistake by not demoing other options.
My comfort zone is PS85, PBMid10 or 93P
So Flash300 should be all wrong but somehow it works. You can swing out as much as you want, starting with return of serve


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#19
Yeah 59/56 is an absolute board

Secondly I don’t think babolat rpm is a good fit in a lot of Wilson’s, can’t explain why but whenever I’ve strung rpm in a Wilson I immediately get elbow pain yet when I put it in my babolat s it’s fine. Not sure how it works

Anyway try 54-56 or 52/54 in your hybrid :)

Rf97 is truly nice with a gut hybrid. I wasn’t a fan at all but when I tried the gut hybrid it was amazing
Yes I'm going to try to drop the tension today myself. Come to think of it that's maybe why it lacks the spin that I'm missing so much from my usual poly rig.
 
#20
My comfort zone is PS85, PBMid10 or 93P
So Flash300 should be all wrong but somehow it works. You can swing out as much as you want, starting with return of serve


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
It's so different on paper, who would have thought? I'll try it. It sucks when you demo a few racquets and only have a week to play with them. Doesn't really give you a chance to fully get into them.
I just looked at my history it was the T flight 315 that I demoed in 2017. Not that I'd even remember it now and it was very early into my experimental period.
How do you string the Flash by the way?
 
#22
My current racquets took me at least six months to get used to the weight. Your swing speed should be lower.

You might also honk about getting a flexbar.
 
#23
I played with my friend's RF97 (RPM 56lbs) for a few weeks, a while back. I really liked it, but I started developing a bit of pain in my elbow. The pain went away after I went back to my racket (Pure Drive & Aero - 300g models w/ Poly @58lbs) and I didn't think much of it. Besides I thought RPM @ 56 on a RF wasn't the best setup and caused my problem.

Finally it was time to pull the trigger on my own RF97 and I splurged. I bought the Laver LE and to be safe I went with a Gut-mains/Poly (59/56) setup. $330 later the racket arrived, it played great, but the pain returned. Dumb move for me to assume it wouldn't.

I called the place I bought it from but they obviously don't accept returns on used rackets. The rep made a good point though. Since the pain is in my elbow joint, and not the tendons or muscles, it may be more serious than just getting used to the extra weight of the RF.

I've stopped using it and use my Aero, for about a week and pain is 85% gone. I only ever felt it after playing, and not during. After warming up, the pain is not there either. I'm 40, lift weights, and am approaching on 4.0 rating by this season. I know the simple advice is to cut my losses and look elsewhere. I'm terrified of developing something permanent, yet, I'd like to give the RF an honest shot.

...Is it worth dropping tension, changing strings, or "easing into the racket" (Day 1-10min , Day 2-20mins, etc.) or is there something else to try?
I would drop the tension and put revolve 16 on it
 
#24
It's so different on paper, who would have thought? I'll try it. It sucks when you demo a few racquets and only have a week to play with them. Doesn't really give you a chance to fully get into them.
I just looked at my history it was the T flight 315 that I demoed in 2017. Not that I'd even remember it now and it was very early into my experimental period.
How do you string the Flash by the way?
Rpm blast 1.25 at 50

It is the TWH Chris racquet of choice


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#25
Sounds like my next demo. I just ordered the Vcore Pro 330 demo yesterday.
I,ve tried the Yonex V Core Pro series ( Current model) and it is soft but on the flimsy and tinny side. The old orange Tour HG 330 was the one to get if you can still find one, they were more flexible, beefy stable frames.
 
#26
-You make a good point. What really attracted me to the RF is the fact that it forces and rewards proper technique. I tend to get lazy with my racquet and not prepare early enough and swing sloppy... especially after an hour or 2 on court.
-I didn't realize tonic was garbage. I actually got it in the 15 for durability.
-And finally if you're suggesting a few pounds might make a difference I'm going to step on the strings. That should bring down the tension a few pounds. I dropped 4+ lbs in my Aero w Hyper-g which someone strung too high at 62+.
Bam we have a root cause. I don't know what Tonic is, but it's not natural gut, is stiff and feels worse then any mutlifillament. You then toped it off with high tension and extra thick guage.

1. Get Klip Legend 16 (1.30mm) and some soft poly in 1.25mm with good tension maintanance for cross. You'll get 10-20 hours of play depending on how hard and often you hit the ball.

2. String 56 main, 53 cross

Extra credit A: try to drop tension towards the outside mains (though tie offs usually relax some tension on the last mains anyway). I personally have been stringing -1lb on every 1 main from center (So center mains are 56, 2nd is 55, 54, 53, 52, 51, 50, 49) and do same thing for crosses so it's 47,49,50,51,52,53,53,53,53,53,52,51,51,50,50,49,49,48,47. This will give you a better mix of controlled center with more giving outsides.

Extra credit B: RF97 comes with a thin, stiff leather which makes the racket feel even stiffer than it really is. Not sure if that will help with the elbow, but swapping in a firm synthetic grip like RZR will smooth out the ride (it should be about the same weight, but you can always add a few grams of lead under the grip to get it exactly same)
 
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IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
#28
I played with my friend's RF97 (RPM 56lbs) for a few weeks, a while back. I really liked it, but I started developing a bit of pain in my elbow. The pain went away after I went back to my racket (Pure Drive & Aero - 300g models w/ Poly @58lbs) and I didn't think much of it. Besides I thought RPM @ 56 on a RF wasn't the best setup and caused my problem.

Finally it was time to pull the trigger on my own RF97 and I splurged. I bought the Laver LE and to be safe I went with a Gut-mains/Poly (59/56) setup. $330 later the racket arrived, it played great, but the pain returned. Dumb move for me to assume it wouldn't.

I called the place I bought it from but they obviously don't accept returns on used rackets. The rep made a good point though. Since the pain is in my elbow joint, and not the tendons or muscles, it may be more serious than just getting used to the extra weight of the RF.

I've stopped using it and use my Aero, for about a week and pain is 85% gone. I only ever felt it after playing, and not during. After warming up, the pain is not there either. I'm 40, lift weights, and am approaching on 4.0 rating by this season. I know the simple advice is to cut my losses and look elsewhere. I'm terrified of developing something permanent, yet, I'd like to give the RF an honest shot.

...Is it worth dropping tension, changing strings, or "easing into the racket" (Day 1-10min , Day 2-20mins, etc.) or is there something else to try?
I'm slightly older than you and can't play gut/poly in the RF97, even at low tensions, without elbow/wrist pain.

Had to abandon the racket for a softer ProStaff (97S) with full gut. No elbow pain now.

YMMV...
 
#29
Never from weights in this elbow. A lot of other places but not there... the usual. This pain seems to be in the elbow joint and it's not constant. It's only when I move my arm a certain way. Hard to pinpoint but for example when I lift my right arm out in front of me and straighten it out all the way, and then bend it a little, I'll feel it. It's just different type of pain, not one I normall get from weights or tennis. . Again it's not severe Im just so concerned about causing anything permanent.
bench press, pull ups, and a lot of tricep exercises aggravate my golfer’s elbow when its already been tweaked by a racquet.

that said, i play poly at 50 lbs in my RF97s. cyclone at the moment. doesnt bother me. when i had a bad case of golfers elbow about 2 yrs ago the only way i got rid of it was to stop playing tennis for awhile.
 
#30
bench press, pull ups, and a lot of tricep exercises aggravate my golfer’s elbow when its already been tweaked by a racquet.

that said, i play poly at 50 lbs in my RF97s. cyclone at the moment. doesnt bother me. when i had a bad case of golfers elbow about 2 yrs ago the only way i got rid of it was to stop playing tennis for awhile.
I had a bad case back around 2010 and six-months rest fixed it. I added the flexbar as a preventative.

I played with the RF97 with poly strung at 54 and it felt fine. I normally string my IG Prestige MPs at 52 with poly and it feels fine. I just change it when it loosens up, usually after 8-10 hours.
 
#31
RF97 @ 56 with RPM would be an arm crusher for me. Playing full poly in the RF97 I could play Hyper G at 49 or 50 but still fairly taxing on the arm.

55/52 with Gut/poly will help but make sure you have a slick, softer poly with good tension maintenance.
String my RF97’s from 57/54-59/56 but don’t get to 59/56 unless in the heat 90+ degrees. Winter time and cooler temps have been as low as 55/52.
Have a friend that plays the RF @ 52/52 with Klip/ Weiss Cannon Silver String. 3 grams of lead at 12. No loss of control and hits an extremely heavy ball.
 
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#33
Hi, tell me something please, do you get any pain when you lift weights? If it happened where exactly?

I would suggest that you follow the steps below:


1. Go in front of the mirror, relax at your usual posture and check if your one shoulder is lower. 95% it is.

If yes

2. Visit a Doctor of Osteopathy. For example, he may find that your pelvis is also not straight. He should fix you, and explain to you about the rest of your injuries, and how they relate to this elbow.

If yes

3. He will give you a new gym routine

And in order not to aggrevate it:

4. Go on court and stop playing the RF racquet as a Babolat Pure Drive...

Ideally find a good coach, that he has awareness of proper biomechanics, he should be able to explain to you...


5. The cause of the problem in your case is not directly related to the racquet or strings and vibrations...

95% the problem is over-using your arm in a lifting action, wrestling with the ball while trying to add extra spin with a racquet that does not rotate too quickly around its axis in comparison to the Babolat Pure Drive


Cheers, and good luck!
 
#34
I would suggest that you follow the steps below:


1. Go in front of the mirror, relax at your usual posture and check if your one shoulder is lower. 95% it is.

If yes

2. Visit an Doctor of Osteopathy. For example, he may find that your pelvis is also not straight. He should fix you, and explain to you about the rest of your injuries, and how they relate to this elbow.

If yes

3. He will give you a new gym routine

And in order not to aggrevate it:

4. Go on court and stop playing the RF racquet as a Babolat Pure Drive...

Ideally find a good coach, that he has awareness of proper biomechanics, he should be able to explain to you...


5. The Wilson is not the problem, and the problem in your case is not related to strings and vibrations...

95% the problem is over-using your arm in a lifting action, wrestling with the ball while trying to add extra spin with a racquet that does not rotate too quickly around its axis in comparison to the Babolat Pure Drive


Cheers, and good luck!
There is some truth here. If you go out and snatch at the ball with the RF97 like your using a Pure Drive it will hurt you. Have to play much smoother with the RF97. Stringing looser while in transition is a good idea. Lower the tension 4-5lbs on the mains and crosses and it will be a totally different set up. Like butter.
 
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#35
Not saying this is OP at all and is more of general observation, but it's amazing how many play with the RF97 or any racquet Roger uses despite not having the technical ability to be using such a stick. And then they wonder why they develop injuries...
 
#36
Not saying this is OP at all and is more of general observation, but it's amazing how many play with the RF97 or any racquet Roger uses despite not having the technical ability to be using such a stick. And then they wonder why they develop injuries...
Definitely have to come correct playing with the RF97. This is also the danger of adding weight to frames when the player doesn’t swing correctly. There can be problems.
 
#37
Definitely have to come correct playing with the RF97. This is also the danger of adding weight to frames when the player doesn’t swing correctly. There can be problems.
It’s also why the lighter stiffer frames saw a boom in the number of recreational tennis players, people could step onto a court and “play” without all the correct technique.
 
#38
Bam we have a root cause. I don't know what Tonic is, but it's not natural gut, is stiff and feels worse then any mutlifillament. You then toped it off with high tension and extra thick guage.

1. Get Klip Legend 16 (1.30mm) and some soft poly in 1.25mm with good tension maintanance for cross. You'll get 10-20 hours of play depending on how hard and often you hit the ball.

2. String 56 main, 53 cross

Extra credit A: try to drop tension towards the outside mains (though tie offs usually relax some tension on the last mains anyway). I personally have been stringing -1lb on every 1 main from center (So center mains are 56, 2nd is 55, 54, 53, 52, 51, 50, 49) and do same thing for crosses so it's 47,49,50,51,52,53,53,53,53,53,52,51,51,50,50,49,49,48,47. This will give you a better mix of controlled center with more giving outsides.

Extra credit B: RF97 comes with a thin, stiff leather which makes the racket feel even stiffer than it really is. Not sure if that will help with the elbow, but swapping in a firm synthetic grip like RZR will smooth out the ride (it should be about the same weight, but you can always add a few grams of lead under the grip to get it exactly same)
Very strange you feel this way. Tonic is the same as VS but didn’t pass the gauge tolerances.

I have used both and don’t notice much difference in feel.
 
#39
I played with my friend's RF97 (RPM 56lbs) for a few weeks, a while back. I really liked it, but I started developing a bit of pain in my elbow. The pain went away after I went back to my racket (Pure Drive & Aero - 300g models w/ Poly @58lbs) and I didn't think much of it. Besides I thought RPM @ 56 on a RF wasn't the best setup and caused my problem.

Finally it was time to pull the trigger on my own RF97 and I splurged. I bought the Laver LE and to be safe I went with a Gut-mains/Poly (59/56) setup. $330 later the racket arrived, it played great, but the pain returned. Dumb move for me to assume it wouldn't.

I called the place I bought it from but they obviously don't accept returns on used rackets. The rep made a good point though. Since the pain is in my elbow joint, and not the tendons or muscles, it may be more serious than just getting used to the extra weight of the RF.

I've stopped using it and use my Aero, for about a week and pain is 85% gone. I only ever felt it after playing, and not during. After warming up, the pain is not there either. I'm 40, lift weights, and am approaching on 4.0 rating by this season. I know the simple advice is to cut my losses and look elsewhere. I'm terrified of developing something permanent, yet, I'd like to give the RF an honest shot.

...Is it worth dropping tension, changing strings, or "easing into the racket" (Day 1-10min , Day 2-20mins, etc.) or is there something else to try?
What poly cross did you use?
 
#40
Very strange you feel this way. Tonic is the same as VS but didn’t pass the gauge tolerances.

I have used both and don’t notice much difference in feel.
Being that this is a natural product it's possible that a set of Tonic I bought from TW was a dried out or defective batch...but why waste money on shady Tonic when you can have dependable Klip Legend for the same $$? Never had any issue with it.
 
#41
59/56 is too tight. Even Federer, who plays at higher weight uses 57 in the mains. I say go down to 56/53. Also, make sure it's quality gut not some crap like Babolat Tonic. VS and Wilson gut is very good, but Klip Legend is good for a lot less.

Having said that, technique may be a big factor. If you are "arming' your stroke and don't whip it from your legs and rotation then a heavy racket can take a toll.
Fed uses the same specs as retail just that wilson QC can be f'ed so might be higher than Feds. No evidence to the contrary whatsoever. His hairpin is similar except for the weight in the handle I would guess and the mould to exactly match his other frames - with P1 leather grip.

http://tennisnerd.net/gear/racquets/pro-player-racquets/roger-federers-racquet-2/3065

Replies that he knows someone who owns his actual frame and tested on RDC.

The difference is Federers technique and taking the ball at the optimal time for this frame design. It is an evolution of his 90 after all.
 
#42
Being that this is a natural product it's possible that a set of Tonic I bought from TW was a dried out or defective batch...but why waste money on shady Tonic when you can have dependable Klip Legend for the same $$? Never had any issue with it.
I have had good luck with Klip also.
 
#43
I gave up my pure drive because of big arm injuries, (very stiff racket and full poly lux alu), my brother advised me to take a rather heavy racket, and flexible, on the advice of a (bad) ) seller, I came out with a pro staff 97 L I think, posted at 70RA, and also strung in luxilon alu. I have never had such pain in my arm. (at 25kg), my brother tried it, and directly cut me the string, to go first to plasma 22kg (it was much better), then weiss 6 star to 23kg (it was even better) ), to finally lend me one of his executives (prestige IG S) strung in gut / cream. From that day on, I did not have any pain in my arm, I understood that: a flexible racket (63 or 62RA I believe the prestige IG S), combined with a flexible string (really flexible, because natural gut, and a relatively soft poly), stretched quite low (21/17 kg) erased any impression of rigidity, hardness and pain. since, it's with what I play. and I never want to go back to something more rigid. I even think of donnay (pro one 97 ultra soft), which has a flex of 50RA. I'm just waiting for feedback on this frame if...
Sounds to me like your fortunes ran in line with your string choice more than the racquets. If arm comfort remains a high priority for you going forward, I'd say stick with the softest string layout that's manageable for you - not so soft that it plays like Jell-o on a stick, but...

From what I've seen over the last 12-14 years of stringing and coaching, string softness usually has the more profound contribution toward arm health. A pal of mine recovered from a crippling case of tennis elbow, but after being sidelined for several months, he decided to keep his Pure Drive Roddicks. Somewhat hefty frames, but also plenty stiff. He got rid of the poly that gave him the tennis elbow shortly after switching into that string and tried playing with full beds of snug natural gut. He experienced zero discomfort in his arm over the course of his comeback. I wouldn't have believed this if I hadn't seen it for myself.
 
#44
I played with my friend's RF97 (RPM 56lbs) for a few weeks, a while back. I really liked it, but I started developing a bit of pain in my elbow. The pain went away after I went back to my racket (Pure Drive & Aero - 300g models w/ Poly @58lbs) and I didn't think much of it. Besides I thought RPM @ 56 on a RF wasn't the best setup and caused my problem.

Finally it was time to pull the trigger on my own RF97 and I splurged. I bought the Laver LE and to be safe I went with a Gut-mains/Poly (59/56) setup. $330 later the racket arrived, it played great, but the pain returned. Dumb move for me to assume it wouldn't.

I called the place I bought it from but they obviously don't accept returns on used rackets. The rep made a good point though. Since the pain is in my elbow joint, and not the tendons or muscles, it may be more serious than just getting used to the extra weight of the RF.

I've stopped using it and use my Aero, for about a week and pain is 85% gone. I only ever felt it after playing, and not during. After warming up, the pain is not there either. I'm 40, lift weights, and am approaching on 4.0 rating by this season. I know the simple advice is to cut my losses and look elsewhere. I'm terrified of developing something permanent, yet, I'd like to give the RF an honest shot.

...Is it worth dropping tension, changing strings, or "easing into the racket" (Day 1-10min , Day 2-20mins, etc.) or is there something else to try?
Many good points already made. However one huge point is your timing with the heavier rkt, possible you are hitting late
I have been hitting the back and white version strung with Champions choice 53 gut mains 50 poly in crosses
Also hit the black version with solinico hyper G at 50 no issues
Hopefully you get to solve the issue
Think about technique always in my opinion a reason for injury
 
#45
-You make a good point. What really attracted me to the RF is the fact that it forces and rewards proper technique. I tend to get lazy with my racquet and not prepare early enough and swing sloppy... especially after an hour or 2 on court.
-I didn't realize tonic was garbage. I actually got it in the 15 for durability.
-And finally if you're suggesting a few pounds might make a difference I'm going to step on the strings. That should bring down the tension a few pounds. I dropped 4+ lbs in my Aero w Hyper-g which someone strung too high at 62+.
Not trying to convince you to keep the RF 97 or dump it, but one thing you can do to scrutinize what's going on is to try doing a few minutes of ghost strokes and practice serve motions without hitting any balls. I sometimes have the kids I coach try this to see whether they have a gremlin with their timing to the ball or if the fundamental movement (practice stroke/serve motion) causes some trouble.

***Edit-Insert*** No idea exactly what's going on, but it could be the case that you're doing something a little too deliberate or forceful with your serve when your arm swings over the top with that RF 97. Either straightening it too much with your serve or maybe your forehand? If you can do it pain free when taking practice strokes, it might just mean that your timing to the ball needs to change. ***

It often doesn't matter whether a racquet and string combo has earned an arm-friendly reputation for itself if the player using it can't get it to the ball with a smooth swing and decent timing. If a hefty racquet is a little slower than what that player is familiar with, that's when "arming" the racquet in a late rush to the ball creates too much tension (and fatigue). Then the potential for irritation and injury can really creep in.

Another significant aspect of racquet comfort is balance. Even if a relatively heavy frame has a couple more points of HL balance than the Babolat that you're used to playing, it might still be slower than your familiar frames without "enough" HL balance. I rather enjoy playing with the Volkl C10, but mine have lead added to their handles for a more comfortable balance. Worth a try if you haven't experimented with it yet.
 
#46
Rpm blast 1.25 at 50

It is the TWH Chris racquet of choice


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Thanks for your recommendation!!! I took your advice and demoed the racket. Holly crap. It is ALL WRONG even looks and feels kind of odd, but it feels like cheating when I play with it. They say it's not great at the net for touch, but I haven't really had time to test that, maybe the right string/tension? The only thing that threw me off is that the demo I got was strung with a Prince Tour XC 15L (discontinued string) and it's only @ 30-35lbs now. So I don't know how that affected it. Would I love it with right string/tension. Id either do something closest to the XC 15L at 57 or I would do Hyper-G at close to 60. My favorite string, love it in my aero at 60.... I would love to hear any thoughts on this. My thinking is to negate some of the power and perhaps loss of control with a stiff poly at high lbs, but maybe I'm wrong. This thing was amazing with 35lbs and tons of spin too. Thanks again! I'm blown away surprised with this raquet. No wonder Chris chose it!
 
#47
Don’t discount the increase in weight as a contributing factor, it’s not always the string set up or the racket stiffness that causes these types of injuries.
you're absolutely right, when my arm was still hurting a little I felt it even on Shadow swings. It's been a few weeks in my arms 98% there.
 

morten

Hall of Fame
#48
Rf 97 is the worst racket when it comes to quality control. Specs and especially swingweight differed 40! Swingweight points. If you have some of the heavier swinging one it could be the reason
 
#49
you're absolutely right, when my arm was still hurting a little I felt it even on Shadow swings. It's been a few weeks in my arms 98% there.
Yeah I had a sports therapist look at my TE, she's worked with WTA players at some point, she mentioned several factors that contribute to TE. There's a lot of focus on TTW on RA and the string set up, but she mentioned grip size and weight, which prior to that I hadn't really considered. Technique is also a factor, something about pre-load in the opposite muscle group, as well as timing in terms of the optimal point of impact to minimise the impact to the elbow. My TE has never completely gone away, don't expect it will, but that probably has more to do with age now I'm guessing.
 
#50
I think its a jar to the system to change from 320 SW 11oz rackets to a 340 SW 13 oz racket. Better to work up gradually to that kind of racket by adding lead to your Pure Aero and getting used to it.

Also with a heavier racket you might want a bigger grip size.

And avoid Poly as much as possible.
 
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