do these stiffer 98" players racquets cause arm pain for you?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by naturallight, Jun 12, 2018 at 9:48 AM.

  1. naturallight

    naturallight Semi-Pro

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    If my shoulder hurts from playing with racquets like the Bab APD and Head Extreme, should I also stay away from the Wilson Blade 98 (66 stiff, 87 rated comfort, 144 vibration), and Bab Pure Strike (67 stiff, 88 rated comfort, 148 vibration)?

    Has anyone made the switch and noticed the Blade/Pure Strike to be a lot more comfortable? Or are they really not that much different in comfort from racquets like the APD and Extreme?

    Thanks in advance!
     
    #1
  2. styksnstryngs

    styksnstryngs Professional

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    It really depends on the individual. I get a little arm pain from APDs and extremes after a while, but I'm fine with radicals, speeds, prestiges, pure strikes and blades.
     
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  3. time_fly

    time_fly Professional

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    Many people, including me, had pain from the white “Project One Seven” Pure Strikes
     
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  4. Big Bagel

    Big Bagel New User

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    The APD feels stiffer than what the overall stiffness rating is because it's very stiff in the hoop. That's what gives it so much power. The Blade isn't a soft racquet but it definitely should feel softer than the APD. I don't have much experience with the Pure Strike, but I've heard mix things about the comfort. The Head Prestige line is much better for comfort. I also like the Yonex VCore Pro and Duel G racquets are a little more comfortable than the Blades as well. These racquets aren't going to play very similar to the APD though if that's one of the things you're looking for. Nothing will play close to the APD and be comfortable.
     
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  5. neverstopplaying

    neverstopplaying Professional

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    I stay away from the really stiff ones (over 70RA); I played with for a while was a Dunlop 500 and developed a case of tennis elbow after 10 days of so. I also could not handle the Extreme. However I was fine with around 66RA racquets: Blades, Yonex ezone 100 and I now play with a Pure Strike and find it quite comfortable. I use very thin poly (Hyper G 18 ga).
     
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  6. CopolyX

    CopolyX Hall of Fame

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    Nope...

    but remember the ball hits the strings (for me) and not the frame...
    and most of my 98/97/95/90/85 ...have good flex...
    Except for some volkls and some odd balls....but no issues with the right string config.
     
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  7. Dartagnan64

    Dartagnan64 Hall of Fame

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    My problem is the right string combination for comfort in a stiff racket turns them into rocket launchers.
    I find it very hard to keep a ball in the court with a PD, APD or Head Extreme if it doesn't have some poly in the frame. Even very high tension multis, while reducing power, don't have enough spin at those tensions and just snap way too quickly.

    It's much easier to get a lower powered flexible frame and adjust your power up with stringing low tensions or eliminating poly, all the while staying comfortable.

    Even 66 RA rackets bother my arm eventually strung with nice soft strings. It wasn't until I went into the 50's with RA that I finally got things turned around.
     
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  8. mike schiffer

    mike schiffer New User

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    I play with big topspin off both sides so a soft string like Forten Sweet 17 may act like a rocket launcher but am able to harness the power with spin....keeps me out of the docs office and along with massage and Volkl racquets....all I have to do is stay away from any co-poly and I can play for hours pain free(I'm 66).....You do have to do everything the pro's do...
     
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  9. kramer woodie

    kramer woodie Professional

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    A long time ago, I had shoulder pain from playing with a 15.5 ounce Jack Kramer Autograph strung with Victor Blue Twist natural gut 16ga
    at 72 pounds with a 4-7/8 inch grip. Took about 2-3 days of hitting for 3-4 hours to soften up the string bed. That was back in the 60s.

    Now at 72 years old, I use a Yonex SV98plus extended 4-1/2 inch grip strung with full poly in the mid-30s pound range. On good days, I can
    really pound the ball. The 43 year old ex-Pro I hit with has said to me, he has never seen anyone over seventy hit the ball with as much pace
    as I do, on days I feel good.

    The hard part of being older is getting all strokes to function properly on the same day. Sometimes, it can be serve great...volleys not good...groundstrokes ok...spin mediocre. You get the picture, tough to get everything to perform great during the same match. This leads
    to some interesting challenges. How do you compensate for weakest in order to still win. Makes tennis interesting.

    So, Yonex 98plus, stiff racquet, longer equals more leverage, but No Shoulder Pain. Then again, maybe I just don't notice any pain there
    because everything is supposed to hurt at my age?

    Aloha
     
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  10. Crocodile

    Crocodile Hall of Fame

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    I would stay away from those racquets you mentioned if you have arm and/or shoulder issues irrespective of an 87 comfort rating. Greater comfort can be found with Prince, Pro Kennex, Volkl, Pacific, Donnay, Dunlop , Yonex and Angell. In particular I'd be looking at 64 RA and lower with a few exceptions such as Volkl SG V1 Pro which has superior arm comfort for its 67 stiffness. Pro Kennex kinetic frames can also offer good comfort with higher stiffness.
     
    #10
  11. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

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    Agree with our pals above in terms of the relative comfort of these different frames.

    Strings can often be the key to achieving a greater level of comfort. I'm not saying that they definitely will make the difference for you, but if you're using a stiff string layout now and you're hurting, swap in some softer stuff and see what that gives you before you go on a safari seeking a different frame.

    If you have some poly in your racquet now, you can get a more civilized (arm friendly) setup by simply switching to a bed of synthetic gut. A multifiber will probably be even a little softer than syn. gut, but I'm not much of a fan of that string type. It's performance seems to steadily degrade for me as I use it - compared with syn. gut - and it's usually more costly for what it gives me. A decent option if you want to go to a significantly softer string layout, but it might not last as long as some other sorts of string.

    When elbows or forearms (or both) get grumpy for anybody, that can often be addressed right away with softer string (at least in terms of equipment), but shoulders are more tricky to sort out. Sometimes they can become irritated from a racquet that's not a good weight or balance for that player or sometimes overuse or not-so-good technique can contribute to shoulder issues. Bad string options might be irritating for some shoulders, but not always.

    One problem that's not rare is serving with a racquet that's too heavy for that player, but the frames you've listed above aren't what I'd call terribly beefy compared with some other offerings. Arriving at your most comfortable fit might just come down to a couple of demo sessions. If you go this route, I recommend keeping notes for refer to down the road. After some trials, the notes might help with narrowing down the racquet specs that make you cozy.

    As a happy and comfortable Volkl nerd, I recommend a look at their current options if you need some demo ideas.
     
    #11
  12. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Here are all the racquets I've played extensively in the last 10 years and how they felt on my arm. I'm going by how much pain I feel after a match (not necessarily by soft feel). I'm also rating them from 1-10 (10 being most comfortable, 6 or better is acceptable)

    Babolat APD - Lots of pain with poly. Still some pain with soft strings after a few games. Score = 3
    Pro Kennex Ki5x - No pain with soft strings. A little pain with poly. Score = 8
    Pro Kennex Ki5 320- Similar to Ki5x. Feels stiffer but just as painless in the end. Score = 8
    Prince Tour 98 ESP - No pain. Can play with any strings. Score = 10
    Prince Beast 98 O3 - Similar to Ki5x. Seem to feel slight stiffness in forearm after match but very acceptable. Score =7
    Babolat Pure Strike 98 16x19 - No pain with soft strings for one set. 2nd set starts to feel some pain. Score = 4

    Obviously, the Babolats did not work out for me, and I REALLY wanted to like the Pure Strike 98 because I loved the way it played. Also, you can't always just go by the stiffness rating. Even though the Pro Kennex Ki5 320 has an RA 68 and feels and hits like a stiffer frame, it doesn't hurt my arm. The kinetic dampening system really works.
     
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  13. Simplicius

    Simplicius Rookie

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    In many cases shoulder pain has to do with higher static weight of a racquet.
    The pain in the arm-elbow is the one that's more affected by higher stiffness...
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2018 at 10:09 AM
    #13
  14. jmacdaununder2

    jmacdaununder2 Professional

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    Tour 98 ESP is freakishly comfortable isn't it? I can't believe how little shock is transferred, even with full poly. Can't get enough power on serve or consistent control unfortunately, but it's great to have for bad arm days.
     
    #14
  15. graycrait

    graycrait Hall of Fame

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    I gave away my Blade 98s in 18x20 and gave away my Babolats a long time ago. I would hit with these young guns who hit heavy spinny balls and more often than I would like hit late and wreck my elbow.

    However, in my quest for flexy rackets I stumbled on this: Babolat Pure Storm Team GT, RA 60, 21mm. Some simple grip mods and it is 11.7oz headlight. I'm taking it for a swing with my other near RA60 or <RA60 rackets this morning.
     
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  16. NicoMK

    NicoMK Rookie

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    Hi,

    Nice list but one of the racket above caused me a tennis elbow - with soft strings and low tension ! - 3 months ago and I have not recovered yet. And this is something that I had never experienced before with my heavy / soft Fischers.

    So I believe it would depend on individuals but be careful.

    Apparently many Prince are good for your arm but I don't know them so I can't tell.

    I, as the other, would recommend flexy frames and would forget the lighter ones too!!

    Try the Volkl, Pacific or if you can find some Fischer on EB***, just give them a go you won't be disappointed :).

    And you should avoid polys too. Just my opinion though.

    Good luck !
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018 at 7:03 AM
    #16
  17. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    With the Tour 98 ESP, I would almost say my arm felt better after a match than it did before a match!
     
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  18. NicoMK

    NicoMK Rookie

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    :D

    Is it THAT good ?
     
    #18
  19. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    My arm is so sensitive, when I tried a Gut/Poly hybrid on my PK Ki5x I started feeling numbness after just the 3-4 hour mark. So my arm can sense when a poly cross is just starting to die, even with natural gut mains! With the Tour 98 ESP I was able to play with a full bed of Kirschbaum Black Shark, which is probably the stiffest poly I tried to date. No pain whatsoever, and I was able to keep playing with it until it broke after about 6 hours (it eats strings really fast). It's the combination of 58 RA, O-ports, AND the Prince Bridge on the throat. They really stacked this racquet for comfort.
     
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  20. Sardines

    Sardines Semi-Pro

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    The stiffest racquet I have ever used was the RF97A, which is a 70-71 on a RDC. The only time I feel any discomfort is after a 3-4 week layoff the courts and then trying to hit like I never left. LIttle niggles in the forearm and front delts from serving, mostly if I don't restring full polys. Gut/hybrids are ok.
    Once I switched to a 67-68 RDC measured SV98+, which had the same swing weight, but lighter overall by 20-25g, I got some niggles in the front delts on big serving days in singles but not doubles. With regular weight training, it stopped completely after 2 months.
     
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  21. TennisHound

    TennisHound Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't stay away from any of them. The new CV Blade 16x19 caused me a little wrist pain, but I think it could be dialed in with string and weight in the handle (its fairly HH). The Pure Aero only caused me a little pain when I added weight to the head. Never had a problem with the Extreme.
     
    #21
  22. Sambuccashake

    Sambuccashake Hall of Fame

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    #22
  23. li0scc0

    li0scc0 Hall of Fame

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    What kills me are mis-hits + stiffness. An 85 sq.in. racquet ...I mishit a lot, so no matter the flex, I have pain. I could likely use any flex in a 107+ sq.in. racquet with no issues (by issues I mean vibration/pain, I doubt I could keep the ball in the lines!).
    My favorite size for play quality is in the 95-98 range. Within that range, it is imperative I have the right flex, otherwise, a mild mishit (out of the sweet spot) can be problematic.
     
    #23
  24. naturallight

    naturallight Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for the feedback everyone. Really appreciate it.
     
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