Help with a Racquet Change - Need More Power and Less Elbow Pain

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by tsheehan7, Jun 10, 2011.

  1. tsheehan7

    tsheehan7 New User

    Jun 8, 2011
    I've been using the Head Extreme Pro MP for the last two years, strung at 55 lbs with Prince Premier LT 16 synthetic gut. I'm a 4.0-Low type of player with moderate topsin, slice backhand, and a good kick serve.

    Two issues:

    Power - I feel as though I'm a pretty strong and in-shape guy, but my groundstrokes would indicate otherwise. I'm sure my technique isn't perfect, but I'm always told I have a great swing. According to TW's calculator, I might be using about the most powerful racquet out there, so I'm wondering where to go from here. I know a good carpenter never blames his tools, but is there another similarly spec'd racquet that might offer more power? I've previously played with a Yonex RQS series racquet which I found far too light and unstable at the net. I'm comfortable with the 100 sq. inch head size, but I suppose I would go a few inches more than that. The 95 sq. inch racquets I've demoed have been way out of my league in the past.

    Elbow - I've recently developed terrible tennis elbow. I've been icing and doing some light concentric/eccentric excersies and it's improving, but I'm wondering if my strings or tension setting might have something to do with it.

    Some racquets on my demo list are:
    Head YOUTEK Prestige Midplus
    Yones RDS 003
    Wilson KFactor KSurge (a racquet I almost bought two years ago)
    Babolate Aeropro Drive GT plus

    Any advice would be much appreciated.
  2. ssonosk

    ssonosk Semi-Pro

    Apr 22, 2011
    Paulding County, Ga
    it would help if you use a non stiff racquet with a low string tension.
  3. TheOneHander

    TheOneHander Professional

    Jan 9, 2010
    If you're looking to avoid elbow issues, stay away from the APDGT and the KSurge. They're both fairly stiff and are not known as arm friendly frames. The Prestige won't have enough power for you, as the Extreme has tons more power by comparison. The best racquet on that list for you is the Yonex-it's flexible enough to protect your arm while providing good pop as well.
  4. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Jan 27, 2008
    the Radical Pro seems like a great candidate for you given its flex of 58, similar weight on the lighter side for customization and 100sq.

    If you play and plan to develop topspin, yeah, 100sq face is the way to go.
  5. yonexpurestorm

    yonexpurestorm Rookie

    May 18, 2011
    Huntington Beach, CA
    i used to get really bad tennis elbow. demoed many rackets and strings. the main thing you need to look at is the stiffness of the racket. anything over 65 destroyed my arm. ended up using the pure storm tour. feels good on the elbow. but probably more importantly, you need to string with a multifilament. ive always liked smaller headsized and 98 was pushn it for me, so i cant really comment on anything larger.
  6. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

    Feb 19, 2004
    Try some of the Volkl racquets ( review their specs) or even the PK 5G. those are very arm friendly.
  7. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

    Sep 30, 2009
    Before switching racquets, you may want to try natural gut strung at the lower end of the frame's tension range. That should give you more power and less elbow pain.
  8. jk816

    jk816 Rookie

    Sep 23, 2010
    When I've found myself lacking in power, I tend to realize that I'm not moving into the ball well enough. Kinetic chain (forward weight moving, torsional core/ shoulder rotation) accounts for more power than your arm or racquet. Check to see if you are really stepping or leaning into the ball enough.

    MY TE was resoved when I went to Volkl PB10 Mid; if I wanted a similar arm friendly racquet that was a bit lighter with more power from the stick itself, I'd look at a Becker London.

    Good luck!

  9. tsheehan7

    tsheehan7 New User

    Jun 8, 2011
    I demo'd a Volkl PB 7 today and have to say I was pretty impressed. At 107 sq. inches it seems enormous, but I didn't feel like it was super lacking in feel.

    Some of the higher numbered 500/600 Dunlops felt nice as well. I appreciate everyone's advice and will post back with my finalists for more advice.
  10. brownsfan456

    brownsfan456 New User

    May 25, 2011
    Give the Dunlop line a shot. The 300 and 500 are both fairly arm friendly sticks.
  11. TheBoom

    TheBoom Hall of Fame

    Feb 28, 2010
    Kingwood texas
    +1 on the 300's with a dampener and soft string it is a more powerful radical with more control and decent spin
  12. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Legend

    Oct 2, 2010
    The 6
    You might also want to try the Dunlop 200 & 200 Tour, and any of the Wilson 6.1 BLX 95 series.

    You might at first find them heavier than what you're used to, but the weight of a racket reduces TE risk - one of the reasons pros use heavier frames.

    And if you don't find them "powerful" enough, simply drop the string tension.
  13. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

    Oct 20, 2006
    The racquet you've got now is more or less Head's incarnation of the Pure Drive. If you're looking for more power and a happier elbow, I'd say you need to get some demos with frames that are both heavier and softer than your current option.

    When you mentioned that the RQS racquet you tried was too unstable at net for you, that was quite telling for me. I do most of my business up at the net and simply can't impose my will without enough stability in my gear. Tried it... with more than one "lighter" frame... couldn't do it. I used the ProStaff 6.1 Classics for a good long time, but in more recent history I've been getting great all-court performance with the softer Volkl C10 Pro 98.

    A few years ago I rebuilt my strokes and now hit a full topspin one-handed backhand. Though I've never had tennis elbow myself, there's certainly a greater likelihood of an occasional twinge in there when I hit with stiffer racquets. The Volkl is soft enough for me that I've never had arm discomfort from using it, even when strung in the low 60's with 16 gauge syn. gut.

    The softer racquet is cozy for me, but it also gives me a lot more control at the baseline. Even if the response or "pop" off the string bed isn't quite so lively, I can swing away with the softer racquets and still keep the ball down on the court. Bottom line (for me): the frames with more heft as well as more flex are stable and also allow me to play with more power. There is certainly such a thing as too much racquet flex for some players, but you'll recognize that when you test drive a frame and the thing just plays like a dead fish.

    Regardless of your racquet, I definitely think it's smart to stay away from stiffer string (poly or kevlar, even in a hybrid), even in an "arm-friendly" racquet. If you can sample some multifiber or even natural gut in your racquet before unloading it, I doubt that would make things any worse for you, but you may find some improvement.
  14. Staarr

    Staarr New User

    Feb 20, 2010
    The Beach
    I used that same Head racquet for a short time and hated it. It hurt my arm too...My TE has been helped by using arm friendly racquets and natural gut or other really soft string. Currently have PK SQ Special Ed. strung with VS Team gut and Prince EXO3 Tour Team strung with Prince Premier LT 16 (which seems to get softer after a few hours of play). The strings make the biggest difference - don't take chances hurting your arm - takes too long to heal once you get it back in shape! Good luck!
  15. Bartelby

    Bartelby Talk Tennis Guru

    Nov 14, 2005
    Red Square, Moscow
    The new vcore 95 has just been reviewed by TW and seems what you want, but wait till the other vcore reviews.
  16. zumzool

    zumzool Semi-Pro

    Jul 12, 2010
    From what the others have suggested, I recommend the VCORE and the Becker London as well. They'll both be up your alley....

    I would not recommend the Radical Pro or the Dunlop 4d 200 Tour. The Radical Pro while flexible, is sluggish with the high swing weight and even balance. The Dunlop 4D 200 Tour is a fantastic racquet but again you have to be strong to yield it. especially on serves.... don't know much about the biomimetic line though, and those may work...
  17. prjacobs

    prjacobs Hall of Fame

    Jul 4, 2009
    Respectfully, I had a different experience with the 4D 500 tour. I loved the frame but the stiffness hurt my shoulder and I had to move on.
  18. nikkhasnis

    nikkhasnis Rookie

    Dec 11, 2006
    San Francisco area
    Are the Dunlop Bio 200 Lite and Bab Pure Storm Gt rackets considered to be arm friendly?
  19. Baxter

    Baxter Professional

    Jun 18, 2008
    I switched to a Pro Kennex 7G because of arm pain and I've never had a problem since, and that was three years ago. A friend of mine and sometimes doubles partner followed my example and had identical results. It's relatively stiff at 66 but I love the way it plays, especially at the net. I don't know if those little BBs actually do anything, but I do know my pain went away and never came back.
  20. mikeler

    mikeler Moderator

    Sep 26, 2008
    Central Florida

    Does it feel stiff or are you just going by the rating?
  21. raguhtheman

    raguhtheman Rookie

    Nov 9, 2009
    Garden State
    Tecnifibre speedflex 315

    I strongly suggest you demo Tecnifibre speedflex 315. Lot of power, but good on the arm due to silicone in the handle. It's 100 sq in, bit heavier than your Extreme.

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