Moving on from my Wilson Ultra Tour, looking for suggestions

stevenole08

New User
Hello TalkTennis,

So over the past few months I've been making a push to get out of 4.0 and into 4.5, went from playing 2 times a week to 4-5. I absolutely love my Ultra Tour, but since day one its always bothered my elbow and with the increase in play its starting to become and actual problem. (Tentative on hitting thru returns and such) I've been doing the necessary PT which has helped, but its time to face the music and get a racquet that I can play with a lot, and not do any dmg. I am looking for something that has the feel/touch of this racquet that will be more arm-friendly. It is an 18x20, which I like, but maybe more spin, and more arm friendly string pattern wouldnt be a bad switch for me. I am also racquet-illiterate so I've been browsing this forum, and the tennis warehouse compare tool to sort of get some similar racquets ideas. That being said, I have no idea what I'm doing and was hoping I could get some suggestions from some experts on the internet (you guys are all experts right?). Because demos get pricey with all the stringing, I was hoping to go into it knowing which demos I want, and keeping the list reasonably small.


Current setup.... Wilson Ultra Tour 97 ver2 (Tennis warehouse labels this as 6 pt headlight, but the racquet actually says 9)
General play style is big serve, mostly baseline game. I'm working towards becoming more all court, but trading baseline shots in my biggest strength, I generally look to overpower opponents.

18x20 string pattern
Volkl Psycho strings, with the Polys in crosses. (not by preference, just softer) 52lbs https://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Volkl_Psycho_Hybrid_17_String_Black_Silver/descpageACVOLKL-VPSY17.html
Few grams of lead tape on the sides of the racquet head.
(I don't think it matters but I use some babolat dampener in the strings)



Some demos I'm looking to pick up:

Wilson Ultra Countervail- there's a 100 and a 95, going to a 95 feels wrong, I'm not exactly a technician out there and the 97 I hit with currently feels as small as I really wanna go. The 100 is probably a bit more powerful.

Wilson Blade Countervail - I heard this thing has no feel, but at least it wont wreck my elbow

Babolat Pure Strike - Feels more powerful than my ultra, but similar overall, still hurts my elbow a bit. I didn't demo this one myself but my partner hits with it so I tried it out. His string job was foreign to me, very low.

Prince Phantom Pro 100 - Recommended to me by the tool on this site. Low confidence in this one, haven't hit a Prince since I first started (ozone I think... its been like 10 years)



Thanks for any and all help!
 

fundrazer

Legend
Scrap the Pure Strike and Ultras. Those sticks probably aren't going to help your elbow issues much. Maybe the Pure Strike VS could be an option, as I believe it's less stiff (it's essentially the old pure control/pure storm I think)

You could try the VCore 98/100, and it sounds like the Diadem Elevates are also worth looking at.
 

mpournaras

Hall of Fame
If its arm pain you are feeling in an Ultra tour with an already soft poly hybrid at a low (52) tension... youre gonna have a tough time.

I would say of the ones you listed the Ultra CVs and the Pure Strike have not been known to be more comfy than the Ultra Tour... by any means. I would try the Prince Phantom 100 310 18/20. People seem to be liking it. The 18/20 in addition to the 100 inch head is a nice combo. They are the plush choice from the Prince line up.

If I had to pick 4 for you... based on your spec range and need for control... and arm issues... I'd go:
Wilson Clash Tour
Phantom Pro 18/20
Pure Strike VS Tour (The VS is their comfy control version. The old Pure Storm mold)
 

Jakesteroni

Semi-Pro
Vcore 98 yonex 16x19 is tighter than others so control is not an issue. Comfort was the update.

Prince phantoms. Not a prince fan myself but ppl love it for the comfort

Babolat VS

Demo them and see what works for ya. Don’t be shy to string lower like in the mid 40’s and below. There comes a point where it’ll open up the bed more and add comfort.

You may consider a heavier frame, if you can handle it, which can help comfort. Something like vcore pro 330 or one of the heavier phantoms.
 

Chezbeeno

Professional
If comfort/pain is an issue, I would very much recommend the Clash (whether the 100 or the Tour). The Blade is an amazing racquet, if you can use it without pain (my current tennis aspiration). Lots of people say the CV has "no feel"...just try it and make that judgment for yourself.
Beyond those 3, I've heard that some Volkl frames are fairly arm-friendly, but I haven't tried any personally.
Good luck with your search!
 

beepee1972

Rookie
Try prince phantom or tour series. If you are willing to really think out of the box - your arm will thank you for it - try a Volkl or Prokennex. A V1 pro or a Q tour or Q5 series sound most suitable in your case
 

Crocodile

Hall of Fame
Hello TalkTennis,

So over the past few months I've been making a push to get out of 4.0 and into 4.5, went from playing 2 times a week to 4-5. I absolutely love my Ultra Tour, but since day one its always bothered my elbow and with the increase in play its starting to become and actual problem. (Tentative on hitting thru returns and such) I've been doing the necessary PT which has helped, but its time to face the music and get a racquet that I can play with a lot, and not do any dmg. I am looking for something that has the feel/touch of this racquet that will be more arm-friendly. It is an 18x20, which I like, but maybe more spin, and more arm friendly string pattern wouldnt be a bad switch for me. I am also racquet-illiterate so I've been browsing this forum, and the tennis warehouse compare tool to sort of get some similar racquets ideas. That being said, I have no idea what I'm doing and was hoping I could get some suggestions from some experts on the internet (you guys are all experts right?). Because demos get pricey with all the stringing, I was hoping to go into it knowing which demos I want, and keeping the list reasonably small.


Current setup.... Wilson Ultra Tour 97 ver2 (Tennis warehouse labels this as 6 pt headlight, but the racquet actually says 9)
General play style is big serve, mostly baseline game. I'm working towards becoming more all court, but trading baseline shots in my biggest strength, I generally look to overpower opponents.

18x20 string pattern
Volkl Psycho strings, with the Polys in crosses. (not by preference, just softer) 52lbs https://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Volkl_Psycho_Hybrid_17_String_Black_Silver/descpageACVOLKL-VPSY17.html
Few grams of lead tape on the sides of the racquet head.
(I don't think it matters but I use some babolat dampener in the strings)



Some demos I'm looking to pick up:

Wilson Ultra Countervail- there's a 100 and a 95, going to a 95 feels wrong, I'm not exactly a technician out there and the 97 I hit with currently feels as small as I really wanna go. The 100 is probably a bit more powerful.

Wilson Blade Countervail - I heard this thing has no feel, but at least it wont wreck my elbow

Babolat Pure Strike - Feels more powerful than my ultra, but similar overall, still hurts my elbow a bit. I didn't demo this one myself but my partner hits with it so I tried it out. His string job was foreign to me, very low.

Prince Phantom Pro 100 - Recommended to me by the tool on this site. Low confidence in this one, haven't hit a Prince since I first started (ozone I think... its been like 10 years)



Thanks for any and all help!
Hi Steven
Thx for your post and question. I have just read it and a few things have come into my mind:
1. Be careful changing either the volume, intensity and frequency of your tennis in a short amount of time. Thus can cause injuries very easily.
2. While your arm is trying to get better I would stay away from all polyester strings and go with a multi filament like Tecnifibre X One bi phase in the 1.3 gauge.
3. As a general rule with racquets you probably need to make your grip larger and add some mass under the handle. I wouldn't add any at 12, 10 and 2 or 9 and 3 because many current frames already have high SW's
4. Specifically related to the Ultra tour: it's a comfortable racquet for your arm but for most advanced players 4.5 and above will find it too light to ptotect your arm. It's the same with the Phantom Pro, beautiful soft frame but low static weight with moderately high SW, which I don't think is good for your elbow. Saying this, I don't know how strong you are or how you play so you need to relate this information to your specific situation.
5. What racquets do I think will help your arm? In my opinion definately go with a PK Q Plus 315 or 325. It's the best out there becsuse it's got good mass and technology. An older Volkl Tour 10 series mp 325 ( tour 10, V Engine, SG) and current Yonex V Vore 95 are all great. Out of the ones you have or mentioned, you can customise your Wilson UT by adding mass to the handle, make your handle bigger, string in multi at no higher than 50 and if you get one of the Prince Phantoms I would do the same thing.
I would stay away from the Pure Strike, many of my players have developed both wrist and elbow tendinitis from this frame and don't trust the Blade CV because Wilson are having trouble getting the specs right and frames are landing in shops with higher SW's than they should be. Hope this is of help to you.
 
Most of the suggested racquets do not really fit any of your preferences. For maximum comfort, probably a donnay pro one 97 18x20 hexacore would be the way to go, with maybe an angell tc97/tc95 18x20 or k7 lime as another option. I haven’t tried it but a prokennex ki q tour pro 325 or redondo type c could be pretty comfy. Of course with the ultra tour being, by reputation, a decently comfortable racquet the larger factors would probably be strings, weight, and frequency/intensity of play.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
Hello TalkTennis,

So over the past few months I've been making a push to get out of 4.0 and into 4.5, went from playing 2 times a week to 4-5. I absolutely love my Ultra Tour, but since day one its always bothered my elbow and with the increase in play its starting to become and actual problem. (Tentative on hitting thru returns and such) I've been doing the necessary PT which has helped, but its time to face the music and get a racquet that I can play with a lot, and not do any dmg. I am looking for something that has the feel/touch of this racquet that will be more arm-friendly. It is an 18x20, which I like, but maybe more spin, and more arm friendly string pattern wouldnt be a bad switch for me. I am also racquet-illiterate so I've been browsing this forum, and the tennis warehouse compare tool to sort of get some similar racquets ideas. That being said, I have no idea what I'm doing and was hoping I could get some suggestions from some experts on the internet (you guys are all experts right?). Because demos get pricey with all the stringing, I was hoping to go into it knowing which demos I want, and keeping the list reasonably small.


Current setup.... Wilson Ultra Tour 97 ver2 (Tennis warehouse labels this as 6 pt headlight, but the racquet actually says 9)
General play style is big serve, mostly baseline game. I'm working towards becoming more all court, but trading baseline shots in my biggest strength, I generally look to overpower opponents.

18x20 string pattern
Volkl Psycho strings, with the Polys in crosses. (not by preference, just softer) 52lbs https://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Volkl_Psycho_Hybrid_17_String_Black_Silver/descpageACVOLKL-VPSY17.html
Few grams of lead tape on the sides of the racquet head.
(I don't think it matters but I use some babolat dampener in the strings)



Some demos I'm looking to pick up:

Wilson Ultra Countervail- there's a 100 and a 95, going to a 95 feels wrong, I'm not exactly a technician out there and the 97 I hit with currently feels as small as I really wanna go. The 100 is probably a bit more powerful.

Wilson Blade Countervail - I heard this thing has no feel, but at least it wont wreck my elbow

Babolat Pure Strike - Feels more powerful than my ultra, but similar overall, still hurts my elbow a bit. I didn't demo this one myself but my partner hits with it so I tried it out. His string job was foreign to me, very low.

Prince Phantom Pro 100 - Recommended to me by the tool on this site. Low confidence in this one, haven't hit a Prince since I first started (ozone I think... its been like 10 years)



Thanks for any and all help!
I agree that the dampener doesn't matter aside from the feel (and sound) you like to get with your setup.

Also agree that you'd be smart to get completely divorced from poly string for the time being. Even tensioned down in the mid 40's, that stuff is more harsh than even a semi-snug bed of syn. gut.

If you want to hit the ball with more authority, I'd say sample some heavier racquets. Also keep tabs on the balance of any frame you try. As racquets get heavier, they also need more HL balance to have reasonable handling. I like the suggestion of the Prince Phantom 100, but there are probably several half-decent candidates.

I'm a happy Volkl nerd with a couple of their models in my bag all the time. When I need to really slug with one of the stronger kids I coach, the easy choice for me is the C10. I string my frames myself with either 16 or 17 ga. syn. gut. Much easier on my arm than even a poly hybrid and its performance is great for me. It's also super cheap.

ProKennex includes some real-deal arm friendly technology in some of their frames and I also have a lot of respect for Yonex, but I don't know which specific models to recommend. TW has a great clearance deal going right now on the Volkl V-Sense 10 325g's depending on what you like for a grip size. I have a pair of those which I'm tuning with lead tape to get more in the neighborhood of the weight and balance of my C10's (which have some weight added to their handles for more HL balance). One more option to check out.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
Hello TalkTennis,

So over the past few months I've been making a push to get out of 4.0 and into 4.5, went from playing 2 times a week to 4-5. I absolutely love my Ultra Tour, but since day one its always bothered my elbow and with the increase in play its starting to become and actual problem. (Tentative on hitting thru returns and such) I've been doing the necessary PT which has helped, but its time to face the music and get a racquet that I can play with a lot, and not do any dmg. I am looking for something that has the feel/touch of this racquet that will be more arm-friendly. It is an 18x20, which I like, but maybe more spin, and more arm friendly string pattern wouldnt be a bad switch for me. I am also racquet-illiterate so I've been browsing this forum, and the tennis warehouse compare tool to sort of get some similar racquets ideas. That being said, I have no idea what I'm doing and was hoping I could get some suggestions from some experts on the internet (you guys are all experts right?). Because demos get pricey with all the stringing, I was hoping to go into it knowing which demos I want, and keeping the list reasonably small.


Current setup.... Wilson Ultra Tour 97 ver2 (Tennis warehouse labels this as 6 pt headlight, but the racquet actually says 9)
General play style is big serve, mostly baseline game. I'm working towards becoming more all court, but trading baseline shots in my biggest strength, I generally look to overpower opponents.

18x20 string pattern
Volkl Psycho strings, with the Polys in crosses. (not by preference, just softer) 52lbs https://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Volkl_Psycho_Hybrid_17_String_Black_Silver/descpageACVOLKL-VPSY17.html
Few grams of lead tape on the sides of the racquet head.
(I don't think it matters but I use some babolat dampener in the strings)



Some demos I'm looking to pick up:

Wilson Ultra Countervail- there's a 100 and a 95, going to a 95 feels wrong, I'm not exactly a technician out there and the 97 I hit with currently feels as small as I really wanna go. The 100 is probably a bit more powerful.

Wilson Blade Countervail - I heard this thing has no feel, but at least it wont wreck my elbow

Babolat Pure Strike - Feels more powerful than my ultra, but similar overall, still hurts my elbow a bit. I didn't demo this one myself but my partner hits with it so I tried it out. His string job was foreign to me, very low.

Prince Phantom Pro 100 - Recommended to me by the tool on this site. Low confidence in this one, haven't hit a Prince since I first started (ozone I think... its been like 10 years)



Thanks for any and all help!
I suggest trying the new ProKennex Q+ Tour. It comes in a variety of weights to suit you. I found it to be a very playable and comfortable racquet. Reminded me of my old 6.1 Ncode ProStaff.

I also suggest the Prince Tour frames as a nice blend of comfort and performance.
 

Fxanimator1

Hall of Fame
I would get rid of the poly for a bit...before I would switch frames. At least test the set up you have, minus the poly strings first.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
The frames not likely the issue. The strings, tension and weight are more of an issue. Drop the poly ( I suggest velocity). Tension it at 52lbs. Switch to a leather grip and overgrip and add a little weight at 10&2 (keep the 9 point HL balance if you can)

Warm up your arm before play. Do forearm exercises to build up the extensor muscles. Reduce play if it’s not improving.
 

dr. godmode

Professional
I would like to mirror most people so far. Dump the poly, weight up the frame (try putting some in the throat or handle). Velocity is a great choice at a medium price and X-One Biphase is a great if you are willing to pay a bit more. Strengthen your body and make sure you aren't catching the ball late or arming it too much. The nice thing about the Ultra Tour is that it tells you when you've messed up.
 

kailash

Professional
Try prince phantom or tour series. If you are willing to really think out of the box - your arm will thank you for it - try a Volkl or Prokennex. A V1 pro or a Q tour or Q5 series sound most suitable in your case
+1 for the Prokennex racquets.
Prince Phantoms and Volkls are arm friendly too. I would also add Angell racquets.
 

CosmosMpower

Hall of Fame
Ultra tour is already a thin beam flexible racquet, the only change that might help is a less dense string pattern. Your arm will shatter with a Pure Strike.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
Ultra tour is already a thin beam flexible racquet, the only change that might help is a less dense string pattern. Your arm will shatter with a Pure Strike.
While it may be thin and flexible there was something about the material that I found uncomfortable about it compared to other arm friendly racquets. But strings definitely make a difference.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
While it may be thin and flexible there was something about the material that I found uncomfortable about it compared to other arm friendly racquets. But strings definitely make a difference.
While I agree it’s not quite as comfy as some other racquets mentioned here, it’s still arm friendly in general. I think the problem with the materials is that there just isn’t enough. Racquet is too light for its flex and stringbed density.

Needs more graphite. But since you can’t add that, it needs more heavy metal (ie lead)
 
Get blade 18x20.

I was in the same situation. I got a matched pair of UT from TW after reading rave reviews here. UT is a good racquet. But it’s underpowered & bit unstable especially against hard hitters. Also felt upper hoop is bit dead. I tried adding lead to the hoop. Still was not happy. Also my wrist & elbow started hurting a bit

Then by chance I picked up 2011 blx blade black n gold. I liked it instantly. It’s soft, much more stable and open 18x20. More spin, more power. Best of all no wrist pain! Loving it so far. Due to higher swing weight, I can hold my own against hard hitters.

UT is lot hyped up here. If you are a Wilson user, blade is much better racquet IMHO.
 

WestboroChe

Hall of Fame
While I agree it’s not quite as comfy as some other racquets mentioned here, it’s still arm friendly in general. I think the problem with the materials is that there just isn’t enough. Racquet is too light for its flex and stringbed density.

Needs more graphite. But since you can’t add that, it needs more heavy metal (ie lead)
It is a dense string bed. I did not care for it. Or the CV version. That thing had arm troubles written all over it.
 

Jarno

New User
I would suggest to demo Head 360 Speed Pro. You get the 18/20, good control, a bit more power and a comfortable racket with decent feel. Head Hawk Touch 1.20, strung 20kg, tames the extra power nicely and at least works for my game. I have played also with Ultra Tour. Good luck with your tennis!
 

3virgul14

Rookie
All ends in the strings with a throat flex under 60 stick.

First say bye bye to poly, they are stiff and vibrations directed to your arm.

Play nat gut ( stiffness under 100-) or very soft multis( 130-150)

Prince Premier Lt, Head Velocity or x one biphase, gosen ak pro cx..

You will be amazed what a change can be the correct equipment for arm sensitive people..
 
Has anyone found low tension (meaning 40-45 lbs max) soft poly to feel comfier than normal tension multi/synthetic? It’s been feeling that way for me with the ultra tour so far (but only tried it a few times). Also before you give up on the ultra tour - I never felt it was anything that special until I took off the handle (and the chunk of weight under it at the top of the handle), put pallets on it, an extended butt cap, leather grip, and lead all the way across the bumper guard. Holy **** it’s a completely different stick with a hefty swingweight/great plow through but still super maneuverable at under 340grams. I think most pros play the H19 like this for a reason with it extended to 27.5 and a pretty high swingweight. The only thing missing is top scores for spin but set up like this it’s a pretty comfy cannon for flat hitting and acceptable spin (just no Nadal buggy whips). Worth a shot before giving up on it completely.
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
For some reason, I couldn't fully gel with the Ultra Tour. Though it felt excellent, I couldn't get the most out of the frame. It just wasn't easy to use for me, regardless of the string set up.
What I would recommend is the Pure Drive VS. It is light but very comfortable. It is powerful, yet provides nice control. It is also really spin friendly. The only thing is you might need is adding a little weight at 12 or 10 & 2 for added stability and plow.
It's awesome that Babolat has decided to sell the Pure Drive VS as a single piece, too, instead of just selling them as in pairs.
Try to demo if you can. It's a lot like the regular Pure Drive but is a lot more versatile.
 

J D

Rookie
+13 on the strings. Even just a hybrid with crosses of multi or SG will retain a significant portion of the poly benefits and be much, much easier on the arm.

I also second the older version Blade 18x20 suggestion. It is more arm friendly than the UT while providing more power, feel, and stability. Spin on both is about the same. The Blade 16x19 will have more spin but less control.
 

nvr2old

Professional
The frames not likely the issue. The strings, tension and weight are more of an issue. Drop the poly ( I suggest velocity). Tension it at 52lbs. Switch to a leather grip and overgrip and add a little weight at 10&2 (keep the 9 point HL balance if you can)

Warm up your arm before play. Do forearm exercises to build up the extensor muscles. Reduce play if it’s not improving.
Yup agree, weight up the racquet and lower the tension (and agree Velocity is a great string).
 

hurworld

Hall of Fame
Agreed with @Anton . Try full bed gut or gut/poly hybrid first. If they don't work, try velocity.

Another thing worth checking again is if your racquet is too head-heavy balance-wise with all those lead added plus string. Putting in a leather grip to add weight to handle would help to counter-balance all those lead tapes and increase mass against heavy balls for 4.5 level of play.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
Going from full poly to gut-poly can be a major change for a player. I never played as confident with it in crucial points than I do with full poly. Many reasons for that, but imo a string change like that can be as or more dramatic than a racquet change.

Of course if full poly is killing your arm, you have no choice to change things up. Just make sure whatever you change to has the same characteristics as the setup you win matches with now.
 
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