My wife needs a New Racket - I suspect you fine people can get me some good options.

Suprafly03

New User
My wife is a 3.5 level player. She’s new to tennis as she’s only been playing 2-3 years.

She is quite athletic and coordinated, but the pro tells her she has weak wrists. (She is rather small at only 105lbs.) He was suggesting getting her a lighter racket than her usual, a Babolat Pure Drive 100in2.

Then yesterday she tells me she has chronic elbow pain. It was worse when she was first learning and some improvement in form has resulted in some relief. She was shocked to hear that I, who also just picked up the sport, have never once had elbow pain.
(I am a different player at 230 lbs, and took naturally to decent form)

So she’s being suggested a lighter racket, but everything I know about rackets is the general rule of weight helping tennis elbow.

All that said, is there any good recommendations you folks have to start us in the right direction?

I play a Yonex EZone 100, and I love it, but I don’t know if that is a good place for her to go or not.
 

Syfo-Dias

Professional
Whatever you do, do not get her a Pure Drive. That's only going to make it worse. All things considered, I think a Wilson Clash would be a good choice for her. Also, strings make a huge difference when it comes to TE. So, definitely don't use full poly in any racquet. If you have to use poly, use it as a cross with a soft main string.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
Head's Radical S and Instinct S frames may also be candidates. Just string them up with a decent 17 Ga multifibre at midpoint or just below, If she has recurring TE, time for her to to do stretches and free weights.
 
aha, maybe Badosa's racquet could be a consideration for your wife. There is speculation that it's actually a wilson steam 100 (currently Blade repaint). ("Paula Badosa Racquet" thread)
In my opinion, I think it's a 2013 wilson steam blx 100, at 11oz, 4pts hl, 311 swingweight, 16x20, and 27.25 in extended, plus the "BLX amplifeel", so not the lightest, but still helpful in that dept.
And great customer reviews (then) here. Or maybe there is a new racquet today with similar specs..
 
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Suprafly03

New User
Thanks all.
Great recommendations. I’m going to look into all of these options.
I love to research things so this is going to be fun.
I tend to be attracted to options that fewer people use (why I like Yonex and Volkl), but if the Wilson is the ticket…
 

GeoffHYL

Professional
Here is a page from the Tennis Warehouse University that lists vibration frequency of racquets. Lower is better as far as elbow health goes.
Stiffness RDC is also a factor, again lower is better, but your wife may need something a bit higher on the RDC level to get some "free" power from the racquet. Strings are also an important factor, as is stroke technique. I also recommend getting a Theraband flexbar to exercise and strengthen the muscles. This worked wonders for me when I went through a case of tennis elbow.
 

socallefty

Legend
What strings does she play with and at what tension? If it is poly, does she play with it for longer than 20 hours? Most rec player injuries these days can be attributed to playing with poly strings strung more than 50 lbs for more than 20 hours after they are dead. Poly is usually played below 50 lbs tension for <10-15 hours and are not meant to be played at high tensions for a long time.

If she is playing with soft strings like multifilament or natural gut below 60 lbs, then you might want to consider changing racquets. Also, make sure her grip size is not too big.
 
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tomkowy

New User
Elbow pain can come for three reasons:
1. Racket is too stiff (Pure Drive is stiff). Look for racquets with RA of 65 or less. Pure Drive has RA index of 67 or 70 strung (I don't remember), definitely a stiff racket.
2. Racket is too heavy. If you mishit or hit too late because the racket is too heavy, elbow can get sore and hurt. There are two components into that: static weight and swingweight. Pure Drive has strung swingweight around 320 - 325 and static weight around 320 grams strung. I'd look for something lighter and with lower swingweight.
3. You use incorrect grip size. If the grip is too small or too large, you can develop elbow pain. There are a lot of tips on youtube how to get a right grip size. When buying a racket, it's always better to get a bit too small grip size and put an overgrip or two than buy a racket with too large grip. You can do nothing about too large grip.

I'd do all three things to make sure that the pain will go away:
1. Check the optimal grip size for your wife to make sure that she is using the right one at the moment.
2. Get a racquet with: 280 - 300 grams strung static weight; strung swingweight between 290 and 310; strung RA lower than 65.
For a 3.0 player you don't have to look for a perfect racket, look for good one :) Rackets in general are like frying pans - get one that you like and don't look for perfect one, it's not worth the effort. Test 3 - 5 rackets and pick the one that you like the most. Also I wouldn't get into strings too much, they don't make life/ day difference, especially for a 3.0 player.

Here are examples that fit to the criteria:
 

ericykchan

New User
Vcore 100 or maybe the 100L (new red & blue version). My wife just switched to this from Pure Drive which was causing elbow pain even strung with a full multi. She much preferred the Vcore 100 to the Clash.
VCore 100 is definitely better than the Clash and yes, maybe get 100L, you can add weight later if needed, especially on the handle (overgrip usually adds 6 grams)
 

smalahove

Hall of Fame
Nobrainer: Clash.

Don’t just trust the metrics, like RA and vibration frequency (which both are extremely low btw); this racket line is the easiest to play and most arm friendly line there is, esp for beginners and ppl who struggle to generate their own power.

I’ve enjoyed playing with it, but it’s too powerful for my game, but every time I face a player I know, using this frame, I notice how much more height over the net and depth they get, with little effort. And every time they switch back to something else, they lose these advantages.
 

McLovin

Legend
I play a Yonex EZone 100, and I love it, but I don’t know if that is a good place for her to go or not.
Well, since you have that frame on hand, I'd start there. Let her hit w/ your frame for a bit to see if she likes it. My wife (who is also a 3.5), has been playing each iteration of the Ezone 100 since the Dr line (I just bought her a couple of Osaka Ezone 100s because she liked the color). And we've handed down her previous ones to our daughter, who is also a 3.5 (and could easily be a 4.0 if she'd play more than once every 3 months...).
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Best technology for arm issues: O3 ports (prince frames) and FreeFlex (Wilson). I'd look at a Clash 100 and a Prince Ripstick 290.

I'd stay away from any polyester string and I'd strongly encourage your partner to develop an arm strengthening program to build up her forearms. There is no way you can play tennis at 3.5 injury free with "weak wrists".
 

Rd5rdm

New User
I’d second a pro kennex recommendations here. Q+5 2019 has 290 unstrung weight with 316SW. lot of sites refer to it as comfortable pure drive option. I’ve tried quite a few recommendations mentioned here and I rate Q+5 higher in arm comfort without sacrificing power. I recently settled on it after a long demo period, and moded it to my liking. But it was a pretty good demo even without any mods
 

mctennis

Legend
Get her a Volkl V1 Classic. Great all around racquet. Pro Kennex makes some great racquets as well.
 
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