Pure Drive replacement rackuet - softer / more comfort wanted

Hugo67

New User
Hi all,

I've been playing with a Pure Drive since I can remember. Currently playing with a Pure Drive 2017 in 16x19 (300g).

I have always played with Babolat Pro Hurricane strings, usually at 25kg.

Recently (think past few months), I have started to feel pain in my left arm (am a lefty) very akin a tennis elbow.

Any advice as to what other strings I could try and also, what other racket I could give a go?

Ideally, I'd like to retain the ability to easily generate pace and spin but with maybe a bit more comfort / more soft on the arm. I was thinking a Pure Strike 16x19 or a Yonex Ezone 98 could do the trick, with maybe a softer set of strings like the RPM blast?

Although I've been playing for 20+ years, I've never actually thought about equipment properly so all thoughts welcome!

Cheers,
Hugo
 

flanker2000fr

Hall of Fame
Not surprised that one of the stiffest frames on the market, associated with a stiff poly strung high, would end up giving you arms problems. It's pretty much a recipe for it.

I'd stay clear of anything Babolat produces as they are all stiff. One of my playing partners developed a TE with a Pure Strike 16x19.

The Ezone 98 is a good place to start, as it will still give you decent power but with much more comfort. Having played with the DR98, one of its predecessor, it can be a bit string sensitive. I found that Solinco Hyper G 17 strung at 50lbs worked well in that frame. It's a softer poly than what you are using, and I would definitely advise to drop the tension to the low 50's in an effort to spare your arm.
 

time_fly

Hall of Fame
Sorry to hear about your arm problem! Unfortunately once the pain starts, changing equipment might not be enough to make it go away. You may need to take some time off and do physical therapy, then make equipment changes when you come back to prevent the pain from returning.

The softest racquet you can get that's otherwise similar to the Pure Drive is the Wilson Clash. It will feel a lot different though. Some Pure Drive competitors focus more on adding comfort technologies while still keeping the basic Pure Drive formula: stiff and thick beam. You could demo the new Dunlop FX500 or Volkl V-Cell 8 (300g) for those types of frames. In a similar vein you could look at the Prince Beast O3 (98 or 100) which is a power frame with ports for comfort. The final frame I'd suggest is the Wilson Blade 104. The specs are a bit different but it's a powerhouse frame like the Pure Drive, only softer. It has some Clash technology, but it feels a bit more traditional at impact.

With respect to strings, RPM Blast is also stiff like Hurricane, possibly stiffer. Your options are to either (a) switch to a multifilament that emphasizes control like Head RIP Control, (b) go to a hybrid with a soft multi in the crosses to add comfort, or (c) at least switch to a softer, comfort-oriented poly like Tour Bite Soft.
 

mike841

Rookie
Ideally, I'd like to retain the ability to easily generate pace and spin but with maybe a bit more comfort / more soft on the arm. I was thinking a Pure Strike 16x19 or a Yonex Ezone 98 could do the trick, with maybe a softer set of strings like the RPM blast?
Definitely softer strings. Try something like Black Widow, Isospeed Cream, Quadro Twist etc, or even a hybrid with Ashaway ZX as a cross.

Racquet-wise you'd be better off looking at the likes of the Prince Beast 100, Yonex Ezone 100, Wilson Clash Tour etc, rather than the 98s if you want easy power and spin.

You could demo the new Dunlop FX500
That's a stiff racquet though. No good for someone with tennis elbow.
 

adtennis

New User
I was a long time Pure Drive guy (back to 2003), but started to notice arm issues the last couple of years. I played with RPM Blast/biphase hybrid set up. Decided to go on a local demo program during COVID and ultimately landed on the Pure Strike. The Pure Strike is about 10% less stiff than the Pure Drive. That and stringing with a full bed of multi (went with Addixion) seemed to make a difference. So far, the arm feels good and I still get to play with a Babolat.
 

Lavs

Hall of Fame
Pure Drive with good strings gets the job done. If it is stiff for you, wait for new 2021 version.
 
Hi all,

I've been playing with a Pure Drive since I can remember. Currently playing with a Pure Drive 2017 in 16x19 (300g).

I have always played with Babolat Pro Hurricane strings, usually at 25kg.

Recently (think past few months), I have started to feel pain in my left arm (am a lefty) very akin a tennis elbow.

Any advice as to what other strings I could try and also, what other racket I could give a go?

Ideally, I'd like to retain the ability to easily generate pace and spin but with maybe a bit more comfort / more soft on the arm. I was thinking a Pure Strike 16x19 or a Yonex Ezone 98 could do the trick, with maybe a softer set of strings like the RPM blast?

Although I've been playing for 20+ years, I've never actually thought about equipment properly so all thoughts welcome!

Cheers,
Hugo
Hi Hugo, welcome to the forum. You've sure got an arm-killer of a setup, with the Pure Drive and the stiff poly strung at very high tension. I haven't hit with Pro Hurricane strings, but I have played a full bed of RPM Blast, which is already low-powered and stiff; Hurricane seems to be even stiffer. I use Solinco Hyper-G, which has a moderately soft feel and is low-powered but still lively. Good touch too. I really like Tour Bite, and am considering switching to Solinco's Confidential for a little more control than Hyper-G. I'd say that Luxilon ALU Power Soft is a great place to start in terms of comfortable strings; the comfort and durability are great.

As for rackets, I would advise you to avoid Pure Strikes if you're suffering from TE. The 2nd-gen model I demoed gave me elbow pain within 5 mins. of hitting with it, and the 3rd gen. strike I playtested gave me elbow pain in around 40 mins, plus the feel was way too muted. The EZone 98 may be more comfortable to use than a PD but it needs weight to play stable, and control is erratic. Judging from your racket specs (if you play your PD stock), you may not want a nearly 12oz. racket, which is where the EZone would end up after lead and counterbalancing.

Rackets I'd demo if I were you:
-ProKennex Ki Q+ 5 Pro: Basically exactly what you asked for. People describe it as a "More comfortable Pure Drive"; easy power and spin but better feel than a Pure Drive (thinner beam) and second-to-none comfort due to ProKennex's "Kinetic Mass" movable beads, one of the few racket technologies that actually delivers. ProKennex kinetic rackets are so comfortable you can string with a stiff poly at high tension (aka your string and tension of choice) and have no discomfort at all. It may take a little time to get used to the sound of the beads on impact, but it's worth it for the comfort of these rackets.

-Prince Textreme Tour 100 (310): Also a great option to look at. More control, feel, and comfort than a Pure Drive and slightly less power, but not lacking in power. Power level is similar to an EZone 98 but there's way more control and stability, and a bigger sweetspot with this Tour 100. String this at 23 kilos or lower if you stick to Pro Hurricane, or try RPM Blast or Confidential if you're stringing @ 25 kilos.

-Diadem FS Nova 100: Not sold by Tennis Warehouse but Diadem has their own demo service. Plays like a softer and slightly more controlled Pure Drive with better feel. Still has plenty of power and spin but comfort is great; racket is foam-filled. I'd demo the ProKennex and the Prince before this one because they're direct from TW, but this would be the easiest transition from the Pure Drive. Same stringing suggestions as the Prince.
 
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Villain

Professional
Wilson Clash 100 Tour/Pro. Will play pretty close to your Pure Drive with significantly more comfort.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
Rather than changing racquets, I would recommend changing strings. For arm issues in tennis, it is more often the strings than the racquet. Change your string set up to either a full bed of synthetic gut or a full bed of natural gut. Your stringer will be able to help with this. You will notice an immediate improvement, and since your injury is not that far along, you will likely be able to keep playing without interruption. Eventually you may be able to play back in to a hybrid, but not now.

Changing racquets alone will do you no good, as stringing up a Ezone with a full bed of stiff old school poly at high tension isn’t going to help.
 

ryushen21

Legend
From a reformed high tension junkie, I'd start there. You'd be surprised how much even a slight tension adjustment can help. The difference between 50lbs and 48lbs with full poly is tremendous.

However, if you want to go for maximum relief/comfort, I'd strongly encourage trying a hybrid setup with gut or synthetic gut.

It will take some adjusting for sure. But you'll definitely do your arm some good.
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
I think a plush racket like some of the Prince's offerings, as well as Pro Kennex's frames, can help, especially if they were strung with soft multi or synthetic gut. Good luck.
 
D

Deleted member 768841

Guest
Hi all,

I've been playing with a Pure Drive since I can remember. Currently playing with a Pure Drive 2017 in 16x19 (300g).

I have always played with Babolat Pro Hurricane strings, usually at 25kg.

Recently (think past few months), I have started to feel pain in my left arm (am a lefty) very akin a tennis elbow.

Any advice as to what other strings I could try and also, what other racket I could give a go?

Ideally, I'd like to retain the ability to easily generate pace and spin but with maybe a bit more comfort / more soft on the arm. I was thinking a Pure Strike 16x19 or a Yonex Ezone 98 could do the trick, with maybe a softer set of strings like the RPM blast?

Although I've been playing for 20+ years, I've never actually thought about equipment properly so all thoughts welcome!

Cheers,
Hugo
Like many have said, first start with strings. Drop the tension to around 21-23 kgs and if that still hurts, try another string. Do you want to try a hybrid? You could try kirschbaum pro line evolution, solinco hyper g or volkl Cyclone at 21-23 kgs. If that still hurts then try some racquets others have mentioned like the clash.
 

Tregix

Rookie
What other racket I could give a go?

Ideally, I'd like to retain the ability to easily generate pace and spin but with maybe a bit more comfort / more soft on the arm.
There is a simple solution to your request ;-) : Head Instinct MP. It is a Pure Drive but softer. A very good frame.
 

Tregix

Rookie
I have always played with Babolat Pro Hurricane strings, usually at 25kg.

(...) with maybe a softer set of strings like the RPM blast?
According to TWU the stiffness of RPM Blast is much higher than Pro Hurricane: 234 vs 193 in gauge 17. That is probably not the way to go.

25 kg for a polyester string is super high. The first thing I would do is to decrease the tension. Try 23-21kg or even 22-20kg.
 
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beltsman

Legend
Hi all,

I've been playing with a Pure Drive since I can remember. Currently playing with a Pure Drive 2017 in 16x19 (300g).

I have always played with Babolat Pro Hurricane strings, usually at 25kg.

Recently (think past few months), I have started to feel pain in my left arm (am a lefty) very akin a tennis elbow.

Any advice as to what other strings I could try and also, what other racket I could give a go?

Ideally, I'd like to retain the ability to easily generate pace and spin but with maybe a bit more comfort / more soft on the arm. I was thinking a Pure Strike 16x19 or a Yonex Ezone 98 could do the trick, with maybe a softer set of strings like the RPM blast?

Although I've been playing for 20+ years, I've never actually thought about equipment properly so all thoughts welcome!

Cheers,
Hugo
Try the Extremes!
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
The answer to something more comfortable than a Pure Drive is: Everything Else.

As to your options: Pure Strike No, Ezone Yes.

But put the Wilson Clash and Head Extreme on your radar for comfortable tweeners with good spin and power.
 
Try my racket if you want something similar to the Pure Drive but with more comfort. I use a Head Microgel Extreme MP strung with Signum Pro Firestorm 1.25 at around 51 lb. I tie a rubberband dampener on it and it makes the stringbed feel perfect! I get all the benefits of a tweener but none of the discomfort. I used to have elbow problems in the past and this has really helped me out. Give it a shot!
 

Crocodile

Legend
Volkl V Cell 8 300g
Diadem Nova 300g
Wilson Clash 100
Angell ASL 2
Yonex E Zone 100
Just a few you could test out.
 

Hugo67

New User
Thanks all for the replies, it's much appreciated!

Clearly I had my set-up all set on stiffness, which I never really paid attention to...

Before investing in new rackets, I'm going to do as suggested and drop the tension of my strings to something in the low 20's kg (maybe start with 23kg).

Will also try a new set of strings next time I break. I'm thinking a softer / more comfort oriented poly than the Babolats (don't want to go for multi or gut given I break pretty often already with polys). Will maybe start with the Solinco Hyper G or Tour Bite Soft or Luxilon ALU power Soft.

I'll keep you guys posted on how this goes!
 

Villain

Professional
Nothing like a Pure Drive at all. You should try actually using the racquet first instead of parroting stuff you read online.
Here we go again. I didn’t say it played the same, I said it was similar but much softer, and it is. Is English your first language because you have reading comprehension issues? Same head size, string pattern, SW, somewhat similar beam, massively different flex and balance. You recommended the same racquet in your first post for crying out loud. It’s known as the “soft pure drive” for a reason.
 
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mike841

Rookie
Here we go again. I didn’t say it played the same, I said it was similar but much softer, and it is. Is English your first language because you have reading comprehension issues? Same head size, string pattern, SW, somewhat similar beam, massively different flex and balance. You recommended the same racquet in your first post for crying out loud. It’s known as the “soft pure drive” for a reason.
They play very differently. Just because they're 100sq" and 16x19 doesn't mean that they play the same.

You're clearly very new to tennis equipment. Try actually playing with the racquets first for an extend period of time instead of spamming things you may have (mis)read online in a state of excited orgasmic frenzy.
 

Villain

Professional
They play very differently. Just because they're 100sq" and 16x19 doesn't mean that they play the same.

You're clearly very new to tennis equipment. Try actually playing with the racquets first for an extend period of time instead of spamming things you may have (mis)read online in a state of excited orgasmic frenzy.
Then why did you recommend the Clash as a softer replacement for his Pure Drive? He asked for something similar but softer. You either made a bad recommendation or you don’t know what you are talking about.
 

BillKid

Professional
There is a little bit of Babolat bashing on TT. True that the PD is a stiff frame, but it is not very different from ersatz sold by other manufacturers. Not saying there is no difference but not huge and don't expect a major improvement of your TE.
The most striking for me is that you are using a firm poly at high tension (=arm killer).
It is more important to fix that than switching racquet. Try a softer string, if you want a poly at all cost you may want to test an hybrid and/or a soft poly at lower tension (let's say <22kgs).
You may also know that besides racquets and string, your TE may also be caused by poor technique, it may be worth asking a coach to take a look at your game.
That said, using a softer racquet is not bad ; I will just add one recommendation : the Prince Beast 98 and 100 are great sticks. Currently the 98 is sold at low price by TW. There is a page on TW website that may interest you
 
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Villain

Professional
There is a little bit of Babolat bashing on TT. True that the PD is a stiff frame, but it is not very different than ersatz sold by other manufacturers. Not saying there is no difference but not huge and don't expect a major improvement of your TE.
The most striking for me is that you are using a firm poly at high tension.
It is more important to fix that than switching racquet. Try a softer string, if you want a poly at all cost you may want to test an hybrid and/or a soft poly at lower tension (let's say <22kgs).
You may also know that besides racquets and string, your TE may also be caused by poor technique, it may be worth asking a coach to take a look at your game.
That said, I will just add one recommendation. There is a page on TW website that may interest you
No way! The Clash plays like a Pure Drive? I’m startling to think @mike841 has never played tennis in his life. Thanks for the link @BillKid.
 

KYHacker

Professional
Try the Prince Beast O3 in either 98 or 100 headsize. Comfort won’t be a problem. You will need to get used to the difference in feel. As mentioned PK 5 is also a good choice. PK also has a Ki 10 that is based on PK Destiny mold which is the mold that became the Pure Drive when Babolat bought it from PK. Also Head Extreme, but I find it has a higher launch angle than a PD. Plays more like a comfy Pure Aero
 

BillKid

Professional
Try the Prince Beast O3 in either 98 or 100 headsize. Comfort won’t be a problem. You will need to get used to the difference in feel. As mentioned PK 5 is also a good choice. PK also has a Ki 10 that is based on PK Destiny mold which is the mold that became the Pure Drive when Babolat bought it from PK. Also Head Extreme, but I find it has a higher launch angle than a PD. Plays more like a comfy Pure Aero
True but not everyone likes O3 ports. I have been very happy with the Beast 100 and now Beast 98.
 

mike841

Rookie
Then why did you recommend the Clash as a softer replacement for his Pure Drive? He asked for something similar but softer. You either made a bad recommendation or you don’t know what you are talking about.
I recommended the Clash Tour because he said he wanted something with easy power and spin which is what it provides whilst being arm friendly.

Your parroted some nonsense about it being similar to the Pure Drive. It doesn't play anything like the Pure Drive. It you actually USED the racquets in question, you would realise that, but instead you keep on parroting on about stuff you've misunderstood and mis(read) online in post after post, thread after thread.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
@Hugo67
Taking a week or two off is the first step. Changing strings to something softer like 1.30mm Natural Gut mains / 1.25 Yonex Poly Tour Air or 1.28mm Cream crosses, which are both elastomer (rubber) infused polys or Tecnifibre HDX Tour/YPTA is what I did this year after playing 7-9 times a day with my Pure Aero+ frames. My elbow said thank you, and I am back to VCT 1.30mm hitting 3-4 days a week which is normal for me. You could also start with a cheaper setup like YPTA mains/Head Velocity crosses. It's not poly, but spin is enhanced with strings, not created solely by strings.

As a side note, I string for a mid 40 year-old 4.5C who had five Pure Drives (2015/16/17 versions just like you). He breaks VCT 1.30mm 3 times a month in his Pure Drives and recently switched to a Wilson Clash 98 after 5 years of hitting with his Pure Drives. He uses the same tension in both the PD and Clash 98. I have owned Pure Drive+ frames, have had TE twice in my life in 1991 and 2010 (don't want it again and know how to prevent it), and also owned Yonex EZone 100s. String my own frames, and 60+ frames a month for clients.


Definitely softer strings. Try something like Black Widow, Isospeed Cream, Quadro Twist etc, or even a hybrid with Ashaway ZX as a cross. Racquet-wise you'd be better off looking at the likes of the Prince Beast 100, Yonex Ezone 100, Wilson Clash Tour etc, rather than the 98s if you want easy power and spin.
Black Widow? That isn't going to help @Hugo67 You just recommended a string that is just as stiff as Pro Hurricane Tour. And yes, I have reels of both Black Widow and Pro Hurricane Tour. There are plenty of strings out there that can make a Pure Drive feel better, but Black Widow isn't one of them when the user already has pain in his arm and or elbow. And a Yonex EZone 100 feels stiffer to me than it's 69 RDC rating and stiffer than my 69 RDC measured PA+ frames.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
Thanks all for the replies, it's much appreciated!

Clearly I had my set-up all set on stiffness, which I never really paid attention to...

Before investing in new rackets, I'm going to do as suggested and drop the tension of my strings to something in the low 20's kg (maybe start with 23kg).

Will also try a new set of strings next time I break. I'm thinking a softer / more comfort oriented poly than the Babolats (don't want to go for multi or gut given I break pretty often already with polys). Will maybe start with the Solinco Hyper G or Tour Bite Soft or Luxilon ALU power Soft.

I'll keep you guys posted on how this goes!
Ditch the poly completely. Your arm isn't going to get better playing with dead Hurricane Tour until you break it. That is only going to make your elbow pain worse. Hyoer G in 1.20mm is still fairly stiff

You also just picked three more polys that are much stiffer than other polys like VCT 1.30mm




 

mike841

Rookie
@Hugo67
Taking a week or two off is the first step. Changing strings to something softer like 1.30mm Natural Gut mains / 1.25 Yonex Poly Tour Air or 1.28mm Cream crosses, which are both elastomer (rubber) infused polys or Tecnifibre HDX Tour/YPTA is what I did this year after playing 7-9 times a day with my Pure Aero+ frames. My elbow said thank you, and I am back to VCT 1.30mm hitting 3-4 days a week which is normal for me. You could also start with a cheaper setup like YPTA mains/Head Velocity crosses. It's not poly, but spin is enhanced with strings, not created solely by strings.

As a side note, I string for a mid 40 year-old 4.5C who had five Pure Drives (2015/16/17 versions just like you). He breaks VCT 1.30mm 3 times a month in his Pure Drives and recently switched to a Wilson Clash 98 after 5 years of hitting with his Pure Drives. He uses the same tension in both the PD and Clash 98. I have owned Pure Drive+ frames, have had TE twice in my life in 1991 and 2010 (don't want it again and know how to prevent it), and also owned Yonex EZone 100s. String my own frames, and 60+ frames a month for clients.




Black Widow? That isn't going to help @Hugo67 You just recommended a string that is just as stiff as Pro Hurricane Tour. And yes, I have reels of both Black Widow and Pro Hurricane Tour. There are plenty of strings out there that can make a Pure Drive feel better, but Black Widow isn't one of them when the user already has pain in his arm and or elbow. And a Yonex EZone 100 feels stiffer to me than it's 69 RDC rating and stiffer than my 69 RDC measured PA+ frames.
You would be silly to be a slave to TWU as it contains data that is anomalous. They even have some synthetic guts listed as stiffer than polys. They also don't take into account how polys go dead with use and the characteristics of the string changing over its typical usage lifetime. Black Widow is soft in the real world and doesn't go dead quickly either like the ancient Pro Hurricane.
 
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Villain

Professional
You've clearly no experience of the equipment you keep on parroting on about. Even in the other thread you admitted that you were new to all stuff. Reign in your giddy excitement and stpp parroting on about things you've only read about on the internet and little understating of.
You don’t even play tennis. Also, show me where I posted “all stuff.”
 

ryushen21

Legend
Maybe start with the Solinco Hyper G or Tour Bite Soft or Luxilon ALU power Soft.

I'll keep you guys posted on how this goes!
I currently play with Hyper G and have used TB soft as well. I can tell you that Hyper G at 48lbs (appx 22kg) is damn impressive. Lively, responsive, and comfortable.

I did not care for TB soft at all. Still stiff and just doesn't perform as well as Hyper G in my opinion.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
You would be silly to be a slave to TWU as it contains data that is anomalous. They even have some synthetic guts listed as stiffer than polys. They also don't take into account how polys go dead with use and the characteristics of the string changing over its typical usage lifetime. Black Widow is soft in the real world and doesn't go dead quickly either like the ancient Pro Hurricane.

Not a slave to TW's or anyone's database. Been stringing BW for a long time. I have hit with Black Widow several times, and don't find it to be soft in any imaginable way for someone who is already experiencing tennis elbow by his own words. To recommend someone who has TE to keep using a full bed of any poly isn't the best advice, having dealt with TE personally twice in my life, and having helped numerous clients get through it. VCT is softer than BW, and Yonex Poly Tour Air is even softer, and I still wouldn't recommend a full bed of either of those strings as you did with BW. IMO and others, the best way to get rid of TE is to take a short break, use a FlexTherabar (or do eccentric exercises without one if you know how), let your elbow/arm heal, then come back with softer strings by ditching poly strings and then come back with a hybrid. It the pain comes back, you stop and reset. It's a recipe that works over and over. Shortcuts with TE don't work.


TW has two resident string guru's who I have never seen on a playtest, but who discuss strings in detail openly in several podcasts. TW certainly takes playability of poly strings in play and how polys go dead, but when taking a measurement of stiffness that is a discrete measurement, just like weight. It isn't subjective, it is a measurement.
 

g4driver

Hall of Fame
@mike841

Don't twist my written words. I will repost them so you can try reading again. @Hugo67 already has arm pain or TE and that's the problem. I have had 1.30mm Cyclone in my frames many times and have no problem hitting pain-free with it or BW 1.30mm. Yep, I have a reel of 1.30mm Cyclone as well. You seem to focus on other posters rather than the OP's problem that you seem to don't comprehend. You simply can't see why recommending anything like BW is terrible advice for SOMEONE who already has tennis elbow. Andy Gertz is an open level player and he mentions in that playtest that BW is soft for a poly. Does that make it a good choice for someone with tennis elbow? No, it doesn't.

You sure to make a lot of assumptions about me and other posters. This is a forum comprised of a lot of great folks. To come in like a bull in a china shop with your assumptions makes you come across as small and immature. Perhaps reading more and being less trigger finger with that keyboard is something you might try. Assuming things about others makes you...well I'll let you figure that out.

I have hit with Black Widow several times, and don't find it to be soft in any imaginable way for someone who is already experiencing tennis elbow by his own words. To recommend someone who has TE to keep using a full bed of any poly isn't the best advice, having dealt with TE personally twice in my life, and having helped numerous clients get through it. VCT is softer than BW, and Yonex Poly Tour Air is even softer, and I still wouldn't recommend a full bed of either of those strings as you did with BW.
Black Widow? That isn't going to help @Hugo67 You just recommended a string that is just as stiff as Pro Hurricane Tour. And yes, I have reels of both Black Widow and Pro Hurricane Tour. There are plenty of strings out there that can make a Pure Drive feel better, but Black Widow isn't one of them when the user already has pain in his arm and or elbow.
 

socallefty

Legend
I think a lot of posters have good advice on rest, physical therapy with Therabar, softer strings including hybrids and stringing at lower tensions. I would do all of the above with the most important being rest from tennis for at least 2-3 weeks and then avoiding full-bed poly for a couple of months. In the future, I would recommend always cutting out poly after 20 hours if you don’t break it earlier as it goes ‘dead’ and becomes an elbow-killer after that.

If you still want to try other racquets after a few months, I personally play with a Pure Strike Tour gen 3 and think it is much more comfortable than a Pure Drive while having Babolat‘s trademark power - it also has more control. I used to play with full-bed natural gut with the Gen 1 Strike Tour until last year as I was susceptible to elbow issues and now I’m able to play with a gut/poly hybrid (VS/HyperG) at 48/45 or 50/47 lbs on the Gen3 without any issues. Most players at my club think it is much more comfortable than the Project One Seven Gen 2 Strikes which also had a history of causing elbow issues.

If you try other brands, try the Yonex Ezone 100 and Head Graphene 360+ Extreme first. If you like the Pure Strike demo, you could also try the Yonex V-Core Pro97 HD which is even more comfortable, but the feel is quite different from a Pure Drive. A lot of other recommendations for racquets are being suggested in this thread and they definitely are more plush and flexible, but they will not play anything like the Pure Drive.

All the best with healing your injury.
 
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KYHacker

Professional
With members of my household owning the 360 Extreme, 2017 Pure Drive, and me now using the Prince O3 Beast 98, I can tell you that they all play “similarly” to the Pure Drive. They all have a balance of pop that exceeds control. Only the Extreme has power from plow. All of them require spin for control.

The big difference is feel.

Extreme is more flexible and about the same level of feedback as the Pure Drive. Extreme is more powerful than the PD. It also has a more open pattern and will generate more spin than the PD.

Beast is as stiff as the PD but the poets make it more muted and much, much more comfortable. It’s the most comfortable of the three, but it does take an adjustment to get used to the different feel from the ports. I don’t mind the ports at all, but some folks do. It has slightly less power than the PD but hits way more spin. The most spin of the three. You definitely need the spin and the racquet head speed for the control. If you have the racquet head speed, it offers the most control of the three.

All of the frames yield pretty much the same results when playing.They are designed for hitting with spin and power from pop into relatively large targets. These are not precision instruments. They are very effective if you want to play first strike tennis. The Pure Drive Gabe me arm pain after 1 session. My hitting partner had the same experience and he plays with a Pure Aero.
 

jackcrawford

Professional
There's a whole chapter in the 2009 edition of Laver's autobiography, titled "living with pain." The June 1969 issue of World Tennis (pg. 17 has an account of the South African Hardcourt Championships of 1969) also covers how for the first six months of his second Grand Slam season, Laver had to take Cortisone shots, see Sandy Koufax's doctor, use a heating pad pre-match and ice post-match, and take pain pills to deal with the pain from his persistent tennis elbow the first half of that great season. Laver played with a heavy wood racket with a flex in the 30's, strung with natural gut (didn't string tight like Borg did). Laver was arguably the greatest ball striker in tennis history (on these boards bad technique is often blamed for TE), he wasn't using a stiff frame or stiff strings. Hitting a tennis ball over and over just isn't great for your elbow. He points out he was a pro, and the show had to go on. We recreational players should probably take a few weeks off. Laver was by no means an isolated incident in the wood racket days of heavy, flexible frames, and in Tony Roche's case, he followed the opposite advice often given here - he went to a much stiffer, much lighter aluminum frame, dumping his heavy, flexible wood frame in the 1970's to continue his career.
 

jackcrawford

Professional
Wilson Clash 100 Tour/Pro. Will play pretty close to your Pure Drive with significantly more comfort.
This is good advice, as the OP has asked for help with an existing problem. I point out in a post above about Laver that there is no magic equipment bullet for everybody, but in general more flex is a good starting point to experiment with. Where some people get in trouble, and there have been a few threads through the years on this, is where a PD/RPM Blast user is doing just fine, to be safe switches to a Prince O3 Tour/Cream combo, and suddenly gets elbow pain, likely due to having to repeatedly swing harder to get depth. Here, it's broke - so it's worth trying to fix.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Thanks all for the replies, it's much appreciated!

Clearly I had my set-up all set on stiffness, which I never really paid attention to...

Before investing in new rackets, I'm going to do as suggested and drop the tension of my strings to something in the low 20's kg (maybe start with 23kg).

Will also try a new set of strings next time I break. I'm thinking a softer / more comfort oriented poly than the Babolats (don't want to go for multi or gut given I break pretty often already with polys). Will maybe start with the Solinco Hyper G or Tour Bite Soft or Luxilon ALU power Soft.

I'll keep you guys posted on how this goes!
You are falling down the same trap I did with my Pure Drive. Thought I'd soften up the poly and that would be fine. Nope, pain kept getting worse. Switched to gut/poly. Nope, pain got worse. Switched to Origin strings. Nope, pain got worse and I couldn't control the racket anymore. Dumped the Pure Drive, eventually settled on Prince frames with multi strings and arm got better and I could play again. Now I'm back to gut/poly and TE is just fine.

There is no such thing as "soft" poly. There is just relatively softer poly. Just like we don't have summer here in the PNW, just the slightly less rainy season.

I think there are now a lot of better arm options for spin and power than there were when I suffered from elbow issues with the PD. I'd honestly listen to those recommending the extreme, the Clash both of which I've played and found they offered similar power and spin levels to a PD. I've not tried the Beast but I suspect it also will play similarly and be more comfortable.

I've modified my game to use heavier, softer, player's frames and rely on control rather than power to beat my opponents. It's been easier on my arm for sure.
 
Hi all,

I've been playing with a Pure Drive since I can remember. Currently playing with a Pure Drive 2017 in 16x19 (300g).

I have always played with Babolat Pro Hurricane strings, usually at 25kg.

Recently (think past few months), I have started to feel pain in my left arm (am a lefty) very akin a tennis elbow.

Any advice as to what other strings I could try and also, what other racket I could give a go?

Ideally, I'd like to retain the ability to easily generate pace and spin but with maybe a bit more comfort / more soft on the arm. I was thinking a Pure Strike 16x19 or a Yonex Ezone 98 could do the trick, with maybe a softer set of strings like the RPM blast?

Although I've been playing for 20+ years, I've never actually thought about equipment properly so all thoughts welcome!

Cheers,
Hugo
try softer strings, much cheaper than buying new racquets! hybrid with natural gut or go full bed

Pure Strike 100 has the Babolat feel while being a little softer. For sure it's not Clash soft but not all of us here are old/fragile and wish we lived in the days of wood racquets.
 

flanker2000fr

Hall of Fame
I don't think anyone has mentioned this yet, but you should have a look at the line of semi-custom racquets that Angell makes to your specifications, at about the price of a Babolat or Wilson.

In particular, you should have a look at the Custom V3 TC100. They have a 63RA unstrung option, translating to 59-60 strung, which may feel alien to you coming from such a stiff frame. But you could chose the 70RA option,which is unstrung and would turn to be around 66RA strung. Also, they are foam filled and this helps with comfort. Users of the TC100 70RA report that it is a comfortable frame to use. As for weight / balance, they have a 300g / 320mm option, which should be close to what you're accustomed to with the PD.

I am playing a TC100 63RA, and it's suprisingly powerful, so I can imagine the 70RA one won't disappoint in that department.

Just food for thought.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
Hi all,

I've been playing with a Pure Drive since I can remember. Currently playing with a Pure Drive 2017 in 16x19 (300g).

I have always played with Babolat Pro Hurricane strings, usually at 25kg.

Recently (think past few months), I have started to feel pain in my left arm (am a lefty) very akin a tennis elbow.

Any advice as to what other strings I could try and also, what other racket I could give a go?

Ideally, I'd like to retain the ability to easily generate pace and spin but with maybe a bit more comfort / more soft on the arm. I was thinking a Pure Strike 16x19 or a Yonex Ezone 98 could do the trick, with maybe a softer set of strings like the RPM blast?

Although I've been playing for 20+ years, I've never actually thought about equipment properly so all thoughts welcome!

Cheers,
Hugo
I'd say make a substantial string change right now to try to get your arm health moving in a better direction. A young slugger I coached a couple years ago was dealing with a progressive onset of golfer's elbow in the middle of his high school season (solid #1 singles player). At the time he was playing Pure Drives strung with full beds of RPM and he was worried that he'd have to completely shut down if he got much worse.

I switched him into full beds of snug Prince Premier Control and this switch made a difference for him pretty quickly. We first tried 16 gauge, but this guy was "farmer strong" and could really crank on the ball - I was restringing him with that stuff every three or four days. So we tried the heavier 15L gauge and that would hold up for about a week and a half of playing every day.

After two or three weeks of using that multi, this guy was dealing with no more than an occasional little twinge and he eventually got back to 100%. The following year (as a senior) he switched to a heavier frame and did fine with a poly hybrid that included a very light gauge poly main. I'd bet that even a full bed of synthetic gut will likely give you some relief right away.

If you brought your racquet to me and described your current problem, I honestly wouldn't install a poly of any kind in there. I agree with our pals above; soft poly is still poly. Poly isn't helpful when an arm issue shows up. If you keep your racquet and change strings, you'll be playing with a familiar frame in your hand, but softer string will reduce the impact shock that's being transmitted into your arm.
 
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Hugo67

New User
Thanks again all for all the advice. I've just bought a set of Solinco Hyper G and Yonex Poly Tour Pro. Will try them both with my PD at 23kg and see how this goes. Will keep you updated.
If that does not help, will look to move to synthetic gut and ultimately change rackets but let's see how this first set-up change goes
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Thanks again all for all the advice. I've just bought a set of Solinco Hyper G and Yonex Poly Tour Pro. Will try them both with my PD at 23kg and see how this goes. Will keep you updated.
If that does not help, will look to move to synthetic gut and ultimately change rackets but let's see how this first set-up change goes
Wouldn't say those are softer than Hurricane but let us know.
 
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