Racket for female with golfers elbow

TKK

New User
Hi everyone, I know there are a few posts about tennis and golfers elbow, but mainly for men rather than women and I am struggling to find a racket I can play with for longer than an hour without pain - assuming it is possible..... I am 55 and started playing tennis regularly again after 35 years, with my old wilson graphite SL Plus as I was told it was fine to start with : ( 6 months in, I played 5 days in a row with it and given I now know it is a very stiff and relatively heavy racket, (albeit with new strings - a later change to multi and an overgrip wasn't enough) it's not surprising that tennis elbow kicked in. Partly poor technique, but overuse as well and my shoulder isn't 100% anyway, after op to tighten 15 years ago. That then progressed to tennis and golfers elbow and after resting for 6-8 weeks now been advised to play but half as much to start with, as exercises were making it worse and the muscles getting weaker, but need a racket and strings that doesn't aggravate the golfers elbow I still have further.
I liked playing with the Bab Pure Drive Lite but know it's very stiff and notorious - someone has suggested soft poly at 42lbs, but I am wary of this model as lots of comments about it casuing elbow issues
Also liked Yonex ezone 100L, but that also hurts after hour or so - RA of 67 so surprised this is seen as arm friendly.
And Prince 03 legacy 105 has a great sweet spot and really liked hitting with it (280g RA 67 and sww 321) and the 110, but couldn't play with it long enough to know if the heavy swing weight and slightly longer handle will be an issue. Suspect it will be as this isn't flexible either.

I hated the Gravity Lite which was tinny and felt awful (though the specs looked ok), Head rackets I have tried weren't good either

I hit the ball hard and flat and would say I am an advanced beginner / intermediate and play mostly doubles, with a bigger swing than most - but working on reducing it.

I am not sure if the rackets so far have been too heavy and / or too stiff. The Bab was lighter (270g) but very stiff at 72.

And is a high swingweight and longer than 27inch handle a bad idea too, if I want to be able to complete a 3 set match?
I know head heavy is too much for my wrist and elbow.

My research suggests RA of 63 or lower is best, and 100inch racket or more probably, but there's not much choice other than a Clash. Should I go for an UL and accept that I won't get as much zip from the ball, but will have the comfort, as 280/285g rackets I have tried (RA 67+ though), have so far resulted in pain after an hour, though the Clash 100L is RA 55 and the 100UL is 63, so will presumably feel very different?!

Someone also suggested pro kennex rackets, but they aren't available to demo (in the UK), but now very confused as to what to try, as I think I need a lighter racket, but they seem to be stiffer so would I be no better off? And I want to play at a decent level if I can as well.
I don't understand the difference between the Ki and the Ki Q+s, but would need a lighter one I think. KiQ+15 was mentioned, but it has a 27.5inch handle and I thought 27 was best? and a swingweight of 325 and RA of 72 which doesn't sound good for my arm?
Or is the stiffness spec meaningless in a pro kennex?

Sorry for the long post and I hope you can help me see the wood for the trees with this! I don't have the money to keep buying new rackets and demos if you can do them are very dependent on string type and tensions which are so variable
Many thanks
 

Hansen

Professional
a racquet shouldn‘t be too light to loose the collision with the ball so that all the shock goes to your arm, but it shouldn‘t be too heavy either because the swinging alone of a racquet that is too heavy can bother the arm (too high static weight can stress the shoulder when serving etc.), can be too tiresome and can result in bad timing (too late on the ball).
so to find the right weight, balance and swingweight is highly personal.
in general (individual experiences may differ):
head heavy, longer racquets, stiff racquets are „bad“ comfort wise.
also in your case it is a very bad idea to use poly strings.
 

Hansen

Professional
my racquet recommendations would be:

wilson clash 100L v2 (flexible, swingweight is low but that is easy to fix with lead)

pro kennex racquets in general, but stiffness is still important, and the only racquet which fits your criteria (light but not stiff) imo is the
pro kennex ki5 (295 g)

prince tour 100 (290 g)

if a racquet is light and flexible there isn‘t a lot of power, but since you have armproblems and are a flat hitter poly strings are forbiden anyway. so to get good power from these racquets i would recommend a good multi or even better a full natural gut or gut / multi (or syngut hybrid).
 

TKK

New User
Thanks a lot Hansen
Why would I need to make the swing weight on the clash heavier? Will it not have enough oomph behind my shots otherwise? Never used lead so that is all new to me - is it tape and would I need it on the throat then rather than the head?
And why do you think I was recommended to retry the Bab Pure Drive lite with soft poly at 42lbs? Like you. I thought all poly would be bad ! Is that racket a non starter do you think whatever strings or tension?

Sadly Pro kennex rackets are few and far between here in the UK I am finding, though if the 295 racket is unstrung, it would be too heavy for me anyway. 280/285 unstrung makes my arm hurt after an hour - but could be the stiffness that is doing that I guess....they dont feel heavy when I am playing, but my arm's not that strong anyway, partly due to the shoulder I suppose....
 

emhtennis

Professional
I would also strongly recommend pro kennex. I am dealing with the exact same golfers elbow issue myself and have taken a racket detour into PK frames.

I know they aren't for demo, but used they should also be pretty cheap comparatively speaking. Check out TW Europe and take the plunge.

Other potential option could be the Angell K7 Red. It is foam filled and has Twaron (material that helps with vibration control). Bonus is that they are an English racket company.

Last suggestion is to play with a full bed of natural gut. Yes it is expensive, but if you don't break strings often it should last a long time and feel great - plus be safe on the elbow.

Hope it gets better soon!
 

Hansen

Professional
Why would I need to make the swing weight on the clash heavier?
the clash, despite its low stiffness, has pretty good power, so i‘m not certain if it will lack power, but a sw of 300 strung is pretty low. and the power has to come from something, either stiffness or swingweight. also if a racquet has not enough weight in the head, it tends to be unstable and twists in the hand if you don‘t make clean contact, which is a problem for some players.
Never used lead so that is all new to me - is it tape and would I need it on the throat then rather than the head?
it is easy to do, if necessary you will get help here on the forum
And why do you think I was recommended
in very rare cases a poly at really low tension, below 20 kg, can be comfortable for some, but in general i would very strongly advise to not use poly strings. also poly strings have to be cut out after a certain time, depends on the string, not longer than roughly 12 hours in general. so it also more economical to use gut since you can keep it in the racquet till it breaks .
why someone recommended to keep using the babolat, i have no idea, makes zero sense.
 

BumElbow

Professional
Consider a Prince Phantom. They are not especially powerful but they are plush feeling with excellent control. I have one with the "O" ports and it is easy on my elbow.

I also have a Head Gravity Lite and it is one of my most disappointing racquet purchases. It is very harsh when strung with anything but a multifilament string. It is just too light and lacks control.

I've had success with my ProKennex Black Ace 300. It's not overly powerful but it is very comfortable and controlled with good spin. For more power I would consider the ProKennex Ki5 because it has an RA of only 64.

It's time to replace that old Wilson with something more modern.
 

AmericanTwist

Professional
Prince, Wilson Clash, Pro kennex are the brands that you should definitely look at. Yes, frames with 63RA or lower (softer). In general people should play with the heaviest (longer is heavier too) frame they can handle without hitting late all the time. Only through trial and error can you determine the optimal range of frames. I suggest you use syn gut as a baseline as it holds tension best and is on average much softer than poly strings. This is also why most junior frames come pre-strung with syn gut. You can check out other brands too. Maybe give your elbow some time to heal too.

Btw Pro kennex used to make frames for other brands (maybe it still does I dunno). I plan on lengthening my frames to 27.3 or 27.4" so you are on the right track. You will be able to swing a 27" length frame easier but have slightly less power for serves and for reach shots. Yes even a quarter inch does make a difference.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
Use Racquetfinder.com and put in your desired specifications, which are mass, head size and stiffness. Mass will include strings. PK and Prince can get away with higher stiffness ratings because the tech dampens ball impact vibrations. Frames wwhich are foam filled help, but not as much as the PK/Prince tech. After you get a list of candidates, look at TW Europe to see what they have. Or look at what is available for demo in the UK or For Sale used. Stay away from polyesters or co-polys. This means using either SG or multis w/o poly sheaths. Mid range tension is recommended until you decide on string. Thicker strings will dampen better than thin at the same ref tension.
 

Trip

Hall of Fame
@TKK - Welcome. Here are some thoughts:

Wellness -- I would start massage and flex bar exercises for the GE as soon as you can, and keep that up while you get back into playing; it will help break up the scare tissue and make way for stronger, healthier tendons and muscles in the long run. In tandem with that, try and eat as clean as you can, as that will help accelerate the healing process, among other obvious benefits.

Play -- I'd work to continue to clean up as much of your technique as you can, including proper take-back, unit-turn and follow-through, and actually swinging not a light-enough racquet, but a heavy-enough racquet, which will both promote proper mechanics and also allow the racquet to win more of the collision with the ball and deliver its own power, instead of you having to over-swing and/or arm the racquet excessively. All of that together should help take stress off of your GE area, and spread the effort and load more properly over your entire kinetic chain.

Racquet + String -- For max protection and healing while playing, I would look at either a softer-flexing ProKennex, namely the Black Ace 300 or if you need a bit more power, the Ki 5 (still soft enough, as the kinetic tech will makeup for a bit higher RA flex), or a softer-flexing Prince frame with O-ports (which will add considerable comfort), like the Phantom 100X O3, and string with full-bed natural gut, or hybrid natural gut mains with a slick, soft multi in the crosses, like Tecnifibre Multifeel, and absolutely avoid all poly strings, whatsoever.

Do all of that, and you should be well on your way to healing and playing injury-free tennis, hopefully for good.
 
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socallefty

G.O.A.T.
You don’t mention your strings. Are you playing with poly? If so, do you know it is better to string below 50lbs with stiff racquets and then cut out the poly in 12-20 hours as they go dead? You have to cut out poly before it gives you any tightness or pain to the wrist/elbow. If you are using poly correctly or playing with soft strings, then you could consider changing your racquet.

Try a Pure Strike VS - very comfortable and feels old school like the Pro Staff with a thin beam.
 
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TKK

New User
Thank you so much to everyone for all your advice - it is definitely appreciated and really helpful to someone who is on a rapid learning curve with all this.

I am avoiding poly completely, to those that are worried. 5 mins on a clash 100L demo with so called soft poly hurt me straight away. Why on earth they strung a demo with that is beyond me - even I know that was a bad idea!

I dont know if I can get my hands on PK rackets but what stiffness would be the equivalent of 63 say in other rackets?
And would prince o port rackets be the same?
I assume a swingweight of 321 per the prince 03 legacy 105 would be too much? Loved playing with it. Think it was syn gut and might get to try a demo for longer soon, so guess I will find out.
Is nat gut the softest, then multi, then syn gut?
Thanks again
 

socallefty

G.O.A.T.
I am avoiding poly completely, to those that are worried. 5 mins on a clash 100L demo with so called soft poly hurt me straight away. Why on earth they strung a demo with that is beyond me - even I know that was a bad idea!
Demoing racquets with poly is a complete waste of time as most likely the poly is dead as its been played for way longer than 20-25 hours - shops don’t restring demo racquets that often and so it is better to demo with multis. Whatever your experience with some of your demo racquets, you might have been feeling the effects of playing with dead poly more than the racquet itself.
 
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Pro Kennex Ki5 295: very dense string pattern ideal for flat hitting, very good feel in being in Control on most situations, the Kinetic technology really works!
Pro Kennex Black Ace 300: opern 16*19 pattern, ideal of you're hitting close to your body, high swingweight though will maybe get you tired quickly
Donnay rackets should be an option to consider too.
 

TKK

New User
Thanks for that, good to know. Most demos seem to be syn gut as a half way house I suppose but they often dont know what the strings are, so as you say, no way of telling if its the racket, strings or tension. I so envy the people who just bought a racket off the shelf and never had a problem!
 

socallefty

G.O.A.T.
I so envy the people who just bought a racket off the shelf and never had a problem!
If you like a racquet in the past, you will likely also like racquets with similar specs for static weight, SW, beam width, head size and RA stiffness/Vibration frequency as your game is predicated on those specs. You can then tweak the racquet to your liking by changing strings, gauges and tensions for power, control, spin and comfort/feel.

A racquet is a stringed instrument like a violin. When you play with one stringjob, you are seeing only a small % of its performance range. If you string a racquet with 15 gauge stiff poly at 50 lbs or 17g natural gut at 60 lbs, it will play completely different and won’t seem like the same racquet. And then the poly will play different at 5, 10, 15 hours of playing time.

When you come back to the game after a long time, it is not the time to change equipment as it takes a while for your game to find your old groove. Of course, if you are getting injured, heal first and then play with gut at tensions below 55 lbs for a while.
 

veelium

Hall of Fame
Thank you so much to everyone for all your advice - it is definitely appreciated and really helpful to someone who is on a rapid learning curve with all this.

I am avoiding poly completely, to those that are worried. 5 mins on a clash 100L demo with so called soft poly hurt me straight away. Why on earth they strung a demo with that is beyond me - even I know that was a bad idea!

I dont know if I can get my hands on PK rackets but what stiffness would be the equivalent of 63 say in other rackets?
And would prince o port rackets be the same?
I assume a swingweight of 321 per the prince 03 legacy 105 would be too much? Loved playing with it. Think it was syn gut and might get to try a demo for longer soon, so guess I will find out.
Is nat gut the softest, then multi, then syn gut?
Thanks again
Nat gut is the softest and most comfortable by far. It also holds tension far longer than any other string.
Then, but with a big difference come the multis and syn guts (huge variety there though) and after another big difference the polys.
If I'd give a score for comfort, with 10 being the most comfortable, then
Natural gut would be 10, multis and syn guts would range from 4-7 and polys would range from 1-4.

Regarding the prince, if you found it easy enough to swing it's probably fine.
 

gold325

Hall of Fame
Thank you so much to everyone for all your advice - it is definitely appreciated and really helpful to someone who is on a rapid learning curve with all this.

I am avoiding poly completely, to those that are worried. 5 mins on a clash 100L demo with so called soft poly hurt me straight away. Why on earth they strung a demo with that is beyond me - even I know that was a bad idea!

I dont know if I can get my hands on PK rackets but what stiffness would be the equivalent of 63 say in other rackets?
And would prince o port rackets be the same?
I assume a swingweight of 321 per the prince 03 legacy 105 would be too much? Loved playing with it. Think it was syn gut and might get to try a demo for longer soon, so guess I will find out.
Is nat gut the softest, then multi, then syn gut?
Thanks again

Dont go excessively soft on the racquet, dont go excessively high on the weight. If there is a place you want to go too soft it would be on the string.

You can go thinner gauge as well with multi and syngut. For me regular multi is equivalent to regular syngut. There are stiffer and softer multis and synguts available.

I had the Prince Legacy 105 O3 (mainly because of the really beautiful red color and I found it for $75 in mint condition) - found it slow and stiffer than I would have expected honestly despite the reviews from TW - The unit I had was 315sw.
 

H22 fan

Semi-Pro
@TKK - Welcome. Here are some thoughts:

Wellness -- I would start massage and flex bar exercises for the GE as soon as you can, and keep that up while you get back into playing; it will help break up the scare tissue and make way for stronger, healthier tendons and muscles in the long run. In tandem with that, try and eat as clean as you can, as that will help accelerate the healing process, among other obvious benefits.

Play -- I work to continue clean up as much of your technique as you can, including proper take-back, unit-turn and follow-through, and actually swinging not a light-enough racquet, but a heavy-enough racquet, which will both promote proper mechanics and also allow the racquet to win more of the collision with the ball and deliver its own power, instead of you having to over-swing and/or arm the racquet excessively. All of that together should help take stress off of your GE area, and spread the effort and load more properly over your entire kinetic chain.

Racquet + String -- For max protection and healing while playing, I would look at either a softer-flexing ProKennex, namely the Black Ace 300 or if you need a bit more power, the Ki 5 (still soft enough, as the kinetic tech will makeup for a bit higher RA flex), or a softer-flexing Prince frame with O-ports (which will add considerable comfort), like the Phantom 100X O3, and string with full-bed natural gut, or hybrid natural gut mains with a slick, soft multi in the crosses, like Tecnifibre Multifeel, and absolutely avoid all poly strings, whatsoever.

Do all of that, and you should be well on your way to healing and playing injury-free tennis, hopefully for good.
@TKK
That is the best reply so far. To solve the problem with the GE/TE you need to work on those 3 steps. And racket/strings are least important on the way to solve the problem.
 

Steve Huff

G.O.A.T.
I too, would recommend the Ki Q+5. The difference between it and the older Ki 5, from what I understand, is improved placement of the the kinetic system within the racket. Also, natural gut is great if you want to spend what it costs. It's more powerful than a multi, provides better spin than a multi, and is easier on the arm. I wouldn't even consider a poly, even at low tensions. Also, make sure your grip is large enough. I know the trend lately has been to go down a grip size for more spin, but it's not for people with arm problems.
 

Contrapuntal

New User
I've had trouble in the past with golfer's elbow, and switching to a soft Yonex racquet with full bed multifilament definitely helped. But I made the mistake of getting extended length frames for the lower stiffness rating, and eventually had to accept that I just couldn't control them very well and they were impeding my progress.

Demoing racquets more recently, they were all soft frames that some people here helped recommend, but they all came strung with poly - several with the very string that helped mess up my elbow in the first place. And that was enough for the old trouble to flare up again, something that hadn't happened for years prior or since. So you're right that strings are definitely a big part of the equation.

I went with the Clash and I've been very happy with it, but I hit with a lot of spin and it feels like it's designed for that. I'm not sure if it would suit your game as well, hitting flatter.

I also find the Clash with a soft poly is fine for me now, but that's with an elbow that had mostly recovered before I started using it. Until you give your elbow some time to heal, you might find that any racquet you demo will still stir up some pain after a while. A soft racquet can transmit less force to the joints, and that'll hopefully be enough to keep a healthy elbow healthy. But while it's still sensitive like it is, a new racquet probably won't work miracles.
 

BumElbow

Professional
Dont go excessively soft on the racquet, dont go excessively high on the weight. If there is a place you want to go too soft it would be on the string.

You can go thinner gauge as well with multi and syngut. For me regular multi is equivalent to regular syngut. There are stiffer and softer multis and synguts available.

I had the Prince Legacy 105 O3 (mainly because of the really beautiful red color and I found it for $75 in mint condition) - found it slow and stiffer than I would have expected honestly despite the reviews from TW - The unit I had was 315sw.

I've been considering getting a Prince Legacy 105 O3 even though I don't especially like evenly balanced racquets and even though it has a relatively high RA of 67. I do, however, like that I can get it in a 4 5/8" grip size. I play much better with a large grip size. Is the racquet unstable due to its light weight? Does the even balance affect racquet head speed? Is it too stiff even with the "O" ports for comfort? I'd appreciate hearing from your experience.
 

TKK

New User
@TKK - Welcome. Here are some thoughts:

Wellness -- I would start massage and flex bar exercises for the GE as soon as you can, and keep that up while you get back into playing; it will help break up the scare tissue and make way for stronger, healthier tendons and muscles in the long run. In tandem with that, try and eat as clean as you can, as that will help accelerate the healing process, among other obvious benefits.

Play -- I'd work to continue to clean up as much of your technique as you can, including proper take-back, unit-turn and follow-through, and actually swinging not a light-enough racquet, but a heavy-enough racquet, which will both promote proper mechanics and also allow the racquet to win more of the collision with the ball and deliver its own power, instead of you having to over-swing and/or arm the racquet excessively. All of that together should help take stress off of your GE area, and spread the effort and load more properly over your entire kinetic chain.

Racquet + String -- For max protection and healing while playing, I would look at either a softer-flexing ProKennex, namely the Black Ace 300 or if you need a bit more power, the Ki 5 (still soft enough, as the kinetic tech will makeup for a bit higher RA flex), or a softer-flexing Prince frame with O-ports (which will add considerable comfort), like the Phantom 100X O3, and string with full-bed natural gut, or hybrid natural gut mains with a slick, soft multi in the crosses, like Tecnifibre Multifeel, and absolutely avoid all poly strings, whatsoever.

Do all of that, and you should be well on your way to healing and playing injury-free tennis, hopefully for good.
Thank you very much for this - a very clear explanation. Looks like I need to get some flex bars, rather than just wringing wet towels! and will need to read up on what to do with them : )
 

TKK

New User
I've had trouble in the past with golfer's elbow, and switching to a soft Yonex racquet with full bed multifilament definitely helped. But I made the mistake of getting extended length frames for the lower stiffness rating, and eventually had to accept that I just couldn't control them very well and they were impeding my progress.

Demoing racquets more recently, they were all soft frames that some people here helped recommend, but they all came strung with poly - several with the very string that helped mess up my elbow in the first place. And that was enough for the old trouble to flare up again, something that hadn't happened for years prior or since. So you're right that strings are definitely a big part of the equation.

I went with the Clash and I've been very happy with it, but I hit with a lot of spin and it feels like it's designed for that. I'm not sure if it would suit your game as well, hitting flatter.

I also find the Clash with a soft poly is fine for me now, but that's with an elbow that had mostly recovered before I started using it. Until you give your elbow some time to heal, you might find that any racquet you demo will still stir up some pain after a while. A soft racquet can transmit less force to the joints, and that'll hopefully be enough to keep a healthy elbow healthy. But while it's still sensitive like it is, a new racquet probably won't work miracles.
You are echoing my own thoughts - I need to demo to find a racket, but understand that that alone isn't going to fix it. Definitely want to keep playing though, so trying the clash 100L and Prince 03 legacy 105 soon hopefully. The consensus seems to be open strings are more arm friendly, but the Clash is meant to be better for spin, so not sure it will work for me, plus the 6HL balance made it feel very heavy on my wrist. Pro kennex are very difficult to get, so found one called a Prince Ripcord 100 - a 295 strung and a 281 strung, not that a demo will be available, but the specs look possible. Has anyone tried them or have any knowledge about them
 

TKK

New User
I've been considering getting a Prince Legacy 105 O3 even though I don't especially like evenly balanced racquets and even though it has a relatively high RA of 67. I do, however, like that I can get it in a 4 5/8" grip size. I play much better with a large grip size. Is the racquet unstable due to its light weight? Does the even balance affect racquet head speed? Is it too stiff even with the "O" ports for comfort? I'd appreciate hearing from your experience.
It didn't feel unstable in my first short demo - and I was playing on hard court which was much faster and the ball bouncing much higher than the artificial clay which is my usual surface, but I will feedback once I've tried it - I don't have much experience of trying rackets but will do my best!
 

Trip

Hall of Fame
@TKK - Very welcome. For starters, here's a YouTube video on exercises you can do with a flex bar for GE:


As for the Prince Ripcord, funny that you mention it, I was actually going to suggest it earlier as a possible option, alongside the Ripstick (the Ripcord appears to be essentially the non-O-port version of the Ripstick), as higher-power options from Prince, but resisted only for the sake of keeping things simple and sticking to what I know. That said, I think the Ripcord would be very suitable if you feel like you want a higher-power, more Pure Drive type stick, but with noticeably better comfort. Also, with conventional grommets, the Ripcord will have better feel than the Ripstick. I was actually thinking about getting a Ripcord for my girlfriend, as a hopefully beefier, more stable alternative to her Head Gravity S.
 

TKK

New User
@TKK - Very welcome. For starters, here's a YouTube video on exercises you can do with a flex bar for GE:


As for the Prince Ripcord, funny that you mention it, I was actually going to suggest it earlier as a possible option, alongside the Ripstick (the Ripcord appears to be essentially the non-O-port version of the Ripstick), as higher-power options from Prince, but resisted only for the sake of keeping things simple and sticking to what I know. That said, I think the Ripcord would be very suitable if you feel like you want a higher-power, more Pure Drive type stick, but with noticeably better comfort. Also, with conventional grommets, the Ripcord will have better feel than the Ripstick. I was actually thinking about getting a Ripcord for my girlfriend, as a hopefully beefier, more stable alternative to her Head Gravity S.
Thank you very much and will add it to the list - didnt realise it didn't have the o ports - prince rackets are also hard to find for a demo as they are not that popular, but if the Clash etc is no good, great to have another potential
 

weelie

Professional
I came back to tennis approx 9 years ago at 40, after being away for 20 years. I am skinny 172cm male. My rackets in the 80s/90s were Wilson Hammer 6.2 (10-11oz but very head heavy) and Antelop graphite midsize (377g with the two overgrips). Both were very soft rackets. Back then it was always soft syngut strings.

Coming back to tennis, switched to Dunlop F3.0 and M3.0, which I guess was bit stiffer and I played too much. I got golfers elbow (or so I personally analyzed). I continued to play, even though at some point I could straighten my hand anymore. If elbow was painful, I would skip a day etc. I did stretch my elbow going to the court and coming back, but a theraband even, but actully did not really use (when the elbow was hurting, it felt stiff and hurt, when it did not hurt, did not feel like doing it). Taking a month's break once or twice a year. String was poly all along (though I did try a hybrid with syngut/multi, I did not like them).

My solution was that I got a 280g RA=62 Head Graphene S (102), modified to extreme specs:
- 60 g on weight to the grip. To me, headlight and highisgh static weight felt the best. Using sorbothane grips, or later I think also used just gel (shock reducing) grips (Head, Wilson etc), as sorbothane ones were thick, broke easily and difficult to get (Shocktape! was the brand I used).
- Then I switched to Ashaway Kevlar/Zyex string set strung as per the thread on this board. Like 8kg difference in tension between mains and crosses, as suggested there. I guess this hybrid set has been discontinued

I also worked on the technique. My forehand was all hand. I was mishitting a lot, if I hit maximum velocity.

Well, I am maybe no better as a player now. But elbow has not been a concern for like 3 years. I feel other parts of the body a more likely to fail on me now. Elbow does not worry me anymore, but I am very worried about shoulder pain, not that I have suffered much of it, but I feel the shoulder is a lot more delicate! Last time I had elbow pain was a summer when played a lot on red clay, and switched to more extreme grip hitting with max top spin and as hard as I can. It was fun, for a while.

I switched to Prince Tour 100 18x20, Gravity Tour, both around 62 RA. Added like 10g to grip end and strung softish poly (Wilson Revolve, Dunlop Black Widow). Then got a Phantom PP100 (RA 55) 16x18 from a friend and customized to my liking. Feels like wooden racket pretty much. :D Finally then got the 2nd gen of that Phantom (RA 58), which for now, is my ticket. Have not actually played any for 6 months, as I tore my ACL and am in rehab from the operation... the elbow is fine though!
 

TKK

New User
Thank you very much and will add it to the list - didnt realise it didn't have the o ports - prince rackets are also hard to find for a demo as they are not that popular, but if the Clash etc is no good, great to have another potential

I came back to tennis approx 9 years ago at 40, after being away for 20 years. I am skinny 172cm male. My rackets in the 80s/90s were Wilson Hammer 6.2 (10-11oz but very head heavy) and Antelop graphite midsize (377g with the two overgrips). Both were very soft rackets. Back then it was always soft syngut strings.

Coming back to tennis, switched to Dunlop F3.0 and M3.0, which I guess was bit stiffer and I played too much. I got golfers elbow (or so I personally analyzed). I continued to play, even though at some point I could straighten my hand anymore. If elbow was painful, I would skip a day etc. I did stretch my elbow going to the court and coming back, but a theraband even, but actully did not really use (when the elbow was hurting, it felt stiff and hurt, when it did not hurt, did not feel like doing it). Taking a month's break once or twice a year. String was poly all along (though I did try a hybrid with syngut/multi, I did not like them).

My solution was that I got a 280g RA=62 Head Graphene S (102), modified to extreme specs:
- 60 g on weight to the grip. To me, headlight and highisgh static weight felt the best. Using sorbothane grips, or later I think also used just gel (shock reducing) grips (Head, Wilson etc), as sorbothane ones were thick, broke easily and difficult to get (Shocktape! was the brand I used).
- Then I switched to Ashaway Kevlar/Zyex string set strung as per the thread on this board. Like 8kg difference in tension between mains and crosses, as suggested there. I guess this hybrid set has been discontinued

I also worked on the technique. My forehand was all hand. I was mishitting a lot, if I hit maximum velocity.

Well, I am maybe no better as a player now. But elbow has not been a concern for like 3 years. I feel other parts of the body a more likely to fail on me now. Elbow does not worry me anymore, but I am very worried about shoulder pain, not that I have suffered much of it, but I feel the shoulder is a lot more delicate! Last time I had elbow pain was a summer when played a lot on red clay, and switched to more extreme grip hitting with max top spin and as hard as I can. It was fun, for a while.

I switched to Prince Tour 100 18x20, Gravity Tour, both around 62 RA. Added like 10g to grip end and strung softish poly (Wilson Revolve, Dunlop Black Widow). Then got a Phantom PP100 (RA 55) 16x18 from a friend and customized to my liking. Feels like wooden racket pretty much. :D Finally then got the 2nd gen of that Phantom (RA 58), which for now, is my ticket. Have not actually played any for 6 months, as I tore my ACL and am in rehab from the operation... the elbow is fine though!

I came back to tennis approx 9 years ago at 40, after being away for 20 years. I am skinny 172cm male. My rackets in the 80s/90s were Wilson Hammer 6.2 (10-11oz but very head heavy) and Antelop graphite midsize (377g with the two overgrips). Both were very soft rackets. Back then it was always soft syngut strings.

Coming back to tennis, switched to Dunlop F3.0 and M3.0, which I guess was bit stiffer and I played too much. I got golfers elbow (or so I personally analyzed). I continued to play, even though at some point I could straighten my hand anymore. If elbow was painful, I would skip a day etc. I did stretch my elbow going to the court and coming back, but a theraband even, but actully did not really use (when the elbow was hurting, it felt stiff and hurt, when it did not hurt, did not feel like doing it). Taking a month's break once or twice a year. String was poly all along (though I did try a hybrid with syngut/multi, I did not like them).

My solution was that I got a 280g RA=62 Head Graphene S (102), modified to extreme specs:
- 60 g on weight to the grip. To me, headlight and highisgh static weight felt the best. Using sorbothane grips, or later I think also used just gel (shock reducing) grips (Head, Wilson etc), as sorbothane ones were thick, broke easily and difficult to get (Shocktape! was the brand I used).
- Then I switched to Ashaway Kevlar/Zyex string set strung as per the thread on this board. Like 8kg difference in tension between mains and crosses, as suggested there. I guess this hybrid set has been discontinued

I also worked on the technique. My forehand was all hand. I was mishitting a lot, if I hit maximum velocity.

Well, I am maybe no better as a player now. But elbow has not been a concern for like 3 years. I feel other parts of the body a more likely to fail on me now. Elbow does not worry me anymore, but I am very worried about shoulder pain, not that I have suffered much of it, but I feel the shoulder is a lot more delicate! Last time I had elbow pain was a summer when played a lot on red clay, and switched to more extreme grip hitting with max top spin and as hard as I can. It was fun, for a while.

I switched to Prince Tour 100 18x20, Gravity Tour, both around 62 RA. Added like 10g to grip end and strung softish poly (Wilson Revolve, Dunlop Black Widow). Then got a Phantom PP100 (RA 55) 16x18 from a friend and customized to my liking. Feels like wooden racket pretty much. :D Finally then got the 2nd gen of that Phantom (RA 58), which for now, is my ticket. Have not actually played any for 6 months, as I tore my ACL and am in rehab from the operation... the elbow is fine though!
 

TKK

New User
Sounds like it's been a journey as they say! I too am thinking of trying a lighter racket, as lots of the suggestions so far are probably a bit heavy, though I understand too light is not good either. The lightest static weight prince one seems to be the 03 legacy 05 at 280 or 290g unstrung for the phantom 100X which will probably be too much, but its less stiff. The different specs are bewildering quite honestly, but sure I will find one eventually : ) Thanks for the tip re the grip - hadn't thought about that.
 

weelie

Professional
Sounds like it's been a journey as they say! I too am thinking of trying a lighter racket, as lots of the suggestions so far are probably a bit heavy, though I understand too light is not good either. The lightest static weight prince one seems to be the 03 legacy 05 at 280 or 290g unstrung for the phantom 100X which will probably be too much, but its less stiff. The different specs are bewildering quite honestly, but sure I will find one eventually : ) Thanks for the tip re the grip - hadn't thought about that.
Also holding the racket a bit lighter might help. Even holding a bit higher up (closer to the strings) the racket might help a tad.
 

myke232

Semi-Pro
What about stiffer raquets being better for the elbow because they provide more easy power and you don't have to swing as hard, where as a more flexible raquet requires a lot more work to generate the same power and the arm gets overused?
 

Trip

Hall of Fame
What about stiffer raquets being better for the elbow because they provide more easy power and you don't have to swing as hard, where as a more flexible raquet requires a lot more work to generate the same power and the arm gets overused?
Stiff racquets can be fine, provided that, just like softer racquets, or any racquet of any stiffness, they have the right amount of static weight and recoil weight to elicit proper mechanics, offset collision force and absorb enough vibration. But apart from just stiffness and weightings, proper string and tension choice helps an awful lot, too. Perhaps mostly importantly, though, is that the whole system is operated by a player with sound-enough mechanics to spread the swing and impact load over more of the kinetic chain (legs, core, back), not just the forearm.
 
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sharif

Rookie
Stiff racquets can be fine, provided that, just like softer racquets, or any racquet of any stiffness, they have the right amount of static weight and recoil weight to elicit proper mechanics, offset collision force and absorb enough vibration. But apart from just stiffness and weights, proper string and tension helps an awful lot, too, and be operated by a player with sound-enough mechanics to spread the swing load over all of the kinetic chain, not just the forearm.
I've been following this post since as you know, I was recently diagnosed with mild TE. I'm just curious if my case stems from technique, overuse or my racquet set up or the fact that I recently recovered from rotator cuff tendinitis or a combination of all. My guess is overuse since I did play a lot after the tendinitis but was curious to hear your thoughts on my current racquet set up (since it is a stiffer racquet). I play with the Head power instinct 110 strung with Head velocity mLt 16 at 54 pounds. Thx!!
 

weelie

Professional
What about stiffer raquets being better for the elbow because they provide more easy power and you don't have to swing as hard, where as a more flexible raquet requires a lot more work to generate the same power and the arm gets overused?
The problem with stiff racket is that you generally tend to also string it tight. With a flexible racket, you string low to get some power "back". And low strung (or soft) string is good for you.

My quite flexible but powerful Prince TT100P is strung at 24kg. I feel it should be a bit tighter still...
My ultraflexible and reduced power Prince PP100 is strung at 21kg. Feels right.

I had a Clash 100 Pro for a short while. Had it strung real tight, as I just could not the control for flat FH. Did not work with the tight string either.
 

TKK

New User
It didn't feel unstable in my first short demo - and I was playing on hard court which was much faster and the ball bouncing much higher than the artificial clay which is my usual surface, but I will feedback once I've tried it - I don't have much experience of trying rackets but will do my best!
After playing on artificial clay with it, it did feel a bit weighty and slow and was too much for my arm on that surface
 

TKK

New User
Stiff racquets can be fine, provided that, just like softer racquets, or any racquet of any stiffness, they have the right amount of static weight and recoil weight to elicit proper mechanics, offset collision force and absorb enough vibration. But apart from just stiffness and weightings, proper string and tension choice helps an awful lot, too. Perhaps mostly importantly, though, is that the whole system is operated by a player with sound-enough mechanics to spread the swing and impact load over more of the kinetic chain (legs, core, back), not just the forearm.
In desperation, as I couldnt find a uk stockist (let alone a demo racket) of the prince ripcord, and many of the prince recommendations are too heavy for me, I ordered a Volkl Team Speed which was supposedly 265g unstrung, RA 59, 6HL but weighs 277g with prestrung syn gut and i added a grip, so must be lighter! It almost immediately hurts my elbow on top and under my forearm and there is no power at all on my serve. I think I am having to work my arm harder to try and get some power. The (much younger) club coach, suggested trying lead tape rather than new multifilament strings at lower tension (feels tight). Is it worth trying tape first and if so where should i put it?! Or should i sell it on **** and go for the yonex ezone 100 which i much preferred and if so, would the SL (270g) be better than the L (285g)? Both are RA 67, and both are 3HL, swingweight is 305 & 310 respectively. I could play with the L for an hour before it started hurting, so maybe the SL would allow me to play longer?! But on paper it is too stiff, as is the PD lite which i liked. Could HL mess with my golfers elbow, as the clash 100L did straight away, so wondered about the clash UL as it is only 1HL not 6HL per the volkl - would that absorb the vibrations more, or would the lighter weight make it worse? I starting to think there isn't a racket out there and the ezone 100l or sl is the best option. Its a shame the prince 03 legacy 5 swingweight was too much.
 

AmericanTwist

Professional
Keep the Volkl and work towards acclimating to it. If your elbow hurts with a 59RA frame it will hurt worse with a stiffer frame. Maybe rest? see a medical professional? Your elbow shouldn't hurt with such a flexi frame. The 2023 Vcore 98 flex 62RA might be something you could look into when your elbow is healed or a similar frame in another brand.
 

TKK

New User
Thanks, but the PD Lite and yonex were stiffer and heavier and ok for an hour or more, so could it just be too light or need better looser strings?
 

TKK

New User
I cant get prokennex rackets and the clash 100L immediately hurt under my wrist, presumably as it felt so handle heavy at 6HL?? Could try the UL though which is 1HL, but will it feel like the volkl - though that is 6HL
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
As someone that on and off experiences GE, I found a few things that helped:
1) Flex bar exercises and deep massage to the forearm
2) Flexible racket with softer strings
3) smaller grip size
4) Elbow brace
5) Warm up the forearm with racket pronation and supination before play

Currently I'm playing with a Phantom 107G. Great soft response and good power with the oversize head. When my elbow is good I string with gut/poly, but if I start to feel twinges I just go back to old faithful Prince Synthetic Gut. Set it at 50lbs tension and everything is good.

People will tell you to fix your technique but that is really hard to do for most people and for the most part the biggest thing is hitting late on the ball. That's really hard to fix as you get older and your vision and reflexes deteriorate. So protect yourself with safe equipment
 

AmericanTwist

Professional
I think the PD lite 69ra doesn't help your injury at all. I think you should rest and heal completely before playing. Certainly a 59ra frame should not hurt at all even with poly. But I think syn gut is better to start with.
 
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