Racquet advice for chronic TE

Gyswandir

Semi-Pro
Need some help with racquet selection due to chronic TE and biceps tendinosis.

Background:
Played and loved the EZone XI98. However, now at a stage where even with VS16/ZX at 52/48 I feel pain the next day.
So, got the Tour98 ESP, with VS 15L/ZX at 58/56 and weighted to 331gm, Sw 321, 7pts HL. I can play comfortably, with occasional discomfort the next day, but nothing too serious.

However, my issues are
- loss of control on my slice BH: inconsistent depth and occasional floaters. Sometimes, really weird, the ball doesn't cross my half of the court. I think it happens when I hit higher in the racket, as with the Yonex, since it had a relatively higher sweet zone. May be gets better as I get used to this?
- loss of timing on my 1hbh: seems the difference in SW is causing this? Again, should get better?
- of course, even with string savers, I go through the gut every 4-5hrs.

Options:
- if the BH issues can go away, I am willing to pay the price for frequent restringing==> stay with Tour98 ESP
- a racquet as comfortable as the Prince (don't forget the grommets, open pattern and special bridge make this really comfortable), that can give me at least the same power, not heavier than 332gm, at least 7pt HL, with a SW 321-323 (preferably not 18x20)?

Any advice on which route would be best in the long run? If another racquet, what is it?
 

smirker

Hall of Fame
Need some help with racquet selection due to chronic TE and biceps tendinosis.

Background:
Played and loved the EZone XI98. However, now at a stage where even with VS16/ZX at 52/48 I feel pain the next day.
So, got the Tour98 ESP, with VS 15L/ZX at 58/56 and weighted to 331gm, Sw 321, 7pts HL. I can play comfortably, with occasional discomfort the next day, but nothing too serious.

However, my issues are
- loss of control on my slice BH: inconsistent depth and occasional floaters. Sometimes, really weird, the ball doesn't cross my half of the court. I think it happens when I hit higher in the racket, as with the Yonex, since it had a relatively higher sweet zone. May be gets better as I get used to this?
- loss of timing on my 1hbh: seems the difference in SW is causing this? Again, should get better?
- of course, even with string savers, I go through the gut every 4-5hrs.

Options:
- if the BH issues can go away, I am willing to pay the price for frequent restringing==> stay with Tour98 ESP
- a racquet as comfortable as the Prince (don't forget the grommets, open pattern and special bridge make this really comfortable), that can give me at least the same power, not heavier than 332gm, at least 7pt HL, with a SW 321-323 (preferably not 18x20)?

Any advice on which route would be best in the long run? If another racquet, what is it?
Pro Kennex Ki 5. Good all round racket with proven anti TE tech in it. The only frame I could use when I had a flare up a few years back.
 

3loudboys

Legend
Agree with smirker - PK all the way. Had a similar experience in very bad golfers elbow and the Q5 was the perfect remedy. No pain and the racket plays well in all categories IMO. Good reviews on these boards for the Q Tours as well. PK have a great range of rackets for all levels and the extended Q5X gives you options if you prefer extended rackets. Good luck with whatever you settle on and hope the injury heals quick!
 

sma1001

Hall of Fame
PK Ki5 is excellent. Another option is the Prince Tour 100 (ported version), which is very arm friendly. Note that your BH slice issues may be caused by the ESP pattern - it's so open that it will launch the ball higher and you will get some floaters. If you opt for the non-ESP patterns in the Princes (such as the Tour 100) then this may make a difference.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
Yes. Polarization is the best way to get high RW, as it can be seen from the formula.
No wonder pro's use polarized setups.
 

Alex78

Hall of Fame
Prince EXO3 technology, specifically, as implemented in the EXO3 Tour 100 and its successor, the Tour 100.
Easily the most comfortable racket I have every played with (I have used the 16x18 and the 18x20 versions).
 

Gyswandir

Semi-Pro
First, thanks to all who replied.

Regarding the Ports, the Tour98 ESP has EXO ports, which I definitely feel help with comfort. However, my concern is the power from other models mentioned, as at least according to TWU, the power potential for other racquets is lower. The Textreme Tour 100P is very close ito my desired pecs, except the 18x20, which worries me a bit on the comfort and spin angles.

As for the PK Ki5, specs definitely look close to my preference, but what is the power like? Anyone with experience with it and any of the racquets I listed or YTK Extreme Pro, APD GT (2013) to compare? Unfortunately, TWU has nothing on it to judge from a quantitative measure.
 

zalive

Hall of Fame
@Gyswandir: It's natural that what one really feels as good in fact is good. It's just important to trust your own observations and feelings rather than go mechanical, or be persuaded with some recipies. Recipies may be good but I think everyone has to try it himself and trust his own experience.

Can you try implementing some customization on your racket(s) according to the pointers from this video, to see if it has improved how it feels on your arm?
 

sma1001

Hall of Fame
@Gyswandir: It's natural that what one really feels as good in fact is good. It's just important to trust your own observations and feelings rather than go mechanical, or be persuaded with some recipies. Recipies may be good but I think everyone has to try it himself and trust his own experience.

Can you try implementing some customization on your racket(s) according to the pointers from this video, to see if it has improved how it feels on your arm?
Whereas i agree with this statement as a general proposition, the problem here may be different: your string pattern, and ESP patterns do affect some shots, especially the slice backhand. It's a product of fewer strings on the racquet giving a higher launch. That said, it makes sense to demo to see if one of these alternatives would work for you. Real experience, as zalive says, is better than the reflections of the likes of me. I've pitched in here because i've experienced both TE and ESP racquets - but you may find something different.
 

Ozellman

Rookie
The excellent video on recoil weight is definitely a case for polarisation. IT seems to me that despite all the criticism Head get for their Graphene and Graphene XT lines, it seems to me like they've done their homework in terms of how racquets should be constructed to optimise power and comfort while keeping overall weight manageable. So if this recoil weight matter as much as being argued for in the video above, Graphene Prestige Pro is one of the better frames out there. Of course it doesn't mean that everyone likes the feel of it.
 
Last edited:

Gyswandir

Semi-Pro
@Gyswandir: It's natural that what one really feels as good in fact is good. It's just important to trust your own observations and feelings rather than go mechanical, or be persuaded with some recipies. Recipies may be good but I think everyone has to try it himself and trust his own experience.

Can you try implementing some customization on your racket(s) according to the pointers from this video, to see if it has improved how it feels on your arm?
That is exactly what I am thinking of. I will try 2 things:
- change my Ezones to be more headlight to reach 170 and see if indeed the comfort becomes enough to allow playing them. If it does improve significantly, I may order some custom AI98s to use as a platform
- try an RF97A, which I got as a present. Theoretically, this should be too stiff for me, but according to the video, it is around 175. So, if it doesn't pain me, I will start to believe in this formula as a way of estimating comfort
 

Gyswandir

Semi-Pro
Both Tour 100 and Ki5 have a good amount of power. I tend to use the TW hitting weight tool for a more accurate measure of this. See this link: http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/cgi-bin/hittingwtrac.cgi

PS: The Tour 100 packs a good punch - more than the Tour 98 in my experience. I didn't take to the 100P which, for me, has too many compromises.
The only reason I didn't go for this to begin with was that it is stated as "Low" power in the TW description page
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Prince_Tour_100_16x18_Racquets/descpageRCPRINCE-PT1H16.html
Vs. "Low-Medium" for the Tour 98 ESP. Do you think this is a mistake?
 

KenC

Hall of Fame
Can anyone compare the PK Ki5 (315, i assume) vs the Pro 5G??

I've been considering the move.
I think they are more or less the same. Maybe the 5G was a little less rigid, but playability is the same as far as I know. Both are godsends for sore elbows.

For the OP: The Ki5 315 is a great racquet for sore elbows. Years ago I developed TE and bought 2 of them and was able to continue playing while my elbow healed. Once my elbow healed I tried to go back to my old racquets and couldn't because the 315 just played better. Even though I am susceptable to TE, now I use the 315 with a poly and never had any further problems.
 

struggle

Legend
RA, the Pro 5g says 65 vs 61 for the Ki5. Otherwise the specs are quite similar.

Just curious as the Pro 5G is a fair amount cheaper. Is it discontinued?

Any other input is appreciated.

I've been fighting elbow issues for three years and am now FINALLY taking
some time off until league starts again in two months. Considering
coming back with a new stick. My Head MG Rad MP's are not harsh, but
i ventured into the Babolat world for a few months and it really screwed me up.
 

Christian Olsson

Professional
Have you considered the Volkl Super g 10-295 weighted up? That is possible a tiny bit lower powered but you can use lower tension to relieve your arm and hit without ball flying off the court. This racquet is super comfortable. And neon yellow!! :D
 

donquijote

G.O.A.T.

sma1001

Hall of Fame
The only reason I didn't go for this to begin with was that it is stated as "Low" power in the TW description page
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/Prince_Tour_100_16x18_Racquets/descpageRCPRINCE-PT1H16.html
Vs. "Low-Medium" for the Tour 98 ESP. Do you think this is a mistake?
It's not a mistake BUT the swingweight means it gets a good amount of plow through. I find light and stiff racquets - which are called "power" racquets - actually give you less because of the lack of swingweight. I've no objection to you trying the Warrior - but i had one and it is a lot stiffer than the Princes, and not a great idea for a TE sufferer. Rather, you want something with a bit more weight that will do more of the work for you, and absorb more of the shock - both the Tour 100 and Ki5 315 will do that much better than the Warrior.

EDIT: I don't play either of these frames so am not trying to tell you whatever i play now is "the one". But i have been where you are now and this is what worked for me. :)
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
@Gyswandir: It's natural that what one really feels as good in fact is good. It's just important to trust your own observations and feelings rather than go mechanical, or be persuaded with some recipies. Recipies may be good but I think everyone has to try it himself and trust his own experience.

Can you try implementing some customization on your racket(s) according to the pointers from this video, to see if it has improved how it feels on your arm?
Very much agree. Fixating on a certain swing weight or another exact spec can put us at risk of missing out on a great overall fit with a different racquet offering a bit of an unfamiliar recipe.

Another thing to consider is being careful to not switch racquets too much. In my experience, more than a couple times after sampling new unfamiliar gear, my arm raised objections because the racquet didn't exactly fit with my ingrained swing. Playing a different racquet can suddenly bring more mis-hits and also force us to unconsciously steer the racquet to the ball when even mildly unusual weight and balance present a different sort of swing behavior. Even when hopscotching among arm-friendly demos, this potential for irritation is a possibility.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
That is exactly what I am thinking of. I will try 2 things:
- change my Ezones to be more headlight to reach 170 and see if indeed the comfort becomes enough to allow playing them. If it does improve significantly, I may order some custom AI98s to use as a platform
- try an RF97A, which I got as a present. Theoretically, this should be too stiff for me, but according to the video, it is around 175. So, if it doesn't pain me, I will start to believe in this formula as a way of estimating comfort
The RF 97 is rather stiff, but it's also heavy and significantly head-light. That heft should give it some significant stability through the ball - that should mean reduced irritation through impact shock, especially compared with a lighter rig. While theories are wonderful, I've always found greater arm comfort with heavier, more stable racquets, but that's just me.

Years ago I was using the 6.1 Classic, which actually has specs that are similar to the RF 97 aside from the head size. That racquet was always cozy for me strung with rather tight beds of syn. gut. I primarily switched into more flexible alternatives - yes, including the Volkl C10!! - because they seemed to give me significantly more control. As long as you stay away from harsh strings in your RF 97 you might just find some comfort with it.
 

mikeler

Moderator
My current frame (see my signature) has helped me and another one of my hitting partners shake TE for the past 2 years or so. I use full poly in it with no issues.
 

WYK

Hall of Fame
First, buy a good elbow brace and use it every time you play. I find the babolat works best for me.

Second, try a control string that is soft ish like cyclone or cyclone tour at a lower tension.
 

Gyswandir

Semi-Pro
My current frame (see my signature) has helped me and another one of my hitting partners shake TE for the past 2 years or so. I use full poly in it with no issues.
Hi @mikeler. I'm currently using an ESP frame, Tour 98 ESP. Issues, as I described in OP, are less control on BH. However, its comfort level and power are fine. Did you face similar issues at the beginning and did they go away?
 

Gyswandir

Semi-Pro
Have you considered the Volkl Super g 10-295 weighted up? That is possible a tiny bit lower powered but you can use lower tension to relieve your arm and hit without ball flying off the court. This racquet is super comfortable. And neon yellow!! :D
@Christian Olsson
Are you saying that the SG10-295 if weighted to 330gm, 7hl and SW around 322 would be as comfortable as the Tour98ESP?! Please let me know, as that would be incredible!
I've never had the chance to verify the comfort of Volkls and I find it hard to believe given their high RA stiffness (66 in this case)?
 

mikeler

Moderator
Hi @mikeler. I'm currently using an ESP frame, Tour 98 ESP. Issues, as I described in OP, are less control on BH. However, its comfort level and power are fine. Did you face similar issues at the beginning and did they go away?
I demoed the 98 and didn't like the way it was weighted. The 100T was much more to my liking in that regard.
 

supineAnimation

Hall of Fame
Need some help with racquet selection due to chronic TE and biceps tendinosis.

Background:
Played and loved the EZone XI98. However, now at a stage where even with VS16/ZX at 52/48 I feel pain the next day.
So, got the Tour98 ESP, with VS 15L/ZX at 58/56 and weighted to 331gm, Sw 321, 7pts HL. I can play comfortably, with occasional discomfort the next day, but nothing too serious.

However, my issues are
- loss of control on my slice BH: inconsistent depth and occasional floaters. Sometimes, really weird, the ball doesn't cross my half of the court. I think it happens when I hit higher in the racket, as with the Yonex, since it had a relatively higher sweet zone. May be gets better as I get used to this?
- loss of timing on my 1hbh: seems the difference in SW is causing this? Again, should get better?
- of course, even with string savers, I go through the gut every 4-5hrs.

Options:
- if the BH issues can go away, I am willing to pay the price for frequent restringing==> stay with Tour98 ESP
- a racquet as comfortable as the Prince (don't forget the grommets, open pattern and special bridge make this really comfortable), that can give me at least the same power, not heavier than 332gm, at least 7pt HL, with a SW 321-323 (preferably not 18x20)?

Any advice on which route would be best in the long run? If another racquet, what is it?
I just started getting some TE symptoms for first time last year after 25 years playing, at one point, at a fairly high level, without even the slightest hint of any lower arm issues. I've always believed technique, particularly chronic late contact, is the most common cause of TE and GE for tennis players, and I still do. But I tell ya: as soon as I started hitting with newer, stiffer frames instead of my well-worn YTPPs, that's when it started for me. So it's difficult not to put the blame entirely on the racquet.

I'm lucky that it doesn't hurt as much when I'm playing these days (now strictly with my tried and true YTPPs) as it does afterward for about 24 hours, and it's a bit sore in the mornings. But man, for a few hours after I get off the court I literally can't pick up a water bottle with that arm.

I do equipment reviews and so I've gotten the chance to try out a high number of new frames over the last two years, and the only two that were semi-comfortable were the Prince Textreme 95 and the Wilson PS 97S. So if you haven't tried those I would put them on your list. I'm pretty certain that I'm going to get a custom Angell frame in the near future, but that's a slightly more expensive proposition, at least compared to most new frames (although it seems like a number of new frames these days are as, or nearly as, much as a custom Angell). Good luck.
 

MisterP

Hall of Fame
ESP with gut!? Yow$ers! Aren't these spin effect frames meant to use poly's strictly? I would think at least some of your consistency issues are related to that.

Did you try the Yonex Ai98?
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
I demoed the 98 and didn't like the way it was weighted. The 100T was much more to my liking in that regard.
A couple months ago I got myself a 100T from a pal who had some spare stock he wanted to unload. FUN racquet!! No surprise that it's kinder-gentler on the joints than most. I have mine strung with 16 ga. syn. gut and it feels fine - neither soft as a wet noodle nor especially harsh with off-center hits compared with other frames I've sampled that I'd consider not-too-heavy.

Go figure - now I'm itching to grab a Tour 100, probably with the 18x20 layout.
 

Christian Olsson

Professional
@Christian Olsson
Are you saying that the SG10-295 if weighted to 330gm, 7hl and SW around 322 would be as comfortable as the Tour98ESP?! Please let me know, as that would be incredible!
I've never had the chance to verify the comfort of Volkls and I find it hard to believe given their high RA stiffness (66 in this case)?
65 RA. Well it's something you have to try to believe. The racquet has some elaborate dampening systems going on and shock absorption. Volkls are renown for making arm friendly racquets even back in the 80's. I feel that it's a more rigid frame than my radical tour but at the same time I "feel" the shots less with the SG10 than with the radical although the radical is lower strung and is heavier. I would demo the frame myself. Another way is to get the slightly lower powered organix version (sale) that is 62 RA and string it low tension to get that soft low impact stringbed. Textreme 95 is another great arm friendly racquet as mentioned. But I would definitely demo a volkl to see what we are raving about. Stay away from the SG10 mid 320 though. Stiff as a steel plank.
 
Last edited:

phanker

Semi-Pro
Give Yonex Ai 100 a try also. It's super comfy with poly which I love. Add some weight to the grip to meet your specs which I've done. I've tried many and have finally settled with this one. It does require patience to dial in the stringing though.
Your control inconsistencies, ball launch angles specifically, are definitely related to the open string pattern which I've noticed also. Slices are the worse since the main strings are moving in the opposite direction at impact compared to your forehands and backhands. So if your strings didn't move back in place at center after every hit, a slice will result in the ball fizzling with no power behind it like you're experiencing.
 

teachingprotx

Hall of Fame
the only thing that worked for me was an extremely flexible, super head light racket under 11 OZ.. good luck finding them.
i had to go back in time to find all mine::)
 

Ramon

Legend
I currently use PK Ki 5x and I've demoed the Ki 5. I also used to play with the Prince Tour 98 ESP. For my game I like the Ki 5x because of the plow, extra power, and control. The Ki 5 is very similar, just a little less plow and easier to swing. The Tour 98 ESP has more spin potential and is more comfortable. Most people find the Ki 5 and 5x to be comfortable enough, but your arm seems to be particularly sensitive because I'd imagine the XI 98 with VS/ZX is going to be comfortable for most players. If you find that even the Ki 5 is not comfortable enough, you might want to try other Prince O-port racquets with a denser string pattern.
 

Gyswandir

Semi-Pro
Thank you everyone for your suggestions and input. Unfortunately, I don't have the option to demo, as I don't live in the US. So, my next steps will be
- verify the idea in the video using my current racquets, as that would be an easy way to filter potentials
- will solicit TW and forum members feedback on comparative comfort/power of some racquets recommended to the Tour98 ESP (hope members won't get angry with multiple threads)

I expect this process will take a while, but it will also show me whether my issues with the tour98 ESP can improve or not. Since, there is no arguing that it is comfortable and powerful enough for my needs.
 

pepka

Professional
VERY comfortable with good power = PK Ionic Ki5 315g. Not the best looking racquet (if you ask me) but plays great!
 

Zoolander

Hall of Fame
I suggest you find a racquet made out of an alloy of jelly and mashmallows, with a flex of about 4 RA. Then string it with some cooked spaghetti and voila! Arm friendly racquet!

Have you thought about playing soccer instead?
 

Gyswandir

Semi-Pro
I suggest you find a racquet made out of an alloy of jelly and mashmallows, with a flex of about 4 RA. Then string it with some cooked spaghetti and voila! Arm friendly racquet!

Have you thought about playing soccer instead?
what kind of pathetic human being are you to think it funny to be sarcastic of my injuries? If you damage your leg and aren't able to run, would you find it funny if I ask you if you have considered brisk walking?
 
Top