Racquet Selection to aid injured wrist

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by danielwebb4, May 12, 2008.

  1. danielwebb4

    danielwebb4 New User

    May 11, 2008
    Hi All

    I'm a long time reader/lurker of these forums, and have gained valuable insight over the last few years by reading many of the intelligent conversation found here.

    Although I like to research my racquet purchases, I currently have a situation that requires knowledge far greater than my own basic understanding of racquet technology.

    So, here goes ... I have been playing regularly for around 5 years, quite seriously for the last few years (UK club player, I play in doubles teams during the season), and am probably around the 3.5 - 4.0 level. My current racquet is a Wilson nBlade 98.

    About half way through last season, I developed a painful wrist condition. It appeared to be a mixture of tendonitis and tenosynivitus, and actually forced me to stop playing because of the pain. The main pain comes on striking the ball on my forehand, and seems to be caused by the impact. I try to play with topspin on my forehand as much as possible, so possibly/probably some of the pain may be due to poor technique.

    However, I never experienced the pain before, and 4-5 months after switching to the nBlade is when the problem started. I was playing with a Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.2 (n/kTour predecessor) before, and never had this problem.

    After taking a 6 month break (and seeing a specialist who couldn't diagnose any problem), I decided to get back to playing regularly again. Whilst the problem didn't affect me the first few times, one month later it is starting to become an issue again.

    So (to get to the point!) it seems to me that the racquet may be the problem, because very flexible, it has quite a heavy swingweight, and an even balance. Whilst I'm happy to get a racquet that helps the wrist problem to the detriment of my game, it would be great if I could find a racquet that would be useable straight away.

    Generally the nBlade is slightly underpowered for my game, especially on the serve. I often find my whole arm aches after playing, as I really have to 'whack' the ball to get it going. However, I find it perfect in most areas for my game, such as the level of control, and 'touch' it offers.

    So I think I need a racquet which is pretty flexible, quite head-light and a shade lighter on either the weight or swingweight. Does this sound about right? Should I definitely be looking to change?

    I have looked into this a bit and have identified the kPro Tour and the nTour-Two/kTour (though not very HL) as possible candidates. After having a few Wilson racquets, I like the feel of them, so I have really only looked within their range so far, but I'm not set on that.

    I would really appreciate any thoughts or suggestions that you may have. Thanks in advance! Ps. Sorry for such a long post!

  2. Bottle Rocket

    Bottle Rocket Hall of Fame

    Jan 12, 2006
    San Francisco, CA
    I've got a couple of comments.

    First off, if your whole arm "aches" after playing, that is a serious problem. Even if that has only happened once or twice. You've been playing for a couple of years now, that should not be happening at all. You also say "I try to play with topspin on my forehand as much as possible". I am not sure what you mean by that. If you mean you try to hit as much topspin as possible on each shot, that is a problem... Especially when your wrist is being used for the spin. You shouldn't have to sacrifice your arm for a decent serve or top spin and I wouldn't so quickly blame the racket for a lack of pace. As I'm sure you know, there are guys that can hit some bombs for serves with that frame.

    It sounds like you're "muscling" the ball along with some awkward and forced movement of your wrist, all of which can contribute greatly to wrist, shoulder, and arm pain. I have seen a lot of guys with relatively light rackets who use their wrist in trying to generate top spin that have ended up with wrist and elbow injuries.

    Your nBlade is not the best racket as far as wrist/arm friendliness, but it is far from being the worst. I suspect your problem, for the most part, stems from your strokes and serve. I would look seriously into this... I think a thread similar to this in the Tips & Technique forum with a better description of your own game, or better yet a video, would be a great start to finding a real solution.

    As far as rackets go, like I mentioned, yours is not so bad. You didn't say anything about your string combination, but I would assume you're not using any polyesters or stiff strings?

    You'll want to consider a frame with a higher static weight than yours, probably with a more even or headlight balance. I am a big fan of stiffer frames, so I don't really have any decent recommendations for you, especially something similar to your nBlade. Maybe the new HEAD Radical?

    The point is, look at your strokes. Have someone else look at them. Get the advice of an experienced coach, if you can. Avoid stiff strings and light rackets.
    Last edited: May 12, 2008
  3. samster

    samster Legend

    Jul 1, 2005
    dWebb, I would recommend using the largest grip size so the racket doesn't twist in your hand. I would also recommend the Pro Kennex Redondo for joint protection. They are both flexible and 18x20, I think you will adapt to it quickly.
  4. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

    Jul 24, 2007
    Buy one that doesn't allow you to hit with any western grip, and your wrist will thank you for it. :)
  5. danielwebb4

    danielwebb4 New User

    May 11, 2008

    Hi All

    Thanks for the replys - all very useful.

    For the time being, I have enlisted the help of a coach to try to solve the technical problems, and will keep an eye on the racquet and see what happens.


  6. Racer41c

    Racer41c Semi-Pro

    Jul 5, 2007
    I struggle with wrist and arm pain constantly, tennis makes it worse, but it's caused by the wreached thing called a mouse. I squeeze that damn thing for hours a day, until almost every muscle from the back of my shoulder to the ends of my fingers hurt.

    The only thing that helps is very aggressive massaging of the muscles. Whenever it's bothering me all i have to do is dig around and I'll find some muscle fibers that are as tight as... well, feels about the same as the string my racket. :cry:

    I hate computers, I should start a club.

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