GGT Extra

GGT Extra’s “Elbow Friendly” Racquets – 2011

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Last year we posted a blog entry that drew heavy traffic, conversation and views through the course of the year.  Many have asked us to reprise that entry with an updated list to reflect current models.  We have been waiting for the new blog site before creating this entry.  Well, the new blog site is here and so is the entry that many of our friends have requested.

This year we extended our review and opened up our criteria a little more.  With our revelation about polys at low tensions (30’s – low 40’s) being arm-friendly we have been able to relax the rigidity on the flex slightly as well as the weight.  Still, our tough standards apply though we have added to our bronze category with this review.

We believe that when selecting a frame there are a number of factors that can make it arm friendly.  In terms of specs, we believe the most important specification to pay attention to is the stiffness/flex or what is sometimes written as the RA.  Since this is the only aspect of a frame that can not be customized, it is the most critical when buying a frame.  Our belief is that people suffering from tennis elbow or those who want to avoid it should seek out a racquet with an RA stiffness in the low to mid 60′s.  The lower, the better.  If you can find one in the 50′s…even better!  Other specs to pay attention to include weight.  Generally heavier = healthier.  We recommend playing with racquets weighing in at 10.5 oz or more.  You should play with as heavy as a frame as you can comfortably play.  The next specification is balance.  We believe a racquet with what is called a “head-light” balance is optimal.  We have seen too many customers have difficulties with “head-heavy” balances.  Try to stay headlight.  In terms of length, 27″ is ideal, though in some cases 27.25″ can be acceptable if all other specs are desirable.  We recommend avoiding racquets 27.5″ or longer.

Although the specifications should be a good enough guide, many ask us for specific recommendations.  We will take this opportunity to list the racquet frames that are currently in production that we believe those concerned about equipment related tennis elbow should explore.  IMPORTANT NOTE!!!  There are many tennis players who are able to play with frames that do not meet the specifications we recommend without issue.  Each individual will vary.  Also the string type , tension, stringing method and handle dampening can also play a role.  Just because a racquet appears in the list below does not mean it will magically make all tennis elbow pain vanish, nor will it prevent it from ever occurring.  However, we believe the racquets listed are indeed arm-friendly.  We have classified them into 3 categories; Gold, Silver and Bronze.  Gold we consider to be the best of the best.  Silver is outstanding and Bronze is excellent.  This list was compiled and published August 16, 2011. This list is not exhaustive, but represents a place for those seeking arm-friendly racquets to begin their playtesting.


Head LM Radical OS
Pacific X Feel Tour
Head Microgel Radical OS
Head YOUTEK Radical OS & Pro
Volkl DNX 10 Mid
ProKennex Redondo Mid & MP
Avery A5 OS
ProKennex Black Ace 93 & 98
Donnay X Black 94
Donnay X Blue 99
Donnay XP Dual
ProKennex Ki5
ProKennex Heritage Type R
Pacific X Force
Pacific X Force Pro
ProKennex Heritage Type C
Prince EX03 Tour


Prince Original Graphite OS
Wilson BLX Blade Team
Head Microgel Radical MP
Head YOUTEK Radical MP
Prince OZone Tour MP
Boris Becker 11
Avery M3 Control
ProKennex Kinetic Pro 5G Classic
Babolat Pure Storm Ltd. GT
Prince EX03 Rebel 95 & Rebel Team
Dunlop Aerogel 4D 200
Yonex RDiS200
Yonex RD Ti80
Donnay Platinum 99
Donnay Silver 99
Donnay Black 99
Donnay XP Dual Lite


Wilson nTour Two nCode
ProKennex Ki 10 PSE
Babolat Pure Storm Tour
Babolat Pure Storm & Pure Storm Ltd.
Yonex RQ1s1 Tour
Head Microgel Prestige Mid & Pro
Volkl PB 10 & 10 MP
Prince EX03 Graphite 93 & 100
Yonex RD is 100 MP
Tecnifibre TFlash 315VO2 Max
Volkl Quantum Scorcher
Boris Becker Delta Core Legend
Volkl C10 Pro
Dunlop Aerogel 4D 100
Prince EX03 Hybrid 100 & 104
Wilson BLX Tour & Tour Pro
Wilson BLX Team
Head YOUTEK Mojo
Head YOUTEK Prestige Mid
Donnay X Dual Bronze & Silver Lite
Donnay X Blue & Red 94
Donnay X 99 Black & Yellow
Head YOUTEK IG Speed
Dunlop Aerogel 4D 300 & 200
Pacific X Force Comp


338 thoughts on “GGT Extra’s “Elbow Friendly” Racquets – 2011

  1. Japie Combrinck on said:

    Hi there. Just like to find out where the Prince Exo3 Tour 100 would be in the above lists? Thank you

  2. Miguel Cordero on said:

    I’ve had tennis elbow twice before (7 and 4 months off the courts), and after the last time and for the last year I’ve been using a Wilson pro staff 88. While being a great frame and elbow-friendly racquet, it’s too demanding when playing. No problems with my elbow since, though.

    The thing is I’ve recently demoed the Babolat Aeropro Drive GT and I love the way it handles and plays. On the other hand, I’ve seen so many people warning about it in forums that I’m worried, and it’s not in your list either. It’s a very popular frame, so I guess you have lots of input on that one. What are your thoughts on it? Do you think that by lowering the string tension and using polys – maybe adding a little weight in the handle – it would make an acceptable choice and compensate the flex rating, or should I look elsewhere?


    • GGTennis on said:

      Miguel – Sorry to hear about your tennis elbow. It is certainly not a pleasant experience. The reason the Aeropro Drive does not make our list of arm-friendly racquets is two-fold. 1st the specs are simply too stiff. 2nd we have seen far too many cases of players using this racquet suffering from arm issues. Does this mean it is a racquet that no one should play with? Certainly not. There are many who can play with it without ever experiencing pain. However, with the specs and track record combined with your history of TE, I would think very carefully before jumping into it. Would need to have a contingency plan in place…just in case. You can certainly string at low tensions and add some weight, but the stiffness is a characteristic that can not be altered. We much prefer the Pure Storm line from Babolat. It is their most arm-friendly offering. Good luck to you!

    • Necdet Colpan on said:

      Be carefull with that racquet. I had also had an elbow problem with that.

  3. Scott on said:

    I never had any arm issues but switched to the Babolat Pure Drive GT 107, however, have had nothing but arm issues since. 2 cortizone shots later I had to take 6 months off. Hit for first time the other day with that racquet and it was hurting, not as bad but could still feel it. So now looking at new racquets and keep getting told Volkl’s are very good on the arm. The ones I am looking at are not on your list. What do you think of the V1 Classic, Powerbridge V1, Organix 6 and Team Tour? Any advise would be greatly appreciated.

    • GGTennis on said:

      The Volkl V1 series has an RA stiffness in the upper 60’s. We do not like this, however the sticks do offer decent dampening and are not known for causing TE. I like the specs on the Organix 6 and Tour a bit better. They should be okay if strung at low tensions. Best advice is to demo before you purchase. Many stringers I respect recommend the Volkl line. I am not a huge advocate of the line, but also do not have negative experiences. Good luck in your search.

      • Scott on said:

        Which do you prefer if you have TE. High stiffness with a soft string or a low stiffness with a poly string?

        • GGTennis on said:

          I do not think it is wise to play with either when TE symptoms are present. The inflammation needs to go down and the body needs to heal. Once healed I believe a softer frame with a low-tension poly is a better option than a stiffer frame with a softer string.

  4. Mike on said:

    Hi. What is, based in your experience, more elbow friendly, mono or multifilament strings? Thanks.

  5. GGTennis on said:

    It depends on the tension being used. A multi in the low 40’s is excellent, if you can control your shots at this tension. If you are unable to play multis at low tensions then monofils at lower tensions (ie in the 30’s) also offers decent comfort (the softer blended monofils) and better control.

  6. SM on said:

    Never had TE playing with various racquets, including a 9 oz Head heavy racquet for many years. But I switched to 11 oz LM Radical MP with head synthetic gut pre-strung at recommended tension, no vibration dampener used. The racquet feels extremely stiff when hitting, and I started feeling some vibration like sensation in my elbow and arm after I finish playing. So I am going to try switch to natural gut. Is there also a recommended “arm/elbow friendly” tension to string at?

    Also, what do you think about the volkl power bridge 9 in terms of arm friendliness?


    • GGTennis on said:

      SM – There is not enough information to draw solid conclusions so I will speculate. I am wondering if your previous racquet had a more open pattern. Let’s assume it had 16 mains and you switched to a racquet with 18 mains. What tension are you using? If using the same tension the feel will be stiffer. You need to drop tension with a denser pattern. Also the extra 2 ounces may take some getting used to. It is possible that there could be some mechanical issues so I would suggest you get a teaching pro to look at your form to see if that may have any impact. The Head LM Radical should be arm friendly. The Volkl PB 9 did not make our list of recommended frames. We are not thrilled with the stiffness of that particular model.

  7. Michele Pacifico on said:

    I am a slight woman, 3.0 player, who has been playing with the Head Liquidmetal Radical OS for 2 years but have now developed TE. It is currently strung NXT 16 at 53 lbs. I also have to be careful of my wrist, which was broken in 3 places a few years ago. The local stinger recommended trying Babolat Overdrive 105 and 110. She, and everyone in the tennis shop said I would get TE with the Head. I did not like either of the Babolats, although they did not seem to bother my arm. I figured that I was not use to their lighter weight but then and after reading your articles they are probably too light and too head heavy. The local pro recommended trying Wilson BLX Pro Open or the Tour Pro, which I will try to demo this month. Do you have any other racquets that you recommend for a smaller woman at my level with my issues. Thanks for all of the useful information.

    • Toby on said:

      For some reasons the Radical LM OS caused some arm problems for me too, I went to the Radical MG and arm problems disapeared. Now I am using the Radical MG MP, the most arm friendly racquet, I am very surpriced that it did not make the gold selection this time.

      I am looking for a racquet with similar spec. but with 16×19 string patterns for more spin. I guess the Donnay X-P Dual 102 would be a good choice ? Is this better than selecting the X-P Dual Light with a 10G butt cap ?

      Thank you for all the good info.

      • GGTennis on said:

        We would prefer the X-P Dual over the Dual lite. This is the first we have ever heard of anyone having arm issues with the Radical OS. We may have to remove it from next year’s listing. Thanks for posting with us.

        • Toby on said:

          Thank you very much for a fast reply, I will go for the X-P Dual

          To be more specific, I fell there is something odd with the Radical LM while the Radical MG is an amazing racquet.

          MG Radical MP – Stiffness 57
          LM Radical MP – Stiffness 64

          MG Radical OS – Stiffness 56
          LM Radical OS – Stiffness 58

          While the MG and LM Radical OS almost have the same stiffness the LM IMO plays much stiffer.

          I have a very sensitive arm and always looking really carefully at stiffness rating before choosing a racquet.

          I have not played the Youtek Radical

          BTW I just played yesterday beside two youn top players in my country, both played much to my surprise with the MG Radical MP and they loved the Racquet.

          Your site is new to me and I really enjoy all your good info.

  8. GGTennis on said:

    Michele – The Head LM Radical OS has specs that we deem to be very arm/elbow friendly. I have not known it to cause players elbow issues. Your situation seems to go against my experience with that racquet. In fact, we often recommend it to players suffering from tennis elbow. I have no idea why your local pros would tell you that racquet is unhealthy, because it absolutely is NOT. Yes, Head does have some frames that are not arm -friendly but the Radical OS is not one of them.

    That said, I would explore causes that are not frame related. Specifically I would ask a coach to examine your strokes. Have you changed anything prior to the elbow issues? Often a change in strokes/mechanics can be a catalyst for TE. Also how often do you restring? The Head LM Radical has a dense string pattern and it can be strung a bit lower than where you are at. The NXT is a fairly soft string, but it is not known for holding playing properties for an extended period of time. I would suggest changing it out after approx 20 hours of play.

    Also check the grip. It is important to keep fresh grips with good cushioning properties.

    If you are seeking a lighter racquet I would suggest looking into the Donnay X-P Dual 102. It is slightly lighter, has a lower swingweight, offers and acceptable flex, an open pattern and the dual core construction helps absorb shock. The Donnay X-P light with the heavier butt cap is another light option with good flex, but it needs the 10g butt cap.

    I do not believe the Radical OS is the problem, but the setup could be. Still, if you are looking for a new racquet I would suggest looking at Donnay.

    • Michele on said:

      Thank you so much GG and Toby. I will try the MG and the Donnay, as well as get with a pro on my strokes. I tried the Wilson BLX Pro Tour today and really did not like it. I prefer an OS and spent the last hour of playing with my Head LM Radical OS (with new strings and a new grip) and got more controlled power and better serves. I promise to be more diligent on the set up.

      • Michele on said:

        I thought I would report in on my progress since October. After many demos of recommended racquets, I was finally able to demo the Donnay X-P Dual 102 and and loved it. I was playing better and most importantly my elbow started to feel better. I have since purchased the Donnay and have it strung with NXT 17 at 55 lbs and have not added any extra butt weight, although my local tennis shop threw in the extra butt caps at no charge. I was their first customer to purchase the Donnay! I also like the grip design on the Donnay. I’m playing 4 to 8 hours a week and am feeling great and like the control and power for my level of play. I definitely recommend the Donnay. If its available in your area I also recommend “dry needle therapy.” It is similar to acupuncture but applies the needles directly to the injured site instead of working on meridians. I’ve used the dry needle therapy in the past on my heel too. Thank you, Thank you for your excellent advice, research and for access to the site. Best wishes to you.

  9. Paul Gilroy on said:

    Hi there. I am looking for a new control orientated racket mixed with a little power that is not an out and out players frame. Thinking of choosing between the Head YouTek IG Speed 16×19 or the Babolat Pure Drive GT Roddick. Which would you recommend as the most arm friendly racket and are either particularly non friendly? Currently playing with the Wilson BLX 6.1 Tour 95 and had nothing but problems due to it’S small sweet spot and missing it too many times…..maybe the answer is some lessons to improve accuracy of ball striking!! on a serious note an answeer to the above would help greatly.



  10. Paul Gilroy on said:

    Also my forgot to say my current Wilson is 18 x 20 string pattern so thinking more open pattern would help?

  11. Babs on said:

    For strings ,w hat about X One Technifibre ? is it good for TE?
    Also what about the Prince EXO3 Tour 100 16X18 or the Prince Ozone Tour?

    • GGTennis on said:

      XOne Bi-phase is a crisp multi. Pretty decent for tennis elbow if not strung too tightly. The EX03 Tour is indeed elbow friendly. The Ozone Tour…I do not recall the specs. Will need to research it.

  12. Bob Lee on said:

    Hi, Thank you for the very informative article. I learn a lot through your web site. I got one question about the string tension. you mention use multi in low 40′ or high 30′, do you mean 30 to 40 pounds string tension? however, all the specification of any rackets will state somewhere like 55-65 pounds. Could you please clarify this part?
    Thank you very very much!

  13. GGTennis on said:

    Bob – Thank you for participating in our blog. When we refer to low tensions in the 30’s and 40’s we are recommending poly-based strings. Controlling multis at these tensions tends to be difficult for most players, however, poly-based strings perform best at low tensions. The manufacturer’s recommendations are just that – – recommendations. While I rarely go over the range, going under causes no harm. In fact I would argue that most manufacturer’s are doing the tennis community a dis-service by not having a range for synthetics and a range for poly-based strings. The strings are vastly different and need to be handled differently in regard to recommended tension ranges.

    • Bob Lee on said:

      Thank you for the clarification! I’m in my 40’s and consider myself a beginer even I played when I was young. Your information help me to chose the right racket and string to avoid injury. and to ensure I can grow and enjoy this game.
      Thank you and wish you, your family and your business the best!

  14. Allen on said:

    I just started playing after healing from golfers elbow. I have been off the courts for 10months. I have been playing with the Volkl Organix 10 325 with gut strung low. Do you consider it an arm friendly racket?

  15. rich on said:

    I really appreciate your site. Last Feb I had surgery for TE and entrapped nerve in the forearm. Played two easy sets in the summer, then returned to regular play in mid-Oct. Played with Weed EXT strung at 40/38 before and after, and have again developed forearm soreness, but TE not too bad. Where does the Weed fit in your listing?

  16. GGTennis on said:

    Rich – Thank you for visiting our site. While not sure exactly which Weed you are using (the EXT comes in Tour as well as Blue, Green and Pink models)it really does not matter. In general, we do not consider the specs of most Weed racquets to be arm friendly. The added length as well as light weight and even to head heavy balances just are not what we consider to be arm-friendly. That said, it is hard to find the head sizes that Weed offers in any arm-friendly racquet. The best option would be to take it to a racquet technician and have it customized with more weight and dampening materials added to the handle. I would also consider reducing the length.

    • rich on said:

      Thank you so much for your response. It is a Weed Tour. Given all the modifications you suggest, I think I will buy a new racquet. From your gold std list I am thinking either the Head LM radicle OS or the Donnay XP Dual.
      I am working with a friend who is developing a spread sheet of racquet characteristics. One thing we have found is that Power Level and head size seem to be directly related i.e. smaller head, lower Power Level. Any insights?

  17. GGTennis on said:

    The modifications are fairly simple. If you like the Weed, go ahead and modify. The Donnay head is much smaller. If you hold off until the beginning of the new year they are rumored to be coming out with a larger head version. The Head LM Radical is a nice racquet, but will not offer the same level of power as the Weed. In general larger heads will help increase power as will weight, stiffness and length.

  18. Claudia on said:

    I love your write up on tennis elbow. Looked up the Head LM Radical OS at tennis warehouse. They say very stiff and for a 4.5 or better player. I have arm and elbow issues is it ok for a 3.5 older player to use the Head LM Radical OS. I use a oversize wilson (4Year old) 122 sq in K One FX 8.8 oz

  19. GGTennis on said:

    @Claudia – The LM Radical is not stiff. In fact the flex rating is in the upper 50’s which is quite good. The string pattern is dense so lower tensions help with feel and power. In terms of stiffness, Head marketed liquidmetal as being stiffer, but the Radical specs do not show it to be overly stiff.

    Is it a good racquet for a 3.5 player? It is more of a control oriented frame than a power frame. If you use a powerful string at a low tension I think it could be a good option. Currently the price is very good on this model.

  20. Chammama on said:

    Hi, I just bought Volkl DNX 10 Mid 93 and stung with 58lb. I get elbow pain after 1 set of service. I bought this racquet after reading its specifications and thought its good for my elbow pain. Please advice as to what I need to do with the racquet to get rid of my elbow issue even though this racquet is known to be arm friendly. Any other recommended tension or lead tape could help in this regard?

  21. GGTennis on said:

    The Volkl DNX 10 mid has excellent specs. The frame itself is very arm friendly. What strings are you using? Do you have access to an ERT or stringmeter to check the final tension? Do you have access to an RDC so that the flex can be measured and confirmed? This is where I might start.

    While in many instances TE is related to tennis equipment, this is not always the case. In some instances it is related to mechanics. You may want to have a teaching pro review your strokes to see if they may be contributing.

    If you have been suffering from TE, it needs to heal before returning to the court. Even an arm-friendly racquet will not permit you to play pain-free if you are still suffering from inflammation and pain. The most important initial step is to heal completely before returning to the court. In terms of healing, a good physical therapist can be extremely helpful as can a good acupuncturist.

    Good luck to you!

    • Chammama on said:

      Hi Thanks for the inputs. I don’t have any provision to measure the stiffness. I have stung with Golden Set Snake Bite String at 58lb. But one thing that I am not comfortable is the pallet shape of DNX 10 Mid. Its more rectangular than Wilson or Head racquets that I was using. Does it cause TE as the grip shape is different, I will be hitting the ball with different angle. Is there any way I can change the DNX 10 pallet to a regular one?

      • GGTennis on said:

        The Volkl pallet is differently shaped than the Wilson for sure, but to me it seems less rectangular than the Head pallets. The Volkl pallet can be customized by a racquet customization specialist, but there is no inexpensive way to do so. I have not ever read or observed any correlation between grip shape and tennis elbow, but that is not to say it is not possible.

  22. Chris on said:

    A question… if the stiffness rating is good, can weight be added to a racquet to help alleviate TE? I recently demoed a Wilson BLX Tour and I loved it when hitting, but after my elbow was killing me and now two weeks later I’m back with my old racquet and slowing getting in some tennis here and there. My current racquet is a Prince EXO3 Ignite 95. Most times I’m happy with it. Very heavy and actually quite comfortable, just lacking in power and control (flutters and not my favorite for backhands). The Wilson felt like I could do no wrong. I’d love to get one, then add weight inside the handle to create more weight and get it up around/over 12 and make the balance head light, but don’t want to waste my money if it’s not going to work… thoughts?

  23. GGTennis on said:

    Chris, By adding fill to the handle you will accomplish the goal of added weight plus some dampening. However, the balance will be altered, swingweight will be altered and the performance may also change. Just be advised of this. Will it help with arm pain? Possibly. It is not guaranteed, but there is a reasonable chance it will help somewhat.

    Good luck to you!

  24. bordo on said:

    I would like to have your input to the following questios; why Donnayx-white did not make it as a arm friendly racquet when the specs are almost identical to x yellow,and the stiffnes rating from donnay to the x-white is 70 when other tennis sites have rated this racquet at 64. which is the right one?

    • GGTennis on said:

      Unfortunately I do not believe the original Donnay X line is going to continue in production. I can tell you that the Donnay Yellow we have offers a flex in the low 60’s. The X White that we measured was not as flexible. I do not recall the exact flex, but I remember it being higher than we liked.

  25. bordo on said:

    On your list on arm friendly raquets, babolat pure storm is mention as one of them. I would like to know if that is the pure storm GT model.

  26. GGTennis on said:

    There are many Pure Storm versions. The Pure Storm GT is one of the stiffer versions. While the specs seems to be decent and is definitely more arm friendly than other models, it is not quite as flexible as the other Pure Storms. That being said, I do not see any red flags with the GT model. Good Luck!

  27. bordo on said:

    thank you for your recomendation. I looked at the specs for the pure storm team gt, and I do like the flex rating. The racquet with strings weights 10.7, and it is 1 point head light.The specs are similar to donney silver light which is recomended by you guys.I’m having problems with my elbow, so I dicided to buy a racquet that is elbow friendly. I always can add weight to either of these rackets if they feel too light.What is you thought on the pure storm team? thank you again..

  28. GGTennis on said:

    Remember the Donnay Silver Lite features the dual core technology and is not hallow. Those technologies have contributed to our assessment.

    The Pure Storm Team is a little light, but the flex is better AND it is a Pure Storm…which is Babolat’s most arm friendly line…IMO.

  29. bordo on said:

    on your bronze list there is a donnay dual bronze and silver lite. I did not find the bronze. There is a dual silver and the specs look good.I would like tyo know if you racomend the dual silver.thank you for your help

  30. Hate TE on said:

    I have gofers elbow and have been dealing with it for almost a year now…I have had two cortisone in my forearm and on the inside of my elbow…I have been to PT and have been building it up for a couple of months…I started playing tennis about 4 years ago after I took off about 9 yrs from my college playing days. When I started back playing I used the yonex 90 001…If I played a tournament I could feel the pain a little bit on the inside of my elbow(golfers elbow)I switched from that because I wanted a bigger head size for a little bit more accuracy on my volleys for doubles..since then I have used several raquets which all have been somewhat stiff..I have been doing soo much research on what raquets to use..I am probably in my 3rd round of getting demos…my golfers elbow really came out when whent backe to my old yonex 90 001…it’s a heavy raquet and extremely headlight…got away from that and have been using BAPGT. From all of the feedback on this site and I am going to try the Head Microgel and the Old School Prince Original Graphite OS. I do think that you need the right equipment(raquet,strings, and string tension) but I also think that our technique plays a big part of our problems as well…especially the serve if you have a death grip…Great site and thanks for the info. I have found several sites that will help you heal your TE…all from stretching,Icing and building your arm up from specific exercises…I can post later if need be.
    Thanks again for the site and sorry for such a long post

    • GGTennis on said:

      Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences. Glad you have found our site helpful. We prefer acupuncture before resorting to cortisone. Acupuncture promotes healing while cortisone masks pains.

  31. Maruxa Dumont on said:

    Hi. Your article on TE has to be one of the best tools on the net, thank you!
    I am a 40 year old 3.0 player going into 3.5. I play 3 to 4 times a week and am now suffering from TE terribly. I currently use a Prince O3 Hornet MidPlus. It was great when I switched to it because I needed more control. Now I need more flexibility and a little (not too much) more power. I beleive a raquet that weights more than 10.8 strung may be too tiering for my arm during the second set so I was looking into not too heavy raquets. I was comparing the Head MG Radical, Head LM Radical, and the Wilson BLX Blade Team. They have similar specs but whenever I have tried Heads before I always feel like the vibration is too much (like hitting the ball with metal). I live in Puerto Rico and they won’t send net demos here. The only place that has demos here always has grips for men and no TE friendly raquets. Any suggestions?

    Thank you 🙂

  32. bordo on said:

    Im playing with a pacific x force at the moment, and it is great for my arm. Thank you guys for your racket recomendations. Im thinking about getting a pacific x feel tour. this racquet specs are similar to the x force, but it has a more open string pattern for more spin and power.what are your thoughts on the pacific x feel tour? thanks again .

  33. bordo on said:

    Im playing with a pacific x force at the moment, and it is great for my arm. Thank you guys for your racket recomendations. Im thinking about getting a pacific x feel tour. this racquet specs are similar to the x force, but it has a more open string pattern for more spin and power.what are your thoughts on the pacific x feel tour? thanks again .

  34. 10sFreak on said:

    I’ve been battling tennis elbow for 2 years. 🙁 Finally had surgery 2 months ago so I’m starting my research to make sure I have the right equipment. But I believe I may have had the right equipment. I’ve used the classic Wilson ProStaff 6.1 for 15 years. I think what caused the tennis elbow was the recommendation of my stringer to increase my tension from 50 to 53 lbs. What is your opinion of this? I also increased my workload at the time (one league to two leagues). Anxious to get back into the game and gather as much advice as I can.

    From what I’ve gathered from your VERY informative blog, my racquet specs seem to fall into the ranges you mention (27in, 12.5oz, 62 stiffness). Seems I may need to change to premium multifilament strings (I used to play with Wilson Sensation 17 long ago, perhaps go back to it). I also think my grip sizes were too small but I had played with them for quite a while.

    Guess I’m asking for advice as far as sticking with the Classic 6.1 and any other advice you might have. I have a very loopy swing and therefore impart a lot of topspin (almost a 5 o’clock to 11 o’clock swing). Continue at 50 lbs tension?

    Thanks in advance!

    • GGTennis on said:

      Even though the specs appear to be arm friendly on the Wilson 6.1, I have run into a number of users who had arm issues with that particular model. I can not explain the reason other than perhaps the issues not being equipment related. Its just one of those oddities that I have run across.

      In terms of upping the tension on that frame from 50 to 53, I would find that jump to be the cause of severe tennis elbow to be unlikely. Perhaps possible, but not likely. Did you change anything in your game? That is where I would start trouble shooting.

      Thanks for visiting our blog and best wishes to you!

      • 10sFreak on said:

        Only other thing that changed was an increased workload (played in 2 leagues simultaneously for first time).

        So, do you recommend a racquet that’s similar to the Wilson ProStaff 6.1 that is elbow friendly (i.e. on your list)? If heavy=healthier, I can’t imagine many more racquets being heavier than that one! ;P

        Teammates were having me try out lighter racquets (Head Ti.S6) but that sounds like the wrong advice after researching here.

        I have played with the Wilson ProStaff 6.1 for 15 years so I really hate parting with it but I DEFINITELY want to do all that is possible to alleviate in future issues with my elbow having gone through the surgery/physical therapy.

        Thanks for the quick replies and insights!

        • 10sFreak on said:

          Again, of note, I play with A LOT of forehand topspin. I assume my string choice would have more say so than the type of racquet I choose.

          So recommendations on string (in regards to this) would be helpful as well!

        • 10sFreak on said:

          ALSO… 😉

          Head size… I’m obviously used to the Wilson ProStaff’s 95… Seems like a lot of the “elbow” friendly racquets are oversized… Should I be looking at oversized or stick with what’s comfortable to me (midplus)?

          Sorry to keep adding questions… 🙂 I’m sure you’ll be able to handle it (pun intended)!

        • GGTennis on said:

          Again, weight is generally good. It is possible your frame is fine. I just noted that I have seen multiple issues of players who used that frame with issues. Can;t explain why. I also know of many who played with it wit
          hout issues at all.

  35. Nello on said:

    in the past 5 years had surgery on both my shoulder and elbow, although i am playing now, i still got a sore elbow, i have tried various raquets presently i have 2 Prokennex ki5, one is 295g unstrung 7 pts light( aprox 320g with sring and leather grip overgrip etc.) i find this a little too heavy after 3 sets. my other Ki5 is 280g even balance (310g with all extras i have added, i can play longer with this and generate more power. how ever i still end up with a sore elbow I am 52 average/good club player and i am trying to play 6 sets of doubles for my club team. (not done this for 2 years) i tend to play on astra turf outside, and in winter especailly balls tend to fluff up in damp conditions becoming heavy and slow! I tend to be a base liner at singles, how ever i will attack the net when the opportinity arises, duobles i will tend to be at the net as much as i can. I have been looking at Donnay’s dual core lite, currently both rackets are strung at 52 with wilsons shock shield string, my thinking is the Donnay could be better with thier new technology the flex is 59 and i can get the weighting system which i can use wneh conditions are fast to give me head light racquet thats slighly heavier, then when it things get heavy going back to even balance for more power.

    What do guys think? and do you think its worth looking at the Donnay? i am in the UK so i cannot demo it. I got the Ki5 295 in the UK but had to get the Ki5 280 from France

    I am desperately trying to find the most comfatable Racquet out there any help would be appreciated

    • GGTennis on said:

      We like the Donnay line of racquets very much. The versatility is very appealing for many users and the scenario you describe is not one we have considered before, but may be yet another way to take advantage of their design. I have playtested the Dual Core Lite and even with the weights it can get pushed around on the court. The power level is very low with that stick. I would recommend something with a little more heft.

      Not being able to demo a frame is really a showstopper, in my opinion. I believe that every player should test a frame because specs alone do not tell the whole story. You might want to look around locally for another option to the Donnay. Something that you can take out for a playtest.

  36. Geoff on said:

    Hi, I just bought a Volkl PB10 Mid and noticed that in your current rating it is now in the bronze catergory. Why did you drop it from the gold?

    Do you still rate it as arm friendly?

    Secondly, I string mine with Technifibre NRG 18 at 50lbs. Does this sound OK to you?

  37. Nello on said:

    Thanks for your advice, i have thought about what you adviced, i am still not sure i can play for say up to 3 hours of tennis (doubles 6 sets) with a Racquet heavier than my present one which is 280 Ki5 made up to 310g with strings and leather and overgrip added. As i said 3 sets of singles renders my arm sore, and the same applies after 4 sets of doubles it aches. How ever after looking at the Donnay XP dual lite, considering your comments i looked at the Pro one, the flex is 65 but after contacting Donnay they assured me that the Xenecore filling offsets the higher flex rating and i would still experience unrivalled comfort from the racquet. the racquet weighs 310g unstrung so with strings it going to be about 325g 15g more than my present Racquet. here are my questions to you guys,

    Have you tried this racquet? and if so what are your thoughts?
    and based on the fact that you have played with the dual lite do you find the Donnay racquets dual core tech more effective at comfort than current tech from other manufactures such as Pro Kennex or say Volkl.

    • GGTennis on said:

      We have not tried the Pro One at this point. Can not comment on arm-friendliness, but the stiffness is not where we prefer to see it. Many manufacturers have decent technology for absorbing shock. Donnay’s is very good. I love the Pro Kennex kinetic system. It’s real technology that works. Some Volkl are okay. Don;t overlook the Pacific frames…many of those also offer excellent arm-friendly specs.

  38. Ana on said:

    Hi, I’ve been playing since November 2011 (after 6 years off) and have had elbow issues for the first time. I’ve been demoing a few racquets including the Prince Exo3 Tour 100 and the Wilson Steam 100 BLX. The Prince felt a little heavy on serves for me. Where would the Wilson Steam be on the list (if at all).

  39. GGTennis on said:

    I do not believe the Wilson Steam would make our list due to the stiffness of the frame.

  40. KJUNO on said:

    I was treated for tennis elbow after using a Babolat Y109 racquet last year. After an 8-month long lay-off to heal and some PT, I switched to the ProKennex KI5 PSE, which I like but can seem a bit weighty/unmaneuverable for me during long play. In addition after using the ProKennex I intermittently experience mild elbow irritation. I did take a private lesson with the head pro to assess my stroke production and got an all clear. I have beeen looking for a slightly lighter, more maneuverable arm-friendly racquet. I recently demoed the Yonex RDIS 200 (listed as a silver level on your list) for a second time in a year and really love the feel of it. I did not experience any of the issues mentioned above after extended play. I am seriously considering purchasing but wanted to know if you have any suggestions for durable arm-friendly multi-filament strings and atension suggestion. I am an average 3.0 player that plays recreationally 1x a week and also USTA 1x a week. I am looking for a durable spin-friendly multi-filament string with feel, comfort & power. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you.

  41. GGTennis on said:

    In our experience Multis for players who employ significant spin are simply not durable. Friction wear is too great. The construction of the string is not designed for durability, it is designed for comfort & power. If you are going with the Yonex Racquet we have had success with Tournament 80 Spin from Yonex. Not the softest multi, but it holds up as good or better than most to the spin.

  42. bordo on said:

    i left a post a couple of weeks a go didn’t get responce,so i went ahead and got a pacific x fell tour, nice on the harm and shoulder , added 5grams of lead at 6 pm to increce swing weight, great racquet so far. guys you should add this one to your list.

    • mswanson on said:

      I am considering getting a pacific x feel tour, I am looking for something flexible and yet with some power. Can you give me some more info on your experience with it? Any elbow problems? Thanks!

  43. GGTennis on said:

    Bordo –

    Apologies. Been extremely busy and it appears that I missed responding to your post. Sadly, sometimes these things happen. However, I am grateful for you pointing this new frame out to me. It was not on the market when I conducted my previous review. However, the specs are very impressive and I have added this racquet to our list in the gold standard category.

    I would be interested in your findings with this racquet. Our shoppe is very interested in Pacific racquets and hope to get some demos in sometime soon including the X Feel Tour. Please keep us posted on your experience.

    • Necdet Colpan on said:

      I just tested Pacific x Feel Tour today with Pacific Natural gut strung at 51 lb. Just a great racquet. I think I have found the right racquet.

  44. paul moore on said:

    I was wondering about the racquets that were left off the list this year for “the arm friendly” racquets. I have played for 15-20 yrs with wilson ProStaff Classic 6.1. I recently purchase a Kobra K Tour racquet. I know it is still old technology but I was looking for heavy( but a little lighter than ProStaff) with larger more forgiving head and something to help with my age ( over 40) and tennis elbow. This seemed like a good inexpensive try. Was it not a good choice? i noticed it was a “Gold” 2010 racquet but was off the new list completely. Is switching to Donnay a good move for a past Wilson user?

  45. GGTennis on said:

    The Wilson Kobra is no longer in production which is the reason for leaving it off of the list. The specs of that frame are still friendly and we still recommend it as an arm-friendly option.

    • paul moore on said:

      Thanks! It is good to hear. Since they are out of production you can still pick them up and they are a lot less than the average $200 a new racquet runs. How outdated do you think the Kobra’s technology is?

  46. GGTennis on said:

    I don’t consider the Kobra’s technology outdated at all. It just did not sell well for Wilson. Thinking they may be difficult to find.

  47. Maru on said:

    Please let me know what u think about the Wilson K Factor K Fierce FX… It has a stiffness rating of 53. It has a good price right now. It is not on your list. I play with a prince o3 hornet hybrid and my arm is killing me. My raquet weights 10.2 strung. I don’t think i can handle much more than that. Any advice?
    Thank u

    • paul moore on said:

      Maru, I have tried the K fierce. I like the Kobra K tour much better. it is a shade over 11oz but does not play heavy at all. i have switched to thid from a old sylye 12.6 oz prostaff classic and feel with a little more practice it is going to be the right choice. i am a long time wilson player that did not feel like dropping 200.00 on a juice. You can get the Kobra K tour still many places on line,all under 100.00. I bought the K fierce as well and feel it will probably be better suited for my young son when he moves from his 26 inch to full size racquet. As a side note, my volleying still needs work but my sreve has more kick know than it did with the Prostaff.

  48. GGTennis on said:

    It is not on the list because in spite of the very good flex rating the weight is a little less than I think of when I think of an arm-friendly racquet. It may be just fine. Again, this list DOES NOT represent what individuals will experience with different frames. It is meant to be a general guide to help a majority of the population. There are many frames not on the list that people play with all the time with no issues. There are probably some frames here that are not all that comfortable for some players. I think if you are interested in the K Fierce, you should try it and see if it works for you. Obviously you can add weight, if needed. If the same frame were 11oz, it probably would have made the list.

  49. Maru on said:

    Why isn’t the prince xo3 hybrid in ur list?

  50. GGTennis on said:

    It is, but just barely.

  51. Maru on said:

    Thanks so much for taking the time to reply! I appreciate it. 🙂

  52. paul moore on said:

    I have been doing a lot of research on the new Donnay line of racquets. I have noticed two of my favorite players from the past(Courrier and Wilander) now use them with some midlevel pros as well. Are the racquets good enough to where we will see them enter into the elite group of pros? I also wonder are they worth the price for the rec or club level player?

  53. GGTennis on said:

    I think Donnay will eventually be a much larger player in the professional market. Bethany Mattek Sands switched over and was using Donnay when she won the MxD Championship at this past Australian Open. The frames are extremely high quality and many are designed with the advanced player clearly in mind. The quality on all the models I have seen and hit have been top notch. In my opinion they are worth the premium price for players of all levels.

  54. Boom on said:

    Hello there! Why isn’t Dunlop Biomimetic 200 on your list (RA57 according to big racquet selling site)? Am I missing something? Thanks for making this list.

  55. GGTennis on said:

    The Dunlop is not on the list because it was not out at the time the list was compiled. If you follow the specification suggestions you will be good. It is possible the Dunlop stick would be on the list of it had been reviewed. Thanks for visiting our site.

  56. Josh on said:

    Hi there,

    Thanks for all the helpful info. My wife is suffering from tennis elbow after picking the game back up a year and a half ago. She’s a 3.0 player and has historically liked playing with a light racket (she’s pretty small). So many of the rackets on your list seem to be “players” rackets. What would be your top recommendation for someone of her size and skill level? Thanks!

  57. GGTennis on said:


    I would recommend the Pacific X-Force Comp.

  58. Mike on said:

    I suffer from tennis elbow and I’ve seen you recommend WeissCANNON Explosiv! strings listed as a multifilament. But a friend of mine uses it and I saw that it is monofilament. Besides that, is it still good for tennis elbow? Thanks.

  59. GGTennis on said:

    @Mike – I can assure you that Explosiv! is indeed an arm-friendly MULTIFILAMENT string. It consists of over 1200 fibers and in no way can be considered a monofilament.

    • Mike on said:

      You have to be right, that’s why you’re the expert! Sorry, my mistake, it looked like a monofilament and I made the wrong assumption. Thanks for the quick response!

  60. Razia on said:

    I used to play with Head Microgel Prestige MP. Great racquet. Played for over two years. Had some problem with my elbow, not while playing but off court. Cause could be anything. Anyways thought I’d change my racquet, given that the frame was old, and after much research I bought Head Youtek Radical MP. Stung it with Gamma Hybrid first and now with Gamma TNT 16. However, I feel my game has suffered. Don’t get the power I used to, can’t control my backhand down the line and m unable to ‘whip’ my forehand as effectively as I used to. My fiance is suggesting I switch to a Donnay. But m kinda Head loyal. Anyways do you think I should have stuck to the Prestige or shall I go for the new Prestige IG MP of Prestige S? Need advice as I’m baffled as to what is happening to my game. Can you suggest strings for the Radical?

  61. Ched Hargett on said:

    What’s your thoughts on the Donnay X-Dual Core Gold 99 for arm friendly??? Would 55 lbs be to tight of tension with gut?
    Also why do some heal quickly from TE by just changing racquets?

  62. GGTennis on said:

    We have hit the dual gold and it is very friendly. Natural gut at 55 should be fine. We have been using a poly hybrid at 44 with success, but your setup should be excellent as well.

    It is hard to say why some heal faster than others. I suspect it depends on the severity of the problem. Inflammation is what causes the pain/discomfort. If the TE is early onset, not too severe, and the player changes equipment to a setup that does a better job of absorbing the shock so that it is not transferred to the body, then it is reasonable to assume that the equipment change is preventing enough shock from reaching the elbow to cause additional inflammation/pain. Unfortunately in many instances the TE is more severe and requires some time off to heal before the player can resume playing, even if the new equipment is more arm-friendly.

  63. GGTennis on said:


    We are scheduled to test the Donnay Pro one in approx 2 – 3 weeks. Will know more at that point. We are hoping it is arm friendly.


  64. Tyler on said:

    I am trying to decide between the prinAce exo3 tour and the exo3 tour team. I know the flex is 8 points lower in the tour which is a better choice but I felt like I had to swing out to stay in a point. Both of these frames felt pretty good on my arm and shoulder. So I guess my question is does the added stiffness in the tour team outweigh how much I swing out with full power almost every shot with the tour. Also I have always used prince topspin string I am not sure of what it is made of but I string it at 62 but latley the string is low quality breaking easlily not like it used to be. I really like tight tension is there any string that is still safe for the arm at higher tensions

    Thanks for all your time this site is great and keep up the good work

  65. GGTennis on said:

    If you are able to conduct playtests and determine that the stiffness is not a problem for you then I would suggest it comes down to a matter of personal preference. Many players can successfully play with stiffer frames. Stiffer frames do not always correlate directly to arm discomfort.

    I suspect the quality of the Prince string has not changed. Rather the ports may promote more string movement than previous frames and this can contribute to most any string being more susceptible to friction wear. Rather than a synthetic that is strung high you could try a stiffer poly-based string strung lower as another option to explore.

    Good luck to you!

  66. Kevin on said:

    I am currently trying Price EXO Tour and the new WIlson Pro Staff 6.1 BLX 95. They are both over 11 oz strung and Wilson has a stiffness of 62 whereas the Prince has a stiffness of 52. However, the Wilson feels a bit softer to me. I feel the flex in every shot, whereas with the EXO Tour I feel the trampoline effect of the holes but on hard shots it feels stiff. The Wilson is not on your list. Would you judge these rackets as comparable, even though the Wilson is not on your list — perhaps because it is so new?
    Thank you.

  67. GGTennis on said:

    The feel might be attributed to whether the flex is more in the throat or the hoop. We did not consider the PS when we posted the original blog entry, but the specs are respectable. I would think either should serve you well it comes down now to a matter of preference.

  68. Michael Cassidy on said:

    Hi- I’ve been out 2.5 months w/ TE, caused by a Head Youtek Prestige Pro, I believe. If/when I return I plan to use a Prince 03 Speed, which I didn’t see listed. Where would that rank? Thanks~

  69. GGTennis on said:

    Michael – I am not familiar with the Prince frame you mention. It must be new. The post lists the specs we look for and you can use those as a guide to see how it measures up.

    • Michael Cassidy on said:

      Thanks. Just curious- w/ TE I’ve had 4 separate forms of treatment, & just had neck x-rayed to see if that is a factor. After 2.5 months I’m going mad, as nothing has worked- luckily it is more discomfort upon certain movement, not pain per se. Are there any forums like this where people share success stories on how they CURED themselves of TE? If so, please advise, & I’ll be all over it. Thanks!

  70. GGTennis on said:

    I do not know about forums, but I can tell you from personal experience that GOOD acupuncturists are effective at curing the symptoms of tennis elbow.

  71. Chris on said:

    Absolutely fell in love with the Donnay Black X 94. Its a dream machine to hit with. The solid core, head-lightness, perfect flex rating, and feel all come together in this one, right on point. When you hit a winner with this you know it the second it pops off: no way its coming back. I have tendonitis, tennis elbow AND carpal tunnel. I always had problems with these new “tech” rackets that are advertised – stiff, head heavy, high tension, and feather weight. After one serve my wrist would scream at me, by the end of the day my racket would fall to the ground as a result of my wrist refusing to hit anymore. Don’t fall for this new tech BS, you’ll end up with more repeated stress injuries then you can count. With the Donnay X Black 94 I can hit for hours on end without even a minuet pain in the wrist, arm, or shoulder. Thank you GGTennis, you are literally my tennis life-saver.

  72. Simon on said:

    Hi. Thanks for the very informative blog. I hit mostly with the Head LM Radical OS and would agree that it’s a very arm-friendly frame. Would you recommend any particular poly or hybrid for this frame, and at what tension? I like the spin benefits of poly but don’t want to risk my arm so I’m currently using Head Rip Control. Perhaps a good poly at low tension would be just as arm friendly?

  73. GGTennis on said:

    You should be fine with a softer poly at low tensions on the Radical OS. We are partial to the MSV, WeissCANNON and L-TEC lines that we distribute and know that any of their offerings will work nicely for you.

  74. Stephanie Dixon on said:

    I have played with Babolat aero pro drive for years and recently with APD GT for 4-6 months. Now I’ve had elbow pain in front and back. Yesterday My stringer suggested RPM on mains and Excel on crosses to ease arm pain. Today I stumbled on your website and have learned that my racket isn’t even arm friendly!!! I suspect those strings arent for me either. PS. My tennis pro who doesn’t work for Babolat loves ApD rackets too.
    So I’m trying to decide between the Head LM Rafical OS and Head MG Radical OS on your gold list. I generate a lot of topspin on forehands with Babolat and would like to know which of these two would help with topspin? What string and tensions do you suggest? I’m 48 and 3.5-4.0 player and play 3-4 x/week, 6-8 hours/week. Thank you in advance. Love your info!!!

    • GGTennis on said:

      There are many causes of Tennis Elbow, but when equipment is involved it is usually a cumulative injury caused by the body reacting to shock transmitted. Sometimes we can play for years with no issues and then it seems as if one day the body says “no more” and begins rebelling.

      We believe the Head Radical OS line to be quite arm friendly. However, it is nowhere near as powerful as the Babolat frame you are currently using. We strongly suggest you demo before purchasing.

      There is a new twist that might be interesting to you. We originally rejected the Donnay Formula based on the frame stiffness. However, we read about the success that Bethany Mattek-Sands had with the frame as well as the dual core and xenecore technology and decided to look at it as a possible exception. Thus far I have hit with it and I have had two local customers who also have elbow sensitive arms hit with it. We all find it plays stiffer than the other frames in the Donnay lineup, yet there is still good comfort and dampening. So far, in our admittedly limited test, the racquet has surprised me with the results in that it does not seem to aggravate tennis elbow. While I am not yet ready to pronounce it “arm-friendly” I think qualitative data is leading me in that direction. This may be of interest to you because it offers a power level much closer to your current racquet and if you have a chance to demo it and can use it without pain, you might be happier with it than the Radical OS.

      In terms of strings, the RPM is not one we prefer. Crossing it with a multi is also something we generally do not do, though the concept of softening the stringbed is indeed quite good. Since you have TE Symptoms I would suggest a soft poly like any in the lines we distribute along with a soft solid core cross string as a hybrid. Tension is also important so do not string too high. With the Radical you should be looking in the low 40’s and with the Donnay in the low to mid 40’s.

      Hope this helps. Good luck to you.

      • Stephanie on said:

        Thanks so much for your feedback. Super helpful.
        I plan to demo both the Head MG and Donnay Formula. I’m hoping I can get similar topsin and power as my Babolat. As for strings, which specific brand do you recommend from your line for the mains and which for the cross? Not sure what you meant by a soft solid core. I apologize in advance as I’m new at picking strings. Thanks again!

  75. Saku on said:

    Where is Prince EXO3 Rebel 98? You have listed the other Rebel models (Team and 95) but not 98. Can you explain why?

    I have played 98 for 6 months now and developed big elbow pains with it. I am trying to analyze what should I change but the 98 spec looks good to me but did not make it to your list.

    One thing I am trying is to go lower tension and natural gut. I had Luxilon with high which I now now are bad…

    Played Wilson nCode models for many years without any issues.

    • GGTennis on said:

      That model was not out at the time of our blog entry. Also it is a little lighter than we prefer. That said, it should be friendly, based on the specs and reviews I have seen. I would suggest that Luxilon at high tensions is probably the issue. With Luxilon at high tensions it needs to be changed out at about 2 – 4 hours of court time.

      Please keep in mind, even though a racquet has arm-friendly specs…it does NOT mean you can not get tennis elbow. It means it is less likely. There are players that can play with the best specs and still experience arm pain if it is related to the strings or mechanics. Likewise there are frames with questionable specs that players have no problem with. We simply make a list with frames we recommend as a general guide. In your case, we believe a change in strings should resolve the issue for you. Good luck!

  76. Kevin on said:

    I have hit with Head Instinct MP and Instinct S and both felt easy on the arm. Easier on my arm in fact than the YouTek IG Speed 18×20, which stung my shoulder when I served hard. (My problem is an old shoulder injury rather than TE.) But the Speed racket has a stiffness rating of 64, whereas Instinct has a rating of 69. I guess my question is why is the Instinct on your list, when its stiffness rating is a bit higher than your criteria (mid to low 60s or better)? Is it the dampening technology in that racket?
    Thank you.

  77. GGTennis on said:

    The Instinct should not be on the list. It was included in error. Specs are not in line with our preferences. Thank you for pointing out this error.

  78. stephanie on said:

    I was wondering when you anticipate your new list of arm friendly rackets 2012 will come out?
    Thanks so much for all the information you’ve shared here.

    • GGTennis on said:

      Stephanie, Thank you for visiting our blog. When we started producing our lists we did not carry any racquets and our listings were viewed as 100% objective. Since our last list we made a business decision to carry and sell arm friendly racquets in our shoppe as well as through our online website. Because we made this decision and have chosen to sell racquets we do not plan to update the blog entry in 2012. We have listed the specs we to identify arm friendly frames and hopebourvreaders will use these or come to s when they are in the market for arm friendly frames.

  79. Britt Ehrhardt on said:

    I was a Babolat Pure Drive player and developed tennis elbow. I got a ProKennex Ki5 (as shown on your Gold list), but I have never really adjusted to playing with it. Are there some racquets that you would recommend that are OK for elbows that are closer to the tweener racquets?

  80. Megan on said:

    MY racket has been the APDC GT until i developed TE. I demoed Donnay XP dual 102 which was OK, not a lot of zip or topspin, or power. Also demoed Head MG and Youtek on your gold list. I’m now waiting to demo the new Donnay rackets, mainly Formula. But today my club gave me a demo of Babolat Pure Storm Tour Ltd GT. Amazingly my arm felt ok and it was reminiscent of my APDC GT. The power was good, and I felt like this was very close to my old stick. My question is do you think, presuming I don’t like the play test of Donnay, that i should use the Storm Tour GT (on your silver list for arm friendly rackets), is it arm friendly enough? have you heard of anyone with issues with the Storm GT? Also what tenison and strings do you recommend for this Babolat model? I’m open to trying the MSV line.
    thanks for your help!!

  81. GGTennis on said:

    Any racquet appearing on any of the lists (gold, silver, bronze) should be absolutely fine. The colors are merely points of distinction that make for more interesting reading. The Babolat Storm has very good specs. I have not heard of anyone with issues who plays with this racquet and I string for several customers who use it. In terms of strings, are you coming off of severe tennis elbow? If so I would start with a soft synthetic at mid range tension or lower. If you are seeking the performance of a poly-based string, I would suggest stringing in the low to mid 40s. A hybrid with a poly main and syn gut cross might be a good option for you.

  82. Mark Molloy on said:

    Greetings from Ireland!

    Thanks a million for the excellent article and recommendations. My local pro has recommended a head youtek IG extreme MP to help with my tennis elbow. Its 1″ or 8 points head light and 11 oz when strung. Is this a good racquet to help with Tennis elbow??

  83. GGTennis on said:

    We would not recommend it with an RA (stiffness rating) of 72. Ouch! Maybe your pro knows something we do not. The specs are generally an excellent indicator of arm-friendliness, especially the stiffness, but there are exceptions due to dampening materials built into the construction of the frame.

  84. Catherine on said:

    I know that multis are preferred if coming off TE. But I didn’t get much pop off a full bed of a soft multi. So I’m getting a Pure Storm GT strung with a full bed of Tourna Big Hitter Blue Rough at 52#, and a Pure Storm Tour GT strung with Hybrid Babolat Pure Hurricane Tour 16 on mains and Xcel on cross, also strung at 52# both. . I’ve liked and demoed both rackets which are arm-friendly. Are these strings and tension acceptable and arm-friendly? I understand Multis are the softest ones but wanted better performance, spin and power. What do you think?
    Thanks a million!

    • GGTennis on said:

      A full multi should produce more “pop” than either a full poly or a poly/multi hybrid. However, both of the combinations you will be trying should definitely provide more spin. If coming off of TE and you were coming to us with that specific frame and asking for full poly we would recommend a tension in the range of 40 – 45 pounds. 52 may be a little stiff, especially with the BHBR setup. Give it a try and you will know within a few minutes if you are experiencing sensitivity. If not,you will probably be fine, but we would advise you to monitor closely and restring frequently. Good luck!

  85. Michael Rackemann on said:

    You put all of the Head Speeds in together, but the specs of the 300 suggest that it is a more flexible racquet than the others in the line. Would this be a better option? I am a 48 year old overcoming golfers elbow suffered when I tried to come back to competitive tennis after 10 years and did it with a Head Extreme stung with a poly/syn hybrid at 57. I tried the Babolat pure storm with a full bed of poly at 50, but it was so low powered that I was trying to hit the ball much harder than usual to get ball speed. It just seemed to make things worse. I am now looking for something else and am considering the 300, perhaps with some lead weighting.

  86. GGTennis on said:

    The 300 is the best “spec wise” of the lot. I would suggest the Pure Storm with a poly/synthetic hybrid strung in the mid 40’s as an option for getting more power. The control will still be there. If you go full poly, take it down to the low 40’s…possibly even the upper 30’s.

  87. Michael Rackemann on said:

    Thanks for the advice. I will also try the radical pro, which looks like another arm friendly option. I had some interest in the Boris Becker line, but cannot find an agent close to me.

    • Michael Rackemann on said:

      Sorry to trouble you again, but I would be grateful for some further advice. I attended a “demo day” at my local centre and tried many racquets. I am still interested in the speed 300, but I also liked the feel of the Yonex E Zone XI and the Wilson Steam BLX. Both of these racquets have a stiffness rating of about 66-67 and are more powerful than the speed 300. Are they too stiff? The yonex rep said that the greater sweetspot in the extra isometric shape would help, whereas the Head rep said that yoex frames were bad for elbows. What is the truth and what do you think of these racquets? I was also interested in the Radical pro and the E zone 98, but was told that I should go with a 100 head size, so that I managed to hit the sweetspot more regularly ( I would only be a 1-2 times a week player assuming that I take tennis up again). Does that sound sensible?

  88. GGTennis on said:

    Are they too stiff? – – This is a hard question. The majority of players should not have issues with a stiffness in this range. Also some frames are better at dampening than others so the guideline on stiffness is just that…A GUIDELINE. If you have played with a racquet with a stiffer rating with no issues, you may be fine. We know that lower flex ratings rarely are problematic, but that is not to say that a stiffness of 67 is never acceptable.

    In terms of the Yonex rep…I understand what he is saying but at the same time the tips of Yonex frames tend to be dead and if you hit high in the stringbed you might find more shock than you want. If you keep it sweet, you will likely be fine. I think both reps had a point.

    There is not much difference between 98’s and 100’s. If you are demoing you will have an opportunity to see what works best for you.

  89. Cherie on said:

    Any thoughts on the Wilson BLX Surge racket for a recovering TE woman?

  90. GGTennis on said:

    Cherie, The BLX Surge has specs that are lighter and stiffer than we prefer for those prone to equipment related TE. This is not to say it is not a good racquet, but rather the specs make us wonder how much shock the racquet transmits to the body. We have not had any reported problems with users of this racquet nor have we used it ourselves. In some instances stiffer racquets have extra features built in to help with dampening. We would suggest adding some weight (maybe up to 1/2 ounce) below the balance point. (Most likely in the handle) The added mass should help.

  91. jeff on said:

    hi i have used the head youtek radical pro ra 58 sounds good.problem is it is very head heavy which you can correct,the main problem is the youtek.static stiffness is low but the harder you hit the youtek in the racquet stiffens up the frame considerably.that is how the youtek is supposed to work.i teach tennis i have seen lots of problems with people using youtek recquets including myself.i dont sell them anymore.i now use the prince exo3 tour 16/19,on your gold list,ra 52 it is very flexible by far the most comfortable racquet i have ever used.sorry about the negatives about the youtek racquets but they play very stiff compared to there static ra rating.i hope this helps because i have seen nothing but problems with people using youtek racquets, youtek radical pro in particular.i think this site is fantastic the racquet and string recomendations in relation to tennis elbow are spot on in my opinion again hope all this helps anyone.

  92. GGTennis on said:


    Very interesting and useful information. I have not hit with the Youtek frames, nor have I had any customers who use them talk of elbow issues. That said the Head Radical specs show as being 3 – 4 pts headlight. Except for the S version ,which is too light and only 1 point HL. I will keep my eye out and do some research. If indeed this seems to be occurring across the board I will definitely remove them from the listing. Thanks again for the tip.

  93. Andrew on said:

    Great site and fantastic information – thanks! I’m in my 40’s and just getting back into tennis to play with my girls. I’ve been playing with an inexpensive off-the-shelf racket for a couple of months now and have started to feel some TE creeping in. I purchased a Babolat Y 105 for my daughter and I’m thinking of picking up the same racket for myself. The specs are close to those you recommend. Would you recommend this racket for someone prone to TE? If so, could you also recommend a string type and tension? It’s 0 pts EB – would you add some lead tape to the handle to get the weight up? Any help would be greatly apreciated – thanks again!

  94. familiawong on said:

    I’ve just gotten back into tennis after a long break. A friend gave me his Babolat Pure Drive (strung with a full bed of luxilon). And for the first time in my life, I’m having shoulder and wrist pain. I’d love some advice about adjustments to make:
    * Is it worth trying co-poly at lower tensions with this frame? Or should I just switch to a more flexible frame?
    * My understanding is that co-poly typically doesn’t hold its tension well. Is that also true at lower tensions?

  95. GGTennis on said:

    Welcome back to tennis. It is a wonderful sport!!! In terms of the Pure Drive, it is stiffer frame. The stiffness combined with a stiff string can and does cause some people issues in regard to comfort. I would probably try the frame with a multifilament offering and see if the pain persists. If it does, I would suggest looking into a different frame. Two options we carry with similar performance with added comfort are the Mantis 300 and Donnay Formula. If the pain dissipates with a multi and you are still wanting the performance of a poly, I would move into a poly hybrid with a poly main and soft solid core synthetic cross. If you still experience no pain and want to go full poly at lower tensions, that would be the final step in the progression.

    Polys get a bad rap in regard to loss of tension. If not properly strung (overstretced) they do lose tension rapidly. However, if properly strung they do remarkably well in this regard. The trick is finding someone who understands the string and knows how to string it for extended performance.

    • familiawong on said:

      Thank you so much for your response. Just to make sure I’m clear – a multifilament would be a softer set-up than a full poly at lower tensions, right? Is there a multifilament that you’d recommend?

  96. Larry Chandler on said:

    I have a Head Extreme Team oversize racquet & a Prince O3 Royal oversize. Could you tell me how they are rated for tennis elbow?
    Your website/blog has been very helpful-Thanks!

  97. GGTennis on said:

    Not familiar with the Prince 03 Royal, but this blog entry lists the specs we recommend so that customers can check for themselves. As for the Head racquet, if it is the Youtek version, the stiffness is around 70 which is pretty stiff. It is not a racquet we recommend.

  98. AH on said:


    Looking for a arm friendly racquet that does everything well (imagine that lol)!!

    Anyways, between the Donnay X-P Dual 102, Babalot Pure Storm Team, and Donnay Formula 100…..which one seems to have the most power on serve and perform the best to those who have had a chance to try these racquets?

  99. Steve on said:

    I recognize that the above list is for 2011 racquets and the Donnay Formula and Pro One have since come out. I can’t find it locally in Minneapolis to demo but for the cost of shipping I can demo it from the company and might do that. Any thoughts on how the Formula and Pro One compare to the other Donnay racquets you list? For background, I’m a 4.0 player with moderate power and have some shoulder (likely related to a past shoulder injury) and to a lesser extent elbow tenderness and have been using a tennis elbow unfriendly racquet for years that I want to retire. I found a shop with the ProKennex Ki5 and Prince EXO3 Tour 100 to demo and if you have any thoughts on how the Donnays compare to either of those racquets I would appreciate your insight. Thanks.

    • GGTennis on said:

      @Steve – We are impressed with the entire Donnay line to date. The Pro One and Formula, IMO, are among the stars of the line. In terms of arm friendliness we have had excellent results with the Dual Pro 102. The PK and EX03 100 are decent sticks in terms of dampening, but I’d likely give a performance edge to Donnay in a direct comparison.

  100. Randall on said:

    Just bought a Prince Graphite Classic OS. Going to use Gamma TNT Touch 16 strings (multifilament). The racquet’s suggested string tension is 62 + or – 5. I have had tennis elbow problems before because I was using the Head Flexpoint 6 racquet. What do you think of the new racquet and strings? Finally, at what tension do you think this racquet should be strung to ward off elbow and shoulder problems?

  101. GGTennis on said:

    The Prince Graphite OS is one that we recommend. With a multi you can use any tension in the suggested range fairly safely. Good luck!

  102. Sammy on said:

    I’m looking for an arm friendly racquet and have found this site helpful. I demod the Volkl Classic V1 and Volkl Organix V1 Midplus and really like the Volkl feel over other brands I’ve tried. Both felt good, I’d be happy with either and unsure if I should get either or another for long term good play and arm health. Specs are as follows: Stiffness) Classic 69/Organix MP 66; Strung Weight) Classic 10.8/Organix MP 10.5; Balance) Classic 1 pt HL/Org MP 2 pt HL; composition) Classic High Modulus Graphite-Kevlar/Org MP Organix-Carbon-Fiberglass. Any thoughts on either or another Volkl would be appreciated. Any reason Classic V1 not on list of Elbow Friendly Racquets? I suspect Organix V1 MP too new for 2011 consideration.

    • GGTennis on said:

      Volkl feel is very good on most of their products. No surprise you enjoy it. Of the ones you mention I would tend to side with the Organix. First the stiffness is a little lower and second I would take a fiberglass composite over a kevlar composite any day of the week! The Classic V1 did not make our list due to stiffness being in the upper 60’s. That said, there are many players who use the Classic with no problems at all. Good luck in your search!

  103. gfohm on said:

    Do you have a 2012 updated list of arm friendly racquets? I played four years of DII varsity college tennis ending in 1992. I quit due to severe and chronic elbow issues. I am just now working up the confidence to try again. I need the absolute MOST arm friendly racquet out there. I can generate more than enough power myself, I am strictly in this for the arm comfort. I used Prince Graphite OS for years and years. I’ve seen that the Prince EXO3 seems to be the most flexible racquet currently. Is there anything better? I am in California and no where near a store where I can demo.

  104. gfohm on said:

    Whoops, I just read your response to Stephanie asking for the updated 2012 frame list. Thanks for your time.

  105. Marina on said:

    Hi, I am 3.5 player playing mostly doubles, and I had tennis elbow for 4 months after I used prince tt scream. Then I switched to Prince exo3 white light, and I feel much better, softer and forgiving racquet. But lately, my tennis elbow started bothering me again. So, I found your website, and see that you don’t recommend head heavy racquets, most of your racquets are head light and heavier. I am considering trying Prince EX03 Tour instead white light, but not sure if strings pattern matters: 18X20 or 16×18. My other concern- I am used to playing with lighter racquet, so I wonder if there is some lighter racquet you can recommend instead.

    • GGTennis on said:

      The denser patterns are sometimes harder on the arm than the more open patterns. The EX03 Tour has better specs than the previous Prince frames you have used, but I have to note that I am definitely not a fan of any of the Prince Port-Style frames. If you have to play with one the EX03 tour is about as good as you will find.

      In terms of weight, mass helps absorb shock which is the mortal enemy of tennis elbow. Honestly an 11oz racquet is a weight that most 14 years olds can handle with ease…adults should certainly be able to handle that level of mass. When it comes down to it, I would suggest looking at SWINGWEIGHT. This measurement shows how much effort is required for the racquet to reach momentum. Often lighter racquets have higher swingweights due to the balance point being higher in the frame. You will likely find some heavier weight racquets with lower swingweights. These are just as easy, if not easier, to maneuver on court and are healthier because of the added mass.

      Good luck to you!

      • GGTennis on said:

        Also, how often do you restring. You will want to get on a pretty regular program and also not string too high.

        • Marina on said:

          i am re-stringing as soon as the stings start to wear out, and I don’t sting high, and use tennis elbow friendly strings: wilson shock shield. thanks for your fast reply.

      • Marina on said:

        ok, i’ll try 16×18 pattern then. 14 year olds are stronger than me 40 year old women with tennis elbow problems lol… again, thanks for this informative blog!

      • Gerald on said:

        Hi really like your website regarding essential information for us tennis elbow sufferers. What is your opinion for recovering sufferers on the Head Youtek IG Prestige MP or Microgel Prestige MP racquets. I noticed these Midplus versions of the Prestige get little mention in the lists and postings. Thanks!

  106. Florin Marginean on said:

    Hi, I am a big fan of your site. Great advise! I am using a BLX Blade 98 strung with Babolat Hurricane Pro 1.20 at 53 pounds. I have some slight pain in my shoulder, usually after the match, but no elbow issues so far. How do you rate this racquet in terms of shoulder and elbow friendliness?

  107. GGTennis on said:

    Generally we think the Blade 98 is a decent racquet in terms of comfort. The specs are not as great as the 105 version, but are much better than the 93. We are not experts on shoulder pain so can not comment. We can ask how long you have been using your Hurricane Pro. It’s a stiff string, especially in the thin version. Make sure to change it out after 10 hours or so for best results.

  108. Can't wait for this tennis elbow to go away! on said:

    Hi, I’ve been playing 3.5 rec tennis on a Volkl Quantum Ti (Titanium). Never had tennis elbow until I got my racquet restrung @ 55 lbs. with “Sen 17” (not sure what that means but that’s what it says on the sticker. My strings used to be really soft, but I also wasn’t playing that often. Now I’ve got tennis elbow. 🙁
    Advice? I will buy a new racquet and get new strings but could you maybe suggest 3-4 from the gold list that I should look at? The list of 17 is overwhelming! I do like Volkl. Is the Volkl DNX 10 Mid more elbow friendly than the Quantum Ti I’ve been playing on? thanks so much.

  109. GGTennis on said:

    The string abbreviation likely stands for Wilson Sensation 17ga. It is a string that is fairly soft. Not as soft as premium multis, but fairly soft nonetheless. I do not know the specs of your Volkl frame off the top of my head so you will want to look them up using the criteria we use in the blog post to determine if it fits the criteria we believe to be arm-friendly. Any racquet we list, whether it be gold, silver or bronze should be pretty healthy at least from a specification standpoint.

  110. Shack on said:

    I really appreciate what you guys are doing regarding arm-friendly racquet research and advice. I have a rebuilt shoulder and used to suffer from elbow issues. Since switching to a ProKennex Ki5 PSE, I have been pain/problem free! I might also consider one of Donnay’s offerings since, like ProKennex, they seem to be more interested in arm-friendly/healthy tennis racquet technology! Again, thank you guys at GGT for your contributions to an area of importance neglected by so many!

  111. AE on said:

    How would you rate Head Radical Ti MP (my current racquet) and Head Radical Youtek IG Pro (what I considering to upgrade to)? I am looking for the most comfortable Radical! Thanks…

  112. GGTennis on said:

    We have been receiving mixed reviews on the new YouTek versions of the Head Radical and Prestige. At this point, we are still learning about the product and do not yet have an opinion.

  113. Freya on said:

    I see that ProKennex Black Ace is ranked as “gold standard” – does the same standard apply to the lighter version (i.e. ProKennex Black Ace 295) as well?
    Thank you in advance! 🙂

    p.s.Also, when is the 2012 list coming out?

  114. GGTennis on said:

    I do not know the specs of the Black Ace 295, but I suspect it will also be a good choice given the line it is coming from.

    We will no longer be updating our lists. In the past when we have made these lists we were not dealers for any racquet company. This gave us objectivity and credibility. Since our 2011 list we have become a dealer for Pacific and Donnay frames (as well as Mantis) and in doing so we do not feel we will be perceived as having the same objectivity we had in the past.

  115. Ian on said:

    You talk a lot about tennis elbow, but what about racquets that are arm friendly for those with shoulder problems?

    I much prefer the maneuverability of a lighter racquet–I’m pretty scrawny, and playing with a heavier racquet feels like dragging around a hammer. I’ve never had any elbow problems, but I do have problems with my shoulder.

    My problems started when I was using a hand-me-down Prince TT Vendetta OS strung with poly (huge mistake). Now I have a Prince 03 Red with Syn Gut @ 60lbs. It’s much better than the TT Vendetta, but I’m still having problems.

    What characteristics should I be looking for in a shoulder-friendly racquet.

    • GGTennis on said:

      We do not comment on shoulder issues because we are not as familiar with them. While stiffness and shock can contribute, there are multiple factors. We would suggest consulting with a good sports physical therapist for issues related to shoulder. Sorry we can not be of greater assistance.

  116. Caleb Paul on said:

    I played tons of tennis through college then did not have time to do so for approx. 10 years (graduate school, 4 kids, job). I needed to start doing something again for stress so i started playing again 6 or so months ago. My racquet from HS was a Wilson Hammer 6.2. I never had issues with TE in the past. Having said that, i wanted to purchase a more powerful racquet as i play 3x a week now. A month ago i picked up a 2012 Pure Drive (Roddick). The past 2 weeks i have started to have more and more pain in my elbow. I think I have TE. I have Luxilon strings. Should i rest my arm and wait a few months before selling my new racquet or did i make the wrong choice? Thanks

  117. GGTennis on said:

    The Pure Drive is a frame that has contributed to TE for many users, but not all. Luxilon is also a string that is stiff. Used in combination with a stiff frame, the combination can contribute to elbow issues. What tension were you using?

    We have had very good success with introducing the Donnay Formula 100 to Pure Drive users who have suffered from arm issues. If you think the frame is part of the issue you may want to try the Formula to see if your elbow reacts any differently.

    Best wishes!

  118. Caleb Paul on said:

    I was not having any issues with the Hammer 6.2 but the TE (nagging pain) started almost right after i bought my first Babolat Pure Drive Roddick 1 month ago. I’d hate to have to sell this fine frame & start the search over again but i never had elbow pain during all the years i’ve played tennis (most of those years with a Wilson Hammer 6.2). Of course i am in my 30’s now. I put in the new Luxilon strings on Monday and dropped the tension down to 55.

  119. GGTennis on said:

    Instead of Luxilon ALU, I would suggest a softer poly, something like MSV Focus Hex Soft or WeissCANNON Scorpion. There are plenty of options that we prefer over ALU. Polys also need to be properly strung. This means taking proper precautions not to overstretch the string beyond its elastic limits. We also do not recommend tensions with full poly exceeding 52 pounds. Most often we string in the 30s and 40s with full poly, especially stiffer polys such as ALU. You may want to adjust your strings and tensions to see if you can make your Babolat frame work for you…if not, check out the Donnay formula 100 for similar performance characteristics with far greater comfort.

  120. Caleb Paul on said:

    Thanks much! Do you offer demo options like Tennis Warehouse?

    • GGTennis on said:

      Sorry. Only local demos on Donnay frames. However, we try hard to provide the best pricing and combine it with free stringing of any L-TEC, MSV or WeissCANNON string we carry. If you do decide to buy one locate your best price and then contact us directly to see if we can match or beat it for you.

  121. Sebastian on said:

    Hello. I use Donnay X-DarkRed 94. The specs are similar to the X-Black 94 (balance, weight, flex…), but has a 16×19 string pattern. I assume it must be in the Gold List… But my elbow start to pain slowly because the stiff poly strings (SP Poly Plasma). The X line of Donnay aren’t poly friendly, they need a good hibrid stringing job to feel soft in the arm and play with high levels of control. I’m playing now with gut mains and poly crosses (52lb / 48 lb) and no pain in my arm.
    Maybe the eliptic frames are not poly friendly (like Pacific X Feel Pro 90 Vacuum and others) despite their specifications.
    Great blog and excelent info.

  122. Jeff on said:

    I noticed the Tecnifibre T-flash 315 made your list of arm friendly racquets. I think the stiffness is 70. If that is correct, how did it make your list?

  123. Roger on said:


    I am looking for the most arm friendly racquet in the Donnay line. I am most interested in the XP-Dual, X-Dual Gold 99 or maybe the Pro One 16×19. I would appreciate your advice on these models. I am a 4.5 all court player if this helps.

    Thanks, Roger

    • GGTennis on said:

      All are excellent choices. I have hit with all three. I enjoyed the feel of the Gold the most of all of them, but it was a bit underpowered for my taste. The X-P Dual is probably the softest of the lot, but all are extremely comfy. If you decide to go Donnay please contact us. We try to offer the most competitive prices possible on all our Donnay and Mantis frames.


      • Roger on said:

        Hi again, I have narrowed down my choices to the Gold 99 or the Platinum 99. Have you hit with the Platinum 99 and how does it’s comfort and power compare to the Gold? I am still waiting on the Platinum demo to try. Thanks, Roger

  124. Drew on said:

    I liked the article about the TE, but what would be recommended for tennis wrist? Could it be my style of play or the raquet that I play with?( Head Instinct mid-plus) I’m about a 3.5 rated player, who has not played in almost a year due to being unable to deal with pace shots. I’ve been to the specialist and they don’t see anything wrong. But I’m wondering if my choice of raquets is the cause. They are all several years old, and will need to be restrung before I play again. Any and all thoughts are appreciated…..

  125. paul furlong on said:

    Hello, I would be grateful if you could comment on the following 3 rackets I am considering that might help with my tennis elbow. I have been out of the game for 8 months, had been using Wilson Hammer 6 OS 110cm. I am now looking at Head Youtek 1G Radical Pro, Head Youtek 1G Radical OS and finally Volkl Organic 10(325g/11oz. Luv you site all the way from Ireland.

  126. GGTennis on said:


    Thanks for visiting our blog. We are withholding comment on the new YouTek frames from Head. For reasons we do not understand we have reports of a few players having arm issues with many of these frames in spite of seemingly healthy specifications. Given that, the Volkl seems like the safest option of those you mention. Good luck!

  127. Necdet Colpan on said:

    Why Pacific Force Pro is arm friendly and Pacific X Feel Pro 95 is not arm friendly? Stiffness is about same. The only difference seems to be the head size. Besides Force Pro is a tampered head which means developes more power.

    • GGTennis on said:

      The specs are fine. Please note the list was created in 2011 and we state, “This list is not exhaustive, but represents a place for those seeking arm-friendly racquets to begin their playtesting.” The most important element of the blog entry is educating readers about racquet specs. You have identified a racquet with excellent specs. Good job!

  128. Necdet Colpan on said:

    Within last 6 months I had twice elbow problem. It is not the elbow. Now I discover the reason. Stiffness of both racquets were about 72 and 73. The last racquet was Babolat Pure Drive Roddick.

  129. Necdet Colpan on said:

    What I meant was the tennis elbow….

  130. Necdet Colpan on said:

    What do you think about this racquet? The stiffness is 67 but they claim to be very arm friendly due to their frame tachnology?

  131. Prashant V Dev on said:

    Hello GGTennis, Thanks a lot guys, really very much helpful for all who play tennis I suppose.
    Coming to my problem, I am aged 44, male, 186 cms tall, 82 Kgs, athletic. I started playing tennis very recently (June 2012). I had two racquets initially, one is Babolat Pulsion 102 (Pre strung) and Wilson n code six-two (pre string). I picked up the game very fast. The coach then suggested me to go for a better racquet to improve the game if I am serious. I later purchased Prokennex Black ace 98(290) – 2Nos. My control and power on the game dramatically improved. The racquets came without string and got it strung with Head master with tension of 57lbs (approx). I didn’t face any problem but later, for the past 10-15 days I have been suffering from arm pain at elbow area. I have not consulted any orthopedic. With rest it is coming down. The only change I did is that, I started using a second racquet when the string on the first one failed. I now have a fair idea after reading this blog about strings so, I would like to have a better one soon. I have lot of question in my mind. Is it that the TE has started after a prolonged strain on the elbow? (playing singles and doubles at an average of 1.5 hours daily). My playing mechanism has not changed much since beginning. Is it that TE has started with the second racquet due to variation in the tension? Is the string I am using causing TE? Or, the racuqet itself? I am doing warm up and stretching before (15-20 minutes) and after (5 – 10 minutes) the play. Kindly advice what is going wrong with me. Thanks in advance.

  132. GGTennis on said:

    First of all, thank you for reading our blog. In terms of advising you I am not able to give you a direct answer. First, I am not familiar with the construction of Head master string. If it is a poly-based string,57 is too high. Drop it into the 40’s. The Pro Kennex racquet you have is quite good in terms of specifications. I am surprised you are having issues with it. In terms of tennis elbow, while it is often caused by equipment issues (shock) this is not always the case. Many times it is related to the mechanics of your stroke. I would suggest getting a teaching pro to evaluate your strokes to see if there is anything related to how you are striking the ball that is causing the pain. Hope this helps.

    • Prashanth V Dev on said:

      Thanks GGTennis

    • Necdet Colpan on said:

      I would suggest not to change racquet very frequently. Adaption to the new one will always create some problem.

      • Adiseshanaik on said:

        I was just experimenting with racquets and strings continuing to play with same style. My style is a little spin, more flat, moderate to high swing, spin and flat serves, flat smashes, single slice backhand, sometime double handed backhand, less drop shots. I tried Wilson K Blade 98 with Luxilon Monotec at 60lbs. Found buttery smooth, less spin, fantastic flat shots, very accurate placements, no arm pain!!! I just came back to Prokennix Black ace 98 with Head Rip control at 57pbs, suffered with arm pain. I then played with Head Youtek Prestige MP with Head Sonic pro at 57lbs. After few days, got accustomed to this racquet. More spin, high swing needed, accurate, controlled shots, no arm pain!!! I am now almost deciding that racquets which are arm friendly for one person may not be same for others. As suggested by many pros here, demoing a racquet (if possible) is necessary before buying. I am now happy with K blade 98 and Youtek Prestige MP. Though both the racquets are different, I am happy playing with these without any problems. Switching over to the other only during string breakage. Thanks one and all.

  133. Wendy Marx on said:

    I have been demoing a Babalot Aeropro Team GT and love the way I play with it but recently it has been giving me some golfer’s elbow. Can you recommend a similar playing racquet that is more elbow friendly?

  134. gwai on said:

    Hi GGT, What is your general experience/comment on Wilson’s 2012 racquets with Amplifeel Technology? I have hit with 2 models namely, the PS 61 95BLX and the BLX Juice 100. Both gave me TE. More with poly strings and less but-still-there with multi. I know the Juice100’s stiffness rating is high but there is this peculiar sensation I have from both racquets which are similar. I am looking for extra opinions…before I move on to other frames. Thanks.

  135. GGTennis on said:

    We have not had any experience with the new Wilson racquets. From everything we have read in the literature, they should be more comfortable and forgiving. This is the first we have heard anything about them from one of our customers/message board participants. What tension are you using with your strings? Too tight in stiff frames may have something to do with the discomfort.

    • gwai on said:

      Hi GGT,
      I acknowledge the various reports/reviews out there saying that the new amplifeel technology should be more comfortable and forgiving. It made it more frustrating that I develop TE when I think I am not supposed to. Experimented with Luxilon Savage @50lbs initially and needless to say more, it was bad. After 4 sessions of play, I switched back to my regular multi, Pacific Powercraft@54lbs, it felt better but the TE is still there. Experimented with Technifibre Multifeel and Wilson Shockshield @54lbs and the TE still won’t go away. A lot of money spent and now I am drawing users’ experiences from the internet and just about to give up. My previous racquets are customized Ncode NTour95 and ProKennex Black Ace 93 and both didn’t give me problems.
      Thanks for responding to my post. I enjoyed and learnt a lot reading your blogs and comments. Cheers!

  136. Jenn on said:

    I am a 3.5 woman, I play A LOT of tennis. At districts (spring mixed dbls)last year I suddenly had TE and I had it BAD. I have not had it before and am still trying to figure out what the cause was. After months of Rest, PT, Cortisone, etc I finally elected to have surgery. I had the arthroscopic TE release procedure and am feeling less pain 3 weeks after surgery than I did prior to surgery. I am concerned with my return to tennis and making sure I have proper equipment. I am currently playing with the Wilson BLX Juice Pro strung with Wilson NXT 17 at 59 lbs. My previous racket was the BLX Pro Tour, I did like the racket but I felt I needed a more open string pattern since I do generate top spin but have to work too hard with the tighter string pattern. What is your opinion of the BLX Juice Pro for my return? From what I have read I think it fits the specs you have outlined. What about the NXT 17 strings? I know they are tight but I do have a tendency to float my shots long if I string with less. I really don’t want to go through this again!

  137. GGTennis on said:

    Sorry to hear about your tennis elbow experience. In the future, if you have friends who suffer from it, I always recommend acupuncture as an option to explore prior to surgery or cortisone.

    The BLX Juice Pro has specs that do not cause me immediate concern. Because of the heritage of the line, I am surprised by the specs of this version. In my mind “Juice = CAUTION!” but the pro seems to offer healthier specs. Just keep an eye on it.

    The Wilson NXT is an excellent string in terms of the level of softness and shock absorption. I would caution you to keep it fresh. As the strings get play on the the resins begin to break down and elasticity becomes less and less. Given your history I would be diligent about keeping the strings fresh. Probably restring every 20 – 30 hours of play. Natural gut strings are even better. They offer greater elasticity and they hold that elasticity much better/longer. You can play easily 2x as long with the natural gut. You will have to decide if the cost is worth it for you to go that route.

    Tennis elbow is not always equipment related. If you changed anything prior to getting TE, I would be sure to have a tennis pro take a look at your strokes. This is always a good idea, if nothing else, then for peace of mind.

    Good luck!


  138. Erik on said:

    I am a 43 year old male 4.5 player and currently use a Prince EXO3 Tour strung with Dunlop Black Widow at 48 pounds. For the first time ever, I now have “golfers elbow”, or medial epicondylitis. I have just recovered from it and am ready to play again.

    I’m thinking of switching to an oversize players frame. I’m leaning toward either the original Prince Graphite OS or the Head Youtek IG Radical OS. If I were to go again with a full poly set up, what would you recommend for tension, particularly with the Prince Graphite OS? Prince recommends 62+/- 5 lbs. That sounds high to me. Would high 40’s be reasonable to try? Or would a hybrid be better to start with at first?

  139. GGTennis on said:

    The POGOS is an excellent frame. If the TE is fairly recent, I would go with a hybrid. If completely healed, you can try full poly. I would not string any higher than 50. High 40’s should be reasonable.

    Good luck!

  140. Erik on said:

    Thanks for the super quick response GG.
    Guess I’ll go with a hybrid setup on the POGOS.

    I plan to string the mains with black widow at 46 lbs.

    In regards to the cross strings, what string do you recommend and at what tension?
    Should the multi/uni crosses be strung less, equal, or greater than the mains which will be strung with the black widow?

    One last question, have you any experience with Prince Beast XP strings?
    Are they considered soft/comfortable?

    Thanks for your help and love your blog!!

    • GGTennis on said:

      The Price Beast is a decent string. The color goes perfect in a POGOS. I think I prefer Black Widow…that string would be even better if it was made in a 5 sided version.

      For cross strings any synthetic will do. I prefer solid core over multis…I do not believe multis pair well with polys. Maybe something like a Babolat N.vy or Forten Sweet. I would string the syn crosses +4 lbs higher than the poly mains.

  141. Erik on said:

    I just read the article on L-tec strings and the concept of doing a hybrid system with 2 different polys that seem to have different characteristics (shapes, gauge, etc).

    What do you think about the idea of if stringing up the POGOS with 16g Dunlop Black Widow on the mains at 44 lbs and the crosses with 17g Prince XP Beast at the same poundage. It seems the two strings would look really sweet on a POGOS and may offer some advantages similar to the L-Tec idea.

  142. GGTennis on said:

    Not a bad idea. I would suggest putting the round string in the mains and the 7 sided string in the crosses.

  143. Tibor on said:

    Very informative, thank you. I bought a Babolat Pure Storm GT in April and slowly developed TE. I really like this racket and was wondering if you could recommend a string and tension for it that would potentially allow me to keep using it. Currently I’m using a multi at 56lbs. Thanks in advance.

  144. GGTennis on said:

    Keep using fresh high quality/high thread count multis. String in the low to mid 50’s. Pop off butt cap cover and stuff some fiberfill into the handle to help with dampening.

  145. Tibor on said:

    Appreciate your advice!

  146. pete michael on said:

    Hi, great forum ! i want to share my following experiences on TE.
    1. too flexible frames, HH rackets with small grips can cause elbow
    2. playing with wet balls can cause elbow
    3. Babolat PDrive GT , grip 4, Pro hurricane string at 56 lbs helped me get rid of my elbow. I think thicker beams are better for TE.
    4. Wilson PS88 with cushion grip caused me elbow due to high SW and no cushion. it is fine with a leather grip though.
    5. some dampeners on certain string beds can increase SW and cause TE

  147. GGTennis on said:

    Pete –

    Thank you for participating in our blog discussion. I welcome all feedback and experiences. I believe that what you state in your post is indeed true for you and your particular situation. At the same time, for the general tennis playing public I do not agree with most of your statements.

    1. Too flexible is rarely an issue related to TE. However, if it is light weight, head heavy, extra long then it is possible that the factors other than the flexibility come into play. However, it is not the flexibility that is the issue. In terms of grip size, there is some legitimate discussion there. I have read studies and believe that grip size is not a factor, but many disagree with me on that topic.

    2. Wet balls I can agree with. However, in addition to the risk of tennis elbow with wet balls there is a risk of falling on the court. Don’t play tennis when the courts are wet.

    3. Maybe for you, but you are definitely an exception. I would not recommend the setup you describe for most players.

    4. Not sure why the leather grip made a difference. Interesting.

    5. Completely disagree.

  148. Sandra on said:

    After a year of frustrating tennis elbow, I’ve now given up tennis for a while and started acupunture which seems to be slowly making a difference. Please could you recommend which racquets/string tension I should try when I start playing again. I have always played with the Prince 03 RED racquet, medium tension and play about 4 times a week… Wondering if I should keep my existing racquets and just change tension and string type to start with or change racquets altogether? Thanks for your help!

  149. Erik on said:

    I’m about to string my POGOS with MSV Focus Hex PLUS 38. Is it really true that this string plays much softer than other co-poly’s? The article on your website states that hybriding with this string is not necessary for comfort. Does it really offer comfort near that of a Multi? Can I really string this stuff in the low-mid 50 pound range and expect a comfortable string bed?



    • GGTennis on said:

      Erik – It offers a high level of comfort. We did not state it was equivalent to a multi…it is obviously stiffer than multis. You can string in the low 50s with good comfort. I would not recommend stringing above 52. I do not believe it is necessary to use a synthetic cross for added comfort with this string.


  150. george on said:

    I play with a wilson n code n fury, 100 inch head size and 9.9 oz strung
    I have been playing with this racquet for three months 2 times a week and I developed a rather powerful pain in my elbow
    what do you think about the racquet?
    is this arm friendly?
    thank you so much

  151. bally total fitness corporate office on said:

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  152. dakota on said:

    ive been playing witg a youtek speed pro with copoly for a year and had no trouble with it. Recently i broke my elbow and worked hard to get back to playing. I picked the head back up and it wasnt the stiffness that took me by surprise seeing that ive only played with stiff racquets and built the muscle up to be able to play with them, but the swingweight killed me. Would the arepro gt be any better seeing how its lighter? Plus the cortex is suppose to dampen the feel to about 67-68 and strung with a multifilament wouldnt it be a softer feel amd easier on the arm?

  153. bruce on said:

    Prior to discovering your blog, I purchased a Prince Graphite OS in order to help with my “golfer’s elbow”. It meets all of your criteria for being easy on the elbow- 27in, 63RA, head-light, 12.2oz strung, yet it did not make your list of gold, silver, or bronze. What is your stance on this racket?

    Question 2: I see that in a previous reply you say that for elbow issues a racket can be strung with a multi-filament string as low as in the low 40’s if the player has enough control. I have no problem controlling the ball at that tension (I have a very slow swing speed), but Prince recommends 57-67lbs. Is there a problem with stringing lower than 57lbs?
    Bruce in Raleigh
    58 years old
    Wilson NXT Control

  154. GGTennis on said:

    POGOS is a great stick in many ways. We consider it to be extremely arm friendly and it has appeared on previous lists. You should be 100% fine with that stick.

    There is no problem stringing below the manufacturer’s recommended tension. Go for it and enjoy!

  155. John Winston on said:

    Great forum…..Sadly got some soreness in my elbow after playing a lot indoors in January….have switched to Pro Kennex Ki 15’s with natural gut and can play now with almost no discomfort for about 2 hours.
    Have to say, however,…am notnearly as good a player as with my old Prince Silver EX03 115’s, which I loved, (used to string with a soft poly (Kirschbaum Proline Number 2) at 68 pounds!!)….if I returned to the EX03 Silver with natural gut at say 55 pounds do you think the problem would return?….Have enough control to manage the lower tension…but unsure if the thick beam of the Prince EX03 Silver will give me arm problems?
    Your thoughts would be appreciated.

  156. Xavier on said:

    Outstanding forum! Can you publish a new list for 2013 racquets? Many of the models you listed in 2011 are no longer sold. I understand that the fundamental spec recommendations are still the same, but it would still be extremely helpful to have an updated list. Many thanks in advance on behalf of all of us out there looking for a new arm-friendly racquet.

  157. GGTennis on said:


    The Prince Silver is notorious as being tough on the arm for many players. You can try low tension natural gut and see if it works any better for you. Unfortunately there are no large OS racquets with good specs that I am aware of on the market at this time.

    Xavier – We no longer publish racquet lists because we now sell frames and there is a potential perceived conflict of interest.

  158. James Harden on said:

    The Wilson BLX Stratus 3 has a flex rating of 45 but is only 10oz and is 10 points HH. What would your comments be in terms of making this racket arm friendly if I added 1 oz or more into the handle? Thanks!

  159. GGTennis on said:

    The flex rating is certainly interesting. Very low. I think an extra ounce in the handle would definitely make it even more arm friendly. Try it and let us know how it works for you.

  160. Amanda on said:

    I’m interested in advice for junior players. My son plays with lighter versions of adult 27inch rackets, at the moment with Babolat Pure Drive. Of course children are influenced with racket choice by their tennis heros. Considering the physiology of growing children – would your advice of heavier = healthier also apply in this case. I am talking about early teenagers. Many thanks for the interesting article.

    • GGTennis on said:

      There is a balance with young children in terms of too much weight vs. not enough. If going with lighter weight, I would DEFINITELY try to find a frame with good flexibility. In general teenaged children should be able to handle 10.5 – 11oz. In that case I would say that more weight is better in terms of dampening.

  161. tennis40andbeyond on said:

    I know everyone is different, but I don’t know how the Donnay XP Dual Lite got on the Silver Standard List. Those rackets hurt my elbow and biceps. I strongly recommend staying away from them. I am a 4.0 and 40 years old. The Prince Triple Threat Warrior from the early 90s have been amazing for me. I keep going back to them. I’ve played up 8 hours in one day with them (I know, I’m a bit obsessive sometimes) and I’ve had no issues. I always keep coming back to them. I’ve heard the Prince Mid Plus Graphite, from the 90’s is the most arm friendly, can’t find the list that I found it on though.

  162. Marcelo on said:

    Hi, I just like to find out where the new Head Prestige S would be in the above lists ? And what shoud be the best string to avoid TE. Thank you

  163. GGTennis on said:

    The best string to avoid tennis elbow is natural gut. Premium multis can also be very good and even some stiffer strings at low tensions. In terms of the new Head Prestige S, I would have to look up the specs as I am not familiar with that particular model.

  164. Steve on said:

    I am have been playing with a 2012 Wilson BLX One for about 6 months.I started having TE several months ago. Had it strung in Gut at 55lbs,when I started having TE. It helped but did not stop the problem. I know the BLX is beyond the recommended length and should this be a major concern. Had cortisone shot last week for TE and looking to find an arm friendly racquet. I know the BLX is HL and stiffness is within range. Not sure about the string pattern and the length is an issue. Any help appreciated.

  165. GGTennis on said:

    The BLX One does not meet the specs we like. In fact there are many things about it that would not allow us to recommend it. First is stiffness. The RA is 72. We suggest RA’s in the upper 50’s to low 60’s. The racquet is 8 pts head heavy, we prefer head light. The BLX One weighs less than 10 oz, we prefer as close to 11 as a min. as possible. It is not surprising you are experiencing arm issues. Follow the spec advise in this blog entry and find a new frame AFTER you have healed completely. Best wishes to you!

  166. yuri on said:

    I developed tennis a year ago. Bought a Dunlop Aerogel 600 and the pain went down a bit, but it still hurts after playing. I have also tried the babolat pure drive gt and couldn’t bend my arm for days after playing with it. I also tried the Head Liquidmetal radical 4 and felt some pain as well. Not as bad but still felt pain. So far the Dunlop has been the best one I’ve played with but there is still pain. I first started with TE and now have both TE and GE combined. Is the Dunlop 600 an arm friendly one? which one would you recommend? thanks

  167. Rosen on said:

    which is more important to avoid tennis elbow, a heavier racquet or a flexible racquet?

    id like to choose between head microgel radical MP (11.0oz, 57 flex) and the microgel prestige MP (11.8oz, 63 flex)

    my current racquet is the microgel extreme (11.2oz, 68 flex) which gave me tennis elbow after playing with it only twice.

    previous racquet was prince TT scream (10.2oz, 72 flex), used this for years and never developed tennis elbow, now im using this again.

    • Necdet Colpan on said:

      Try Pacific racquets. Some of their flex is very low.

    • Rosen on said:

      i have decided to go back to prince and bought the warrior db 100 (only available in asia/australia) it is 11.1oz strung and 63 flex, plus it has the speedport holes and duble bridge with the rubber material to absorb string shock. glad to report after playing elbow pain only last 2 days, compared to 4-5 days on my older prince (triple threat scream). sold off my head microgel extreme.

  168. manuel on said:

    was wondering about the last post cause i got some of those racquets (head liquidmetal radical 4 and the dunlop 600 aerogel) are these arm friendly?

  169. Silvia on said:

    I’m beginning to feel that the last 3 seasons of playing with my Babolat Pure Drive Lite GT are finally starting to take its toll (I knew it wasn’t an arm friendly racquet to begin with, but I enjoyed playing with it – oh well). Anyway, I’m in a market for something new before things get worse and since I’m a rather short and skinny girl (5’4″, 110 lbs) my selection is narrowed down to only a few models because I need a maneuverable (i.e. not too heavy) frame which can generate some power and, from what I read, those aren’t usually arm friendly. Anyway, one of the Volkl models caught my eye (Volkl Organix V1 Midplus) and one Wilson (Pro Staff 100 BLX) – both have relatively similar specifications (10.1 unstrung weight, low swingweight, medium power) yet there are some differences in the headsize, length and stiffness department. Since I can’t demo either of them, I have to chose one based on the specs alone – which one would you recommend and why? 🙂

    • GGTennis on said:

      Personally I would go with the Volkl. The Volkl will offer more power and uses good dampening materials. We also have multiple customers using this frame with no issues. Of course, the choice is up to you.

  170. ruben caceres on said:

    hola de argentina,me opere el hombro hace 5 años y me quedo delicado ,me aconsejarías una pro staff sixone 100 que tiene rigidez de 65 pero con sistema ampiffel que absorben las vibraciones nocivas,te comento porque me la ofrecieron por su alta tecnologia,es la que pesa 288 grs sin encordar.gracias Ruben.

  171. Torm on said:

    I am going on 3 years of tennis elbow now. The last year I have been using the Babolat Pure Drive Lite GT. I have VS Gut 17 strings at 52. I am an otherwise healthy, athletic woman age 48, 5’6″, 125 lbs. Can you give me three or four suggestions with suggested string and tension?

  172. Torm on said:

    …Oops, forgot to mention I am a 4.0 player, mostly doubles, aggressive at the net.

  173. Paul on said:

    Hi GG Tennis,

    Why Volkl PB 10 MID was Gold and now Bronze?

  174. mswanson on said:

    How would you rate the 2013 Wilson Blade 104. Specs seem within the range of what would qualify as a good fit for those with TE. Curious if you have heard good or bad from any others who have used this racquet? Thanks for your web site!

  175. pradcliffe on said:

    I know that you do not consider the Weed racquets arm friendly. I demoed a friend”s 27″ Open135 and loved it. As a very senior female player (originally 4.0, probably 3.5 now)I really need the extra power that racquet gives me. I’m considering purchasing the Weed Open 135 (27″), or Tour Open 135 (27 3/4). Maybe even the Weed XOne25(slightly smaller head) at 27 1/2 inches. I have a very small hand and usually use a 4 1/8 grip. I understand that all three of these racquets are light (9.5 to 10 oz strung) and head heavy (about 14). If I buy one of these, what should I do to make it as arm friendly as possible? Strings? Tension? Anything else? any thanks.

  176. Mark Jordan on said:

    First, congratulations on this nice forum! Very informative!
    I see that you put the Völkl DNX 10 Mid in the Gold section.
    The Völkl DNX 10 295g would be there too? It is a Midplus 98″ racquet.
    Another doubt: the ProKennex Heritage Type C is the same racquet as the ProKennex Redondo MP? I use a ProKennex Type C Redondo Edition 98″. Are all three the same racquet?


  177. Jack Kapela on said:


    I’ve been playing amateur tennis for around 30 years. At some point in time after having diferent biceps problems I decided to give Wilson Triad technology a try. I played with some Triad frames then moved to nCode n5 and n5 Force, light and head heavy. At the same time I dicovered Luxilon Big Banger strings. I was very happy with that setup but slowly but surely, I started to develop golfer’s elbow. After some advice from my collegue who is a professional trainer I switched to Isospeed Energetic (multifilament) but it didn’t help. His second advice was to move to heavier and head light frame. After some research I decided on Wilson K Blade Team. It is flexible frame but terrible string breaker. Then I came across some website advising as a cure for tennis/golfer’s elbow, very heavy frames like Prince Original Graphite. I bought an old one on some auction and stringed it low with some multi. Again slowly but surely my golfer’s elbow went away!

    Now I play with three raquet models depending how I feel. Two of them happen to be on your list, third one would surely make it to the list but is no longer in production. They are:
    Wilson BLX Blade Team. This is a great raquet but I think I should add some lead tape to it, though I’m not sure if it should only be on the grip. Right now it has to much power, not enough control but generates excellent spin (I use Eastern grip) and is quite forgiving on off-center shots.
    Prince Original Graphite OS. It doesn’t create as much spin as Wilson and lacks power but is super stable but provide excellent control. I’m not sure what tension should I use stringing it.
    Prince Graphite Pro 90. Very flexible, a lot of power, not very forgiving on off-center shots.

    I also recommend playing with Wilson Abzorber balls that are very arm friendly and staying away from very heavy balls like some Tretorns.

    I would appreciate your stringing recommendations for these frames and maybe some recommended new string models. Strings that I use mostly right now are Tecnifibre Promix, Isospeed Energetic and Energetic Plus, Weiss Cannon Explosive.
    Tecnifibre Biphase is an excellent and elbow friendly string but unfortunately expensive and doesn’t last long.

    Regards from Warsaw, Poland

  178. Jane Green on said:

    Do you have any thoughts on whether the same criteria apply to shoulder problems. I have a torn rotator cuff and will shortly be having surgery and will then be looking for a shoulder friendly racket. I currently use Head liquidmetal radical (98)

    • GGTennis on said:

      Jane, Unfortunately I do not know much about what contributes to shoulder problems. I have heard swingweight and weight can be issues, but do have not researched or learned much about shoulder injuries. Sorry.

  179. Pat on said:

    Which Black Ace 98 are you referring to? I’ve looked it up and found 325g, 295g, euro version, US version, 2009 or 2012 model… Black/yellow pj or black/silver… I’m confused!

  180. Tracy on said:

    Can you tell me which of the three Head racquets are more elbow friendly. Head Instinct S, MP or Rev? I’m also thinking of switching grip sizes from 4-3/8 to 4-1/4 and what your recommendations are as far as elbow friendly. Thanks for your help!

    • John Youngblood on said:

      The Instinct MP has the best specs of the 3 and it is borderline with a mid 60’s stiffness. Stay far, far away from the S if elbow issues are a concern.

  181. Janice on said:


    Very good articles. I’ve been using aero drive lite and getting twinches in my arm so after all this good advice looking at pacific racket. The Raptor is supposed to be arm friendly but it has a flex rating of 67. Do you think I ought to choose another racket?


  182. John Youngblood on said:

    We do not know enough about the Raptor to recommend or advise to stay away. The specs in terms of stiffness are borderline. Of course, some players can tolerate the stiffness of the upper 60’s while others suffer. Sorry I am unable to be more specific for you.

  183. Mike on said:

    I have been having a slight elbow problem recently and been trying to figure out if it is equipment related or just tweeked something. I am also in the market for a new racquet and thought I might as well go elbow friendly just in case and as long as I like the racquet. I have been trying a few and hit with the Prince Premier 105 ESP the other night and really liked it. Do you have any opinion on this racquet?

  184. GGTennis on said:

    No opinion. No history with it because it is too new. Specs are not exactly what I prefer, but they are not horrible either.

  185. Mike on said:

    Thank you for your quick response. Is there an updated list of recommended racquets?

  186. GGTennis on said:

    When I first started writing blog entries with lists of arm-friendly racquets I was not in the business of selling frames so my posts were 100% objective. Once I decided to carry and sell arm-friendly frames I feared my objectivity might be questioned so I stopped reviewing and posting the lists and have not updated in a few years.

    • Mike on said:

      I totally understand. I will say, that this was the most informative blog I have found and thank you for your responses. If you have any reccommendations for Head or Wilson racquets I would appreciate your opinion. I plan to demo several but not sure which ones to try. Somewhere I think I read that a bigger head size usually is better for the arm (not 100% sure about this) so I was looking at 100-108 head sizes. I don’t necessarily have to have the latest and greatest technology unless it is much more arm-friendly.

  187. Mike on said:

    I have a more general question. I am new to the tennis world and am confused a bit about the specs on a tennis racquet. I read the recommendations above to determine an arm friendly racquet and it all made perfect sense. However, it seems like every racquet would be a little different even the same racquet. For instance does a racquet with a 4 1/4 grip weigh the same as one with a 4 5/8 grip? Does that impact the HL or HH ratio? Doesen’t adding overgrips and vibration dampeners also change the weight and other ratios? I guess I had more than one question but it all gets a little confusing

  188. GGTennis on said:

    Due to manufacturer tolerances, it is not uncommon for racquets to vary slightly from published specs regardless of grip size. In most cases the specs are very close, regardless of grip size. Yonex is the only manufacturer that I know of that offers slightly different specs for different grip sizes. Yes, adding an overgrip does alter the weight, swingweight and balance and this addition is often more dramatic than any difference you will find in regard to grip size.

    A dampener usually does not alter specs too much, but it depends on the size and mass of dampener. The reason the dampener is not as dramatic is because it is often closer to the balance point than the overgrip which is considerably below the balance point.

    In terms of the difference either adds, in regard to tennis elbow, it is usually very positive. The added weight is always good for TE. More headlight balance is usually good as well. The extra dampening from the overgrip is another positive from where I sit.

  189. Ricardo on said:

    Hi, the yonex rdis 200 is listed as silver standard, however there is a light version and a heavy version I own the heavy version 320g, in fact I own 4 of this rackets because I like them so much,the recommended tension range is 45 lbs – 60 lbs . I stringed it once at 56 lbs with babolat rpm blast and started to feel TE and discomfort, I love polys because they don’t move and have more bite. any advice?? please help. thank you 🙂

  190. GGTennis on said:

    Polys should not be strung higher than 52. I think if you strung at 46 you may be okay. It is likely the equipment issue you are experiencing is with the strings and not the racquet.

    • Ricardo on said:

      Thanks for the advice I will definitely do that. also I would like your opinion about polys, they last a lot but some players say you shouldn’t wait until they break as they become stiff and may harm the arm, I feel that is exactly what may have happened to me. how long should I play them before I cut them and restring? and,is there a multi that is shaped or doesn’t move? thanks again !!! I always buy rackets based on this list, Head Ti classic (2001) and now Yonex RDIS 200 320gms.

  191. GGTennis on said:

    Durability of polys is fantastic. Playing life varies. The older/stiffer polys have a playing life of only a few hours. Some of the new polys are much better where they can have a playing life of 20+ hours. The best polys, properly strung, will give upwards of 30+ hours. Hope this helps.

  192. Martin on said:


    I have just read whole thread because I am currently suffering from TE and of course… after Aero Pro Drive experience :-).

    But there is anything about head size, what do you think about that?
    Is it matter or not?
    In your list there are frames with 102 inch head size and below 95 – this is huge difference.

  193. GGTennis on said:


    Thanks for participating in our blog. I am sorry you are experiencing elbow issues. I have not found head size to be much of a factor in regard to producing shock. What I am learning that is new from when I originally posted, is that string density does also seem to have some impact. The new open pattern frames, although stiffer than we prefer, seem to be absorbing shock well as we are not running into customers suffering from TE with these new sticks from Wilson and Prince. This is interesting to us and we continue to monitor our customers who are playing with these frames. Pattern may be something we explore in the future and possibly related may be head size…not something we had considered so thank you for bringing it up as another factor to study.

  194. Viki on said:

    Hello! First of all, thank you for this very helpful advice. You have the Avery M5 and the M3 Control in your list. What do you think about the Avery M3 Power?

  195. GGTennis on said:

    Avery racquets are older school all graphite with nice weight. Arm friendly racquets. We like them!

  196. mrs e on said:

    Hi, Do you have a recent 2013-2014 list? I am just getting into playing tennis after 20 years. Previously I never had TE although my friend bought me a cheap light racquet and it did not take long for the pain to start. I would like to purchase another racquet and start playing again. My 20 year old racquet was a Yonnex, I loved it, I bought it from a yard sale and had a great backhand spin. what do you recommend now?

    • GGTennis on said:

      I recommend the frames on the list. In terms of Yonex, the new VCORE Tour G 330 (Wawrinka) has very nice specs. Headsize and weight might be demanding if not an advanced player. Another new Yonex frame with decent specs is the Yonex EZONE Ai 98. Hope this helps.

      • mrs e on said:

        Hi. Thanks for your suggestions. Would you mind sending me a link to your most current list? Thank you

      • Mrs E on said:

        Hello, My local sports chalet does not have many of the selections you recommend. Can you recommend the Babolat Pure Drive Pure Power 10.6 oz or Wilson 105S?

        • GGTennis on said:

          I would not include either of those on my lists of arm friendly racquets, but that does not mean that they will not be just fine for some players. When looking at frames please look at the specs. Try for as much weight as you can handle. I prefer 11+oz. For stiffness (RA) look for something in the mid 60’s or lower. Make sure the balance is even or headlight. Good luck to you!

  197. Alan, Another APD victim on said:

    This is an amazing blog- thank you for this! I’ve basically read the entire blog, so I will not be asking you for an updated recommendation list:) instead, I was wondering if you have any updated alternatives to the Aeropro Drive that has been taking a toll on my arm. From what I’ve gathered in your previous responses in years past, the Donnay Formula and Pure Storm were contenders; are they still the closest alternatives?

  198. Mrs E on said:

    THanks for your feedback

  199. Mark on said:

    Last year I played with the PK Redondo MP and love it!
    This year I’m trying the Dunlop Biomimetic 200 Tour and found it very similar to the Redondo. Even better.
    I’m very happy because my arm isn’t complaining!
    Would you put the Biomimetic 200 Tour in the gold list?

  200. GGTennis on said:

    I’d have to take a look at the specs. The most important thing is that you are playing pain free and ultimately a rating based on specs does not matter if you are comfortable and enjoying your frame. Congrats!

  201. Rich on said:

    I have a couple Dunlop 200g xl’s and all the specs look good except for a length of 27.5 inches. Couldn’t I just choke up and use it without having problems?

  202. GGTennis on said:

    Just because a racquet is not in the preferred range in one area does not mean it will create arm issues for the player. I would just use it, enjoy it and if down the road you start to notice arm pain, at that stage you can take steps to correct. Have fun!

  203. Johnsel on said:

    I’ve been playing tennis for 20 years and have so many racquets during those years and had my share of tennis elbow over the years also. I bought a Head LM Radical MP (which I sold to get the Babolat) a couple of years ago and felt good about it until a friend of mine introduced to Babolat Aero Pro Dive. I must say the stick was very nice in terms of power and control. However last year I developed my worst tennis elbow attack after increasing my string tension. I had to stop playing for 7 months. I am now slowly starting to get back in the game. I would like to buy a new pair of sticks that would help me get in the game again. I would like ask you which among these racquets would you recommend that I look into: Head Radical (LM MP, Microgel MP, Youtek MP), Prince EXO3 Tour 100 or Volkl Powerbridge 5. I must say that your blog is very informative. Thank you very much. Hoping to hear from you.

  204. GGTennis on said:

    Sorry to hear about your tennis elbow. Of the racquets listed the Prince offers the most arm friendly specs and the Volkl offers the last arm friendly.

    • Johnsel on said:

      Thanks for the info. Big help for my future racquet purchases. Which one would you prefer Prince Tour 100 16×18 vs EXO3 Tour 100 16×18? And what good string would fit perfectly for this stick. Again… more power to your site =)

      • MG on said:

        Just fyi, according to “A dense string pattern (18 mains x 20 crosses) will have a tighter “grid” and will flex less on impact than a more open pattern (16×18, 16×19, or 16×20). Opening up the string bed will allow the strings to “give” more on impact and better dissipate shock especially on mishits.”
        I followed this advice and bought prince tour 100 16×18, and I use wilson SHOCK SHIELD 16G string with 53 tension. The strings wear out pretty fast, but I didn’t have a case of tennis elbow since I bought this racket.

        • GGTennis on said:

          Yes, I agree with the tight pattern vs open pattern comment to some degree. It is a factor to consider although dense pattern frames with otherwise desirable specs seem to not cause issues.

      • GGTennis on said:

        Either Prince Tour 100. Both have arm friendly specs with nice weight and flex.

        • Johnsel on said:

          Thank you for all the suggestions. I got 2 Prince EXO3 Tour 100 16×18. Can’t wait to try them. I hope it jives with my strokes. More power good sirs. No to tennis elbow! =)

  205. Jason on said:

    What can you say about Head graphene speed rev? It has a specs of 63 but very light raquet. Thanks

  206. GGTennis on said:

    Not all that excited by the specs of the Graphene Speed Rev. Biggest issue is weight. Not enough mass and head heavy balance does not help. However, add some weight and/or fill to the handle and it might make a pretty decent offering. The specs seem good for easy customization. Good luck!

  207. Jason on said:

    Thanks for the reply, do you have a recommendation on how much weight i should add to the handle to make it more arm friendly?

  208. GGTennis on said:

    I do not know the exact weight of the racquet without looking it up. I would add enough to take it to approx. 11 oz and that should also give you a slight HL balance.

  209. Paulo on said:

    What do you think about Head Graphene Radical MP? And S?

  210. Pablo on said:

    Hi, guys !

    Congrats for the nica work you are doing here!
    I would like to ask about your opinion regarding the “old reloaded” Prince Response 97.
    What do you think about htis racquet ?

    Best regards,

  211. GGTennis on said:

    We like the weight. We don’t like the stiffness.

  212. Larry Paulson on said:

    87 years old- play 3 times per week- starting to get tennis elbow.Use large Prince, will try Wilson K 5, Strings=?

  213. Mark Jordan on said:

    The new Wilson Pro Staff RF97 Autograph has a 68 flex rating and scored 89 in comfort?

    Would you say it is an arm friendly racquet?


  214. GGTennis on said:

    Not sure what the comfort score is, but I know of players who have had arm issues with this frame. To be fair, I know of others who do not have any issues. That said, the specs are not what I would consider to be the most arm-friendly. They are far from the worse, but folks with sensitive arms *may* have some issues with this frame. My best advise is to demo as that is the best way to tell. Good luck to you!

  215. Paul Matthews on said:

    Wow what a great site! I hope you’re still answering questions because I have a few. I read the whole exchange above and I don’t think they’ve been addressed (but apologies if they have and I missed them).

    1) Do you feel the choice of balls is significant in avoiding tennis elbow?
    2) Do players with a two-handed backhand have less of a tendency to develop TE than players with a one-handed backhand?
    3) Is the desirable racquet weight threshold of 11oz with the racquet strung or unstrung?

    Background: I played tennis recreationally as a teenager, but then not again till four years ago when as a middle-aged adult I started doing some gentle hitting with my young son. In August of last year I developed tennis elbow. Some time before (not sure exactly when) we had changed balls (not willingly) from some light fairly bouncy kids balls to some others that had much more of a “dead” feel and weren’t as bouncy. I had also changed racquets the previous winter, as I felt the racquet I was using (picked up by my wife in a garage sale) might not be ideal. Unfortunately, out of ignorance, I decided that a light racquet would probably be easier on my arm, so I went with a Wilson ProStaff 100L. Not a good choice but several months went by before the TE set in so I’m wondering whether it’s the culprit. I’m using a one-handed backhand (even though I used two hands as a teenager), no doubt because I played a lot of squash in the interim. I’m sure I could go back to two hands quite easily.

    Thanks for any thoughts.

  216. Mike C on said:

    Great information on arm friendly racquets. I was wondering if this list is “current” or is there another link that has a more current list of racquets for the 2014-2015 season?
    I believe I need to find a new racquet. I am currently using a Volkl C10 Pro Tour. I have used these ever since they came out back in the 90’s. ( I have demoed hundreds of racquets over the years but nothing feels or plays like the C10 PT. At least so far) The racquet feels great and I use Pacific Prime Gut at 57 lbs in the racquets. I have also used a lot of hybrid string variations in the last 20+ years as well. All have had gut mains but with some sort of other string as the cross. Now that the newer poly’s, co-polys are out here seems like nothing lasts longer than a month or so before it needs re-stringing. I cannot afford to restring every couple of weeks. I have three of these racquets. The weights are close enough at 12- 12.2 ozs and the SW variations are close as well, 347-356. Each one has a flex of 62. However, I am hitting with a new group of guys that are in the 4.5-5.0 range. I am getting some issues with a little soreness in my hitting shoulder. Not pain, just soreness the next day. Plus the volleys are not quite what I want them to be. I am not sure if the weight of the racquet is the biggest issue or just me in general ( old age gets us all – sooner than later). Maybe I need a new(er) lighter racquet ( 11.5+- oz) with more HL specs.
    I have also used a lot of hybrid string variations in the last 20+ years as well. All have had gut mains but with some sort of other string as the cross. Now that the newer poly’s, co-polys are out here seems like nothing lasts longer than a month or so before it needs re-stringing. I cannot afford to restring every couple of weeks. I am not sure what I use to use as the crosses. The stringer I had been using has retired, medical reasons, so now I am at a double dilemma. New racquet and new hybrid string combinations.
    Any help with a racquet would be greatly appreciated. As far as strings, I am all ears as well.
    Thank you.

  217. Partha Mishra on said:

    The Boris Becker 11 Special edition and the Delta core london tour both have a flex of 55 and both very easy on the arm. They should be right up there with the Prince tour 100 frames (Flex 56, 57). The becker 11 mid and volkl pb10 mid are both around 60-61
    I would like to share some information about the Prokennex Ionic Ki5 PSE. i know the flex has been listed as 63-65 on retailer websites but i purchased two matched frames recently and their flex was 70 which was consistent with another reviewer who said his frames had a flex of 71. That being said, i found this frame to be really easy on the arm and it feels plush without any jarring or vibration. It is just as comfortable as my becker frames.

    While I understand the becker frames have been discontinued, they are incredibly easy on the arm

    • Mike C on said:

      I appreciate your reply. I did try the PK you mentioned a short while back. I started off with gut string put in at mid tension ( based on PK recommendations ) and found this racquet not to be very good for me. It just did not play like I expected it to play by just looking at the specs and looking at comments left by others that bought that racquet. To me, it felt clunky and I had trouble with some shots I normally have no issues with. I practiced with it on my ball machine off and on all summer but just could not make it click with me. Plus it just felt stiffer than I thought it should feel.
      The BB racquets are a good choice and I will look into getting the BB SE version. I have a tennis buddy, not close by, that uses the BB 11 mid and really likes it. I had the BB DC Legend for a couple of years. It played great for me for about a year, then it felt horrible. I have no idea why. I tried changing the strings and tensions three times and it just did not click again with me. Strange , I know.
      Again, thanks for your reply.

      • partha mishra on said:

        No problem at all. It just occurred to me that I have a couple of delta core Melbourne’s. While the official specs indicate a flex of 64, my personal experience and other reviews indicate it is slightly stiffer than say the bb11 mid or the legend but still very arm friendly as long as softer strings (poly/gut/synthetic) are used and strung at low to mid tension (52/55lbs) otherwise it will feel really stiff. It is a very precise frame (18×20) but demanding and while I really like it, I have to hit the ball dead center. The plow is amazing if that happens though 🙂 I have not demoed the yonex 330g which has a flex of ~ 63 or the prince 100 tour frames but again they have great reviews on that front. Hope you are able to find a bb11 se. I was lucky to buy one on tw.

        • Mike C on said:

          You are lucky to have bought a BB 11 SE when they were available. I looked at them at one time and for some reason did not buy one. Probably because I had the BB DC Legend I was using. The Prince 100 Tour maybe another one I need to look at. I just put out a “wanted” posting on TW for a BB 11 SE, perhaps someone has one that they are wanting to get rid of. I’d like to try that one out. I have been using Volkls for years, ever since the V1 first came out. If I string my racquets too low I spray the ball too long. I need to string it tighter ( at least mid 55’s or upper 50’s) to get better control. I can generate the power but want to control that power. I tried using Yonex but the head shape was just too weird for me and I never could find the sweetspot. Nice looking racquets but I just never could use them effectively.

  218. Bob on said:

    I used to play with POG/OS. No TE problems but my game hit a wall. Switched to Fischer Magnetic Speed Tour. Still no TE problems but only slight game improvement. Then switched to Babolat PD (Roddick) GT. Wow! BIG game improvement. Over the course of several months I could feel the onset of TE. The slight pain didn’t hurt my game so I played on. In fact my game continued to improve even more using the PDR GT. Several months with mounting pain and more game improvement. Blasting power from both wings, crisp volley action, great serve. I’m hooked, I love the PDR. Then the TE went from chronic with increasing pain to a major problem. I could no longer lift a cup of coffee, mush less play tennis. Stopped playing for a month and did RICE. Still couldn’t life a coffee cup. Then did several months of PT. Very slowly getting better and I hope to begin hitting again next month. I want my good game back. The Babolat was strung at 53 with 17/18 Hybrid. Would I still have my crisp blaster strung with gut at 48 and save my elbow? Or do I need to go back to the POG and be physically safe but not as good a player? Thanks much.

    • Jack on said:

      Had similiar problem. Playing with POG cured my elbow. Started stringing with multis and moved to Wilson Blade BLX and my game improved with no elbow problems. Borrowed Wilson Blade 98 for a test. Played excellent tennis with this stick. Unfortunately after few hours of play got severe elbow problems. I was unable to get rid of them for several months RICE or no RICE. Tried also Thera Band Bar excercises, but they didn’t help much. Lost halp of my strenght in my forearm. Bought Pro Kennex Ki5 315 and it seems to be very elbow friendly. Excellent stick for doubles but not enough spin for singles. Most probably have to return to POG to cure my elbow but won’t be able to play at same level as playing with Wilson raquets. Planning to go to the gym to strenghten muscles around elbow. Maybe it will help.

      • Mrs E on said:

        What is POG? I am looking for a good racquet that will not hurt my elbow. I have not played in 20 years but want to get back into playing. I am beginner/intermediate. I tried playing a year ago and hurt my elbow with a Wilson Power racquet. Any suggestions?

        • Jack on said:

          POG stands for Prince Original Graphite. It is listed at first position as “Silver Standard”. General consensus to avoid tennis elbow is to use head light (most of the weight is located at bottom half of the raquet, close to its handle) heavy raquets with low stiffness. POG is one of them. It is also recommended to string them with multifilament strings at low tension. POG is a very old raquet design from the 80’s. It was played by Andre Agassi and Michael Chang. Prince still manufactures it. Now it is called Prince Classic Graphite 107. There is another Andre Agassi’s elbow friendly raquet still played by thousands of players which is Head Radical (listed here as Gold Standard). Pro Kennex has whole new elbow friendly line that can also be recommended. Look for head light, relatively heavy (at least 295 grams) raquets with low stiffness. Stiffness should not exceed low 60’s. All these parameters are listed next to each raquet at Tennis Warehouse.

          • Mrs E on said:

            Hi you said I should choose a heavy racquet at least 295 grams does this apply even if I 5’6 foot am a woman…suffered from Tennis elbow

          • GGTennis on said:

            Absolutely it applies. Mass is needed to help absorb shock. There are many 12 and 13 year old children who are able to play with a racquet of this weight with no problem. A grown adult regardless of height should be able to handle the weight as it will help absorb shock…the enemy of tennis elbow.

  219. GGTennis on said:

    What kind of hybrid? Obviously your body is reacting to the stiffness/specs of the frame. I’d rather play than be in pain.

    You have a couple of options. The first is to find a frame with decent power and not as much stiffness. The Donnay Formula 100 is a nice alternative. While not as powerful, you can probably adjust tension and still be playing with similar performance as your PDR. You can adjust strings and tension and the softest, plus the dampening materials they use should help you.

    Alternately you can try the PDR, but go with a softer full poly and go real low with tension. Take it down to upper 30’s. This may not be enough to stave off the pain, but at least a lower cost option to explore. Good luck!

    • Bob on said:

      Jack & GGT. Thanks for your comments & suggestions. I have another month of healing before making a final choice. I rather like the idea of going with soft strings at very low tension on the PDR. At that point I can compare between the POG and the PDR from a performance perspective and not purchase another new stick. The larger question will be how elbow friendly the newly strung PDR will be. I may end up having to do without the blasting power and crispness that I so enjoyed using the PDR at 53 lbs and be happy playing once again but at a lower level of competitiveness.

      • Bob on said:

        I’ve changed my mind a bit and have elected to go with the POG with 17 NXT at only 45 lbs. My thinking is that the POG has a great reputation as being elbow friendly, much more so than the PDRGT. Taking the POG down to 45 Lbs should increase the groundstroke power and pop at volley, perhaps not quite as much as the PDRGT but enough to be satisfied…and healthy. I’ll report back in about a month when I’m allowed to get back on the courts.

  220. on said:

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  221. Angelos on said:

    first of all let me congratulate you for your site, its a valuable source of information for all of us that suffer from arm problems. I started to have problems a couple of years ago caused by a BLX blade with luxilon ALU setup. My pain was usually the following day after playing and was a general soreness of the whole arm, with more pain sometimes on the elbow sometimes on the wrist and sometimes on the forearm. I did some physio and started to do excersises, (also bought a theraband flexbar). I noticed some improvement but not complete healing. I sold my Wilsons and switched to a Babolat Pure Control Tour that according to TWE has a flex rating of 63 with either MSV plus38 or a hybrid Wilson NXT tour/MSV plus 25. Loved this stick but I saw onoly small improvement after 5 months of playing with it, (usually twice a week). I noticed that babolat official site gives an RA rating of 69 and when I wrote to TWE they re-measured the RA and confirmed it was 63. I was a bit worried and I bought a Prince EXO tour (18×20), cannot play at all with the 16×18 version, which is considered ideal for TE but I dont like it as much as the Pure Control. Do you have any views on the Pure Control tour? or any suggestions?
    Thanks again

  222. GGTennis on said:


    First I would suggest contacting a tennis teaching professional and have them look at you form and make sure there is nothing going on mechanically that might be causing the issues. Arm pain is not always equipment related so probably a good idea to get an opinion on your stroke mechanics.

    What tension are you using? With polys they will need to be strung at lower tensions to help reduce shock. Since you are experiencing pain, I would suggest moving to a full natural gut setup and see if that helps. If so, you can then begin reintroducing poly hybrids if you are seeking the performance of poly over natural gut. However, most important issue, IMO, is being able to play without pain.

    While our article does not address this issue, sometimes denser patterns are harder on arms. A more open pattern (16 mains) is sometimes better for those with arm pain. If all else fails try adding some dampening to the handle of your racuqets and if that fails, find a frame with an RA in the 50’s…something like the Pacific BX2 Feel Tour.

    Good luck!

    • Angelos on said:

      Thanks you for your immediate answer. I am currently excersising with a pro so I guess I dont have major flaws in my tecnique. The pain I feel is not during the game but the next day. When I finish playing I do some streches and apply ice. Do you have any rating about the Babolat Pure control tour?
      Thanks again

  223. GGTennis on said:

    It really depends upon who you ask. There was one well known study that was unable to draw any correlation between grip size and tennis elbow. Wrist issues, yes, but tennis elbow, no. Personally I subscribe to these findings.

    However, qualitative data, (the experience of some players), does sometimes find that a more traditional grip size can provide relief if a player is using a grip larger or smaller than the standard size. To get the standard grip size simply measure from the tip of your ring finger to the second crease in the palm of the hand. We do have a diagram that might be helpful on our web site.

    • Angelos on said:

      Hello, again
      I see in the list above with the best sticks to fight arm problems you have the Pro Kennex Black Ace 98. This stand also for the current model Tour Black Ace 98 (295 grams), since it has an RA of 63 compared to an RA of 58 of the previous model.
      Many thanks

  224. GGTennis on said:

    Clearly the stiffer RA is not to my liking in terms of arm friendliness. They were probably trying to create a little more power. 63 is not terrible, but 58 is much better. The Black Ace does not make use of the Kinetic technology. I have not yet run across this racquet and do not have any user experience that has been shared with me. Specs look decent, but not spectacular. For most, it should be friendly, but I would not be shocked if those with super sensitive arms had some issues.

  225. Angelos on said:

    thanks a lot

  226. anne on said:

    Hi. Thanks so much for your helpful information. I have looked over the 2011 preferred list of racquets. I live in a small Canadian city and am concerned about inability to access demoing racquets from your list.
    I am a 3.5 level, female, 49 yr old player, who has TE. I’ve had a Wilson K four FX for about 4 years and since January have been having physio for TE. I have already rested it. I have accessed technique and am currently working to correct.
    I’ve looked into the specs and see my racquet is light 9.3 oz (instead of 12oz.+), has good HL @3, open string pattern @ 16×19. Length is 27 1/2 ” (a little long?). I can’t figure out if head size of 107 sq in is good or not. And I can’t find info on the stiffness number.
    Not sure about strings- I see Sensation on them … but can’t read the rest of the info.
    Do you think I should consider replacing?
    Many thanks!!

    • Mike C on said:

      I would consider changing your racquet. I think, through my own observations and feedback from others I have played with over the years, that a light racquet will do nothing good for your arm/wrist/shoulder. Look at the list of racquets and see what one(s) you can demo. A few online tennis companies/ stores do have a pretty decent demo program that is not too expensive to try up to four racquets at a time. Some years back the tennis racquet manufacturers had gone onto a ” making racquets as light possible” and that created a lot of tennis elbow and wrist injury suffering. Some players never came back to the game because of these injuries, I personally know a few.
      A 107 sq in head may not be bad IF the specs are within the range provided. Usually a larger headed frame will be somewhat lighter to make adjustments for the weight at the head end. A 102 sq in head or a 100 sq in head may be more in the weight specs they suggest. I am not sure if you play more doubles than singles so a larger head size would make sense for doubles ( 107 sq in) but not if it gives you TE. The extra length does not help the TE either. Stay closer to the 27″ length. I’ve seen a few that are 27.3″ ( metric conversion make for odd inch sizing at times) so that length would probably not be out of the picture if you really like the way the racquet plays and feels.
      I think Tennis Warehouse and perhaps Tennis Express would ship demo racquets to you.

  227. Yvette on said:

    What are your thoughts of the Wilson Blade 104 racquet?

  228. Jack_k on said:

    I stared to have golfers elbow few years ago, once I started playing more often in my forties. At that time my main raquets were marketed as arm-friendly, Wilson ncode N5, played by Williams sisters. This model was pretty light, around 270-280 grams and head-heavy. It was was easy to play with a lot of spin with it. I had very little knowledge about raquets and strings. That was the time when Luxilon strings started to be very popular. I started to use both Big Banger Original and Alu Power. I also started to string raquets higher to get more control. I could go as high as 28 kg. Of course my elbow started to hurt. I have been advised by my coach to change raquets to something head light, more weight and change string to multifilament. I changed raquets to Wilson Kfactor KBlade Team 104 Raquets (again Williams sisters choice) and Isospeed Control and Energetic strings. The pain started to go away.

    As my string were braking very often I started to experiment with some monofilament strings from Weiss Cannon and Technifibre. The pain came back. I treid hybrid string and finally got back to multifilaments, I also came across raquet recommendations written here.

    I started to buy some of the used raquets from this list. I had some minor golfer’s elbow form time to time. At the beginning of 2015 I demoed two raquets strung with some monofilament strings. Namely Babolat Pure Drive Play with a Sony Bluetooth chip and Wilson Blade 98. After few hours of play with these raquets I git almost instant tennis and golfers elbow. This was the firs time I got real tennis elbow with my forearm muscles and my tricep really hurt. I couldn;t play at all. All muscles arounf elbow area were swollen and I could barely do anything with that hand. I took 6 weeks break but pain didn’t go away. I lost half of my strenght in my forearm. I couldn’t squeeze anything strongly. I played in may and June but paased playing tennis all summer. Pain didn’t go away. In autumn i started working out at the gym after few years break. After arounf 6 weeks my albow and forearm started to recover. I started playing with different, arm-friendly raqets from the list here.

    After 3 months i got all my forearm strenght back and I’m able to play normally.

    In my opinion there is more to tennis elbow than the raqet itself. Of course you need arm friendly raquet and the list here helps. Never ever pick up the raqet with monofilament string and never one with a stiffness over around 62-65. I currently own some oldfashioned raquets:
    Prince Original Graphite OS
    Prince Graphite Mid
    Prince Graphite Pro OS (probably the softest of all raquets, made from graphite and fiberglass, stiffness around 50)
    Prince Graphite 90
    Head Radical Liquid Metal OS

    Most of them are very heavy sticks, good for elbo but not good for your wrist.

    I also own and some modern ones:
    Wilson Blade Team BLX
    Wilson Blade 104 2013
    Pro Kennex Ki5 315
    Wilson Blade 98 (the stiffest but with most control from all I own)
    Prince Exo3 Tour

    I play doubles with older sticks but if I have to play against demanding opponent, I pick up some moders Wilson or Pro Kennex raquet. I’m dissapointed in Prince Exo3 Tour. Might be good for doubles but not enought control for singles for me. I string 22-23kg for doubles and around 24kg for singles, all with multifilament strings. I use Isospeed, Tecnifibre, Wilson, and Yonex strings.

    I also try to play with softest balls possible. The best arm friendly ball was Wilson Abzorber. Unfortunaltely out of production. I find Babolat Team, Wilson Us Open, Dunlop Fort All Court and Slazenger Wimbledon balls relatively arm friendly. Stay away from Tretorns and Dunlop Pro and all balls with “clay” in their name. These are fast and hard balls. Don’t play with dead balls. They are as dangerous as mono strings.

    And strenghten your arm muscles. Triceps, biceps and forearms. If you can’t go to the gym do some pushups and exercises with some bands like Thera Band. I also observed that using a lot of touchpad on my latops makes my inside area of the elbow (golfer’s elbow), stiff. I started to use wireless mouse and it gets better. If you can, use mouse with non-playing hand.

    Forget about physioterapy and doctors. They will not help. Save your money for raquets and balls. Correct equipment and some excercies are all you need. Always do proper warm up. You can also use some antiinflammatory cream on your elbow, like Ibuprofen before tennis game.

  229. GGTennis on said:

    We are closing this thread. Please direct your comments to our updated version of this important topic a this link:

    Tennis Elbow: Our NEW Approach

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