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My top 10 list of arm-friendly racquets:

Racquet RDC Flex Strung Weight Balance
Babolat New Pure Storm-LTD GT (95) (click for more info) 58 11.9 -10HL
HEAD YT Graphene Prestige Pro (click for more info) 63 11.6 -6HL
PACIFIC X Feel Pro 95 (click for more info) 60 11.9 -5HL
Prince EXO3 Rebel (95) (click for more info) 58 12.1 -10HL
Prince Tour 98 ESP (click for more info) 60 11.4 -12HL
Pro Kennex Kinetic KI5 315 (click for more info) 62 11.7 -6HL
Technifibre 2013 Tflight 315 16M LTD (click for more info) 60 11.7 -5HL
Volkl Power Bridge-10 Mid (93) (click for more info) 61 12.1 -8HL
Volkl Organix 10 325G (click for more info) 63 12.1 -7HL
Wilson Prostaff Six.One BLX (95) (click for more info) 63 11.6 -7HL

*Finding a racquet that meets all of the criteria established above can be quite a daunting task, since they represent such a small percentage of the market and there are no companies that I know of that are geared toward “arm-friendly” tennis equipment.

 

 

The main characteristics that affect how “arm-friendly” your racquet is include: balance, weight, beam profile, flex/stiffness and head size. How these characteristics affect your arm are outlined below.

Balance:  The more head light the better. The balance rating typically ranges from -15HL to +15HH with zero being perfectly balanced. Head Light racquets cause more of the vibration to be absorbed by the handle and less by your arm, while being much easier to control and maneuver at the net.

Weight: A heavier racquet is better. Heavier racquets absorb more of the vibration upon contact. They are more difficult to swing quickly but you can compensate for this with a head light balance, particularly for volleying at the net.

Beam Profile: A thinner beam profile is better. Thicker wide body racquet’s are usually very light and are stiffer.

Flex/Stiffness: A more flexible frame is better. A more flexible frame absorbs more of the shock on contact. Flexible racquets tend to have less power but more control, although they can be more powerful when heavier. Flex is a measurement on the Babolat RDC scale of 0-100, with a lower number meaning less stiffness, you should be looking for a racquet with a stiffness measurement at 64 or less which includes less than 10% of the modern racquets on the market.

Head Size: A smaller head size is better. The sweet spot does not get larger with an over-sized head, and an over-sized head tends to cause more off-center hits which causes more shock to your arm.

Racquet Length: A standard 27″ length is best. Longer racquets are more difficult to maneuver and are made lighter to compensate, thereby causing more shock to your arm.

In an attempt to make it easier for you I have listed my favorite racquets that are “arm-friendly” and play well. An “arm-friendly” racquet may or may not be the best racquet for you in terms of playability but you will need to balance that with the long term health of your arm if you do not want to have to limit your play due to pain. Also you can greatly change the playability of your racquet with your selection of tennis string as you can read about in our next section.

While the more flexible “arm-friendly” racquets have less power the more elastic “arm-friendly” tennis strings give you more power. A flexible racquet combined with an elastic string can give you a great balance of power, control and feel while protecting your arm.

Another concern that I have is that every racquet gets a rating for the level of player it is geared toward. Yet all of the best “arm-friendly” racquets are supposedly geared towards advanced players and all of the racquets geared towards beginners are bad for your elbow. My best advice for a beginner or intermediate is to get used to the advanced player racquets which will give you more control and save you from tennis elbow. If you need more power use a more “arm-friendly” elastic string and string it at a lower tension.

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216 Responses to “Tennis Racquets”

  • Emma says:

    Hi Thomas,

    I need your thoughts and advise on yonex ezone ai 100 and wilson pro staff six one 100 and 100LS. I’m an intermediate player currently using wilson five.two.

    • The Wilson five.two is a very light racquet and bad for your arm. The yonex ezone ai 100 and the Wilson pro staff six one 100 are a bit stiff and are not real arm friendly. The Wilson pro staff six one 100LS is pretty flexible and a decent arm friendly racquet but still a bit too lite weight to be a top arm friendly racquet, though the best selection of the four you mention.

  • Fred C says:

    Thanks for the info. Do you have any thoughts on the Wilson ProStaff 95S or any of the other spin raquets? I currently play a Steam 99S which doesn’t appear to meet your criteria (and I am feeling it!).

    • You are right the Wilson Steam 99S is a stiff racquet and could cause arm problems. The Wilson ProStaff 95S is a very good choice because not only is it a very arm friendly racquet but it is also great for easily generating additional spin.

  • Alberto Rufini says:

    Thomas,
    I use KI5 315 for 2 years. However I’m thinking to change bu Head graphene prestigie pro as you recomended
    Do you see I might get some improve considering soim side?
    Thanks in advance
    Alberto

  • Diego_Switzerland says:

    Hi
    Thanks a lot for sharing all this knowledge and helping so many tennis players.
    Do you consider vibration dampeners to be helping or making TE worse? Also, have you considered the Swing Weight as part of your tests/research? This variable is probably correlated to the remaining variables, but I wonder if you have any “healthy Swing Weight” range in mind.
    Thanks a lot!

    • Vibration dampeners help a little and once you get used to the feel of playing with a dampener you will not want to play without one.
      One of the most important characteristic of an arm friendly racquet is a heavy racquet at least over 11oz but some people might have trouble handling a heavy racquet in which case I recommend a heavy racquet with a lower swing weight below 300, that way you get the benefits of a heavy racquet without any downside.

  • Adam says:

    Hi,
    I have had tennis elbow for the last 5 months and its taking so long to heal.
    I was using a Dunlop 200 lite with Babolat Blast strings. Do you think this racquet is good to prevent tennis elbow? Or has the strings caused my damage?

    • Overall the Dunlop 200 lite is a good racquet for your arm and the string is not bad. It still might help to get a new frame, since your racquet might be one that is not performing up to its specs especially if it many years old.

  • Cem S says:

    Dear Thomas,
    I would like to thank you again million times for your golden advices. I had a tennis elbow for one and a half year, but after finding your website, and listen to your advices, I first switched to head youtek ig prestige mid. And my tennis elbow is gone quickly within a month. However that racquet is a bit limiting my game. Then I listen to your advice again and switched to wilson pro staff 6.1 95. At first I was a little bit scared since switching from a heavier racquet to a lighter one might cause my tennis elbow apear again. But after asking you, I listened to your advice and made the switch, and every thing is ok now. Thank you again. How wonderful and magical this site is. I recommend to every one.

  • Monique says:

    Hi,
    What are you thoughts about Wilson Five 103 Racquet or Wilson Five 103 BLX Racquetwith elbow issues. I have some problems with my arm some time.

    • This racquet is bad for your arm, it is very light with a head heavy balance.

      • Monique says:

        Thank you for answering. I saw your list with elbow friendly racquets but all of them are to heavy for me. I would like to have a racquet max weight 10.6 strung (300 gr). I am small 1.52m and i have the smallest grip.
        Is it possible the specs not too heavy and elbow friendly

        • If you must use a lighter racquet it will not be a top arm friendly racquet but it could be a lot more arm friendly than your current racquet if you find one over 10oz. with a head light balance and flexible frame, after some research I found the following example http://tenniselbowracquet.com/volkl-team-tour

          • Monique says:

            Thanks for the advice. All the specs are right but my tennis instructor dislikes the stringpattern 16×18 for me. He preferes 18×20. I am an advanced “rooki “

          • I see no reason to limit yourself to an 18 x 20 string pattern that sounds like just his own personal opinion. More open string patterns are generally better for your arm and they produce more spin, the downside is the string tends to break easier which could be a problem for frequent string breakers.

  • Tan says:

    hi Thomas
    thanks for the time and advice. Any thoughts on the Volkl organic 10 Mid vs the 10 325? The latter is stiffer but it is tough on the arm? thanks

    T

    • That is a tough call since both are very arm friendly. I would probably go with the one that feels best to you, but if both feel the same the Volkl Organix Mid could be slightly better for your arm due to its being slightly more flexible and more head light of a balance.

  • Cem S says:

    Hi, I would like to add something. I have head youtek ig mid, after switching to this racquet, my tennis elbow pain is gone. But its playabilty restricts my game in some ways. That’s why I plan to test wilson prostaff six one 95, which is lighter than head youtek ig mid. But if switching to a lighter racquet even if it is in your top ten list has a risk to sever my tennis elbow, I would not try this. That’s why I ask your advice concerning these two racquets compared to their arm friendliness. Thank you again for your advice
    Cem

    • The specs of the Wilson Prostaff Six One BLX are very similar to the head youtek ig mid. The only difference being the weight, but the Wilson Prostaff Six One BLX is still heavy enough to be in my top 10 list and you could always add some lead tape into the handle, to make it slightly heavier and make the balance more head light.

  • Mynell says:

    Thomas,

    I am planning to demo the Prokennex Q5 298 and 315. Would you consider these to be on par with the K5 you recommend in your list? Better? Bad golfers elbow here and looking for some options. Really appreciate your feedback!

    Mike

  • MG says:

    Hi, why don’t you have prince exo tour 100 16×18 in your top 10 list? I see you recommend it to a bunch of people in comments. I think it is the best arm friendly specs especially for women, because its not as heavy as the rest. love your site. Thanks for all the info.

    • The Prince EX0 Tour is a great arm friendly racquet, the only reason I removed it from my list is that it temporarily went out of production and was replaced by the PRINCE Tour 100 16X18 Tennis Racquet, which I am currently looking into putting on the list.

  • Bob says:

    Hello,

    A few years ago I had a problem w/ TE. I changed to a Volkl PB 8 and went to a hybrid setup w/ natural gut in the mains. I iced, stretched and worked on arm strength. The TE went away within a few months. I moved to a Yonex xi 100 and didn’t have any problems.It’s now back and I think it’s from doing a 3-month racquet demo program. I’m a 4-4.5 level player looking to continually improve. I can vary my shot type but like topspin the most. I’m back to the natural gut hybrid but since the Yonex is a little stiff I’m thinking of changing. I understand your comments about moving to a players racquet. What would you recommend. I just looked at the Babolat Pure Control Tour and the stiffness rating is 63 and the weight and balance look ok. I’d appreciate your opinion on that one and any other recommendations you could offer. Thanks and it’s good to see a website that gives good straight info on TE and the game.

    • I would be wary of the Babolat Pure Control because the stiffness is listed as 69ra on the Babolat website and 68 on tennisexpress but 63 only on tennis-warehouse I would look suggest looking at some other models with a flex no higher than around 63 above 11oz’s with a head lite balance, you could start by considering some of the racquets in my top 10 list.

  • R. says:

    Hi Thomas,
    Being a heavy top spin player and using Babolat AeroPro Drive GT (and a starting TE :s), I’m considering purchasing the Yonex EZONE Ai 98. I demoed the racket and was amazed about the control it provides. What are your thoughts on this rackets? Thanks for your time.

  • Patrick says:

    Hello! I currently play with a head mid plus extreme 100 in, and do ok with the arm after trying some old racket that took me out of the sport for about a year due to arm problems.. I am in the upgrade process, and purchased a volkl organix 8 300 g, but gave me arm problems as well. What are your thoughts on the prince tour 100t esp and the new wilson pro staff 100 LS. They have very similar specs in terms of weight to my current head racket.

    • Both the Prince Tour 100t and the Wilson Pro Staff 100 LS would be major improvements over the Head Mid Plus Extreme 100 and the Volkl Organix 8 especially the Prince Tour 100t which is not only a lot more flexible but the open string pattern will make it play even more flexible.

  • Barry says:

    Hi Thomas. Thanks again for answering my earlier post. Just a quick follow-up question to the Pure Storm GT Ltd. I saw Babolat recently coming out with its successor – the Pure Control – in various models (tour and 95). I noticed its flexibility is in the high 60s (69 for tour, and 67 for the 95). Everything else seems good (weight, balance). Is this also a good option? I’m thinking since it’s deemed as the “successor” for the Pure Storm and it’s a more recent model, it may be a better buy? Appreciate your thoughts. Thanks!

  • Dalius says:

    I am beginner – intermediate player. Many thanks for this nice web with explanatory information.
    I do not have Elbow problem yet, but would like to go for Pure storm GT LTD. At the moment I am using Pure drive 300g, 320 mm balance. My question is – why in most reviews Pure storm GT LTD is pointed as “for experts only” – how can my (beginner-intermediate player) game harm with this racket – too little swing weight? Why most reviews stress our that for beginners – lighter, head heavy or neutral balance rackets only. Is to gain more swing weight and power? Please explain – I need last push to order this Pure storm LTD “miracle” – I have no chance to try it in court before ordering. Thank you.

    • The division of racquets into various levels from beginner to advanced completely ignores the arm friendly aspect of a tennis racquet. Beginners are the group most vulnerable to arm problems and yet I have yet to see a so called beginner racquet that is not bad for your arm. A beginner racquet may help your game in the short run but you will play better and have a lot less chance of being injured in the long run if you can get used to an advanced arm friendly racquet. The Pure Storm will be a lot better for your game and will dramatically decrease your chances of being injured as opposed to the Pure Drive.

  • Kevin says:

    I am a 50 year old, and played scholarship collegiate tennis. I am using a Prince Spectrum Comp 110. I am happy with it’s performance but am concerned about some arm pain, that may or may not be caused from tennis? I am using Black Widow string, Dunlop I think, strung at 70lbs. I have tried looser string, but really do not like it, loosing lots of control with the trampoline effect. I would be interested to know where this racquet and string fall on the arm friendly scale? I have recently begun playing more frequently and am hitting the ball harder with more control than I ever have, and don’t want to invest in a couple new racquets, but may consider it if this is the cause for my arm issue?

  • Pete P says:

    I discovered your site while researching my new TE issue which begin after buying an AeroPro Drive GT. for the first time in my life, my arm has been hurting. I’m quickly getting rid of the APD before my pain gets any worse.

    Wondered what you thought or Prince EXO3 Warrior? Now on sale, which always helps.

    Also curious about Yonex ai100.

    Thanks much!

    • The Babolat APD is definitely one of the worst offenders for causing arm problems. The Prince EX03 Warrier and Yonex ai100 are both a lot better however some of the new prince racquets are even better such as the PRINCE Tour 100 16X18 Tennis Racquet or the PRINCE Tour Pro 98 Tennis Racquet but I understand that they are a bit pricier at this time

  • Barry says:

    Hi Thomas. Great site.

    Wondering if you can help me choose my next racquet. I’m a recreational player now but played competitive college tennis here in our country equivalent to NCAA in the US. I selected my racquets before based on weight and maneuverability, but nothing more. Started with a Price Michael Chang then changed to Slazenger Pro Braided then finally to a Dunlop Muscle Weave 200g. I’ve had occasions of tennis elbow especially if I played everyday (which is no longer the case since I just play occasionally now). After looking at your site and reading the comments, I’ve had to rethink about my Aero Pro Drive choice. Which among these 3 options do you think is the best racquet I can transition to (considering my previous racquets)? 1) Pure Storm Tour GT 2) Head Youtek IG Radical MP 3) Head Youtek IG Prestige Pro. Unfortunately, these are the only ones from your list that are available here. Appreciate the help!

    • The racquets that you used before switching to the Babolat Aeropro Drive were much better choices so I can understand why you are now having problems. The three choices you are considering are all excellent. I would especially consider the Prestige or possibly the Storm, I am sure you can handle the weight based on what you are used to there is no reason to go to the lighter Radical

  • richard says:

    hello what is your opinion on the yonex rdis 200 320gms version . it has all the arm friendly specs to my opinion. thanks for your site! .

    • Yes I agree the specs are arm friendly, the only problem is it is a discontinued racquet so if you are able to find one you will never know how long or where it has been stored.

  • Sam says:

    Hello Thomas,
    I used to play with babolat pd roddick plus for years with 2hbh, however, several days ago, after some miss-shots in 2hbh during a match, the shock that from the racket has heavily injured my left arm and I have to start a new life with 1hbh,are there any racquets suggested for me from 1hbh beginner to advanced that arm friendly? Any advice is greatly appreciated.

  • frederic says:

    hello thomas
    Like you said the aeropro drive causes a lot of shoulder, elbow or wrist problems.I like the babolat pure storm team gt,do you think it’s too light ? because i felt pretty good with it.I also tried the head grapheme radical mp which was good but the head size which is a little bit smaller seems to be an issue for me. which one would you suggest ? can my shoulder and wrist get better with the storm team?
    thanks

    • The Babolat Pure Storm Team and the Head Grapene Radical are both huge improvements over the Babolat Aeropro Drive and will definetly help your arm, Both are a bit light to be consider top flight arm friendly racquets like the HEAD Youtek IG Prestige Mid and the Babolat New Pure Storm-LTD GT If you can handle one of those racquets you would benefit even more.

      • Mynell says:

        Thomas, can you comment on the new Prince White LS 100 racquet? When I fill out the new form on Prince’s website, this raqcquest fits my criteria and keeps coming up. Would you consider it an “arm Friendly” choice? Your help is greatly appreciated!

        • I can only find this racquet in Europe. It would rate it average in terms of arm friendly. It has all the arm friendly racquets but its stiffness is average and I would prefer a more flexible frame.

  • Guy Newport says:

    I use to be a competitive player but stopped playing for 25+ years. I am now getting back into it, but only playing about 3 times a month. For the first time I am experiencing tennis elbow. I know I need to switch racquets and the following were recommended. Babolat Pure Drive GT, Wilson Juice 100, Prince Warrior 100, Babolat Aeropro Drive, Head Speed M/P. Do you have any recommendations as to which of these might be best? Thanks.

  • Melissa says:

    Hi Thomas,
    Thank you so very much for your website and for answering questions! I am so grateful that such a knowledgeable person would make themselves available to us laymen!!
    I am in my late 30′s, have played tennis all my life, and I am a 4.0 player. I have played with my Head Prestige Classic 600 for the last 15+ years! I love the 93 size head and solid feel, in my opinion it is the best racquet ever made! :) I have played tennis all my life up until about a year and a half ago secondary to a rotator cuff tear (supraspinatus muscle). I had reparative surgery 11 months ago and have been cleared to resume play. I went to Tennis Express looking for a new racquet believing that my old racquet was too heavy for my still weak and atrophied arm muscles. I purchased (on the advice of the sales person, who was very nice and seemed knowledgeable, but said there were no demos b/c it was being discontinued so I couldn’t try it out) a Head Prestige S. He strung it with some Prince poly 16 gauge string at 55lbs and I took it out to the court for the first time in over 18 months. My shoulder hurt immediately after playing for about 10 min. I am wondering if you think I made a mistake on the racquet purchase or the stringing? Do you think synthetic or natural gut strung at 48 or 50 would help?

    Thank you in advance for all the wonderful advice you have posted!
    Melissa

    • The Head Prestige S would be a preety good choice with your condition since it is not too heavy while at the same time it has the other arm friendly characteristics. As far as lower the string tension that definity could help.

  • Cem S says:

    Hi Thomas,
    I would like to switch from The Head Prestige S to Head Prestige Mid. Would it be an improvement, or unnecessary? What is your advice? Thank you

  • Jenn says:

    Hi I’m looking for a new racquet…I just started playing again a year ago after a 15yr hiatus…I played w a Wilson pro staff 5.8 and never had arm problems…I’m a 3.0/3.5 doubles player who is aggressive at the net…I play on a 3.0 & 3.5 USTA team and play 3-4 days a week…I demoed a few Babolats and my arm was whacked…I am looking at: Head Youtek IG Radical OS, Prince Premier 105 ESP, Volkl Organix 6, Volkl Organix 8-315, & the Babolat New Purestorm Limited GT…I’m tall and can handle the heavier racquets…thank you!

    • Most Babolat racquets are not arm friendly with the exception of the Pure Storm. I looked at all of the racquets that you mentioned and by far the most arm friendly is the Babolat New Purestorm Limited GT, the next best would be the Head Youtek IG Radical OS

  • Tyler says:

    I have been suffering from tennis elbow for about two years now. I use some really old sticks, Prince spectrum comp 90. The specs fall into the arm friendly catagory being 12.3 oz 63 flex rating and 6 points headlight. I guess what my question is that my racquets being that old can they lose thier flex? I use prince syn gut with duraflex strung at 57. I have demoed many many racquets but I can’t find one that I feel quite as dialed in with as my spectrums. If I have to switch racquets just wondering why the head prestige mid is rated lower on the arm friendly scale then its midplus brother. Also considering the new prince graphite 100 even though I have not hit with one yet or the prince exo3 graphite mid (I am a prince guy). I tried the new prince tour esp but it was a little light for me. Do sting patterns factor into the equation when looking for arm friendly racquets. Ok I am rambling now, Thank you so much for your forum it is very helpful and am looking forward to your response.

    • I don’t think older racquets loss their flex but they can loss power and feel. The Head Prestige Mid and MIDplus are both excellent arm friendly racquets, I only placed the Mid above the Midplus because it has significantly more weight – also it is very similar in specs to you Prince spectrum comp. I also like the prince EX03 and the Prince Tour ESP which is a lighter racquet and you might want to try that with some lead tape, you also might want to take a look at the Prince Rebel. I also noticed that the Prince comp has a very open string pattern 14 x 18 the Prince Tour ESP is 16 x 16 one of the most open string patterns in modern racquets. The Head racquets you mentioned are 18 x 20 which would make it more difficult to generate the spin you are used to with the open string patterns

      • joe wings says:

        I have been off for 1 year with tennis elbow. Every tennis shop I have gone to n tells me the” Wilson five blx “is the best. The reason is the rubber separating the head from the throat and handle. So far I only feel mild pain. My question is why is this racket not even mentioned on any tennis chat boards. Does anyone know about this racket? Is there something better out there?. Thank you. I’m a 4.0 that needs to go back to 3.5. Doubles player and i’m 60 y.o.

  • Paul Artard says:

    Hi Thomas. What do you think of the Head Protector racquet ?

  • Paulo says:

    Hi Thomas,
    What do you think about the new Head Graphene Speed family (PRO, MP and S). Are they arm frendly? Do you recommend any of them? Thank you.

  • Alan says:

    Thomas,

    I’d like to express my appreciation for the great website and advice. I’ve recently been suffering what seems to be the beginning stages of TE, from a combination of the AeroPro Drive GT 2012 (surprise, surprise!), dead polyester strings (this was my first time with poly), and poor technique (probably tired after whole weekend of play, and because the APD is so easy to hit with I wasn’t swinging properly near the end). I talked to some people and ended up changing racquets.

    Recently I demoed a Yonex EZONE Xi 98 and found the racquet to feel great, with characteristics (pattern, beam shape) outside of stiffness and weight, to be very similar to the APD. I’ve been hitting with it for several weeks now and it’s surprisingly been an experience in game improvement. I’ve been improving my technique steadily and the spin and power has come back, even if the frame itself is not as “designed” for it as the APD. Link below for your reference.

    http://www.tennisexpress.com/YONEX-EZONE-Xi-98-Tennis-Racquet-26456

    I wanted to know your opinion of this racquet, as well as two multifilament strings: the Head RIP Control (17G) and the Prince Premier Attack (16G).

    I also have one more question – what are your thoughts about grip size? I’ve heard that improper grip size, mainly grips that are too large, exacerbate the existing problems of stiff frames and stiff strings. I’d been using a 4 1/4 (L2) previously and recently switched to 4 3/8 (L3) and found it much more comfortable. How much does a difference does grip size make?

    Thank you for your responses.

    - Alan

    • The Yonex EZONE Xi 98 is far from an arm friendly racquet although it is better than the AeroPro Drive GT 2012. The Prince Premier Attack (16G) is a good soft arm friendly string. Improper grip size can also contribute to arm problems I am not sure if too small or too big is worse but both are bad.

      • Alan says:

        Thank you Thomas. Just a few more questions for you.

        1. When you are looking up racquet specs you seem to have a preference for Tennis Express. Is there a specific reason you don’t use the ones given by Tennis Warehouse?

        2. What is your opinion of the Technifibre Tfight 315 LTD series? It comes in both 16×19 and 18×20 string patterns.

        Thanks for your input.

        Regards,
        Alan

        • I use a combination of sites including the manufactures but I lean towards tennisexpress because that is where my links are directed and they are a sponsor of my website, The Technifibre Tfight 315 LTD is a great racquet and at one time I had it in my top 10 list.

  • Chris says:

    I’m considering purchasing one of the Classic Reissued Racquets. The four under consideration are the Prince Response, The Prince Classic Graphite 100, The Volkl V1 and the Dunlop Muscle Weave. I’ve tried many of the newer technology frames and they have left me wanting. I developed moderate to severe TE while using the Babolat racquets (Nadal’s Black and Yellow) and it was exacerbated by using a Head Microgel racquet. I’ve also had to return to the 4 3/8 grip size as I think the 4 1/2 wasn’t doing me any favors. I’m also considering stringing at 50 lbs versus the 60-65 tension I have used with synthetic guts. Any suggestions?

    • The Prince Response is too stiff, and the Volkl V1 is too light but the Prince Graphite 100 and the Dunlop Muscle weave are worth a look Also the DUNLOP Biomimetic Max 200G is one of my top 10 arm friendly racquets

  • Connie says:

    I’m demoing the new Prince Warrior ESP 100 and so far love it. Your thoughts on its longer term impact with elbow issues?

    • The long term impact of using the Prince Warrior ESP 100 would not be good as it is very stiff. A racquet that is similiar but much more arm friendly is the PRINCE Tour 100T ESP

  • FiFi says:

    Is Head graphene radical MP an arm friendly than Head youtek IG radical MP? They seem almost identical but the string patterns are different and Graphene is just little lighter and little bit more head light.
    I’m switching from Head youtek Instinct s (head heavy) to an arm friendly Head rkt.
    Thank you for your help!

    • The 3 racquets that you are looking at Head graphene radical MP, Head youtek IG radical MP and the Head youtek Instinct are all good solid arm friendly racquets they are not top arm friendly racquets because they are a little too light. They are so close it is difficult to say which is best of the three, so if you have narrowed your search to these three I would go with the one that feels best for you/

  • Cem Soydemir says:

    Hi from Turkey. May I ask a question? Will you also advice Babolat Pure Storm GT (not the Ltd. version)? I have two racquets. One is Head Youtek ig Prestige S (after using it app. for 3 months with poly strings @ 55, I had a tennis elbow. Then I changed the strings with multifilament softer ones at a lower tension. And some ice treatment, excercises and rest, my TE is gone. Then I bought another racquet Head Graphene Instinct MP. My forearm started to sore again. I needed a lighter racquet(and a powerful one especially for serves, and I thought that I have pain on my forearm after 2 hours playing, and decided that it is because my prestige s is heavy for me) and that’s why bought the Instinct. But it seems that it gave me some pain again. I am thinking about Babolat for my new racquet of choice. On your list, I see BABOLAT New Pure Storm Limited GT but here in Turkey I couldn’t find that racquet. What is your advice on Pure Storm GT. And also what is your opinion about technifibre racquets. Can I find among them an armfriendl model. Thank you very much for your concern.

    • Yes I would recommend the BABOLAT New Pure Storm Limited GT Tennis Racquet as a top arm friendly racquet I would also recommend the Tecnifibre TFight 315 Ltd, but the racquet you are currently using the Head Youtek ig Prestige S is almost as arm friendly. Maybe you need something a lot more flexible like the Prince EX03 Tour.

  • Virginia says:

    My daughter is 11 and I would like to get an adult sized racquet for her. She is still small but I feel she has outgrown the junior racquets. What do you recommend for junior players who want an adult sized racquet without it being too heavy and overwhelming, at the same time being tennis arm friendly?

    • Interesting question! As an 11 year old unless balls are being hit to her very hard and she is playing at a very high level, then she could use a lighter racquet without arm problems so I would look for a racquet a bit lighter with a low swingweight than typical arm friendly racquets with all the other charactertistics of arm friendly racquets, particulary important would be to stick wth high flexibility. A racquet like this is not easy to find but I found a few that are readily available – these include the Pacific X Force Lite, the Prince EXO3 Tour Lite 100 and the Head YOUTEK Graphene Instinct Rev

  • Steve says:

    Hi, thanks for this website! I am currently suffering from wrist and occasionally shoulder pain (a previous injury) but no tennis elbow after ramping up to playing tennis 3-4 times a week. I started with a Babolat z-drive tour and recently upgraded to an Aero Pro Drive which I like but immediately identified that it caused more and different pain. Hence, your website to the rescue. Does your advice re racquets that avoid tennis elbow similarly apply to wrist and shoulder or there are there any subtleties I should consider? Many thanks.

    • Great question! Essentially elbow, shoulder and wrist pain are caused by force and torque being absorbed and transfered to your arm through your racquet. A stiffer frame absorbs less of the force because the dwell time is reduced, stiff frames result in shorter dwell time, thus higher Torque. A lighter racquet has less momentum and thus absorbs less impact forcing your arm to absorb more impact. So the most essential characteristics of an arm friendly racquet are heavy and flexible, along with a head light balance. All the frames recommended on http://tenniselbowracquet.com/tennis-racquets have all these characteristics at a minimum.

  • Víctor Doallo says:

    After several elbow problems playing regullarly with Babolat Pure Drive, I found your blog some time ago. I swaped to a Prince eox3 tour 100 and I have to say that I have noticed a real improve in my elbow problems that simple hace desapeared. During the last three months I hace been playing regullarly with the Prince and I really feel much better. Thus, I would like to sincere thank Thomas for all the information given in this blog. Almost everyone in my club has a look to it now. Thanks a lot. Víctor Doallo, Real Sociedad de Tenis Pompeia, Barcelona, Spain.

  • Rajesh says:

    i am developing a tennis elbow, thinking to switch from Head Ti S6 to Yonex RDiS 200 LIGHT Tennis Racquet…your thoughts please ??

    Cna you please throw some light on this ?

  • Alex Korea says:

    Hello from Seoul, S.Korea. Fantastic site and very informative.
    I used to play quite a bit in my middle school days and have started again after ~15 yrs. I had been using a Wilson Prostaff One 95 from a few yrs ago and its seems to be arm friendly, but lacks a bit of power (can use all the help i can get).

    Recently purchased a 2013 Babolat Aeorpro Drive (RPM blast @ 55) and i admit, got pulled in by Nadal’s endorsement and the flashy graphics. However, it’s simply too stiff for me.

    QSTNS:
    1.) Given Babolat racquets now uses ‘Cortex’, would the 2013 Babolat
    Aeropro TEAM be a better fit/option for me?
    2.) What are your thots on the 2012 Wilson Prostaff BLX 100 (i’m
    reading it lacks power) or Wilson Juice (as i’ve had some success
    with an older Prostaff already)

    Your thots appreciated, Alex

    • The Babolat Aeropro TEAM is only very slightly better than the 2013 Babolat Aeorpro Drive which is one of the worst racquets on the market for your arm. The 2012 Wilson Prostaff BLX 100 would be a lot better than those racquets. Wilson Juice would be alright if you use the one with the smaller 96in head size because it is heavier with a more flexible frame, you also might want to consider the Babolat Pure Storm

  • jan says:

    have played with a Wilson for a very long time. I just cracked my last Wilson. I started out with the hyper hammer 2.0 head size 115, when this racquet was no longer available I played with the Wilson k three head size 115. I am now demo Wilson BLX three head size 117. This racquet seems maybe a bit much for me to control. I am a USTA 4.0 tennis player. I play 5 to 6 days a week. Any suggestions as what racquet I should progress to. I need what every one wishes. Control, arm friendly and power.

  • Louise says:

    Hi Thomas

    I play tennis 6 a 8 hrs a week doubles with local competitons …. Love the game
    I have golfers elbow, and not from golf or tennis for 6months now.. tried to play tennis 4-5 times still hurts… Rotation of the arm is the issue … Last I played tennis I felt maybe my rocket is too top heavy.. Not sure.
    I play now with Yonix exonerated xi 107 (isometric) previous was the Dunlop aerogel hundred….
    I want to return badly very soon and wondering if I should change my racket….

    Please advise
    Thanks a million…
    Louise

    • The Yonex exonerated xi is a bad raquet for your arm too stiff and light the Dunlop Aerogel 1 hundred was a good arm friendly racquet but is out of production. I would refer you to my top 10 list and suggest you try one of those.

      • Nic says:

        Hi, love your website! My coach says that I should not use a denser string pattern like 18×20 since it puts more strain on my elbow. He recommends 16X18 or 16×19. What is your thoughts on this?

        • I think it is a small factor that helps the racquet play more flexible, but a much bigger factor is the flexibility of the frame itself. The less dense string pattern also makes it easier to impart more spin on your shots. Interestingly Prince has a new line of racquets ESP for extreme spin potential all 16×16 string patterns. I am particularly interested in the Prince Tour 98 ESP as the specs are quite arm-friendly.

  • Virginia says:

    Need some advice! I have been perusing your site and other websites for tennis elbow friendly racquets. I am a female 4.0 player who is on the petite side. I have been told that most of these racquets you recommended to me are way too heavy and are for 5+ larger male players. Is this true, and if so, can you please recommend to me a good racquet for a petite female player that isn’t as heavy (low 11.0 oz strung) but meets all your other criteria? I am just coming back to tennis after four months of rest and physical therapy and want to make sure I get the right equipment! I was previously using a Wilson Juice 100. Thanks!!!

    • You can try the Head YOUTEK Radical MP, it has all the other criteria of an arm friendly racquet but is only 11oz strung.

      • Virginia says:

        Thanks! I will check it out. Also, does grip size have anything to do with elbow/arm pain? I used to play with a 4 3/8, but I do have smaller hands and moved down to a 4 1/8 (double overgrip it). I developed the tennis elbow using the double-gripped 4 1/8. I thought it might be grip size so I was planning to move to a 4 1/4. What are your thoughts on grip size?

  • Lew says:

    Hi Thomas – I just got back into tennis after 6 year layoff. I’m 58 but have played the since I was 13. Now a 3.5 level player but can hang with players 20 years younger. Good control player, one-handed backhand, good top spin, not a lot of power. Always have had arm issues. Playing with Prince Scream 110 from 6 years ago and arm is killing me. Like the bigger frame because I’m not as fast as I used to be. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  • Pat says:

    What do you think of the following as far as elbow-friendly goes:

    PK Black Ace 98
    PK Redondo 98
    PK Q Tour

    Cheers :)

  • ron says:

    So my wife has a a bad case of tennis elbow and is reluctant to stop playing. She is currently using a 2010 babolat Aero Pro Drive and she likes it a lot. I recently got 4 demos from your list and she doesn’t like any of them. the grip size on all of the racquets were 4 and 3/8 which is too big for her. Secondly, they are all heavier than her current racquet. She tried the Prince tour, Babolat, Dunlop, and wilson. @ of the racquets had leather grips and i think that also affected her decision. I have told her that I don’t want to hear anymore about the elbow if she is not going to try a more arm friendly racquet. What is your take on her current racquet. I know the weight is 11.1 and the rdc is a 74 both of these are less of an arm friendly racquet.

    • I agree with you she needs to get used to a more arm friendly racquet the babolat Aero Pro Drive is one of the worst. I’ve seem more complaints about arm problems from users of that racquet than any.

      • ron says:

        my wife is demo-ing the Head Youtek Graphene Instinct MP . would you consider this an arm-friendly racquet? I see a lot of Head racquets on your list, but not specifically the Instinct. she will also be demo-ing the Dunlop Biomemetic 6.0 and the Wilsom Five BLX–do you consider those two arm friendly? She is small size (5.0, 100 lbs) and want to feel similar “power” like she did when she used the Babolot APD.

        • The Babolot APD is one of the worst racquets on the market for tennis elbow, the Head Youtek Graphene Instinct MP is slightly better but not much better, the Dunlop Biomemetic 6.0 and the Wilsom Five BLX are both very arm friendly. You are going to need to sacrifice power for a racquet that is more arm friendly and has more control and feel you can get back some power with elastic strins and low tension

  • Laurie says:

    Hi I have been very stubborn about changing racquets and have been using Wilson 6.4 Hammer 95 racquets for years. I am a female, 4.0 player, with lots of top spin. I have been battling tennis elbow now for over a year and now believe it is the racquets. I was wondering if your listed weights for arm friendly racquets were geared more for male players, or does this not matter? I am looking for a comparable feel to my trusty old racquets but need something elbow friendly. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • The Wilson Hammer Racquets are really bad for your arm in large part because of their head heavy balance, you need to switch to a racquet with a head light balance even if it is heavier than your racquet it you will be able to swing it easier and quicker.

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