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Stiff vs flexible – tennis racquets

by TN

Stiff or flexible – don’t break your racquet in rage like Baghdatis does in the pic.

I’ve tested loads of racquet during the years. For review purposes as well as “could this be the Holy Grail?” purposes. I’ve wandered from 90-inch to 100-inch head sizes, from stiff, light and powerful frames like Babolat Aero Pro Drives to flexy, heavy and control-oriented sticks like the 20-year old Head Pro Tour. It’s been a fun, but also frustrating ride. Racquet testing/collecting can become a drug and even though it’s fun also contra-productive to improving your tennis. Which is what’s hopefully at the top of your mind.

Before I started really researching around tennis equipment I had no idea what flexible, stiff or RA ratings meant. I didn’t know what a multifilament string or a co-poly meant for the racquet. I strung all my racquets too high because I thought I couldn’t control the ball otherwise. Now, after many years of testing and playing, I’ve made some learnings around racquets. I will list some of them below, if you disagree – let me know!

* Stiff racquets (high RA rating) can be bad for your elbow/arm/wrist. But this depends on a lot of things – what strings you have in the frame, how solid your technique is, if you’re tired when you play and mishit a lot, the size of the sweetspot of the racquet, etc. etc.

* A “modern” racquet is usually a light, stiff and powerful racquet. The idea is that power and spin makes you feel like a race car or ATP pro player when you hit a good shot. But what it can do is teach you improper technique – aka “arming” the ball, AND give you tennis elbow, tender wrist etc. It doesn’t have to work like that and you’ll find professionals that use relatively light sticks (Nadal for example), but you should be aware of this IF you feel pain.

* A heavy and flexible racquet can be more demanding to play with as you need to put more into your shot. However, it teaches you to hit more with “your body” than your arm and it gives you a feeling of “cupping” the ball (dwell time in the string bed), which to a lot of players is described as “better feel”.

I do worry about a whole generation of young players growing up playing with light and stiff frames. There is a large risk that this will contribute to arm/elbow/wrist problems which might reduce a tennis career quite a bit. Now that most larger manufacturers seems to lean towards these kind of racquets, we need to educate players about the risks of what might seem like a fun ride, but could end up with injury.

So my advice is typically traditional. Play with a flexible frame (lower RA than 65) that feels good in your hand, that you can wield for 90 minutes of play without problems but that has the most heft you can handle. Don’t believe the marketing hype about fantastic technologies that will improve your game. The fact is that most ATP professionals use frames that are at least ten years old if not more. It’s the frame they grew up with and they’re obviously not changing such a big part of their life every year. That’s what’s called a paint job.

If you want advice on what model you should buy or demo, don’t hesitate to write your question in the comment field. And last but not least, enjoy your tennis! (Injury free).

Here are some arm-friendly racquets that are great for a broad group of players:

Prince TexTreme Tour 100P – the TexTreme series is one of the best lines of racquets of recent years and I used the Prince Textreme Tour 95 for a long time strung and was very happy with it until racquetholism struck again and I started buying more racquets.

ProKennex QTour racquets – ProKennex has really managed to develop an arm-friendly line of racquets thanks to their “kinetic technology” with sand moving around inside the racquet. I was a big fan of their ProKennex Redondo MP and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the brand.

Volkl racquets are remarkably comfortable – why not check out the Super G series or the classic C10 Pro or Powerbridge mid?

Racquet makers like Wilson and Head are now trying to create more dampening into their racquets thanks to Countervail and Graphene Touch materials. Definitely worth checking out those racquets as well, but for supreme arm-friendliness and playability I would go with ProKennex, Prince or Volkl.

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39 comments

Simeon May 14, 2015 - 09:14

Hey, I’m looking for advice on my future tennis racket choice. Currently, I’m wielding an APD GT and Volkl PB 10, and just like you said the APD is hurting my technique (more than my hand, although it’s strung with prince beast and everything I read about poly’s was that it’s not recommended at all for players below 3.5-4.0 level). Meanwhile, I like the Volkl, but when playing longer time the weight of the frame seem to get to me.

At the moment, I’m looking at youtek ig extreme pro 2.0 for my next choice, since I also like to try out head rackets; however, there is no option for me to demo different rackets, thus I rely mainly on what I read on different sites. Having that in mind, I would really appreciate your input on flexier, not ultra heavy frames I could possibly look up.

That, and also some string set ups and tensions. I’m looking try out a full bed of soft co-poly at the moment, having Solinco Tour Bite 18 (1.15) or Volkl Cyclone Tour 17 (1.25) in mind. TennisWarehouse lists them at 162 and 171 stiffness rating. Maybe a hybrid with synt gut?

Anyway, any feedback is much appreciated

Reply
Tennisnerd May 14, 2015 - 12:00

Hi,
Understand your issue, sometimes the APD can be devilishly easy to use, but a few guys I’ve coached seems to be more prone to arming the ball with that kind of racquet. What Völkl do you use, the midplus or the mid? I’ve found that Völkl produce great arm-friendly racquets, but when I’ve played them I’ve previously struggled with either too much flex or the grip shape.

There is one racquet that lots of players of various like for it’s flex (RA 58) and possibility to customize it to your preferred specs and that is the Microgel Radical MP. The weight is 295 grams unstrung and it’s rather low powered. What you can do is put a leather grip, add some lead tape at 3 and 9 for stability and/or 12 for power and play around until you find a combination that suits you. Then you wouldn’t have to keep changing racquets, but can change strings, weight etc. Cheaper and lets you focus more on the game.

Racquets are obviously highly personal affairs so there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. If you like the firmer/stiffer feel, the Extreme pro 2.0 is a great choice. My hitting buddy uses this one strung up with a Babolat string hybrid of Hurricane and VS Team and has no arm pains.

Head racquets are great. I myself play with the pro stock Head TGK 231.3 (Head Microgel Radical MP) in 16×19 pattern and the 20-year-old Head Pro Tour 630 and love them.

Hope you find a good racquet for you. If you don’t like to swing too much weight, start light and build up using leather grip (if you like that), silicone in the handle, and lead tape. Then you can play around with strings.

Good luck on the court! /J

Reply
RICARDO SOARES January 29, 2017 - 01:27

Hi!
I’m 36 years old intermediate player,and looking for new tennis racquet because of a cronic tennis elbow:(

I now play with a Wilson Blade 18×20(2015),with Wilson NXT multifilament strings at low tension.
But, even so, I got pain after every hour of practice/game.

For what I can understand from your good articles,I need :
-a slighly lighter and wider Frame(100?104?)
-less stiff than my actual(less than 65?)
-more headight (4/5 HL points?)

I would like an opinion on my case.

Can you recomend some 2/3 racquets to test before making another “mistake”?

My coach is now making some corrections on my technique,but in my case, I don’t thing that is the main reason for my tennis elbow…

Thank you

Reply
Tennisnerd January 30, 2017 - 08:57

Hi Ricardo,
Nice to hear from you, but sad to hear about your tennis elbow.

A few things to think about:
* Did you use another racquet before? And did you notice the same pains there?
* How long have you suffered from tennis elbow?
* Great that you’re working on technique, more often a slight change in how you hit the ball – using body more, working on torso rotation, relaxed stroke, etc is going to help your pain.
* The Blade 98 is a great racquet, but it has been known to create aches and pains for certain players. I would definitely look into a ProKennex Ki Q racquet in around the same spec range. ProKennex are great racquets and the technology actually works.
* The new Prince Textreme series is also a very arm-friendly bunch of sticks – the TexTreme 100P could be a great option for you. Also, the old Prince Tour 100 (or EXO3) series is super-flexible and has saved loads of arms.
* Otherwise I would check out the Pacific BX2 X Force which has a very low stiffness rating (RA 58).
* If you’re desperate to stick with the Blade – the new Countervail version is a bit more muted and comfortable, but for your elbow’s sake I would go with a ProKennex, Prince or Pacific (it’s all in the P).

Regards to your questions: Going lighter is not going to help in my opinion, might be the other way around. A more head light racquet is recommended, but not strictly necessary. The size of the frame may have an impact, a larger hitting surface will likely make you hit the sweet spot more often and avoid shanking or mis-hitting which will send a jolt to your joints.

Good luck and keep me posted on how it goes!

Cheers / Jonas

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Eduardo Palis January 31, 2017 - 22:47

Hello, Thanks for this very informative article!

A little bit of my background:
I played from 8 to 14yo and never had problems with shoulder or wrist pain
From my 8-12 I playd with a Volkl Organix, that my grandpa used to play and then from 12-14 he got me my first racquet which I chose, Babolat Pure Drive, that was in 2004 maybe. I liked Roddick, oh well… haha

At 20 I fell on my shoulder playing volleyball and never looked into it, when I did there was nothing really there, just a minor issue.

At 22 I started playing again with my babolat that I looked it up and has a 72 flex rating. Of course, I had shoulder, wrist and thumb issues. The pain always comes 24-48h after playing and it can last more than a week.

So I knew I had to change my gear and so I did, after a lot of study I decided to get the Prince Exo3 Tour 100 16×18 and I always string it with multifilament such as yonex super tour 850 and at the lowest tension.

My shoulder is Ok now, but I cant play 3 times a week or more and after a few minutes of hitting the ball my arm can get tired and the ball just dies, I hit with a lot of spin but my ball doesnt have depth and specially after a few minutes the ball is completely dead after hitting my racquet.
Is the frame to flexible? What can I do to improve my game?
The problem is my forehand. Thats the only thing

Now that you know my background and my gear, what would you reccomend?

Thanks,
Eduardo Palis

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Tennisnerd February 1, 2017 - 11:35

Hi Eduardo, thanks for your comment.

It’s hard to suggest something without seeing your technique. How did you get pain in your thumb? Are you gripping your racquet too tight maybe? It’s important to have a loose grip and a fluid motion where you’re whole upper body gets involved. The Prince Exo3 Tour 100 is a great racquet for people with tennis elbow, but it is very, very flexible and could attribute to you not getting much court clearance if you hit with a lot of top spin. Have you tried hitting the ball with a more flat stroke to see how it affects your arm? Some juniors are taught tennis with a very extreme top spin and it can be dangerous to arms and elbows if done slightly incorrectly.

If you’re considering changing your racquet, I would try hitting with the Prince TexTreme 100P if you can get a hold of one. It is a little bit stiffer and gives you more power, but is still relatively arm-friendly.

If you’re not already doing it, I would consider going to a coach to see if there are anything you can improve in your technique. That is always helpful for all levels of players.

I’ve had all kinds of pains over the years and one thing that has helped me stay on the courts is conditioning in the gym. That really makes tennis more fun and makes you stay healthy.

Let me know how it goes! Good luck on the courts / Jonas

Reply
Eduardo Palis February 1, 2017 - 17:33

Hey, Jonas!
Thanks for replying in such a short notice.

The Pain on my thumb/ Wrist is probably provenient from the shoulder issue that I deal with.
Its not a problem nowadays.

I think you touched on a crucial point there, I dont have good cardio right now so when I get tired my form probably suffers, I know it does. My feet dont move as fast and when I get to the ball my arm has to do all the work.

I Think I should work on that first and then see about a new racquet. I should do some strength training as well as cardio.

I was also looking some other racquets besides the one you recommended such as the Yonex Duel G97 and Ezone DR 98 as well as ProKennex KI Q Tour and PRO KENNEX Ki Q5 315.
What input can you give me on those?

As far as my grip, When I try to change it the ball flies away to the other court haha.
Its very difficult to change now, I have a semi western grip and to go to eastern is very hard for me.

Thanks,
Eduardo Palis

Reply
Tennisnerd February 2, 2017 - 15:34

Hi again Eduardo,
Sounds like cardio and fitness training might be the solution to your problem. It really does make tennis more fun and will for sure improve your results if you just stick with it. Also, better tennis results is a great reason to be motivated to visit the gym or take that run.

Start with training and then you can check for different racquets. All the racquets you mention are good and relatively arm-friendly. You’ll for sure notice a lot more power compared to your Prince racquet. The ProKennex are probably the most arm-friendly racquets of the bunch, but if you use a multifilament string in your Yonex options, you should get a comfortable ride. You might experience that you get too much power initially, but if you hit with a lot of spin and racquet head speed, that shouldn’t bother you.

If you’re comfortable with your grip, there is no need to change, but going to a tennis coach for a few sessions is always a great way to get a grip on your game and how you can evolve.

Good luck! Cheers / Jonas

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RICARDO SOARES February 6, 2017 - 00:29

Hi,Jonas!

Thank you for your detailed reply!

Trying to give you an more open “view” about my situation:

-I had an accident and broke my shoulder all over e years ago.Very masty,very bad…
-I played a loot of tennis when young,even competition
-I restarted about one year ago(and 1 year affer accident)
-I never had elbow issues when I eas young

So, we can think it’s pretty much obvious that could be a “forever” tennis elbow due to my recent shoulder issues.

In that matter, I’m afraid to get another bunch of new racquets and turning out the same problems.
The ProKennex,Prince and Pacific specs you gave me are a lot identical to my Blade 18×20 2015.
And one of the main problem is indeed the weigh.
During a game, and above all, I always feel my arm tired,even more than elbow pain.

So,could you give me some lighter weight solutions,with lowest stiffness and 100 midplus?
I like Wilsons and would love to stay in “home”…
Are the L series a good option(Blade 98S and LS,Burn 100 LS,etc…)?

Best regards,Jonas!

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Tennisnerd February 6, 2017 - 10:01

Hi Ricardo,
I’m a big fan of the Blade 2015, but got some wrist issues in the end and it made me move away from it. What strings are you using?

If you want a lighter Wilson, I would look into two racquets mainly:

The new Wilson Burn 100 with Countervail – my hitting partner, a full-time tennis coach and ex-player, has been using this for a month or two and he’s absolutely in love with it. It really hits a nice ball in a rather light package and the Countervail really helps to reduce the shock.

The Blade 98S is not bad, but I would probably try the Blade 104 – really low weight, low stiffness, big sweet spot. It could be perfect for you. If you want it more head light you can put a little lead or silicone/blu tack in the handle to get it to your preferred spec.

And this racquet weighs 305 grams strung so you it’s lighter and less stiff than your current Blade. I’m actually surprised that I don’t see this racquet used a lot more. A lot of players really need and benefit from a bigger sweet spot.

Hope this gives you some guidance. Please keep in mind that the strings you use is a very important factor in the racquet.

Good luck and let me know how it goes. Cheers / J

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RICARDO SOARES February 6, 2017 - 23:01

Hi,Jonas!

Thank you once again for your thoughts on my situation:)

I always use multifilament,like Babolat Xcell and Wilson NXT,at 22 kgs of tension.

It’s very curious that you advice the Blade 104!
I was always wondering the same thing you refer:why there is only the Williams sisters to use that racquet??
By the specs, it could be a “dream stick” for all of us with arm issues,because of the low stifness and large sweetspot.

This week I will demo the Prince Extreme P,Yonex Dr 100, Blade 98S and that Burn 100LS you refer too.
I didn’t get yet in the court with them,but it seems that specially the Prince has the same weight than my actual Blade 18×20.
Yonex seems pretty comfortable!
The Burn 100LS looks pretty attractive too,but I notice the high stifness on the specs online…Let’s see in the court.

Correct me if I’m thinking wrong, but for arm issues situations like mine, we must get a stick that we can deal with in 1h30,2h match with no tiredness.That’s what I’ve been looking for.

All the best,Jonas!

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Yuri March 26, 2017 - 03:00

Hello, Congratulations on your article! In my country there is no experimentation / racket test.

What is your opinion about Head Graphene XT Prestige S? Is she friendly to the arm? Is it a good racket? Or are there even better options? I almost do not see people mentioning it as an example, but their rigidity is low as well as the most cited in the market …

Thanks,
Best regards

Reply
Tennisnerd March 26, 2017 - 08:05

Hi Yuri,
Thanks! If you’re looking for an arm-friendly racquet with lots of precision, the Head Graphene XT Prestige S could be a good choice. It is very low-powered however so you might want to string low and add some lead at 3/9 or 12 o’clock to get some more power.

Other arm-friendly options that I can recommend:
Tecnifibre Tfight 315 Ltd
Yonex DR 98
Prince Textreme Tour 95

You’ll find articles about these racquets on Tennisnerd. They are all good control racquets with arm-friendly feel.

Good luck in your decision and let me know how it goes. Cheers / Jonas

Reply
Jose April 10, 2017 - 19:43

Hello, Thank you for all the great information here!!

I am an intermediate player, 47 y.o. and have already suffered from tennis elbow and, more recently, from a shoulder injury. I play with a head microgel Radical that is around 7 years old, and my instructor said I might look for something more arm friendly.

After reading your article and several reviews, I am debating among the Yonex ezone DR 98 and the ProKennex Ki Q+Tour (300) but I can’t test them where I live.

Any particular area where you consider one being better than the other? Anything else that could help me decide?

Thank you!!

Jose

Reply
Tennisnerd April 11, 2017 - 07:02

Hi Jose,
Thanks for the feedback and sorry to hear about your tennis elbow.

The Head Microgel Radical series is rather soft for the arm, especially the MP (the Pro version is stiffer, but not unhealthily so). If you like the racquets you’re using I would look into using a softer string perhaps? Here are some soft string suggestions:

Softer polyester: Volkl Cyclone Tour, Solinco Tour Bite Soft, Weisscannon Silverstring
Multifilament string (usually gives less spin): Tecnifibre X-One Biphase, Wilson NXT, Prince Premier Touch, or Head Intellitour.

Otherwise I think both choices you mention are good racquets. ProKennex are known for the arm-friendliness and might be the safer bet, but since I’m myself using the Yonex AI/DR 98, I find it hard NOT to recommend that racquet strung in a low tension with a Yonex Poly Tour Pro.

Please remember that the string choice and the tension you string it with is a large part of your tennis experience. Also, if pain persists, maybe it’s time to adjust your technique a little to make it easier for your tendons? Hitting a modern forehand with lots of top spin is usually quite nasty on the elbows, but hitting the shot flatter with a relaxed swing can help.

Good luck and let me know how it goes / Jonas

Reply
Jose April 18, 2017 - 20:43

Thank you, Jonas! You made me think about my current racquets, but after looking at them I believe I’ll follow you with the Yonex DR 98.

Regarding Strings and tension, I thought about getting Wilson NXT with 50 lbs (range is 45 to 60). Is that something you would agree with or it might be too low for my intermediate game? (I’m afraid of loosing control)

Thanks again!

Jose

Reply
Tennisnerd April 27, 2017 - 13:16

Hi Jose, didn’t see your comment until now. You can’t go wrong with a DR or AI 98, I’m sold myself. Selling a blacked-out DR 98 at the moment, because I already have three AIs that I’m sticking with.

In terms of strings for the AI and DR 98, I’d definitely try the Yonex Poly Tour Pro after trying a few different options myself. NXT is okay as well, 50 lbs shouldn’t be too low, but I’d still try a softer poly like the Yonex PTP.

Good luck and let me know how it goes! Cheers / Jonas

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Danny April 21, 2017 - 18:33

Hey, looking for some advice, I’m a 4.5 rated player, 33 years old, been playing my entire life. For 10 years up until 2014, I was using the Prince Warrior, the white one that Rafter used. I switched to Babolat Pure Strike 3 years ago to get some more pop. Have had elbow/upper arm issues since switching, tried softer strings, lower tension, nothing works. I know I need to use a more flexible frame, and will happily give up on some of the pace I’ve enjoyed from the Pure Strike in the interest of saving my arm. Should I go back to prince? I’ve been told Dunlop and Volkl may be good options. Looking forward to your feedback.

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Tennisnerd April 22, 2017 - 18:19

Hi Danny,
Yes, the Babolat Pure Strike is a stiff racquet! Some players have likened it to a board.

I have a few recommendations for flexible racquets:

Tecnifibre Tfight 315 Ltd 16×19 – a personal favorite – very arm-friendly and versatile.
Prince Textreme Tour 100P or 95 – soft, controlled, great feel.
Yonex Ai 98 (or DR98) – the racquet I’m currently using for tournament play. Strung with Yonex Poly Tour Spin – it plays beautifully and no pain whatsoever.

If you’re looking for truly arm-friendly you can also check out ProKennex racquets, but the above three should serve you well.

Let me know how it goes.

Cheers / Jonas

Reply
Judi October 8, 2017 - 22:00

Hi –

I began playing tennis this year. I bought a Head Instinct Rev and all seemed well, until I suddenly got tennis-elbow.

I’ve since demo’d two other racquets: Wilson Triad 5 and Head MXG 3. They are both easier on my arm than the Instinct, but they seem to have less control.

I’m finding the process of finding a right-fit racquet pretty frustrating – given the multiple variables impacting (no pun intended) a racquet’s comfort, the many different ‘comfort’ racquets on the market, plus makers’ differing technologies. Although I can discern distinguish differences among the racquets I’ve tried, I’m not at a level where I can go “yes, This is the one.”

Do you have any views on the Triad 5 or MXG 3? Or, more generally, how to simplify choosing a comfort racquet?

Thanks!

Reply
Tennisnerd October 9, 2017 - 12:22

Hi Judi,
Yeah, the Instinct is a stiff line of racquets and finding the right one for you is a demanding and time-consuming process for sure. You’re definitely not alone!

Since you’re quite new to the sport I would definitely not use a stiff racquet with stiff strings. Low-powered racquets are better in my view since they will help you achieve proper technique since you won’t get power for free. Here’s a few racquets I would look at:

Prince Phantom 100 (previous models such as Prince Tour 100 and Exo 3 Tour 100 are similar – super comfort!).
HEAD Microgel Radical Midplus or Oversize (older racquets that are still available at Tennis Warehouse.
HEAD Graphene Touch Extreme Lite (if you’re looking for a newer and ligther racquet, this is pretty comfortable).

It’s important that you don’t start out playing with polyester strings since those are inherently stiff as well. A multifilament string or synthetic gut string will be much more comfortable for your elbow.

My general advice for finding your racquet is obviously to test it, but if you can’t do that, I’d definitely try to find a racquet with a RA value in the low 60s or high 50s and string it with a multifilament string. That should keep you sorted for a while.

Let me know how it goes!

PS. My general advice on the MxG 3 is that it’s a decent racquet, but it’s quite powerful and I always urge people to learn how to generate their own power. DS.

Regards / Jonas

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Geoff November 18, 2017 - 20:28

I have lifters/golfers elbow and my partner tennis elbow. We play with the Wilson Juice 108 (replaced by the ultra 108 but both still available). We are used to the 108 head size but thinking of getting a less stiff/more flexible racquet. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks, Geoff

Reply
Tennisnerd November 20, 2017 - 13:22

Hi,
Ouch! It’s not always the racquet but the technique or physique, but if you’re looking for a softer alternative that still has some of the qualities of the Juice/Ultra 108, I’d get the Prince Textreme Warrior 107. It’s a great frame. Cheers / Jonas

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Troy Green February 5, 2018 - 16:09

What would you recommend that comes close to a wilson prostaff 6.1 stretch 95. The flexibility and weight (heavy) are ideal for me and I would like something comparable that is more current. Thanks!

Reply
Tennisnerd February 6, 2018 - 15:47

Hi Troy,
It’s not easy to find 95 sq inch extended length racquets these days. If you can consider going up in head size, I would maybe try a VCORE SV 98+ with a leather grip to make it more head light. You could order your desired specs with Angell tennis for example and get a frame that matches your desired specs. There is also prostocktennis.com where you can find extra length pro stock racquets with similar specs to the Prostaff 6.1 95 Stretch. It depends how close you want to be to that racquet of course.

Cheers / Jonas

Reply
Georger March 31, 2018 - 19:32

Hi Jonas

I am George and I am from South Africa.

I have been playing with the Prince Tour 100 the last few years and really love it. However, recently I am experiencing pain in my wrist after plaining, especially long matches. My technique is likely part of the problem, but I also think the Prince is quite a long racquet and not very flexible for net play. I have been playing a lot of doubles and worked on improving my volleys.

I am thinking of trying a lighter and more flexible racquet but don’t want to comprimise the great balance and control that I enjoy from the Prince. I am serving great with the Prince and my single handed backhand has never been better. Any suggestions? Babolat Pure Drive perhaps?

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Tennisnerd April 3, 2018 - 20:55

Hi George,
Thanks for your comment. I think your wrist problem has a lot to do with technique. I used to have wrist pain from playing with heavy (360 grams) racquets with leather grips and full poly, but I could see now that my technique back then didn’t help. Try relaxing your wrist and letting your shot come from your legs and the rotation of the upper body instead. This should help.

Sometimes flexible racquets can lead to various other problems such as adjusting your swing to increase the lack of power. I don’t think a Pure Drive is the answer because that would be a real contrast to your game. If you like Prince you could try the Prince Textreme Tour 100P or T or even the new Phantom Pro 100P. All of them are solid racquets.

If you want a lot more power, the Pure Drive is an option, but that is a very stiff racquet and no matter what your pain is coming from, it might aggravate an underlying injury. If you could demo one, I’d urge you to do that. But adding some weight to the hoop of your Tour 100 might solve some stability issues from frequent volleying with your racquet. Try adding lead tape at 3 and 9 and see what happens! Maybe you won’t need a new racquet after all?

Also, what strings do you use? This always make a big difference to your game and to the playability of the racquet.

For now I’d suggest you to trying to stick with the racquet and trying various changes in customization and strings as well as going to a coach for some technical adjustments to your game. I think you’ll find you’ll get rid of the wrist pain and find a setup to enjoy for years to come.

Good luck! Cheers / Jonas

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matt bray May 20, 2018 - 18:12

Hey Jonas

I am a new player (2 months in) I play with a wilson pro staff 97ULS, which i like very much. even though i am very new i love the game and am playing about 4-5 times a week, however, i often have a sore wrist, sometimes so bad i have to stop playing and take a few days off.

should i go with a heavier version of the 97 with counterveil? or should i consider a totally different racquet altogether? i do like the look and play of my racquet but dont want to have this wrist plain the whole time.

thanks!
matt

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Tennisnerd May 21, 2018 - 08:35

Hi Matt,
I think the stiffness of the racquet might be bothering you. What do you string it with? Seeing a coach to see if there is something in your technique is generally a good idea. Maybe you’re wristing your shots too much? Otherwise a less stiff, slightly heavier racquet might help. A heavier racquet won’t twist as much in your hands either on impact.

You should demo or test a heavier racquet and see if it feels better. Good luck! Cheers / J

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Rajat December 26, 2018 - 13:23

Hello, I am currently using pure strike whose flex rating is 70 which is causing some pain. Please suggest me advance tennis racquet weigh between 300-315 , very flexible , >100. I am one hander and how is textreme 95?.

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Tennisnerd December 27, 2018 - 09:16

Hi Rajat,
The Pure Strike is quite stiff. I would definitely try the Prince Textreme Tour 95 or Prince Beast 98 (lighter). They are both more comfortable. The Angell K7 Red is also a good option.

Cheers / Jonas

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Sagnik October 1, 2019 - 02:33

Hi there! Read your article, thanks for all the information. I have a request. I have a Yonex Ezone 98 strung at 56 lbs. It feels pretty stiff genrally on my forehands and gives me quite some wrist discomfort from time to time. Can you point out what can be tweaked? Else, suggest some racquet (string tip definitely would be appreciated) suggestion in the 295g-320g range I’d say. Thanks in advance. Cheers.

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Tennisnerd October 1, 2019 - 07:19

Hi,
Thanks. The Yonex Ezone 98 is a pretty stiff racquet. You could go with a softer string such as Solinco Tour Bite Soft or Luxilon Smart string or you could drop tension down to 50 lbs. 56 is too high for that racquet.

Softer racquets that still offer you good playability: Angell K7 Red, Wilson Clash 98.

Cheers / Jonas

PS. If you feel like my advice is really useful, please consider becoming a patron for $2 at patreon.com/tennisnerd and get exclusive content every week. DS.

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Sagnik October 1, 2019 - 17:12

Thanks a lot for your advice Jonas! Cheers!

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Meredith Priestley June 7, 2020 - 22:57

I am a 60 year old 4.0 woman, playing only doubles and have been playing with the APD GT for 10 years. I am getting less strong but still love it as it suits my power game. Recently my wrist bone is enlarged and can be painful. Although I had been taking the FH late (probably cause of wrist problem?) I thought it best to find a more forgiving racket. I switched to the Vokyl VFeel 8 (285 grams). I also went 2 sizes down in grip size as I’ve been using a 4 1/2″ grip. Immediately got tennis elbow-plus didn’t like the lack of stability at net. Now purchased the Angell V3 TC100 (4 3/8″ grip). Feels good, but missing the ability to pull shots in on the run, and been shanking volleys. Plus only getting decent power in one out of 10 shots. I am bummed as I thought this would be the answer? Can you help?

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jordan June 11, 2020 - 01:22

i’m new to tennis, play for a year by now, i played with old head youtek speed mp 315, too heavy strung weight 350g and hard to maneuverable. bought head 360+ speed pro n mp and play nicely without any issue with hybrid and crossfire at 45/50lbs. Now i got a cheap BABOLAT pure drive team 2003 and strung with polyster at 50lbs, then i started to have issue with wrist/elbow/shoulder, but after 10g of silicone at handle n 4g lead at 10/12 o’clock it plays nicely with minimal pain but lack some power. i need opinion on my wrist/shoulder/elbow is it caused by the stiff polyester string? will the pain goes away if i strung a polyster again at 45lbs, cant resists the spin potential of poly. Thank you

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Tennisnerd June 11, 2020 - 08:19

I think it is a combination of a stiff racquet with a stiff string, but can also be related to the technique of course. Hitting the ball late or off-center is the most common cause. That is why I can’t say if the pain will go away, but try stringing it lower or try a softer polyester (Solinco Tour Bite Soft/Volkl Cyclone Tour) and see how it goes. Good luck / J

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Marcin November 15, 2020 - 13:23

Hi, I guess I am an intermediate player. I am 45yo sporty, really skinny at 66-67 kilos and 176cm, light skeleton thin wrists, thin ankles some muscles, skin and thats it. Started to play (3-5 times a week) more or less 10 years ago, no elbow problems. I have played with babolat pure drive team which is a light 285 grams stiff stick. Recently started to search for something new and tried Prince Tour 100T ESP 300 grams unstrung. I love the soft feeling of this racket, good stroke control but have to say that I feel some pain in my back and arm muscles which are more tense now. Do you think I should keep using light frame and avoid the heavier one due to my body parameters? Will the light 285 grams stiff frame harm me in the long run?

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BRIAN M MOWAT July 14, 2021 - 00:32

I’m having a hard time finding a replacement racket before I break one. I want the closest feel to a Wilson Surge Hypercarbon 5.1/100.
Any idea?

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