Arm-friendly tennis racquets

NOTE: A revised version of this post for 2011 resides on our new blog, GGT Extra.  Click Here for instant transport to the updated version.

Customers and those who frequent our web resources are acutely aware of our desire to help educate customers about equipment related tennis elbow.  We have frequently blogged about both healthy and unhealthy strings as well as racquet frames.  As a result we get a number of email and telephone questions about arm-friendly equipment.  One of our more popular pieces that generates these calls is titled “Tennis Elbow Relief” and it appears on our main website.  If you have a few minutes and are interested it presents an overview and shares some of our beliefs and opinions.

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 11oz 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 April 25, 2010. This list is not exhaustive, but represents a place for those seeking arm-friendly racquets to begin their playtesting.


Kneissl Black Star – (No longer in production, but we have a few left in stock.  Note, the new 2010 version does not make our list)
ProKennex Black Ace – 93″ & 98″ headizes, 18 mains.
ProKennex Redondo – Mid and Midplus
ProKennex Ki5
ProKennex Heritage Type R
Pacific X Force
Pacific X Force Pro
ProKennex Heritage Type C
Avery M5 OS
Avery M3 Control
Boris Becker 11, Special edition
Head Microgel Radical MP and OS
Volkl DNX 10 Mid
Volkl Power Bridge 10 mid
Wilson K Factor Kobra Tour


Babolat Pure Storm Ltd. GT
Avery M3 Power
Boris Becker 11 Mid
The Natural (two handled racquet, available through Guts and Glory Tennis!)
Dunlop Aerogel 4D 200 Tour
Head Liquidmetal Radical OS
Prince OZone Tour MP
Prince Ex03 Rebel 95
Wilson KBlade Team
Wilson Six.One Team BLX
Wilson K Factor Kobra Team FX


Babolat Pure Storm/Pure Storm Tour/Pure Storm Tour GT
Boris Becker Delta Core Legend
Dunlop Aerogel 200/Dunlop Aerogel 200 4D
Dunlop Aerogel 100
Head Microgel Prestige
Prince Graphite Classic OS
Prince EX03 Graphite 100
Tecnifibre T.Fight 315 VO2 Max
Volkl Power Bridge 10 MP
Volkl C10 Pro
Wilson KPro Tour
Wilson BLX Pro Tour
Yonex RQ iS 1 Tour
Yonex RQ iS 1 Tour Light
Yonex RDiS 200

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96 Responses to Arm-friendly tennis racquets

  1. wow says:

    Can you please tell me what the Prince Graphite Classic OS is not gold standard?


  2. ggtennis says:


    The Prince Original Graphite OS does make our list. It is not rated as gold because it has the unfortunate pleasure of being my racquet of choice for a number of years. Because I used the racquet for playtesting purposes I did experience some elbow pain when playtesting some poly-based string products. I suspect this is due to the racquet owning a stiffness rating in the mid 60’s. Unfortunately stiffness/flex is not something that can be modified. I have also known a few POGOS players who experienced similar issues. Still, the racquet has excellent weight and otherwise solid specs. For the vast majority of players it would be an excellent option which is why it is included in our list, just not rated in the top tier, but clearly well above many racquets in the marketplace today.

    I would also note, that I have NOT played with all the gold standard racquets. Most are rated based on specs only and the knowledge that I have never personally come across anyone who uses those racquets who was experiencing tennis elbow issues. I have and do use the Kneissl Black Star for playtesting and even with poly at absurdly high tensions, it dampens well…no issues.

    • Jason L says:

      Ummm…. as a stringer of 21 years, completely disagree with this comment. You played with poly-based strings and experienced pain, yet you blamed the racquet (Prince Original Graphite). Poly strings are the blame here. I experimented with a huge number of strings throughout my career and found that the string choice has as much role as the racquet itself in contributing to tennis elbow and other pain. Polyester strings along with Kevlar and some other stiff new materials are extremely bad on your arms. String that POG OS with a more forgiving string and you will find a VERY comfortable racquet, among the very best ever. I suffered tennis elbow all through highschool and college and continued to suffer tennis elbow for 2 decades experimenting racquet after racquet. Today I play with the Prince POG OS and I have no pain, no discomfort. Nothing. It saved my tennis playing career.

    • Bob V. says:

      I have played a couple of your Gold and Silver rated Boris Becker frames, both with multi filament, and gut respectively. Proir to selecting these frames I had severe “tennis elbow” pain to the extent of affecting any decision to play. Been playing these for over a year now, and no pain. Like it never happened.

  3. michael says:

    Is the EXO3 Ignite off the list because of the stiffness rating? Is there any additional arm health benefit attributed to the EXO3 Ports?

  4. ggtennis says:

    Michael, There are probably many racquets not included on the list that offer specifications that will work fine for the majority of players. Perhaps the Ignite is one of those…I do not know because it is a new stick and I have no experience with it. However, with a stiffness rating of 67 – 69 it can not be included on the list that we created to guide our customers. That’s just not as flexible as we recommend. We are aware how Prince markets the ports, but the reality is we have observed many local stringing customers using port racquets with similar stiffness ratings that have indeed experienced tenderness in the elbow. We are not in the camp that promotes the ports as aiding in dampening, regardless of how they may be marketed.

  5. Thanks for the analysis it will be super helpfull to every type of player when choosing a racket.

    If you’re interested in tennis is an innovative website with a great Tennis Forum and many
    Tennis Matches dating from the 70’s till 2010.

  6. Edw says:

    How comes the Volkl Power Bridge 10 is listed in the bronze category? I’m convinced that this is the best of all BB / Völkl ! Heavy but headlight & amazing soft butterfeeling ! The only cons is the very low power…

    I own BB 11 Mid + BB 11 SE + PB 10 Mid and I’ve tried PB 10 MP + BB DCL + BB 11 MP but my fav are :

    1) PB 10 Mid
    2) BB 11 MP SE
    3) BB 11 MP 325

    • ggtennis says:

      Thank you for reading our blog and taking the time to add your comment. You are absolutely correct. The Volkl Power Bridge 10 was overlooked and should have been included in our listing. The Volkl Power Bridge 10 MP is the racquet that is bronze due to stiffness in the mid 60’s. We have updated our list and thank you for your feedback!

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  8. ilove tennis says:

    my favorite racquet with the best arm feel has got to be the Wilson Hammer 6.2 ,) Boris Becker are really nice also 🙂


    • Jason L says:

      This was my racquet of choice while I played division 1 tennis for 3 years. STAY AWAY! Head heavy, very light, awkward momentum on the serve. The feel is very misleading. It feels very solid on impact because of the very head heavy balance, but overtime, you will experience a lot of pain. I told all my customers to stay away from the Hammer series.

  9. Sam says:

    Great list,

    I wonder at the usefulness of listing rackets based on specs, simply because although a racket may be flexible and low swingweight, it may also have a hollow construction, too head lightedness and not enough power for many player to use a normal swing. For example, the DNX10 Mid is buttery, soft and flexible, however it is head light and has little power, requiring the player to put more effort into a swing and hence more stress on the shoulder/elbow. From personal experience I’ve found the Prince Graphite Classic much more confortable for my injuries than the DNX10, even though it doesn’t appear so on paper.

    Thanks again.

  10. ggtennis says:


    Good points. You are 100% correct in your comments and I thank you for sharing.

    The lists were created because we get so many phone calls from customers asking good starting points. Some players do well with lower powered racquets and some need more zippity doo dah! As always it is best to playtest. The list created is meant to be a starting point of racquets that offer arm-friendly specifications. Thanks for visiting and thank you for your comment!

  11. Gamma Gut says:

    This is a great analysis, thank you for all the hard work. I have been struggling with tennis elbow since my high school days and agree with most of the modern racquets listed. If I may provide some input for the Pro Kennex Destiny AVC, it is a very arm friendly racquet that should be listed due to its innovation. I have tried the new version of the racquet the Destiny FCS Advanced and it is not nearly as arm friendly. In my opinion it was one of the first truly arm friendly racquets that was also a great players frame. Thank you again. On a side note, the Volkl PB10 Mid is just as arm friendly as the 90’s PK Destiny.

  12. Fred says:

    Hi, I was wondering if the Radical Youtek MP and OS are also in the GOLD category?

    Thanks for your help.


  13. ggtennis says:


    The specs on the Radical Youtek racquets, the Pro and OS look pretty decent. They should be considered pretty solid choices. They must not have been reviewed when I originally wrote this blog entry or they would likely have been included.

  14. Fred says:

    Thanks for your reply…

    Does the MP also has what it needs to be on the list?

  15. ggtennis says:

    The MP Specs appear to be fairly arm-friendly to me.

  16. conrad says:

    thank you for the informative post!

    question: i experience more of shoulder than elbow pains, do you think the problems lies more of the racket or my stroke mechanics? i know it’s difficult to answer me without seeing my stroke mechanics. i’m just asking, with all being equal, which is the more likely cause?

    also, apart from the racket specifications, how should one choose the type of strings, string bed, and tension to avoid injuries? i heard that ALU power, as much as they’re favoured, aren’t very friendly on the arm/elbow.

  17. ggtennis says:

    We have found that shoulder pain has multiple causes and is usually not connected to the same shock that is associated with tennis elbow. Sorry we can not be of greater assistance for you with this question.

    When looking at your equipment, it is essential to look at the big picture as a whole. All of the elements blend together to create a hitting experience/sensation for the player. What works for one player may not necessarily work for the next based on style of play.

    That said, GENERALLY, natural gut and premium multifilaments offer the best defense against shock which is the known enemy of tennis elbow. Luxilon is a much stiffer string and does not do as good of a job at absorbing shock, especially after it has a couple of hours of play on it. Some players have no issues at all with Luxilon ALU and other poly-based strings while others simply can not tolerate them at all. I would suggest working with a knowledgeable stringer in your area who looks at the entire package when working with you. By this, I mean someone who takes your style of play, history of physical issues into account along with your frame when working with you to find the ideal string setup.

    Good luck to you. Thanks for visiting our blog!

  18. conrad says:

    thank you!

  19. Jon says:

    I read your review of the kneissl black star racket. You guys obviously have a high opinion of it and I have the opportunity to purchase. I’m 45 years old been playing for 30 years and am still using my old olivers strung at 50 lbs. Had a bit of elbow problems in the last couple of years. I’m sure any new racket will improve my game, but is this a racket you would recommend me and why, and what strings would you use keeping in mind I am after longevity as well..

  20. ggtennis says:

    If you can find one of the old Black Stars, it is certainly among our favorites. When they were discontinued we bought the remainder of the US inventory from the distributor. We have since sold out. The flexy graphite/fiberglass composite allowed it to absorb shock. Buttery feel. Note that our list is not a ranking. Any of the racquets we list in either the gold, silver or bronze category we feel good about recommending. Just a matter of personal preference.

    In terms of strings for tennis elbow we recommend either natural gut OR a quality multi such as WC Explosiv!, MSV Soft Touch, or Signum Pro Micronite.

  21. Hi! I am using the Yonex RDIS 200 midplus maybe for a month or so. I like it. Nonetheless, I also have a Babolat Aeroprodrive GT. As you should know, the Yonex is more flexible nd more arm friendly. Nonetheless, I like the aero technology from the GTas it helps me in my swing to produce more spin. For my playing style, it is easier to whip the racket in order to get spin production.

    As for the RDIS 200 it is very solid and develops good spin also.

    The question is, what is your opinion in terms of experimenting with these two rackets in order to decide between one or the other? Could it affect negatively my progress? I am a 4.5 player and in my thirties.

    I tend to adjust well to the change of rackets but I like to know your opinion if you may.

    Thank you.

  22. ggtennis says:

    Playtesting racquets is THE BEST way to determine if a particular brand or model offers something that can help you improve. If you have the luxury of a long term demo period take full advantage of it and have fun doing so!

  23. ben portillo says:

    I purchased a Head Crossbow airflow 7. I liked it. It is a pain having it strung. A stringer broke it and the racquet is only 4 months old. I sent it back to Head this last week and they are going to replace it. I told them that I did not want the Crossbow replaced, and they said they didn’t have one anyway. But they would probably replace it with a Three Star. I said that I wanted an arm friendly racquet, maybe like the Youtek Radical OS. The rep said that he thought that would be too heavy. What racquet should I insist that they replace the Crossbow with? I used to play with Prince Classic OS but I wanted a little more power. Now I am using Wilson Ncode 6 which gives me more power.

  24. ggtennis says:


    The specs on the Head YouTek Radical OS look good. IMO it is a quality and arm friendly offering. As for too much weight…I’d be surprised. I know of 13 year olds that wield it just fine.

  25. Adam says:

    Hi — nice list. I’m wondering if you could tell me what kept the Babolat Pure Storm Ltd. GT from making the gold list — seems that the weight, length, and stiffness are all ideal.



  26. ggtennis says:


    Thanks for visiting our blog. We think the Pure Storm Ltd. GT is an outstanding choice. That is why it is included in the blog entry. Please don’t get caught up on the color rating; if it is on the list, it is a solid choice.

  27. Allen says:

    Played with Microgel Prestige MP no arm issues. Developed golfers elbow with Youtek version with similar specs. Is it best to choose a different racket. What about pk5ipse or is blackace better choice? Btw used gut at 52-55 on both prestige rackets

  28. ggtennis says:

    Either PK should be fine. The 5ipse offers the kinetic system…I believe. PK Kinetic is a technology that actually delivers what is promised.

  29. ggtennis says:

    I believe either is an excellent choice. Playtest both and decide based on the racquet that most closely compliments your game and style of play.

  30. Ste says:

    this is a very useful list!!
    can you tell me if Volkl Tour 10 v-engine Mid
    and Dunlop 4D 100 can be included inside in one of the gold,silver or bronze
    category above ?


  31. ggtennis says:

    @Ste – Thanks for visiting our blog! I do not know the specs for the Volkl racquet you listed. The Dunlop specs look decent enough. I would have considered listing it if it were available when the list was originally put together.

    • Ste says:

      thanks for replying! 🙂
      the specs of the Volkl Tour 10 v-engine Mid are listed here:
      do you think can be considered in one of the list ?

      i play since i was a child, but now i am 40 and suffer from tennis elbow..for many years i have always used wilson racket (pro staff classic 6.1 95 18×20 EU( i am italian) version of the “magic” nineties), and never an arm problem with them even i know they are stiff..but i was younger 😐
      now i use a wilson n6.1 tour 90 (a pro room model) less stiffer…and the pro kennex ki5 PSE, USA of the listed one above 😉
      and i got tennis elbow relief making exercises for months with the red flexbar!
      i really thank you for this site!
      it would be nice to maintain the three lists updated as new or recently rackets come out in the market..

  32. ggtennis says:

    The specs on the Volkl do look excellent to me. It should definitely be considered as one that would have been on the list had I reviewed the specs. As for keeping the list up-to-date…I may create a new list in a year or two, but do not have the time or desire to review every new racquet as it debuts. This is why the specs used are detailed in the post. I want my reader’s to have the tools to critically review specs for themselves. Good luck to you!

  33. Simon says:

    Thanks for a useful article and interesting website. I’ve used the Radical OS for many years with no arm issues. Recently I’ve tried to update to the Head Extreme Pro, which gave me a welcome boost in power but seems to be causing me some elbow pain. I will probably return to the Radical, or maybe try the new Prince Tour MP that is coming out (it seems to have an RA in the low 50s!).
    I notice you recommend quite a few poly-based strings despite your focus on arm health. Would you say Turbo Twist is one of the most comfortable? I currently use Head Rip Control but would like to find a poly that gives some added spin without being too stiff. Luxilon was too stiff for me. Thanks!

  34. ggtennis says:


    Unfortunately for some players, poly-based strings are not an option. However, there are many poly-based strings that when PROPERLY installed and maintained are completely fine in regard to arm health. Many players make fatal errors in using them incorrectly and this is the root cause of the problems. If the frame has decent specs in regard to weight, balance and flex then polys should not pose an issue if installed at the tensions they were designed for. Unfortunately too many in the USA use high tensions and these tensions are problematic for the strings and eventually for those using them. Luxilon ALU can be hard on the arm if not removed after about 2 hours of hitting.

  35. Hans Gebben says:

    I used your recommendation and purchased a Boris Becker 11 SE. It hits very solidly and with good vibration dampening, but the weight and being only a few points headlight make it a tiring racket to hit with for very long, unless you are very strong. I used to play with the Prince Graphite Original 107 square inch racket which has been listed as the top racket for shoulder and arm safety on This racket felt better, maybe due to slightly overall lower swing weight and being a little more headlight. My favorite racket of late has been the new Prince Tour 100 16×18 string pattern. This has been very maneuverable and extremely easy on the arm. Sometimes a person’s personal physiology may have an impact in determining what racket is good for arm or shoulder problems. If a racket is too heavy for a player to employ good form on their strokes, problems may occur to lazy poor form. I’d appreciate your thoughts.

    • ggtennis says:

      Your comments are very valid. Players must review the specs of frames and either through previous experience or playtesting determine what weight/swingweight is best for them. The Becker 11SE is indeed heavy and yields a very hefty swingweight. Because of this it is not for everyone. That said, it is going to do a very good job of absorbing shock and is an arm freindly racquet for those who are strong enough to use it.

      When I saw the specs of the new Prince Ex03 Tours it warmed my heart. I posted kudos to Prince on our facebook fan page. If I were to rewrite or update the article, that frame would definitely be listed near the top.

      Thanks for your input!

  36. Leticia says:

    Hi! What do you think about Head Airflow 5 CrossBow? I’m having this tennis elbow problem… I used a babolat aerostrike racquet and the problem started. On the description of this Head Airflow 5 CrossBow they talk about tennis elbow prevent and I really like this racquet, but I saw something about that the heavy racquets are better for this problem. This is a difficult choice for me because I’m not a athletic woman, I just play tennis once in a week, and I don’t have physical to use a heavy racquet. I do like lights racquets (250-260g).

  37. ggtennis says:


    Sorry to say the Head Airflow 5 CrossBow is NOT a racquet with arm friendly specifications. I would definitely steer my local customers away from that racquet. Head produced a racquet called the Head Extreme Team OS. The Oversize version has a flex rating in the upper 50’s and the weight it light. It is a lightweight racquet that I have known players with previous TE issues to use without problem in spite of the lack of mass. The flexibilty is the key. If you must play light, try to see if you can locate one.

  38. Japie Combrinck says:

    Just want to know if you differentiate between between tennis elbow and golfers elbow?
    Would the same specs apply in judging the arm-friendliness of a racquet? Thank you

  39. ggtennis says:

    Yes, for all practical purposes they are one in the same. Tennis Elbow technically surfaces on the top side of the elbow while golfers elbow on the bottom side.

  40. Korhan says:

    Apologies for my ignorance but the advised stiffness rating, is it with or without strings.

  41. Shawn says:

    I played with the Wilson K6.1 95 for a couple of years and developed severe TE problems. Local stringer advised me to switch racquets. I pulled out the ol’ Head Pro Tour 280 MP. Same guy says those sticks are some of the best ever. However, I’ve had those Head Pro Tours since @ 1994 (or mid 90s anyway). Over time, do even great racquets lose something that might make them no longer the ideal stick to play with? Just curious.

    • ggtennis says:


      I am not familiar with the specs of the Head racquet you mention. However, I can tell you that over time, the graphite breaks down. (Actually the resins that bond the graphite). This tends to make the racquet softer. While power may suffer, it is probably healthier for the elbow.

  42. Kyle says:

    I’m a 53 yr old, 4.0 player who switched (last year) from the Babolat APDC to the Wilson BLX Team 6.1…liked it but just didn’t get the plow thru and spin like the APDC. I then switch to the Head Youtek Radical MP…plow thru is great, good power and spin, but I have been experiencing “golfer’s elbow” and some pretty bad wrist pain since I’ve been playing with it. Thinking about trying the Pro Kennex 5G or Ki5…I’m an all-court player so I was just wondering if those racquets would be a good choice for my game?

    • Gallens says:

      I was playing with the Head Youtek Radical MP with Sonic Pro strings. I liked it, more power than my Prince Original Graphite MP. But last November, after playing a doubles match indoor, I went over to the ball machine and hit about 80 volleys – pain ensued. sometimes it’s not the stick or the string but lack of common sense. I am sure that after 30 balls, I was hitting the ball late which likely caused damage to the elbow area. I neglected to seek advise and the pain became so bad that around March, 2012 I went to the orthopedist who diagnosed me with golfer’s elbow and gave me a cortisone shot. I followed up with ice compressions and heat several times a day, advil (4 tablets 3 times a day for a month), ultrasonic massages, a bit of rest. A friend of mine had done all that. suffering from tennis elbow for over a year and suggested that I try a different racquet, Wilson Hyper Hammer 6.3 using Gamma TNT with a “worm” dampener. It helped a bit, but I think the real road to cure was massaging the affected area, (I used IcyHot, but don’t believe that was helpful other than making the massage go smoother. I am playing with an elbow brace, with the pad over the lower part of the elbow, rather than over the forearm muscle) and I am seeing some results. Massaging frequently ( 3 or 4 times for 10 minutes) I believe promotes blood circulation, bringing oxygen to the pain ( I do not think that it is an inflamation problem, but rather micro-tears in the surrounding tissue. I would like to go back to the Head Radical MPs, but not until the pain disappears. I agree rest is vital, but who can stop playing tennis?

  43. ggtennis says:

    The Pro Kennex racquets are indeed arm friendly options. How the specs compare to the Radical MP is something that would need to be reviewed. In general racquets such as the BLX Team 6.1 can be easily modified/customized to meet your needs. The specs on that racquet are pretty good, it is just a little bit light. By adding a bit of mass and possibly adjusting the string type/tension you may be able to turn that racquet into exactly what you hoped it would be when purchasing it. Too often consumers fail to explore customization options when a little bit of added mass can make a world of difference in terms of performance.

    The arm pain from the Radical MP is puzzling as the specs are very solid on that stick. I would be curious to know what string and tension is being used? How fresh is the grip? Have you changed/altered anything in your game? I am not at all convinced that the frame is the cause of the pain, nor am I convinced that switching frames is the answer.

    If there is a good MRT or tennis stringer in your area, I would suggest working with him/her on selecting a frame and possible customization with your existing frames.

  44. DK says:

    I spent 8 months off from tennis due to spine surgery. Have developed tennis elbow as I get back into tennis by using a series of low power players racquets – Radical MP and Prestige MP and new Prince EX03 16X19 tour. All very flexible and all low power. Control was nice but I am a 3 – 3.5 player. I think I have hurt my elbow by having to work too hard. Form is still a work in progress. Looking for more power and a less advanced racquet. Trying the BLX pro open. But open to any suggestions and help.

    • ggtennis says:

      If they are still available the Wilson Kobra racquets offered arm-friendly specs with decent power. The issue may not be the frame at all, rather it could be the string type and tension. What string and tension are you using?

      • DK says:

        Babolat gut at 57 lbs. Any other suggestions for other tweener versus player racquets? Most of your recommendations seemed oriented to 4.0+ players.

  45. ggtennis says:

    Radical OS would be an option. Natural gut is a powerful string. You may want to try proportional stringing. This will soften the perimeter of the stringbed, increase sweet zone and probably allow you to generate more power.

  46. Chris B says:

    Thanks for this article. I am struggling with tennis elbow to the point that I could hardly hold the weight of my racquet during a recent match. I play with a Wilson Pro Tour BLX (Listed bronze) with Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour strings at mid tension and the pain has become unbearable. I think this may be because, like the previous poster, I’m really battering the ball and working my arm very hard to get my usual powerful shots. I changed mid match to an old 1999 Hammer 6.2 and this eased the pain very quickly, which is very strange! I’m considering trading in the Pro Tour for something more forgiving to my arm, and a bit lighter? Any suggestions or advice appreciated.

    • ggtennis says:


      Sorry to hear about your tennis elbow. If the elbow is equipment related, I would first look at the strings. The frame provides respectable dampening, so I would suspect this case may be string related.. First off tension. For a full poly setup in a dense pattern frame, mid tension, 55 lbs, is entirely too high. You should probably be stringing in the low to mid 40’s with a full poly setup. Second, how often do you restring? Pro Hurricane has an effective life of approx. 7 – 12 hours. If you are playing longer than that, you need to change it out more frequently. Third, how is the racquet strung? What type of machine? If using an electronic constant pull machine, the pull speed should be set to the lowest possible setting. Try changing strings to a more arm-friendly poly-based string and lower your tensions. I suspect these changes may help you.

  47. Gary says:

    Hello and thank you for the article. Lots of very useful information. I, like to many on this thread am in my late 40’s, male, 4.0 player who came back to tennis after a 20+ year absence. I decided I probably should upgrade my old Kennex Black Aces circa 1982, which I did for some Wilson Blx Surges strung with Wilson NXT 16. I went with the lighter racket as I found my ability to get the racket in place for reflex volleys was not quite as sharp as it used to be :-). The lighter frame also allows me to add a bit more topspin. I tended to “club” the ball long with heavier demo’ed rackets. I played just once per week over the winter and did not experience any TE or other issues. I recently started playing in tennis meets for our club (in addition to the weekly hitting drill and hitting with my son a few nights per week) and felt my first TE pain last Saturday in a long 3 set match. Did not affect my play (we won), but it was troubling. Any advice you might have on racket choice and string choice to minimzed future TE would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance


  48. Mike says:

    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 it would make an acceptable choice and compensate the flex rating, or should I look elsewhere?


  49. ggtennis says:

    Mike – – This blog site is shutting down soon as we have moved our blog to a new location, We have also posted an updated listing of arm-friendly tennis racquets. The Babolat Aeropro Drive GT is not on either list and for good reason. We have run across a number of customers who have had arm difficulty with this racquet. If you are looking at Babolat frames, try looking into the Pure Storm as it is much more elbow friendly.

  50. Babs says:

    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?

  51. Claudio says:

    I used to play with an old Babolat Pure Drive (purchased in the early 00′) once in a while and now that I have been playing regularly my elbow is sore a bit. The tennis shop is pushing me to try the new 2012 model, which has a few solutions for being more elbow-friendly. What do you think about it?

  52. John Youngblood says:

    To their credit, Babolat continues to improve the technology in regard to shock dampening. While I am convinced that a high percentage of tennis players can use the frame without issues, those who are arm-sensitive might still experience some arm/elbow pain, even with the newer technology. The major problem, IMO, is stiffness. The Pure Drives maintain their stiffness and this helps create much of the power in that frame. The RA is frequently in the low 70’s which is much higher than I am comfortable recommending. There are many good 100 SQ IN alternatives that I encourage players who have a concern about arm pain to explore.

    If considering the new Pure Drive I would suggested an extended playtest. Ask the shop if they can string it with your preferred strings and tension. During the playtest, give it a lot of court time and see how your arm reacts. That is the best way to know. If you are seeking an arm-friendly alternative you might consider the Pacific X-Feel Tour strung at a low tension. Good luck!

  53. Milo says:


    Need some help!
    I had elbow surgery in may 2009, started playing steadly 6 month ago. I am using the Yonex rqis tour xl 95. It feels pretty good on the elbow, but I have not find a string tha I like, I am using gamma synthetic gut. Please let me know what you think about the raquet and string selection.


  54. Ruud Groenendaal says:

    I am 60 and have some problems with the heavier (340 gram) rackets and I hav a TE. I feel that after about 1 hour playing. Can you advice me for a racket that is a little more light?

  55. ggtennis says:

    We like the Pacific X Feel Tour at 11oz.

  56. M.J. says:

    Any thoughts on the very popular Wilson Juice series? I test drove the Juice 108 BLX which is 1 point HL but has a stiffness rating around 70. I LOVED the racquet but my arm was a little sore after.

  57. ggtennis says:

    Please use our new blog for postings. We believe the juice series is too stiff.

  58. Sharky-San says:

    Hi GGT,

    I’ve recently return to tennis after a 10yr break. I played Div I tennis in the late 80’s, in my 40’s now. My old sticks were the Prince CTS approach 110, which to me was one of the most well rounded rackets as far as power, control, etc. I recently broke my last CTS frame and have been looking at different rackets as replacements. The two models I settled on were the Volkl Organix 10 295g and the Babolat AeroPro Drive GT +. I know that the Babolat falls out of the arm friendly category, how does the Volkl fare in the arm friendliness category?

    I have been experiencing some pain above my elbow while *serving only*, under the bicep. I can rally all day with these rackets with no pain. My sports doc says it could be the brachialis muscle. The pain lasts for a couple of days, ice/rest/analgesics takes care of it very predictably. Could this be a manifestation of TE / racket rejection?
    I’m also guessing it could also be weakness in the muscles and tendons in the arm, trying to play like a 20-year old, on an old man’s arm 🙂

    Your opinion would be greatly appreciated!

  59. mike constant says:

    I play tennis for more than 30 years and never had a problem with elbows.
    I plan to change my latest racket with Wilson 100 series. Is this arm healthy? what is it its RA Index? MIKE CONSTANT

  60. Tom says: lists their top 10 arm friendly racquets along with the racquet specs.

  61. says:

    Hi GG, I am a pretty good athlete and have been playing tennis for most of my life (35+ years). I am switching to a Babolat Pure Storm GT LTD on your advice…. I played two matches with a demo frame this week and have been very impressed with the very low level of arm pain. I have pretty solid strokes off both sides (classic not modern). I also tested extensively the Redondo Mid (93) and the new Technifibre 320 and 325…. I never play with poly as a rule. The Redondo is an excellent frame but did in fact cause me problems in the arm. the Technifibres are much better but less maneuverable. The Babolat Pure Storm GT LTD was without question superior and not as low powered as I think many play testers find it to be. Much appreciate your site

  62. Kandace says:

    I do not know whether it’s just me or if perhaps everyone else encountering issues with your site. It appears like some of the written text on your posts are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if this is happening to them as well? This could be a issue with my web browser because I’ve had this happen previously.
    Thank you

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  66. Pat says:

    Which model of the Black Ace 98 are you referring to??

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  68. hilda says:

    looking to buy a volkl V1 classic according to the description this racquet suitable for tennis elbow according to the reviews İ read, İ would like to aşk your opinion and how come its not on your list that this racquet iş a arm friendly.. i hope you could help me with my query
    thank you so much

  69. fg says:

    Is the wilson rf97 considered arm friendly?

  70. ggtennis says:

    We like the weight/balance. Not so sure about stiffness. We will need to watch this one.

  71. Necdet says:

    RF 97 flex is 67…have you made your decision about this racquet? İ am talking about the racquet which is played by Federer.

  72. ggtennis says:

    This is our old blog. The new one is .
    We do not consider the RF 97 arm friendly. That said, it is probably fine for many players, but we have heard from several who are having problems with it.

    • Necdet says:

      Many thanks. Noted…..

      • SharkyM says:

        I tried this racket recently, not arm friendly at all, bummed because they felt solid and great all around…had me down and out for a while, both the RF version and the lighter version 97. In that series, the ProStaff series that is, I think the only one that could be considered arm friendly is the PS 95 @ stiffness rating of 62, pretty close to the limit as far as stiffness…the 95s is just too unwieldy at 12.6 with dampener and overwrap.

  73. Mike says:

    Wood frames, strung with gut, are best.

  74. wawrinka says:

    All absolutely spot on. The only thing not mentioned was string tension. I personally have gone back in time after having repeated te. I used modern babolat pro drive in, head radical 275g, and Wilson hh with different strings. I now use a prince precision 97 from the 90s I believe from tennis warehouse, with synthetic gut strings the strung weight is 340g (sorry only do metric) and it has allowed me again. My advice, don’t buy into the marketers bullshit a good pro racquet from the 90s early 00s will be better for te. Imo

  75. juan arcila says:

    for a competitive 8 years old kid, who plays 10 -12 hours a week, what is the most reccomendable tennis junnior racket ? Wilson juice 26″ is a good one?

    • SharkyM says:

      Hi Juan,

      Juice adult rackets tend to be way too stiff, with mind boggling 73 stiffness rating, may want to check on the specs of the junior version. Search the forums, I’m sure this question has been asked before. I don’t have kids so could give you specifics.

  76. Tennis Elbow says:

    We have an uncomplicated strategy for repairing your tennis elbow challenge with an straightforward solution.

  77. chris kerigan says:

    Donnay has super arm friendly rackets which have been proven by independent studies

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