Table of Contents
- So, what are the most “Arm-Friendly” tennis racquets for 2021?
- What makes a racket “arm-friendly”?
- Arm Friendly Tennis Racquets in 2021: Stiff vs Flexible
- Which Strings are Safe for the Arms?
In Tennis, you may come across several hazards and injury. One which is very common is lateral epicondylitis also known as tennis elbow. This may be caused by a myriad of things, improper warm up, wrong positioning and last but not least, wrong equipment. In this article, we will be discussing the best arm friendly tennis racquets to buy in 2021, so you can avoid tennis elbow.
So, what are the most “Arm-Friendly” tennis racquets for 2021?
Head Ti. s5 Comfortzone
The first entry on our list is the Head Ti. s5 Comfortzone. This racket measures 27 inches in length with a head size of 107 square inches. The product only weighs 8.2 oz with a balance of 380 mm.
The frame is made of patented Head Titanium and Graphite Composite. It has a sweetspot design and a softac grip.
It delivers on stability of the racket even after off-center hits. The Head Tis5 boasts of high acceleration with your shots with its head light balance.
The high performing CZ technology allows for better string vibration reduction while also improving on control and maneuverability. The Head Tis5 is tailor suited for players with medium to full swing.
The string pattern in this product allows for a sweet spot out towards the head allowing you to perform better with groundstrokes and serves in the court. The ComfortZone allows better dampening with each impact allowing you to protect your arms from excessive strain while minimizing vibrations.
According to Tennis Warehouse, The Softac grip provides good support with every hit and also reduces moisture from sweat. This is important because sweat can sometimes interfere with gameplay.
Overall, with the Head Tis5 Comfortzone, you get a lighter racket with excellent weight balance which also provides better control, maneuverability, and is great for avoiding tennis elbow.
- Better control and maneuverability
- Provides better power and acceleration
- Excellent head light balance
- Durable construction
- Reduces vibration
- Softac grip
- Narrow grip
Wilson Pro Staff 97
The next entry on our list is the Wilson Pro Staff 97. This product features its Patented Spin Effect Technology and is also equipped with an 18x 16 string pattern. This allows the Wilson Pro Stafff 97 to gain more spin potential while giving you an extra pop or “feel” with every hit.
The unit provides a lively response with every contact.
It has the typical performance and playability as well as look with the signature RF 97 used by none other than Federer himself. It boasts of an equally powerful and hard hitting attack with every impact.
While we know that the Wilson Pro Staff 97 offers excellent power with every stroke, it does not skip on the control and maneuverability that is essential with every tennis racket.
Weighing in at 10.7 ounces and equipped with a 6 point head light balance, the product is compatible for a myriad of players of different levels and playing styles.
Constructed with braided graphite, you can be assured of its durability and stability which is already accustomed to the Wilson brand.
It has a strong pattern of 16×18 so you are assured of shock reduction making one of the best arm friendly racquets to buy in 2021 and great for avoiding tennis elbow.
The Wilson Pro Staff 97 did not compromise on looks as it flaunts a sleek black on black design with the usual Wilson Logo printed on the strings.
- Better construction and build
- Simple yet sleek design16x18 string pattern
- Excellent shock dampening
- 6 point head light balance
- Provides good power and acceleration
- Poor sweat absorption on the grip
- Narrow grip
Yonex EZone DR 98
The next entry on our list is the Yonex EZONE DR 98 which is a more improved version of its older sibling, Yonex Ai 98.
Take command in the court with powerful strokes and hard hitting services with this excellent product. Flaunting a premium grade Nanometric DR carbon graphite construction, you will rest assured that you are holding a high quality and durable racket .
It offers increased control and flex because of its aerodynamic design. The 16×19 string pattern equipped with the racket provides better control and maneuverability with each hit of the ball.
The Isometric head shade offers a larger sweet spot for an even larger coverage allowing you to receive get even the most unforgiving shots from your opponent. Also, with the larger head you can become more flexible and agile on volleys near the net.
The Dual Shut System infused in the Yonex Ezone 98 improves better control with every stroke. The Shockless grommets placed on the bottom of the head as well as the Quake Shut Gel in the grip further reduce vibrations to a whopping 50% compared to similar priced rackets.
With an RA rating of 62, it is definitely one of the most arm friendly racquets available in the market nowadays and also great for users who are seeking relief for their tennis elbow.
In regards to measurements, the head size measures 98 square inches, while it is 27 inches in length. The strung weight is only 11.5 oz which is typically lightweight.
- 16×19 string patternIncreased vibration reduction
- Shockless grommet
- Quake Shut Gel in the grip
- Robust construction
- 6 point head light balance
- Sleek aerodynamic design
- Provides better control and power
- Large head size
- Poor sweat absorption
Wilson Blade 98
The fourth entry on our list is the Wilson Blade 98. The Blade Series of Wilson is known to be equipped with Countervail technology which aims to reduce the vibration and shock that players may experience after impact of the ball to the racket.
Basing on this, you can see that Wilson is doing their best to come up with a racquet that’s great for avoiding tennis elbow.
The Blade is a versatile racket, an all around performer. It is equipped with 16 x 19 string pattern which blends power and control perfectly with every stroke and shot.
Weighing just 11 ounces, the Blade 98 is ultimately lightweight yet once you grab a hold of it in person, you will be astounded with its solid and robust construction. It absorbs even the most unforgiving shots from your opponents with ease.
It has a slight head heavy design which allows for more powerful shots but because of its well distributed weight and balance, control and maneuverability is not compromised. This will come in handy during volleys on the net. It also delivers excellent performance from the baseline.
Although with its tighter string tension, excellent spins are not guaranteed, however to compensate, the racket gives you great power with each shot allowing a bigger sweet spot on the center.
- 16 x 19 string pattern
- Offers excellent power
- Robust construction
- Elegant design
- Head heavy design
- Good shock reduction
- Does not perform well on top spins
- Narrow grip
Prince EXO3 Tour 10
The last yet definitely not the least entry on our list is the Prince EXO3Tour 10. Hailing from a well renowned company in the field of tennis rackets and equipment, the Prince EXO3 delivers on creating powerful shots with great control.
The EXO3 has an open string pattern further imbued with string suspension inserts that help dampen the amount of shock the racket receives from each impact of the ball.
It creates a better pop and “feel” with every hit even at off-center hits.
The string pattern is 16×18, which provides further vibration reduction. In combination of the string pattern and the suspension inserts, you are assured that your arms are spared from injuries and prolonged stress.
With its enhanced aerodynamic design, you become more agile as you move around the court with ease and confidence. The frame is made of high quality material to make sure that you get a product that does not only deliver on performance, but on durability as well.
The larger head size of the racket measuring 100 square inches provides more sweet spot for every hit. The strung weight is only 10.9 ounces, making it very light yet comfortable to use.
- Robust construction
- Aerodynamic design
- Suspension inserts that reduce shock
- Provides better control
- Head is too light
These rackets all offer high quality performance and efficiency on the court while ensuring safety for your arms and wrists. As mentioned, strained arms and wrist is very common among tennis players, especially tennis elbow. If this happens to you, it will diminish your power on the court and can lead to even more serious health conditions.
Among the five rackets mentioned above, we chose Yonex EZOne DR 98 as the winner. It ticks all the necessary boxes when it comes to safety and performance while not skimping out on looks and design.
To know more about this product, check out this video by Tennis Reviews.
What makes a racket “arm-friendly”?
There are several factors and conditions that make a racket have minimal impact on your arms. We have narrowed down these factors to five, namely, weight, beam profile, balance, flex/stiffness , length and head size. Read more below to know how these factors affect arm stability.
As most experienced tennis players would say, a heavier racket is safer than a light one.
This is because heavy rackets are able to absorb vibration and therefore dampen the shock you get after ball impact.
Even though they can be very difficult to swing faster, you can always compensate by making use of a racket with head light balance, which will come in handy at net volleys.
In terms of beam profile, a thinner one is more beneficial. In contrast to rackets with thicker beam profiles, they can be very lightweight and in turn become stiffer.
This will lead to reduced vibration absorption.
Balance rating usually comes with a range from -15 HL to +15 HL. A balance rating of zero is considered to be the one perfectly balanced. How about if it is not zero? Typically, a racket with more head light is considered to be better. Head balance will greatly affect the racket handle’s ability to absorb vibration.
This is important since you would not want to put a huge amount of strain on your arms. Another advantage is that allows you to have better control and maneuverability in the court.
Another huge factor that will greatly affect your arm’s stability is the racquets stiffness or flexibility.
Normally, a more flexible frame will be able to absorb more vibration from the impact and will therefore result to less shock subjected to the arms.
Flexibility can be measured via the Babolat RDC scale which will range from 0-100. A lower rating means that the frame is less stiff. We suggest that you equip yourself with a flexibility rating of 64 or less. According to Tennisnerd.net, only less than 10% of the rackets available in the market have this flexibility rating.
The most suitable racket length is 27 inches. Longer rackets that exceed 27 inches are said to be more difficult to maneuver and control. These long rackets are usually more lightweight to compensate for its size, the caveat with this is that they actually place more shock to your arms.
When it comes to head size, a smaller one is better. A larger head size, although beneficial when it comes to higher ball coverage, can actually result to more strain put on your arms because balls will tend to hit the sides of the head or off center. When this happens, more shock is subjected to your arms.
If you may notice, these factors do not necessarily translate to better playability and performance. However, we are talking here about safety and long term effects to your arm. If you are still a beginner tennis player, make sure to stay away from oversized rackets as they will put a huge strain to your arms.
To compromise and allow your arms to get used to increased shock, you can always start training with rackets for advanced players. However, you need to keep in mind, that you must limit your training and practice to a certain level that is bearable to your arms. As the saying goes, “ too much of something is dangerous”.
Arm Friendly Tennis Racquets in 2021: Stiff vs Flexible
Whenever looking for a new racket to buy, you must take into consideration the comfort and convenience it offers when playing. One factor that affects this is the flexibility or stiffness of the racket.
In order to assess this, you can always look at a racket’s RA number. The RA is a standard to which you can evaluate a racket’s flexibility. This will come with a range of 0-100. When the rating exceeds 60, the racket becomes more and more stiff.
A more flexible racket will absorb more vibration and produce less shock to your arms providing it with more safety.
Strings and how they are being constructed or woven in together, also come into picture whenever you are assessing the stiffness and flexibility of a racket . A racket with high string tension will absorb lesser amount of vibration thus will have a worse impact on your arms.
According to Tenniselbowracquet.com, there are rackets that have a hybrid string setup that is equipped with natural gut and a full bed of multifilament string or a softer polyester embedded with a lower tension can elicit a more comfortable feel and better shock dampening which will be very beneficial to your arms.
If you are and advanced player and have more experience or have learned techniques as to how to lessen shock in the arms, then you can always opt for a more stiff racket. If you have arm issues then it’s best that you stay away from rackets that have a rating higher than 65.
Which Strings are Safe for the Arms?
Aside from assessing the stiffness and flexibility of the racket, it is also imperative to know the quality of the strings. If you have purchased your rackets unstrung, you can always buy a set of strings that are of high quality.
The high profile players in the likes of Federer, Nadal, Roddick and many more equip themselves with poly based strings known as Luxilon BB ALU. According to Gutsandglory.com, Luxilon is an excellent string that is used by many professional athletes across the worlds.
In most cases, these high profile tennis players have their rackets restrung just a few hours before their match and are found to be used for a totality of 8 games. They give more control and maneuverability with every stroke and hit of the ball, making them highly suitable for top spins.
However, Luxilon as we have observed and tested are very firm and stiff as compared to more mainstream brands of strings. In the contrary, they offer better longevity and durability.
Furthermore, the Luxilon ALU has a tendency to drop tension quickly. The dampening capabilities of the Luxilon ALU however is lost after several games. This will result to exhaustion of the strings and the absorbed shock will then transfer to the body. The stiffness of the strings can result to more strain in the arms.
Because of this, we would rarely recommended beginners and less experienced players to use poly based strings as they are stiffer. In place of them, highly recommend players to use natural gut or a multifilamental racket to help avoid increased strain in the arms.