Nothing sucks the fun out of tennis quite like tennis elbow (or lateral epicondylitis to give it it’s medical name). When your arm hurts, your game suffers and your enjoyment drops substantially. You can take a variety of preventative measures to stop tennis elbow—including working on form, physical therapy, and devices engineered to stabilize your arm. However, one of the most important factors to consider is the racquet you are using. After extensive research, we figured out how to determine which racquets will help your tennis elbow, and we found the two best tennis racquets for tennis elbow on the market.
Weight of the racquet: a heavy racket absorbs more shock from a speeding ball, but if the racquet’s too heavy, it leads to fatigue. You want to find a racquet that is the perfect weight for you and with the weight balanced throughout its surface area.
Head Size: a bigger racquet face absorbs more force but can limit ball control.
String weight: the higher the string weight, the more shock absorbed into the racquet, as opposed to your elbow. String Flex is also a consideration: higher stiffness absorbs less shock, but gives players more control, while lower stiffness absorbs more shock and sacrifices game performance.
Length of the racquet: a longer racquet allows a player to hit the ball further away from the body, thus absorbing extra shock.
String pattern of the racquet: are the strings further apart than other racquets? This will help absorb shock that would otherwise be absorbed by your arm.
When looking for a racquet that’s gentle on the elbow, you’ll be balancing shock absorption with game performance. It boils down to this:
Either your racquet absorbs the force of the ball, or your elbow does.
If you know your arm already hurts, you want a racquet engineered for preventing tennis elbow. We detail two of the best below.
This Head racquet is designed for mid-skill players looking for something to soften impact upon their elbow. It achieves this with the use of Head’s proprietary ComfortZone technology. The racquet has an enlarged sweet spot so it’s easy to let the racquet absorb all the force. Likewise, the racquet’s strings are wider apart, giving that loose feel that stops rattling on the elbow.
It’s 27.5 inches long, giving players some distance from their body. The racquet is also lightweight, which allows for superior performance in-game. The Head Ti S5 strives to keep the impact in the center of the racquet, using its string placement and an extended sweet spot to keep your elbow from feeling the nagging, tennis elbow sensation. Another benefit of the Head Ti S5 is that it arrives pre-strung. It’s ready to play right out of the box.
This Head racquet comes with the endorsement of pros and amateur players alike. At a little over a half a pound, this hefty racquet packs a mighty punch with its unique string style. The added weight of the racquet absorbs some of the balls shock but the Wilson stringing technology is what makes this racquet one of the best.
Like the Head Ti S5, this racquet has a larger sweet spot to give you a harder hit while allowing the racquet to do all the heavy lifting. However, the Wilson strings are designed to give players more control and precision to where they hit the ball and how much spin they put on it.
The handle of this racquet was also designed for optimized comfort—with interior foam inserts, the handle also absorbs some of the shock of an oncoming ball. Keep in mind, this racquet is designed for offensive players who play aggressive games. What makes the Pro Staff unique is that it maintains elbow safety for an offense-driven racquet. If you’re a more defensive player who sticks to the backcourt, you might prefer a different model. Also remember that this racquet comes unstrung, so you need to string it yourself or have a pro at your club help.
In summary, a good racquet for tennis elbow will traditionally sacrifice game performance for shock absorption. The two racquets we profiled do their best to mitigate this. The Head Ti S5 is perfect for intermediate players who want a great comfortable racquet. The Wilson Pro Staff 97 is a high-end racquet with a bevy of features, including ones that mitigate tennis elbow.