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Old 2012-01-27, 20:47   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Annandale, VA
Posts: 7
Default Stiffest, lightest racket - sore shoulder

I recently acquired two of the stiffest & lightest rackets ever made --- the Wilson Hyper Carbon 2.0, in the 115 head size. It is a "stretch" frame, so I cut 3/4" off of the handle, which worked out well. It is currently strung with Luxilon BB at 50 lbs. I love the racket, its power & control, & have no problems with trampoline. My serve has improved, and my forehand has turned into a real weapon. I am a senior 4.0 player.

All the stuff I have read on this forum (and others) about the characteristics of poly strings rings true. When I first got the racket, I was inadvertantly hitting my service returns clean over the head of the opposing net man (in doubles), but the topspin would still keep the ball in the court. As I got used to the racket & strings, and as the Luxilon lost some tension, my ball flight settled down, and the radical topspin also diminished.

Despite the (relatively) low string tension, the racket feels like a brick, especially if I miss the sweet spot a bit. It has started to affect my shoulder, but luckily not my arm (yet).

So, I recognize I need to go another direction with regard to stringing, probably some sort of hybrid. I've talked to several different shops/stringers, and have gotten a lot of conflicting advice.

I also read the very informative and lengthy thread on this forum about low string tensions, which appeals to me a lot. At my competition level, I have found that serving harder just means that the ball comes back more quickly, while serving with more spin results in more service return errors and weak returns.

Since I have two identical rackets, my thought was to try one at a very low string tension, try the other one with a hybrid string pattern, such as NXT/RPM, but at a normal string tension, say 55 lbs or so.

Any and all comments/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 2012-01-27, 22:23   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Heidelberg, Germany
Posts: 1,111

A poly in light frames is an absolute no-go from my point of view. No matter at which tension. The shock is just too high. Please try a full multifilament at 55 lbs first. If you cannot control it, you might try a hybrid, but the most probable conclusion would be that it's not the right racquet for you because you hit too hard. Light, large frames are made for players who have a short swing and need power from the racquet.
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Old 2012-01-30, 12:34   #3
Silver Hair
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 244

I agree with Jens. Poly in a light, stiff racquet is a bad idea - especially for a senior. Another thing. When you cut them down to make them shorter you make them stiffer, and even more dangerous to the arm. A few years ago I hurt my shoulder badly doing that. I cut down a light, very stiff racquet to make it more maneuverable. You don't want to hurt your shoulder, believe me. If I were you I would get rid of that racquet, even if right now you like it.
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Old 2012-02-06, 21:15   #4
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 55

I have to echo what the other two posters here have told you. Even a multi in a very light stiff frame can cause arm and elbow problems. When you put Poly in it you are asking for issues. If you want control then you need a more control oriented frame. Look for something that is headlight in it's balance so it will feel lighter for you to swing. Probably something in the high 10 oz. range and headlight will be good.
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Old 2012-02-06, 21:32   #5
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Annandale, VA
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Thanks for the advice. I have already cut out the poly, had the racket restrung with Babolat VS @ 55 lbs. Seems to play about the same, but the feel is better.

I have discussed this issue on another forum, and also with my club's stringer and one of their teaching pros. Common opinion is that having more weight in the racket head helps drive the ball deeper with less swing force, hence is easier on the arm & shoulder. Also heard that the extra length of a stretch frame results in more torque, equates to more stress on the arm/shoulder. Therefore, cutting the length off of the shaft might help.

So, seems like opinions are mixed. One thing everyone does agree with is that my ultra stiff, ultra light frame is no friend to my physique.

So, I am now thinking of going in a radically different direction, somewhat outside the box. I will post results soon.
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Old 2012-02-07, 21:29   #6
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 29

On top of what others have already said, you may want to have a look at the 'injury' or pain that has happened.

If you continue to play straight after the pain, and you trialing new string, you may still get pain, simply because it is already damaged.

So make sure you treat/rest your injuries completely before concluding if the new set-up will affect your injuries.

Messing around with your racquet balance, weight, etc will also take some time to adjust to it, and can also cause injuries in the short term, as your technique and correct form will be affected (which can lead to injury if you swing incorrectly)

From what I read so far, it seems you are quite capable and aware and it may seem your playing style does not suit your new racquets.

** What racquets & strings did you use before moving to this setup?
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Old 2012-02-07, 21:49   #7
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Annandale, VA
Posts: 7

I previously played with a Head Metallix oversize frame, strung with VS gut at 55 lbs.

I wouldn't describe my physical status as being injured, but I am feeling the strain on my shoulder. I have had TE in the (distant) past, but after working on my hitting technique, it has not re-occurred. When I did have TE, it was on the inside part of my forearm, probably a result of improper topspin technique.

As I stated, I am planning to drop the Hype Hammer completely, and go in a completely different direction. I have a new racket to experiment with, and will be demo-ing another from TW in the next few weeks. I will be skiing for the next 10 days, so my shoulder will get a rest.

Again, thanks for the advice.
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Old 2012-02-10, 16:31   #8
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Join Date: Sep 2010
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Default I'm a Sr too...

I appreciate these discussions. I alleviated my own and friends elbow issues with suggestions found here. I really like the gut feel too and appreciate your indications about having pace serves returned w pace.
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Old 2012-02-10, 17:06   #9
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Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Annandale, VA
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I played Monday night with the new string job --- Babolat VS @ 55 lbs. Nice setup, lively & responsive. Still feels pretty "boardy" though, so I'm thinking it is just as hard on my shoulder.

I will be skiing in Aspen next week, should receive my new racket by then, am also planning to demo two other models - same brand but different head sizes. Hopefully I will like one or more of them.
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Old 2012-02-10, 17:41   #10
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Posts: 159
Default Trying rkts...

I demo'd a ton of rkts and didn't hit w any that I didn't like. I do find the Volkl organx series very good at absorbing vibr and having absolutely magical feel at the net - especially w vs team 17
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