Tennis elbow is a repetitive stress injury that arises from many activities, including playing tennis and racquetball. It can be incredibly painful and not only compromise your game, but also keep you from playing as you undergo treatment or simply feel too much pain. Research has revealed that equipment has as much to do with tennis elbow as mechanics and form. If you are vulnerable to this condition, a tennis racquet demo can help you make good choices and play pain-free. Here is what to consider when buying racquets so you can avoid flare-ups of this condition:
- Lighter is not necessarily better: The latest developments result in many options for lighter, stiffer racquets. Customers come in to try these out thinking they will produce a stronger swing. However, the combination of light racquet weight and tighter strings often places more shock into the tendons, so those who are inclined towards repetitive stress injuries are more likely develop tennis elbow. If you fall into this category, you will do better with a heavier racquet. Heavier equipment takes the brunt of the shock and makes tennis elbow less likely. Even if it seems counterintuitive, choose the heaviest racquet that you can manage if you are prone to these conditions. Your ideal weight is 12 ounces or more.
- Watch balance: The balance of a racquet also affects your tendons and tendency towards tennis elbow. Racquets with most of the weight at the head are more frequently linked to tennis elbow. You can often get away with a slightly weighted head, but you do not want a dramatic difference in the balance. There are demo models available that are only slightly head-heavy or completely balanced to help you see which works best for your game.
- Go for lower stiffness ratings: Racquets with a stiffness rating of 69 or higher are often linked to tennis elbow. When trying out demo racquets, ask for this information if it is not readily available. Only use the ones with low stiffness so you are not tempted to beat odds with higher stiffness. You want to play for the long term and not sit out a spring because you are in too much pain.
- Short racquets are better: Racquets that are 27 inches or longer often contribute to repetitive stress injuries, too. If you insist on a longer racquet, you can likely get away with it if you find a balanced one. However, most people do fine with racquets between 25 and 27 inches, so making this adjustment is likely not a game killer.
- Choose softer strings: When you find the ideal racquet and it is time to string it, go for softer rather than stiffer strings. You will enjoy better spin and control, but also put less tension on your body.
If you want a tennis racquet demo before you buy, call or visit Lawler Sports. Our expert staff and wide selection will allow you to find the best racquet for your circumstances and skill.