When deciding on a new tennis racket to choose, it is easy to be left scratching your head.
With so many variables to factor in, different brands, shapes, sizes and weights it can be difficult to understand what is the best fit for you.
Buying a new racket is a very personal process too.
Whilst you may be tempted to go for a similar brand or style to your favourite professional player, it is very important to select a racket that fits your needs and wants.
This is even more important if you are coming off the back of an injury, or perhaps experience soreness in your arm when playing tennis.
The last thing you would want in this case would be a racket that will cause any additional strain on your arm.
Using a racket with a head size that is too small, too heavy, too stiff or strung too tightly causes unwanted stress on your body.
Simply put, what you want is a racket that’s easy to play with. One that will allow you to generate easy power and absorb as many shocks from the oncoming ball as possible.
This will cause less stress on your arm and basically allow the racket to do most of the work for you when playing a shot.
Fortunately, all of the big names in tennis cater for these needs.
The most arm friendly and flexible tennis rackets tend to have an oversized head size, a low stiffness rating, a low recommended string tension range and be light weight.
Lighter rackets with larger head sizes make for a more powerful string bed with a bigger sweet spot.
This means you can hit the ball cleaner and with more easily generated power across a larger range area of the strings on the racket.
This category of rackets also gives you the most margin for error when timing your swings, meaning that if you are a little early or late on your contact point.
What to Look for in an Arm Friendly Racket
Most modern tennis rackets will come attached with a stiffness rating.
The RA (Racket Analysis) rating of a tennis racket indicates how much force is needed to bend the racket.
Most rackets you can buy from your local pro shop will have a stiffness rating ranging between 50 and 70.
The lower the stiffness rating of the racket, the more flexible it will be, as less force is required to bend the racket.
As a player looking for the most arm friendly and flexible tennis rackets, you will be after rackets with stiffness ratings of around 60, and anything below that would be an ideal fit for your needs.
If you’re looking for an arm friendly racket that will help you generate as much power as possible, then a lighter weight racket is the way to go.
Generally speaking, most pro shops will suggest using as heavy of a racket as you can handle, the thinking behind this being that a heavier racket will allow you to control the ball better and help you use your strength to its full potential.
Whilst this logic stacks up for the majority of players, if you are looking for the most arm friendly and flexible tennis racket you can get, then you’ll be better off looking towards the lighter end of the spectrum.
Most rackets in this category will range from 230g to around 280g, so there is a good deal of range in terms of weight.
A lighter racket will give you more power and be easier to swing, whereas a heavier racket will give more control and plow through on your shots.
So it is worth considering just how light you need to go, based on your playing style, any existing injuries you may have and the level of tennis you’re likely to be playing.
An arm friendly racket will require a larger head size, giving you more surface area to contact the ball with.
An oversized racket head will be much more forgiving, since even off centre hits won’t upset the feel you have on the ball.
A larger racket head will help you generate power more easily, as well as maximise your chances of making contact with the ball if you struggle with your timing.
In general, you will be looking for rackets with head sizes anywhere between 102 sq in and 130 sq in at the extreme end of the scale.
Again, there is a wide variety of different sizes to choose from here, so be sure to play test a few different options to see what sort of head size suits you best.
There is an abundance of technological advancements in tennis rackets these days.
And whilst a lot of these have been pioneered in high performance rackets used by the pros, a lot of the same innovation has trickled down into the more user friendly rackets.
This can benefit a player looking for the most arm friendly and flexible rackets as a lot of modern technology has strived to reduce excess feedback and increase dampening of today’s rackets.
From top to bottom, retail tennis rackets today are more forgiving and easier to use than their equivalents of two decades ago.
This is especially true of oversized rackets aimed at players looking for a more arm friendly racket.
Technologies to look out for are those that increase comfort, allow for flexibility without compromising on playability and reduce excess vibrations.
A thicker beamed racket will offer more power when contacting the ball.
Though a thicker beam can translate into a more stiff feel on the frame at times, this can actually offset the light weight of the racket in some cases.
However, this is likely to be dialled out by the plush characteristics of these frames.
Therefore, most of the rackets in this category will come with a beam thickness between 25mm and 30mm.
The standard length of a full sized tennis racket is 27in.
However, more arm friendly and flexible rackets will extend beyond this to 27.5in or even 28in long.
The thought process behind this is that a longer frame will give more leverage to the player, making it easier to generate power from your swing.
Therefore, it is worth looking out for rackets with extended lengths to see if this is something that will benefit your game.
Strings and Tensions
In terms of strings and string tensions, all rackets will come with a recommended tension range.
Stringing the racket within this range is important to get the best performance out of the racket, as well as preserve its life.
In order to make your racket as arm friendly as possible, we recommend stringing from the middle to the lower end of this range, as this will take undue stress off of your arm and also help to generate more power.
In terms of strings, you will be best off using a softer string if your goal is to reduce strain on your arms.
The Most Arm Friendly and Flexible Tennis Rackets
So, we have summed up some of the key factors that you need to consider when searching for the most arm friendly and flexible rackets.
And whilst choosing the perfect tennis racket for you is a very personal decision to make, we’ve put together a few of our recommendations below to get you started!
Wilson Clash 108
Certainly the most feel orientated racket in our lineup here is the Wilson Clash 108.
Wilson has done a great job of engineering stability in their Clash line up, whilst making this a very comfortable and flexible racket to play with.
Considering its 108sq in head size and plush 56 stiffness rating, this stick from Wilson is precise and crisp.
You’ll certainly feel in control with the Clash 108, whilst being able to produce a lot of spin and power thanks to the 16×19 string pattern and 27.25in length.
ProKennex Ki Q+ 30
This oversized stick from ProKennex features their MovableMass technology, helping to loosen up the racket when you take your backswing and stiffen up the frame on contact with the ball.
This does a fantastic job of dampening the shocks generated from striking the ball.
Sporting a 119sq in head size and 28mm thick beam, the ProKennex is certainly a forgiving racket to play with.
The 275g strung weight and extended 27.5in length will also not cause you any aggravation, whilst helping you generate as much power as you need with ease!
Prince Textreme Premier 110
This arm friendly offering from Prince features a very attractive paint job and a plush feel to match!
Prince uses their Pour Grommet System in this racket, sporting a collection of large, oversized grommet holes at the top and on the sides of the racket.
These allow the strings to move more than they otherwise would be able to, which makes the racket feel more comfortable.
This technology is also great for generating extra pop on your shots, which is no surprise when mated to a 110 sq in head size.
The Premier 110’s extended 27.5in length also helps with leverage on the ball, again helping to impart more force on the ball.
Although like the Clash 108, this racket offers a soft feel and great responsiveness.
Babolat Pure Drive 110
The Pure Drive 110 is a forgiving racket that comes with an extended 27.6in length and thicker beam.
This is a great racket for those looking to generate power whilst retaining comfort and playability.
We recommend stringing this with a nice soft multifilament string or even a natural gut to feel as comfortable as possible.
Head Ti S6 Titanium Tennis Racket
We can’t argue with the numbers! Simply the best selling racket of all time, the Head Ti Titanium is popular for good reason!
This classic racket comes with a 115sq in head size and a long 27.75in length, meaning it is very forgiving and can generate a lot of easy power.
Although it is on the slightly stiffer side of our recommendations, this tried and tested racket really benefits from its head heavy balance.
It allows you to create power with ease, when with a small to medium sized swing.
Overall, the most arm friendly and flexible tennis rackets on the market are there for comfort, easy power and a user friendly experience.
If you are the sort of player that suffers from tennis elbow, is coming back from a long lay off from tennis or hits with short, compact swings, this category of rackets will be right up your street.
We recommend focussing on the weight and head size of these rackets, as these tend to play the most influential roles in determining the racket’s characteristics.
Whilst balance, beam width and length are important to consider, you are finer details to consider once you have decided on your head size and weight.
If you are struggling to find the perfect racket for you, try our custom fitting service and we can help you out!