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Ranting about tennis elbow

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This week we have been sending a barrage of tweets in regard to our complete and total disgust with tennis racquet manufacturers and retailers.  They are either oblivious to the impact of manufacturing and selling frames with unhealthy specs, (in terms of tennis elbow), or they just don’t care. I fear it may be the later which disgusts me.

As a professional stringer I come across new customers each week who have been unknowingly saddled with unhealthy equipment.  This week I have had at least a half dozen cases.  The typical scenario involves a player who was convinced that a lighter weight frame would be better for him/her, by a tennis retail sales rep.  (Shame on you if you are reading this blog and this describes you!)  Tennis retailers MUST become more attuned to the advantages and DISADVANTAGES of lightweight racquets.  They MUST educate themselves about other factors such as RA (racquet stiffness), balance, head size, string pattern and weight.  The average tennis playing customer is not going to be versed in this subject.  He/she is coming to the retailer for advice.  If he/she is coming for advice you better darn well have it. Afterall,  in theory the advice and knowledge offered is what separates you from the online retailers!!!  Failure in understanding this has the potential to harm customers and kill the local business.  (While you are at it you might want to learn about strings too.  The average recreational/league player should NOT be using Luxilon ALU, a string developed in 1993 with the life span of less than a Mayfly! Another related topic for another day.)

Manufacturers…there is no way you are off the hook.  What are you thinking in designing frames weighing less than 9 oz with an RA of 70+???   This is completely irresponsible.  There is not a single logical reason to produce frames with unhealthy specs.  Quite frankly there is no justification for such a practice and the engineers doing so should be fired or at the very least tarred and feathered.  ALL the BIG BOYS are guilty.  Prince, Wilson, Head, Babolat, even Volkl, Dunlop and Yonex.  All are guilty.  Clean up your act!

He steps off soap box.

Let’s try to end this blog entry on an upbeat and positive note.  Earlier today I received a kind email message from a customer who I assisted with tennis elbow issues a few months ago.  Ironically it is the text of this email that sent me into the above rant.

John - my elbow would like to thank you for 
your stringing job. After suffering constant 
pain over a three year period,racquet changes, 
icing and even resorting to cortisone shots, 
I found your service through an internet search.  
I was skeptical that the string or the stringing 
could make a material difference in my struggle
with tennis elbow.  All I can say is, WOW! 
After your first effort, my elbow recovered, 
while I continued playing.  Having tried so
many other solutions without relief, I can only 
attribute my recovery to your effort.  I can't 
thank you enough -
I recommend you to everyone I meet.

Thanks, L. Haymond

We care about our customers using healthy equipment.
We take pride in helping those who are experiencing pain.
We care.

7 thoughts on “Ranting about tennis elbow

  1. Jonathan on said:


    Also, something I don’t understand. Since the Gosen Sorbothane grip has proven so successful at helping people with TE, but is virtually impossible to find now that it is discontinued, why aren’t other manufacturers willing to make a similar type of grip that absorbs shock and adds weight to the handle?

  2. ggtennis on said:

    The Gosen Sorbothane was killed off right about the time racquets were getting lighter. It was before the swell of arm pain from the lighter and stiffer racquets. At the time NO ONE wanted a product that made racquets heavier when the trend was to go lighter.

    Why no one makes them today, is beyond me. I suspect the projected market isn’t there. A few stringing nerds may quickly take to them, but not the masses and that is where the money lives.

    I’d be willing to contact Tim and or Gosen and see about buying the molds and reproducing the grips. I’d need some investors to go in with me…likely too costly to go it alone.

  3. ggtennis on said:

    One more thought…I will bring this topic up and the symposium and see what other stringers think. Maybe I can get some of the racquet manufacturers to become interested so that tools will exist to correct their poorly engineered frames.

  4. Martin on said:

    I totally have to agree without ggtennis, to make the matter worse the commentators for tennis events, i dont have to name them because you know who they are, as always preaching the “newer, lighter, more powerful racquets” and polyester based strings. That just makes it awful, that every Mr average joe tennis player will get a 9oz racquet and string it with lux….
    /insert facepalm

  5. Tennis elbow on said:

    Tennis Elbow or Lateral Epicondylitis is a condition that causes extreme burning pain over the bone at the side of the elbow. It is majorly observed in tennis players and in men than women. Some prevention which one can take is, halting any form of activity that leads to pain and inflammation, applying ice or cold water pack on the problem area, trying to raise the elbow at regular intervals, physiotherapy also helps.

  6. Jack on said:

    What about misuse of the elbow as a cause of the injury? If we understand that then we can avoid the strain.

  7. on said:

    As soon as I found this web site I went on reddit to share some of the love with them.


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