This post is designed to help you find the best tennis racquets for seniors. I did some research, spoke to some racquet design experts, read tons of testimonials and one thing became crystal clear...one brand of tennis racquet reigns supreme when it comes to arm friendly tennis racquets designed for senior tennis players.
What is the best tennis racquet for seniors? Well, after calling some pro shops, tennis dealers and speaking directly to racquet experts - I think the Pro Kennex Ki Q+ 15 is the best option. The Pro Kennex Ki Q+ 15 is the best tennis racquet for older players because it is light weight, has a slightly larger head size, and comes with the Pro Kennex trademark kinetic energy dampening system.
Pro Kennex racquets are so far ahead when it comes to tennis technology for older players (and all players really), it's almost unfair.
I never thought tennis technology designed to reduce shock, arm fatigue and vibration reduction could be...well, sexy.
I was wrong. Very wrong.
The Pro Kennex mission statement says it best:
"It's not rocket science. It's racquet science."
These guys know what they're doing. Trust me.
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Video Source: Tennis Warehouse
What makes Pro Kennex tennis racquets so special?
In one word - science.
These racquet engineers at Pro Kennex are in a league of their own. And they're obsessed with making the most arm friendly tennis racquets on the market.
And in my opinion, they've done it.
Ask any racquet expert which brand makes the best tennis racquet for older players and the name Pro Kennex will always be one of the brands mentioned.
So, I did a little research to find out why Pro Kennex racquets are the most suitable for senior players. I spoke with pro shops, read many player testimonials, and even contacted Pro Kennex themselves.
Here’s what I learned.
Pro Kennex makes the best tennis racquets for seniors because of the technology they put into the frame of their racquets. This tennis tech is so effective that Pro Kennex racquets have been proven to reduce shock by more than 20%, and dampen vibration by more than 40%.
These results have actually been analyzed and documented in real a study performed by doctors in a laboratory at MIT (Massachusetts Information & Technology). Yes, you heard that right, a real racquet tech clinical trial.
These are startling statistics if you're a racquet expert. But how does Pro Kennex do it?
Well, for starters, they're obsessed. In a good way.
A few emails back and forth with the friendly folks at Pro Kennex, and I quickly realized that this racquet manufacturing gig they've got going on...is more than just a gig for them.
Pro Kennex has loads of data around arm injuries like tennis elbow, the MIT study I just mentioned and pages upon pages of real player/consumer feedback that gives them all the direction they need for making the very best tennis racquets for older players or those who need more arm friendly options.
All this data translates into stunning racquet technology when on the court. "Kinetic" racquet tech like their QPlus and Quadfocus systems.
Without getting too technical, the QPlus technology is, at it's core, Pro Kennex's preferred frame design. The chassis of the racquet frame is designed in such a way that it allows for more kinetic energy chambers to trap and redirect wasted or unwanted energy created by the racquet during play.
Pro Kennex claims that 25% more kinetic energy chambers are created through their frame design and this results in substantially more shock, torque and vibrations absorbed and redirected in the racquet.
It's all fancy racquet tech that essentially transfers way more negative energy from the racquet after a hit than most racquets from other big brands...We're looking at you Wilson and Babolat.
Let's move on to Quadcore.
At the forefront of Kinetic Science is Quadcore Technology. Pro Kennex has incorporated a quadcore approach into their racquet head to create a four point system of true efficiency and stability.
By placing four (hence the word "quad") kinetic energy transferring chambers at the weakest spots on a tennis racquet, Pro Kennex has been able to efficiently transfer the negative energy or vibration away from the four corners of the racquet (imagine a steering wheel and the four corners of 10 and 2, and 8 and 4).
These four corners represent, for the most part, the weakest points on a tennis racquet and Pro Kennex has essentially taken away these points where on a traditional racquet, vibration and torque would begin to build up on a players arm.
Combine all that kinetic energy technology with featherweight frames and comfortable racquet flex ratings, and you've got the most arm friendly racquet on the market and the best tennis racquet for seniors.
Let's get into a few racquet specs that were helpful in getting me on the right path towards finding the best tennis racquets for seniors.
The first is Tennis Racquet Flex Rating.
What is Tennis Racquet Flex Rating?
It's an industry standard measurement used to grade how "stiff" or "flexible" a tennis racquet is.
Racquet flex rating is basically how much your racquet will bend with the impact of the ball. It’s measured on a scale of 1-100 where the higher the value, the stiffer your racquet is. The stiffer your racquet, the less it will bend on impact.
Look at it this way:
The higher the flex rating the stiffer the racquet. You’ll generate more power, lose a little control and your arm will feel the point of impact more.
The lower the flex rating, the more flexible or “soft” the racquet is. These racquets have vibrations dampening systems designed to soften the blow to your arm or redirect it through the racquet. You’ll sacrifice some power, gain a little control but the racquet just “feels” better on the point of impact.
High Flex Rating = Stiffer Racquet and More Power
Lower Flex Rating = Softer Racquet, More Control, Less Arm Impact
So, when looking at the best tennis racquets for older players, we’re going to be looking for racquets with a relatively lower flex rating.
Pro players generally opt for stiffer racquets, but as you grow older, flexible racquets will become your best friend because you won’t feel the impact of the ball on your arm as much.
Consider them “arm friendly” friendly tennis racquets. This is ideal for older tennis players who want something a little less taxing on the old rotator cuff and shoulder.
A good flex rating would be around 60-74. That’s ideal for older players.
Virtually all of Pro Kennex's racquets are going to fall within that range, with some as low as 60!
And just for a point of reference, I've never seen another racquet with a flex rating that low. Again, Pro Kennex knows what they're doing.
Video Source: Dunlop
Head size measures the head of the racquet aka, the main part of the racquet making contact with the ball.
The most common head size is 100 square inches. Some racquet brands make racquets up to 102, 104 or even 105 squares inches in head size.
What does this do?
Well, it gives the player a larger surface area to hit the ball with. A racquet with a larger head size is going to be more forgiving and give you a slightly larger sweet spot to hit the ball with.
But, I’m going to be honest with you. I debated on whether or not to include this racquet spec for the purpose of this article.
Older tennis players looking for a more forgiving racquet may want something a little larger. Say, 102 or at most 105 inches.
But a larger head size can lead to a heavier racquet. And a heavy racquet just ins’t as arm friendly.
I’d stay away from anything over 105 inches without playing with it first, because you run the risk of going too big.
If it were up to me, I’d stick to a head size between 100 and 105 inches.
Another factor to consider is racquet weight. If you’re an older player, a heavier racquet is not ideal.
Opt for a lighter racquet.
When it comes to racquet weight, it’s not rocket science. Lighter racquets are going to be easier to swing. They’re also going to be the most comfortable…especially if you’re an older player looking to stay active.
Even if you’ve played tennis for a long time but are now retired, a lighter racquet is simply going to feel better on your arm.
If you’re a male player in relatively good shape, I’d say a racquet weight anywhere in the mid 11 to 12 ounce range is good. If you’re a female, look for racquets in the 10 to 11 ounce range.
But this is subjective. A racquet might not feel heavy to you but it might to me. So just go with what feels comfortable. Go with something you know you’ll be able to swing and play with for 60 min without feeling any arm fatigue.
The only negative to a lighter racquets is that you will lose some power. The common reaction to a lighter racquet is to swing harder to generate more club head speed and more ball speed.
But be warned, if you’re an older tennis player and have arm issues, swinging harder (even with a lighter racquet) is a recipe for injury.
When playing with a lighter tennis racquet, it’s best to just concede that you won’t be blasting serves at 85 miles an hour anymore.
Head size: 105 sq. inches
Length: 27.5 inches
Weight: 260g or 300g
Flex Rating: 72
String Pattern: 16x19
Frame Material: Graphite/Carbon Fiber
Balance: 5 Pts Head Light
String Tension: 50 to 65 lbs
Power Rating: Medium
Spin Rating: Medium
Swing Speed: Medium
Arm Friendly: YES!
As I said in my opening paragraph, in my opinion, the best tennis racquet for seniors is the Pro Kennex Ki Q+ 15 tennis racquet.
It's heralded as one of the companies most durable and versatile racquets they make. I am going to get into this racquet's specs, but as I do that, I'm going to explain why I chose this racquet.
From a racquet weight perspective - the Ki Q+ 15 comes in two forms. The standard 300 gram option (10.6 ounces) or the featherweight 260 gram (9.7 ounce) version.
Both versions are going to feel lightweight and comfortable. Older, more petite female players may want to gravitate towards the 260g version.
Related Content: Are you a female beginner? Check out this helpful guide.
Some players just like a little more "oomph" or "plow through" with their swings so the standard weight would be my default choice to try first.
The thing I love most about this racquet is it's size. Normal racquets are 27 inches long but the Ki Q+ 15 comes in at 27.5 inches. In addition, it has a slightly larger overall head size at 105 sq. inches versus the standard 99 or 100 inch frame most pros play with.
What does this do?
Well, for starters it makes it a more forgiving racquet. With an extra half inch in overall length and 5 inches in head size, your hitter's area real estate just got a bump in the right direction.
A bigger head size also allows you to generate a little more power without having to swing through the ball like Hercules.
This racquet's weight, combined with its larger head size and .5 inches in overall length, really make it a rare combination. It gives you comfort and is extremely tennis elbow friendly while also giving you some extra power from it's size.
It should be noted that there is not a loss of control here either. If you've played tennis for 20 to 30 years and like to whip the ball and add topspin, this racquet can do that too.
It's not some simple, featherweight option that is only for players looking for a tamed down, shoulder friendly racquet. It's advanced enough to be pushed, give you control for ground strokes, but also power from baseline to baseline.
The main reason why this racquet is preferred by seniors, (and older yet seasoned tennis players) is because it's the perfect transition racquet for those that are getting older, have arm issues but still love the game.
You can still really compete with this racquet while reducing arm strain, fatigue and elbow complications...without losing your edge on the courts.
The Ki Q+ 15 is at the top of the pyramid when it comes to tennis racquets for older players. Its oversized head, kinetic energy trapping chambers and light weight make it the ideal choice for retired players that still want to play, compete and win.
I hope this article has provided you some education, knowledge and given you some direction to make the best purchase when it comes time to buy.
I feel the Pro Kennex Ki Q+ 15 is the best tennis racquet for older players but, pretty much all of Pro Kennex's lineup are going to be a great option. They're kinetic energy transferring technology is truly second to none and I wouldn't recommend any other brand to any senior player looking for a racquet that is easier on the arms and shoulders.
Which Pro Kennex racquet do you play with? Leave a comment below, we always love to hear what others are playing here at TheVolleyLlama.com