Below we discuss pickleball paddles that are best for tennis elbow.
These paddles help dampen and absorb the vibration into the paddle instead of it traveling up your arm.
Note that a different paddle may not get rid of your tennis elbow completely.
How you grip the paddle (less tightly), a larger grip size, and proper technique may also be needed to completely resolve your pain. These are all discussed as well.
I developed TE, but was able to get relief from a combination of using the right paddle, proper technique, and TE aids.
ProKennex Pickleball Paddles for Tennis Elbow
ProKennex pickleball paddles are specifically designed to prevent tennis elbow.
Steve Dawson is the developer of the paddle who is also Callan Dawson’s father who you may have seen play in pro matches.
The Prokennex Kinetic technology uses micro-bearings and Newtonian physics to take the ball energy (shock, torque and vibration) and absorb it into the Kinetic chambers.
After impact, a shock wave is released into the paddle from the ball and is immediately absorbed into the kinetic chambers in the paddle virtually eliminating vibration to the arm.
This energy transfer shields the player from harmful impact forces making for enhanced touch, feel, and kitchen play.
The Kinetic system reduces shock by 43% and vibration by 23% (verified by independent MIT Lab study), helping eliminate the epidemic of arm injury and strain in Pickleball.–ProKennex
ProKennex currently has 4 pickleball paddle models that each come in both a rounded shape (ovation) and pro (square) versions.
Black Ace -Toray T700 carbon fiber faced
Flight – Lightweight, lightning fast high performance paddle
Spin – 3-way access to spin:
- A Starett Legal textured surface
- Textured surface embedded into a non-slip surface applicant.
- 23 strings submerged beneath the surface
Speed II – Powerful, lightning fast tip-speed with proprietary 7-layer coating and complex composite with spin grab.
“This paddle has really help relieved my tendon pain when I play (and after). The touch and feel you get with this paddle is amazing – my placement and accuracy has markedly improved.”Bruce Mark – Pickleball Instructor
Engage Poach Infinity Pickleball Paddles for Tennis Elbow
Engage Poach Infinity Paddle technology to reduce tennis elbow:
- Vibration Dampening Skin – Eliminates vibration at the point of contact (at it’s source) not lower within the paddle or via other objects placed inside the paddle that only stops it from traveling to the hand.
- Counterweight Technology – Lowers the center of mass (balance point) closer to your hand to
- 1) mitigate getting tennis elbow by making the paddle more balanced (not head heavy which is one of the main reasons tennis elbow develops) and
- 2) increase maneuverability (hand speed).
- Proprietary ControlPro ‘Black’ Polymer Core – Creates the softest hitting paddle for those that like soft feeling paddles or have tendency for tennis elbow (mitigates vibration)
The Poach Infinity comes in four different shapes and grip sizes:
|Poach Infinity EX (standard)
|16″ long x 8″ wide
|Poach Infinity SX (short grip)
|16.25″ long x 7.7″ wide
|Poach Infinity MX (elongated)
|16.5″ long x 7.5″ wide
|Poach Infinity LX (blade)
|17″ long x 7″ wide
Joola Pickleball Paddle for Tennis Elbow
Though not specifically designed for tennis elbow as the ProKennex and Engage paddles, the 16 mm core (0.63″) on the Ben Johns Hyperion CFS 16 Graphite Paddle from JOOLA is thicker than most and helps to dampen and absorb impacts in addition to maximizing ball control.
Other things to do to help with Tennis Elbow
Stretching before and after and icing after are also key elements to keeping tennis elbow at bay.
Strengthening Exercise for Pickleball Elbow
DMoose Bar for Pickleball Elbow – Relieves Tendonitis Pain & Improves Grip Strength (commissioned link)
What Pickleball Paddle Weight is Best to Prevent Tennis Elbow?
Choose a paddle in the midweight range between 7.3 – 8.3 ounces.
If it’s too light, you may tend to over swing to get more power which will strain your elbow.
If it’s too heavy for your arm, the extra weight will also stress your elbow because you’re going to squeeze the paddle tighter.
Gearbox and thin, heavy paddles typically are the worst for pickleball elbow.
Weight distribution also matters.
A top-heavy paddle seems to irritate tennis elbow tendons more than those paddles where the weight is distributed equally across the face.
The top heavy paddles requires your wrist and elbow to remain more active and engaged leading to fatigue, overuse, and potential injury to those muscles and tendons.
Also a larger grip and/or adding extra overgrips reduces stress on the tendons and muscles of the forearm and elbow.
Here’s what Engage says about paddle weight:
If you have the tendency for tennis elbow most likely you are using too much wrist in your shots.
With Pickleball you should only use your wrist for an overhead. All other strokes you should have a firm wrist.
But if you do use your wrist, the first thing you should do is temporarily increase your grip size. One common way to do this is to use an over-grip.
The larger your hand is open the less the tendency there is to flick your wrist.
Then you can try to find an instructor that understands proper mechanics to help you eliminate flicking your wrist when you make contact with the ball.
Depending on how you swing, and the reason you use your wrist, a heavier paddle can actually help you reduce tennis elbow because you will use less effort to hit the ball.
So if you use your wrist to generate more power, you can benefit from a heavier paddle.
If you use your wrist just because some other reason, or you have a racquetball, badminton or table tennis background which are sports that your flick your wrist, then a lighter paddle will help.–Engage Pickleball
Loosen Your Grip
You’ve probably heard about grip pressure on a 1-10 scale.
Neither extreme is good.
Too tight and you’re ball goes flying where you don’t want it to, plus it aggravates tennis elbow, especially if you constantly have a death grip on your paddle for all shots.
Too loose and the ball goes nowhere and you have less control.
A grip of around 3-4 is always good when dinking at the kitchen and for resets.
You have much better “touch” and feel of the ball coming off your paddle for better control.
You may want to experiment with slightly tighter grips for ground strokes, drives, overheads, speed-ups and volley fire fights, but only to the extent that it won’t irritate your elbow.
What if you don’t want to change your paddle because you love the one you’re using?!
I know how you feel…
I developed tennis elbow after playing with my Electrum E paddle.
The paddle weighs 8.3 ounces (high midweight) and has a 16mm core.
But it wasn’t the paddle’s fault. It was more about my technique.
After loosening up my grip, using less wrist and elbow and swinging more from the shoulder, adding a more padded overgrip, and wearing the Tenex device (more on that below), my tennis elbow pain finally went away.
Some players have been able to get rid of their tennis elbow by just adding a padded grip which helps reduce the vibration and the thicker handle changes the grip as well.
Tenex Elbow Shock Absorber – The One Device That Helped Me
One day I was playing pickleball with a group and a guy noticed me wearing the band and the compression sleeve and asked if I had tennis elbow.
He said he also suffered until he got one of these, and pointed to his wrist.
It was a Tenex Elbow Shock Absorber.
He said it has cured his tennis elbow and about 14 others he has recommended it to.
I was skeptical, but I ordered it when I got home and have used it every day I play since and….
I don’t have tennis elbow pain anymore!
I could tell right away that it was helping because that awful searing pain wasn’t bothering me like it usually did even after playing three hours of pickleball!
I really liked my paddle and didn’t want to change to a different one just because of tennis elbow.
“When worn on your wrist, Tenex® ESA absorbs 70% of harmful vibrations according to testing conducted at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and at the University of British Columbia.“
If you feel the same way, then you may want to give the Tenex a try before switching paddles.
Note: When I first used the Tenex it’s not like immediately there wasn’t any pain because the injury was still there, but I did notice right away that the pain wasn’t intensifying as it usually did as I played.
By the third time I used it was when I noticed I didn’t have any pain because the two previous times it was absorbing the vibrations and allowing my elbow to heal.
So be sure to give the Tenex Shock Absorber a few days of wear before giving up on it! ….
It also may help at first to continue wearing an elbow band in combination with the Tenex until your elbow pain subsides.
Focus on Technique and Strengthening
Remember that pickleball elbow is essentially a repetitive strain injury usually caused by poor or improper technique, so focus on that in addition to strengthening and elbow pain relief devices.
Question: What have you tried that has helped you with tennis elbow and/or what hasn’t?
Please share by commenting below.
Here’s our current review of the best pickleball paddles.
Thermoformed and EVA Foam Core Pickleball Paddles That Help With Tennis Elbow
Many of the new unibody (single-formed paddle and handle design) thermoformed paddles have foam injected around the paddle’s perimeter and into the handle (polyurethane inserts) which creates a vibration dampening effect and reduces shock: