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Straight or a radius handle

what is the pros and cons of both?


  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,211 Administrator
    Radius is easier on your elbows

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  • ZmanZman Posts: 1,734 Mega Baller
    Agree with @Horton A little easier on the arms, with no downside. Or, none that I could tell.
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 6,079 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    I would love to hear a physics explanation on how it would be easier on your elbows? A slack hit is a slack hit, it don’t matter what handle you use.
    Shut up and ski
  • ZmanZman Posts: 1,734 Mega Baller
    edited December 2020
    @The_MS You must have been watching my skiing, lol. I did say the radius makes it a "little" easier on the arms.
    I actually added a second sentence (then deleted it) that said, eliminating (or greatly reducing) my on-side slack hits BY FAR had the most impact with reducing my elbow pain. I skied a ton this summer, and had almost no elbow pain. Year before last, my left elbow was on fire all summer!
    That said, I like my radius. But, go back and forth with a spare straight handle too.
    To your point, no handle will prevent elbow pain if you subject it to the amount of on-side slack hits I was taking 2 years ago.
    Q: Would you understand the "physics explanation" even after @Than_Bogan gives it to you?
  • mike_mapplemike_mapple Posts: 155 Water Ski Industry Professional
    I would love to hear a physics explanation on this. All I have ever heard was its easier on the elbows, but from my own years of skiing, and watching my parents they never used them. But I did, and I never noticed a difference, if anyone has a "Physics explanation" please tag me in it, always looking to learn new things!
    [email protected]
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    If you have a blister, pop it, pour some lemon juice on it, and then add salt. -Andy Mapple
  • Ed_JohnsonEd_Johnson Posts: 2,255
    I have been buying my Radius ERGO from Mike at Performance for years now and about to go get another one soon. I really don't care about the Physics of it, all I know is it totally eliminated Tennis Elbow in my left arm which was EXTREMELY PAINFUL !!!

    Also, the curved ends eliminated mis-grabs.... Exactly the same results for one of my ski partners in his 60's.

    Special Thanks to Performance Ski and Surf and the Denali Adam's !!!
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 6,079 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    I had tennis and golfers elbow. They both went away.
    @Zman even @Than_Bogan cant explain this situation
    Shut up and ski
  • ISP6ballISP6ball Posts: 205 Baller
    @Ed_Johnson couldn't have said it better.

    I went from miserable tennis elbow to absolutely nothing. The only change for me was a straight handle to an ergo radius. Somebody can research the 'why' if they want to, but I'll just keep buying the radius handles.
  • dvskierdvskier Posts: 696 Crazy Baller
    I agree, I have no idea why but a radius handle has eliminated my sore elbows. I’m an old guy so what do I know?
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 6,079 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    From that picture it looks like I can get another inch or two of length. That may help me get through 39
    Shut up and ski
  • ZmanZman Posts: 1,734 Mega Baller
    @The_MS So, what changed? To get rid of your tennis and golfers elbow? I know you don't take slack.
  • JackQJackQ Posts: 397 Open or Level 9 Skier
    I am with Mike. A radius handle is not better for everyone, as in most depends. I have bone spurs ( can not straighten my arm) and elbow tendonitis and using a radius handle is much harder and essentially unusable for me. I suggest you don’t know if you don’t try.
  • The_MSThe_MS Posts: 6,079 Member of the BallOfSpray Hall Of Fame
    @Zman just like any other injuries, you heal up. I think most people get hurt, look for solutions like a curved handle but would heal up no matter what.
    Shut up and ski
  • AndersonAnderson Posts: 56 Baller
    Sorry to beat a dead horse, but I was THE BIGGEST SKEPTIC about curved handles keeping my elbows healthy...until a brutal case of golf elbow that didn't get better over the off-season and was so painful I couldn't do a pull-up prompted me to eat crow and give a curved handle a try. 6 weeks later, my elbows were feeling much better and by the end of the season the pain was gone. I can't explain the physics, but I'm a convert.
  • HortonHorton Posts: 30,211 Administrator
    I have a lot of inflammation issues ( RSIs ) and I am sure the bent handle is one of things that helps. I am not a doctor and do not play one on TV.

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  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 581 Crazy Baller
    I own both, most of last season on the radius, but my revelation of healing wasn’t from that. A few years ago I developed bad elbow pain in right elbow (LFF). One run mid set I decided to reverse my grip and it was immediately 100% gone. Never went back. I’m used to the feel of the radius, like it, but when I do a quick run occasionally with a ski buddy that has a straight 12” set up already I find it feels very good and helps keep me hands closer together in better position . So to the topic of radius vs straight and the Q of elbow pain and physics I have no idea as what fixed my elbow was the grip. I recommend own both and ski both. Not everyone could be ok with reverse grip.
  • Alberto SoaresAlberto Soares Posts: 333 Solid Baller
    It took one entire year to heal my golfers elbow, less sets, a lot of stretching and phisioterapy, did not change my 1.18 normal handle.
  • ReallyGottaSkiReallyGottaSki Posts: 218 Baller
    Been on the radius for years, really miss it when its not available for a pull

    Straight handle- I think the wider the shoulders, the more acute the angular misalignment on the wrists to forearm, and beyond power-robbing uncomfortable, one tends to maintain constant bicep tension to give relief to the wrist angle, inducing tendonitis

    Radius - one can really let he arms out and be extensions of the rope, improving technique, and efficiency of energy. also inhibiting bicep tendonitis

    If someone already has tendonitis and jumps on a radius handle, i also see a chance the more open angle can not feel like an improvement

    Generally the narrower the shoulders, the less advantage to the radius, and a straight handle can feel entirely proper
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 3,075 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Personally, I find it mortifying to have “golfer’s” elbow.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • ClydesdaleClydesdale Posts: 171 Baller
    For a couple years I had elbow pain and hand pain related to tendons-trigger finger. Switched to radius last summer. Elbow pain gone. Hand issues much better. I have no idea why my hands would feel better but they do. Maybe coincidence.
  • VONMANVONMAN Posts: 235 Crazy Baller
    Radius handle. Been using them for 13 years now. No elbow or wrist pain ever.
    Ernie Schlager

    A Good One Ball Gives You Six
  • brodybrody Posts: 326 Baller
    I had tennis elbow both sides. Could only ski 1 set every 2 weeks. My sports med doctor who is a 38off skier told me to get a radius handle. Said the slight angle change is a massive difference. He said if that didn’t work go to a clincher style glove. Went to a radius handle, never had another problem with my elbows
  • H2OkieNCH2OkieNC Posts: 7 Baller
    I have gone back and forth. In 2020, I switched from straight to radius mid season (so presumably my skiing was about the same) and pain shifted from top of right arm to bottom of left arm. Don't know why.

    (I am RFF so right palm is down, left palm is up).
  • skialexskialex Posts: 1,167 Crazy Baller
    Not having a constant elbow issue, But few years ago had to borrow a bend handle for couple of months as in mine the rubber was turning and had to get a new one. (Only one I could find at same size)
    Elbows felt a lot better, but crossing behind the boat felt that I had slightly more power with the straight one. More of a feeling though. Went with straight after that.
    I would go back to radius if I develop an elbow issue, but so far all good.
    Question is, if the benefit is higher than any downside, why most people ski with straight handles?
  • DaveDDaveD Posts: 952 Mega Baller
    Both Masterline and In Tow have a multiple options for bend handles. From the pictures on the websites it's hard to tell if there's differences in their shapes. Has anyone compared the shapes to see if they are all bent the same amount?
  • lpskierlpskier Posts: 3,075 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    @skialex I imagine they sell more straight handles because straight handles are what people are used to buying. Going to a radius is change and basically people avoid change at all cost.
    John Wilkins- Si non pro sanguine quem ludus ne. #iskiconnelly
  • Dacon62Dacon62 Posts: 810 Crazy Baller
    Not completely sure but thinking straight handles get used at tournaments because you might lose an inch or more reach with a radius handle? Handle is measured to the furthest point?
  • skialexskialex Posts: 1,167 Crazy Baller
    @Dacon62 they way most handle measuring devices at tournaments are made, don’t think it makes much difference between straight and bent ones.
    You need to keep the handle level and in order to do that you either need a larger base or two touching points for the handle bar to seat straight.
  • pregompregom Posts: 311 Baller
    From looking at a few bent handles my ski buddies have, I don’t think there is more than an inch of difference between the end points of the handle and its middle point. Would that really make a difference at tournaments?
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