Head’s Graphene line has received a mixed bag reviews with a lot of players complaining about high stiffness ratings and lack of feel compared to legendary Head lines (even the IG line was great in this respect, both Radical and Prestige versions). The idea with the Graphene line was all the time to create a more “modern” frame, meaning faster and more powerful, which is exactly the way the game of tennis has gone. After trying to update the Graphene line with something called XT, Head decided to meet the criticism with Head Graphene Touch, a line with lower stiffness ratings and more dampening.
The Head Speed line was the first to get the Graphene Touch update, reviews were still mixed but they had definitely managed to dampen some of the harshness of the previous line of racquets. However, the risk is then that the racquet becomes too muted and you don’t get the necessary feedback telling you where you hit the ball, something older Head racquets did in spades.
Now it’s time for the Instinct line, endorsed by Maria Sharapova and Tomas Berdych to get the Touch update. I never really understood the Instinct line’s place in the Head product chain, since they seem to have very similar specs to some Radical and Speed racquets. The Head Graphene Touch Instinct MP received a lukewarm review from Tennis Warehouse and comments that meet most new racquets today: unstable. This can probably be managed with lead tape however.
The other racquet in the line that raises some eyebrows is the Head Graphene Touch Instinct Adaptive racquet. With Adaptive, Head is trying to do what Donnay started with their customization kit some years back and what Dunlop tried to accomplish with their iDapt line (judging by the popularity of that racquet, they seem to have failed however). The Adaptive line will allow you to customize your racquet, making it extended length, heavier (using weighted grommets with extra mass at 3 & 9 o’clock, or a heavier butt cap to create a more head light feel) and use either 16×19 or 16×16 string patterns. What you need to do is buy the Head Adaptive tuning kit which will retail around 30 USD. This Adaptive tuning kit can be purchased separately and be used with all Head Adaptive racquets.
Is it a good idea? Of course it is. Will it work? I haven’t tested it myself so it’s hard to say, but usually there are some downsides to being able to customize your racquet this way, not sure what will be the verdict here though. Will it sell? I’m not sure most people are into tinkering with their racquets, even if it’s relatively easy.
The Head Adaptive racquets will surely be interesting to follow. For you who are curious about the Head Graphene Touch Instinct Adaptive, below are the specs:
Strung Specifications (uncustomized)
|Head Size: 100 sq. in. / 645.16 sq. cm.|
|Length: 27in / 68.58cm|
|Strung Weight: 10.8oz / 306.17g|
|Balance: 13.38in / 33.99cm / 1 pts HL|
|Beam Width: 23mm / 26mm / 23mm /|
|Composition: Graphite/Graphene Touch|
|Power Level: Low-Medium|
|Stroke Style: Medium-Full|
|Swing Speed: Medium-Fast|
|Racquet Colors: Blue|
|Grip Type: Head Hydrosorb Pro|
|String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
Mains skip: 8T,8H
No Shared Holes
|String Tension: 48-57 pounds|