I have been testing a HEAD prototype racquet with the text “Massive sweet spot dominates the game” for a couple of weeks and want to give you my impressions. All the information about the racquet will be revealed on July 2nd. So for now, this is my HEAD Prototype racquet review.
In the avalanche of new racquets being released every year, it is difficult to keep track of what is going on. It is my hope that Tennisnerd can be some kind of guide in the jungle of tennis racquets being released. This HEAD Prototype will represent a new line of racquets from HEAD to add to Prestige, Radical, Instinct, Extreme and Speed. Each line carries four to five racquets. Are there too many racquets? Yeah, I think so. But as you can read in this HEAD Prototype racquet review, I think this one will be a positive addition.
The HEAD Prototype racquet I received is blacked-out, has no specs written on the racquet, but a neon text saying: “Massive sweet spot dominates the game” in capital letters. A bold and specific statement. There is also “MP” written on the shaft which means this is the mid-plus model. These are the specs of my HEAD Prototype racquet:
Head size: 100 sq inches
Length: 27 inches (standard)
Weight: 295 grams unstrung
Balance: 34 cm unstrung
Beam width: 22 mm
String pattern: 16×20
HEAD Prototype Racquet Review – Different than Graphene 360
The head shape of the prototype racquet is more rounded than other HEAD racquets (similar to the old HEAD IG Extreme 2.0) and this is where the claim of the bigger sweet spot comes from. There are no other new technologies to this racquet that I am aware of. I assume Graphene is a part of it, but I am not a hundred percent sure if this is a Graphene 360 racquet or something entirely different. It definitely feels different from the other Graphene 360 racquets I have tried. This one offers a softer, more old-school feel. Something I think fans of older HEAD racquets will like.
I strung my HEAD prototype racquet up with HEAD Hawk Touch at 22 kg. Other tennis friends testing this racquet have told me that it is quite low-powered so it seemed like a good idea to string low. The weight of 295 grams unstrung is lower than what I usually play, but the balance is more head heavy to give the racquet decent stability and power. I still feel that adding some weight to the racquet is a good idea, but I mainly wanted to give it a go in stock form.
HEAD Prototype Racquet Review – How does it play?
The feel of this prototype racquet compared to the other racquets in the HEAD line is quite different. It definitely has a more traditional feel, more similar to older HEAD racquets that a lot of racquet nerds are nostalgic about (including myself). Not far from a Prince Phantom in the sense that it is comfortable and offers good feel from anywhere on the court. The 16×20 pattern is a good idea, it gives you some spin but still allows you to flatten out the ball with some confidence.
I did not feel like the racquet gives you a lot of free power, so it definitely is more towards the player racquet category, but the light weight makes it easy to use. I liked this racquet, but want a bit more weight to feel a hundred percent comfortable with it. And it does feel like it has a decent-sized sweet spot. The head shape definitely helps here.
The prototype I tested played really nice and is a step in the right direction for HEAD tennis in my opinion. It was about time they release a more comfortable racquet with a classical and softer feel that will still work for the modern game. I think the target group for this one is quite large as it provides good spin, some power (but not too much) and is comfortable to use. Really keen to try the other racquets in the line when they are released. Watch this space!
HEAD Prototype Racquet Review – Video
Any thoughts about this racquet? Does it sound good? Are you excited or not?