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HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP Racquet Review

by Tennisnerd
HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP Racquet Review

My good friend, tennis player and racquet reviewer for the Swedish Tennis Magazine, Henrik Wallensten, managed to get a hold of the new Radical MP for a few days and here is his HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP racquet review. Thanks Henrik for another brilliant contribution.

Before we delve deeper into the HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP racquet review, let’s delve back into some HEAD history…

Back in 1993, the hard-hitting American André Agassi was one of the biggest stars in the game. He had previously been using a Prince Oversize-frame (The famous Prince Original Graphite with a cross-bar stabilizer) and then a Donnay oversize. When Austrian based company HEAD started the work on a new frame for the hot American, they were looking at Andre’s previous frames. Out of the baking-ovens in the factory at Wuhrkopfweg 1 in Kennelbach came an oversize-frame with a stiff feel, magic power, and great spin potential. André took some time to find the right groove with his new frame, but after a while, Andre and his Radical racquet was a match made in heaven.

HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP Racquet Review – A Radical history lesson

Andre continued to use the Head Radical through his entire career and he was the big poster-boy of Head. Since the first Radical tour (or the Trisys as it was called in the US) we have seen a bunch of different versions of the Radical with technologies like Intellifibres, Microgel, Liquidmetal, Flexpoint and so on, but since a couple of years, the famous oversize version of Radical is no more. The last oversize was the Innegra (IG) Radical.

After the IG Radical, the series changed direction again. Going from a soft flex with good feel, Radical once again was heading for the stiffer feel with the new Graphene-rackets. The new, stiffer Radicals were very popular among the juniors and has been in the last models, but among the purists, the somewhat stiff feel has not exactly been the flavor of the month. But my feeling about this HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP racquet review, is that it might change.

HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP Racquet Review – Specs and Tech

Maybe things will change now though, in the year of 2019, when Head launches the new Graphene 360 Radical. The 360 Radical has, as the name points out, the new Graphene 360 technology. What is the new technology? Well, it´s enforced parts in the frame with extra graphene materials. HEAD have placed it in the shaft and in the head at 9, 12 and 3 (clockwise). When I have tested the 360-tech in Extreme and Instinct rackets, I have felt a more muted, well-dampened feel so it was interesting to see how 360 performed in the Radical.

HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP Racquet Review – Specs:

WEIGHT (UNSTRUNG): 295 g / 10.4 oz
STRING PATTERN: 16/19
HEAD SIZE:630 cm² / 98 in²
BALANCE: 320 mm / 1 in HL
LENGTH: 685 mm / 27.0 in
BEAM: 20/23/21 mm

HEAD in Sweden was so kind to let me borrow the new Radical over the Easter-holiday for an equipment update in the Swedish Tennis Magazine (where I write travel and equipment articles) and also the chance to write an early mini-review here at Jonas’ magnificent site tennisnerd.net. The frame I got was the Graphene 360 MP in grip 3. As soon as I got the frame, I noticed a major difference: the grip-shape! Radical have since the birth always had the more rectangular shaped grip (first TK57 and later TK82) but now it will have the rounder TK82S that first was launched in the Youtek Speed and now is used in Extreme, Instinct, Speed, MXG and Radical-series. I would not be surprised if the Prestige when it gets the 360 update also will have the TK82S pallets.

HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP Racquet Review – Performance

HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP Racquet Review

Normally, I always cut out the pre-strung factory strings when I get a frame to test, but the Radical I only had a couple of days, so I was testing it with the factory string. A black co-poly strung at an estimated 52 to 54 pounds. First test was on indoor hard with the Dunlop Australian Open ball and second test was outdoor on the Swedish clay courts (they are more like gravel-courts then clay here) with the magnificent RS Tour edition.

The design of the new Radical is nice and not so messy like the last versions. It sports clean lines and gives a premium look. It now feels like HEAD has a good strategy with all their designs. Out on court, it was interesting to see how the frame performed. First strokes from the baseline were easy and precise. Straight away you notice that the feel of this version is much more muted than previous versions. There are no vibrations at all finding its way down to your hand and arm. It´s also very noticeable that this is a very polarized frame. There is a lot of weight in the tip and bottom of this racket. When the pace is increased, you will feel that it is a solid and stable frame. It offers good control and is intended for players with a flat, powerful game. On serves, it creates a big ball and the sound you get from the frame when hitting the sweet spot is wicked.

HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP Racquet Review – Playability

HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP Racquet Review - Performance

Volleys are precise and sharp and thanks to the light weight of the frame, it´s easy to manoeuvre on quick exchanges at net. I was playing indoor against a really good junior player with hard, heavy strokes and the 295-gram unstrung weight had no problem whatsoever to withstand the shots. My normal set-up has been a 315-gram unstrung weight with a 31.5 cm balance, but I have just recently changed my go-to racket to the new Wilson Clash Tour with a 310-gram unstrung weight and around 30,5 cm balance. The polarized setup of the Radical 360 has a big part in this. You simply don’t need to make it much heavier to get some good plow.

Next test was outdoors on clay (gravel), on a beautiful, warm Swedish spring day with 21 degrees Celsius and no wind at all. This time up against a senior player with good patience. Perfect for a test! Going from the Clash Tour with its very open string pattern to the more closed pattern of the Radical, you immediately notice that the spin in the Radical is not the focus. It is all about control and stability in this frame. Perfect for the attacking player. To get a better spin, I would try a lower tension and/or a shaped co-poly string. The tension and round poly in the demo frame were not helping the spin at all and I guess if I had some more time with this frame I could surely find a good string/tension combination that would fit my game.

HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP Racquet Review – Summary

HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP Racquet Review - Playability

The IG Radical Pro was my go to frame back in the days, and with some more love to this racket in the form of a leather grip, a little squirt with the silicone gun into the handle and a restring with a string like Tour Bite or Hawk Rough, well, then I guess this frame could easily be a frame I would call my go to frame as well.

HEAD Graphene 360 Radical MP Racquet Review – Video


Thanks Henrik for this review! I will take out the Radical Pro tomorrow and the review should be up in two weeks.

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16 comments

Moritz April 24, 2019 - 6:54 pm

How would you compare it to its predecessor? Even more muted? How would you describe the difference in touch?

Thanks, nicely done review!

Best,
Moritz

Reply
Duhhhhh April 25, 2019 - 7:44 am

You know Agassi just did a paint job on his prince rackets to look like radicals right???

Reply
Tennisnerd April 27, 2019 - 7:33 am

So you’re saying he never used HEAD racquets?

Reply
JFL April 25, 2019 - 10:40 am

I played with its predecessor a lot this winter and now i realu know what soar elbow is. I didn’t understand in the start what was going on until it went to far. I switched back to my blade 98 cv and now I’m lucky enough quite okay again.
I had strung the graphene touch radical mp with msv Focus hex at 23 kg. A string that also work very well in blade 98 cv.

A little sad because i’m played very well with the graphene touch mp. The same thing happened in the test here on tennisnerd with the Graphene 360 speed pro.The tester has to stop playing with it because of soar elbow.

What is it with the new generation Head rackets? They got a price for this graphene tecnology. A tecnology who gives you negative Feedback to your arm.
I must say i’m sceptic to this new radical racket line.

Reply
Tennisnerd April 27, 2019 - 7:33 am

Hi Jorn,
They are not uncomfortable, but they sure have a hollow feel which is not everyone’s cup of tea.

You do get good control and spin with them, but I am struggling a bit with the feel as you mention and my wrist tends not to like it.

Regards / J

Reply
PRZEMEK April 27, 2019 - 3:35 am

Thank you Henrik for a vell written review. Also good tennisnerd type of IG account to follow.

Reply
Vitorio Pagliuso April 27, 2019 - 8:47 pm

Between this new Radical 360 and the Speed pro 360, what you think is the best choice from a player who comes from the
Prestige line?

Reply
Tennisnerd May 3, 2019 - 2:53 pm

I think the Radical is closer to a Prestige than the Speed.

Reply
Ron April 28, 2019 - 7:24 am

Hi Jonas, can your good buddy Henrick find out from Head when the Radical 360 will be released to the public?! I see all the pros using them NOW e.g. Diego Schwartzman, Taylor Fritz, etc. using them already. Regards, Ron from California, USA

Reply
Henrik Wallensten April 30, 2019 - 7:59 am

Przemek: many thanks for that! 🙂

Ron: If my memory is correct it will be available around May 15 worldwide. If you buy it, try lowering your tension 4-5 pounds with this version.

Reply
Vova May 1, 2019 - 5:31 am

Duhhhhh you are wrong, that was Donnay, not Head

Reply
Ron May 8, 2019 - 12:20 am

Thanks Henrick! TODAY TennisWarehouse just posted “early ordering” and “due in stock 5/16.” I’m going to demo both the Radical MP and Radical Pro. I am looking for more plow through than my current stick Head Graphene XT Instinct MP. The Radical Pro 360 is 14g heavily but the swing-weight is only 325 vs. 324 with Radical MP 360. Thanks for your lower tension tip!

Reply
Andrei Florea June 27, 2019 - 5:31 am

Hello!I’m looking to buy this one in the near future and i’m frowing about the string and tension that i will use.could you recommend any set up for an intermediate player who is still lacking in the power department and likes to hit from the baseline with flat and controlled shots?

Otherwise,a very good guide and keep us informed.Thumbs up !

Reply
Tennisnerd August 12, 2019 - 12:57 pm

Hi Andrei,
I think Solinco Tour Bite Soft at 21 kg or 49 lbs could be very nice in this racquet. Give it a try!

Regards / Jonas

Reply
Emerson August 19, 2019 - 1:30 pm

Congrats on the review! Actually I play with Head Radical Racquets since the first black and yellow Agassi’s one.
But Now I am playing with Radical Microgel.
I tried several times to upgrade it to newer models but I just cant.
Why Head still produces the Microgel version?? Why the newer models are so stiff? I tried to upgrade to other brands but I think I am so used to Head’s touch that it s always a fail.
This 360 model vs the radical Microgel feels stiff?

Thank you

Reply
Tennisnerd August 19, 2019 - 2:42 pm

Thanks. The MG Radical is a brilliant, but low-powered racquet. Yes, the Graphene 360 will feel stiffer. The new Gravity line is softer and worth a try though!

Good luck / Jonas

PS. If you feel like my advice is really useful, please consider becoming a patron for $2 at patreon.com/tennisnerd and get exclusive content every week. DS.

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