I have now finished my review of the HEAD Radical 2021 prototypes. This references the Radical Pro 2021 and Radical MP 2021.
The updated Radical comes with spiral fibers in the layup similar to all the other Graphene 360+ racquets. The benefit is a more flexible and comfortable feel. HEAD have decided to shorten the name to Radical 2021 instead of adding all the technologies in the name. I think that is a good idea to bring some clarity to the consumer of which racquet is which.
The simplified naming technology doesn’t mean that this isn’t a significant update. I liked the Graphene 360 Radical Pro, but felt like the feel was a bit stiff and not too my liking. The stringbed was predictable and the racquet was a favorite of one of my hitting partners, but there was something missing for my game.
The Pro comes in with a new mold and layup, while the MP just has a layup change.
The ready retail paint job will be more orange than this, which could be both a good and a bad thing depending on your taste. But HEAD obviously wants the racquet to fit in with the rest of their racquet lines.
Specs and tech
The beam is slightly thinner with the Pro this time and the stiffness is definitely reduced. I don’t know the RA rating, but the previous model was fairly high, while this one feels like low 60s strung. That is a significant improvement.
The MP offers a bit more power and liveliness, while the Pro is more tailored towards pinpoint control. You get better maneuverability with the MP though.
Both racquets have gotten a 5+ gram increase, which I think was the right move. I still lack some stability at times when I hit outside the sweet spot or play against big hitters.
The Pro was my favorite but there wasn’t a huge difference between them. With the MP you have more weight towards the head of the racquet, so the stability is pretty close.
I strung up both racquets with HEAD Lynx Tour Orange 1.25 at 53 lbs, added an overgrip and got the following strung specs:
MP: 323.2g, 32.3 cm balance, 324 SW
Pro: 337g, 31.8 cm balance, 329 SW
How does it play?
The best idea to find out how these racquets play is through watching my video review above, but I would give a few pros and cons below.
Excellent feel and comfort
Feels fast and aerodynamic
The sweet spot is pretty small
Could be a bit more stable on off-center hits
Perhaps the Pro should have come with an 18×20 pattern?
I really like these frames, but they lack some stability and plow-through to compete with the Yonex Ezone Tour. On the other hand, pretty much all my hitting partners who tried a bunch of my test racquets preferred the Radical, and three of them talked about making a switch. So these frames made quite an impression on my friends!
Who is it for?
I think the Radicals suit the all-court player who can generate your own power. You need good fundamentals and movement to make the most use out of these racquets, but if you have the game for them, you can make some magic!
I would definitely give these a go if you are a 4.0 NTRP player who wants control. I think these will be a tough competitor to the Wilson Blade.
Have you tried the new Radicals? Thoughts?