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HEAD Radical Pro 2021 Reveal

by Tennisnerd

Yesterday I received an early Christmas present from HEAD. A HEAD Radical Pro 2021 with my name on it!

Big thanks to HEAD for the early Christmas gift. I really liked the new Radical Prototype I reviewed, so this Radical Pro 2021 will have a special place in my tennis bag.

PS. If other brands want to send me nice gifts, I will be very happy. I can’t give promise you a good review though! I am always honest and unbiased, that’s the point of Tennisnerd. Ds. 

Back to the Radicals 2021. There has been a lot of talk about the paint job. Everyone I talked to loved the Prototype paint, including myself. But keeping that paint would have made the Radical stand out from the rest of the HEAD racquets like a sore thumb. So that was understandable.

You might think I love orange due to the website colors, but it’s generally a pretty neutral color for me. Too much orange can be a bad thing. To be honest, I wasn’t a fan when I first saw the paint job of the new HEAD Radical racquets, but when you hold the racquet and can see it up close, it grows on you. I think that’s the case with a lot of paint jobs, screens don’t really do them justice.

How important is the racquet design?

I am really curious to hear your thoughts about the importance of racquet design here. I was always a “playability” guy. I generally think feel and connection to the racquet is more important than design, power, spin, and so on. But obviously, the design makes a difference. HEAD has really tried to make their racquet lines a bit more funky and vibrant with this generation of racquets. I loved what they did with the new HEAD Extreme racquets for example and the bold new Radical 2021 is definitely growing on me.

Wilson seems to play it a bit more safe with their predominantly black paint jobs. You do recognize it with the accents at 3, 9, or 12, but it’s not the most daring design.

Babolat has always been a bit “busier” with their design work and got most of their praise for their “cleaner” Pure Strike 2017 launch. A lot of players seem excited about the Mallorca-inspired Rafa Nadal Pure Aero paint that is supposed to be launched in early 2021. That’s definitely bold, but also works.

The possibility to get your custom paint job is growing with Wilson’s new custom line and my friends at Unstrung Customs and it seems to get more and more popular. Dahcor made a Tennisnerd racquet for me to show off their custom racquet skills, so if you want something that looks different to everyone else, you can.

How important is the racquet design for you? Should you have a matching bag? Do you buy the same apparel as the pros wear? Please comment below!

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4 comments

Alec Wasa December 12, 2020 - 3:29 pm

For me racquet design definitely matters. Obviously playability for me will always the most important factor , but if a racquet is “ugly” in my eyes, I will for sure not buy it, at the least not for the full asking price. We all have different taste of course but I am actually surprised there are so many unattractive racquets out there. Wilson for me has the ugliest ones for sure. I want to look at the racquet and admire it. After all, I play 6-10 hours per week approx and holding a beautiful racquet is far more pleasant that holding an ugly one.

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Lovinfun December 12, 2020 - 11:23 pm

Racket design doesn’t matter to me, only playability and all my rackets are highly customized. Bag/backpack doesn’t have to match, just have the features I want (sounds like I’m to practical ?). I wear some pro apparel tops, but none of the baggy pants (and vain ?). Appreciate your reviews Jonah! Hope you find that one magical racket/string combo through your journey! I’m getting closer to finding mine!!!

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Tennis Lion December 13, 2020 - 5:41 pm

I recently got an ex demo Dunlop CV3.0, which was a real manufacturers demo in all matt black. Whilst I find it far better than the black& yellow stock paintjob for this model, it is a bit boring. If you go all black you need to have a few nice touches like Wilson’s laser engraving for example imo.
I wouldn’t go for the matching clothes and bags unless my game was good enough to be sponsored – then it looks good. Otherwise you look like a guy with ‘all the gear but no idea’!

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Dave Lee December 16, 2020 - 6:46 pm

I must admit, racquet paint jobs influence me. Attractive color schemes affect the overall enjoyment, and thus the experience on and off the court. This may be why I’ve never bothered with the prestige. The dark red plus bright red combo always seemed to clash. In terms of bags and apparel, it was important to me to buy a tennis bag that was not a tennis brand, as I carry a variety of racquets to the courts and don’t want to have mismatched gear. Same goes for clothing. I decided earlier this year that I liked Adidas’s shoe, so that meant adidas shorts and socks as well. I’m not trying to look like a pro, but there’s a sense of an outfit looking disorderly and confused when one mixes brands. Of course, none of these factors trump performance.

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