History of Prestige – HEAD Legendary Racquets

by Jonas Eriksson

A lot of racquetholics and racquet collectors think vintage/older HEAD racquets are about the best on the market with their flexible response and great touch. Will they ever bring them back?

If you talk to people who are into tennis racquets, you’d be pretty sure they have a certain affinity for racquets pre-Graphene. Quite a large number of tennis professionals play with some kind of HEAD pro stock racquet based on an older model. One of the most legendary examples is Andy Murray who uses the 20 year-old racquet HEAD Pro Tour 630 in an open string pattern (pro stock code PT57A2), but there are many. Marin Cilic for example uses a TGK 231.3 (which is a Microgel Radical in an open string pattern, but he still endorses the new Graphene Touch Prestige series).

There are Graphene racquets I like, like the first edition of the HEAD Graphene Radical Pro  but there are nothing like previous lines of HEAD racquets where HEAD was more known for flex than any other racquet brand on the market. Graphene ushered in a drastic change in an effort to adapt to the modern, faster, more powerful game and to battle it out with a power brand like Babolat (Wilson has never been shy to produce stiffer frames either). If I compare the Graphene series to the Innegra series, the Youtek Innegra included stellar frames such as the HEAD IG Radical Pro and the HEAD IG Prestige MP (both frames which I’ve enjoyed quite a bit personally and are hits with both recreational and professional players).

Talking about Prestige, HEAD has been doing a “#HistoryofPrestige” series on their Instagram including some absolutely amazing racquet photography that would make most racquetholics salivate substantially. Below are the outtakes from their series so far and I would be very happy if they, based on the interest of this series and what the fans ask for, decided to reintroduce some HEAD classics like a Prestige Classic 600, a Radical Tour (I like the Zebra or Candycane editions myself), a Pro Tour 630 and a iPrestige in their line-up. I think they would sell more than the Wilson Pro Staff RF 85 (click for my review, click here to buy) that Wilson re-introduced.

But that’s of course my personal opinion and now I’m keen to hear yours. If HEAD re-released a classic, which one would you vote for and why? And more importantly for HEAD, would you buy it? 

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Ethan February 13, 2018 - 19:38

At least in Northern California, racquet brands not named Babolat, Wilson, or Yonex, don’t appear to be selling much. My observations from attending some local lower level professional tournaments and observing what others- young and old- at the clubs have.

Ricky February 16, 2018 - 13:40

To me 89 model has best paintjob I did not play with it.

Ron February 17, 2018 - 09:13

I have been playing with the Head Intelligence i.Radical MidPlus, ever since it came out. Recently have been looking for a replacement as I can no longer buy the grommet strips for it, I have been looking for a replacement. I have tried out the Angel TC97 Pro, nice racquet, but found it hurt my arm a little, then tried the Wilson Ultra Tour for a month, again nice racquet, but my game was not quite the same, found it stiff at times, so picked up my beloved Head racquet and boy what a difference, the control, touch and feeling of this racquet is just so great, my game came right back!

With so many requests out there it is impossible to navigate through them all to find the ideal one, but thanks Jonas it makes it a little easier.

I have not had the pleasure of playing with a prestige, but the i.radical would probably get my vote, and yes if HEAD released some of these classics I would be very tempted to buy one, as currently thinking to take the plunge and buy an Angell K7 as am thinking perhaps this may be a good replacement for my old Head Intelligence i.Radical MidPlus perhaps? but am now also considering if perhaps I should just buy a second hand HEAD classic :)

Tennisnerd February 19, 2018 - 14:29

Hi Ron,
The iRadical MP is a great racquet. I can only recommend you to try the Angell K7 Red because I find it to be a great, modern yet comfortable racquet but the grip shape is more Wilson-like on the Angell so that might be an adjustment for you.

You can always find more old HEAD models used online. If you want a heavier frame, my HEAD LM Radical Tours are for sale! ;)

Good luck! Cheers / J

Frank July 6, 2019 - 23:36

Hi, I got my hands on a Prestige Classic 600, somewhere in the 90s I think, but I never enjoyed it much because it felt too stiff / rigid.
I always liked high RA frames, like my Wilson Pro Staff Classic 6.1s, which also had a pretty high RA but is a much more comfortable racquet.
So the Head didn’t get a lot of court time.

Lately I am reading a lot about hybrid stringing and also it seems that strings have evolved quite a bit since I last played tennis.

I still kept the HEAD in the back of the closet (even back then I thought it had legend potential!).
My question is What would be the best string for the Prestige Classic 600 to thoroughly enjoy it?

Can you recommend a string or hybrid setup for this racquet that will provide it with the much needed comfort and some power as well?
I would really appreciate your thoughts.

Michael June 11, 2021 - 06:26

Thanks for all your excellent info, etc! I developed TE coming out of 3yrs of rehab after a high speed car crash. Arm couldn’t handle me wanting to get back to form in a hurry…Was gifted a Head Satellite Tour by a student and fell in love– I have three now, registering at 52, 52 and 53RA strung with nat gut hybrid. These red, white and blue, box beamed gems are significantly flexier than the old red heads…


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