Synchronized spin! This HEAD Auxetic Extreme MP Racquet review coincided closely with the launch of the Babolat Pure Aero 2023.
But for a play-tester the proximity in releases of racquets within the same category makes life a little easier. You can compare the two frames directly. And while doing this HEAD Auxetic Extreme MP racquets review, I also compared it to the Graphene 360+ Extreme MP predecessor.
HEAD Auxetic Extreme MP Racquet Review
Let’s start with what’s new. The Auxetic material worked well in the Speed racquets and many players liked the updated Auxetic Prestiges too (I preferred the red ones though). What I have noticed from adding Auxetic tech to the frame is that the feel is a bit cleaner and I get the sense that the sweet spot is somewhat larger. This was clearly noticeable in the new Speed racquets, but also with this new Extreme MP, I sense that the racquet is slightly more forgiving. It’s not a huge difference, but noticeable to the trained arm.
However, the Auxetic tech is not the major difference-maker in the new Extreme MP. The denser string pattern is. The previous model had a tendency to spray balls and had a lot of movement in the string bed. This one offers better control and will allow big hitters to strike with more confidence. Similar to what Babolat did with the 2023 Pure Aero.
These are the specs listed on the racquet and the official HEAD website. No RA or swing weight measurements are available as of yet, but my racquet had a strung swing weight of 325 with HEAD Lynx Tour 1.25.
WEIGHT (UNSTRUNG): 300 g / 10.6 oz
STRING PATTERN: 16/19
HEAD SIZE: 645 cm² / 100 in²
GRIP SIZE: 1-5
BALANCE: 320 mm / 1 in HL
LENGTH: 685 mm / 27.0 in
BEAM: 23/26/21 mm
As you can see there is not much difference here from the predecessor. It does feel a tad softer though, maybe RA 64-65 strung (but you shouldn’t look closely at the RA rating since the racquet flexes differently in different locations and that is just an average).
How does it play?
This written review is a work in progress, but you can watch the video above to see what I think about the racquet. Overall, I find it to be a solid improvement over the predecessor. Players choosing between the Pure Aero and the Extreme MP will face a tough choice. The MP plays a bit softer and with longer dwell-time on the string bed, while the Aero is a tad stiffer and offers more energy return. I liked touch shots better with the Aero, but found the one-handed backhand much more natural with the Extreme.
It’s a tough decision if I would choose in between them. For my game, these racquets are a bit too lively and I can’t really swing out with confidence. But for players looking for extra power and spin, they’re both excellent. The new Extreme MP should definitely be demoed by players who like to wreak havoc from the baseline, preferably on a clay court.
What do you think of the new HEAD Extreme MP?