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Home GearTennis RacquetsRacquet Reviews HEAD Graphene 360+ Extreme Racquet Review

HEAD Graphene 360+ Extreme Racquet Review

by Tennisnerd

Do you want more spin and power without sacrificing comfort? Then you might like this new HEAD Graphene 360+ Extreme Racquet Review.

The HEAD Extreme series has always focused on helping the player generate more topspin and power. It’s endorsed by players such as Matteo Berrettini (uses older model pro stock) and Jan-Lennard Struff (uses the Pro).  The HEAD Graphene 360+ Extreme racquets introduce spiral fibers for a softer, more comfortable feel. The spiral fibers improved the feel of the Prestige and Speed racquets and that’s also the case with the new Extremes. I enjoyed doing this HEAD Graphene 360+ Extreme Racquet review because it was a significant improvement over the predecessor. The line is overall probably a bit too lively and powerful for my liking, but the new 98 sq inch. Tour model is an interesting frame that could be a tournament weapon also for players who want a bit more control.

At the time of writing, the racquets are available in the USA and Asia. The Europe release date is Aug 20.

HEAD Graphene 360+ Extreme Racquets  – Specs and tech

The technologies in the new Extreme racquets center on aerodynamics and string movement, two areas that will help produce racquet head speed and spin.

You can see the tech included in the pic above, such as Spin Shaft, Spin Pattern, Spin Grommets, and Power Grommets.

I really thought the inclusion of the spiral fibers in the layup helped to create a softer and more comfortable feel compared to the predecessor. Despite using all of these racquets with a full bed of poly, I never experienced any discomfort and that is pretty rare for thick-beamed power racquets.

All the focus on spin tech does create a lively feel. In some cases (I mainly noticed this with the S and the MP models) it was a bit too lively for my taste and the ball could be difficult to control on volleys and touch shots. The Tour was the most controlled racquet of the bunch and the Pro offered the best stability. But let’s go through the different models below.

HEAD Graphene 360+ Extreme Pro

I tried the previous version a while back and had a lot of fun with the amount of pace it generated. It was also ultra-stable. The new Extremes share most of that but it definitely offers improved control thanks to the tighter string pattern and better comfort from the spiral fibers in the layup.

It is still a pretty powerful racquet. I tried it both with HEAD Hawk 1.25 and HEAD Lynx Tour 1.25 at around 54-55 lbs. I preferred the slightly softer feel of Lynx Tour and thought the racquet and the string complimented each other well.

Strung specs of the HEAD Graphene 360+ Extreme Pro with Hawk strings: 334g, 32.3 cm, 327 SW.

(Unstrung specs) – See a full pic of all the HEAD Extreme racquets below.

Head size: 100 sq inches / 645 sq cm
Weight: 315g / 11.1 oz
Balance: 315 mm / 7 pts HL
Beam: 23/26/21 mm
Length: 68.5 cm / 27 inches
String pattern: Tight 16×19
Stiffness: Medium Stiff
Power level: CPI 400 (HEAD power scale) – relatively high

How does the Extreme Pro play?

It is the most stable of the bunch and the racquet that requires good technique to get it moving. The tighter string bed is a good thing as it was easier to get control on flatter shots than the MP. The swing weight is right in my wheelhouse and I had a hard time deciding whether I liked this one or the Tour the most. If you’re an advanced player and want a powerful frame that can offer good spin without being a complete rocket launcher, the Extreme Pro is a great choice.

The Pro is powerful, stable, spin-oriented, but doesn’t have a crazy launch angle. It is a little too powerful for me (although I did love the extra pop it gave me on serve), not as much as a Pure Aero Tour for example, but too much for players who like control-oriented racquets. But if you are a clay-court or a baseline who likes to attack by putting plenty of RPMs on your shots, the Pro is a great frame. The sweet spot is bigger compared to the Tour version.

HEAD Graphene 360+ Extreme Tour

The Extreme Tour is a new member of the Extreme family. It has a 98 sq inch head size and a thinner beam, which makes it into something resembling a more powerful Radical Pro. A larger head size improves racquet stability, so I felt like this frame needed extra weight in the hoop. My racquet in stock form strung with HEAD Hawk 1.25 came in at 327g, 32 cm balance, 324 SW. I prefer racquets in the 330 SW range and 4 grams of lead tape at 3 and 9 helped me enjoy this racquet a lot more.

In stock form, it does suffer from some stability issues. But with the extra weight, it plows through the ball nicely and held up well at the net. It’s still a powerful and spin-friendly frame, but not as much as the rest of the racquets in the line. But I would also call it a “lively” frame, quite similar to a Pure Aero VS or a Yonex VCORE 98.

(Unstrung specs)

Head size: 98 sq inches / 630 sq cm
Weight: 305g / 10.8 oz
Balance: 315 mm / 7 pts HL
Beam: 22/23/21 mm
Length: 68.5 cm / 27 inches
String pattern: Tight 16×19
Stiffness: Medium Stiff
Power level: CPI 500 (HEAD power scale) – relatively high

How does the Extreme Tour play?

The Tour is the most controlled of the new Extreme racquets and I think it’s a great addition to give something a bit more controlled for players looking for spin and power, but not the “extreme” amounts of the Pro and the MP.

The racquet’s twist weight is pretty low, which makes it a bit unstable on heavy balls. I also feel that this racquet’s swing weight should be closer to 330 to be optimal. This is a racquet for advanced players that can handle the weight and if you want a lighter racquet, the S or MP is the best choice.

My preferred string setup in this frame was HEAD Hawk Touch 1.20 at 53 lbs. I got more control, comfort, and feel with this string over the regular HEAD Hawk string. I did not get quite the same power on serves as with the Pro or the MP, but it handled flatter shots a bit better thanks to the tighter pattern and the spin potential is still more than enough. In feel, it reminds me a bit of the new Pure Strike, dampened, spin-friendly, powerful but with good directional control.

HEAD Graphene 360+ Extreme MP

The MP is very similar to the Pro. It has a lighter static weight and a slightly more open string pattern for even more spin. The strung specs of mine revealed an even higher swing weight than the Pro version, but the low static weight made it pretty easy to swing.

I found the MP to be the most logical choice for intermediate players. Stable, very powerful, and spin-friendly, but still pretty comfortable. It stacks up well against bestsellers like the Babolat Pure Aero and the Dunlop SX 300. The comfort is better than the Aero and similar to the Dunlop and it offers even more spin. The issue is that if you’re a flat hitter you the ball might end up launching on you with this frame and the Extreme S.

My strung specs were: 321.6g, 33.3 cm, 333 SW.

(Unstrung specs)

Head size: 100 sq inches / 645 sq cm
Weight: 300g / 10.6 oz
Balance: 325 mm / 5 pts HL
Beam: 23/26/21 mm
Length: 68.5 cm / 27 inches
String pattern: Open 16×19
Stiffness: Stiff
Power level: CPI 600 (HEAD power scale) – high

HEAD Graphene 360+ Extreme S

The S is the powerhouse of the new HEAD Extreme racquets. It is oversized, light, weighted in the head, and packs a LOT of power. I found this racquet challenging to control and I had to shorten up and slow down my swing quite a bit to get the ball within the lines. Once I did, tennis was pretty easy, just point and shoot. But any kind of finesse shots was harder to come by.

Of course, I’m not the target group of this racquet. The Extreme S is a game-improvement frame, made to give you lots of power and spin “for free”, while not making the racquet harsh on the arm. I would say this is an excellent frame for veterans and doubles players with shorter swings.

I used the racquet strung with HEAD Hawk 1.25 at 55 lbs. The strung specs were: 300g, 34.5 cm balance, 318.5 SW.

(Unstrung specs)

Head size: 105 sq inches / 680 sq cm
Weight: 275g / 9.7 oz
Balance: 340 mm / even
Beam: 23/26/22 mm
Length: 68.5 cm / 27 inches
String pattern: Open 16×19
Stiffness: Stiff
Power level: CPI 800 (HEAD power scale) – high

Summary

The new HEAD Graphene 360+ Extreme racquets are a significant improvement over previous Graphene Extremes. They offer better feel and more comfort while maintaining the power and spin levels of their predecessors. The racquets are lively and powerful and will likely not appeal to players looking for control and touch except for the Tour which is an interesting option for players who like the HEAD Graphene 360 Radical Pro, but want a bit more spin and power.

The dampening is impressive in these frames. Despite playing with a full bed of poly, I did not sense any discomfort in the wrist or elbow. I struggled at times to control the launch angle and when it came to volleys, I felt a bit lost at times as the ball at a tendency to jump off from the string bed.

I think these racquets require a fairly dead string to increase the control. I did like Lynx Tour in the Pro, but Hawk Touch was my favorite string in these frames overall. I would string these frames fairly high, around 54-55 lbs. Despite these frames feeling reasonably comfortable, I would be a bit concerned to play with a stiff, thick-beamed frame if you have arm issues.

The Pro is excellent for the advanced clay-court and topspin player who likes to hang out at the baseline and deliver bombs over to the other side of the net. The Tour is better for a player looking for more control, but getting a bit more free pace and rotations out of it than most 98 sq inch racquets.

The MP is interesting for players who want even more of “the good stuff” and a worthy competitor to the Pure Aero, while the S is more suitable for veterans and doubles players with a shorter swing.

Personally, these racquets are a bit too powerful and lively for my taste. I am more into control racquets like the HEAD Pro Tour 2.0 or the new HEAD Prestige MP so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to readers of Tennisnerd. The Tour was interesting and enjoyable, but it wasn’t a hundred percent in tune near the net.

If you are curious about where the new Extreme racquets stand in the HEAD family of racquets, you can check their power chart below. It also contains the unstrung specs of all these racquets.

The HEAD power scale

Have you tried the new HEAD Graphene 360+ Extreme racquets? 

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2 comments

???? August 2, 2020 - 4:58 pm

Hay big fan of your yt channel. I have a question. So basically I haven’t played proper tennis in like 2 years. Rating vise I was like 3.5-4, but I suppose I’m a bit lower at the moment. Used to play with head youtek ig speed mp 300, so the question is any good recommendation on a racket I could pick up. Thanks in advance. ?
Ps. There are no demos in my country so I can’t test them out.?

Reply
Tennisnerd August 3, 2020 - 11:53 am

Thanks! I would go for the new HEAD Graphene 360+ Speed MP! Great frame, easy to use.

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