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Home GearTennis RacquetsRacquet Reviews HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro Racquet Review

HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro Racquet Review

by Tennisnerd
HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro - Specs

I must admit that I had some doubts before testing this racquet. While I used to happily play with various HEAD racquets, I have not really enjoyed a HEAD racquet since they introduced Graphene. Did they get it right this time? I hope I can answer that in this HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro racquet review.

Graphene is a form of carbon that they say is the strongest material ever tested (source: Wikipedia) and HEAD won Popular Science’s “Best of What’s New Award” in the recreation category for introducing the material into the HEAD Graphene Speed Pro in 2013. I am not sure it helped sales for that year, but HEAD definitely decided to stick with Graphene as a key component of their tennis racquets.

The second iteration of HEAD graphene racquets was called Graphene XT, where they claimed to have shift weight towards the tip and grip (which is also called polarization) “to provide better manoeuvrability and increased swing weight”. Graphene XT also introduced graphene into the shaft, making it more stable. However, a lot of players complained that the Graphene racquets were too stiff, increasing the risk for tennis elbow and wrist injuries.

The third iteration of Graphene, Graphene Touch was aimed at dampening shock. HEAD added a shock-absorbing material to the frame construction and claimed that it would reduce vibrations and increase feel. Personally, I felt the racquets became a little too dampened and it was hard to tell where you hit the ball.

HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro Racquet Review – What is new this time?

HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro Racquet Review

I found it funny that HEAD markets their Graphene racquets (like in the image above from the HEAD website) with images of players such as Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic, Marin Cilic and Tomas Berdych. Although all of these players obviously play with HEAD racquets, none of them use Graphene racquets (click the name to find out what older models they really use). It does say that as well in the fine print of the advertising, but to me it is still a form of deception to the end consumer.

What is then Graphene 360? The 360 means that they have increased the distribution of graphene around the frame. So it is still in the shaft, but also at 3, 9 and 12 o’clock which is typically where you want to add weight to your racquet to increase power, stability and swing weight. This is not rocket science, but makes a lot of sense to me and that is why I like it.

HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro - How does it play?

HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro Racquet Review – How does it play?

The idea is that the racquet will play more stable and it does not take long for me to tell that the technology actually seems to work. The racquet is remarkably stable for a frame that starts at 310 grams unstrung. I predicted that it would be the case too, but I feared that they might not have solved the issue of finding a direct, yet arm-friendly feel.

Feeling connected to the ball is a cliché often used to describe tennis racquets, but it actually works, because you need your racquet and strings to transfer information to your hand and mind. If you have a good feeling of the ball hitting the string bed, you will be able to play more freely and with more touch and confidence.

This is where I felt the Graphene Touch series ironically failed, but in the case of the HEAD Graphene Speed Pro, I notice a vast improvement in this area. On volleys and touch I definitely feel a lot more direct feedback from the frame.

They have also worked on the aerodynamics of the racquet, making it swing faster, which I really enjoy. With the tight string pattern I really feel I can go all-in and still expect a controlled response from the racquet. I thought the specs with the 18×20 string pattern, the 100 sq inch head and the 23 mm beam was a good blend to be able to hit hard and generate both spin and power.

HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro Racquet Review – Specs and performance

These are the advertised specs from HEAD’s official website:

Weight (unstrung): 310 g / 10.9 oz
String pattern: 18/20
Head size: 645 cm² / 100 in²
Grip size: 1-5
Balance: 315 mm / 1 in HL
Length: 685 mm / 27.0 in
Beam: 23 mm

I did not really find any weaknesses with this racquet and that is a rare thing for me. I enjoyed it from both the back and the front of the court. It was nice and stable on volleys, I felt like I could hit with plenty of spin despite the tight pattern and that same string pattern allowed me to go for the lines on approach shots.

The slice skids nice and low, once I had dialled in my first serve I also felt it was relatively easy to hit solid serves. Not the most powerful serves ever, but with good placement. The fast feel of the racquet also allowed me to hit with a lot of spin thanks to the racquet head speed. I really enjoyed this racquet with Solinco Hyper-G at 23 kg, but it does not at all strike me as a string sensitive racquet.

I ended up customizing the racquet slightly with 2 grams of lead at the throat and 2 grams at 12 o’ clock. This increased the swing weight a bit but still maintained the fast feel. I also tried with lead at 3 and 9, but the higher twist weight did not feel right for this kind of fast frame.

HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro – Is it switchable?

I really like the HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro and do not have a lot of bad things to say about it. The only thing that I has bothered me since I started playing with it is a slight, perhaps imagined, twinge in my right arm. I hope it is not vibrations from the frame that is bothering me, because it feels like a comfortable racquet and the RA of 62 strung, but maybe it is something that comes afterwards (I have only been playing this racquet with a stiffer poly so this might of course be mitigated with a hybrid setup). Sometimes it is not apparent what kind of shock the racquet transfers to your arm. I really hope this will not be a problem later on, because I want to keep playing with this racquet for a while more.

Is it a racquet I would switch to? Yes, perhaps. After playing with the Soft Drive, this racquet offers a more predictable response from the 18×20 pattern and I really like that as it allows me to swing out more freely. I get easier spin and a slightly softer feel with the Soft Drive, but when I am on my game and going for my shots, the HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro gives me the kind of racquet head speed yet control that I need.

I will definitely keep playing with it for a while more and see what happens. Will of course keep you posted here if the switch would happen. And if it ends up in the For Sale-section, you would know that too! 🙂

HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro Racquet Review

What do you think of the HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro? Is this a racquet you would consider trying? Please comment below!  

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26 comments

Andy August 9, 2018 - 7:00 pm

What about the MP? That will be the big seller in Head’s lineup. Any plans to review that? I know you did an early preview, but will you take a more in-depth look at it?

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Chris Sharp August 31, 2018 - 7:10 pm

It’s the bestracket I’ve used and has improved my game immeasurably. I was using dunlop 200 bio and tried rf97. I play a high level. Can’t believe the game I.provement in 1st hour of using!

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Tennisnerd September 4, 2018 - 6:48 am

It is a very nice racquet! Enjoy it.

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Ashutosh September 19, 2018 - 4:08 am

Hi,
I currently play with Babolat APD 2013. I am looking to switch to a more flexible racquet (easier on my wrist) with similar spin potential.Would you recommend this frame for my requirements?

Thanks!
Ashutosh

Reply
Tennisnerd September 20, 2018 - 9:22 am

Hi Ashutosh,
I think you would love the comfort and spin of the Angell K7 Red. Cheers / Jonas

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Andy September 27, 2018 - 9:37 am

I used to use the old Head Speed 315 16 main string (for about 5 years very happy with) and have not found a modern racket close to this?
Annoyed that the MP dropped from 315 to 300 overnight ! That’s a massive change IMO
Have been using the speed pro touch last 2 years at 310 but not sure about the 18 main string bed and some loss of spin and possible power? Anyone got any views on that? Thanks

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Tennisnerd September 27, 2018 - 10:40 am

Hi Andy,
Yeah, the older Speeds played quite different. I do like the new Graphene 360 Pro. It has 18×20 but decent spin potential anyway. If you want some more weight you can always add some lead tape. I think the Graphene 360 Pro is better than the Touch, but that is my personal opinion.

You could always go for the Speed MP and add lead tape to get the weight, stability and power level up.

Cheers / Jonas

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DR September 28, 2018 - 6:09 pm

Hi TennisNerd,

Agree with you, that’s a nice change for HEAD, nice racquet. That’s the only racquet with 18×20 string pattern I am able to play with well.

The only doubt I have is the racquet stiffness, there is no way it is 62 🙂 The frame is a little bit bulkier comparing to previous version, as well you mentioned twinges in your arm. For me it feels more medium stiffness 66-68.

That’s my 2 cents 🙂

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Tennisnerd September 30, 2018 - 10:30 am

Hi,
Yeah, the stiffness is more around 65-66 in my opinion. But even lower RA’s can be bad on the arm depending on the materials.

My wrist and forearm was sore after using the racquet for a month or so. I did use it with a stiff poly however.

Cheers / Jonas

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Simone October 25, 2018 - 6:47 am

Hi jonas, i demoed the speed pro and i quite liked it. How would you compare it in terms of feel to the prestige touch tour you’ve tried?

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Tennisnerd October 26, 2018 - 2:37 pm

Hi Simone,
The Speed Pro is crisper and offers better power. I prefer the Speed Pro in most aspects! Really nice racquet.

Cheers / Jonas

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omgwth November 16, 2018 - 7:22 am

hello, can you compare with the youtek graphene speed pro? I am using it now and am thinking of buying the 360 thanks to your review

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Matt November 17, 2018 - 7:39 pm

Hi – nice job w your reviews. I bought the 360 speed pro and liked it customized with 2g at 12 and 2 in the throat (per your recommendation) but I also had a bit of a sore arm after these mods. I added 2 more grams 7 inches up under the grip and haven’t had trouble since. It also improved the feel when swinging. Might be worth trying if you enjoy the frame.

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Tennisnerd November 19, 2018 - 10:22 am

Hi Matt,
Thanks! Yes, sometimes you need to play around quite a bit with lead (and/or strings) before you get a good feel. Happy it works out for you! Cheers / J

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unknown November 25, 2018 - 10:31 pm

DROP PRICE ALREADY!!

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Devin Reid December 24, 2018 - 6:43 pm

Hi…I’m a 4.0 doubles player in the US (hardcovers). I’ve demoed the Head Speed MP and liked it. How does it compRe to the Pro or Lite version of the same line? Also do you compare this to the new Babolat that just come out to replace the Pure Aero?

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Tennisnerd December 25, 2018 - 8:47 pm

Hi Devin,
The HEAD Graphene 360 Speed MP and Pro are both nice sticks. They play quite close, the Pro has a bit tighter string pattern for more control and the MP more spin. Lite is like the MP but lighter, but also less stable and powerful.

The Pure Aero is more powerful and slightly more spin-friendly than both those racquets. I prefer the HEAD Graphene 360 Speeds as they provide better feel and control, but if you want extra power and spin and have no arm issues, the Pure Aero is a great choice.

Cheers / Jonas

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Chad Dee February 14, 2019 - 4:26 pm

I am a new user of the HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro. I have played with 16 x 19 racquets for a long time and so was hesitant to make the switch but I am glad I did. I am loving this racquet! I feel I can swing big with more confidence and I am a big swinger! I do feel a slight arm issue as well but it could be that I am using a very stiff poly – I am using Solinco Tour Bite at 54lbs. So I will experiment with other strings though I do like the output of the Tour Bite. What do you guys out there use?

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Francis March 18, 2019 - 5:58 pm

I use the youtek graphene speed pro 18×20 for the past 5 years . It’s string with kirschbaum multifilament 1.30/ proline ll 1.15 at 58/52.its at 339gm, 6pt HL , 335 sw . I feel it gives me more feedback and power than the 360 speed pro when I demoed it with 0.5 gm lead at 12 o’clock and 1.5 gm lead at butt cap. Same strings and tension . I don’t think the lead tape would make a difference as my youtek graphene frames were leaded the same at the time .

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Derek March 22, 2019 - 11:43 am

Hi,

How does this speed pro compare with the re-issued six one 95 18X20 in terms of power, feel and stability? Which one is more forgiving on off centre hit and which one do you prefer?

Thanks

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Tennisnerd March 26, 2019 - 8:47 am

Hi,
Stability is a bit lower, power is a bit higher and the sweet spot is definitely larger on the Graphene 360 Speed Pro.

I would say the Graphene 360 Speed Pro is the most forgiving and easiest to use. But you need a softer string because to me it felt stiff with Solinco Hyper-G.

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Lee April 27, 2019 - 10:48 pm

Hey there Jonas, your review inspired me to demo this racket and I REALLY enjoyed it – so much that I’m 90% sure of buying a couple. However, I’ve also recently read your review of the Angell K7 Lime and I’m really intrigued as to how both rackets compare? I can’t demo an Angell but would love to hear your view. Many thanks in advance, Lee.

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Tennisnerd May 3, 2019 - 2:53 pm

Hi Lee,
The K7 Lime is a lot more comfortable and plusher but offers less power and spin than the Graphene 360 Speed Pro.

Control and feel are great with the K7 Lime, but you get a bit more for free with the Speed Pro.

Cheers / Jonas

PS. If you feel like my advice is really useful, please consider becoming a patron for $2 or more at patreon.com/tennisnerd .
You will get unique content and an often updated blog as a bonus. DS.

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leo May 12, 2019 - 1:37 pm

Hi jonas,

how would you compare this racket with the angell tc97?

Thanks!

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Bill Finch November 22, 2019 - 12:08 am

Playing with graphene touch speed pro, for years with
Solenco tour bite 17 g at 48 lbs, with the new speed 360 and solenco super G would stay at that tension or go up because of the wider 18 by 20?

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Tennisnerd November 22, 2019 - 8:12 am

Stay with the same tension!

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