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HEAD Prototype Racquet Review

by Tennisnerd
HEAD Prototype Racquet Review

I have been testing a HEAD prototype racquet with the text “Massive sweet spot dominates the game” for a couple of weeks and want to give you my impressions. All the information about the racquet will be revealed on July 2nd. So for now, this is my HEAD Prototype racquet review.

In the avalanche of new racquets being released every year, it is difficult to keep track of what is going on. It is my hope that Tennisnerd can be some kind of guide in the jungle of tennis racquets being released. This HEAD Prototype will represent a new line of racquets from HEAD to add to Prestige, Radical, Instinct, Extreme and Speed. Each line carries four to five racquets. Are there too many racquets? Yeah, I think so. But as you can read in this HEAD Prototype racquet review, I think this one will be a positive addition.

The HEAD Prototype racquet I received is blacked-out, has no specs written on the racquet, but a neon text saying: “Massive sweet spot dominates the game” in capital letters. A bold and specific statement. There is also “MP” written on the shaft which means this is the mid-plus model. These are the specs of my HEAD Prototype racquet:

Head size: 100 sq inches
Length: 27 inches (standard)
Weight: 295 grams unstrung
Balance: 34 cm unstrung
Beam width: 22 mm
String pattern: 16×20

HEAD Prototype Racquet Review – Different than Graphene 360

The head shape of the prototype racquet is more rounded than other HEAD racquets (similar to the old HEAD IG Extreme 2.0) and this is where the claim of the bigger sweet spot comes from. There are no other new technologies to this racquet that I am aware of. I assume Graphene is a part of it, but I am not a hundred percent sure if this is a Graphene 360 racquet or something entirely different. It definitely feels different from the other Graphene 360 racquets I have tried. This one offers a softer, more old-school feel. Something I think fans of older HEAD racquets will like.

HEAD Graphene 360 Speed Pro review
HEAD Graphene 360 Extreme Pro review
HEAD Graphene 360 Radical Pro review

I strung my HEAD prototype racquet up with HEAD Hawk Touch at 22 kg. Other tennis friends testing this racquet have told me that it is quite low-powered so it seemed like a good idea to string low. The weight of 295 grams unstrung is lower than what I usually play, but the balance is more head heavy to give the racquet decent stability and power. I still feel that adding some weight to the racquet is a good idea, but I mainly wanted to give it a go in stock form.

HEAD Prototype Racquet Review – How does it play?

The feel of this prototype racquet compared to the other racquets in the HEAD line is quite different. It definitely has a more traditional feel, more similar to older HEAD racquets that a lot of racquet nerds are nostalgic about (including myself). Not far from a Prince Phantom in the sense that it is comfortable and offers good feel from anywhere on the court. The 16×20 pattern is a good idea, it gives you some spin but still allows you to flatten out the ball with some confidence.

I did not feel like the racquet gives you a lot of free power, so it definitely is more towards the player racquet category, but the light weight makes it easy to use. I liked this racquet, but want a bit more weight to feel a hundred percent comfortable with it. And it does feel like it has a decent-sized sweet spot. The head shape definitely helps here.

The prototype I tested played really nice and is a step in the right direction for HEAD tennis in my opinion. It was about time they release a more comfortable racquet with a classical and softer feel that will still work for the modern game. I think the target group for this one is quite large as it provides good spin, some power (but not too much) and is comfortable to use. Really keen to try the other racquets in the line when they are released. Watch this space!

HEAD Prototype Racquet Review – Video

Any thoughts about this racquet? Does it sound good? Are you excited or not?

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16 comments

tennisguy June 18, 2019 - 3:51 pm

this is the head gravity prototype most likely, the “pro” specs are 320g, 100sq, 1 hl balance, 18×20 pattern.

Reply
Robert June 18, 2019 - 6:35 pm

Hey. Thanx for the review. How would you compare it to the Phantom Pro 100p power/controlwise, spinwise, touchwise and in terms of sweetspotsize, assuming I would weight the Head more less to the Prince specs.

Thanx so much in advance for your answer.

Robert

Reply
Teoman Cem Kadioglu June 18, 2019 - 9:14 pm

Is the sweet spot extraordinarily large or is the neon text on the racquet only a gimmick?

Reply
Tennisnerd June 19, 2019 - 6:39 am

There is a large sweet spot, but not unheard of by any means so somewhat of an exaggeration for marketing purposes.

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Simon June 18, 2019 - 9:28 pm

Sounds good. Any news on a release date or what the cosmetic will be like?

Reply
Tennisnerd June 19, 2019 - 6:40 am

July 2nd – update to come with finished cosmetic.

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Stanislav June 19, 2019 - 5:09 am

It’s new Gravity line for Zverev. Paint job will be terrible.

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saigonbond June 19, 2019 - 11:50 am

Specs on my demos from the RDC (I don’t know if these will be the final retail specs):

Graphene 360+ Gravity Pro (strung): 100 sq in, 27 in length, 18×20, 330 g (11.6 oz), 333 SW, 32.5 cm balance, 63 RA, 21 mm beam

Graphene 360+ Gravity MP (strung): 100 sq in, 27 in length, 16×20, 315 g (11.1 oz), 312 SW, 33.5 cm balance, 61 RA, 22-23 mm beam

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saigonbond June 19, 2019 - 11:53 am

Tour (apparently non-US release), Pro, MP, MP Lite, Lite, and S. $229.95 retail price. I have a Pro and MP demo in the supposedly planned retail paint job. I hate the dual-sided colors. The base color is black. One side of the hoop-face is seafoam green. The opposite side of the hoop-face is coral orange. I know right? WTF!?

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Manuel June 19, 2019 - 12:19 pm

Appreciate the shoes laces matching the racquet pj.

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Mikele June 22, 2019 - 9:00 am

First Head racquet that calls my attention in years, can’t wait to see the review of the Pro and the specs of the Tour. Busy summer ahead with the release of this, the new Blades and the pure strike!

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Tennisnerd June 24, 2019 - 9:37 am

Yes, exciting times for tennis nerds!

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will June 22, 2019 - 11:43 pm

Are the SF Sprint shoes also a prototype?
I never saw this color before.

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Tennisnerd June 24, 2019 - 9:36 am

Yes, they are! Great shoes.

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Zhe July 2, 2019 - 10:28 am

Thanks for the reviwe! I am a fan of your and enjoy all the work you have done!

I find prince phantom, wilson clash and head gravity have some similiarity. For example phantom pro 100, clash 100 and gravity mp, they are quit similiar and I want to pick one as my next choice.

For a long time I use blade ncode 98 and feel good about it. I like the comfortable speed and control feel from thin beam. I can crush the ball with the weight of head. But I find the spin and maneuverability is not that good and I feel tired after like 3 hours of play. So I want to switch to a new one for my fast intensive baseline game. Can you give me some clue? What is your feel of these three racquets?

Looking forward to your reply! Thanks in advance.

Zhe

Reply
Tennisnerd July 3, 2019 - 11:44 am

Thanks! The Clash will give you a lot more power, but less control from the string bed. I think you would be most happy with the Gravity MP will be best suited for your game. Thin beam, yet still good spin and some power.

Good luck / Jonas

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