Head Graphene 360+ Extreme Tour Playtest

Head Tennis have been surprising me for years with some matt black rackets. They call them their Head teasing samples. One month ago I received another Head matt black racket and was asked to string it under the recommendations and play with it. I strung it up with the Head Lynx Tour provided at 50lbs.

The beautiful Head Teasing Sample I received.

The Guessing Game Commences.
There is always much excitement with a new Head surprise. What is it? Does it have a rounder head, does it feel head heavy or head light? So many questions going through my head. I guess the best idea you will get about a racket will be how it actually plays. Flashy colours and snazzy strings are nice but they do not actually impact how you hit the ball.

On first glance this racket seems quite a small head. My usual Head racket is the Head Radical but I am currently enjoying playing with the Head Gravity. A smaller head will probably mean smaller sweet spot and more control. Weight wise it does not feel too different to my current squeeze and I assume it is approx 290-310 g unstrung. The other noticeable design feature is the narrow beam which should provide control and we all could do with a little bit of that. The string pattern is 16 x 19 on this racket and the strings are quite well spaced. Initial observations.

The Playtests

I have been described as player with a long fast swing. I have long levers and produce reasonable power for a guy my size. I generally do not like my rackets with too much power as I find myself having to reign in my groundstrokes somewhat. If choosing a racket I would definitely be more control orientated. I found a huge amount of spin with this racket, spin without even trying. It is a lovely racket to play with and I had fun shaping my shots. I did notice however that despite being a hugely spin friendly racket I did not get as much power as I would traditionally have liked. A small sacrifice for the spin potential.

Advanced players with aggressive baseline games.

This racket is for advanced players who play tournaments and are really dialled in with their game. I found the sweetspot great when I made contact with the ball but when I didnt get the cleanest of hits this racket was not the most forgiving. Players who can always hit the middle of the strings will love this racket. The ping off the strings is super. Players who like to dictate from the baseline and really spread the ball around the tennis court will find this racket really fun to play with.

Net Game Solid

We all want a racket that holds up to the rigours of forehands and backhands driven hard at the net. A racket which doesnt shirk those big cuts at the ball. At the net I found this racket performed well. It is solid and absorbs big hits easily and despite being on the heavy side it was pretty easy to manoeuvre. Initially I found the serve a little tricky to master with this racket, my balls went long for some reason as I struggled a little with the swing weight on this shot. After several uncharacteristic double faults I was able to dial in my biggest weapon once again. The spin potential on the serve with this racket is enormous and I really enjoyed hitting my second serve kickers. You can check out a video review of this racket here.

The Big Reveal

I subsequently found out that the racket I had been playing with is a brand new racket. It is part of the Head Extreme Range and it was a new model added to the offering. This model is the Head Extreme Tour. The racket comes in at 305g unstrung weight and has headsize of 98 square inch. Take a look at the actual weight of my frame below. It came in at 307g which is pretty strong quality control. The racket is 1 point head light also.

This new addition to the range is a precision instrument. If you can hit the middle of the strings every time you will love the control that this racket brings. It is also such a spin friendly frame too. I restrung this at 47 lbs ( after initially stringing it at 50lbs) and found it gave me more power. For those who need a bit more flex in their frame and like a larger sweet spot there are other models in the range that have all the spin of the Tour model but are a little less forgiving. You can check out the Head Extreme range on their webpage.

Take a look at the colourscheme. Talk about making a statement. The racket made popular by Matteo Berrettini has got a little va va voom. It is a head turner for sure. The new Head Graphene 360+ range launches 20th August 2020.

Source LOVE TENNIS Blog