PostHeaderIcon Racquet Review: A Disappointing Hands-On with the HEAD Graphene Radical Pro

The HEAD Graphene Radical Pro

The HEAD Graphene Radical Pro

As a happy HEAD racquet owner, I tend to be a fan of their racquets. But as I’ve also stated before in previous HEAD racquet reviews (ahem, Graphene Instinct), not all HEAD racquets are created equal! Such is the case with the Graphene Radical Pro.

To be fair, it wasn’t my intention to do a formal review of the Radical Pro. I simply went for a hit with a friend who’d received his new sticks. After some racquet chitchat, one thing led to another and I soon had one in my hot little hands for a quick comparison with my own Speed MP 315.

After hearing a lot of good things about the Radical Pro, I was expecting a positive hitting experience. To the contrary, it failed to live up to the hype. I’d expected better feel/control on my shots. Instead, I was completely unable to keep the ball on the court without significant changes to my stroke pattern.

radical-pro-and-speed-mp315

HEAD Graphene Radical Pro and Speed MP 315

Ground Strokes

My forehand suffered the most with the Radical Pro. Shots that usually land deep in the corners with my Speed MP were literally hitting the back fence. And any attempts to slow my stroke in order to keep the ball in play sent shots into the net. Accuracy went “out the window” as well. My favorite shot, the “inside-out” forehand, sprayed uncontrollably wide. And my cross court forehand was hit-or-miss at best.

Backhands weren’t disastrous, but were certainly nothing special. While I managed to keep most of them from hitting the back fence, I struggled with accuracy as I did with my forehand.

Serve

The one part of my game that didn’t suffer with the Radical Pro was the serve. I had decent control over serve placement, and was also able to slice it out wide with ease. The downside was a tremendous loss of power. As a player who relies on my strong serve as the foundation for the rest of my game, this would be unacceptable in any demo’ed racquet.

I switched between the Radical Pro and my Speed MP 315 every so often for real-time shot comparisons, and found that my Speed MP consistently gave me control that was sorely missing from the Radical Pro.

Conclusion

All in all, the Radical Pro was a bust for me. But since it wasn’t a racquet I intended to buy, that didn’t matter. The important thing was that it suited my friend’s game; and it did that very well. It gave him more depth and spin on his shots than he could normally generate on his own. (For comparison purposes, he hit with my racquet and struggled to achieve the same depth on his strokes, and could barely muster any spin.)

So if you need more pop and added spin on your shots, this is a good racquet to try because of the slightly lighter weight/stiffer frame, and 16×19 string pattern. If you already generate your own pace and spin, this racquet won’t help either, and will probably result in a loss of control. In short, I’d look elsewhere for a racquet upgrade.

HEAD Graphene Radical Pro Specs
Head Size: 98 sq. in
Length: 27in
Strung Weight: 11.5oz
Balance: 6 pts Head Light
Swing Weight: 326
Stiffness: 68
Power Level: Low
Swing Speed: Fast
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
String Tension: 48-57 pounds

HEAD YouTek Speed MP 315 Specs
Head Size: 100 sq. in MP
Length: 27 inches
Strung Weight: 11.7
Balance:  6 pts Head Light
Swing Weight: 315
Flex: 65
Power Level: Low
Swing Speed: Fast
String Pattern: 18 Mains / 20 Crosses
Tension: 52-62 Pounds

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