Posts Tagged ‘Graphene’

PostHeaderIcon Racquet Review: Two Frustrating Days with the HEAD Graphene Speed Rev

head_youtek_graphene_speed_rev2

Recently, I had a chance to hit with some of my co-workers. Since I hadn’t packed a racquet for the trip, I had to borrow one. That racquet was his spare HEAD Speed Rev.

Though I went into the hit knowing fully that this racquet was lighter and stiffer than my current Speed MP 315, with an open string pattern, I figured that it probably wouldn’t be too dissimilar from my own for a decent hit. I was wrong.

To be fair, this was a shotgun wedding of sorts. I needed a racquet, and this was the only one available, open string pattern and all. (Note: open string patterns and I don’t get along.) Still, it was a frustrating two days of tennis, with singles on the first day and doubles on the second.

Read why in my thoughts on the HEAD Graphene Speed Rev.

head_youtek_graphene_speed_rev1Groundstrokes

This racquet is light and stiff. When you combine those attributes with an open string pattern (16 x 19), you get a solid choice for a player with a slow to medium swing, and one that allows for someone with a flatter stroke production to create more spin.

I am NOT that player. The Rev’s light weight made it feel like a toy in my hands. Slowing my swing with such a light stick was nearly impossible. Additionally, the stiffness of the frame never allowed the ball to stay on the strings long enough for good ball control. And as I’ve mentioned in previous reviews of “open string pattern” racquets, I struggled to find any semblance of control with my normal topspin-heavy stroke production.

After an hour of (singles) hitting, I managed a trace amount of control, but no more. That went away, however, when I played doubles and swung as I typically would during competitive play. It’s no exaggeration to say that I never knew if my shots would land in, or hit the back fence. Even when shots did stay in, they had no depth as they landed near the service line.

Volleys

Volleys were “hit or miss”… mostly “miss”. Without sufficient punch volleys died into the net. Even with decent volley technique, I struggled for placement and deliberate depth of shot.

Serve

My serve is probably the strongest part of my game. With that knowledge, I will admit that I double-faulted (long) whole games away in doubles. There were occasional aces and mishits that landed in. But for the most part, it was simply embarrassing to witness such basic lack of control from my best weapon.

Overall Impressions
The fellow official I borrowed this racquet from is a teaching pro who hits a ton of balls every day over several hours. By his own admission, this racquet makes it easier for him because of its’ light weight. And because it’s made his job easier, he’s readily adapted his game to the racquet’s capabilities.

I’m not quite that adaptable. But even if I were, this racquet wouldn’t make my game better. In fact, it might make it a whole heckuva lot worse! The loss of serve, shot depth, and general lack of ball control would remove this racquet from any serious consideration for purchase.

So there you have it. My friend the teaching pro likes it very much, but I would never consider it for my game, or recommend it to anyone who craves better ball control. So what’s my advice on this frame? If you’re looking for a light racquet to give you easy pop, spin, and maneuverability, give it a shot. It’s a solid racquet from a solid company. For all others, I’d suggest looking at the Speed Pro or MP.

HEAD Graphene Speed Rev Specs

Head Size: 100 sq. in. / 645.16 sq. cm.
Length: 27in / 68.58cm
Strung Weight: 9.2oz / 260.82g
Swingweight: 300
Stiffness: 63
Power Level: Medium
Stroke Style: Medium
Swing Speed: Medium
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
String Tension: 48-57 pounds

PostHeaderIcon Mini Racquet Review – The Head Youtek Graphene Speed MP (VIDEO)

HEAD Graphene Speed MP

This video is an accompaniment to the racquet review video I shot that featured the new HEAD Graphene Speed Pro.

HEAD Graphene Speed MP Mini Racquet Review

After a hit at the Buena Vista Park tennis courts in San Francisco, I asked my buddy/hitting partner if I could make a video with him answering some questions about his new racquet: the Head Youtek Graphene Speed MP. This was his first hit with his new sticks, so his impressions of the racquet (as compared to his old Volkl’s) was very fresh. I hope you find our racquet Q & A helpful.

(Video was shot on-the-fly using my Asus TF300. My apologies for the low volume level of his audio.)

SF Tennis Freak Note: I’ve tried hitting with the Speed MP and, Graphene or no Graphene, this new version didn’t work well with my game. It’s not very forgiving, but if you hit the ball well (and cleanly), it comes off great! And that’s why it didn’t work well with my game. 🙂

RACQUET DETAILS

Balance: 3 Points Head Light
Beam Width: 22.5 millimeters – 22.5 millimeters – 21.5 millimeters
Grip Type: Hydrosorb Pro
Head Size: 100 Square Inches (645.16 Square Centimeters)
Length: 27 inches (68.58 Centimeters)
Power Level: Low
Colors: White/ Black
Stiffness: 66
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
String Tension: 50-60 pounds
Stroke Style: Full
Swing Weight: 320
Swing Speed: Fast
Weight (Strung): 11 Ounces (311.84 Grams)

PostHeaderIcon Racquet Review: The HEAD YouTek Graphene Speed Pro, Part 2 – Specs

HEAD-Graphene-Speed-Pro

The video in Part 1 covered my immediate impressions after hitting with the Speed Pro. Part 2 will cover a quick discussion of the racquet specs, and how that might have impacted my reactions to hitting with this racquet instead of my Speed MP 315.

head graphene pro

My on-court impressions of the Speed Pro don’t quite match up with the specs in comparison to the MP 315. The Pro is .1 oz heavier (strung), but feels lighter in the hand when playing. It cuts through the air easier, and delivers more zip on the shot even though the power level is rated as low. This was true on both my forehand and my backhand. The MP 315 is a great racquet for control, but the Pro gives you control and pop.

I’ll end with one caveat that might account for some of the differences I felt between the two racquets. The demo I used was strung at 55 with Livewire. My Speed MP 315 is strung with a hybrid of NXT 16 in the crosses, and Stamina 17 in the mains at 52. My good friend Marla (from City Racquet Shop) suggested that I put Livewire into my current racquet the next time it’s strung before coming to a conclusion on the Speed Pro after my demo.

(My apologies for inconsistencies with the spec format. It’s tough to find consistent specs on the various sites.)

HEAD YouTek Graphene Speed Pro
Head Size : 100 in.2
Length : 27 Inches
Weight : 11.2 Ounces (unstrung) / 11.7 Ounces (strung)
Balance: Head Light
Balance Point: 33.0cm. / 13in.
Power Level: Low
Swing Type: Fast & Long
Tension: 48-57 lbs.
String Pattern: 18M x 20C
Flex (RDC): 66
Swing Weight: 338

HEAD YouTek Speed MP 315 18×20
Head Size : 100 sq. in.
Length : 27 Inches
Weight : 11.1 Ounces (unstrung) / 11.6 Ounces (strung)
Balance: Head Light
Balance Point: 31cm. / 12.2in.
Power Level: Low
Swing Type: Fast & Long
Tension: 52-62 Lbs.
String Pattern: 18M x 20C
Beam Width: 20mm
Flex: 65

PostHeaderIcon Racquet Review: The HEAD YouTek Graphene Speed Pro, Part 1 (VIDEO)

head graphene pro
To Graphene or not to Graphene?

That’s the question I’m left with after demo’ing the new HEAD Graphene Speed Pro, the updated version of my current racquet the HEAD YouTek Speed MP 315. Actually, “souped up” is a more accurate description to describe the difference between the two. But rather than writing more, I’ll let you enjoy the video I shot immediately after using it.

(Click here for a discussion on the racquet specs in Part 2.)

(This is raw unedited footage video shot on the fly with my Galaxy S3.)

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