Head brings new technology and a swanky new color scheme with the Head Graphene 360+ Extreme MP and we got our hands on it to give it a trial run.
We’ve always appreciated the Extreme rackets as a spin-friendly, powerful option that encourages aggressive tennis, so we were excited to see how this latest version would go.
The Graphene 360+ technology which has already been rolled out in most of Head’s other ranges is very good, and it should further improve the feel and comfort of this stick.
As someone who used to use the Head Extreme Pro back in highschool I’m very comfortable with this range of rackets, so I was eager to get on the court and see what I could do.
At heart though, I’m someone who craves control, so we went with a pretty control-oriented setup, with Babolat RPM Blast at 54 lbs.
This would allow us to get that extra little bit of control over the Extreme, giving us the confidence to really tear into our shots and hit some heavy balls.
So, how did we fare with the Head Graphene 360+ Extreme MP?
Groundstrokes – 8.5/10
This racket has a combination of maneuverability and stability that we love from the back of the court.
You can get this frame moving really quickly through the air, and when you get to contact, you’ve got a ton of stability to help you create power and spin.
The blend of spin and power works really nicely when you’re looking to be aggressive, especially when you’re using lots of spin to push your opponent back.
It’s a little bit like the Pure Aero in its ability to help you hit a really heavy ball and that’s always a great characteristic to have.
One area where we personally preferred this new Head Graphene 360+ Extreme MP over the Aero was on the feel. We’d strung this stick up with a pretty control focused setup, but still we all enjoyed the feel and comfort of this racket.
It can create lots of spin and power on your aggressive strokes, but it’s also delicate when you’re going for the more finesse shots.
The Extreme MP is ideal for intermediate and lower advanced level players who play a modern aggressive baseliner type game.
If you’ve got good strokes, but you rely on the racket for a bit of extra power and spin, then it’s a brilliant option.
If you’re someone who has access to oodles of power and spin though, you might want to look at something that has just a little bit more control, and the Pro version of this racket could be a better option.
The Head Graphene 360+ Extreme MP does pretty much everything it promises to do from the back of the court though, with great spin, power, and feel.
We gave it a strong 8.5 out of 10 for groundstrokes.
Volleys – 7.5/10
As we were expecting, the 360+ Extreme MP was best adapted to the back of the court, but it certainly didn’t do a bad job at the net.
This racket is nicely set up for players who love to attack from the back of the court and then sneak into the net to finish off the point.
It’s got good feel and enough stability to put the ball away on the easy volleys.
It’s not a racket where you feel like doing a Tim Henman and coming into the net off anything and everything, but it will do a solid job for you.
I particularly enjoyed how easy it was to get into position, and found the Graphene 360+ technology worked nicely, giving this racket a boost in feel and comfort.
The Extreme suited my game well in singles, as I like to do most of my work from the back of the court, and generally only end up at the net when I’m well in control of the point.
At doubles, I didn’t feel quite as comfortable at the net as I do with my Babolat Pure Strike, but again, I wouldn’t say I felt uncomfortable.
Overall, we enjoyed the Head Graphene 360+ Extreme MP at the net and couldn’t find too many faults with it. We gave this stick another good score of 7.5 out of 10 for the volleys.
Serve – 8.5/10
The powerful setup of the Graphene 360+ Extreme MP worked very well for me on the serve and I really enjoyed this part of the playtest.
Whereas on my groundstrokes I get tons of racket head speed and don’t really need the power and spin the Extreme gives me, the serve is a different story.
It’s not like my serve is terrible, it’s just that I feel like sometimes I don’t attack it as well as I should, and the Extreme MP made a big difference here.
While I was able to hit with a lot of power, there was also plenty of spin available which meant I could still have plenty of control on the second serve.
This allowed me to be aggressive with the first serve, confident in the fact that I could rely on my second serve.
The other thing I found was that I was able to get great kick on the second serve which made it much harder to attack.
When I was forced to hit the second serve I felt like I was starting the point at least at 50/50 rather than my opponent having the advantage.
If you’re looking for a racket that makes serving nice and easy, then the Head Graphene 360+ Extreme MP is certainly one to look at and we gave it an 8.5 out of 10.
Returns – 7.5/10
If I love the power of the Extreme MP for the serve, the return is the main area where I’d love to exchange it for some more control.
I always find the more control the better on the return, as I love to be able to swing through fairly aggressively and use a more “deadened” feel to guide the ball back into court.
The Extreme has a bit more of an involved feel, and that took some getting used to over the playtest.
I did eventually figure it out, but I still would have liked a little bit more control.
However, that’s not what this racket is designed for, and the people who are used to this style of rackets will be more than happy with its returning performance.
It works really well when you get a poor second serve and can unload on the ball, putting your opponent under pressure by taking time away from them.
This is one tactic I always love to employ when returning the second serve, so I did have fun with the Extreme in this area.
All in all, it balanced out for a pretty reasonable returning experience.
On a personal level, I would have enjoyed a bit more control, but that’s just a trade-off you’ve got to make to get the great power and spin potential.
We gave the Head Graphene 360+ Extreme MP a 7.5 out of 10 for the return.
Overall – 8/10
Overall this is a great racket for intermediate to advanced players who are looking to hit that “heavy” ball.
For its weight, it’s got great stability, and it uses this to give you good access to power and spin.
This suits a baseline game, particularly the modern aggressive baseliner, with tons of potential on groundstrokes, and enough volleying ability to allow you to finish off the points.
Despite the fact that this stick is dialled in for groundstrokes, our favorite part of this playtest was the serve.
We were able to get great power on first serves, and use the spin potential effectively to get good reliability on the second serve, resulting in an excellent serving performance.
In terms of the new technology, we did find the Graphene 360+ made a nice improvement, making this racket even more comfortable to play with, and offering improved feel.
It probably wouldn’t be enough to make us throw away our old Extreme MP rackets, but it’s certainly a good upgrade when the time comes.
All in all, a very good playtest and the Head Graphene 360+ Extreme MP gets a solid score of 8 out of 10.
Review by: Will