We recently featured the Head Graphene 360+ Extreme S in our “Best Tennis Rackets for Beginner Players” article, so we decided it was time we gave you the full write-up on exactly how this playtest went.
We’ve always been fans of the Extreme range for its easy power and spin, and with the S version, Head also adds even more easy playability.
The 105 sq inch head makes this racket extremely easy to play with for beginner and intermediate players, allowing them to enjoy the performance benefits of this racket range.
At 275g unstrung, it’s an ideal weight for beginner and early intermediate players, allowing them to practice their technique with a racket that’s easy to swing.
This stick certainly isn’t just about easy swinging though and when you come to contact, you’ll find you’ve got plenty of power and spin to put your opponents under pressure with.
For this playtest, we strung the Head Graphene 360+ Extreme S with Head Sonic Pro at 52lbs.
While this setup might be a little bit more advanced, it did help us tame some of the power of this racket, allowing us to swing big and really go for our shots.
To get more ideas on the best string setup for your game, check out our tennis string tension guide.
Clearly, we enjoyed this racket otherwise we wouldn’t have featured as one of our best beginner rackets, but what style of players will it suit, and is it the right weapon for you?
Groundstrokes – 7/10
This racket is amazingly easy to play with. We’re not always huge fans of the bigger heads, but in this case we found it worked really nicely.
The Extreme rackets always seem to swing effortlessly, but the S just has an extra level of playability.
It makes it easy to find spin and power, but it doesn’t do it by completely disregarding control.
As a slightly more experienced player with fast, aggressive strokes, this is vital when I’m using the lighter rackets, and I was happy to find there was enough control with the Extreme S.
The control is important for beginners and intermediates as well because you’re constantly improving your strokes, and trying to swing through more effectively, so you need the control to make sure you don’t end up hitting the back fence.
The Extreme S finds a nice balance, giving people the power boost they need whilst still maintaining some control.
Whether I was attacking off the front foot, or defending for my life, I found the Head Graphene 360+ Extreme S gave me what I needed and I was very happy with its performance.
It’s from the back of the court where the Head Graphene 360+ Extreme S does most of its work and we gave it a 7 out of 10.
Volleys – 7/10
For its weight, the Extreme S has pretty good stability, which is also useful when volleying.
The ball always has a little bit more power on it when you’re at the net, so the stability can help you control the extra zip on the ball.
First you’ve got to get the racket into position though, and the fact the Head Graphene 360+ Extreme S is so agile is a great help in this area.
While the volley is a relatively simple technique, you don’t have much time to think about things so it’s important you feel comfortable with your racket in your hand and that should be the case with the Extreme S.
Personally, I prefer a racket that’s more control-oriented at the net, but I still managed to get on with the Extreme S reasonably well.
You’ve got a big sweet spot to hit and lots of comfort so it’s very forgiving when you get things slightly wrong which is nice at any level.
Essentially, this racket does exactly what it’s designed to do at the net.
It helps people get into position quickly and has a nice set up for beginners and intermediate players.
We gave the Head Graphene 360+ Extreme S a 7 out of 10 on the volleys, a pretty good score for a light racket.
Serve – 7.5/10
One thing’s for sure with this racket; there’s some serious power available on serve.
With such easy manoeuvrability it’s easy to get this stick moving through the air and it offers impressive stability on contact.
If you’re a beginner or early intermediate player this is going to help you get a little bit more out of your racket while you continue to improve your technique.
Power isn’t the be all and end all on the serve, but it certainly helps and the Extreme gives you plenty of potential.
The nice thing is that it’s not so power oriented that it forgets about control completely.
On the second serve I found I had more than enough control and hit a very high percentage of serves in the court.
When you’ve got power, spin, and control at your fingertips you can do a lot of good work with your serve and this lays the foundation for plenty of victories.
We really enjoyed this part of the playtest and gave the Head Graphene 360+ Extreme S a 7.5 out of 10 on the serve.
Return – 7/10
The return was perhaps one area where I wanted a little bit more control from this racket but that shouldn’t be a problem for beginner and intermediate players.
When you start playing at a high level and the serves are coming down very quickly it can feel like the ball pings on you a bit but on slightly slower serves it’s not a problem.
We found that the speed and comfort of this racket really stood out on the return though and this made it very pleasant to play with.
The easy manoeuvrability made it easier to get the contact point out in front and the big sweet spot helped ensure we timed a lot of balls.
The Head Graphene 360+ Extreme S makes tennis as uncomplicated as it can be and we think this is a great quality for a beginner/ intermediate racket.
It’s a solid racket to learn the game with and this shows through on the return.
We gave the Extreme S a 7 out of 10 on the return.
Overall – 7/10
Overall we very much enjoyed the Head Graphene 360+ Extreme S as an easy to play with racket that offers plenty of power and spin to beginner and intermediate players.
This stick is very comfortable with a great sweet spot that gives you plenty of margin for error.
On the groundstrokes, it swings beautifully through the air and has surprisingly good stability which means you’ve got a good level of control to help you unleash your power.
At net, it’s very easy to get into position, giving you a great chance of timing the ball, and it continues to be very comfortable through contact.
However, it was the serve which we enjoyed most with this racket with the power-oriented frame allowing us to crank up our serve speeds but still keep pretty good consistency.
Overall, a very good racket and the Head Graphene 360+ Extreme S earns a 7/10 from us.
Review by: Will