Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Tour Specs
Head Size: 99 in² / 639 cm²
Length: 27in / 68,5cm
Strung Weight: 323g / 11,4oz
Unstrung Weight: 305g/10,8oz
Balance: 33,02cm / 4 pts HL
String Pattern: 18 Mains / 19 Crosses
Oh, the classic Prestige – one of Head’s oldest racket lines, and a fairly legendary racket. This range recently got Head’s latest update, with Graphene 360+ technology, and we took the chance to playtest the Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Tour.
This racket is a world away from the traditional Prestige that many people associate with Marat Safin, but it does retain some of the great virtues of control and precision, whilst offering much more friendly maneuverability.
At 305g unstrung, and with a 99 sq inch frame, this stick is much easier to play with than the Prestige Mid, opening it up to a wide variety of players. As always with a Prestige racket, you’re in for plenty of control and feel, but with modern maneuverability that really allows you to swing through the ball.
We were big fans of the old version of this racket, but hopefully, the Graphene 360+ technology would add that extra bit of stability, and turn this racket into a serious threat.
Looking at the specs, you can see Prestige Tour is going to be competing with rackets like the Wilson Blade 98 and Babolat Pure Strike, so it does have some stiff competition. To make it stand out though, Head has opted for a slightly unusual 18 x 19 string pattern, which should fall somewhere in the middle of a normal 16 x 19 and 18 x 20.
We took the Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Tour out with a string setup of Head Sonic Pro at 52lbs. This string setup should suit the control-oriented nature of the Prestige and allow us to swing through with plenty of confidence.
Groundstrokes – 8.5/10
The new Prestige Tour might look very modern, but it still has some of that classic control and feel these rackets are known for. When you combine this control with a racket that swings extremely fast, you’ve got a recipe for some big strokes.
If there’s one complaint I would have it’s that this racket does lack a little bit of stability if I compare it to the Pure Strike, but otherwise, I think you have a very good racket. The 18 x 19 string pattern leans towards control, but it still manages to give you a bit of pop and some reasonable spin potential.
This was particularly useful on my backhand side, where I don’t get as much action on the ball, and I was really pleased with how I was able to keep hitting deep and stop my opponent from attacking. This set me up nicely to get play onto my forehand side, where I was able to make the most of the control and precision of the Prestige by really attacking the ball.
I always picture Prestige rackets in the hands of aggressive players, and I do think those are the kinds of players this Prestige Tour is best suited to. At 305g it’s light enough to work for younger players as well as older players, and the easy maneuverability really allows you to attack the ball.
Although I enjoyed playing on the front foot, the Head Prestige Tour doesn’t let you down when you’re scrambling around on defense either. You’ve got to hit through the ball to keep it deep, but it encourages you to do this with its easy playability.
We were impressed with the Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Tour from the back of the court. It’s much easier to play with than traditional Prestige rackets, meaning more people can enjoy the precision and control of this stick. We gave it an 8.5 out of 10 from the back of the court.
Volleys – 8.5/10
If you’re someone who spends a lot of time at the net and you want a racket around the 305g weight, then you can’t go too wrong with the Head Prestige Tour. The blend of maneuverability, control, and precision works really well at the net and allows you to feel comfortable, even on the most difficult volleys.
I generally like to volley with something a little bit heavier than this stick, but it’s hard to find negatives given it’s a 305g racket. It could possibly benefit from a little bit more stability, but other than that, it’s got everything you need.
The feel on this racket is so soft, which allows you to play the most delicate shots with real confidence. When you’re forced to play those difficult pick up volleys you can guide the ball back into court, giving you a platform to start attacking from. Of the Prestige range, I would probably say the Tour is the most groundstrokes oriented racket, but it still does a very good job at the net.
Whether you come to the net infrequently, or you love to get there as quickly as possible, this racket has all the tools you need to volley well. We gave the Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Tour an 8.5 out of 10 at the net.
Serve – 8/10
The serve is an area where I find the Prestige can lack a little bit of pop. It seems you need to have a very good action, and plenty of power to be able to get the most out of this stick on serve. However, if there is one Prestige racket that’s slightly easier to serve with then it’s the Tour.
The main reason for this is the fact that the Prestige Tour is that little bit lighter, so it’s easier to get some racket head speed to produce the power you need. With the heavier Mid racket, it always feels like you’re laboring to get the racket moving, but you don’t have the same problems with the Tour.
This allows you to get your technique right, and although it isn’t the most spin or power friendly racket, there is enough to be found to turn your serve into a threat. I particularly enjoyed the control aspect of this racket, allowing me to get good precision, particularly when I was hitting my slice serve out wide. I find it’s easy to get too much slice on this and the ball ends up doing nothing, but the balance of the Prestige Tour felt just right for me.
All in all, I thought the Graphene 360+ Prestige Tour did pretty well on the serve and I gave it an 8 out of 10.
Return – 8.5/10
Based on the rest of the playtest, I was pretty sure the Prestige Tour would offer a good package for returning. It’s got the speed, control, and precision that I enjoy when taking on the return, and I used it to good effect.
It’s another area where I could have perhaps used a touch more stability, but other than that, I really liked what I got with this stick. It’s especially nice on second serves, where you’ve got a little bit more time and can take big aggressive swings at the ball but it served me pretty well on first serve returns too.
Control is the first thing I look for when it comes to returning – that last thing you want is to be pinging the ball long every time. Luckily, when it comes to 305g rackets, there are few options that offer better control than the Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Tour.
We gave this stick another great score of 8.5 for the return.
Conclusion – 8.5/10
The big question with updated rackets is always is better than the previous version. I always find the answer is normally – yes it’s slightly better. In general, good rackets remain good and not so good rackets remain not so good. That’s exactly the case with the Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Tour.
The Graphene 360+ technology makes this racket a little bit more arm friendly, but other than that, it’s really more of the same and that’s a good thing.
We love the idea of a 305g racket that offers classic control, feel, and precision and that’s what the Prestige Tour does. It’s fast through the swing, which allows you to swing through with lots of confidence and really go after your shots.
It excels from the back of the court, but it’s extremely comfortable at the net as well, so it’s ideal for players who have an all-round game. I think the main thing is it opens the Prestige up to players who love control and precision, but don’t want a heavy, more cumbersome racket, and that makes it a very nice option.
We gave the Head Graphene 360+ Prestige Tour an 8.5 out of 10.
Review by: Will