Head Graphene 360 Speed MP Specifications
Head Size: 100 sq. in. / 645 sq. cm.
Length: 27in / 68.5cm
Strung Weight: 318g / 11.2oz
Unstrung Weight: 300g / 10.6 oz
Balance: 32.99cm / 4 pts HL
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
The Head Speeds are rackets that are close to our hearts, with Larry and I both having spent many years playing with the Speed Pros. Today, we took out the Head Graphene 360 Speed MP to see how the new 360 update has changed this stick.
We found with the 360 Speed Pro that Head’s newest technology had made it slightly more accessible to the average player, with a little bit more access to speed and a slightly more involved feel. With the 360 Speed MP, I was expecting the same lightning-quick speed, perhaps with slightly easier access to spin and power.
The MP has a very similar set up to the Pro, the key difference being the MP is 10g lighter at 300g unstrung. The two rackets have virtually the same swingweight though, and to achieve this, Head has changed the balance a little bit more towards the head of the racket.
This all points to what we already know about the Speed range – that they are super fast rackets. Speed of maneuverability is an ideal quality for anyone with aggressive strokes who loves to attack the ball and one that I really appreciate in a racket.
This latest version of the Speed MP sees the old Graphene technology updated with 360 Graphene, which reinforces the head of the racket in strategic positions to boost stability. With the 360 Speed Pro, we found this resulted in a noticeable boost in power, although we weren’t sure we liked the changes to the feel of the racket.
Traditionally, the Head Speed range has been quite oriented towards speed and control, my two favorite characteristics in a tennis racket. However, we’ve found that more recent versions have moved away from the control emphasis and much more towards a middle ground between spin, power, and control.
For me, this is a little bit sad, but for the average player, it could be a good thing. The Head Speed rackets now give you the same great speed but with a very balanced mix of spin, power, and control. I would almost say they typify the modern racket.
They might have changed these rackets slightly over the years, but I still rank them extremely highly when it comes to great rackets, so I was expecting the Head Graphene 360 Speed MP to be no different.
It should appeal to a ton of players all the way from intermediate players to advanced players looking for a light, modern racket. Additionally, with Alexander Zverev repping this racket, there are going to be a ton of people itching to try it out!
Since I found the Head Graphene 360 Speed Pro a little bit more powerful than I would have liked, I took the MP out with a pretty control oriented set up. I took this playtest with some Solinco Hyper-G strung at 56lbs, just so I knew I had that extra control to allow me to maximize the Head Graphene 360 Speed MP’s great swing speed.
Groundstrokes – 8/10
Whatever I might say about the changes to this racket, I’ll always love the way it swings. It just seems to have such a great balance and speed that feels right. I know the way a racket feels in your hands is a pretty personal thing, but for me it just feels right.
From the back of the court, it’s a racket that I can’t say anything too bad about. There’s nothing I don’t like, but at the same time, there wasn’t anything I particularly loved. It’s a little bit like I found the Wilson Ultra 100 – a stick that does everything very nicely.
With the Ultra 100 I thought that was a bad thing at first, but the more I played with it, the more I realized it was a characteristic I really liked. Like the Ultra, the 360 Speed MP gives you a good base to do everything and you create the highlights with your ability.
Between the two rackets, I would say the 360 Speed MP gives you a little bit more power and spin than the Ultra, with the Ultra being a little bit more control oriented, but both rackets give you great options.
The one thing I particularly enjoyed with the 360 Speed MP was the easy depth I was getting off both sides. You don’t need to put too much effort into your shots to get good results with this stick and I was able to keep my opponent pinned at the back of the court with some great length.
I couldn’t find any real faults with this stick, but if I was to buy it, I would certainly think about making a change to its original specs. I would have liked a bit more swingweight to get the ball moving through the ball better on contact and so I would probably add some lead weight to the head of the racket. I just think this would allow me to maximize the power and spin I can generate through my swings.
However, this is certainly not something that you must do. I just feel like my strokes are already very fast, so I would prefer to take a little bit out of the speed potential and add a bit more stability.
From the back of the court, the Head Graphene 360 Speed MP is a very versatile racket that is going to appeal to a wide variety of players. It does everything well and gives you a ton of speed with a nice blend of power, spin, and control that allows you to get a great deal out of your strokes.
I’m going to say something a bit confusing and say I preferred the old version of this racket, but this newest version is probably the better racket. Most people are going to prefer this version and so I gave it an 8 out of 10 for groundstrokes.
Volleys – 7.5/10
I’ve always quite liked this racket for volleying, although, I wasn’t sure that the changes would suit life at the net. The Graphene 360 update has made this racket just a little looser, so control levels aren’t as good, and you do notice this a bit when you are volleying.
Despite this though, the Graphene 360 Speed MP does do a pretty good job at the net. It maintains the easy speed that it had on the groundstrokes and this makes it very easy to get into position. When the ball is coming at you quickly and you don’t have much time to react it is important that you’re comfortable with your stick and that’s exactly how I felt with the Speed MP.
Once again, I found that the 360 Speed MP did everything pretty well, with no obvious weaknesses. I would say the touch isn’t as good as it has been in the past, but really I think this is just a personal preference.
On the easy put-away volleys I was able to get into position nice and quickly and inject pace into the ball to make sure my opponent wasn’t getting anywhere near it. But also, on more difficult volleys I was able to control the power and cushion the ball back into court.
I do still think this racket could benefit from more swingweight, but, considering it’s only 317 it does quite a good job. Either way, you have the option to customize it if that’s what you want to do.
I gave the Head Graphene 360 Speed MP a 7.5 out of 10 at the net. It’s more of a baseliner’s racket, but I think it still does a pretty good job at the net.
Serve – 8/10
This is an area where I really enjoyed the Graphene 360 Speed MP. I found it allowed me to generate great racket head speed and convert that into good power and spin.
I found the extra little bit of power you get from the Graphene 360 versus the older version to be really useful when it comes to the serve and I used the power boost to win a few extra free points on my serve.
The good thing was I didn’t feel like I was sacrificing too much control to achieve the extra power and I felt like I kept quite a high first serve percentage. Hitting a good first serve percentage is one of the most important parts of tennis, so this meant I ended up winning a lot of points on serve and rarely looked like I was going to get broken.
On the second serve, the good power was easily turned into good levels of spin, which allowed me to hit a high percentage of second serves but still make life difficult for my opponent.
Sometimes I have a habit of hitting my second serve a little bit flat, which can allow my opponent to get the upper hand in the point, but that was not a problem when I was playing with the Graphene 360 Speed MP.
As I said earlier, I definitely see this as a baseliner’s racket, but that doesn’t stop it from being very good on the serve. I was able to get on the front foot from the off with the Head Graphene 360 Speed MP and gave it a solid 8 out of 10 for the serve.
Overall – 8/10
Overall, I think Head has made the Speed MP a little bit easier to play with through this update. It gives you a very balanced blend of power, spin, and speed, without focusing too much on either one. This makes it an attractive option for a wide range of players, and I believe there are very few players who won’t get on with this stick.
I personally would prefer it to lean more towards the control side of things, but there are many people out there who are going to enjoy that extra bit of power and spin. I think this is now possibly Head’s most all-around racket, and certainly one of the easiest to play with.
If you are looking for a racket that is super fast and gives you good spin, power and control, then I would certainly suggest looking at the 360 Speed MP. It’s a racket that does a lot of things right and one that I struggle to find any faults with.
From the back of the court, it rewards players who take full swings at the ball and like to attack their opponent. The fast nature of this racket naturally leads you to swing through with great speed, and before you know it, you’re on the front foot and attacking the net.
When you do end up at the net it is more of a racket to put away the easy balls, but at the same time, it doesn’t do a bad job on the more difficult pickups. I think older versions of this racket were a little bit more solid when it came to volleys, but again, I couldn’t say it did a bad job.
It certainly didn’t do a bad job on the serve, where I found I got excellent power and good control. This resulted in me winning lots of free points on serve and generally holding my serve with ease.
Overall, the Head Graphene 360 Speed MP gets an 8 out of 10 from us. It’s a great racket for anybody who likes to attack from the baseline with full, fast swings.
Review by: Will