Head Graphene Touch Prestige Mid Specs
Head Size: 93in²/600cm²
Length: 27in / 68,5cm
Balance:32cm/7 pts HL
Unstrung Balance: 31cm/ 10 pts HL
16 Mains / 19 Crosses
When we tried the Head Touch Prestige Pro we felt like we were playing with a normal sized handle with a racket face the size of a pinhead. The Head Touch Prestige Mid, however, takes things a little further with an even smaller head. This iconic player’s racket is an absolute must for control lovers of all styles, but it’s not an easy racket to play with.
Repped on the pro circuit by one of the nicest guys on tour, in Marin Cilic, this racket is summed up by his playing style. The Prestige Mid will not give you any easy power at all, so you’ve got to be a big hitter to make the most of this racket. What you will get though are levels of control seldom seen in modern day tennis.
I am personally a very big fan of the Prestige range. I love the dampened feel and heavy emphasis on control, but I do miss the easy power of a lighter racket when I’m playing with it. This racket is ideally suited to someone with the height and power of Cilic, who is going to have no problems generating huge amounts of power.
If you have the Prestige set up correctly, then you can swing for the fences, without fear of missing, and you will benefit from being able to maximize your natural power. The Prestige is certainly not limited to the back of the court though, as it is one of the best rackets I have had the pleasure of volleying with.
The major drawback with the Prestige for most people is that it’s very difficult to play with. It’s one of those rackets, where if I’m not having a good day, then it seems to give me absolutely no help whatsoever. At 93sq inches, the head is tiny (the Wilson Pro Staff is 97 sq. inches), so your timing must be impeccable.
When things do go wrong with this racket you sure know about it. I have been known to shank a few balls off the forehand side, but my warm up with the Prestige saw an exceptional number of shanks. Those shanks were also exceptional in themselves, going in all directions at varying velocities.
I quickly learned that you’ve got to spend some time with the Prestige to get attuned to it. If you approach a shot with anything less than 100% commitment, then things aren’t going to work out for you. Your footwork has to be on point, timing perfect, and you’ve really got to swing through the ball. Obviously, in an ideal world, this is what we would do, but unfortunately, we don’t all get it right all the time, and this is where the Prestige can be a little temperamental.
That’s the trade-off you’ve got to make though, because the Prestige offers some incredible benefits. When you get things right with this racket, I don’t think there is a better feeling racket out there. The problem is you must be a hell of a player to get it to that point consistently.
While I’m pretty tall at 6ft 2inches, I’ve always been on the skinny side, and I just don’t think I generate enough natural power to make this racket work for me. Perhaps if I add another 30lbs or so I might come back and look at this frame!
The Prestige Mid is a little bit heavier than the Prestige Pro at 320g unstrung, but still comes into a range that I’m comfortable with. Its 7 PTS HL, which makes the weight easy to manoeuvre, and the sleek frame cuts through the air to give you some very fast strokes.
One of my favourite parts of the Prestige is the excellent stability it gives you on contact. Particularly on the backhand side, I benefited from the fast swings I could generate with the Prestige, and when you get to contact time, none of that energy is lost.
This means that although the Prestige doesn’t create power for you, all the power you create naturally goes through the ball. In my opinion, this natural power is much more effective than pingy, “artificial” power created from the strings and is something I always look for in a racket.
When I timed the ball well on the backhand side and got my weight fully through the ball, I was rewarded with excellent depth and power from the Prestige. The downside was that when I didn’t quite get things right, which happens too frequently, I dropped the ball short and put myself under pressure.
The energy you must use to play well with the Prestige means I would certainly not recommend it for anyone who likes to play defensively, or on the counterattack. When you’re in that situation, you want to conserve energy, and get the ball with easy depth, but that is not possible with the Head Prestige Mid. You have to commit to every ball and rip through it with all you’ve got, otherwise, you won’t get good results.
I was much more suited to this style of play on my forehand, where I attack a lot more balls and get the natural power that you need with this racket. The results were excellent and as soon as I got play onto my forehand side – I felt like I was going to win the point.
The blend of power and spin that I could get naturally were perfectly accentuated by the unbelievable control of the Prestige, and I felt like anything I went for would land exactly where I wanted it to, barring the dreaded shank.
I would say I have pretty good timing off both wings, but I still didn’t find the 93 sq. inch head easy to play with. I’m just not sure it’s that necessary and would lean towards the Prestige Pro just because it has a slightly more sensible head size.
It’s quite difficult to give the Head Graphene Touch Prestige Mid a rating because I know there are many people out there who would play with it and think it is absolutely terrible. Likewise, there are tons of people who swear by the Prestige.
Knowing the potential of this racket when put in the right hands, I have given it an 8.5 out of 10. One of the ultimate control rackets, if you can bring the power and spin, the Prestige brings the rest.
The Prestige Pro is in my top two volleying rackets, along with the Pro Staff, so there was never any doubt that the Prestige Mid would be an excellent volleyer.
The stability and control make it perfect for volleying, especially when you’re facing a really powerful ball. On difficult volleys, the Prestige just absorbs the ball and puts it under your control to pop it back wherever you like.
For a racket of its weight, it’s very manoeuvrable, so you can get it into position quickly, which is very helpful when you’re playing volley to volley. Once you’re in position, you just have to focus on middling the ball and the Prestige will do the rest for you.
Of course, the difficulty is finding the middle with this racket, which is easier said than done. I was actually in pretty good touch at the net when I played with the Prestige Mid, so most balls came out of the sweet spot, but it might have been a little more difficult if I was on an off day.
The Prestige is completely suited to an all-action game style and is as good, if not better at the net than it is from the back of the court. It doesn’t make your life easy, as it is still difficult to find the middle of the racket, but when you do, it is sensational.
Like the Prestige Pro, I have given the Prestige Mid a 9 out of 10 at the net. Perfectly balanced for my volleys and a joy to play with.
Serve – 7/10
The serve is the one area where I do like to get a little bit of help from the racket to create power and spin, so the Prestige Mid was not likely be the perfect racket for me here.
The positives on the serve were the good manoeuvrability of the racket. I was able to get great swing speed, and it made the service motion feel very easy. Once you get to the point of contact, you feel the weight of the racket coming through, and it feels like you have the perfect recipe for some serious power.
That wasn’t quite the case though, as I struggled to get my mph up to my regular speed. Perhaps I would be able to adjust this by dropping the string tension a bit and playing with some natural gut, but it just goes to show, you need to be hitting some serious power to benefit from this racket.
Control wise, the Prestige is exactly how you would expect, and you can place your serve with great confidence. The small head size wasn’t such an issue for me on the serve, as it’s a bit easier to find the middle of the racket when you’re in control of the ball toss.
I gave the Head Graphene Touch Prestige Mid a 7 out of 10 on the serve. This is the area where I really crave power and the Prestige doesn’t give you enough. Unless you’re very strong with great technique, you might struggle with the Prestige on serve.
Conclusion – 8.5/10
The Head Prestige Mid certainly isn’t for everyone. In fact, the vast majority of people are best staying away from this racket, but there are a select few people who will absolutely love this racket, and I can see why.
When everything comes together with the Head Graphene Touch Prestige it is an absolutely wonderful racket. The problem is, you have to be a very, very good player for things to come together every time. Even if you’re that good, you may not have the natural power that you need to get the most out of this stick.
You’ve got to think carefully whether the Prestige is the right racket for you, because it’s easy to love how it feels when you do get things right and ignore the fact that you struggle to get things right with this racket.
It’s not a racket I would buy on a whim. You’ve got to put some good testing time in to ensure you and the Prestige Mid are the perfect fit.
You can’t overlook what a good racket this is though, and I have given it an 8.5 out of 10.
Review by: Will