Head Graphene Touch Prestige Tour Specs

 

Head Size: 99in²/640cm²

Length: 27in / 68,5cm

Weight: 11.4oz/323g

Unstrung Weight:10.8oz/305g

Balance:33cm/4 pts HL

Swingweight:  325

String Pattern: 18 Mains / 19 Crosses

 

Our Review

 

Head brings a slightly new look to the Prestige with the Head Graphene Touch Prestige Tour. Purists might not be fans of the enlarged 99 sq. inch head, but the Tour makes some subtle changes that should make the Prestige a little more accessible to the average player.

I’ve always been a massive fan of the Prestige rackets, and used the Prestige Pro for a few years in high school, so I certainly know what I’m expecting from the Prestige Tour. I love the control and slightly muted feel of these rackets and love the idea that you can pretty much swing for the fences with these sticks, knowing they’re going to keep the ball in the court for you.

As I’ve got a bit older and don’t play tennis to quite the same level or with the same frequency though, and I’ve found I place greater emphasis on manoeuvrability and comfort, which has seen me drop down to the 305g Pure Strike.

The Prestige always felt a little bit cumbersome, and when you’re not playing as much it feels much harder to play with. That’s why I was pretty excited to play with the Prestige Tour, because it comes in at 305g, but still has the stability that a 325 swingweight gives you.

As if the ghost of my past is right here with us, college Will is shouting at me that a 305g racket is much too light to play high level tennis with, but things change, and I don’t think that is true anymore. Racket technology has moved on a lot in recent years and I certainly think it’s possible to get a lot out of a 305g racket at an advanced level.

One thing that I do like about this racket is that Head have gone for a more closed string pattern in the 18 x 19 as opposed to the 16 x 19 in the Prestige Pro and the Prestige Mid. Because the Prestige Tour is much lighter than those rackets, it had the potential to lose some of the classic feel that’s associated with the Prestige, so by making the string pattern a little bit more closed, it just gives it back a little bit of control.

As the Prestige Tour is very similar in specs to my Pure Strike, I decided to take this playtest with the my normal setup of Babolat RPM Blast at 52 lbs, which should allow me to get a nice blend of control, spin, and feel.

As you can probably tell, I was pretty excited for this playtest, so I hoped that the Head Graphene Touch Prestige Tour would live up to my expectations. It’s not easy to be a part of such a successful family as the Prestige rackets, so it had a lot to live up to.

 

Groundstrokes – 8.5/10

 

The thing you have to remember with this racket is it might weigh 305g but it’s still a Prestige. If you’re going to join the Prestige club (one of the coolest clubs in tennis) then don’t complain that you don’t get a lot of power from your racket!

The Prestige Tour is certainly more manoeuvrable than the other models, and it offers a little bit more easy power, but it still plays like a Prestige. For anyone who loves control this is excellent news.

At this stage in my tennis career, the two things I look for more than anything else in a racket are control and manoeuvrability, and while the Prestige Tour still isn’t the most manoeuvrable racket out there, it certainly ticks the box when it comes to control.

I know this is going to sound strange to many people, but I love the fact that the Prestige Tour has a deadened feel to it. There are many people who like a really involved feel, but to me, and I’m sure many other Prestige lovers out there, a more deadened feel is essential.

I think one of the problems for this racket will be that we’re so used to “modern players rackets” these days that offer a lot of speed, spin, and power that a ton of players will see this racket and try it without realizing that this rackets not about those things.

Like I said before, this racket is much better suited for players who like to swing for the fences. You’ve got to be able to generate a lot of power and spin naturally and then the Prestige gives you the magic ingredient to maximize your natural power – control.

On the groundstrokes, I was immediately dialled in with this racket as it played quite similar to my Pure Strike. My Pure Strike is a little bit quicker through the swing than the Prestige Tour, but I think you get a little bit more stability from the Prestige. I felt like this gave me really good feel on the ball and I was able to attack the ball with great confidence.

This mixture of manoeuvrability and control worked a treat for me on the forehand side and I felt like I could put the ball on a dime but still attack the ball with power when I wanted to. On the backhand side, where I don’t generate as much natural power, I did find it a little bit more difficult, but I was still able to keep the ball deep and keep my opponent under pressure.

Overall, this is a racket that I really like and would definitely recommend to players looking for a low weight racket that’s full of control. I’m possibly a bit biased because this racket perfectly suits my style, but I gave it an 8.5 out of 10 for the groundstrokes, nonetheless. Just remember, its 305g but it’s still a Prestige at heart.

Volleys – 8.5/10

 

The Prestige Mid is undoubtedly one of my favorite rackets to volley with, so the Prestige Tour should have all the ingredients of a racket that excels at the net. Of course, the Prestige Mid is quite a bit lighter so that will affect its performance at the net, but it should perform very well for a 305g racket.

The combination of manoeuvrability and control is always a good one when it comes to the net. It means you can get into position effortlessly but still absorb the power on the ball to bring it under your control. This is always a bit of a trade-off, because you often find the heavier rackets give you great stability, but the lighter rackets give you the manoeuvrability.

The Head Graphene Touch Prestige Tour remedies that by offering the stability of a heavy racket with the manoeuvrability of a lighter racket though. The result is an excellent volleying experience. I felt perfectly at home with this racket at the net and really enjoyed playing some doubles with it.

Personally, I value stability a little bit more than manoeuvrability at the net so I would still choose the Prestige Mid as my volleying racket of choice, but if you find you need a little bit more manoeuvrability than the heavy rackets offer then the Prestige Tour is ideal.

I’m not someone who spends a massive amount of time at the net in singles, so the volleying performance of my racket isn’t my number one concern, but when you play doubles too, you do need something that’s going to hold up. The Prestige Tour will certainly do that, and I found it to be as good as any racket around the 305g mark that I’ve played with.

Another really solid performance from the Head Graphene Touch Prestige Tour, I gave it an 8.5 out of 10 for the volleys. It’s speedy yet stable – a great combination for playing some high-quality tennis at the net.

 

Serve – 8/10

 

The serve is the one area where I could probably have benefited from a little bit more power than the Prestige Tour gave me. I did feel like my serve speeds were down a little bit, but that’s not the end of the world. Instead I was able to really work on my placement and hit a high percentage of first serves.

With the heavier Prestiges I did sometimes have problems keeping up the racket head speed throughout the swing, but with this lighter version that wasn’t a problem. I was able to get nice racket head speed with this racket and attack the ball which is always a nice feeling. Again, you feel like you can swing for the fences with this stick and for some people that’s going to be a wonderful feeling.

However, if you are someone who lacks a little bit of pop on the serve this might be the area where you find the Prestige Tour the most difficult to get along with. It’s not really that it’s a fault, it’s just the way the racket is, and that’s what allows you to get the great control on all the other strokes.

Because I felt I could use a little bit more pop on serve I would probably change my string setup a little bit if I was to buy this racket and go with something slightly more powerful.

I would perhaps switch over to something a bit more powerful and drop the tension a touch. It’s always worth remembering that if there’s a small detail you don’t like about your racket you can easily change things up by switching your string set up.

All in all, I gave the Head Graphene Touch Prestige Tour an 8 out of 10 for the serve. It’s not super powerful, but that’s not how it’s designed to be. It does what it’s supposed to do extremely well and there are a lot of people who are going to enjoy it.

 

Overall – 8.5/10

 

Admittedly, the Prestige Tour falls right into my wheelhouse with the 305g weight but the control of a heavier racket. However, taking out all bias, I still think this is a very good racket. Did it do enough to get me to put down my Pure Strikes? Not quite, but it certainly ran close.

From the back of the court this racket’s feel is ideal. It is heavy on control and has a much more muted feel that you don’t find so often these days. This gives you the confidence to be able to hit through the ball 100% on every shot and know you’ve got the control to keep you hitting within the lines. Personally, I don’t think you will find another 305g racket that is as precise from the back of the court.

At net, the great control characteristics of the Prestige continued with brilliant stability on contact, allowing you to redirect the ball without it pinging on you. While the Prestige Tour isn’t as stable as the heavier Prestiges it adds a new air of manoeuvrability that makes getting into position a lot easier.

The serve was probably the weakest area of the playtest for the Prestige Tour. I just felt like I couldn’t get away with the lower powered set up I had and would have to drop my string tension a bit to get a little bit more out of the racket. This isn’t a huge problem, but I felt like I had the perfect setup for the groundstrokes and volleys so would be hard pressed to change.

Overall this is a racket I particularly like though, and for anyone like me who loves control in a lightweight, manoeuvrable package, the Head Graphene Touch Prestige Tour is certainly one to try. I gave it an excellent score of 8.5 out of 10.

 

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Review by: Will