Head Graphene Touch Radical MP Lite Specs
Head Size: 98 sq. in. / 630 sq. cm.
Length: 27in / 68.5cm
Strung Weight: 286g / 10.1oz
Unstrung Weight: 270g/9.5oz
Balance: 34cm / 1 pts HL
16 Mains / 19 Crosses
The Head Graphene Touch Radical MP Lite is the light version of one of Head’s classic ranges, the Radical. These high-quality, orange weapons have been a staple on the tennis court for decades now, and still represent one of the best racket ranges out there.
The Radical MP Lite features highly on our list of top rackets under 300g and offers beginners and junior players a great racket to start tennis with. Larry was lucky enough to play with this stick a few months back and highly recommended it, so we brought it back for a full playtest to find out exactly what to expect with this stick.
The Radical MP Lite weighs in at 270g unstrung, which, in our opinion is about as light as you can go if you’re looking at an adult sized racket. There’s no real benefit to having anything lighter than this as far as we can see, but it could make for an ideal weight for those players starting out in tennis, particularly young ones moving up to a full-sized stick.
With the Radical MP Lite, you get all the great technology you get in the heavier rackets, including Graphene Touch, and Kraibon. These technologies use special materials to dampen the impact the racket has on your joints.
This aspect of choosing a tennis racket cannot be underestimated. Tennis swings aren’t necessarily the most natural movements and they can put a lot of strain on your body. Particularly when you are starting out in tennis you want to find a racket that’s comfortable to play with and doesn’t cause you pain.
While I wouldn’t say that Head is top of the pile when it comes to their racket’s comfort levels, they are making strides, and I was interested to see how the Head Radical MP Lite would perform.
Larry playtested the 290g version of the Radical MP a while back and enjoyed how it played. He did find it a little underpowered for his liking though, which could potentially be something to look out for with the MP Lite.
Overall, I find the Radical range very well balanced, they’re not rackets that you associate with any one characteristic in particular. Whereas with something like the Babolat Pure Aero Lite you immediately think of spin, the Radicals are much more of a blend between power, spin, and control.
So, for this playtest, I set up the Head Graphene Touch Radical MP Lite with a fairly balanced string set up, but because of Larry’s experiences with the 290g Radical MP I did lean a little bit towards power. So to give me that little power boost, I strung the Radical MP Lite with some Wilson NXT Power at 52lbs.
I was hoping that this string set up would help me get a great balance of power and comfort from the Head Graphene Touch Radical MP Lite and show me just why we picked this stick at number 8 on our top 10 rackets under 300g.
Groundstrokes – 7.5/10
The big thing you’re going to benefit from with this racket is the maneuverability. The Radical MP Lite is wonderfully well balanced and at 270g is so easy to get into position. When you’re beginning your tennis journey one of the most important things is to have a racket that you feel comfortable swinging and there are few people that will struggle to do that with this stick.
I found I got my string set up exactly right and I didn’t suffer from the lack of power that Larry experienced with the heavier version of this racket. The other nice thing about the Wilson NXT Power strings is that they’re super comfortable and they added some extra absorption to help my joints out!
For an experienced tennis player like myself, I did find that the 270g weight wasn’t enough to play the kind of tennis I aspire to though. It just doesn’t have the mass that’s needed to generate the kind of power you need at a high level of tennis. However, that’s not what this racket is designed for, and you can learn a lot more about this racket by slowing the pace down and seeing it from a beginner’s perspective.
When I did that, I found that the Head Graphene Touch Radical MP Lite provides a great platform from which to learn tennis. It’s got the three main characteristics that I would look for if I was advising someone on a beginner’s racket – maneuverability, comfort, and balance.
Maneuverability is top of the list for me when it comes to a beginner’s racket. Learning the correct tennis strokes is your number one priority as a beginner and you need a racket that’s easy to work with to do that. I found the Radical MP Lite was perfect for this with its light weight and quick swings.
You would think that lightweight rackets would be more comfortable than heavier ones, but that’s not the truth and there are plenty of light rackets that are horrible to play with. The Head Radical MP Lite is not one of those though as the feel of the racket felt ideal for me. You don’t want to start off your tennis journey with pain and injuries and this racket will help you avoid those.
The third thing I look for with a beginner racket is balance. Many light rackets will try to sell you one thing, in most cases, power, and the rest of the time, spin. No matter what level you are though you need a racket that balances power, spin, and control. True power and spin come from you, not the racket, so what you need when you’re starting out is a racket that encourages you to progress your strokes in a balanced way. The Head Graphene Touch Radical MP Lite is a racket that does this well and that’s one of the reasons we rate it so highly.
I gave the Head Graphene Touch Radical MP Lite a 7.5 out of 10 on the groundstrokes. It does its job exceptionally well from the back of the court and I would certainly recommend giving it a try if you’re looking for a racket under 280g.
Volleys – 7/10
I always start my reviews of light rackets with the same warning when it comes to lightweight rackets. You’re never going to get a great volleying performance from them. They just don’t have enough mass to absorb power and give you the control you need.
That being said, this really doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or early intermediate player. All you need at this point is a racket that’s going to help you learn the correct technique and give you a good platform to build upon.
Again, the Head Graphene Touch Radical MP Lite does an excellent job of this. It feels like the perfect extension of your arm, making the process of learning new techniques much easier. Of course, I’ve been playing tennis for 20 years now, so the strokes feel very natural to me, but I do think this racket would feel comfortable for beginner players.
Once you come to hitting the ball, the Radical MP Lite continues to be comfortable and do everything you ask of it. So long as the power levels aren’t too high, this racket will give you everything you need at the net and really help you improve your game.
All in all, I thought the Head Graphene Touch Radical MP Lite performed really well at the net for its 270g weight. It will never be able to perform as well as a heavier racket, but it does everything a beginner needs. I gave this stick a solid 7 out of 10 for the volleys.
Serve – 7/10
Larry absolutely loved serving with the 290g Radical MP, finding a perfect balance to smash down some big first serves. The MP Lite has quite a different feel due to the 20g reduction in weight, but I still found I got good performance on the serve.
Undoubtedly, the serve is one of the most difficult strokes to learn, so the more comfortable your racket is the easier you’re going to find it is to progress. The Radical MP Lite is ideal when it comes to this and really allows you to swing with confidence.
I wasn’t quite able to find the same kind of power Lawrence got with the 290g Radical MP, but I was still very satisfied with the performance I got. I was able to swing with good speed and keep control on my serve, giving me a good first serve percentage and lots of confidence on the second serve.
Again, I found the Head Graphene Touch Radical MP Lite to be a very good racket for beginner players. It’s well balanced and nice and easy to use, which is what you want. It’s a good base racket from which to learn tennis, but as you improve your game you will want to find something a bit heavier.
I scored the Head Graphene Touch Radical MP Lite a 7 out of 10 for the serve. It’s fast through the swing and very maneuverable, which makes it a good option for beginner players.
Overall – 7/10
Overall, I think the Head Graphene Touch Radical MP Lite is a top option for beginner players. It is very much at the low end on the weight scale, and I wouldn’t want a racket any lighter than this, but for players looking for a comfortable racket that’s easy to play with this stick is ideal.
As a beginner, your main focus is on having fun and improving your strokes and the Radical MP Lite is perfect for that. It gives you the power, spin, and control you need, all while making tennis as easy as possible on your body.
It’s not the most powerful racket out there, nor does it have the highest spin potential, but it offers a middle ground that really encourages you to improve your swings. I particularly enjoyed playing with this racket from the back of the court, where I found it to be almost like an extension of my arm.
Whatever your style of play, you can’t go too wrong with the Head Graphene Touch Radical MP Lite. Certainly, if I was beginning my tennis career again it is a racket I would seriously consider for my first racket.
Overall, the high levels of comfort and easy nature of the Head Radical MP earned it a score of 7 out of 10 from the Tennis Bros. This is a great score for a 270g racket and one that sees it make our list of Top Rackets Under 300g!
Review by: Will