I’ve played with Pacific tennis balls before but never one of their rackets. So, this was a first for me! Pacific acquired Fischer tennis in 2009, so they do have some racket pedigree. I guess you can say I have used one of their rackets as I had a Fischer junior racket back in the day!
While Pacific still isn’t a household tennis brand name, they do have one of the coolest tennis players on tour endorsing their rackets in Marcos Baghdatis. It’s easy to think that outside of the top racket brands there aren’t any high-quality rackets that cater to advanced players, but that is not always the case.
Just because they are not as well established as brand such as Wilson and Babolat it doesn’t mean that Pacific don’t put some excellent technology into their rackets. I was certainly excited to see what they had to offer.
We got our hands on the BXT X Fast Pro which is a mid-weight, extended length, pro-style racket which should suit intermediate to advanced level aggressive baseliners. The BXT X Fast Pro packs a very solid 334g swing weight that should offer good stability and the ability to redirect pace with good control and precision.
I always find the extended length rackets interesting to do a playtest on. In some ways it feels like a bit of a cheat with the extra leverage they give you, but then again there must be a reason that most people don’t use them!
Anyway, the Pacific BXT X Fast Pro has a classic look to it, with a slightly crazed orange and black paint job that looks quite eye-catching. I had a debate recently with tennis bro Lawrence about orange paint jobs. I firmly stated that orange shouldn’t be on a tennis racket, but I actually quite like the look of the BXT X Fast Pro.
The BXT X Fast Pro has a lot of technology packed into it that generally seems to point at comfort. Basalt X Technology (BXT) should help to filter out unwanted vibrations, helping you to stay injury free! The Pacific Stability System which places weight strategically throughout the racket head brings increased stability, and probably contribute to this racket’s hefty swing weight. Last of all, Pacific have added their PGs Grip System, which they say should increase feedback and response from the racket.
It is interesting that Pacific mention the grip system and extra feedback as a big complaint that many players seem to have. However, when racket designers try to reduce vibrations this consequently gives a loss of feedback. So, this seems it could be quite a savvy marketing idea to address this issue!
As I stepped onto court with my new black and orange weapon, it felt pretty good in my hands, and I was intrigued to find out what Pacific had to offer. I always feel like I can tell quite a bit about a racket just from warming up in the service boxes and I quite liked the way the racket was initially performing, with a good amount of control and some easy spin.
After a good workout in the box, I set about moving back and putting the Pacific BXT X Fast Pro through its paces.
Groundstrokes – 8/10
The BXT X Fast Pro is promoted as the ideal racket for an aggressive baseliner. So, the big question for me was, how would it stack up on my somewhat temperamental groundstrokes?
The first thing I noticed from the BXT X Fast Pro was the excellent balance it offers. I felt like the 5PT HL balance made the racket very maneuverable, but the 334g swing weight also gave me good plow through resulting in plenty of power.
Off the backhand side, I really enjoyed the solid feel of this racket as my racket head speed translated into decent power, a good amount of spin and a very comfortable contact. I wouldn’t class myself as your classic aggressive baseliner, who loves to rip through every ball, but I still enjoyed the BXT X Fast Pro’s blend of power and control.
I felt like I was getting good depth from this racket, and most importantly, a nice flight path married with heavy top spin to work my opponent around the court. I might not be your quintessential baseliner basher, but I do love to attack through spin and precision, and the BXT X Fast Pro complimented this nicely.
On the forehand side, the big thing for me is stability, and this is one of the strong points of this racket. I’m also prone to get some pain in my wrist on this side, and I found the Pacific BXT X Fast Pro to be extremely comfortable, which is also a plus.
The 16 x 19 string pattern in this stick gives you a good amount of spin whilst keeping you well in control, and it does work very well indeed. I do like my 18 x 20 string patterns, and I would perhaps string this racket a big tighter just to give it that extra little bit of control.
The set up I had for this playtest was a little bit loose for my forehand, and I found that I was getting the string to move a bit too much, which resulted in extra spin and me dropping the ball a little short. But the BXT X Fast Pro has a good middle ground set up that means you can customize it to your preferences.
The BXT X Fast Pro reminded me a little bit of the Babolat Pure Strike, with just a little extra swing weight. Like the Pure Strike it is exceedingly comfortable with a good emphasis on control. Would I choose the BXT X Fast Pro over the Pure Strike? Well, no, but it is a good racket, and will make a very good option for some players.
I gave the BXT X Fast Pro a solid 8 out of 10 from the back of the court. The highlight for me was the comfort it provided. It’s nice and easy play with and has a good blend of power, spin, and control.
Volleys – 8/10
Although the BXT X Fast Pro is seen primarily as a racket for the aggressive baseliner it does have some good specs for volleying. When you’re up at the net and balls are being blasted straight at you, you want something stable to absorb all that power. The Pacific BXT X Fast Pro delivers this in spades.
At the net, the BXT X Fast Pro continues to show its main traits, of comfort and control, and I felt like I had a good stick to absorb any power thrown at me and direct it back in the direction I wanted it to go.
When the ball was floated up for an easy put-away, I was able to attack the ball with good power and pick my spot, but the BXT X Fast Pro also impressed on the more delicate half volleys.
The stability of a racket is key when you’re picking a difficult volley off your feet, and I was able to add some deft touches to difficult volleys with this racket.
It’s not in the same class as some of my favorite volleying rackets like the Prestige or the Pro Staff, but I don’t think someone who spends a lot of time at the net would mind having this racket as their weapon of choice.
I don’t want to keep giving out boring 8 out of 10’s, but the Pacific BXT X Fast Pro was solid and reliable at the net and warranted a solid 8 out of 10. I had good fun playing with this racket at the net and would be interested to see how it fares in a doubles match.
Serve – 7.5/10
The first thing I noticed with the BXT X Fast Pro on the serve was the easy spin I could generate. This is quite helpful for me when it comes to hitting kick serves, but sometimes can cause me problems on my slice serve.
On the deuce side, I was really enjoying hitting with good top spin and pushing my opponent out wide to open the court for my groundstroke game. I did notice that this came at the cost of some power, but that didn’t faze me too much.
However, on the ad side I did notice a slight of a lack of power on the serve when I looked to flatten the ball out. On my slice serve out wide I naturally get a lot of swing, so the extra spin didn’t do too much for me and I felt I would benefit more from something with a bit of extra power.
What you look to do with your serve is going to determine how you feel about the BXT X Fast Pro. If you seek a little power boost out of your racket on the serve, then the Pacific is probably not ideal. However, if you enjoy lots of control and some good spin potential then this racket is well worth looking at.
The extra spin you get from this racket really helps to open the court and helps you with that aggressive groundstroke game. I gave the BXT X Fast Pro a 7.5 out of 10 on the serve. Its characteristics weren’t quite as well rounded as they are on groundstrokes and volleys
Conclusion – 8/10
With the BXT X Fast Pro, Pacific have proven that you don’t have to be a huge brand name to produce a top racket. This racket is a very solid all-round racket for intermediate and advanced tennis players. While it focuses on the aggressive baseliner as its target market, I felt it also had bags of control and stability that suited my game well.
The BXT X Fast Pro excels in control and comfort, with a good amount of spin thrown in to the mix. If these are the things you look for in a racket, then I certainly suggest you give it a try. Despite only playing for half an hour or so with the BXT X Fast Pro, I felt very comfortable with it and enjoyed the very comfortable feel on contact.
This is a good racket option in the 300-314g range for players looking for control and spin, so I gave it an 8 out of 10, overall. I wasn’t convinced by it on serve, but other than that I felt it suited my game very well.
If I was to buy this racket, I would string it up relatively tight with a control focused string. That might not suit everybody, but the nice thing about this racket is that it has quite a lot of room for customization (i.e. applying lead tape). It has good, middle of the road specs, so you can easily choose how you want to change it from there.
Review by: Will