Dunlop FX 500 Tour Racket Review
Dunlop FX rackets are designed with power in mind. Their signature stiffness, punch and speed make them the perfect fit for big baseline hitters. The Dunlop FX 500 Tour is the most performance focused in the line up, offering a large sweet spot and easy power for players that want to inject pace into their shots. The slightly smaller head size and thinner beam make this the most controlled racket in the FX line up. The racket is specifically designed to be easy to swing, stable on contact and well damped. If you are an experienced player that wants a slightly lighter, easy to swing, powerful performance racket, be sure to try out the Dunlop FX 500 Tour.
8.5out of 10
Dunlop has opted for a more subtle look with their latest batch of racket releases. The mystique of a black racket with striking bright blue accents give the FX 500 Tour a classy and interesting look.
The Tour variant looks to combine the characteristic power and swing speed that is so common in the rest of the FX line up, whilst offering more control, stability and plough through thanks to the added weight.
Dunlop has certainly achieved this, as the racket definitely feels solid on contact without being overly stiff or harsh on the arm. For a performance oriented racket, its specs fall more in the mid plus range rather than an out and out heavy slogger.
Most ‘Tour’ variants of popular model lines tend to lean towards higher static weights than the Dunlop FX 500 Tour’s 305g. This is because a heavier racket will often suit players with higher levels of athleticism, more advanced technique and offer more control, stability and precision.
However, Dunlop have stuck to their guns and kept the FX Tour light enough to still swing easily, even for intermediate to advanced level players. This, along with its aerodynamic frame profile, helps the racket cut through the air more easily, again making fast swings more accessible.
But, has this lack of weight compromised the performance credentials of the FX 500 Tour? Well, not exactly.
Whilst there are definitely more ‘purist’ control oriented rackets out there that offer more control, stability and plough through on contact, the Dunlop FX 500 Tour strikes a nice balance between power, racket head speed, stability and control.
It is very much an all rounder that seeks to cater to a wider audience than simply your club pro.
Dunlop has achieved this by loading the FX 500 Tour up with new technologies, which aim to dampen the racket whilst maintaining its natural stability. The 68 stiffness rating ensures the racket feels reassuringly firm on contact but not uncomfortable.
The addition of FLEX Tour Resin improves the communicativeness of the frame, whilst the Sonic Core and Infinergy technologies help keep any excess vibrations in check.
Dunlop has also added Power Boost Grommet grooves to enhance the vibration absorption further, to make this power friendly racket more comfortable.
The upshot of all these attributes is a racket that is very comfortable gripping and ripping heavy balls from the baseline. The stability and balance of the racket mean you can generate some real momentum as you load up, whilst its lighter weight makes it so easy to crunch heavy groundies.
The spin potential from the 16×19 string pattern combined with the massive racket head speed you can generate makes adding RPMs to your shots easy.
The slight bit of give in the frame gives it just enough flexibility to help you pocket the ball nicely in the string bed, without making the sensation mushy. The ball flies crisply off the racket and the well judged weight adds consistency to the string bed, despite the open string pattern.
The main thing you come away with after hitting with the FX 500 Tour is just how manageable the power is. It is very well judged and combines all of the attributes mentioned above brilliantly.
As it is an all rounder, it doesn’t necessarily stand out in one particular area, and that’s why it doesn’t score higher.
However, this performance version of the FX 500 is greater than the sum of its parts and it would definitely be a racket I would recommend for an intermediate to advanced level player that simply wants an alternative to those high swing weight, hefty feeling rackets that so often sit at the top of popular model lines.
8out of 10
The combination of the 98 sq in head and 305g weight stood the Dunlop FX 500 Tour in good stead up at the net. The control from the slightly smaller frame helped with pinpoint accuracy whilst the weight made the racket manoeuvrable and whippy.
It is so easy to get into position and the sweet spot is pretty big, which really helps when swatting away floaty balls.
The racket feels solid and crisp when you hit through the ball, but you can also cut your volleys nicely with backspin to keep them low or even stop them dead in their tracks.
Again, there isn’t really one element of the racket that stands out on its own, it is simply a great all round package.
Old school volleying purists may prefer slightly more weight in the frame for added stability. The racket can feel slightly floaty at times compared to some of the heavier, rock solid tour specified rackets on the market.
But, the FC 500 Tour is also a great base for customisation so a few grams of lead tape here and there would easily put those qualms to bed.
The feel is a little on the muted side, so again if you are a player that likes to feel dialled in and connected with your volleys, you may find this racket a bit numb. This is to be expected given the stiffness and how much effort Dunlop has put into muting the excess vibrations, but it is worth bearing in mind.
8.5out of 10
Serve is an area that the Dunlop FX 500 Tour did a great job on. The racket head speed you can generate with this racket makes it really easy to hit with both power and spin.
The racket is set up to blend control with pop, so whether you are an accurate spot server or love going for big bombs, the racket will most likely feel comfortable in your hands.
Again, this blend of playing characteristics means there isn’t one area that the racket does particularly well, but I also struggle to find any real weaknesses with it either.
The FX 500 Tour airs on the side of control rather than power, yet it feels as though you don’t need to swing that hard to get the most out of it.
If you are an aggressive player that likes a whippy racket that allows you to hit your serve then quickly attack the next ball with precision, the Dunlop FX 500 Tour could be a solid alternative to some of the more popular models to try out.
9out of 10
Returns can actually be a really good test bed for a new racket. They are generally pretty difficult to hit due to the unpredictability of not knowing where a serve will go, but also test out a racket’s stability, manoeuvrability and plough through all at once.
This was an area where the Dunlop FX 500 Tour really excels. The combination of easy to swing balance, stability, control and just enough power and spin made for a great returner’s racket.
Some slightly lighter mid plus rackets can actually feel a little unstable at times when blocking back big serves and this can end up leaving the ball short.
However, this was not the case with the FX 500 Tour as it stood up to the test with flying colours. There is just enough damping to offset the stiffness of the racket, which gives it a firm and crisp response without making it too harsh on the arm.
8.5out of 10
Overall, the Dunlop FX 500 Tour is a very solid all rounder performance racket that is on the lighter side of traditional tour models. This adds to its manoeuvrability and actually in itself makes it fairly unique.
Where a lot of heavier rackets can actually feel sluggish at times if you aren’t on your game, the FX 500 Tour is very easy to swing.
This does not detract much from its stability or power however, as the large sweet spot and slight element of flex make this a forgiving and comfortable racket to hit with.
Spin is not an issue either. The fast racket head speed you can generate with the FX 500 Tour along with the open string pattern make this a very whippy racket.
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