Head Graphene 360 PWR Radical Racket Review
The PWR range of rackets from Head does exactly what it says on the tin. They produce power! The Radical line has always been famous for offering great touch and an old school feel, and Head has opened up the audience for this racket with the PWR series. This racket is ideal for players that want a lot more forgiveness from their racket but still want to benefit from that classic response. Head has loaded the Graphene 360 PWR Radical with technology to dampen excess vibrations whilst retaining that signature feel and control. Aimed at versatile players that want to play an all-court game, the PWR Radical is just as comfortable from the baseline as it is up at the net.
7.5out of 10
The aim of the game with the Head Radical is to perform well in all areas of the court. It is specifically designed for dynamic counter punchers that like to play with variety rather than just slogging away from the baseline.
Players like Andy Murray and Diego Schwartzman have trusted the Radical line of rackets for years, showing that intelligent and crafty players are well suited to it.
Speaking of variety, the Head Graphene 360 PWR Radical can switch between a 16×19 and 14×18 string pattern. Both of these will give you a great deal of spin which will help with control as well as push your opponent back behind the baseline.
16×19 is a common open string pattern that, combined with the 110sq in head size will generate a lot of rotations on the ball thanks to the wide gaps between each string.
However, 14×18 is a string pattern we don’t often see on tennis rackets, particularly not on oversized frames! This version is sure to generate oodles of spin and have you ripping up the court with heavy shots!
As far as technology goes, the Head Graphene 360 PWR Radical has a lot going for it. Head has added their ASP (adaptive string pattern) to the PWR Radical which gives the racket the option of the different string patterns mentioned above.
This means that no matter what your requirements are from a spin or power perspective, the PWR Radical has got you covered!
What’s more, the now-familiar Graphene 360 technology adds both stability and dampening to the frame. This combination of factors increases energy transfer whilst reducing unwanted harshness, a welcome result for players that need comfort and easy power from their racket.
The light weight of the Head Graphene 360 PWR Radical is also a major asset, making it incredibly easy to swing and manoeuvrable. This again adds to its power credentials, since players with compact swings can still get the most out of their shots.
Another key aspect of the Radical lineup which seeps into the PWR model is the asymmetric colour scheme. This is a signature piece of design that sets the Radical apart, giving it a more striking look that sets it apart from the competition.
As far as performance goes, the PWR Radical lives up to its reputation of being a versatile racket. You get the obvious benefits of a large head, thick beam and open string pattern which generate a lot of power and offer comfort and forgiveness.
However, the addition of more Graphene material in the frame also adds to the stability and lower twist on contact. Not only does this further enhance the power of the racket but it also gives better plough through and control.
However, this line of Radical rackets doesn’t skimp on feel either, despite the PWR version being geared towards generating pace.
The large sweet spot combined with the plush feel and stability gives the racket a solid but forgiving feel from the baseline.
It is easy to crunch the ball and hit with a lot of spins, especially given how much racket head speed you can generate.
That being said, the Head Graphene 360 PWR Radical is definitely a racket best suited to players with compact swings, as I did find the ball would fly on me a lot more than with a mid plus racket.
It does a great job of redirecting fast balls off a half-volley from the baseline thanks to the easy power and spin. So, if footwork is something you struggle with slightly, this racket will do a lot of the work for you in terms of generating power.
That being said, the lightness of the racket did show at times. When getting into heavy baseline exchanges the racket did sometimes lose the battle between the string bed and the ball. It could be pushed around a bit and this required a bit more effort in the shot to get the ball going where I wanted it.
A strength of the racket though was dealing with awkward low shots or counterpunching from difficult positions on the court. This is where the extra power and spin really helped turn the tables of the rally and is where the Graphene 360 PWR Radical earns its stripes.
7out of 10
Oversized rackets don’t tend to be my favourite to volley with, I’ll be honest. They tend to be a bit overpowered and lack the precision and pinpoint accuracy of a racket with a smaller head and a thinner beam.
They can also be a bit void of feel due to the extra dampening technology that they are equipped with, making them a bit of a blunt instrument.
Whilst this is definitely still the case with the Head Graphene 360 PWR compared to the mid plus models in the Radical lineup, it is not completely lacking in the connection department.
You do get a pretty good sense of where the ball is going without the racket passing many unwanted vibrations onto your arm.
This means for an oversized, power-friendly racket, the PWR Radical performs pretty well up at the net.
It is easy to put the ball away with confidence as you hardly need to swing at all to get the ball zipping past your opponent, thanks to that large sweet spot. The extra spin you can generate is also a great help in getting the ball to stay low, especially when cutting underneath the ball for a drop volley.
7.5out of 10
Powerful rackets always provide a bit of welcome relief when serving, and the Head Graphene 360 PWR Radical is no exception. The thick beam, oversized head and extended length do a great job of getting the ball moving quickly with minimal effort.
This will really help players that struggle with strength in the overhead position and need that bit of extra help generating power on their serve.
The Graphene technology helps the racket feel solid and stable on contact, giving a reassuring amount of plow throughout the stroke.
The large sweet spot really helps the PWR Radical feel forgiving and even if you miss time or miss-hit your serve slightly, you can still hit a powerful and aggressive shot. The open string pattern works well and produces a lot of spins, both on kick serves and slice serves.
The 14×18 pattern in particular really helps you cut the ball and get your serves swinging out wide. It is not quite as powerful as rivals such as the Babolat Pure Drive 107 or Dunlop FX 700 but is slightly more dialled in when you are looking to hit your spots.
7out of 10
The lightweight nature of the Head Graphene 360 PWR Radical makes it great for manoeuvrability when returning serve.
You can get the racket ripping up the back of the ball with ease thanks to the low swing weight, plus the large sweet spot and incredibly open string pattern also help with generating heavy returns.
The stability is definitely improved by the Graphene technology and this goes a long way to making the racket feel more solid as you contact the ball.
However, the racket does of course a bit of rigidity and substance when blocking back faster serves, despite the thicker beam and large sweet spot. This is something that is pretty typical of lighter rackets and goes to show that plow through is mainly achieved by adding weight to the racket.
That being said, the Head Graphene 360 PWR is a solid performer when returning serve and will definitely be well suited to a beginner to an intermediate player that wants their racket to help with adding pace to their returns.
7.5out of 10
Overall, the Head Graphene 360 PWR Radical does a great job of fulfilling its job description of being a lightweight, easy to swing and powerful racket that brings the versatility of the Radical line to a wider audience.
The Graphene technology helps add stability to the frame and the adjustable string patterns mean the PWR Radical can generate as much spin as you desire!
Whilst it is not the most precise racket in the world at times, it does generate a lot of power and spin, plus Head has not lost sight of the Radical’s origins and kept some of that signature old school feel in the racket.
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