Head Radical Pro Racket Review
Head Radical rackets have always been aimed at creative players that want to show their personality on the court and stand out from the crowd. The likes of Andy Murray, Diego Shwartzman and Andre Agassi have used this racket and they are renowned for their clean ball striking and counter punching game styles. The stand out characteristics of the Radical Pro are spin, control and feel, making it the perfect fit for the player that always wants to out fox their opponent. Head has sought to soften off the latest version of the Radical Pro and go back to their roots with a thinner beam, lower flex rating and slightly heavier static weight.
8.5out of 10
The signature orange cosmetic of the Head Radical has always been eye-catching. However, with the latest version Head have really sought to stand out from the crowd, covering most of the frame in bright orange paint, which is offset by a shimmer of silver towards the grip.
The Radical has always been a racket that prides itself on feel, control and spin, which suits the game of creative players like Andy Murray.
With this latest version, Head have enhanced their tried and tested Graphene 360+ and dialled in more feel and responsiveness to the frame.
This, combined with the slightly thinner beam and lower 65RA stiffness rating softens off the Radical Pro and gives you an even greater sense of connection with the ball.
Head has blended traditional feel with modern technology with the Radical Pro. You still get that modern shock absorption and stability that has become so familiar with technologically advanced rackets, but adding that extra bit of give in the frame also harks back to a more traditional feel.
Head has improved the tactility of the Radical Pro without compromising on usability or arm friendliness. This is a classic example of blending old school playability with modern technology to create a racket that could well be an instant classic.
The weight of the racket makes it reassuringly stable on contact, despite the added flex that Head has built into the frame. You can swing the racket at the ball with confidence, knowing that you will generate a heavy ball even if you miss your contact time slightly.
The open string pattern gives the stringbed a nice high launch angle, so you can easily hit with plenty of spin from the baseline. One thing that the Radical has always done really well is be supple enough to pocket the ball nicely.
This adds to the sensation of the ball staying in the string bed for a long time, almost like the racket is catching the ball before catapulting it down the other end of the court. This is more true than ever before with the newest edition of the Radical Pro.
Striking the ball out the centre of the racket is a very satisfying sensation that encourages you to time the ball well and hit it clean, so you can find that feeling over and over again.
Generally speaking, a more flexible racket can often feel a little bit mushy or unstable when redirecting powerful shots, due to the lack of torsional rigidity.
However, this was surprisingly a strength of the Radical Pro, as the weight and feel from the racket meant I could half volley the ball with a shorter swing and send the ball back down the court with interest.
I could feel exactly what was going on and there was just enough feedback from the frame without it upsetting the stability.
This, combined with the impressive manoeuvrability reinforces its counter punching credentials, making it ideal for players that want control, stability and feel all wrapped up in one racket.
One thing you also notice with this version of the Radical Pro compared to previous versions is the added comfort that results from the extra flex in the frame.
Thanks to the technology Head has used, this doesn’t detract from the overall stability of the racket, but it does add to the comfort and feel.
This makes it a more accessible performance focussed racket that even intermediate players can use. This was particularly useful when approaching the net or trying to thread the needle on passing shots, where I needed to feel connected to the ball.
The latest Head Radical Pro may feel a little underpowered for some players that like to crunch the ball from the baseline, as it lacks the overall plough through of a Babolat Pure Drive Tour for example.
9out of 10
Long time lovers of the Radical line of rackets from Head will most likely rejoice when using the latest version. Head has regained the touch and feel that was actually dialled out of the previous version somewhat, as it was a lot stiffer feeling.
On the volleys, the thinner beam made the racket a little more supple and forgiving.
This also helped with the sense of connection you get with the ball, which makes playing low volleys and finding the corners of the court a lot easier.
This is the type of racket that carves the ball nicely thanks to the open string pattern, but is also well judged in terms of the amount of vibration you get through the grip.
It is just communicative enough to give you a great feel on contact, but is damped just enough to ensure players that need a little more forgiveness can still enjoy the racket.
As a player that is used to slightly stiffer rackets, I expected the Radical Pro to feel a little mushy and lack a bit of crispness. However, this was most definitely not the case as the racket felt very nicely weighted.
Head have really struck the balance here between stability and manoeuvrability, which is often a tough nut to crack! You can get the racket into position very easily thanks to the thin beam and slightly lower swing weight than you would expect.
It is quite difficult to tell from swinging the racket that Head has actually added 5g to the frame, but it definitely comes across in how stable the racket feels on contact.
A small amount of fine tuning has gone a long way with the new Radical Pro, and this is definitely one of the best rackets to volley with out there!
8.5out of 10
Despite the added weight in the hoop, the new Head Radical Pro was surprisingly easy to swing on serves.
The open string pattern and thinner beam made it really easy to dial in and find my range right off the bat.
The Radical has never been a spin monster, but you can definitely carve the ball nicely to hit sharp angles, both on the slice and kick serves.
This means you can hit the court with confidence, thanks to the added boost this racket gives to both first and second serves.
The racket didn’t necessarily excel in one particular area, as it is naturally quite a good all rounder.
The added stability gave it a very consistent feeling and the response was crisp and direct, something that can sometimes not be said for more flexible rackets.
Overall, it is a very responsive and pure feeling racket that players looking for a great sense of connection with the ball will love.
8out of 10
On returns, the Head Radical Pro was great. Again, it was easy to find my range thanks to the added feel and manoeuvrability.
In terms of getting the racket into position and blocking back fast first serves, the racket felt surprisingly stable and easy to manoeuvre despite the added flex and weight.
The only real area in which the Radical Pro could be improved from my point of view would be on the plow through and power.
Whilst it is of course a performance based racket, it could perhaps do with a little more weight at the top of the frame to give it a bit more momentum when swinging through faster returns.
It can sometimes feel a little wanting when taking a bigger cut at the ball. This is not a major issue and nothing a bit of extra lead tape can’t solve however.
8.5out of 10
Overall, the Head has really pulled it out of the bag with the new Radical Pro. They have dialled back the stiffness and added some more weight to the racket, which enhances both the feel and stability.
This actually makes the racket noticeably more stable and forgiving at the same time, whilst the thin beam adds to the sense of connection you have with the ball and the manoeuvrability as it cuts through the air.
This racket would suit an intermediate to advanced player that likes to play a counter punching style.
It is very control oriented but also has great feel and comfort.
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