I’ve been having a slight moan in recent years that something has been missing from Head’s racket lineup.
I felt like the Head Speed Pro had changed quite a bit and it had left a gap that needed to be filled in.
It seems like Head has the answer to this though, with the Gravity rackets.
The Gravity Tour is 10g lighter than the Pro, coming in at 305g unstrung, which puts it in direct competition with rackets like the Pure Strike (18 x 20) and Prince Phantom Pro 100 (18 x 20).
All these sticks offer good maneuverability and enticing control, but would the new technology in the Gravity Tour set it apart?
One thing that confuses me with most rackets these days is the names.
I actually quite like the name of the Head Graphene 360+ Gravity Tour because it doesn’t have too much going on in it, but what’s the distinction between Tour and Pro?
Is a Tour player better than just a Pro player, is there even a difference?
Virtually none of us are Tour players or pros, so which rackets should we be looking at?
I guess at the end of the day it’s just marketing so we’ve got to go out and do the playtest to tell you which one is which!
In the case of the Gravity Tour vs the Gravity Pro, the big difference is in the weight.
At 305g, the Gravity Tour is just that little bit easier to move about, but as a consequence, you do lose a little bit of swingweight.
Thanks to new technology, both these rackets are very comfortable to play with, so the major consideration, if you’re choosing between these two rackets, is how good you are at creating racket head speed and how you produce power.
If you’re extremely confident in your swings and produce great racket head speed on all shots then it’s likely you would lean towards the Pro.
However, if you don’t produce quite as much racket head speed, or you have one shot where you struggle to produce racket head speed then it might be worth looking at the Tour.
The Pro gives you that little bit more control, so you can swing through at 100% absolutely safe in the knowledge the racket has enough to tame the ball.
The Tour, on the other hand, gives you slightly more pop, that little boost you might need on your weaker side.
At the end of the day though, you’ve got an excellent racket whichever you choose.
The main thing is getting out there and playing some tennis with them before you commit.
String-wise we set the Head Graphene 360+ Gravity Tour up with Babolat RPM Blast at 52lbs.
We really wanted to maximize the control of the 18 x 20 string pattern with this setup whilst still allowing for plenty of spin potential.
You already know we think this is a pretty good racket, but how did the Gravity Tour do when we really put it through its paces?
Groundstrokes – 9/10
This is where the discussion of how you generate your power really comes in.
Do you let the racket help you out with a little bit of added pop, or does it all come from your swing speed?
If you’re the former, then you’re going to prefer this Gravity Tour to the Gravity Pro.
Don’t get me wrong, this racket is still very much control-oriented, but it just gives you a little bit more oomph than the Pro.
This is great for players who enjoy 18 x 20 string patterns but still want to get a little bit of free power out of the strings.
It makes it easier for someone who is switching from a 16 x 19 string pattern, but you will still find it very different.
The spin potential of this racket is not huge, and you’ve got to have good swings to get good RPMs on the ball.
For me personally, I’m used to the 18 x 20 string patterns, so it was an easy change to get used to the Gravity Tour.
I hit very well off both sides, playing with good depth and generally feeling confident on all the shots I attempted.
I think I fall into that second bracket that we talked about though and I’d rather have that extra control of the Gravity Pro over the bit of pop of the Gravity Tour.
When I went for my most ambitious shots I wanted the extra weight of the Gravity Pro and that reflects in my scores for the two rackets.
The Gravity Tour has a slightly higher ceiling in my opinion but for the majority of players, it’s just going to depend on which weight you feel more comfortable with and which racket suits your style of play better.
In terms of competing with its direct rivals like the Babolat Pure Strike, I thought performance-wise it was right there, the big area where the Gravity Tour has started to pull ahead is the comfort levels.
For such a control-oriented racket, this stick makes playing tennis easy.
We gave the Head Graphene 360+ Gravity Tour a 9 out of 10 for groundstrokes.
Volleys – 8/10
Again, there was so much to like about the Gravity Tour here. The 18 x 20 string pattern provides the control, but the racket flexes in such ways as to give you great comfort and feel too.
It’s a little bit easier to get into position than the Gravity Pro which is helpful when the balls coming at you quickly which is a plus.
However, I once again preferred the extra weight of the Gravity Pro over the Gravity Tour.
At the end of the day, this is a personal thing, but at the highest levels, I do think this gives the Gravity Pro a little bit more potential.
On the majority of shots, the Gravity Tour stayed pretty solid, but when the ball was really fired at me and I had to hit a difficult volley, it just lacked the kind of stability that separates the very best volleying rackets.
It’s difficult to mark the Gravity Tour down too much though as it still put in a very decent performance.
You can easily play doubles and singles with this racket without having to worry about its performance at the net.
This was another solid performance from the Head Graphene 360+ Gravity Tour and we gave it an 8 out of 10 for volleys.
Serve – 9/10
I was loving serving with the Head Graphene 360+ Gravity Tour. The extra maneuverability and pop really make for a good experience on serve and you can crank the MPH.
The more speed you hit with, the more you lose control, but the Gravity Tour starts from such a place of great control that it’s not such a problem.
You can afford to go for a little bit more when you’re confident you’re going to make the second serve and this gives you a lot of options.
One serve that I found I was hitting particularly well with the Gravity Tour was my leftie slider out wide.
This racket doesn’t make it that easy to get spin, but that’s how I prefer it.
If the racket gives you too much easy spin then it’s easy to lose control of the ball, I’d rather have to work for the spin and keep the control.
The Gravity Tour has everything I look for on the serve and this resulted in a great serving performance from me.
I enjoy the 305g weight when it comes to serving and think it works very well.
There will be some big servers out there who want something a bit heavier, but for the majority of us, the Gravity Tour does the job.
This was my favorite part of the playtest and I gave the Head Graphene 360+ Gravity Tour a 9 out of 10.
Overall – 9/10
Overall, this was another great playtest. The Head Graphene 360+ Gravity Tour provides a great alternative to the Gravity Pro and is more than capable of competing with its rivals.
If you want, control, feel, maneuverability, and comfort then this is a racket you need to look at.
As I’ve said, I think the Gravity rackets make a great addition to Head’s lineup and they certainly offer something slightly different to the other options.
When you think of Head’s rackets you have the Prestige rackets as the signature control rackets, but the Gravity rackets provide similar control with a very different feel.
Personally, I am a big fan of that blend of control and feel and would certainly be considering the Gravity Tour if I was looking for a new racket around 305g.
I think this racket is going to do best in the hands of someone with quite an advanced game, but in terms of game style, it’s very adaptable.
There are lot of people who are going to find this racket really supplements their game nicely and you get the added bonus of great comfort.
Racket technology is constantly moving forwards and the latest rackets are a pleasure to play with.
The Gravity Tour is one of those rackets that makes playing tennis feel natural and I’m a big fan of that.
All in all, it’s hard to fault this racket.
It’s strong on all shots and earns an overall score of 9 out of 10.
Review by: Will