Head Graphene 360 Radical MP Specs
Head Size: 98 in² / 632 cm²
Length: 27in / 68,5cm
Strung Weight: 312g / 11oz
Unstrung Weight: 295g/10,4oz
Balance: 32,39cm / 6 pts HL
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
With the Head Graphene 360 Radical MP, Head brings its latest technology to the iconic Radical rackets. A mainstay of the tennis world since the days of the great Andre Agassi, this racket offers a blend of spin, control, and maneuverability, that’s sure to suit intermediate players and perhaps some more advanced players.
The Graphene 360 update makes the Radical MP a little bit more comfortable to play with than previous iterations and adds some extra pop for good measure. With an unstrung weight of 295g unstrung, this racket is extremely maneuverable and has a balance that just feels right in your hand. However, the Graphene 360 will have to work hard to absorb the shocks that this stiff frame might give off.
Asides from the Graphene 360, the Radical MP has some more technology that I really like. Dynamic String Pattern helps to add some extra control to this racket by reducing the spacing between the center strings, giving the racket some of the control of an 18 x 20 string pattern whilst still keeping its 16 x 19 characteristics.
Those 16 x 19 characteristics are a high launch angle and plenty of access to spin. In this sense, the Head Graphene 360 Racial MP reminded me of the Babolat Pure Drive, as I was hitting with a great flight path and a ton of topspin. However, the Radical MP is very much its own racket and doesn’t lean towards power in the same way that a Pure Drive does.
We recently did a playtest on the lighter version of the Radical, the Head Graphene 360 Radical S, and we were fairly complementary. These two rackets aren’t all that different, so we did have some idea of what to expect. I found the Radical S amazingly easy to use from the back of the court, and I was hoping that trait would continue in the MP.
To help me get the most out of the Radical MP, I strung it up with Head RIP Control string at 56lbs. This multifilament string offers plenty of control, with good levels of comfort to help combat the stiff nature of this racket. It’s also not a string that produces a huge amount of spin, so it would be a good test of the Radical’s spin potential.
The Radical range of rackets has always been one that I’ve admired but never had any desire to actually play with. I’ve always felt they’re nice, all-round rackets, but they don’t do anything special. Perhaps the Head Graphene 360 Radical MP would be the racket to change my mind!
Groundstrokes – 7/10
Just like its lighter relative, the Radical S, the Radical MP was wonderfully easy to play with from the back of the court. I love the balance of these rackets and they just seem to feel right in your hand.
In terms of balancing power, control, and spin, I also quite liked the balance. I liked the fact that it wasn’t super powerful and that there was plenty of spin available. The one downside was I felt it lacked some stability and this lead to less control than I would have liked.
With the Radical S, which weighs 280g I expected the lack of stability, but with the 295g Radical MP I was expecting that bit more stability and didn’t really find it. This meant that when I went for my most ambitious, line-hugging shots I wasn’t as precise as I would normally be.
I know they’re very different rackets, but if you compare the stability of the Radical MP to something like the Babolat Pure Strike they’re in different leagues. The Pure Strike is 10g heavier, but the results are hugely different.
The Head Graphene 360 Radical MP does make up for that by being extremely easy to play with though. If you’re an intermediate player with medium speed swings then I think this racket has a lot to offer you. However, if you’ve got more advanced swings then the lack of stability of this racket is going to let you down.
When I kept my swings at a more gentile pace I found I got excellent results from the Radical MP. I was able to keep my opponent under pressure by playing with good depth and spin, the difficulties came when I wanted to up the pace and be more aggressive.
I still think this racket is suitable for all styles of players, the main question you have to ask yourself is what kind of swings you’re playing with. If you play with very fast, advanced swings then I don’t think this racket will be right for you. However, if you play with more medium-paced swings then it could certainly be worth taking a look at.
There were things I really liked about the Head Graphene 360 Radical MP, but the lack of stability did hold it back. If you’re playing at a high level then this will cause you issues, but for intermediate players, it shouldn’t be a problem. We gave it a 7 out of 10 for the groundstrokes.
Volleys – 6.5/10
If you see me complaining about a racket’s stability from the back of the court it’s normally not a good omen for how the racket is going to perform at the net. When you’re hitting volleys you’re really looking for two things, control, and feel, and both of these things are closely linked to stability.
When you’re at the net, the ball is coming at you much faster than when you’re at the back of the court, so the ball has much more potential to push the racket back on contact. When it does this, the energy you’re putting through the ball is dispersed into different directions. If you have a racket that is extremely stable though, it’s going to stay solid on impact with the ball and direct it back exactly where you want it to go.
The Graphene 360 Radical MP is fine for volleying when the ball isn’t coming at you too fast, but the more the speed gets ramped up, the more it begins to struggle. This is inevitable with lighter rackets, my question with the Radical MP is why is it 295g as opposed to 305g like many other rackets? Head already have the Radical S as a lightweight racket, and the MP just doesn’t seem to offer that much more over and above the S.
Once again, the Head Graphene 360 Radical MP is a really nice racket for intermediate players, but it doesn’t transition well to more advanced tennis. We gave it a 6.5 out of 10 for volleys.
Serve – 7/10
The Radical MP followed the same pattern on the serve as it did on the groundstrokes and the volleys. It is extremely easy to play with, has good maneuverability and nice balance, but just lacks a little bit of stability.
For intermediate players, I think it does a very good job, and you’re bound to get some good results from this stick. However, the more your strokes develop, the less useful you will find this racket.
If I found myself in the situation where I’d bought this racket as an intermediate player and really liked it but was progressing quickly in my tennis, then I think I would customize it and add some weight. If you could bring it up to 305g then I think it would offer a lot more performance, but still maintain its easy playability.
On the serve, this would add extra power and control, you would just lose some maneuverability. As you become more comfortable in your strokes this isn’t a big issue though, and I certainly think this racket is ripe for customization.
I liked the easy playability of the Head Graphene 360 Radical MP on the serve, but missed out on some extra power and control because of the lack of stability. Overall, the Radical MP provides a good platform to work with on the serve, so it earned a 7 out of 10.
Overall – 7/10
I’m a little bit conflicted by the Graphene 360 Radical MP. I like the easy playability of this racket, but I just wish it had more stability. Of course, there’s always the option of customization and I think that’s something more advanced players would look at. However, I do think in its factory form this racket can be a good option for many intermediate players.
The best quality of this racket for me was how easy it made playing. The spin and power levels were spot on so long as you weren’t swinging too aggressively, and I found the Graphene 360 Radical MP to be more comfortable than previous versions.
On the negative side, I did find the Radical MP to be lacking stability. It really depends on your level as to how much this will affect you. If you’re playing at a very high level then I think you would find it difficult to compete with this racket, but for more intermediate tennis, you wouldn’t have any problems.
I think I would much prefer this racket if it weighed in around 305g instead of 295g, but it is what it is, and there will be players who really like this racket. For me, I can’t say I loved it, but I certainly didn’t hate it, and our score of 7 out of 10 reflects that.
Review by: Will