Volkl V-Feel V8 Pro Specs
Head Size:100 in² / 645.16 cm²
Length:27in / 68.58cm
Strung Weight:11.2oz / 318g
Balance:12.69in / 32.23cm / 6 pts HL
String Pattern: 18 Mains / 20 Crosses
We always seem to start Volkl reviews off with this, but we tend to find their rackets can be a little hit or miss. On this occasion, we got our hands on the Volkl V-Feel V8 Pro, and were hopeful that it would fall in the hit category.
On paper, this is a racket we can really get behind, with an unstrung weight around the 300g mark that everyone can feel comfortable with, and a nice 18 x 20 string pattern for extra control. As someone who enjoyed the Babolat Pure Strike 18 x 20, which has similar specs, I was pretty excited to see what the V8 Pro could do.
One of the great things about Volkl rackets is that you always know they’re going to err on the side of comfort. Volkl puts a lot of technology into shock absorption, and this can be seen in the VCell, VSensor, and REVA technologies. We’ve found this works nicely in other Volkl rackets such as the V-Feel 8 and the V Sense 10 Tour, so we were expecting no different from this stick.
With the 18 x 20 string pattern, we were looking for the V8 Pro to offer us some old fashioned control, but with the modern maneuverability that you get from a lighter frame. We’re all big hitters here who like to swing hard and rely on our rackets for plenty of control, and the V-Feel V8 Pro promised to fit the bill.
To get the most out of this stick, we strung the V8 Pro up with one of our favorite strings, Luxilon Element at 50lbs. This setup should help to get even more control from the racket, whilst offering a little more comfort than many other poly strings. Of course, we want a little bit of spin to pull the ball back into court, and Element offers plenty of that too, so we were looking at an ideal setup to produce some good tennis.
So, would the Volkl V-Feel V8 Pro live up to our expectations, or would we be left disappointed?
Groundstrokes – 8/10
I find one of the most important things for me on the groundstrokes is that I can get the racket swinging really fast. I want to be able to generate as much racket head speed as possible in order to turn that into power and spin.
The V-Feel V8 Pro was the ideal partner when it came to this, and I had absolutely no problems getting it moving. This racket swings really nicely, and you could easily add a little bit of extra weight to it and still find it moves nicely through the air.
I bring up adding a little extra weight to it, because that was my one real problem with this stick. I just felt it was lacking a little bit of swingweight, which meant I had less stability on contact. While the 18 x 20 string pattern offers you good control, some of that control gets lost on impact because of the slight instability.
Because of this, I would certainly be tempted to add 10g or so to the racket, just to allow me to maximize the amount of power, spin, and control I get.
The V8 Pro certainly isn’t a bad racket from the back of the court though, and there are lots of players are going to enjoy the blend of power, control, and spin. If you’re looking for mobility and an 18 x 20 racket with a bit of pop then this is well worth looking at. I just think for more advanced players with a lot of racket head speed and natural power, they will want more swingweight.
All in all though, the Volkl V-Feel V8 Pro did a good job from the back of the court, and we gave it an 8 out of 10. Perhaps it doesn’t have quite enough in the way of stability to warrant the Pro name, but it will do a good job for intermediate to lower level advanced players.
Volleys – 7/10
This is the area where we perhaps wanted a little bit more. In my mind, I was comparing this stick to the Pure Strike 18 x 20, and I think the Pure Strike just offers a little bit more stability, and thus a little bit more control on the volleys.
The V8 Pro is good at injecting power into the easier volleys, but it’s when you play the most difficult volleys and need lots of control where I found it pinged on me a little bit.
If you’re someone that only comes to the net behind really strong approaches then you won’t have too many problems, but if you like to rush the net, you might find the V8 Pro lacking a bit. Certainly, if I was going to play doubles with this stick I would look to beef it up a bit by adding some extra weight.
I think this would just make it play a little bit more crisply and give you the control you need to play difficult volleys.
We gave the Volkl V-Feel V8 Pro a 7 out of 10 for the volleys.
Serve – 8/10
The serve was one of the more enjoyable parts of this playtest, as I was able to use the V8’s easy maneuverability to really get this racket moving. I didn’t notice the lack of stability quite as much in this area, and found I was able to turn all that racket head speed into good power and spin, hitting some big first serves.
I particularly enjoyed the feel of the 18 x 20 string pattern here, as it allowed me to hit with plenty of spin but still maintain control over the ball. Sometimes I feel like a racket can have lots of spin potential, but it’s not controllable spin, but that wasn’t the case with the V-Feel V8 Pro. I was able to use this to good effect with the leftie serve out wide and won lots of free points.
The good levels of spin and control also came in handy on the second serve, where I felt confident with this stick. I was able to attack the second serve, knowing I would get plenty of spin to bring the ball back into court and give me that good margin for error over the net that I look for.
I certainly enjoyed this part of the playtest and gave the Volkl V-Feel V8 Pro an 8 out of 10 for the serve.
Return – 7.5/10
Just as with the volleys, the V-Feel V8 Pro did lack a bit of stability for my liking on the return, but the speed and comfort with which I could swing made up for that. I was able to get the racket into position quickly and contact the ball nicely in front of my body, giving me a good chance of making the return.
A little bit more stability would have added some extra control and allowed me to guide the ball into court better, but the Volkl did a pretty good job. I made a good number of returns throughout the playtests and did particularly well when being more aggressive against the second serve.
This was another area where the V8’s comfort levels stood out, as no matter what my timing was like, I felt like I was in for a comfortable ride, free from nasty vibrations.
Another pretty good score from the Volkl V-Feel V8 Pro which earned it a 7.5 out of 10 for the return.
Overall – 7.5/10
We started this review saying we tend to love Volkl rackets or not like them much at all, but we found the one that falls somewhere in the middle. The V-Feel V8 Pro is a good racket that offers a lot without really blowing you away.
The one thing we felt held it back a little bit was the lack of swingweight, but you could easily add a little weight to fix this if you wanted. For those people looking for something that’s got easy playability and good comfort with a little bit of control thrown in though, this racket could be one to look at.
There are a lot of good rackets with similar specs, so the V8 Pro has plenty of competition but I think it does a good job. There’s not much you can fault it for, and we found it did a good job on all the shots. Perhaps it’s just missing that x factor in our minds, but x factor is a very personal thing, and there are bound to be people who find it in the Volkl V-Feel V8 Pro.
The V8 Pro is a good racket, that’s strong from the baseline and fun to serve with, and we gave it a 7.5 out of 10.
Review by: Will