Volkl C10 Pro Specs
Head Size: 98in²/632cm²
Length: 27in / 68,5cm
Balance:32cm/7 pts HL
Unstrung Balance: 31cm/ 10 pts HL
16 Mains / 19 Crosses
I love playing tennis with a classic pro-style racket and that is exactly what you get with the Volkl C10 Pro. I always enjoy Volkl rackets when they keep things simple; I had one of the earliest versions of the C10 range when I was a kid and absolutely loved it. My annoyance with Volkl is when they try and produce something super innovative that’s way out there and never seems to work.
However, there is no risk of that with the C10 Pro, as Volkl stick to their tried and tested pro-style frame, making a few small changes for this latest version.
The Twin Absorber Handle System and Soft Butt Handle System are introduced to try and dampen the vibrations you feel through the arm whilst maintaining the responsive feel that everyone loves about this racket.
In recent times, we have found Volkl to do a really good job on reducing the vibrations and consequent wear and tear on player’s joints, so we are hoping that the same can be said of the C10 Pro.
Weighing in at 330g unstrung, this racket has some solid weight to it; something that you don’t see as often these days, but it doesn’t have a huge swingweight (323), largely due to its 10 PTS headlight balance. However, that should make it super speedy through the swing.
It has a fairly open 16 x 19 string pattern, which in previous versions has given this racket a fair amount of pop and pretty good access to spin. You still have a good amount of weight going through the ball though, so you can expect a lot of control from the C10.
This version has been decked out in Volkl’s classic black and yellow colour scheme and has the classic, sleek look of a pro-style frame. Sometimes I find that Volkl can make some quite ugly rackets, but in the case of the C10, I think it looks pretty swanky.
I always get very excited to play with these classic type rackets, so I was looking forward to getting into it with the Volkl C10. The slightly heavier weight took a little bit to get used to when I was warming up, but it felt like the C10 had a great blend of control, power, and spin that I could really work with.
Groundstrokes – 8 .5/10
I settled down with the C10 Pro pretty quickly and there wasn’t much of an acclimatization period before I felt I was hitting through the ball nicely. I moved into some slightly tougher drills to see what the C10 Pro had to offer, and it started out nicely with some backhands crosscourt.
I would consider my backhand to be my weakest shot, so I always look for a little assistance on this side from my racket. The C10 Pro did that extremely well, as the headlight balance got me swinging through the ball with good racket head speed, but most importantly, it had the weight behind it to turn that racket head speed into power and spin.
This resulted in a very heavy ball, especially for my backhand, which had power and spin and was able to force my opponent backwards. I love to force my opponent on to the back foot and look to step into the court and attack. The C10 Pro allowed me to do this brilliantly.
It has great stability on contact, so you feel like all the energy that you build throughout the swing goes into the ball, maximizing what you are getting from the racket. If I was to buy this racket, I would probably string it up quite tight as it has a little more pop than I would normally look for, but it is a racket that you can tweak to your liking.
On the forehand side, I’m not such a fan of the headlight balance. I generate a lot of racket head speed naturally, so I tend to lean to something a little less whippy. For this reason, the C10 Pro wasn’t the perfect match for me on this side, but it made up for that with its great stability and feel on contact.
Again, I was able to hit a really heavy ball that had a lot of spin and power and was able to take control of the point and step into the court. Once I’m on my forehand side I’m able to control the point. In this situation the chances are it’s going to end up being my point, so the C10 Pro made me pretty happy in this respect!
I would say that the C10 Pro is best suited to a slightly more advanced player. You need to be quite confident in your swings to get the most out of this racket, and it’s always worth considering whether something weighing 330g is right for you.
Game style-wise, this strikes me as very much an allrounder. You get a lot of joy out of this racket hitting attacking topspin groundstrokes, but equally, it’s got the control and feel to hit devastating slices and works well when you’re under pressure.
The Volkl C10 Pro lived up to my pre-playtest excitement, and I wasn’t disappointed. I gave it an 8.5 out of 10, and I couldn’t find much to fault. The only thing that isn’t quite perfect for my game is the balance, but if you love a speedy racket then the CS10 Pro is ideal.
Volleys – 8/10
The C10 Pro has pretty much everything you could ask for at the net. The balance makes it quite speedy; it has good stability and plenty of weight to put through the ball.
I immediately felt very comfortable with this stick at the net and the biggest problem was getting Lawrence to give me difficult enough shots to challenge the C10! Whether the ball was floated high to my forehand or smashed low down to my backhand, I seemed to have it covered with ease, just popping the ball back where I wanted it.
OK, I was on excellent form that day, but you must give some credit to the C10 – it is an excellent racket, and a pleasure to play with at the net.
I could easily see a serve-volleyer playing with this racket (if they exist anymore). It’s got all the qualities you could ask for in this regard. If you’re a pretty strong guy with a lot of natural racket head speed, I would even consider adding a little weight in the head of the racket, just to get the swingweight up a bit.
I’m not normally a big fan of doing that, as I think you can often end up making the racket much worse, but I think with the Volkl C10 Pro you’ve got that option if you wanted to change the balance a bit.
The playtest continued as it started at the net and the C10 performed excellently again. I debated the score here, because I’m generally a bit stricter on the scores with the volleys for some reason. The C10 is as good at the net as it is from the back, but because of some of the other scores I’ve given out on the volleys I went for an 8 out of 10.
It’s a great volleying racket though, and this was my most enjoyable part of the playtest.
Serve – 8.5/10
I may not appreciate it, but I do quite like a headlight balance on serve, so long as the racket has a decent swingweight at the end of it. So, in theory, the CS10 Pro had a good setup for me on the serve.
This turned out to be the case, as I hit some powerful first serves and felt extremely confident on the second serve. This racket has a lovely blend of power, spin and control that works very well on serve, and the new technology they have put in makes it very comfortable as well.
Throughout the points I played, I maintained a very good first serve percentage, hitting a few aces and winning the majority of points on serve. The most impressive part was the second serve though, where I was getting great spin and controlling the ball towards my target. I can often be put under pressure by the returner when it comes to my second serve, but that didn’t happen when I played with the C10 Pro
I’m back to the 8.5 out of 10 for the serve with the Volkl C10 Pro. There was really no part of this playtest that I didn’t enjoy and the C10 stood out as an excellent all-round player’s racket. It has control, feel, power and spin without being too dominated by any one of them.
Conclusion – 8.5/10
There’s a reason why this racket has endured for so long – it’s simply an extremely good racket! The C10 Pro will appeal to a wide variety of advanced tennis players, whether they be counter-attacking baseliners or booming serve-volleyers; it has little something for everyone.
I was impressed with the C10 Pro on all my shots, with the only one that didn’t quite work out being the forehand. I would perhaps consider a little lead weight in the hoop of the racket, but there are many people who this racket will suit as it is.
With the C10 Pro you get a classic feel and will enjoy an excellent blend of control, power, and spin. I particularly enjoyed the C10 off the backhand side and at the net, where I had excellent control and good stability.
Overall, I gave the C10 an excellent 8.5 out of 10. It was a very enjoyable playtest and it is a racket that will suit a wide variety of advanced players. It’s no wonder the Volkl C10 has been going so long, because it is just a great all-round racket.
Review by: Will