I always find that Volkl either make very good rackets or very bad rackets, with not much in between. Sometimes you’ll pick up one of their rackets and think it’s a proper player’s racket, but then you’ll try another one and wonder what Volkl were trying to achieve.
I took to the court with the Volkl V-Sense 10 Tour in the hope that I would find it to be one of Volkl’s big hits rather than its big failures. From the looks of it, I felt confident that this racket would be one of its better ones. It has the look of a classic racket – the ones that Volkl tends to do quite well. The ones I’m a bit wary about are the rackets where Volkl get a bit carried away and try and make some futuristic looking that invariably feels horrible.
But I felt comfortable with the V-Sense 10 Tour in my hand and also felt that it looked pretty cool. It has a very thin and sleek looking beam and the black red and silver paint job is very eye-catching.
The V-Sense 10 Tour is endorsed by Spaniard Nicolas Almagro on tour. He’s a former top 10 player and Davis Cup winner, so you know he’s unlikely to be playing with a dud of a racket. I’ve also heard good things about this racket from people who enjoy a speedy racket with an emphasis on control.
I always crave control, so this racket should have been to my liking. My only question mark being the lightweight frame which weighs in at 310g – a little on the light side for a Tour racket. That is slightly in keeping with the modern trend of lowering the weight of rackets, and if it still maintains a good swing weight then you can get the same benefits whilst limiting your chances of injury.
Continuing with the theme of limiting your chances of injury, we have been really impressed with Volkl’s vibration dampening system in other rackets, and I was looking forward to seeing if it would have the same effect in the V-Sense 10 Tour.
Volkl have included quite a bit of their signature technology in this racket, including the Super Grommet System which we think is a great piece of tech for reducing wear and tear on the joints. The V-Sense 10 Tour also includes Precise Power Beam and C3 Material which allow the frame to be strategically stiffer in certain places, keeping the swing weight up at 326g, but the weight at a more manageable 310g.
While the V-Sense 10 Tour has been set up for control throughout the frame it also has quite an open 16 x 19 string pattern, so it shouldn’t be just a touchy-feely racket. There’s plenty of room in there to get the strings moving, and this should lead to some decent power and spin.
So, in summary, this should be a pretty all-round racket that gives a good blend of spin, power, and control, but I’m not a massive fan of open string patterns, so how would I get on?
Groundstrokes – 8/10
Groundies are the big test of a modern racket, and to start out, the V-Sense 10 Tour felt very good. It’s got quite a small sweet spot, but when you find the money area, you are rewarded with great feel and control.
It did take me a little while to get dialed into this racket, and it is not very forgiving if you miss the sweet spot. But the more I played with it, the more I found the middle and I liked what I felt and saw.
On the backhand side I got along with this stick extremely well. It has a great blend of maneuverability and swing weight that has you swinging through with confidence. You also get a good amount of easy spin and power.
The V-Sense 10 Tour is a real blend of a classic tour racket and a modern player’s racket. On the one hand, it is quite control oriented, with good feel, but on the other hand, its lightness and open string pattern give you good spin and power potential.
There will be some players who are firmly in one camp or the other, and they won’t like this combination, but there are plenty of players who will love the cross-over nature of the Volkl V-Sense 10 Tour
For me, this combination is exactly what I need on the backhand, and I was able to rip through the ball with good control but also got a little bit of help with the spin and power. Sometimes I can get really bogged down on my backhand side and struggle to move play away from that side, but with the V-Sense 10 Tour, I was able to push my opponent back and open things up down the line to switch play to my forehand.
On the forehand side, I tend to prefer a bit more of a classic feel, so I wasn’t as suited to the V-Sense 10 Tour on this side. That being said, I felt this racket kept enough control, despite the 16 x 19 string pattern and I was able to generate good spin and power whilst moving my opponent around the court.
The small sweet spot did reappear as a bit of a problem on my forehand and that was probably my biggest negative with this racket on the groundstrokes. Perhaps with more time, I would get used to this, but my forehand is quite a complicated stroke and I do benefit from a slightly bigger sweet spot.
Overall, this is a very good racket on the groundstrokes. It has a bit of everything and the result is a good combination of control, power, and spin. The one drawback was the sweet spot. It’s great when you hit it, but it is quite small and when you miss it, the racket is pretty unresponsive.
Volleys – 7/10
The one thing that unnerved me with this racket was the thought of rocking up at the net with the pretty small sweet spot. When balls are being smashed at your face and you’ve got little time to react it can be quite handy to have a good area to aim for.
Although the sweet spot on the Volkl V-Sense 10 Tour is very nice when you hit it – hitting it can sometimes be a struggle.
I found that when I had a nice easy ball floated up to me the V-Sense 10 Tour was great. You get really good comfort from this racket, and I felt like it absorbed the shocks nicely, leaving my wrists and elbows pain-free.
However, when I was playing very difficult volleys and not necessarily hitting the middle of the racket, its abilities went down significantly. Obviously, if you don’t hit the ball perfectly out the middle then any racket is going to lose performance, but the drop off with the V-Sense 10 Tour felt significant. This is worsened by the fact that it is pretty easy to miss the sweet spot with this racket.
When you get things right at the net with this racket, it feels brilliant. The problem is, even the best volleyers in the world spend a lot of their time at the net playing right at the end of their reach. If you are able to get a racket on those difficult balls then you want something that is very stable, even if you’re not hitting the ball straight out of the middle.
I found the Volkl V-Sense 10 Tour a touch disappointing at the net for a Tour racket and gave it a 7 out of 10. I wouldn’t want to do much more than ghosting into the net to put an easy volley away with this racket.
Serve – 8/10
You really notice the easy maneuverability you get with this racket on the serve. You can effortlessly maintain good racket head speed, and this creates good spin potential when combined with the open string pattern.
The Volkl V-Sense 10 Tour is not a massive power racket on the serve, but you do get decent pop, and the easy maneuverability encourages you to go after the ball with real aggression. I always find this to be a good quality in a racket, and I greatly benefit from keeping up the racket head speed, especially on the second serve.
The V-Sense gave me a blend of power and spin that worked well for my game, but I was most impressed by the precision. I felt like I could target small areas of the court and had great feel for the ball on the strings.
This is a good middle of the range kind of racket on the serve. It has control, power, and spin without majoring too hard on either one. The advantage to this is that it is very customizable. If you want to tweak it towards control, you can easily put some weight in the hoop of the racket, and if you wanted to go even more towards maneuverability you could add a leather grip.
I think Volkl have designed a good racket for the serve in the Volkl V-Sense 10 Tour. It will suit a wide range of players, and for those that it doesn’t suit, it can easily be customized.
For that reason, I have given the Volkl V-Sense 10 Tour an 8 out of 10. It works well as it is without being exceptional on the serve, but it does leave plenty of space for customization.
Conclusion – 8/10
This was an enjoyable playtest and a very decent racket. I liked the comfort and control of this racket, and it has a nice blend of classic and more modern feels.
The one negative was the slightly small sweet spot, which I felt let the V-Sense 10 Tour down a lot at the net. It’s not your traditional tour racket which would normally be very solid at the net, so I would say it is probably better suited to a baseliner.
My favorite part of the playtest was probably the serve, where I found that the specs suited my game. It gave me the spin that I can often lack, especially trying to hit the topspin second serve. Despite the racket being quite control oriented, I was still able to get some good power, and even banged down a few aces!
Overall, I think the Volkl V-Sense 10 Tour is quite a solid racket. Obviously, it is not the best at the net, but for those of us who don’t really make it up there too often that is not a big deal.
The V-Sense 10 Tour would do very well in the hands of an aggressive baseliner, and I gave it an 8 out of 10. It didn’t blow my mind, but it does have a good blend of power, control and spin that is going to suit a good number of players.
Review by: Will