View Full Version : Head LM Instinct vs Head LM Radical

01-10-2008, 09:54 AM
A friend offered me his inctinct for $20 so I figured it was worth it without ever having played with it. I've played with the LM Radicals and liked them. Has eny one played with both or have Instinct experience, is there another frame that it plays like?

01-10-2008, 01:35 PM
A friend offered me his inctinct for $20 so I figured it was worth it without ever having played with it. I've played with the LM Radicals and liked them. Has eny one played with both or have Instinct experience, is there another frame that it plays like?

really? $20 for an instinct is a great deal. get it while you can. its a good racquet to advance with and its similar to the radical. but i'd say a little more open string pattern, just slightly. get it and you might like it if you liked the radical

01-10-2008, 06:13 PM
I bought a few Instincts for two reasons: My boy Gasquet plays with it, and all the younger players are using the Babolats and I figured I needed a similar powerful and lighter frame to be competitve, especially with poly string.

I have both the standard and the XL Pro versions. It's hard to say which is better... depends on the player and how strong you are and how strong your strokes are. The XL Pro version has swingweight comparable to the typical 12.5 ounce classic "player's" frame. It's not a lightweight at all.

I know one thing: the frame works best with poly string and is probably designed to be used with it, just as the Babolats are. I can't control shots with synthetic gut in these powerful frames. Big Banger TiMo17 works well in the ones I have... but even with this low-powered control string if I take the usual full cut at the ball it will land long more often than I would like. I guess it works fine if you can play and rally from 20 feet behind the baseline the way Gasquet often does. Really, the pros today are so often playing from well off the court... but it amazes me that Gasquet can control such a powerful frame with the kind of superlong and fast strokes he produces.

I do much better with a classic-style of frame. I use a Gamma G325 with Luxillon string and have plenty of power and very good consistency and control.

BTW, Gasquet is playing with what appears to be a Head Microgel Extreme Pro... but it's still his Instinct XL Pro with the paintjob and decals of the newer frame. So yeah, 20 bucks is a great price for an Instinct. I think the standard version is a fine racquet for players in the 3.0 to 4.0 range. Or for juniors or women and men who just aren't very strong and need the ample power the frame offers, regardless of their skill level. BTW, quite a few other male and female pros have used the Instinct, so clearly it's not just for devolping players.

The XL Pro Instincts are no longer made and getting hard to find. I've seen used ones in good shape go for over $150 on online auction sites. I don't quite have the strength or talent to use one in serious matchplay.

01-10-2008, 06:21 PM
Thanks Gasquetrules... some very helpful insight there. At first glance it does remind me of the Pure Drive Team. I couldn't help but snatch up the Instinct for such a low price.

01-10-2008, 06:22 PM
Why do young players spend 180 bucks for a Babolat when you can buy a brand new Instinct for about seventy? Makes no sense. Check the specs on the Instinct and compare it with the Babolats, and there's not much difference. I've played with both. It's the same design of tennis racquet, unless you get one of the thin, heavy control-oriented Babolats.

Most of the Babolats that are popular have heads about 100 sq. inches, (like the Instinct) have similar beam widths, similar stiffness, comparable weight and balance. The stringjob will make a lot more difference than switching frames between a Babolat and an Instinct will. Why pay the extra hundred bucks just because you like Nadal better than Gasquet? Nadal could play with a standard Instinct as well as he plays with his Babolat. These racquets are designed to appeal to the same kind of player with the same kind of string and the same kind of playing style.

01-11-2008, 12:16 AM
I've play tested both, the Instinct for a shorter while and just one string setup (SPPP 1.28 ), the Radical for a longer time and with various strings.
Both are pretty good rackets. Both are pretty comfortable rackets, but I've found the instinct to play a bit softer even with full poly (maybe because of the slightly bigger head and the slightly more open string pattern).
The instinct is more powerful, but still controllable. The Radical served better for me, but I THINK I preferred the instinct from the baseline (memory a bit fuzzy).
I agree with above poster that the Instinct is an EXCELLENT alternative to the pure drive, I actually prefer it to the PD...and the fact that it's so much cheaper is just a bonus I feel. Good luck with your choice OP...

01-11-2008, 07:13 AM
hey for $20 you can't go wrong. play it, if you like it great, if not put it up for sale or trade in the classifieds here.