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View Full Version : Head racquet advice needed -- Radical, Prestige, Extreme


AA5B Tiger
01-19-2012, 08:09 PM
Need a little advice on which racquet to try as I am very close to narrowing in on what's right for my game. Currently, I am looking for something that is a blend of the Head Radical and Extreme.

I've extensively demo'd both and come down to an issue: I can serve great with the Extreme and hit good groundstrokes and volleys. However, with the Radical I can hit the best groundstrokes of my life X 2, but serving is far short of what I can do with the Extreme.

My Q: Is there some racquet in between I should be looking at? The Prestige or Speed -- that is a good mix of the Extreme and Radical?

Background: Prior to arriving at Head, I went through the Wilson, Prince, Babolat, and Yonex lines. All were good, but I prefer the feel of the Head racquets by far to the others...

Many thanks in advance.

in_ten_city
01-19-2012, 08:14 PM
What string pattern are you looking for, and what head size are you looking for?
It sounds like you want a 16x19, look at the new IG Rad Pro.

AA5B Tiger
01-19-2012, 08:19 PM
What string pattern are you looking for, and what head size are you looking for?
It sounds like you want a 16x19, look at the new IG Rad Pro.

I was demo'ing the Mid Plus of both the Extreme IG and Radical IG.

I enjoyed the spin of on the serve from the 16X19 Extreme, but felt like I could put groundstroke in an area the size of shoebox with great pace with the Radical 18X20... Both racquets elevated my game: The Extreme on the serve, the Radical on everything else.

I'll look at the Rad Pro... Thanks.

Bartelby
01-19-2012, 08:21 PM
yes, new ig radical pro is a possibility and you can make it more head light if that's a problem

speed 18/20 is a possibility but power would be less than extreme but more than radical mp

Anton
01-19-2012, 08:35 PM
Need a little advice on which racquet to try as I am very close to narrowing in on what's right for my game. Currently, I am looking for something that is a blend of the Head Radical and Extreme.

I think IG Instinct may be what you are looking for, I feel it's right between the two - not as bulky as extreme, not as flexy as Radical. IG Radical Pro could work too but I don't think it will have good control, though I haven't tried it.

AA5B Tiger
01-19-2012, 09:59 PM
I think IG Instinct may be what you are looking for, I feel it's right between the two - not as bulky as extreme, not as flexy as Radical. IG Radical Pro could work too but I don't think it will have good control, though I haven't tried it.

Thanks for the suggestion. I looked at the specs and thought that it would wind-up being more of a tweener racquet and not for me -- then I read the comments on the racquet... It sounds like something very close to what I am looking for. Lots of 4.5-5.0 players using it. One guy started comparing it to the Extreme and Radical... Music to my ears.

I hope this is the one as I am tired of being on this quest for a racquet and know I am very close... Thanks a bunch for your suggestion. Will report back...

Anton
01-19-2012, 10:15 PM
Thanks for the suggestion. I looked at the specs and thought that it would wind-up being more of a tweener racquet and not for me -- then I read the comments on the racquet... It sounds like something very close to what I am looking for. Lots of 4.5-5.0 players using it. One guy started comparing it to the Extreme and Radical... Music to my ears.

I hope this is the one as I am tired of being on this quest for a racquet and know I am very close... Thanks a bunch for your suggestion. Will report back...

Btw, TW listed weight seems to be on the low side for Instict, with over-grip, poly and rubber band mine came out to 11.5oz

this guy liked it more then his old YT Radical:

http://resources3.news.com.au/images/2012/01/19/1226248/760779-120120-matthew-ebden.jpg

Dgdavid
01-20-2012, 01:27 AM
Hi,

I have an IG Extreme MP strung at 53lbs with a poly and it is very nice but a bit too powerful for me (it encourages me to shorten my stroke when I really want to develop it to a fuller, faster stroke). I have owned both version of the Speed MP 315 (preferred 18x20 over the 16x19) plus a Youtek Radical MP (very nice on groundies as you say but serve was diminished).

The racket I settled on was the IG Speed 300. It is a 16x19 and the same stock weight as the Extreme. It is by far the best of the above for my game because it has no compromises and I can still hit out. Slight twist in hand on hard off centre hits but trying 3g at 3 and 9 this weekend to fix this.

FYI, before I settle long term on the Speed 300, I also have demos coming of IG Prestige Pro, Exo3 Tour 100 and Dunlop Bio 500 Tour. All felt good on a rebound wall but so do most! Definitely test the Speed 300.

Jules
01-20-2012, 03:01 AM
Btw, TW listed weight seems to be on the low side for Instict, with over-grip, poly and rubber band mine came out to 11.5oz

this guy liked it more then his old YT Radical:

http://resources3.news.com.au/images/2012/01/19/1226248/760779-120120-matthew-ebden.jpg

To me that looks like a Head Radical Pro (100 sq. in.) PJ. At least it's not the IG Instinct...completely diferent head shape.

http://www.gettyimages.dk/detail/news-photo/matthew-ebden-of-australiaplays-a-forehand-in-his-second-news-photo/137298763

It's more obvious here:
http://cache3.asset-cache.net/xc/137298763.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=77BFBA49EF87892155F29F61288AC1CA145B71DE433F2D53 A6F00EA80C5934B4645DE6856CFD6DC0

Anton
01-20-2012, 04:58 AM
To me that looks like a Head Radical Pro (100 sq. in.) PJ. At least it's not the IG Instinct...completely diferent head shape.

http://www.gettyimages.dk/detail/news-photo/matthew-ebden-of-australiaplays-a-forehand-in-his-second-news-photo/137298763

It's more obvious here:
http://cache3.asset-cache.net/xc/137298763.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=77BFBA49EF87892155F29F61288AC1CA145B71DE433F2D53 A6F00EA80C5934B4645DE6856CFD6DC0

No, a friend of mine personally knows this guy - it's a plain-jane IG Instinct with not even any lead on it. The angle of the picture just makes the racket look more round then it is.

http://resources0.news.com.au/images/2012/01/03/1226235/924212-matthew-ebden.jpg

here it is clearly more oval then radical

Throat beam is clearly that of Instict not the more round Radical

http://img.skysports.com/12/01/660x350/Matthew-Ebden_2700130.jpg

rich s
01-20-2012, 07:24 AM
Need a little advice on which racquet to try as I am very close to narrowing in on what's right for my game. Currently, I am looking for something that is a blend of the Head Radical and Extreme.

I've extensively demo'd both and come down to an issue: I can serve great with the Extreme and hit good groundstrokes and volleys. However, with the Radical I can hit the best groundstrokes of my life X 2, but serving is far short of what I can do with the Extreme.

My Q: Is there some racquet in between I should be looking at? The Prestige or Speed -- that is a good mix of the Extreme and Radical?

Background: Prior to arriving at Head, I went through the Wilson, Prince, Babolat, and Yonex lines. All were good, but I prefer the feel of the Head racquets by far to the others...

Many thanks in advance.

Tiger... I hope the friendly skies have been treating you well....

I know what you are saying about the feel of Head racquets and understand what you are saying about something between the Rad MP and Extreme MP...... I'm in a similar boat but for slightly different reasons...... the Rad is too low powered for me and the Extreme is a bit stiffer than I like....

I'm hoping to demo the new YT IG Prestige S...... It has specs similar to both frames (although the static weight is slightly higher) - I'm hoping it's a blend of both frames....... it may be something you want to demo also?

happy flying!

AA5B Tiger
01-20-2012, 05:42 PM
I went to the local shop and checked-out a Prestige and Instinct and played a match this afternoon, switching out racquets every few games.

The Instinct: Really was excited about the racquet but didn't hit nearly as well as I did with the Radical. I didn't want to make too quick of a judgement and decided to play a whole set with the Instinct, but never felt comfortable. It had these weird translucent blue strings on it and undoubtably would play better with a poly or good MF; however, even looking past the strings, I didn't get much of a hint the frame was for me... It just seemed to have too much power. 'Was able to put serves on a dime with excellent spin and pace, though... 'Net play too was great -- I could volley unlike I could with any of the other racquets.

The Prestige: Felt much better than the Instinct to me; however, I still liked the Radical better. I think if I had a substantially faster swing, I'd appreciate the Prestige better... Felt great serving and on the net, but I could easily make the Radical MP do substantially more on the court. I felt this is just a case of my game not being substantial enough to appreciate the racquet fully...

I'm still down to loving both the Extreme and Radical... Have ordered demos of the Pro versions of the Radical and Extreme** in hopes of one of them being more closely a mix between the MP version of each racquet.... If there's no obvious "ah ha" moment with the Rad Pro and Extreme Pro, I am leaning (by just a hair) to the Radical MP...

Will report back... So, so, so tired trying different racquets, but also am encouraged as I know I'm close to a decision -- and, after that decision, I play to just forget any other frames exist for a few years at least and adapt my game to whatever makes it in the bag... "A good craftsman never blames his tools."

** - FWIW the stiffness rating on the Extreme Pro is 74 (!!!!). Yet, I am not so sure stiffness directly correlates with arm pain. I played 8 matches with the Extreme/poly@55 (stiffness = 72) and felt nothing in my arm-pain prone arm. I literally hit 30 minutes with a Babolat Pure Drive (70 stiffness)/poly and my arm was killing me for 2 days. Likewise, I hit with the Radical MP (62) and felt tingles after each match I've played over 3 days... Inclined to just ignore stiffness ratings altogether... Also wonder if the YouTek material screws-up the stiffness ratings? Maybe it's just marketing hot-air, but the material supposedly strengthens/loosens depending on how much force is being applied.... ????

AA5B Tiger
01-20-2012, 06:55 PM
Tiger... I hope the friendly skies have been treating you well....

I know what you are saying about the feel of Head racquets and understand what you are saying about something between the Rad MP and Extreme MP...... I'm in a similar boat but for slightly different reasons...... the Rad is too low powered for me and the Extreme is a bit stiffer than I like....

I'm hoping to demo the new YT IG Prestige S...... It has specs similar to both frames (although the static weight is slightly higher) - I'm hoping it's a blend of both frames....... it may be something you want to demo also?

happy flying!

Thanks for the note and suggestions. I'll give the Prestige S a try.

FWIW, I loved the power of the Radical MP. I was using the stock Head poly @ 52 lbs and had plenty of wallop (maybe even a tad too much for me). 'Very rarely hit anything even remotely shallow. Pace was consistently high without me having to swing abnormally hard. I consistently pegged fast-paced groundstokes by just doing good, full swings, stepping into the ball, yada, yada, yada... (I don't hit the modern, ultra open, wristy, windshield-wiper strokes that are so popular and effective now...) Never had to really amp up the swingspeed to get great pace...

At first I was disappointed in the power of the serve with the Radical. I am used to really bending my knees, jumping up and into the ball, and "pulling down the window shade string" like I want to rip the shade out of the wall... With the Radical, I found I could get equal or greater pace just doing a good, full, flowing, comfortable, relaxed swing and making sure contact was always made fully extended... When doing that, the Radical hammered balls on the serve. On the side-slice serve, I'd just fully relax, bend the knees, and let the racquet head hit my back on the backswing -- then comfortably swinging up and through the ball, finishing fully with the racquet down by my side... Even with the 18x20 pattern and being much more relaxed than I am used to on the serve, the side-spin put on the ball was completely wicked... unlike anything I've ever hit before...

I'm no great player, but it seems to me some racquets you have to drive while other racquets you let drive themselves (if that makes any sense)... The Radical, to me, is definitely one you let drive itself... To each his on / there's certainly no one right answer...

Dreamliner
01-20-2012, 07:56 PM
Michael Ebden plays with a stock HEAD YOUTEK Radical Pro with lead probably in/ on the handle. He may have some lead under the cap although that would prove tricky with a stock racquet.

Anton
01-21-2012, 06:32 AM
Michael Ebden plays with a stock HEAD YOUTEK Radical Pro with lead probably in/ on the handle. He may have some lead under the cap although that would prove tricky with a stock racquet.

He used to, not anymore though, the beam is clearly IG Instinct

Bartelby
01-21-2012, 06:51 AM
It looks a fairly straight beam and the throat doesn't look like the previous instincts - havent seen the new one up close.

Anton
01-21-2012, 07:16 AM
It looks a fairly straight beam and the throat doesn't look like the previous instincts - havent seen the new one up close.

Yep, this Instinct is very different

http://img.tennis-warehouse.com/new_big/HTIGI-1.jpg

Lefty78
01-21-2012, 08:58 AM
He used to, not anymore though, the beam is clearly IG Instinct

It's not the Instinct.

Check out the bridge of the retail stick, which has 6 strings...

http://i792.photobucket.com/albums/yy209/lefty0n0/HTIGIS-5.jpg

Then compare with the photos of Ebden, which show 8 strings in the bridge. Just one of the differences...

Lefty78
01-21-2012, 09:00 AM
http://cache3.asset-cache.net/xc/137298763.jpg?v=1&c=IWSAsset&k=2&d=77BFBA49EF87892155F29F61288AC1CA145B71DE433F2D53 A6F00EA80C5934B4645DE6856CFD6DC0

8 strings in the bridge

Anton
01-21-2012, 10:23 AM
8 strings in the bridge

umm I'm counting 6 - the two on sides, which look on top of the bridge actually go into side frame

http://img.skysports.com/12/01/660x350/Matthew-Ebden_2700130.jpg

ooooo wait...

http://l.yimg.com/fv/xp/aap/20120109/20/4173862280.jpg?x=400&sig=evOvfw4dvoUCnBH9jcSYgw--

HA! I better let my friend know he don't know mathew.

Lefty78
01-21-2012, 11:20 AM
^You really need to get your eyes checked.

In both of the photos you posted, part of the bridge is obscured by the throat of the frame.

In the last photo, the vibration dampener would be off center based on your thinking, not to mention that the strings would be misaligned with the top of the racquet.

TaihtDuhShaat
01-21-2012, 12:19 PM
Ebden is on the radical mp with 16x19 pattern TGK 260.2? just like Berdych. It's a paintjob.

Anton
01-21-2012, 12:54 PM
^You really need to get your eyes checked.

said the guy who completely mis-read my post. ;)

In first picture it looks like 6 but better angle in the second shows its actually 8, so I'm saying you are correct and my friend didn't know what he was talking about.

Lefty78
01-21-2012, 01:32 PM
said the guy who completely mis-read my post. ;)


Gotcha, my bad. I apologize.

AA5B Tiger
01-26-2012, 03:33 PM
'Promised to follow-up with a final decision / here it is:

Just placed an order for 2 Head Extreme IG MP racquets.

It came down to the Radical and Extreme for me after playing through several Prince, Babolat, Yonex, Dunlop, and Wilson frames over the last few months.

'Really, really liked the Radical's deep penetrating groundstrokes, even better than the Extreme. I could also hit great serves with the Radical with maybe a little more spin than with the Extreme. However, after doing another week of side by side playing, it came down to maneuverability for me. If I was playing offense, the Radical was easy to dial-up winners. If I was playing defense, the Extreme seemed better suited to get me out of a jam -- while still allowing plenty of power.

Also ordered the Pro demo versions of both the Extreme and Radical (as well as Prestige MP & S, as well as Instinct) -- and ended up playing with string tensions on all 4 racquests (the Rad MP & Pro, Extreme MP & Pro) to make sure I wasn't reacting negatively to a weird tension. All seemed to play better for me toward the lower end of the tension range -- which was surprising; I historically string frames up near the top of the range...

In the end, the Extreme Pro played simply had too much power without control. The Extreme still had plenty of penetrating power, but I felt considerably more control.

The Radicals, both Pro and MP, both felt excellent. It just came down the maneuverability, ability to hit hard backhands in a jam, etc. that tipped it to the Extreme MP...

I just don't think I have grooved/fast-enough strokes for the Prestige...

The Instinct had me really excited, but it was just too powerful for me unless I cranked up the tension... then the feel went away...

One thing I've learned through all this: all the specs should be taken with a grain of salt. Through this quest I've played with multiple racquets that each have nearly identical swing weights, stiffness, balance and strung with the same string (I use OG Micro 17 as a cheap baseline) that play so very different... Ditto for being freaked out by stiffness ratings. The Extreme has a stiffness rating of 72 and my arm feels fine. Conversely, I have played with more than one lower-60s flex rated frames that made my elbow flare up...

All in all, I am so glad to be done with the quest for at least a couple of years (hopefully)... Best of luck to others in search the "the" racquet...

Anton
01-26-2012, 03:58 PM
The Instinct had me really excited, but it was just too powerful for me unless I cranked up the tension... then the feel went away...

Some weight on the loop would have allowed you to keep nice feel and higher tension.