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View Full Version : Review: Head FXP Radical Team MP


texcoug
01-31-2006, 10:42 AM
I have posted in several different threads on this racquet, which is a new offering from Head, and decided I would consolidate some of my thoughts. I know that this is a lighter frame than many users prefer on this board, nevertheless, there seems to be some people interested in the 10.5 oz range.

Head FXP Radical Team MP
102"
22 mm straight beam
10.5 oz strung
314 swing weight
59 Flex rating
1 point HH
16x19

Strung with Lux ALU BB Power Rough (58)

I have now had my FXP Radical Team for a few weeks and have logged over 20 hours with it. I play mostly doubles, around the 3.5 range (with several 4.0 players). On average, I play 3 times/week. I played junior singles (10 years ago) and am more comfortable at the baseline, but since doubles is all anyone plays, I have adjusted and enjoyed the transition to the net game. Playing the frequency of doubles that I play is what lead me to look for a light, manueverable racquet. Since August, I have gone through the Prince Diablo Tour, Babolat PCZ 360, to the Prince 03 Red to this Head. I love the maneuvarability and power of the Red at the net, but was put off by its power from the baseline. Here are my thoughts on the FXP Radical Team:

To begin, the headsize seems smaller than 102". Other posters on this board have speculated that Head's headsizes are smaller because they measure frame to frame. Not sure. Also, it does play heavier than its noted weight. Even though it and the 03 Red measure identical in swing weight, the Head feels slower and heavier. The difference is likely the balance, but it is noticeable to me.

I love the straight beam, low power construction. You can really rip your forehands. The spin is EXCELLENT. The flex (or the flexpoints) of the frame is noticeable as the ball dwells on the strings longer. It has made crosscourt rallies VERY enjoyable. I am able to consistently rip sharp-angled shots cross-court. At the same time, my imagination seems to be my limit on the forehand as I have been able to go down line with good consistency. Slicing is fine but not as solid as, say, my PCZ 360 (a 16x20 stringbed). The Radical Team does allow me to control slice from both sides, however. I have typically stayed with a 2hbh, but the type of control (and confidence) I have gotten from this frame has lead me to try the old 1 hander (to which I have had success). Since the frame is relatively light with the low power rating, somehow I am better able to control the 1 hbh.

Serving with this frame is an absolute dream. I already had a strong service game with the 03 Red, but now I get to put the ball where I want (vs. playing with the Red you must account for its power). Slicing and kicking from the service line is easy. Plus, directional control is a dream -- my doubles partners love me with this one. I also like the feeling of the straight beam -- it is what I grew up playing with. For some reason, I feel like I can kill the ball without consequences. It has worked and, when necessary, the amount of spin you can get with this frame makes second serves cake.

The biggest weakness so far is at the net. I miss the crispness and power of the 03 Red. The Radical Team is also less maneuverable. I have considered adding some weight in the handle to make it more headlight, but have not yet. I have had problems putting away some volleys. At the net, I prefer a stiffer frame. I am having it restrung as I write this to its max (62).

Other people have complained about the sound it makes on impact. I use a Prince Silencer dampener. The sound is still a bit different, or it may be that I am just accustomed to the stiffer feel and accompanying sound of the 03 Red.

After I play with it at 62 (with Babolat Super Fine Play), I can revise my thoughts. I am hoping that it will help the volleys without losing much of the cupping or directional control you get from the baseline.

calabi12
01-31-2006, 09:52 PM
Thanks for the review. However, not sure how you can make a racquet more head light. I will demo this racquet.

Swingman
02-01-2006, 04:39 AM
Thanks for the review, Texcoug. I demoed this racquet a few weeks ago in the hopes of finding something with a larger sweetspot and a slight boost in power from my Yonex MP-5 Tour, in order to help my doubles game. My impressions of this racquet were mediocre. Overall I found the power a little too much for me. I was hitting a lot of balls long and had a tough time keeping any serves at 3/4 or above power in. I suspect that the tension was a little too loose on my demo and had a lot to do with that. I liked the spin and flex of the racquet for sure. However, I did not like the feel of the racquet on impact on hard hit balls. It seemed to really stiffen up on impact. Maybe it's the flex point technology. I also noticed this on the FP Radical Tour I demoed. Anyway, I agree that the racquet feels heavier than the static and swing weight suggest. So the manueverability around the net was just so so for me. Overall it's a decent stick. However my search for a 102" stick with low/medium power that's decent on the arm has come up empty. I've tried everything. My racquet of choice now is the Yonex Nano RQ7 MP.