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-   -   Head IG Extreme 2.0 MP Review (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=442321)

JackB1 10-07-2012 05:40 PM

Head IG Extreme 2.0 MP Review
 
OK, I have played with this racquet the past week and here is my review:

Intro
The new Extreme 2.0 MP is a great improvement over the past versions of this racquet. It does not feel harsh and stiff anymore and feels very smooth and clean. Both my racquets are 335 grams with overgrips on and they both come in at 5 pts headlight. The racquet has a rather high swingweight of around 330-335 to it and feels pretty weighty in the head, even though it's rather headlight. It feels polarized in that respect...you don't feel the weight in the middle of the frame, rather like it's weighted more on the ends. All this meant was a little adjustment period for me to get used to the higher swingweight and higher static weight. After about the 3rd outing with it, things were clicking and everything felt good. I had mine strung with Head Sonic Pro and Nvy at 52/54.

Groundstrokes
This racquet is a dream at the baseline. Lots of fun when you have time to set up and really take a big swing. Middle contact makes a loud and satisfying "POW" sound. At first I was a little late soimetimes, especially when going down the line, but after adjusting it was just fine. It reminds me a little of the IG Radical Pro without the flexy feel. The hoop is very round and large and you feel like you can't miss. The sweetspot felt average in size and you know it when you hit one just right. If you relax and use your body to swng, the weight of the racquet allows it to drop into the slot and then the results are excellent. Power is easily had but it was always in control. If you clipped the ball more you can hit a very loopy high bouncing shot or if you extend through the shot, you can drive it nicely. My 2 handed backhand showed some improvement with this racquet, possibly due to the added swingweight and plow. Speaking of which, the MP puts plenty of weight behind the ball. I never felt any instability and it has a very nice and solid feeling when you strike the ball. Again, very similar to the Rad Pro in that respect.
Slice backhands were great and the ball stayed low when my technique was proper.

Volleys
Volleys were nice and smooth. The weight in the head makes it easy to block back hard replies. It was maneuverable enough for me at the net, but some might feel like it's a little sluggish at first until you get used to it. Had some decent touch to it as well, but overall volleys felt nice and solid.

Serves
Serving with this racquet took me a few days to get near my usual level. At first I had a hard time getting my usual pace...probably due to the higher swingweight. After a week, I am serving at my usual pace. I can get good pace on flatter hard serves and have no problem hitting my assortment of slices, flats and the occasional kick and super slicy/drop serve. You cant muscle or "arm" the serve too much or you will get worn out. Once I relaxed and used my lower body more and bent my knees, I got more juice on my serves. It doesn't serve "bombs" like the Rad Pro or PDR, but it's close enough.

Overall
Overall I am very pleased I gave this one a chance. This is one of those racquets that make baselining lots of fun and I just look forward to smacking the ball hard with it. It has a nice pleasing impact feeling that makes you want to do it again and again. You do need to watch your footwork though and relax and use your body and set up properly and swing out. This racquet doesn't work with half hearted swings and compact swings. You need to swing to a nice finnish to get the topspin to pull the ball back into the court. If you do this you can hit deep groundstrokes all day long. I would categorize this as an "advanced tweener" due to the higher than average swingweight, but it's pretty user friendly and any club level player 3.5 and up should be able to handle it. I thought I would like the Extreme 2.0 Pro more, but that racquet just overall felt too heavy and advanced for me personally. The Extreme MP does have a high stiffness rating but I didn't feel any discomfort at all or any bad vibes on mishits. It hits a very smooth and crisp feeling ball and when you slightly miss the sweetspot, you may still hit a decent shot, but you "know" you missed.

Anyway, thanks for reading my review and I hope some others can give this one a try. I am quite surprised it's not talked about more in this forum, but maybe it's still too early. There have been many people trying it out at my local tennis center and the reviews are always very favorable. One of my coaches there switched from the Speed 315 to the Extreme 2.0 MP and really loves it.

Bartelby 10-07-2012 06:08 PM

Good review. The new grommets added softness but did they take away any feel for you?

tistrapukcipeht 10-07-2012 06:08 PM

Using hybrids at that tension, I don't think any racquet will feel stiff, full poly could tell more about it.

OnyxZ28 10-07-2012 06:13 PM

Wow that static weight spec is what I would expect of the Pro, not the MP. Pretty beefy!

JackB1 10-07-2012 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bartelby (Post 6941522)
Good review. The new grommets added softness but did they take away any feel for you?

I never played extensively with the older Extreme models, but I didn't notice any lack of feel with the 2.0.. But "feel" is very subjective.

JackB1 10-07-2012 06:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OnyxZ28 (Post 6941538)
Wow that static weight spec is what I would expect of the Pro, not the MP. Pretty beefy!

The Pro is heavier, but the MP has a higher swingweight.
You feel the higher static weight more on serves and volleys IMO.
The higher swingweight isn't as noticeable on groundstrokes. Get the racquet moving and use your body and its an asset.

tistrapukcipeht 10-07-2012 06:26 PM

How awful Head quality control is, since their website list the racquet as 10.6oz (300g) unstrung.

http://head.com/tennis/products/racq...493/?region=us

You said your racquet was around 335g with over grip and dampener?

Bartelby 10-07-2012 06:41 PM

I like the fact its 10 grams or so overweight.

JackB1 10-07-2012 07:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tistrapukcipeht (Post 6941567)
How awful Head quality control is, since their website list the racquet as 10.6oz (300g) unstrung.

http://head.com/tennis/products/racq...493/?region=us

You said your racquet was around 335g with over grip and dampener?

Yes one was 335 and one 333. It is disappointing that ALL the racquet mfgs have such bad QC. The demo I got earlier was 334. Strings should add 20 g and overgrip 5 g. Ideally it should weight around 325, but QC seems to allow +- 10 g's.

Ross K 10-07-2012 10:32 PM

Nice one, cheers, Jack. I'll await more feedback, reviews, etc, but TBH your comments haven't made me particularly want to check this Extreme out. I take it you won't be switching to it from your F100?

cork_screw 10-07-2012 11:04 PM

Ya, I gotta say that I played with it after being curious what an 88 approval rating racquet felt like. So I demoed it for just a day and coached with it, rallied, played a doubles set then rallied a little more. I would have to agree with a lot of what you said. The ground felt so comfortable and it felt like the ball didn't spray uncontrollably like the pure drive does (the racquet that is most compared to it), it felt like the density of the string pattern gripped the ball well, while the round face produced some very nice spin. I really liked it, and when I compared it to my freshly strung microgel, it did make me wish I got it as opposed to my mg.
Playing doubles nothing really changed, when I had time to setup for my shots I felt like I was controlling the point and keeping the ball deep. I was not really making any unforced errors. At net, the racquet really impressed me a lot. The racquet at net makes you feel very confident, like a guarded wall. It is one of the best volleying racquets that I've used second to my microgel radical. The serves took me back a bit as it was kinda hard to get in a positive rhythm. In fact, I got broken the first time I served with it because I've never hit with anything like it before on serves and was trying to get used to it. I got broken because I double faulted 3 times playing around with how to serve with it. But my second time up serving, I held easily at love which shows that once you get used to it, you will get what you need out of it. We actually ended up winning that set easily 6-3.
I really liked hitting backhands, both one handed and two handed (I use both).
The things I didn't like about it were when you needed to play the mini game of tennis. I had some control issues when I wasn't in my striking pose. On return serves, there were times I just wanted to take a smaller swing and basically push a return out wide and come in to net. Well, I noticed that even on a slow second serve that when I tried that the ball squirted out wide whereas I've never had that happen to me with any racquet before because a push usually goes in a pretty predictable path to where you follow through with it. Well not with this racquet. It is best used when you are fully cocked and strike the ball. Or you hit a full swing, which leads me to believe the racquet probably has a poor mini game approach.
This racquet felt like a Pure Drive in terms in many ways. The things that didn't feel pure drivish is the uncontrollable spray power or on uncontrollable trampoline factor that I got with the drive.
I am still hesitant to buy it for one main reason that parallels the reason I bought the pure drive in my foolish honey moon period. I actually felt very similar in terms of falling in love with the pure drive to when I just played with this racquet. I loved rallying groundies with it, I loved the grip, spin, power and easy net game (all related to the pure drive). But when it came down to play my ladder matches and played some good singles opponents, the shortcomings of the racquet really became exposed and I did not fair well. I felt like with the pure drive, you can't just block back a very hard serve because most of the time you either prop the ball to be struck for a winner or to be moved off the court in a bad position or the ball just sails long. I also felt like my ball was being taken advantage of and almost propped as a good striking ball and I was just setting people up for kill shots. I never experienced any of these factors when just rallying. So, if I were to buy the racquet, I would need to play a high level opponent to understand how it plays in a real game/set situation rather than just rallying. BTW, I believe when you start applying a top spin return the spray factor or the sailing balls alleviates itself somewhat with the pure drive, but that's not really my game and I've been successful with other sticks adopting this approach. I do like to chip and block a lot if I'm facing powerful servers. But in any case when I switched back to the PT57a, I actually broke my opponent twice and the games became closer and I was returning, rallying and serving better after putting down the pure drive. So, although I did like the extreme mp 2.0 initially, I would need to play some good opponents to make a better judgement of how it fairs in game situations and against very aggressive players. BTW, the person I played ended up being 18-2 in the season and playing with him exposed many things that I ended up disliking very much about the pure drive.
I would love to hear some more reviews from others who've played with the extreme. It's a super fun racquet to hit with, but for me, I don't know how it plays in game situations. Maybe I'll demo it again if I find the time.

veloduffer 10-08-2012 08:04 AM

I’ve been using the Extreme 2.0 for the past month and really like the racquet. I can only compare it to the 2012 Wilson BLX Six One 95 (I have both the 16x18 & 18x20) and 2012 BLX Pro Open since they have been the racquets that I have used since coming back to the game after 12 yrs (shoulder surgery and golf habit took me away). I played with Wilson Pro Staff Classics prior.

This is not a true apples to apples comparison since the Head is strung with Solinco Tour Bite 17 (my first time with poly – one at 52 and one at 57 lbs) and the Wilsons have NXT Tour 17 (all 55 lbs).

First, the Head feels lighter than the Six Ones and you can really whip it around, as it feels more maneuverable. I have a long high topspin forehand and two handed topspin backhand and the Head lets me generate a ton of spin and depth. Note, I feel that I hit the Six One with same amount of spin but have to swing a bit harder. On my one-handed slice backhand, I hit it hard and low and the Head give you more bite. If I open my shoulder too soon and the slice floats some, I get more depth with the Head than the Six One.

The Head’s bigger sweetspot is nice, as it gives you a bit of forgiveness on those tough service returns. I don’t feel like there is a difference in control between it and 16x18 Six One but they are not as good as the 18x20, which has terrific control at the expense of a bit less spin and power.

On serves, I get the same amount of power with both racquets but a bit more spin & kick with the Head (could be the strings) for my slice (hard and slow spinner) and topspin serves (working on this to get more speed).

The Six One, though, has a bit more stability – it feels stable no matter how badly you hit it, which also translates into a better racquet for volleys. The Head is very good at the net, but the Six One feels solid on every shot.

Side notes: The grip on the Head seems much smaller than the Wilson (all are 4 3/8) and will add an overgrip to the Head. The Solinco strings went dead on me last night after about 4-5 hours. I will probably restring with NXT Tour, as I don’t feel that I give up anything in spin but get more feel and durability. Also, the Solinco is very stiff in comparison – boardy in the 57lb strung frame until it loosened a bit.

Also, the Pro Open really can’t compare with the Six One or Head. It’s lighter weight makes it a bit less stable. It generates good spin and power, but lacks the slugging power of the other two. I am not really into customizing the frame, so I can’t comment on its potential with some lead.

To summarize, the Head is an excellent all-round frame and I am going to use it as my number one frame (getting two more strung for backup). I do have a Juice Pro on the way just to see how an extended frame plays.

I hope this helps with anyone trying to make a decision.

goherd27 10-08-2012 08:13 AM

Has anyone with substantial elbow or shoulder issues or past arm issues tried this frame? It is marketed as comfortable even with a higher stiffness rating. That stiffness rating gives me pause about a demo.

JackB1 10-08-2012 09:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ross K (Post 6941773)
Nice one, cheers, Jack. I'll await more feedback, reviews, etc, but TBH your comments haven't made me particularly want to check this Extreme out. I take it you won't be switching to it from your F100?

Not sure at this point. I am always open to whatever works better for me. It's just such a fun stick to hit with, it's tough to leave it home :)

Power Player 10-08-2012 09:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by goherd27 (Post 6942158)
Has anyone with substantial elbow or shoulder issues or past arm issues tried this frame? It is marketed as comfortable even with a higher stiffness rating. That stiffness rating gives me pause about a demo.

My experience with these stiffer racquets is that the first month or so you probably will not find the stick to bother your arm. It builds up and gets you over time. it is best to avoid stiff racquets if you have shoulder or elbow issues - speaking from experience.

JackB1 10-08-2012 09:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by goherd27 (Post 6942158)
Has anyone with substantial elbow or shoulder issues or past arm issues tried this frame? It is marketed as comfortable even with a higher stiffness rating. That stiffness rating gives me pause about a demo.

The Ex 2.0 MP does not feel stiff or jarring to me at all, but if arm friendly-ness is a concern, there are better choices out there for sure. Stiffness rating numbers though can be misleading, since they measure the racquet in one particular spot and the entire racquet contributes to the overall impact on your joints. To me, it feels like a 65 stiffness rated frame.

JackB1 10-08-2012 09:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cork_screw (Post 6941809)
I would love to hear some more reviews from others who've played with the extreme. It's a super fun racquet to hit with, but for me, I don't know how it plays in game situations. Maybe I'll demo it again if I find the time.

Great write up corkscrew! I think your issues with blocking back hard returns is simply a matter of adjusting to the racquet and giving it some time. I had an issue at first with the Ex 2.0 MP on going for hard shots down the line. I kept hitting wide and long. This racquet does feel like there's some flex in there, do you agree? That and the additional swingweight was causing me to be a little late. But after getting used to it, I started nailing the dtl shots like normal. Like you, I struggled with serve at first too, but that came eventually, just like the blocked returns will for you. The EMP seems to be weighted in a polarized way, which may cause some adjustment period for some. It really does feel like a Rad Pro without the super flexy-ness to me.

goherd27 10-08-2012 05:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Power Player (Post 6942231)
My experience with these stiffer racquets is that the first month or so you probably will not find the stick to bother your arm. It builds up and gets you over time. it is best to avoid stiff racquets if you have shoulder or elbow issues - speaking from experience.

I've gone as stiff as the volkl v1 classic at 69. It got good press as an arm saver and I had no issues with it. Currently playing the POG OS. I have not abandoned the xv1 mp but I like the extra weight of the POG. This racquet just got such good reviews. Tempted to try it out but will hold off until I hear some more long term reviews on comfort.

JackB1 10-08-2012 06:02 PM

played some more singles sets tonite with the X2.0 Mp tonite and really enjoyed it. Serves are getting better and better now. My opponent was having success blocking back hard serves to corners, so I switched it up and went to spinny big slices and kicks and it worked like a charm. Shows the versatility of the racquet for serving.

Once again, groundstrokes are just a joy. This racquet has that powerful bullying quality to it when you set up right and take a big rip.
Much like the Becker Pro and Rad Pro in that respect. Any baseliners that want a more substantial feeling racquet than most of the 11 oz Bab clones, should give this one a try for sure.

Jocke 10-16-2012 08:33 AM

@JackB1; how would you compare the Extreme vs Formula 100 comfort-wise? Anyone else tried both?


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