Racquet Brand Rankings (In Your Opinion)

af022

New User
While brands of course make a myriad of different sticks, how would you rank the brands in aggregate in your personal experience? Also just curious of the consensus regarding each brand.

Here's mine (Have only played around 4 years and have a limited budget so haven't played many frames):
1. Yonex - Love that they're so quality control focused and release racquets more often than some other brands. Cosmetics traditionally haven't been great but appear to be making great strides there. Prices aren't bad either.

2. Babolat - My brother has the legendary PS 16x19 2017 and damn, that thing is fun to swing. Unfortunately he's cracked two of them in less than a year which draws question about their construction. Some of their racquets won't be for everyone but in general make some really fun powerful frames.

3. Wilson - Currently play with the Blade 98 18x20 CV (may switch soon) that I got used. Honestly really enjoy playing with it, just not a fan of CV- too muted. Wilson IMO makes the best looking racquets (minus that Bold garbage) and has a huge selection. Price and quality control are major negatives though, and with the company operating in China I doubt we'll see improvement there. Nearly all of the top high school players around my area use Blades, interestingly enough 3 of the 4 state semifinalists all rocked the Blade/Full bed of Hyper G combo.

4. Head - Haven't used much of their stuff, but always just seemed kinda "cheap" to me. Sounds like they killed it with the Speed pro 360 this year but their reviews have been very "ehhh" for the past couple of years AFAIK. They always market these overblown new "technologies" each year more so than other brands and the majority seem to flop.

N/A - Tecnifibre - Don't know much about this one. Frames look good with the red white and blue look. Looking forward to demoing some soon.

N/A - Prince - Never used them. Reviews seem to be very positive of late for them (Maybe because TW owns them now?) so I may have to try them. Most of their paint jobs are quite bland IMO, though that's not really a big deal.

N/A - Volkl - No clue about them. I guess they make more comfort focused sticks?




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All-time rankings :

1.Head - Nothing even comes close to old-school Head, the classic Prestiges and Radicals, and to an extent the earlier iterations of the Speed and Instinct were just something else! Makes me all the more sad seeing the present direction the company is heading in, with overpriced and overlapping racquet lines (the Instinct and Extreme have not much differentiation, same with the Speed and upcoming Gravity, the real Prestiges and Radicals are long dead, and MXG was a failure)

2. Wilson : They gave us the Six One, Pro Staff 85, Pro Staff 90 and even the modern favourites like the RF97 and Blade. Bad quality control , but nice variety of racquets for varied playing styles. The new Clash line is somewhat revolutionary as far as modern racquets go.

3. Babolat : The company that started the trend of modern, light, crisp and powerful racquets, executed it successfully and still manages to do so today. They are no company for player frames, but their target demographic has always been pretty clear. Moreover, they are pretty damn good at what they do. The Aeropro Drive Original will always remain my favourite Babolat, and their current line-up doesn't stray far from their origins.

4. Yonex : They've historically been the company that's always been present, but never really managed to get the same cult following as its contemporaries. However, things are different today, and they are probably the fastest growing out of all the said racquet manufacturers today. Good variety of frames, and better than average quality control. I'm happy to see them progress, and achieve the popularity they've deserved.

Honourable mention : Angell : Offering high quality custom-made racquets, at not so high a price, how amazing is that! Still a niche, but ever-increasing in popularity.
 

Mathguy

New User
1. Yonex - I'm a fan of their racquet quality. I am currently using the old 2012 VCORE TOUR 97 330g, but I'm looking to finally upgrade this summer.
2. Babolat - Started my tennis career with this racquet, great power and spin, really fun to play with
3. Wilson - They make good racquets, they do a good job with marketing themselves
4. Head - Not many of their racquets have ever impressed me
5. Not much experience with the others
 

DarthJimmy

New User
1. Prince - Under marketed. All their lines compete very well with the competition but at a better price and arm comfort without being overly muted.
2. Yonex - solid performing racquets, nice variety and QC is very good. Lately they have been getting stiffer so that is a bit of a concern.
3. Babolat - High performing racquets if my arm could take it I probably be rocking these sticks.
4. Wilson - QC is an major issue, I had a Blade no way it was 3pts HL and 11.3. it was like swing Thor's hammer. Missed the mark with Countervail too.
5. Head - Personally have not connected with any of their sticks and don't think very highly of them.
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
While brands of course make a myriad of different sticks, how would you rank the brands in aggregate in your personal experience? Also just curious of the consensus regarding each brand.

Here's mine (Have only played around 4 years and have a limited budget so haven't played many frames):
1. Yonex - Love that they're so quality control focused and release racquets more often than some other brands. Cosmetics traditionally haven't been great but appear to be making great strides there. Prices aren't bad either.

2. Babolat - My brother has the legendary PS 16x19 2017 and damn, that thing is fun to swing. Unfortunately he's cracked two of them in less than a year which draws question about their construction. Some of their racquets won't be for everyone but in general make some really fun powerful frames.

3. Wilson - Currently play with the Blade 98 18x20 CV (may switch soon) that I got used. Honestly really enjoy playing with it, just not a fan of CV- too muted. Wilson IMO makes the best looking racquets (minus that Bold garbage) and has a huge selection. Price and quality control are major negatives though, and with the company operating in China I doubt we'll see improvement there. Nearly all of the top high school players around my area use Blades, interestingly enough 3 of the 4 state semifinalists all rocked the Blade/Full bed of Hyper G combo.

4. Head - Haven't used much of their stuff, but always just seemed kinda "cheap" to me. Sounds like they killed it with the Speed pro 360 this year but their reviews have been very "ehhh" for the past couple of years AFAIK. They always market these overblown new "technologies" each year more so than other brands and the majority seem to flop.

N/A - Tecnifibre - Don't know much about this one. Frames look good with the red white and blue look. Looking forward to demoing some soon.

N/A - Prince - Never used them. Reviews seem to be very positive of late for them (Maybe because TW owns them now?) so I may have to try them. Most of their paint jobs are quite bland IMO, though that's not really a big deal.

N/A - Volkl - No clue about them. I guess they make more comfort focused sticks?




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Good list. I'm still skeptical that Wilson has improved its quality control.
 

dr. godmode

Professional
Current rankings:

1. Yonex. They don't really make bad racquets. Everything is at least 'ok', if not great.

2. Head. Used to hate head, but the G360 Speed and Radicals are pretty good Imo. With the Gravity coming soon, they will have 3 good lines, 1 ok line (prestige) and 2 crap lines.

3. Babolat: Aero and Pure Drive are legendary lines now. Unfortunately they have let their players sticks crumble (VS racquets), and most attempts to address the issues (Strike, PD VS) haven't felt as solid and responsive as the need to be. I am on of few who really hate the Strike. It's just too harsh for me.

4. Wilson. I feel like they're success rides on Fed's shoulders. I think the Prostaffs are bad, the ultras are bad, thank God the burn was scrapped. The blade line is excellent, but only a shadow of its former self, and the Clash is ok. Also the Ultra Tour is excellent.

Wish I could comment more on Prince and tecnifibre and others.
 

NickJ

Professional
Now -
1. Yonex
2. Head
3. Wilson
4. Prince

No doubt will change, at some point. And was certainly different a few years ago. And a few years before that too . . . .

No Babolat though, anywhere on the list, ever. Just don't like 'em.
 

michael valek

Professional
Think about it in terms of which break the easiest.
1. Babolat, Easter egg hollow
2. Yonex, almost seem to self destruct
3. Prince original graphite - indestructible.
 

Liam Grennon

Semi-Pro
3. Babolat : The company that started the trend of modern, light, crisp and powerful racquets, executed it successfully and still manages to do so today. They are no company for player frames, but their target demographic has always been pretty clear. Moreover, they are pretty damn good at what they do. The Aeropro Drive Original will always remain my favourite Babolat, and their current line-up doesn't stray far from their origins.
This is a bit ridiculous. Babolat makes frames that tons of extremely high level "players" use. Just because you think that rackets used to be better before they became stiff is a bit crazy.
 
1. Angell: high quality ingredients, good quality control, great paint jobs, comfort without feeling like you’re hitting the ball with a rubber spatula (dampened/muted feel, yet a sort of crispness is imparted into the ball on impact), the ability to have a frame personally customized from the hairpin up, slowly diversifying selection.

2. Prince: attention to comfort with a variety of racquet types (tour, phantom, and beast lines), affordable, some nice feel, dampening tech that actually works (O-ports), just generally overlooked high performance frames with diverse appeal.

3. Yonex: high quality control, specialization in “player’s tweeners” type of frame, often with string patterns in between tight and open. Strong balance of attributes in their frames, with excellent engineering rather than marketing being a lot of their appeal.

4. Wilson: for all their sins, they’re still a great racquet company. Sheer volume of frames means there’s something for almost everyone, running the gamut from comfortable tweener (clash), to crisp modern player’s frame (blade), to the bitzy big boy boomeroo (RF97). The sharp and clean feel on impact of most Wilson frames is part of their likability. Company is held back by too many wacky gimmicks (triad, countervail) and by poor quality control.

5. Donnay: it’s totally fair that most people would not put Donnay in its current iteration here. The company is run through haphazard desperation, and the quality control is subpar, but despite all that, the xenecore tech is really exceptional at dampening vibrations. That’s good for me because comfort is my first priority. Also, the feel is quite nice. Even the most tweenerish racquet if the line up, the formula 100, is a touch and feel monster (check out Tennisnerd’s review of that racquet). They’re certainly not for everybody, but I think that anyone with arm issues should seriously give Donnay a chance. Their racquets don’t flex so much in the way that a wood racquet does, but they are buttery soft nonetheless.

6. Babolat: it’s easy to deride them for the atrocious comfort of most of their frames (I got tennis elbow using a couple of them) and for the way in which they allow poor technique to persist (ever noticed how everyone using an APD/PA has a really wonky forehand?), but you have to admit, they know what their game is, and they’re specialists at it. Their lines are simple and marketed clearly, they produce some fairly high quality stuff besides racquets, and people really like the performance they get out of them (or why else would people persist in using them even after a Babolat racquet has destroyed their tendons?). Plus, the pure strike is pretty decent.

7. Head: I’m judging them off of their current selection, not off of their golden old days. Man, graphene is just sorta bad. The polarization on all of those racquets is just weird, and the feel on impact (or lack thereof) is at once deadened and surprisingly harsh. I hear that some of the newer graphenes have been improving on these aspects, but sheesh is it taking them awhile. I use the Penn balls, the velocity string, and the protection tape, but I highly doubt that I will ever spend money on a graphene frame.

Haven’t played it’s so can’t comment:
Dunlop (have only hit with a couple of a friend’s old Revelation Select Pros from the 90s). Srixon stuff looks nice though, and I would like to try some of the old 300 line.

Volkl (would love to get my hands on a C10 Pro).

Prokennex (qtours look solid, having a mp with a box beam and good dampening).

Technifibre (seem to be gaining popularity).


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mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
1. Prince
2. Babolat
3. Wilson
4. Yonex
5. Head
6. Dunlop/Srixon
7. Volkl
8. Tecnifibre

*. Depending on how the new Pure Strike Tour plays, Babolat could move up to no.1 spot. For right now, though, Prince takes it with the Phantom, Textreme Tour, & Textreme Beast line. Kind of surprised to see that there isn’t more interest for the 2019 Pure Aero, or the new Textreme Tour 95 & 100P. I guess the Clash hype is going still strong.
 

Karma Tennis

Hall of Fame
1/ DONNAY
2/ SNAUWAERT
3/ DUNLOP
4/ ADIDAS
5/ SLAZENGER
6/ VORTEX
7/ ARTENGO
8/ PACIFIC
9/ PROKENNEX
10/ GAMMA
11/ BORIS BECKER
12/ FISCHER
13/ QIANGLI
14/ MANTIS

DONNAY is clearly the best of all. Borg was able to win many Roland Garros and Wimbledon Titles with Donnay racquets. Obviously the most versatile racquet ever created.
 

Jogo Bonito

New User
How do we have a thread on best racquet brands without mention of Slaz, bancroft, dayton, Wright and Ditson, spaldeeng, durbin, mega age, mitt rocker, madraq, and SET? That's my top ten.

11. YY
12. The babolat pure strike
13. Angell, vantage, and any custom maker with tight specs and great feel.
14. Donnay
15. Rossignol
16. Fischer and pacific
17. Volkl
18. Dunlop
19. Wilson
20. Head
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
I'd probably go:
1. Yonex - good blend of comfort, power and control in their lines, great QC
2. Prince - Still willing to be innovative despite their financial issues, offer the most comfortable line of sticks for the rec player
3. Wilson - excellent broad line of rackets from players sticks to rec sticks, but QC and pricing holds them back
4. Babolat - the popular favourite but really have not innovated much, preferring to make little change to a successful lineup of power-friendly arm wreckers. But easy power is like sex: it sells.
5. Head - lost their way in the Graphene era trying too much to emulate Babolat when they should have stuck to their roots. Prince is doing a good job being the old Head these days. Funny given the interlocking history of both companies.
6. Dunlop - A few winners in their lineup but a little ways from regaining their former prominence
7. Volkl - best racquets are still their older models and they seem to be following the Head model of trying to chase Babolat and failing.
 

Lavs

Hall of Fame
1. Babolat -> because APD is going to be legendary line (and will turn to be babolat classic) for decades, just like Pro Staff or PC600 now. But it will remain playable forever because of its brilliant design (100'' + spin potential), which neither ProStaff nor classic Prestiges have.
2. Head -> because of unmatched feel of their classic rackets - PC600, i/IG Prestige, Old radicals
3. Wilson -> because one of their line won most GS titles ever and will be hardly overtaken.
4. Yonex -> because of its top notch quality control and precision
5. Völkl -> because of its quality of materials (at least in the past)
 
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