What’s going on with the prestige?

SinneGOAT

Hall of Fame
From what I’ve seen out in the wild, the prestige is very rare. I actually saw the first one ever in over a year. I don’t wanna rag on the line as this 360+ has awesome feel, but it just isn’t as popular as something like a blade it seems. Why is that? I think the prestige feel is so much cleaner feeling than the blade which can be muted and mushy, maybe even unpredictable at times. Also for advanced players the prestige already comes with high static weights and headlight balances, with much better control too. So why do so many players go for a blade over something like a prestige? And could the prestige make a comeback into the mainstream?
 

Hulger

Rookie
There might be a simple reason for that - there isn’t any greatly playing prestige 360+ in the stock form and the modification potential is low. Pro is very narrow and relatively too powerful concerning low swingweight and stability. MP is too weighty concerning the low SW. All of them have hollow feeling, typical for new Head frames.
E.g. Wilson has terrible QC but with their popular frames you can feel where the ball is going (yeah, very mutedly in many cases but still) and they are more plush.
Babolat has high performing frames as well, but those off-the-limits RA rates rapes upper extremities. They also have very poor frame endurance - cracks and distorts easily.

Talking about tennis equipment, I mostly regret how much i have invested my time and money in different new Head frames - IMO gravity pro is the only real deal and even that one has plastic feeling and slightly disconnected touch.
Luckily I lately discovered dunlop cx 200 tour... seems like QC is excellent. Specs are right on for modificating it (my setup includes 9 grams of tungsten.) Best overall raqcuet i have ever tried. Hopefully I can stick with it and start to terminate my deep racquetaholic process.
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
It just takes more effort to play with sticks like the Prestige MP than sticks like the Blade 98, Speed Pro, or Ezone 98, even though the reward is more precision and more rewarding overall play. The 98” frames around 305 grams are modern players’ sticks that offer some of the power of the tweeners while still providing decent control. For most players, it is easier to handle those sticks and get more winning results than using the Prestige MP. I still think that the Prestige MP is one of the best frames available for the advanced players who seek to have total control over the balls.

That said, I was playing doubles this past weekend and saw six out of eight people playing were playing with the Pure Drives. I still see more Babolat tweeners than any other rackets.
 

claesbjo

New User
I think it's regarded as an old-style stick, unforgiving and no "free" power. I love it though. Transitioned from Blade 98v7 16/19 to 360+ Graphene Prestige MP and it worked out very good. Hitting pretty flat, not so much spin although enough for me.
 

SinneGOAT

Hall of Fame
I think there’s an unfortunate perception that Prestige is too difficult to play when it’s not. The Prestige Tour and Prestige S are user friendly versions. The feel on the 360+ Prestige is very nice.
That’s what I saw. The person who was using the prestige was a beginner, very compact strokes and only a little power. They were using the tour.
 

JustTennis76

Professional
Huge fan of prestige. Yea, the mids are a little demanding and I still hit with them time and again but my main racket is the prestige pro youtek version. Very easy to play with. I have tried the MP and play with ease. The most user friendly prestige I played with was the Prestige S IG model. So, I'm not sure where this false sense of myth comes from that prestige is difficult to play with. Maybe too many people watched the Harry tennis spin guy video where he claims prestige is a dying breed and difficult. In contrast, so many people like the blade line, the audience sees it and assumes that way? Even in our local pro shop, there are more blade demos than prestige demos. So, I don't understand where the myth comes from.
 

AceyMan

Professional
Well,

Because of the truth that is ... my birthday, I'm starting to play my 100 in² frames more and more.

But these days, if I were evaluating 95s & 98s from scratch, I honestly have to say the fugly graphics packages on the Prestige line would keep a demo out of my hands.

They hurt my eyes, tho the current Radicals, Extremes & Instincts aren't far behind <smh> .

/Acey

Also: the red grommets have me a little concerned. Haven't we seen how so many heavily pigmented grommets get 'crispy' and brittle over time? I know it takes a long time & I always get extra grommets for my gamer sticks but who's to say the replacements won't get brittle in the pack. I wish they'd stay with the standard black or grey. (Heck, the clear ones on the Youtek line were the most flexible and easiest to install, so why don't they go with that?)
 

SinneGOAT

Hall of Fame
Huge fan of prestige. Yea, the mids are a little demanding and I still hit with them time and again but my main racket is the prestige pro youtek version. Very easy to play with. I have tried the MP and play with ease. The most user friendly prestige I played with was the Prestige S IG model. So, I'm not sure where this false sense of myth comes from that prestige is difficult to play with. Maybe too many people watched the Harry tennis spin guy video where he claims prestige is a dying breed and difficult. In contrast, so many people like the blade line, the audience sees it and assumes that way? Even in our local pro shop, there are more blade demos than prestige demos. So, I don't understand where the myth comes from.
It is hard to play with personally with the wrong string setup. Full poly I can’t get enough depth. Maybe because in the MP they are more handle heavy there isn’t a ton of plow so the power is lower than the blade which is closer to head heavy along with lower static weight?
 

SinneGOAT

Hall of Fame
It just takes more effort to play with sticks like the Prestige MP than sticks like the Blade 98, Speed Pro, or Ezone 98, even though the reward is more precision and more rewarding overall play. The 98” frames around 305 grams are modern players’ sticks that offer some of the power of the tweeners while still providing decent control. For most players, it is easier to handle those sticks and get more winning results than using the Prestige MP. I still think that the Prestige MP is one of the best frames available for the advanced players who seek to have total control over the balls.

That said, I was playing doubles this past weekend and saw six out of eight people playing were playing with the Pure Drives. I still see more Babolat tweeners than any other rackets.
That’s what I feel too. The specs of the prestige are so different than the 305g, 7 pts HL unstrung, 21-23mm beam modern player’s frames that it doesn’t attract the same attention those modern ones would.
 

avocadoz

Professional
There might be a simple reason for that - there isn’t any greatly playing prestige 360+ in the stock form and the modification potential is low. Pro is very narrow and relatively too powerful concerning low swingweight and stability. MP is too weighty concerning the low SW. All of them have hollow feeling, typical for new Head frames.
E.g. Wilson has terrible QC but with their popular frames you can feel where the ball is going (yeah, very mutedly in many cases but still) and they are more plush.
Babolat has high performing frames as well, but those off-the-limits RA rates rapes upper extremities. They also have very poor frame endurance - cracks and distorts easily.

Talking about tennis equipment, I mostly regret how much i have invested my time and money in different new Head frames - IMO gravity pro is the only real deal and even that one has plastic feeling and slightly disconnected touch.
Luckily I lately discovered dunlop cx 200 tour... seems like QC is excellent. Specs are right on for modificating it (my setup includes 9 grams of tungsten.) Best overall raqcuet i have ever tried. Hopefully I can stick with it and start to terminate my deep racquetaholic process.
The Prestige 360+ MP plays great in stock form. No mod needed. The problem is not the racquet itself, but rather most recreational players can't handle the Prestige. It's a player's frame that isn't forgiving and gives nothing for free. You gotta put in the footwork, the timing, the technique, and the fitness and be rewarded greatly. As soon as you get lazy, you will be punished for it.
 

esgee48

G.O.A.T.
the red grommets have me a little concerned. Haven't we seen how so many heavily pigmented grommets get 'crispy' and brittle over time?
It's exposure to UV and sunlight. Playing with Vampires help, but then I need to wear a Silver cross and necklace of garlic. :oops: To keep plastic from drying out and becoming brittle, have your stringer clean the frame and grommets with something a little oily like furniture polish or mineral spirits when they restring the frame. The plastic stays soft and the petroleum distillates polymerize.
 

lazywombat

New User
Retired my Prestige 15 years ago. Why? I win more points with more powerfull and forgiving frame. It's that simple. People want to win matches more than have the best feel, control or stroke their ego with the thought that they can play with "real player's stick" ;)
 

Yamin

Professional
I think they're just eclipsed by other rackets from other manufacturers and even their own that are better for MP, Pro etc. (For similar specs)

If you asked what the best mid is for sale right now, and possibly of all time (for most iterations), it's probably the prestige. People just don't play with that small of head size often.
 

Lorenn

Professional
From what I’ve seen out in the wild, the prestige is very rare. I actually saw the first one ever in over a year. I don’t wanna rag on the line as this 360+ has awesome feel, but it just isn’t as popular as something like a blade it seems. Why is that? I think the prestige feel is so much cleaner feeling than the blade which can be muted and mushy, maybe even unpredictable at times. Also for advanced players the prestige already comes with high static weights and headlight balances, with much better control too. So why do so many players go for a blade over something like a prestige? And could the prestige make a comeback into the mainstream.
My guess is they might retool the line in the next year or so...

The line is a little dated and for a certain type of player. The Midplus is more mainstream. The game has changed. Today it is more about easy spin/power/forgiveness. Basically game often feels like add as much spin as possible and try to get your opponent to error/fatigue before you do. There are still players who can set up winners, but normally it is just wear out your opponent. Hit enough different shots they error. Most high level players move amazingly well and are insanely fit...they can run down shots that were surely easy winners in the days of yore.

It is bit of scalpel versus a bowie/longsword depending on the player you are playing.
 

AceyMan

Professional
To keep plastic from drying out and becoming brittle, have your stringer clean the frame and grommets with something a little oily like furniture polish or mineral spirits when they restring the frame.
Since I am "the stringer" this would be easy to implement ... except that Mineral Spirits are effectively banned in California (no kidding. I don't know what pro carpenters and woodworkers do because all of the good solvents are a no-no).

Mineral oil (USP) is still available at the pharmacy though.

/Acey
 

vsbabolat

G.O.A.T.
Well,

Because of the truth that is ... my birthday, I'm starting to play my 100 in² frames more and more.

But these days, if I were evaluating 95s & 98s from scratch, I honestly have to say the fugly graphics packages on the Prestige line would keep a demo out of my hands.

They hurt my eyes, tho the current Radicals, Extremes & Instincts aren't far behind <smh> .

/Acey

Also: the red grommets have me a little concerned. Haven't we seen how so many heavily pigmented grommets get 'crispy' and brittle over time? I know it takes a long time & I always get extra grommets for my gamer sticks but who's to say the replacements won't get brittle in the pack. I wish they'd stay with the standard black or grey. (Heck, the clear ones on the Youtek line were the most flexible and easiest to install, so why don't they go with that?)
Only brittle grommets I’ve every had is white ones. I have 30 year old neon green grommets that are as good as the day they were made in 1991
 

bleno567

Professional
My guess is they might retool the line in the next year or so...

The line is a little dated and for a certain type of player. The Midplus is more mainstream. The game has changed. Today it is more about easy spin/power/forgiveness. Basically game often feels like add as much spin as possible and try to get your opponent to error/fatigue before you do. There are still players who can set up winners, but normally it is just wear out your opponent. Hit enough different shots they error. Most high level players move amazingly well and are insanely fit...they can run down shots that were surely easy winners in the days of yore.

It is bit of scalpel versus a bowie/longsword depending on the player you are playing.
Not sure what exactly they'd retool on the MP. The most obvious would be increasing headsize to 100 sq inch, but at that point, it's basically a gravity pro with cap grommets. The other would be changing the string pattern to be more open, but then it's not really a prestige anymore. It's basically morphing into a radical.

I think it'd be pretty great if they dropped the caps and released an MP XL version as a throwback to the i.prestige MP XL. It would compete directly with the ezone 98+.
 

SinneGOAT

Hall of Fame
Not sure what exactly they'd retool on the MP. The most obvious would be increasing headsize to 100 sq inch, but at that point, it's basically a gravity pro with cap grommets. The other would be changing the string pattern to be more open, but then it's not really a prestige anymore. It's basically morphing into a radical.

I think it'd be pretty great if they dropped the caps and released an MP XL version as a throwback to the i.prestige MP XL. It would compete directly with the ezone 98+.
That’s what I feel is happening. The prestige could modernize to gain more popularity, but then it morphs into a radical or gravity. And if it stays the same, so does it’s popularity unless Head signs a big name onto the prestige.
 
I would have loved the opportunity to demo/buy the Prestige S. Just as I would have liked to try the VCP 97 290. Or the CX200LS...TW kinda sucks at tweeners. Have to go to Houston or Canada to find these things...or not at all.
 

SumYungGai

Semi-Pro
I recently tried out a couple more of the "newer" frames I was interested in.

I tried the Gravity Pro but it was a bit too head heavy for my liking. Other than that it felt great. Then I tried the Blade v7 18x20 and the Prestige MP (I really want to try the Pro Kennex Ki Q+ Tour Pro 325 but can't find any demos). Blade felt very good but depending where on the racquet face I hit I would feel a different response. The Prestige on the other hand felt more stable through the ball no matter where on the face the ball hit. Less power outside the sweet spot, but it is very accurate and consistent. I will have to take them out again because they both felt great, but the Prestige has a small lead at the moment.

I wonder if they have black grommets for the prestige because, man, I hate the full bright red look.
 
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lefty100

Rookie
I play comp here in Sydney, Australia and over the last say 8 years (in my own grade) have only seen players using the Youtek and Youtek IG lines of Prestige, in fact over this period I only played against two guys who used the graphene iterations - 1 used the first generation Graphene Prestige MP and the other Touch version of the Prestige Pro. This year, however, about 5 guys are using the new 360+ Prestige line - 3 were using the MP (myself included) and 2 the Pro and all have loved them. There are still about 3 guys using Youtek IG models of the MP and Pro.
I am also wondering if anyone has information on what Head might be planning for the new range which I imagine will be out around Dec 21 - Jan 22?
 

JustTennis76

Professional
It is hard to play with personally with the wrong string setup. Full poly I can’t get enough depth. Maybe because in the MP they are more handle heavy there isn’t a ton of plow so the power is lower than the blade which is closer to head heavy along with lower static weight?
The MP was the least powered no matter what I tried, I guess the racket’s genes can only offer so much. The pro is a different animal thought, slightly stiffer feel with a 16x19 pattern and gut/poly and some 1.5 grams lead tape at 12, it’s great.
I can never get used to blade because of muted feel, less HL, etc.
 

taylor15

Hall of Fame
I play the Prestige Pro and one of my doubles partners picked up the Prestige Tour.

I can from the ultra tour and I’m loving it about 6 months in. The Prestige Pro is much more powerful than people give it credit for, and I just don’t gel with tweener frames.
 

John

Semi-Pro
The problem with head racquets is rooted in their design team. They fill positions with younger generation and ******** mind. We always hear people crying for old prestige classic 600 or original pro tour 630. But the head design team and marketing failed to listen to fans. Every time they try to make a replica, they failed to make it right. People love old pt 630 won’t like a t5 ra and missing tawron. For people want a bumble bee, people don’t want a pj with 630 underneath. The racquet company head is lost. It’s not just prestige line…. The ship is going to sink just like prince. They had great products but they failed to offer what customers want.
 

jdx2112

Professional
It just takes more effort to play with sticks like the Prestige MP than sticks like the Blade 98, Speed Pro, or Ezone 98, even though the reward is more precision and more rewarding overall play. The 98” frames around 305 grams are modern players’ sticks that offer some of the power of the tweeners while still providing decent control. For most players, it is easier to handle those sticks and get more winning results than using the Prestige MP. I still think that the Prestige MP is one of the best frames available for the advanced players who seek to have total control over the balls.

That said, I was playing doubles this past weekend and saw six out of eight people playing were playing with the Pure Drives. I still see more Babolat tweeners than any other rackets.
1. Babolat and Wilson are just simply dominant in the marketplace and if you get started with those racquets and you demand a more challenging players' racquet, you'll probably find what you need from them. Babolat's not a player's frame but you can weight it up, etc.

2. Head is really more prominent in Europe than in the States and there are almost no well-known players using the Prestige anymore. Cilic? It's just not on the radar the way the Blade or Pure Drive is.

3. The Prestige is a challenging racquet...the Gravity line is a more forgiving/accessible version and even the Extreme Tour is easier to use.
 
The problem with head racquets is rooted in their design team. They fill positions with younger generation and ******** mind. We always hear people crying for old prestige classic 600 or original pro tour 630. But the head design team and marketing failed to listen to fans. Every time they try to make a replica, they failed to make it right. People love old pt 630 won’t like a t5 ra and missing tawron. For people want a bumble bee, people don’t want a pj with 630 underneath. The racquet company head is lost. It’s not just prestige line…. The ship is going to sink just like prince. They had great products but they failed to offer what customers want.
I dunno man - I see a decent number of rec players (both older and younger) playing with the new 360+ gravity, radical, speed, and extreme lines. Haven’t seen a new prestige out in the wild, but anecdotally it definitely seems like Head has righted the ship. The graphene years before this were pretty terrible.
 

jdx2112

Professional
If they can put his face onto the prestige and take out Cilic it would be great. Cilic doesn’t have anywhere near the attention Karatsev is having right now.
You're kidding right? Cilic may no longer have any public-facing appeal, but Karatsev is still completely unknown.
 

jdx2112

Professional
That’s what I feel is happening. The prestige could modernize to gain more popularity, but then it morphs into a radical or gravity. And if it stays the same, so does it’s popularity unless Head signs a big name onto the prestige.
Which ultimately begs the question "is there a market for this racquet line or not?"

As has been mentioned before, there's a more than solid argument for dropping both the Prestige and Instinct lines. Prestige has, well, a lot of historical prestige for the brand, but I'd guess it's not selling all that well. The Instinct feels like a not-long-for-this-world line.
 

brownbearfalling

Hall of Fame
Sadly I don’t think the prestige “name” holds any more prestige. Back in the day it was widely popular because it was a truly superior racquet and you had Marat Safin endorsing the frame. But the game has changed and tennis technology has changed (strings, balls, court surfaces etc) so racquets have to change with them. I only see 2 options for the prestige:
1. Redesign them to modernize the technology. This is what happened. True 98 sq in headsize instead of 95, open pattern midsize model, making lighter bigger headsize models etc
2. Kill the line.
As much as I love the prestige line, I don’t see why they are still continuing the “name”. Wouldn’t it be better to get retro reissues than to have newer models that don’t live up to the name? Is a redesigned racquet really deserve the “prestige” name? An analogy For those who are into shoes, the retro remakes of Jordan basketball shoes are much better that the newer models that try to continue the name.

A similar case study one could look at is the Wilson six one line. Wilson killed the line and I think they made the right decision. Instead of using the six one name for the RF97 /PS97. They killed the line. Wilson did a great job staying true to the six one 95 original design up until the last model. Only making minor changes ( amplifeel, parallel drilling, material layup).
 
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jdx2112

Professional
Sadly I don’t think the prestige “name” holds any more prestige. Back in the day it was widely popular because it was a truly superior racquet and you had Marat Safin endorsing the frame. But the game has changed and tennis technology has changed (strings, balls, court surfaces etc) so racquets have to change with them. I only see 2 options for the prestige like are:
1. Redesign them to modernize the technology. This is what happened. True 98 sq in, open pattern midsize model, etc
2. Kill the line.
As much as I love the prestige line, I don’t see why they are still continuing the “name”. Wouldn’t it be better to get old retro reissues than to have newer models that don’t live up to the name? An analogy For those who are into shoes, the retro remakes of Jordan basketball shoes are much better that the newer models that try to continue the name.

A similar case study one could look at is the Wilson six one line. Wilson killed the line and I think they made the right decision. Instead of using the six one name for the RF97 /PS97. They killed the line. Wilson did a great job staying true to the six one 95 original design up until the last model. Only making minor changes ( amplifeel, parallel drilling, material layup).
Re: 1. I think this is essentially the Extreme Tour

Re: 2. I think this is spot on. They should kill the line and resurface it as a specialty buy. Also kill the Instinct...it comes off as a junior racquet?
 

avocadoz

Professional
When you really think about it, as many pros as Head sponsors, the only line that sells is the Speed line. Why single out Prestige when Radical, Extreme, and Instinct don't even sell all that well themselves? Head just needs a major overhaul in their lineup. Perhaps start with the awful paintjobs.
 

guilhermefdc

Semi-Pro
When you really think about it, as many pros as Head sponsors, the only line that sells is the Speed line. Why single out Prestige when Radical, Extreme, and Instinct don't even sell all that well themselves? Head just needs a major overhaul in their lineup. Perhaps start with the awful paintjobs.
I think that the Radical stills sells somewhat well - it’s their second best selling line (Gravity is third for the time being, but I think it might surpass the Radicals sometime soon)
 

jdx2112

Professional
When you really think about it, as many pros as Head sponsors, the only line that sells is the Speed line. Why single out Prestige when Radical, Extreme, and Instinct don't even sell all that well themselves? Head just needs a major overhaul in their lineup. Perhaps start with the awful paintjobs.
I have no idea how well the Prestige sells or not, but it is the most challenging of their lines to play with.

Right now, Head has 6 lines. The Instinct has already been reduced and, honestly, should be shuttered b/c the Extreme already exists.

Among the 5 left, the Prestige line is the oddest in terms of its product rationale. There's a 93 and a 95, and a 98 and a 99. This really doesn't make much sense. The Gravity's are 100s. The Radicals are 98s. The Speeds are 100s. The Extremes are 100s, with a lone 98.

The most obvious edit would be to offer 98s and 100s in all lines. But barring that, a smarter product line rationale would be to drop the Prestige line, add a 98 to the Gravity line (maybe a tad firmer) and keep the 93mid as a heritage/retro sale.

That leaves you with: Gravity, Radical, Speed, Extreme. It's not as logical or clean a product line as Babolat or Yonex, but it would be an improvement.
 
I have owned 3 different model head rackets when I was younger. I have not considered head the last 10 to 15 years. I have demoed about 5 heads but none of them felt good. I happened to come across some pro stock tgk238.2 and bought them on a whim. Wow! Best rackets I have ever used. Prestige is my go to racket now. I have them weight up to 12.8 oz and they swing so fast with low tw. It hits a monster ball and is super controlled.
 

jdx2112

Professional
I have owned 3 different model head rackets when I was younger. I have not considered head the last 10 to 15 years. I have demoed about 5 heads but none of them felt good. I happened to come across some pro stock tgk238.2 and bought them on a whim. Wow! Best rackets I have ever used. Prestige is my go to racket now. I have them weight up to 12.8 oz and they swing so fast with low tw. It hits a monster ball and is super controlled.
All of that sounds great, but 12.8oz is the very meaning of inaccessible.
 
All of that sounds great, but 12.8oz is the very meaning of inaccessible.
It swings faster then most rackets that are in the 11oz range. When I first got it I didn't weight it. I thought it played like a toy. I thought it was in the low 11s. Then I weight it, 12.4 oz. I added 4 grams at 3 and 9. The rest at the butt. Still a sw under 330. I have let many different skill levels hit with it and no one had issues swinging it.

The main issue today is tw number are getting way to high. 11 tw is magical. A racket at 310 sw with 15 tw is harder to swing.
 

BillKid

Professional
Marketing? Nowadays I don’t see many top pros (at least not the most bankable ) endorsing Prestige
I also think that Head promoted other lines in the last ten years
The Prestige line has a « classic » image that may seem boring to young players
That may be part of the explanation
 
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