As I was scanning some of the racquet models recently introduced, the one that most caught my attention was the Head Graphene Touch Speed Pro. I have not had a chance to playtest this new offering yet…but I wanted to make a few comments about it especially as regards its potential arm-healthiness! Now lest you think I am pandering to the fact that Novak Djokovic plays with a customized version of the Speed Pro, consider that I actually forgot it was “his” stick for a few moments as I was checking it out. But, the fact that Novak endorses it is neither here nor there for me. I appreciate the guy’s tennis and hope he rediscovers his form soon 🙂 But, I evaluate a racquet on its own terms regardless of which big time player’s name is attached to it (or not). Check it out directly at Head here as well as at our good friend Tennis Warehouse here. Now to a few observations!
I plugged in the Speed Pro’s relevant specs into my proprietary SHARRS (Shack’s Healthy Arm Racquet Rating System) algorithm, and it grades out at a very respectable 88 B! This is impressive as very few sticks on the market today would come close to reaching this mark. For the sake of context, several sticks by ProKennex, Yonex and XeneCore typically rate in the 90s for arm-friendliness. For this model by Head to be near at hand is good to see! In the past only the Prestige passed my strict standards…but its 93/98 head size options are on the small size for many of us. So, kudos to Head for designing the new Graphene Touch Speed Pro to be its most arm-healthy 100 sq. in. Graphene model yet!
To flesh things out a bit more, the Speed Pro weighs a good 11.6 oz. strung (Tennis Warehouse always lists their sticks at strung weight). Now this is not quite as hefty as I like (my ProKennex rumbles through the air at close to 13 oz.). But 11.6 is decent for shock absorption. The Pro’s additional anti-shock features are its stiffness/flexibility of 63 (I always suggest less than or equal to 65), its balance of 6 points HL (head-light), its inclusion of Kraibon (I will leave it to the playtesters to decide the merits of this material), and finally its decent cushiony grip. So, all in all, if this is the kind of racquet that would match your style and level of play (it’s designed to be a player’s stick rather than an intermediate level or game improvement option), I would certainly suggest giving it a demo! If you do, let me know what you think! Cheers!