Head Tennis Racket Models Compared - Speed vs Prestige vs Radical vs Instinct

Tennis Demo Program
Got these Head IG YouTek rackets in just 2-3 business days after ordering.

They give you about 10 days to ship it back with the FedEx labels neatly tucked in with the 4 rackets. The best thing was they include all of this in the $14.95 price!

I took the 4 rackets to the tennis practice wall to get some rapid testing started. Racquets were all in very new condition and strung with the similar hybrid set up with a polyester string on the Mains and Crosses were Head FXP.

The tensions for all rackets were relatively similar (mid-50 lbs range). This consistency makes all the difference when picking out demo rackets, plus have some of the most competitive prices.

Update: I have found that Midwest Sports does a much better job with demo quality and offers better prices than Tennis Express and Tennis Warehouse. See reviews for the Babolat 2017-2018 Pure Strike and Pure Drive

Head Tennis Models
Control (high to low):Prestige > Speed > Radical > Instinct > Extreme

Power (high to low):Extreme > Instinct > Radical > Speed > Prestige

Too Heavy? Too Light?
Want a something Slightly Lighter? Go with the "S" model.
Slight Heavier? Get the "Pro" or "Tour" model.

Racket Impressions

Head Speed MP 18x20
Speed MP 18x20 - see "Customer Reviews"
This racket felt just slightly longer than the standard 27 inch, coming in at 27.3 but you do not really notice too much of a problem when hitting groundstrokes.

See our full Head Graphene Speed MP Review

It has good stability and similar swing speed and weight as the LM Instinct. Easy to volley, had good feel and "pockets" the volley well without too much frame tilt on contact. Serve is good all around, as was the returns.

Playing with this racket in matches, it performed the best for my hitting style. If I had to switch rackets today, I would go with this racket - same model as used by Djokovic.

11/2014 Update: I am now using the Graphene Speed MP which is the standard 27 inches in length.

Our Top Head Tennis Racket

The swing weight of 315 makes even this 11.7 oz frame feel nimble. It rewards you for using a full swing at the ball, with an "L5" swing pattern (the larger the number the longer the swing). The beam is 20 mm in thickness so it is a bit thinner which a lot of big swingers tend to like.

Tennis-Bargains Rating: 4.5/5

...see more Head racket reviews - Prestige, Radical, Instinct below ...

Head Prestige S

Prestige S
This racket is very solid. Noticed that it was fresh and new, as the grip was still sealed. When hitting groundstrokes, you can feel the weight behind the shot and see the power in the result. In the test game situation, hitting 2nd serve return winners and going for finishing forehands were very solid. Hard serves always caught extra speed it seemed even after the bounce. Very clean feel on well-struck shots and serves.

Other testers agreed when hitting with the Prestige, they felt a very solid shot. However, on the defensive end, it was harder to get shots back. The S models are slightly lighter than the normal Prestige frames but it was still one of the heavier rackets we tested at 11.5 oz.

Tennis-Bargains Rating: 4.0/5

Head Radical MP
Radical MP
This is definitely a racket built for offensive baseliners. You need to have an aggressive, longer swing than the other rackets to get the most out of this one. It rewards deep baseline strokes with interest. Playing with topspin and pace agreed with this racket. I thought volleying was decent and serves had enough pop on them.

The weight and balance of this racket is designed for slightly stronger players or juniors. Playing a few sets with this racket in a test match, it began to feel heavy with a higher swing weight and a bit stiff at times. The lack of flex and higher swing weight on this racket can be both good or bad depending on a player's preference.

Check out the Tennis Magazine review here.

Tennis-Bargains Rating: 4.0/5

Head Instinct MP
Instinct MP
This racket seemed to lack a bit of power. Decent spin, but most balls landed short. The open 16x19 pattern did not agree with me. I had to hit with a lot of topspin to control the ball and it even felt small and short after using the Speed MP which is similar in specs. This was a disappointment for me as I love the rest of the Instinct line.

See our Head Instinct Graphene Review

This racket comes in with the most flex and a lower swing weight, giving it plenty of maneuverability on shots. It was best to hit looping shots with this racket.

Tennis-Bargains Rating: 3.5/5

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