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Head has upped the ante on frame power with their remarkable new Graphene technology for 2013, and it is on display with the five new YouTek Graphene Speed series frames.
The Big (Tech) Deal: Graphene is the lightest, strongest material in the world, and Head had used it in a very innovative manner (it’s 200 times stronger than steel!). In the past, racquet manufacturers have used lightweight materials to reduce overall racquet weight significantly, but because of that, they’ve struggled to maintain a stable hitting platform. This use of technology has increased swingweight and power, but has reduced other areas of racquet performance where weight is a bonus, like recoilweight (resistance to “kicking back” in the hand at net) and twistweight (resistance to twisting on off-center hits). Head has been able to combat this with their use of Graphene technology.
By using Graphene to make a lighter racquet shaft, Head has been able to take the leftover weight and place it in the head and handle areas of the frame. This has enabled racquet weights to stay constant (and decrease in some cases), but swingweight has increased noticeably. So, by leaving weight in the racquet, Head has increased power, but maintained, and even increased, other performance characteristics, offering players a more powerful and maneuverable racquet with greater stability.
The extra weight in the racquet head leads to increased ability of the racquet tip to accelerate and “plow through” the ball from the baseline, allowing you not only more power, but also the ability to fight off your opponent’s strongest shots. Extra weighting in the handle helps keep the racquet from recoiling, or kicking back, in your hand at net, allowing better control and less stress on the arm. Head has perfectly segmented its five new Youtek Graphene Speed racquets for specific player types.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic got to test his new frame against a speeding car (right) in Australia! Nice!
The YouTek Graphene Speed Pro is Djokovic’s weapon of choice for the 2013 season, and it promises to be an advanced player’s treat. Lighter than the previous iteration of Novak’s racquet, the Pro should offer strong-swinging players a more solid, powerful and stable hitting platform for an even higher standard of aggressive baseline play. An 18x20 string pattern provides excellent control of that power, and its 100 square inch head size is perfect for modern topspin play.
If your game isn’t quite up to Novak’s level, the YouTek Graphene Speed MP 16x19 will get you similar results with less effort. A half-ounce less weight makes it easier to move quickly if your swing isn’t tour-level strong, while a more open 16x19 pattern is more powerful and spin-friendly. The standard Speed head size and beam widths are there to provide feel and control. Next up is the YouTek Graphene Speed S. Intermediate-level players, and those who have lost a little power over the years, should love this frame.
Replacing the Speed Elite for 2013, the S model shaves over ½ ounce of weight off the MP version, but uses Graphene to maintain a very solid swingweight for power from the backcourt. Its weighting allows for quick moves at net and on return of serve, making it an excellent choice for fast doubles play.
Juniors just coming into adult frames will want to try the YouTek Graphene Speed REV. Weighing in at just over 9 ounces strung, and with an optimal swingweight for women, juniors, and beginners, the REV is the most user-friendly frame in the Speed line for 2013. A 16x19 pattern works with the Speed series standard 100 square inch head size and beams to provide an optimal setup for developing power games, and it comes in a size “zero” 4-inch grip for smaller hands. Speed Lite players will want to seriously consider upgrading to this year’s Speed REV.
Finally, Head hasn’t forgotten slower-swinging players who want Speed series feel. The new YouTek Graphene Power Speed puts Head Speed qualities in a lightweight, powerful package. The sub-10 ounce frame packs a strong Graphene-backed swingweight for solid power and depth from the baseline, and a jumbo-oversize 115 square inch head uses a widebody frame design for effortless play from all areas of the court. Head’s innovative Inner QuadFace extends the length of the strings inside the frame, creating a larger “effective” head size for increased ball pocketing, comfort and forgiveness. An extra-long 27 1/3” frame provides extra leverage for greater power, reach and spin. The YouTek Graphene Power Speed brings Speed power and control to beginning and intermediate players who want stronger shots with minimal effort.
So, there you have it. Head has made picking a Speed series racquet easy for anyone. Decide what you want: tour-level control, high-level versatility, lightweight maneuverability or effortless power, and there is a Graphene Speed frame for you. Talk to the Tennis Express experts about the strengths and weaknesses in your game, and demo the Head Graphene Speed racquet today!
And make sure you check out our blog detailing the launch of Graphene technology!
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