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Monday, June 03, 2013 Racquet Review of the Week - HEAD Youtek Graphene PWR Prestige

Head PWR Prestige

Head has introduced a number of new frames for 2013, but none have caught our eye any more than the new  Youtek Graphene PWR Prestige. By making a “game improvement” version of their standard-bearing player’s frame, Head is attempting to lure more recreational players into the feel and control of the Prestige line. Graphene is the lightest, strongest material in the world, and 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, increasing swingweight while maintaining power and other performance aspects.

Net Play & Serving

The extra head weighting of the PWR Prestige is not a problem on serves or overheads, and the frame is a snap to move upward, even on those lobs that get just a little behind you. Spin serves are quite nicely executed with the PWR Prestige, as both slice and kick serves can be hit heavy and fast. The lower sweet spot is in a great place for volleys, and they come off controlled and powerful with adequate maneuverability in quick exchanges at net. The higher flex doesn’t provide as much touch and feel as some might like, but you can knock off floaters and swing volleys like no one’s business.

net

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From the Baseline

The PWR Prestige feels and swings with a heavier feel than its weight implies. The wide beams and firm flex of the PWR Prestige add power and contribute a solid, controlled feel to groundstrokes, particularly flat and slice shots, where the lower sweet spot sends the ball moving quite nicely. Shots hit near the top of the head, while not as powerful, are quite controllable given the wide beams. The open string bed imparts more than adequate spin to all shots, with slices getting particularly good bite.

Conclusion

Head has come up with a fine frame for intermediate to advanced all-court players in the new Graphene PWR Prestige. The PWR Prestige is not only the lightest Prestige frame ever made, it’s lighter than most of Head’s racquets, period. The length, at 27.33”, makes it the first extended-length Prestige frame. It’s the first oversize Prestige model, with a 107 square inch head size. Inner and Outer Quad Face give the PWR Prestige a larger “effective” head size for extra ball pocketing (more comfort) and greater “trampoline effect” (extra power). All of these features should benefit players looking for extra power without extra effort. A solid frame with an optimal balance of its mass for moderate swing speeds lends itself well to all aspects of the game. If other game improvement frames feel a little “whippy” to you, the Graphene PWR Prestige should be right up your alley.

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