Head is continuing to change the way players think about tennis racquets. The new Extreme line is updated with Graphene 360 technology to allow for better stability, increased energy return and more frame forgiveness. The Extreme Lite will have enlarged SPIN grommets to create a larger sweet spot, a thinner beam at the throat for faster swing speeds and a thicker beam construction in the hoop for better control. The lighter weight combined with an open string pattern and increased forgiveness make this frame perfect for today’s explosive game.
When I first picked up this racquet I was worried that it would feel and play similar to a lot of the traditional lightweight frames. With a 9.3 oz unstrung weight, I was unsure if it would be too powerful from the baseline or be able to handle any hard hit shots. However, after playing with the frame for five minutes I noticed a drastic difference in the stability and forgiveness. The updated Graphene 360 technology made the frame feel comfortable and more stable so I could handle pace from my opponent. Off center hits didn’t affect the racquet or my arm and allowed me to continue hitting without problems. The higher swingweight really allowed me to plow through the court while Graphene 360 made it still feel lightweight. The spin potential with this racquet is very good and it allowed me to attack from anywhere with topspin or backspin. Even though this is a power racquet, it didn’t feel super powerful or make my shots feel out of control.
The great benefit of a lightweight racquet is its mobility. What was most shocking about the Extreme Lite is its ability to be mobile and stable enough to handle hard hit shots right at you. I never felt uncomfortable at net with this racquet because I knew I could easily get my racquet into position and put the ball away. The Spin grommets allowed for better feel for the ball enabling me to hit precise targets and put extra backspin on my volleys. The power level allowed me to easily put high balls away and send low balls back deep into the court putting my opponent in a defensive position.
Serving with the Extreme Lite was pretty easy and it didn’t affect my arm. The light weight made it easy to generate pace and place the ball in the service box. Sometimes the ball would go long, but it was easy to adjust thanks to the spin accessibility. Kick and slice serves were actually my favorite to hit because the ball would generate more RPMs and make it difficult for my opponent to get the ball back. Control on the serve was a little inconsistent so using a spin serve will benefit you more with this racquet.
Similar to its predecessor, the feel of this racquet is very good. The Graphene 360 technology allows for better shock absorption so my arm didn’t feel tired or in pain even after several hours of play. The low flexibility with this frame makes it more bearable to swing even with a higher than normal swingweight.
Head has done a great job improving the Extreme racquet line. I feel many levels of players will enjoy this lightweight frame thanks to the increased stability and feel.
Note: The playtest racquet was strung with Head Lynx 16G at 52 pounds.
About the Reviewer: Chris Virk-Brown currently works at Tennis Express on the Content Marketing team. He previously played at Neumann University and coached at the collegiate level for 3 years. He is an active USTA League and Tournament player.