After their “Massive Sweet Spot Dominates the Game” marketing campaign, the HEAD Gravity series racquets have been released. The new frames build on the increased ball speed and stability of Graphene 360 with new Spiralfiber technology located at the 7 and 9 o’clock positions in the hoop. The Spiralfibers are meant to increase flex, and feel for the ball on the new frames. As a play tester with extensive experience with all of HEAD’s racquets, I couldn’t wait to test the Gravity Pro for myself.
The head shape of the Gravity racquets is striking. HEAD calls it a “teardrop” shape and it separates itself from the other HEAD racquet families. The racquet head is widest slightly higher than center to favor the modern ball striker who hits the ball higher in the hoop. The Gravity Pro features some very “Pro-like” specs: an 18 x 20 string pattern, a thin 20 millimeter beam, and an 11.7 ounce strung weight. After striking only a few warm up shots, it was obvious the Gravity Pro put a huge emphasis on feel and control. The frame doesn’t provide much in the way of free power, and though it has a head light balance, there is a substantial amount of mass to move around due to the 330 swing weight. After I adjusted to the weight, I found my rhythm and enjoyed the way the ball dug into the string bed. The thin beam made the racquet feel more mobile, and the 18 x 20 string pattern was more spin friendly than the current Graphene 360 Speed Pro or Graphene Touch Prestige MP. The teardrop shape made the 100 square inch head seem more forgiving and comfortable.
The combination of a thin beam, and Spiralfiber infused flex and feel, made the Gravity Pro a dream to volley with. Despite its relatively heavy weight, the Pro felt nimble at net and wasn’t easily pushed around. The thin beam helped me dig out shoe string volleys and the increased flex seemed to hold the ball on the strings for an extra split-second, which helped me direct shots to the open court. My favorite volleys were of the higher put-away variety (you know, the ones we always miss). The extra mass from the Gravity Pro kept me from overplaying easy sitters, and I comfortably played them into winning positions. I can see this model developing a following among serve and volley doubles stalwarts who need a little more forgiveness than their old Prestige Mid or Wilson Original Pro Staff.
Serves & Overheads
The most difficult shot for me with the Gravity Pro was the serve, particularly after an extended period of time. The weight provided plenty of pace when I had the energy to produce it, but I noticed some fatigue in my shoulder. The feeling was most apparent when second serves drifted long and I had to consciously remind myself to finish my swing to bring the ball down into the service box. Still, doubles players would only have to serve every fourth game, and I’m sure with regular play the racquet would get easier to use. Though I struggled with serves and overheads more than any other area, the Gravity Pro is sublimely comfortable and I want to get back out there and give it a go again.
The Gravity Pro from HEAD is an advanced player’s racquet for 2019. While thinner beamed racquets of the past had smaller head sizes which could produce shank after shank, the increased surface area of the Gravity Pro’s teardrop-shaped head makes it an excellent candidate for someone with long, fast swings. Combine the feel and flex of the Spiralfibers with the control centered 20 mm beam, and HEAD has produced their best tour level performance racquet in years.
About the Reviewer: Sam Jones currently works at Tennis Express on the Content Marketing team. He previously played at Southwestern University, taught tennis for 10+ years and earned his USRSA Master Racquet Technician Certification in 2011. He is an active NTRP 5.0 League and Tournament player.