Head brings a new level of feel and comfort to the masses with the introduction of the new Head Graphene Touch Instinct Lite. Head updates their Graphene technology by adding a rubber compound called Kraibon to the mix for increased vibration dampening and comfort on every shot. The Lite boasts an oversize 107 inch head size for added forgiveness and playability. Its light weight will make it instantly playable for beginners and intermediate players that need something exceptionally easy to swing.
Like the rest of the Instinct line, the Lite had no shortage of power. The 10 oz strung weight made it easy for me to create high racquet head speed on both sides, yielding impressive pace on my groundstrokes. The 107 inch head size had a large sweet spot, keeping the power level high even when I made contact off center. With an oversize head and high power level, I felt the racquet lacked the level of control of the other versions in the Instinct line. It handled picking big targets well but it lacked the scalpel like precision of smaller, heavier frames. Spin production was healthy as the 16 x 19 pattern felt pretty open in such a large head size. I had no trouble creating higher trajectories and adding air under the ball when I needed to. The stability in the frame varied depending on the level of play. It had a more head heavy balance to improve stability but I still experienced some twisting when trying to defend against bigger hitters. The slightly extended length provided some extra leverage on my backhand and I also enjoyed the extra court coverage the length and larger head size combined to provide. Off the ground this frame made a great option for players needing the racquet to help them create pace and spin during points.
Volleys & Serves
The light weight of the Instinct Lite created a maneuverability advantage at the net. It was effortless for me to get the racquet in position during exchanges at the net. The frame did well with aggressive volleying but the low weight made casual shots sit up a bit more. The added head size helped pick up low volleys and the extra length was not enough to compromise the frame’s mobility at the net. Directional accuracy was average for this class of frame. It obviously lacked the precision of a small head, high weight frame but there should be plenty of control for developing players to hit their spots.
The Instinct Lite was interesting to serve with. The low weight allowed for easy pace generation and I had plenty of speed my on flat serve. It lacked the bite of a serve from a heavier frame but I was able to get it moving through the court nicely. The slightly longer frame gave me some additional leverage, helping me drive the ball down into the court. While I didn’t have enough control to drops serves on a dime, I was successful dividing the box into thirds and targeting larger areas. The frame produced a healthy amount of spin for kick and slice serves. While not quite as heavy as with other frames, the racquet still created healthy movement on my kick serve and I used it effectively to keep returners uncomfortable.
Like all the other Graphene Touch frames, the Instinct Lite may be divisive in how people view its feel. It was extremely dampened and had a highly muted feel. The lack of vibration created a little uncertainty about what the ball was really doing as it came off the strings. Impact felt solid and vibration was practically non-existent but I found myself longing for a little more feedback from the frame. The racquet absorbed shock well so comfort was high during my time with it. It also has a lower overall stiffness in comparison to other Instinct models which provided a softer, even more comfortable feel. Players with sensitive arms should have no concerns jumping into battle with the Touch Instinct Lite.
With latest in Graphene Technology from Head, this model is a strong option for players starting their tennis journey. Its low weight and ample power level allow anyone to access the pace and spin to be successful. The racquet plays maneuverable at net and the extra length gives some extra clearance on serves. Any player looking for a powerful forgiving frame that can bring a boost to every shot while still being comfortable from start to finish should consider the Head Graphene Touch Instinct Lite.
About the Reviewer: Matt Locke currently serves as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho and is an active USTA League and Tournament player.