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HEAD Youtek IG Radical S Tennis Racquet Review

Racquet Specs

  • Head Size: 100 sq. in. MP
  • Length: 27 inches
  • Weight: Strung — 10.6 oz Unstrung — 9.9 oz
  • Tension: 48-57 Pounds
  • Balance: Even Balance
  • Beam Width: 23.5mm
  • Composition: d3O/Graphite/Innegra
  • Flex: 62
  • Grips Type: Hydrosorb Tour
  • Power Level: Medium
  • String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
  • Shared Holes: None
  • Mains Skip: 7T, 8T, 7H, 8H
  • Swing Speed: Medium/Fast
  • Swing Weight: 296

HEAD Youtek IG Radical S Tennis Racquet Review

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Head  YouTek Graphene Speed S Tennis Racquet

The first thing I noticed upon picking up the Head Radical S was the distribution of mass towards the top of the hoop. While the lower section of the hoop and throat felt light, the mass at the top of the frame created a hammer-like feel in my hands. Once I started hitting, I immediately noticed that this design allowed the top of the hoop to continue to move vertically on topspin shots, resulting in above average spin potential. The shot that benefited most from this was my one-handed backhand. After hitting several shots deep into the court with dipping topspin, I quickly felt like I couldn’t miss. Topspin forehands were just as consistent, as long as I hit the ball slightly above the center of the stringbed (where I like to hit my forehands). When I struck forehands lower, in the sweetspot, the ball shot off the frame at a higher angle and often sailed long. In addition to the excessive power of the sweetspot, the feel is also very mushy/muted, especially considering the frame was strung with full poly (Head Hawk). Shots in the sweetspot felt more like a loosely strung synthetic gut than a top of the line poly.

The specs of the Head Radical S make it a great frame for dominating the net with speed and power. Knocking down high shots was a joy, as I could easily dunk or slam the ball to end the point. The mass at the top of the hoop, along with the stiffness of the frame, provided excellent stability while blocking faster shots with the upper half of the stringbed, which felt very solid. As could be expected, shots in the sweetspot felt powerful, and pocketed nicely with decent control. Shots that were hit off-center in the lower portion of the stringbed tended to feel less stable, but not as much as other lightweight frames. I was able to find my range with drop shots, most likely due to the full poly, as a softer string would have provided too much energy return. The overall feel was similar to other Head Graphene frames, which are slightly muted, but still crisp.

On serves, the Head Radical S provided easy power on slow to medium swing speeds. On faster swings, the top of the hoop came over the top of my hand a little too quickly, and sent the ball into the net. Though I’m sure that with enough time with the frame, I could adjust to the way the racquet head moved through the stroke, the frame just seems to work better at a slower speed. Spin serves were average, with a decent amount of movement/kick, but not exceptional. Though the sweetspot is large and forgiving, the stringbed does not provide enough feedback to feel confident in hitting to smaller targets.

The Head Radical S is a solid feeling frame with ample power. Though the racquet as a little too light and powerful for me, I would feel comfortable recommending it to players looking for a forgiving “tweener.” The Radical S is light and quick enough to help developing junior players transition from an entry-level light frame (under 10 ounces) to something slightly more substantial. Additionally, older players looking for a little more speed and pop in a tweener frame should look here.


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