With so much competition, sometimes a racquet company’s best chance at success is to find a unique niche to target. For Pro Kennex, that niche has been the subset of players who crave arm friendliness above all else. For players who want arm safety without losing out on the power needed for the modern game, Pro Kennex introduces the new Ki 10 305. This frame utilizes their now legendary Kinetic system, which is a series of movable micro bearings inside the hoop that use Newtonian principles to dissipate shock while improving swing momentum and power. SpiralTech Carbon in the layup produces high quality construction that has consistent rigidity and dampening. Pro Kennex also uses their Comfort Cap, which brings the Kinetic system into the butt cap for additional shock absorption. Having enjoyed a lot of previous Pro Kennex play tests, I was excited to take this newest offering out for some court time.
The Ki 10 305 hit a BIG ball from the back of the court. The firm 24/25/17mm beam provided a ton of power off the ground and allowed me to crack winners from either side. At 11.4oz strung and a swingweight north of 330, the frame was a ball crusher. If anything, I had a hard time reigning in the power consistently. If I didn’t get all the way over on the ball, it was easy to send shots sailing past the baseline. The 100 inch head had a big sweet spot and the power level was remarkably consistent across the entire hoop. The Ki 10 305 was not meant to be the precision instrument of the Pro Kennex line and that proved true on groundstrokes. Rather than trying to paint lines, I simply bullied opponents into submission with brute force. Spin generation was easy thanks to the openly spaced 16x19 pattern. Being able to generate spin also proved to be a saving grace when I worked to tame the racquet’s power. If I was able to apply enough spin, shots would drop deep and heavy into the court. The solid weight and beefy swingweight gave the Ki 10 305 excellent stability. It was rock solid against even the biggest hitters and had no trouble re-directing pace with quick, compact strokes. I found it best to stay offensively minded as much as possible because the elevated swingweight made the frame a bit of a challenge to quickly maneuver on the run.
Volleying with the Ki 10 305 was not an exercise in patience. It was a little bit like using a chainsaw to trim a Banzai, it can do the job but it won’t be the ideal tool. Rather than trying to hit delicate, touch volleys, I just used the frame’s power to bludgeon volleys into submission. Anything left sitting up was quickly and immediately dispatched for the end of the point. The racquet wasn’t meant to be incredibly precise, so I made sure to choose big targets and found it to be effective at driving volleys deep into the corners and the back of the court in general. Stability was again an impressive highlight of the Ki 10 305. It had no trouble blocking back hard hit balls and soaked up impressive amounts of pace.
Heavy artillery was the name of the game when serving with the Ki 10 305. Early on, I struggled to get the swingweight moving overhead and that led to muscling the ball, which rarely worked out. Once I relaxed, the frame’s construction and swingweight really unlocked and started doing damage. First serves were heavy and moved with enough pace to be dangerous. Similar to baseline play, I avoided painting lines and exploited penetrating body serves on my first serve. When I was getting the racquet moving, the spin production produced kick serves that had lots of action and were difficult to attack. My slice serve was the biggest beneficiary of the frame’s mass and swingweight. It drove through the court low and swung out way wide on the ad court. This allowed me to immediately enter attack mode and crush the return into the open court.
Pro Kennex lives to keep players from having to choose between power and comfort. This racquet boasts tremendous power and spin potential, along with impressive levels of stability. When paired with their tried and true Kinetic system, the racquet is a dangerous weapon for the modern game. Its substantial swingweight won’t be for everyone, but for the advanced player looking for maximum horsepower in the most comfortable package available, the Pro Kennex Ki 10 305 will truly be in a class by itself.
About the Reviewer: Matt Locke formerly served for 3 years as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho. He is a PTR certified coach and is an active USTA 4.5 League and Tournament player.