Volkl brings a new update to fans of lighter, powerful frame options with the introduction of the new V-Cell 6. Largely retaining the same specs of the previous V-Feel 6, the main update in the new model is in the material layup. Volkl now deploys its cellulose based V-Cell material throughout the head and shaft of the frame. The result is improved playability and feel, along with increased comfort over the previous model line. Volkl retains the use of REVA and VTex in the handle and butt cap for maximum shock absorption and dampening. Having recently hit with the V-Feel 6, I was eager to see how the V-Cell 6 improved on the experience.
Like the previous V-Feel 6, the V-Cell version had plenty of power on tap for groundstrokes. The 24-26-23 mm beam and RA around 70 combined to make it easy to hit from the baseline with plenty of pop. The sweet spot on the 100 inch head felt open and I appreciated the consistent power level, even toward the top of the hoop. With a 10.3 oz strung weight and a swingweight a shade over 300, the V-Cell 6 was easy to accelerate and add plenty of pace to my shots. My groundstrokes weren’t as heavy as with beefier frames, but I still found enough pace and depth to keep myself in points. As with the last model, the V-Cell 6 shined most at moderate swing speeds as big cuts tended to send the ball sailing long. Accuracy was not the racquet’s strongest attribute but it played well to larger targets and could hit all thirds of the court. Spin was easy to tap into with its 16 x 19 string pattern and I enjoyed being able to hit my shots with plenty of height and action. Stability was on par with other frames around a 300 swingweight, but more advanced players would likely want to add some mass to better defend against bigger hitting opponents.
Volleys & Serves
As with the previous version, the V-Cell 6 excelled at net when I took advantage of its speed and power. There was enough pop for me to finish off anything left hanging. During rapid exchanges, the light, fast feel made it easy for me to keep the V-Cell 6 out in front of volleys. Balls I took too casually or was late to had a higher tendency to float or sail so I had to focus on playing aggressively. The frame was solid at putting balls into the corners, but wasn’t as precise as a thinner beam frame would have been. There was enough mass and stability for absorbing most body blows with the frame only fluttering against heavy shots. Even though the flex was basically the same as the outgoing model, I was impressed with the much improved feel of the V-Cell 6. I found it much easier to mix in drop and touch volleys and found the racquet much more responsive in this regard compared to the last version.
Much like my outing with the previous 6 model, I was a bit disjointed serving with the V-Cell 6. While the easy power was fun to tap into, I had a harder time finding the right cadence for consistently controlling the power. For every big ace or service winner I hit, I felt I missed 2-3 more long. The easy acceleration of the racquet added plenty of pace to serves. Since it wasn’t an incredibly precise frame, I focused on serving to bigger targets while also mixing in a healthy dose of body serves. On my second serve, hitting the kicker was the name of the game. The spin friendly pattern and ample racquet speed gave my serve plenty of bounce height and action off the court. Knowing the reduced mass would impact the bite of my slice serve, I focused on using the kick serve to effectively keep returners from getting comfortable.
Feel & Comfort
For a frame with essentially the same stiffness rating as the previous version, the V-Cell 6 was much more responsive. It had a smoother feel on contact and provided a bit more feedback on contact. It still had a bit of a muted feel, but I felt a better connection to the ball than I had with the V-Feel version which was much stiffer feeling and felt like it just catapulted the ball off the string bed. I was much more confident mixing in touch shots and relying on feel to help me with shot selection. While I never found the old model uncomfortable, the V-Cell 6 should definitely match up better with players who have arm concerns. It’s softer, cleaner response should allow more players to use it confidently.
With this new update, Volkl is all in on their V-Cell technology. The new V-Cell 6 deploys an impressive amount of power and spin from the ground, while also being comfortable and effortless to swing. It has the ability to hit big while also being responsive enough for more delicate shots. With improved comfort and response, the new Volkl V-Cell 6 is a strong contender for anyone looking for a lightweight frame that offers power and spin in a responsive and forgiving package.
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.