Volkl updates the V1 line and brings its newest technology to bear in the most controlled model in the lineup, the new Volkl V-Feel V1 Pro. This update raises the swingweight compared to the previous version for a bit more punching power and boasts the latest material innovations. The frame layup utilizes V-Cell, a cellulose material that provides improved responsiveness and better feel. Volkl also updates their renowned shock absorbing handle with REVA, a material that offers 25% more shock absorption. The butt cap has also been revised with a new silicone polymer called VTex for better shock absorption and is more resistant to shrinking and cracking under extreme temperatures. I enjoyed previous iterations of the V1 Pro so I was excited to see how this new model measured up.
From the baseline, the V-Feel V1 Pro boasted an impressive power level. The 23/20/23 mm beam and slightly increased stiffness allowed the frame to produce easy pop from either wing. The sweet spot on the 99 inch head was ample and the power level felt pretty uniform across the string bed. At 11.3 oz strung and an increased swingweight over the outgoing model, I found it to produce consistent depth and penetrate the court easily. The balance was close to even which was great for flat hitting but made it a little harder to whip the head through contact for extra spin or while on the run. At times it felt like the head was dragging through the contact zone a little too much. The 16 x 19 string pattern was plenty spin friendly, but I felt a little more maneuverability would have made it easier for me to put a bit more air under the ball. Directional accuracy was solid from both wings. The extra swingweight allowed me to redirect pace and change the direction of the ball easily. Occasionally if I didn’t get over the top of the ball enough some shots would sail but overall I was able to pick aggressive targets. The racquet played quite stable for its weight class and only had a little bit of twisting against very hard hit balls.
Volleys & Serves
Net play with the V1 Pro was a bit more of a mixed bag for me. The easy power of the frame made it a breeze to finish off volleys that were left hanging for me. The racquet did a stellar job of driving volleys through the court. I missed the maneuverability of a more headlight frame during rapid fire exchanges. I wasn’t able to stay out in front of exchanges as much as I wanted to, instead I felt like I was late positioning the frame a good amount of the time. Accuracy was solid at the net and I continued to pick aggressive spots just like I had from the baseline. The racquet had a bit firmer feel than older versions so touch volleys were a little harder but I still found enough ball feel to mix in some drop and touch volleys with success.
Serving with the V-Feel V1 Pro proved to be enjoyable. The easy power level gave plenty of welcome pop to my first serve. I was able to deploy the frame’s mass effectively when blasting a hard, flat serve at my opponents. While I might not have been able to drop serves on a dime, I was more than comfortable moving my serve around the box and going for aggressive spots when I was up in the game. Spin on my second serve was a bit more middle of the road. Because it was closer to even balance, the frame just didn’t accelerate quite enough to really make my kick serve jump off the court. Slice serves were the more effective option as the healthy mass kept them low and skidding away from returners.
The feel of the new V1 Pro was definitely more modern than previous versions of this racquet. Volkl has increased the stiffness on this new version and it plays with a firmer, crisper feeling response. The new V-Feel material did a good job taking vibration out of off center shots, giving the racquet a cleaner feel on contact for the most part. The always dependable Volkl handle system also aided in taking the sting out of any mis-hit balls. Despite the firmer nature of the racquet, it still played more comfortable than many of its peers in the market. Player should be able to pair it with a softer string or reduced tension and be confident in the overall comfort level they will get.
Players searching for a potent mix of power and control will find a lot to enjoy with this latest update from Volkl. It boasts plenty of power for baseline rallies and can finish points at the net as needed. It offers access to free points on serve and has enough backbone to defend well. The Volkl V-Feel V1 Pro is a good fit for anyone who likes frames that punch above their weight class and wants a responsive, modern styled that still plays with plenty of comfort.
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.