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Head Graphene 360+ Speed Pro Racquet Review

Price: $149.00MSRP: $249.00
Overall 86
Groundstrokes 85
Volleys 85
Serves 83
Returns 83
Power 80
Control 87
Maneuverability 82
Stability 84
Comfort 83
Touch/Feel 83
Topspin 80
Slice 84

Summary

With over 10 years under its belt, the updated Graphene 360+ Speed Pro has a slightly more flexible feel than its predecessor along with a higher swingweight. The result is a racquet that not only delivers better ball feedback, but also greater plow through and stability. For 2020 the Speed Pro gets updated with Graphene 360+, which combines the power and stability of Graphene 360 with twisted fibers in the shoulder area to help the racquet flex optimally at impact. With its dense 18x20 string pattern, this update gave our team the unmistakable control and feel that has defined so many of Head's traditional player's racquets. However, the Speed Pro also has a modern side. With its sub 12 ounce weight, thicker 23mm beam and 100in² head, it's not only faster and more forgiving than the classic racquets of yesteryear, but it also packs impressive spin potential considering its dense string pattern. Ultimately, by combining classic control and feel with a dash of modern speed and spin, the Graphene 360+ Speed Pro continues to be one of the most versatile player's racquets on the market.

Upsides

  • Control
  • Feel
  • Power
  • Spin

Downsides

  • None we could agree on

Bottom Line

This update combines the control and feel of a traditional player's racquet with enough speed and spin for the modern game.

Ability

Intermediate to advanced

Groundstrokes - Score: 85

On groundstrokes, our playtesters felt very dialed in with the Graphene 360+ Speed Pro. In addition to the outstanding control, there was enough power and spin to play aggressive tennis. The slight boost in swingweight over the previous version gave our team a little extra stability without any trade-offs in maneuverability. Not surprisingly, Mark was impressed with how this racquet played off the ground. He said, "The Head Speed Pro has always been among my favorite racquets to swing from the baseline, and after this playtest, my high praise for it has not changed at all. Its somewhat widely spaced 18x20 pattern offers easier access to spin than is typical for a tight pattern. This new version swings a bit heavier than the last two, making it a little more powerful and making it easier to achieve penetrating depth. Slice-wise, that 18x20 pattern kept my backhand slice low and effective, and I had no problems generating topspin."

Having hit every generation of the Speed Pro going back to the YOUTEK version, Chris liked this update the most. He said, "The Graphene 360+ Speed Pro felt very solid off the ground. While the MP version is quicker and whippier feeling, this Pro packs more punch because it comes through the ball with more mass. As a result, I could hit a heavier ball and push opponents around more easily. I loved the overall feel of the racquet. I found the response to be comfortable, smooth and connected, and my backhand slice was feeling very dialed in. Getting either topspin or slice was easy. I found a perfect level of grip from the stringbed, and this quickly became my favorite Speed Pro to date."

Michelle is used to swinging a much heavier, stiffer racquet, and despite some minor issues with stability, she appreciated the Graphene 360+ Speed Pro's easy targeting on groundstrokes. She explained, "Overall, I thought this was a great racquet to play with. The ease with which I could hit my targets led to some very confident ball striking. In most cases, the swingweight felt hefty enough to be effective while still allowing me to swing through the ball with ease. However, there were times I noted a flutter on my shots, and I wanted more stability. I found it lacking in stability when I needed to swing fast through the ball. This happened often on transition balls or whenever I didn't have as much time to set up. That was my main knock on groundstrokes, because I would be happy grinding from the baseline, but when I would either look to step up to finish the point or transition forward, I had an issue with that shot. It's an easy fix with a little added weight, though!"

In addition to finding great control and plenty of spin, Troy noticed a little extra plow through with this update. He said, "I found a nice balance of maneuverability and stability when hitting groundstrokes. I found the previous Graphene 360 Speed Pro to be too whippy, but this update has a bit more plow through and a slightly more solid feel. I know the beam width is the same 23 mm as the previous version, but this update felt a bit more responsive and almost gave the impression that it had a slightly thinner beam. There was plenty of control from the 18x20 pattern, and I really liked hitting flatter trajectory shots, including put-aways, where it was easy to get the ball moving powerfully through the court. My slice felt precise, although there wasn't as much feel for the ball compared to a racquet like the Head Graphene 360+ Prestige MP. Spin was easy to generate considering it is an 18x20, similar to the Prince Textreme Tour 100P."

Head Graphene 360+ Speed Pro Racquet view 2

Volleys - Score: 85

The praise continued as our team transitioned to the front court with the Graphene 360+ Speed Pro. For Chris, this racquet checked all the right boxes at net. He said, "One of my favorite shots to hit with the Graphene 360+ Speed Pro was the volley. This racquet offered the perfect blend of stability and maneuverability for me at net. The feel at impact was great, and I was able to place my shots very well. I loved the feel of the MP version, and the Pro felt even better, with an even more solid response thanks to the added mass."

Finding a little more stability from the Graphene 360+ Speed Pro than he did from the previous generation, Mark had no complaints with this racquet at net. He said, "The slight increase to the Graphene 360+ Speed Pro's mass and swingweight provided my volleys with a bit more stability, but thankfully it remained maneuverable enough for me to get the racquet into position on time. Overall, though, I thought this update volleyed much the same way previous models did."

Troy appreciated this racquet's balance of speed, stability and comfort at net. He explained, "As with groundstrokes, the fast feel and above-average stability were a great combination at net. Although firm, the Speed Pro still possessed decent comfort and feel for the ball. It felt solid and stable most of the time, but there were a few instances when it fluttered a bit on volleys. This was likely due to some slight mis-hits or when facing heavy hitters. There wasn't a ton of free power on tap, but I could gauge my depth well and put the ball away on volleys with relative ease."

Although her overall experience at net was positive, Michelle experienced some occasional instability on mid-court volleys. She said, "No major complaints from me at net. Overall, this was a very easy racquet to volley with. However, similar to groundstrokes, transitioning to net sometimes caused a small issue. Mainly in doubles, I noticed that the racquet tended to flop a bit when I was hitting a mid-court volley to get myself in. Once I was up and positioned closer to the net, the racquet stood up to almost any ball hit at me. It was even super effective off my lefty switch-up volley!"

Head Graphene 360+ Speed Pro Racquet view 3

Serves - Score: 83

Although the Graphene 360+ Speed Pro swings a tad heavier than the previous version, our team had no problems accelerating through contact on serve, and the extra mass translated into juicier levels of power. Factor in this racquet's precise and predictable stringbed response, and for Michelle, the result was boosted confidence. She said, "I had no problems serving effectively with this racquet. The tighter string pattern allowed me to feel connected to my targets, and it gave me the confidence to swing bigger, which translated into impressive pace. Even with an 18x20 string pattern, this racquet gave me enough spin to get the ball moving, especially on slice serves. Nothing to knock here."

For Chris, this racquet's combination of speed, power and control was the perfect recipe for effective serving. He described, "I liked serving with the Graphene 360+ Speed Pro. I found it an easy racquet to accelerate through contact. My first serves had ample pace, and I found a high level of control to help me find my targets. As from other areas of the court, I found the racquet spin friendly, and that helped me stay on the gas on second serves."

Move over groundstrokes and volleys, Mark has a new favorite stroke to hit with the Speed Pro. He said, "I can see from reading through my older playtest comments that it was groundstrokes or volleys that were my preferred shots to hit with the Speed Pro. Maybe there is some special mojo with regards to the SpiralFibers in the lower part of the hoop, but the serve turned out to be my favorite shot to hit with the Graphene 360+ Speed Pro. Troy likes to describe a good serve in terms of easy power, and for me the Speed Pro catered to that result."

"I liked the precision and pop on my first serves," said Troy, who needed a little time to figure out how to serve effectively with this racquet. "I struggled initially to get enough bite on kick serves. When serving side by side with the Babolat Pure Aero VS, I had to work harder to get the ball to kick up off the court. After a while, I learned to gauge the launch angle, and then my spin serves were landing consistently. Overall, I felt like I could generate easy racquet head speed, which helped with the power, and the 18x20 pattern helped me to dial in my targets."

Head Graphene 360+ Speed Pro Racquet view 3

Returns - Score: 83

On service returns, in addition to the stable feel it provided on chips and counter punches, the Graphene 360+ Speed Pro gave our team the kind of control that inspires confidence on full swings. In other words, it was perfect for Michelle's attacking style. She explained, "I really enjoyed returning with this racquet. The controlled pattern, paired with the 100-square-inch head size, allowed me to feel confident swinging big and imposing my will. I felt like I was pretty confident returning, and I knew where my balls would be landing. Depth was good and easy to generate. The racquet felt stable against big servers too."

For Chris, this racquet's reliable response translated into very effective service returns. He said, "OK, so I can't return like Novak with the Graphene 360+ Speed Pro, but then again, who can? With that said, I felt like I was getting the best out of my much more limited skill set. The racquet offered a predictable feel that gave me the confidence to take risks and return aggressively."

Although the Graphene 360+ Speed Pro gave Mark the mass he needed to plow through the ball on chip returns, he did experience some trouble achieving enough stroke speed for effective topspin. He explained, "What works well on serve, at net and from the back court should work the same on the return, but the extra heft of the new Speed Pro hindered my topspin return attempts compared to previous models. It did help to raise the quality of my chip return, though."

"The 18x20 pattern and maneuverability made hitting flat returns fun," said Troy, who was emboldened by this racquet's control. "I could generate easy racquet head speed, even on a compact take back, and I felt like I could slap at the ball without fear of hitting long. There was just enough mass to chip the ball back deep when I needed to. My only knock was that this racquet fluttered a bit when facing big servers. I wouldn't have minded a bit more mass overall to help against high-speed serves."

Overall - Score: 86

Likes

Troy - "Compared to the previous Graphene 360 Speed Pro, this racquet offers a bit more feel and responsiveness. The 18x20 string pattern gives me the control I need when hitting flatter shots and playing an attacking style."

Mark - "The Graphene 360+ Speed Pro does feel a little more stable than the two previous versions, but it is hard for me to detect whether that is due to the addition of the SprialFibers in the lower portion of the hoop, the extra heft of the frame itself or both. Either way, I like the increased level of stability."

Chris - "My favorite Speed Pro yet. I love the feel, control, spin, stability and maneuverability."

Michelle - "I'm digging the updated cosmetic, and I enjoy the 100-square-inch head paired with the 18x20 string pattern. It never feels too tight, and I can still access enough power and spin."

Dislikes

Troy - "There are times when I want a bit more stability, especially when facing heavy hitters. I would have liked a bit easier access to spin."

Mark - "This may be a bit nit-picky, but the cosmetic for both the Graphene 360 and the 360+ Speed Pro are basically inverses of each other. They are so darn close (down to the location of their spec/technology labels) that I was, at first, confused as to which was the newer racquet."

Chris - "No complaints from me."

Michelle - "I needed a bit more stability from the racquet on transition balls."

Comparing the racquet to others they've tried, our testers said:

Troy - "I found the Graphene 360+ Speed Pro to feel fairly similar to the previous Graphene 360 Speed Pro, but with a bit more feel, plow through and control. I would also compare it to the Prince Textreme Tour 100P and Tecnifibre TFight 305 XTC."

Mark - "Besides being comparable to prior models, there are not too many frames featuring the combination of an 18x20 pattern with a 100-square-inch head size. The Prince Textreme Tour 100P, Phantom 100X (18x20) and my own Head Graphene 360+ Gravity Pro are three such frames."

Chris - "I found the Graphene 360+ Speed Pro to be a great update to the Speed line. I really like the whippy, fast feel of the MP, but this Pro version is tough to beat at net. I'd demo this one against the Babolat Pure Strike 18x20 3rd Gen and the Tecnifibre TF40 315."

Michelle - "I like this update much more than the previous one. This Graphene 360+ Speed Pro has better feel, is more solid and puts more mass behind the ball. I felt more connected to the ball, and this racquet did everything I would expect it to do well. It's definitely comparable to the Babolat Pure Strike 98 18x20 and the Wilson Blade 98 18x20 v7. I would say this Speed Pro is a similar but more maneuverable option compared to those two."

Technical Specifications
Length27 in69 cm
Head Size100 sq in645 sq cm
Weight11.6 oz329 gm
Balance Point12.79 in 32 cm6pts Head Light
Construction23mm / 23mm / 23mm
CompositionGraphene 360+/Graphite
String Pattern18 Mains / 20 Crosses
Babolat RDC Ratings
ScoreGrade
Flex Rating62Range: 0-100
Swing Weight329Range: 200-400
 
Chris's Scores
Power8.5Serves8.6
Control9Groundstrokes8.5
Maneuverability8.4Returns8.6
Stability8.5Slice8.9
Comfort9Topspin8.4
Touch/Feel9Volleys9.4
Overall8.7
Michelle's Scores
Power8Serves8.5
Control8.5Groundstrokes8.8
Maneuverability8.5Returns8.6
Stability8.6Slice8.5
Comfort8Topspin8.2
Touch/Feel8Volleys8.8
Overall8.8
Troy's Scores
Power8Serves8.2
Control8.9Groundstrokes8.8
Maneuverability8.4Returns8.6
Stability7.9Slice8
Comfort8Topspin7.2
Touch/Feel8Volleys8.2
Overall8.4
Mark's Scores
Power7.5Serves8
Control8.5Groundstrokes8
Maneuverability7.5Returns7.5
Stability8.5Slice8
Comfort8Topspin8
Touch/Feel8Volleys7.5
Overall8.3
Price: $149.00MSRP: $249.00

Playtester Profiles

Chris: 4.5 all-court player currently using the Tecnifibre TF40 305. Chris uses a full-western forehand grip, has a fast swing style and hits a one-handed backhand.

Michelle: Open level baseline player with a semi-western forehand and a two handed backhand. She currently plays with the Wilson Pro Staff RF 97 Autograph.

Troy: 5.0 lefty all-court player with a full Western Forehand and a two-handed backhand. Troy currently plays with a Yonex EZONE 98+.

Mark: 5.0 lefty all-court player with a one-handed backhand. He currently plays with the Head Graphene 360+ Gravity Pro.

Play Tester Profiles
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