Ok, so this past week I bought the new Head Flexpoint Radical Tour. Don't get me wrong, I like my pro staff 6.1 classics. They're great for groundies, volleys, and serves. One thing they are not so great for however, at least in my experience, is the return of serve. You have to connect dead on the sweetspot in order to send anything back with authority. I prefer to take the return early and the PS was just not forgiving enough on off center hits. So along comes the new Flexpoint and here's how I've fared with it so far.
First here are the specs
100 sq. in. / 645 sq. cm.
Length: 27 inches / 69 cm
Strung Weight: 12oz / 340g
Balance: 8pts Head Light
Beam Width: 21 mm Straight Beam
Composition: LiquidMetal Titanium / Graphite and Piezzo Electric Fibers
Power Level: Low
Swing Speed: Moderate-Fast
Grip Type: HydroSorb
16 Mains / 19 Crosses
Mains skip: 7T, 9T, 7H, 9H
No shared holes
String Tension: 52-62 pounds
Serves: Holy sh*t! This was probably my biggest improvment from the ProStaff 6.1. I wasn't expecting it to be either. The spin potential is absolutely fantastic with this racquet. I used Pro Hurricanes on the mains and Superfine Play on the crosses, both 17 gauge. The bite was incredible. I have no worries about second serves whatsoever. First serves really improved for me. You can definitely feel when you hit the center of the racquet. The ball feels like it sits there just a bit longer, and it screams over the net. I'm also kicking the ball a lot higher with this racquet, as opposed to the PS.
Groundies: This has been an adjustment for me. With the Pro Staff, I took big cuts at the ball and was able to keep it in play. With this racquet I can't take a big full swing without risking a long ball. So I shortened up my strokes a little bit, which I actually think is a good thing. I think the reason I got killed in matches so much was that I needed time for a big swing and I just couldn't get that time in a match. In practice I could and I always had good ground days with the Pro Staff. After making the adjustment, I'm hitting decent groundstrokes, I'm looking to add a bit more punch to them,I think the flex acutally robs me of some of the power I had with the pro staff. The pro staffs stiffness rating was like 72, so this is quite a change at 58. I love the feel tho, so I'm going to continue working with it and make it work for me rather than against me. The ball does dwell on the strings a bit longer. You can feel it. It almost feels like your catching it for a split second. You have to be careful not to come under the ball and then over the top. I felt like I was doing that with the Pro staff and having success, I may not have actually been coming under the ball, but that's what it feels like. If I do that with this racquet, theres a solid chance of the ball sailing on me.
Volleys: As I said earlier, very good feel all around. Volleys are comparable with the volleys with the Pro Staff. Maybe a tad less maneuverable, even tho it's a head light racquet. It's a touch bigger than the pro staff so its an odd feeling at first. I started to get the hang of it soon enough and I was hitting nice deep volleys. Drop shots and drop volleys are fantastic! Thats what I really love about this racquet...such great response.
Return of Serve: Cha-Ching! This is why I bought this racquet. Return of serve improved immensley compared to the PS. I have a much better sense of direction on my return and that may just come from the confidence I have in the racquet. Again...you can feel when you connect with the sweetspot on this puppy. As long as you keep the backswing short and have a good follow thru...your going to have great returns with this racquet.
I didn't really emphasize the spin with this racquet, except on the serve. Sliced balls stay very low and penetrate well. You can hit some sick topspin obviously, as well. I've had 1 match and 1 practice session so far with this stick so these are my first, gut reactions. I believe things are only going to get better from here. I'll let you know how it turns out.
If anyone else out there gets a new stick, it'd be cool to have reviews of our own for them. Just a thought.