HEAD Radical XTR
Returning once more to dominate club courts around the world, the HEAD Radical XTR is back and better than ever. Its 290g frame and 100sq in headsize combine to strike the perfect mix of manoeuvrability and power potential, while an open 16/19 string pattern makes it easy to put spin on your shots. If you’re looking for an accessible entry point into the Radical range that also lends itself to more advanced play, the XTR is a great option.
Head, a former aeronautics engineer, began a racket revolution with his idea for light yet strong frames. Attracted by the durability of a metal racket, American icon Arthur Ashe stepped in to give a player’s point of view, assisting with development of the original aluminium frame in 1969. A few years later, a HEAD racket was in the hands of a champion, with Ashe famously wielding his signature Competition to win Wimbledon in ’75.
Since then, HEAD have continued to push the boundaries of racket design, utilising all kinds of space-age materials in the quest for ultimate performance. They’ve had many more champion players using their frames, too, from Agassi and Muster in the 90s to Murray, Djokovic, Sharapova and Stephens in the 21st century.
Their modern range has options for every type of play. There’s the ever-popular Prestige, providing absolute precision since 1987, the versatile Radical with its vibrant paintjobs, and the super-fast Speed, which remains Novak’s racket of choice. More recent additions include the aggressive Gravity, endorsed by Sascha Zverev, the spin-focused Extreme, recommended by Matteo Berrettini, and the explosive Boom, a power-focused frame endorsed by US prodigy Coco Gauff. Whichever you choose, you’ll perform at your best with a HEAD racket.
• Headsize: 645sq cm / 100 sq in
• Weight: 290g / 10.2oz
• Balance: 325mm / 0.7 HL
• Beam: 23/26/23mm
• Length: 685mm / 27in
• String Pattern: 16/19
- Quick Ref: 229672
- Man. Ref: 235010
One often overlooked, but crucial, aspect when selecting a tennis racket is the grip size. The grip size is the measurement around the handle's circumference, and choosing the right one can significantly impact your comfort, control, and potential to prevent injury. This article will guide you through the process of selecting the right tennis racket grip size.
Importance of Choosing the Right Grip Size
A correctly sized tennis grip ensures you have optimal control over your racket and helps prevent injuries. Too small a grip may cause your hand to shift during play, reducing accuracy and increasing the risk of developing tennis elbow due to overuse of the forearm muscles. Conversely, a grip that's too large can make the racket hard to turn and manipulate, and it could also lead to hand, wrist, or shoulder injuries due to overgripping.
Measuring Your Grip Size
There are two common methods to measure your grip size:
- The Ruler Method: Open your dominant hand and extend your fingers. Align a ruler with the bottom lateral crease of your palm, measuring to the tip of your ring finger. The measurement in inches correlates with your grip size.
- The Finder Test: Hold the racket with a standard Eastern forehand grip, where the base knuckle of your index finger is on bevel #3. You should be able to fit the index finger of your other hand in the space between your ring finger and the palm that's gripping the racket. If there's not enough room for your finger, the grip is too small. If there's too much space, the grip is too large.
Grip Sizes: U.S. vs. European
In the U.S., grip sizes range from 4 inches to 4 ¾ inches, increasing in increments of 1/8 inch. European grip sizes use a different naming system, L0 to L5, each correlating to their U.S. counterparts as follows:
|European Grip Size||US Grip Size|
|L0 or G0||4 Inches|
|L1 or G1||4 1/8 inches|
|L2 or G2||4 1/4 inches|
|L3 or G3||4 3/8 inches|
|L4 or G4||4 1/2 inches|
|L5 or G5||4 5/8 inches|
Choosing the Right Grip Size
When choosing the right grip size, consider the following points:
- Go for the smaller size if you're in between: It's easier to increase the size of a grip than decrease it. You can always add an overgrip (which usually adds about 1/16 inch) to a smaller handle to increase its size, but shaving down a larger handle is not recommended as it can compromise the racket's structural integrity.
- Consider your style of play: Players who rely on spin might prefer a smaller grip size, which allows for more wrist action. In contrast, players seeking control may benefit from a larger grip size.
- Test it out: If possible, try before you buy. Visit a local sports store, hold the racket, and mimic your swing to see how it feels. Remember that comfort is key - if it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't.
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