By Justin diFeliciantonio on April 12, 2012
The Pitch: The HEAD Youtek IG Radical features Innegra fibers to increase stability without weighing down the frame. And like the Prestige, the Radical is still manufactured with D3O dilatant foam, a smart material that changes its behavior under dynamic loading. On high-speed impacts (i.e., when you swing hard), the D3O molecules lock together, increasing the racquet’s stiffness for more power; on low-speed impacts (i.e., touch shots), the foam maintains its relaxed configuration, absorbing the impact for a softer, more controlled feel.
How It Tested: Playtesters agreed: The Radical is built for a blend of power, control, and racquet-head speed. More evenly balanced and lighter than the Prestige series, the Radical Pro and Midplus are not bludgeons; they’re fine tools. The Radical MP is light and versatile enough to give creative players—like HEAD endorsee Andy Murray—the maneuverability they need to hit precise angles and move the ball around the court. Playtesters, however, noted that such maneuverability came with a price: Off-center hits near the top of the hoop felt jarring at times. Those looking for more stability should test drive the Pro, which includes a little extra heft to withstand the hard knocks of the modern game. And if you're looking to put a ittle extra wood behind the ball, try out the Radical Oversize.
Bottom Line: For those creative, seasoned counterpunchers who want a blend of power and control.
Andy Murray's weapon of choice combines higher weight with an open string pattern which makes it the most aggressive Radical in the line. For the first time it's equipped with a full cap on a 630 cm2 head-size racquet for a unique feel.