In the recent review of the Tecnifibre TFlash 315, I commented how that weight—315 grams—has crept into numerous racquet lines. And it seems each time it does, there’s a lighter 300 version right alongside it. So it goes with the TFlash; if players want something that's a little more maneuverable, there’s an alternative.
How does the lighter 300 stack up with the 315? Mitch Case, who reviewed the TFlash 315, makes the comparison.
Mitch Case: Much like its heavier sibling, the TFlash 300 ATP offers a clean and crisp response, but at a more manageable weight. After hitting with the TFlash 315, the 300 is noticeably faster through the swing, and easier to maneuver overall. However, the reduction in weight does come with a price: Less stability and plow through.
My first hitting session with both the TFlash 315 and 300 was on lightning-fast indoor hard courts. These courts are so fast that the incoming ball does not lose much speed on the bounce, giving the player a fairly short amount of time to react to a heavy ball. Since it’s so easy to be late at contact, I tend to prefer heavier frames that are not easily pushed around. I’ll take the slightly reduced maneuverability over instability almost every time. This go-round was no exception, as I immediately gravitated towards the 315.
It wasn’t until I spent some time on a much slower court that I could appreciate the TFlash 300. With a slower, more vertically bouncing incoming ball, the TFlash 300 was a ton of fun. The reduced weight (0.4 oz. lighter), allowed me to better whip up on the ball with increased racquet-head speed than with the 315. At the net, I was able to manipulate the ball with little effort, and the full multifilament string job (Tourna Quasi-Gut Armor) provided nice feel. Putting the ball away took more of a swing in comparison to the 315, but the increased maneuverability of the 300 made that straightforward.
Serving with the TFlash 300 ATP was better than average, but not as rewarding as with the 315. Unlike my experience at the net, the additional racquet-head speed did not balance out against the reduction of mass. While I felt completely comfortable in both my flat and spin serves, they did not have the same impact as with the 315.
In terms of spin production, it’s a bit of an unfair comparison as both racquets were tested with different string set-ups. Though not bad with a multifilament, I believe a shaped poly would bring the spin performance of the 300 close to that of the 315. However, this change would not increase serve speed unless the stringing tension was significantly reduced.
In terms of performance, the main differences between the 300 and 315 are maneuverability, feel, and weight of shot. While the 300 is certainly faster through the air, it also lacks the stability and solid feel that the 315 offers. Off-center hits towards 3 and 9 o’clock locations on the hoop caused some twisting with the 300. As I seem to state more often than not, I would absolutely add some lead tape to these locations on the hoop to improve the torsional stability, as well as add some more mass to the frame.
The 300 also possesses a more hollow feel in comparison to the rock-solid 315. Additionally, I was able to produce a consistently heavier/more offensive ball with the 315. But I am also accustomed to heavier frames; for those players who like stay around 11 oz., the 300 has pretty good heft and backbone for its weight class.
Though the TFlash 300 ATP (and 315) is too firm for my tastes, players that enjoy racquets in the “modern” category should give it a demo, as it offers a level of crisp, clean response that its competitors lack. It is best suited for intermediate through advanced players looking for controllable power, spin, and maneuverability.
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