The Volkl V-Sense 10 Mid is a unique frame. It has an unusual 96-square inch head size, a string pattern (16x18) that has become increasingly rare in player’s frames, and a hoop shape and thickness that doesn’t quite summon the company’s 10 midsize racquets of yesteryear. The upside is a frame with uncommon power and spin potential for its dimensions; the downside is it comes at the cost of precision.
The first thing that jumped out at me when playing with the frame was its handling: it didn’t equal the sum of its parts. Even though the weight, balance and swingweight were all in desirable ranges for quick handling—and certainly wasn’t slow—I didn’t love swinging the racquet. Perhaps it had something to do with the boxier beam or more elongated head shape, but it just wasn’t as smooth as I’d expect from this type of frame.
That said, I did appreciate many of the shots it produced. The grommet system, handle dampening technology and the wide pattern added up to the typically comfortable and muted Volkl response, even with a full bed of poly (Volkl V-Torque Tour). It delivered plenty of pop and the string spacing invited heavy topspin. I had good success working the ball deep with heavy groundies, or creating openings with dipping angles. My slice backhand didn’t quite cut through the court—something I’d find in a more classic midsize of this weight—but I had no issue rolling two-handers consistently.
Thanks to the string pattern shots also had a higher launch angle. It offered easier depth, although if I didn’t apply a fair amount of topspin for safety, I airmailed more shots than I’m accustomed. Additionally, flattening out swings and playing closer to the lines didn’t get the desired results often enough. I did like the added power and spin I could get compared to a traditional mid, I just wished I could have found similar consistency and accuracy.
Serving was much of the same. Rearing back and letting the racquet fly resulted in plenty of zip on deliveries. I liked the control better than I found on ground strokes, hitting my spots with more regularity. However, the frame was really in its element when hitting kickers and sliders. Putting lots of work on the ball resulted in difficult and unpredictable bounces for my opponent.
Volleying was steady, if unremarkable. Again, for some reason the frame felt just a little sluggish to me. When on time, I had little trouble volleying deep in the court, usually with authority. It’s not a rock, but owns enough torsional stability to be mostly dependable against incoming pace. The open string pattern diminishes some connection to the ball at contact, but there’s adequate feel for touch shots.
Put it all together, and the V-Sense 10 Mid didn’t completely jibe with my game. If I were to choose a Volkl frame, I’d side with its more predictable and measured sibling, the V-Sense 10 Tour. But a different player, one who covets a compact frame that generates a deep ball with lively spin and good pop, could certainly disagree with me. In fact, that player needs to take a serious look at the V-Sense 10 Mid.