If you have ever used a Head tennis racquet in your life, you know that their frames are about as solid as they get. Head has always produced quality tennis racquets, and the Head YouTek Prestige Pro is no different.
At one point, I had several Head Flexpoint Prestige (midplus) tennis racquets, those were some of my all time favorite tennis racquets. When the YouTek series came out on the market, I had already made a switch to a different racket. Upon my first inspection of the Head YouTek Prestige Pro, I was really impressed with the looks of it, cosmetically it was very nice except for the holographic HEAD print at the 12 o’clock position of the inside of the frame; still not a deal breaker for me.
Head YouTek Prestige Pro playtest
I took the Prestige out on court and I immediately noticed how the shape of the handle was a little more oval than most other tennis racquets – the bevels were all there but I think Head might have widened a couple making it feel more like holding an egg. The weight of the Head YouTek Prestige Pro was really well distributed, being slightly less head light than it’s competition (6 points HL), I looked forward to swinging some solid and heavy ground strokes.
My impression after hitting with the Head YouTek Prestige Pro for a few hours was pretty good. I do believe this to be a very capable tennis racquet. Because of the d3o technology**, there was very little twisting on off centered shots, and the jarring was hardly evident when making decent to perfect ball contact. The Head YouTek Prestige Pro comes with an open string pattern (16×19), which gave me the opportunity to spin a lot of balls in with good upward kick and acceleration, I could feel the ball really biting onto the stringbed when I hit the center of the racquet. Nothing better than hitting perfect spin from a perfect swing. Backhand slices were good enough to get me through a practice but I wasn’t finding the reliability of the slice like I have in the past. I would either hit it perfect, high and long, or low and into the net – there was no slice I was really happy with…just very inconsistent.
At the net, I struggled a bit more than some of my other reviewed racquets, but I managed to be at the net long enough to get a pretty good idea of how the Head YouTek Prestige Pro performs. Because the Prestige Pro is not as head light as other tennis racquets, it was not as maneuverable as I would have preferred. Going from forehand volleys to backhand volleys was not as quick, I felt that I could not get the head of the racquet to move fast enough, especially on passing attempts. However, when I made good contact at the net, I was really able to hit a deep sliding volley near the baseline with enough pace to make it a difficult shot for my practice partner.
Serving with the Head YouTek Prestige Pro was really fun for me, I felt like I didn’t have to swing hard to get good pace on my first serves; all I needed was a smooth swing and good contact. Second serves were also impressive, being able to kick and slice my serves were easy and carried a lot of action on the ball – which I’m sure is all thanks to the open string pattern. Of course, when I really wanted to crank on a first serve and try to hit a big Andy Roddick-esque ace, I would hit 4 out of 10 of those, but those 4 were impressive.
Head YouTek Prestige Pro final impressions
Overall, this the Head YouTek Prestige Pro a an ideal tennis racquet for the baseline grinder, it’s perfect for powerful players and those player who get medium pace but are looking for additional spin. The Head YouTek Prestige Pro is an all around solid frame and is forgiving at the right times but it will make you work to get perfect shots. Certainly a serious tennis racket for a serious tennis player.
Head YouTek Prestige Pro Racquet Spec:
Head Size: 98 square inches
Length: 27 inches
Strung Weight: 11.8 ounces
Balance: 6 points Head Light
String Pattern:16 Mains / 19 Crosses
**d3o belongs to the “smart materials” category, which is a futuristic material with abnormal behavior characteristics. More specifically, d3o belongs to a subcategory of “dilatant foams”, which dramatically change their behavior under dynamic loading or impact. Integrated in the lay-up and positioned in the shaft of the racquet, d3o offers new possibilities for tennis players.
The d3o technology is able to sense the needs of the players during different strokes (it’s able to adapt to you). On high-speed impacts (aggressive shots), the smart molecules lock together within nanoseconds and dramatically increase the stiffness of the whole racquet frame to provide maximum power. On slow-speed impacts (slice or drop shots), the d3o molecules absorb the impact to provide a softer touch for better feel. What does this mean to a tennis player? Passing shots are even harder and drop shots more precise, rewarding your spontaneity and supporting your courageous decisions.