The Mantis Pro 295 is the newest addition to the very underrated line of tennis racquets from Mantis. I had heard about this frame before because it was released in Europe before the US so I had already read many positive things about it. As you can imagine, I was pumped and ready to ready to take this sexy black tennis racket out on the courts to give it a go…but I had to string it first!
Stringing the Mantis Pro 295 tennis racquet
The racquet comes with an open string pattern of 16 mains by 19 crosses, so I decided to go with a lively shaped poly to enhance the spin production (why not?). I put in Victory Acelon Seven 16L at 46 lbs, I have to say the black tennis string with the black frame really came together nicely. Actually stringing the racquet was pretty straight forward, there were no shared holes and it was a pretty standard hole skip on mains (skip 8T, 7H, 9H). The Mantis Pro 295 was one of the easier tennis racquets I’ve strung.
After I was all done stringing, I was ready to hit the courts!
Mantis Pro 295 playtest review
Honestly, I was a little skeptical about this tennis racket, the low weight (10.8 ounces) and low swingweight (302 grams) had me thinking that it would be too light for me. I like a heftier tennis racquet, one with a higher swingweight, around the 325+ grams area. This way I could feel a bit of the heft when swinging through at contact. I wasn’t going to let the lighter weight of the Mantis Pro 295 deter me from giving an honest go with it.
During my warm up, I was immediately attracted to the crisp response from the frame when making contact; even though I was only taking half-swings to get the blood flowing, the racquet gave a very smooth, crisp feel. Another characteristic I noticed during warm up was the maneuverability of the frame, I could get the racket where I needed it quickly and without laboring much at all. When I was good and ready, I was all set for full swings with some effort.
Honestly, it took me about 10 minutes to find my range with this racket, because the lower swingweight, light frame, and bigger racquet head size (98 square inches) than I’m used to, a few of my strokes went short in to the net. I just needed to fix my timing and angle; once I figured it out, it was pure bliss. When I got to fully swing at the tennis ball, I knew this was going to be one of the best tennis racket reviews I’ve had the pleasure to write about in a while! Hitting the ball at full speed was about as pleasurable as Christmas morning! I could swing fast, slow, in between, and with all kinds of spin without a problem! The Mantis Pro 295 would do what I wanted. If I needed to hit a topspin forehand, boom, there it was, screaming across the court like a boss. Need a slice? Sure, here’s the lowest skidding slice you’ve ever seen! Want to flatten that ball out and crush it? Why not, there you go, winner. I kid you not folks, the Mantis Pro 295 was doing it all from the ground! I could not get enough!
The all important spin was something that I wanted to really focus on, it’s not a spin monster, but I was definitely able to produce it when I needed. My hitting partner gave me some positive feedback on the balls I was hitting with the Mantis Pro 295 saying, “your ball is very very quick! Not as heavy but much faster than before.”
I was surprised just how well the Mantis Pro 295 could control the ball. Even with the open string pattern and the thinner tennis string, I could place the ball easily. I have a one-handed backhand and I found the frame to easily whip a quick cross court looper with ease. Changing direction down the line on the forehand was excellent, it really wasn’t hard at all! The only requirement was a bit of decent timing and patience and the ball would go where I needed.
Serving with this monster of a tennis racquet was really impressive! I served BOMBS with this in my hands. I don’t think I’ve hit more aces in my life. It’s just easy to serve with, placement was just simple. All that was required was a good toss and good timing and the rest was a piece of cake. Kick serves were fun too, just the right amount of spin would make the ball kick nicely into my opponents’ chest or shoulders.
I’m not much of a volleyer, not really a good one either; but I can hold my own if I need. Because the Mantis Pro 295 is 5 points headlight, volleying with this badboy was not as bad as I had anticipated. I could go from forehand volley to backhand volley without batting an eye. The flex of the frame made taking the hardest passing attempts easy to handle.
Final thoughts on Mantis Pro 295
It’s sexy, it’s stable, it’s powerful; it’s really fun, and it’s perfect for all kinds of tennis players. There are a couple of selling points on this tennis racket, it’s really comfortable. From time to time, I get a little tenderness in the elbow from the combination of stiff racquets and polyester tennis strings; though the Mantis Pro 295 has got be one of the most comfortable tennis racquets I have ever used! Even with stiff strings, the frame provided enough flex and shock absorption to not bother my arm in the slightest. Players with tender arms who are looking for a new dimension to their games should really consider trying this tennis racquet immediately.
I’ve tested a lot of tennis racquets in my life, some better than others, and some that I would never pick up again. The Mantis Pro 295 delivered the complete package. It’s not only great right out of the box, but it’s great because it’s a perfect tennis racquet to customize, it’s the perfect foundation tennis racquet. It also comes with a handle pallet system (you can remove the grip and change the shape and size of the grip without having to use shrink sleeves)!
So pretty much, this is the stick that I’m going to be carrying in my bag from now on. I’m officially flying the Mantis Pro 295 flag! I have also decided that because this tennis racket is about the best frame available in 2013, that is has been given the title of “TennisThis.com Tennis Racquet of 2013” hands down. Congratulations Mantis.
Mantis Pro 295 Tennis Racquet Specs:
Head Size: 98 sq. in. (632.26 cm)
Length: 27in (68.58cm)
Strung Weight: 10.8oz (306.17g)
Balance: 5 points Head Light
Beam Width: 21.5mm / 21.5mm / 21.5mm /
Power Level: Medium
String Pattern: 16 Mains & 19 Crosses