When I first learned about the TENXPRO XCALIBRE line of tennis racquets I was immediately interested! A tennis racquet with an extended length (27.5″ ~ 69.8cm), a constant beam (22mm), open string pattern (16×19) and a fresh new technology I had never heard of, “UniFlex Technology” (Uniform Flex). Totally pumped to get my hands on these frames and see what they were capable of.
I got in touch with Paul Bennett, co-founder of TENXPRO, and he talked me through his vision, the products, and how they’re hoping to impact the tennis world by offering a tennis racquet that offers everything for the modern player without sacrificing performance. Paul is also the nicest guy you’ll ever speak to, so that definitely helps with all the questions I had about the TENXPRO XCALIBRE tennis racquets!
TENXPRO XCALIBRE UniFlex Technology
What is this UniFlex that TENXPRO Pro promotes? Uniflex Technology is pretty much what the technology says it is; a racquet designed to be flexible uniformly – from tip to handle. The entire frame flexes upon impact. Cool, right? Well the difference is that traditional tennis racquets tend to flex, generally, in one area – the head or throat. The traditional result was lack of feel and lots of vibration throughout the frame, causing tennis elbow and other arm related injuries. Even with the TENXPRO XCALIBRE’s frame stiffness of RA 66, I never felt that the frame was so stiff that the impact shock as I normally would with a higher frame stiffness ratings.
Uniflex does what no other frames do, the frame flexes as an entire unit thus giving the frame an ultra soft and smooth feeling at impact. The best part is, the flex doesn’t take away from power. The energy return is still there, ideal for power hitters who are looking for something a little softer and want to save their arms.
Hitting with TENXPRO XCALIBRE
After spending a great deal of time inspecting the racquet, I got it strung up and got to hitting. The 303g Xcalibre is what I was hitting with, which is a bit lite for my tennis game but I went ahead anyway. It definitely felt very lite in my hands. Even though it was light in static weight, the quickness I felt in the racquet head speed was incredibly impressive. I was able to take some big swings with the racquet but never felt that I was going to be late to the ball or overswinging. It was just right. The extended length of the frame played a part of the racquet head speed, the extra half inch produced more speed at the tip of the frame.
I was most impressed with the feel of the TENXPRO XCALIBRE, it was super soft at impact and yet was powerful enough to get the ball deep. It was the flex of the racquet that was providing comfort and the carbon construction of the frame allowed for ample power. I really was enjoying the frame. Most every ball I hit was totally stable at impact, there was very little torsion.
Because the TENXPRO XCALIBRE has a nice open string pattern of 16 mains and 19 crosses, spin was very very impressive. A lot of my forehands were dipping very sharply and deeply close to the baseline; many sailed a little long but that was just me not hitting a good ball. I wouldn’t say that the TENXPRO XCALIBRE had more spin to offer than a frame with a more open pattern, but it definitely produced more impressive spin than comparable 16×19 string pattern frames.
Serving with the TENXPRO XCALIBRE was a little bit of a challenge, mostly to do with the weight of the racquet. I found that I was overswinging all too often when serving, many of my serves were finding the net (below the tape or in the middle). Once I figured out the timing, I was hitting some very nice serves. They weren’t heavy or particularly quick, but I found impressive placement. Something that has been lacking in my game was solved for the moment. Spin and kick serves were pleasant but not really massively moving around the service box. I felt like I was never predictable.
All in all, I was enjoying my experience with this tennis racquet even if it was lighter than what I normally play with.
TENXPRO XCALIBRE – The Perfect Platform for Customization?
If you’re like me, no racquet is perfect out of the box. I tend to tinker with adding weight to key points to change the balance, weight, and swingweight to my preferred specifications. Some racquets are hard to adjust, sometimes they just don’t feel right after adding lead tape around the frame or swapping out to a leather grip. Some racquets aren’t made to be a good platform to customize; I get that.
The TENXPRO XCALIBRE made customizations a breeze. Adding weight to the frame made the racquet a better and more lethal weapon for my style of play and game.
Here’s what I did:
I ended up with a strung weight of 11.9 ounces (338 grams) and a balance point of 3 points head light (about 34cm balance). I don’t have a measurement tool for swingweight but it certainly feels like it’s been increased. It does not feel like I’m swinging a frying pan…thankfully!
What a difference the added weight made; I was hitting everything with enjoyment. I don’t know that I have ever felt more connected to a racquet. Surely we all remember our coaches saying “The racquet should be an extension of the arm!”, this is so true with the TENXPRO XCALIBRE. It truly feels like it’s an extension of my arm.
Everything was hit with so much more authority, I was able to get much more weight behind the ball. It all started clicking.
My serves were out of sight! I was hitting more big serves with accuracy that I have in a really long time. I believe I hit more aces in a friendly that I had in my previous 10 matches. Even with the added weight, I not once felt any sort of pain or shock in the arm from the mid-stiff frame. The “Uniflex” was really nice on the arm, definitely gave me added confidence to go after my groundstokes and serves.
TENXPRO XCALIBRE Conclusion
Though TENXPRO is not a household name and the extended length may be a little intimidating for players who have played standard length their entire lives, I am extremely confident that if you try it you will find the connection.
The XCALIBRE is perfect for advanced players, or competitive juniors, who are looking to get more comfort and feel from their equipment. As well as an excellent starting point for the players who want to customize their frames to be more to their liking.
Give the TENXPRO XCALIBRE line a try! TenXPro.com
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