Tennis Rackets - Head Graphene XT vs Head Graphene Touch

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an_asker
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Tennis Rackets - Head Graphene XT vs Head Graphene Touch

Post by an_asker » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:54 am

I am looking to purchase my first non-cheapo tennis racket, and got on the demo program at the local tennis club. The drawback is that they have only the latest models available. I liked the first racket I picked - the Head Graphene Touch Extreme Lite - but didn't like the cost! Online, I saw the Head Graphene XT Extreme Lite (last year's model) for about $60 less, which is a huge difference in price. Here are my questions:

- given that I don't have access to the XT under the current demo program, I wonder if any of you has played with both? If so, can you tell me if the newer one is so significantly better? I am looking for a racket that does a good job of dampening the vibrations and the reviews do say that the Touch has had more work done on the throat to reduce the vibrations compared to XT.

- needless to say, I've never before monitored racket costs on a year-over-year basis. Do racket prices fall significantly in a year or two? In other words, if I get the XT now, will I likely be able to get the Touch next year for $60 less than what it sells for now?

pochax
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Re: Tennis Rackets - Head Graphene XT vs Head Graphene Touch

Post by pochax » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:14 pm

i use Head Graphene Speed racquets (i have the graphene speed pro and graphene XT speed pro), but not the latest Graphene Touch series.

i got the graphene XT speed pro for $99 when it went on sale about a year later when the newer model came out. i think you can expect a decent price drop on previous year models.

check out tennis-warehouse.com and midwestsports.com for competitive pricing on various models (in addition to amazon).

EDIT: i have to add, i prefer the older graphene speed pro to the graphene XT speed - feels more responsive to me (which i prefer over muted) and more controllable. so newer is not necessarily better.
Last edited by pochax on Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

3feetpete
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Re: Tennis Rackets - Head Graphene XT vs Head Graphene Touch

Post by 3feetpete » Tue Nov 14, 2017 1:17 pm

From one year to the next you won't notice much of a difference except in price. The changes that they advertise for each new model year are pretty much a marketing gimmick. That said I wouldn't buy any racket I hadn't at least hit a few balls with. Several online tennis suppliers will ship you a racket to try out. It's relatively inexpensive plus they apply a credit towards any purchase you make. If you live near Baltimore you can go to Holabird Sports and try them out in their hitting cage. I currently hit with a Graphene Touch Speed and I like it a lot although I found I had to add some weight to it to prevent tennis elbow. An extremely light racket doesn't have the ability to plow through an off center shot.

an_asker
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Re: Tennis Rackets - Head Graphene XT vs Head Graphene Touch

Post by an_asker » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:07 pm

Thanks for the responses, guys!

In hindsight, I should've chosen to demo with a retailer than the tennis club as I could have taken the racket anywhere. Now, I am forced to play at the club (with court fees) instead of home court. My issue with demoing with online firm is that the shipping charges add up - and I don't think they would permit me to get credit for all shipping charges ... and then I'll be left with the same issue, that of having tried not too many rackets.

I really liked the light rackets, but if you are saying that lighter rackets are not good for tennis elbow, then I wonder if I should forget about this line of rackets. I don't particularly care for the responsiveness (in fact, I prefer the muted dullness of the Graphene Touch that I tried out) but again, if the only difference between the two years is not much more than a marketing gimmick and the price will likely drop in a year, maybe I should be OK with the older model.

How long do you stick with a racket or, should I rephrase, why and when would you switch to a different/newer racket?

pochax, I had checked out the prices in the three websites that you shared. Based in central florida, I have access to the brick and mortar Tennis Plaza store; however, they don't carry last year's models either.

Either way, I'll probably head over to a couple of local stores to check out their rackets and/or demo programs before making my final decision.

pochax
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Re: Tennis Rackets - Head Graphene XT vs Head Graphene Touch

Post by pochax » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:14 pm

an_asker wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:07 pm
Thanks for the responses, guys!

In hindsight, I should've chosen to demo with a retailer than the tennis club as I could have taken the racket anywhere. Now, I am forced to play at the club (with court fees) instead of home court. My issue with demoing with online firm is that the shipping charges add up - and I don't think they would permit me to get credit for all shipping charges ... and then I'll be left with the same issue, that of having tried not too many rackets.

I really liked the light rackets, but if you are saying that lighter rackets are not good for tennis elbow, then I wonder if I should forget about this line of rackets. I don't particularly care for the responsiveness (in fact, I prefer the muted dullness of the Graphene Touch that I tried out) but again, if the only difference between the two years is not much more than a marketing gimmick and the price will likely drop in a year, maybe I should be OK with the older model.

How long do you stick with a racket or, should I rephrase, why and when would you switch to a different/newer racket?

pochax, I had checked out the prices in the three websites that you shared. Based in central florida, I have access to the brick and mortar Tennis Plaza store; however, they don't carry last year's models either.

Either way, I'll probably head over to a couple of local stores to check out their rackets and/or demo programs before making my final decision.
you can demo from tennis-warehouse.com....3 racquets for $20 (to and from shipping) for 1 week (maybe 2 weeks? can't remember now). i think it is $20 well spent.

i think a good racquet can last several years depending on how much you play. i would only change if you felt the need for something different (like more power, less responsiveness, more control, more spin, etc.) although if it is only a tiny tweak you want, you can change the strings or the string tension rather than the racquet for much cheaper than a new racquet.

EDIT: should have given you the demo link (and i was wrong, it is up to 4 racquets):
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/demosel ... ist=GTSMPd

an_asker
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Re: Tennis Rackets - Head Graphene XT vs Head Graphene Touch

Post by an_asker » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:34 pm

I don't really need to demo from tennis warehouse - I should be able to get the same rackets locally to demo as well (I was only complaining about the tennis club). My understanding is that they would take the demo charge off the racket price as well. And anyway, I already tried out five rackets at the club. The Touch was my first choice.

3feetpete
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Re: Tennis Rackets - Head Graphene XT vs Head Graphene Touch

Post by 3feetpete » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:15 pm

If you liked the Touch best out of five rackets then you should get it. As far as the weight goes, if you find it is too light for you it is easy enough to remedy. Look at the side of the racket where it has the weight and balance info. Mine is 285 grams or 10.1oz which I think is as light as they make them. I added about 3/4 oz with it more or less equally divided between the head and the handle in order to maintain the same balance. Just add weight in the form of lead tape that you can buy online for a few dollars. I added about a few grams at 3 oclock and 9 oclock to help stabilize the racket from off center hits and some at the top of the handle to maintain the balance. First find out where the center of gravity is on your racket. It should be slightly head light which makes the racket balance below the bottom of the head. Try to maintain the same COG by adding the right amount of weight to the handle.

knightrider
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Re: Tennis Rackets - Head Graphene XT vs Head Graphene Touch

Post by knightrider » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:41 pm

90% of racket features are just gimmicks. I say this as an engineer and having worked in a tennis store for some years part-time. They all come from the same factories in China and are all made from the same kind of materials.

I would just buy previous years models. Nothing has changed in racket technology to justify the latest model prices. It is just hype and marketing for clueless players who just want what the pros have.

As for what to buy? Whatever feels good in the hand. A properly sized grip and good stringing job is also important. An expensive racket with crappy stringing job will still be a crappy racket..

an_asker
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Re: Tennis Rackets - Head Graphene XT vs Head Graphene Touch

Post by an_asker » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:50 pm

knightrider wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:41 pm
90% of racket features are just gimmicks. I say this as an engineer and having worked in a tennis store for some years part-time. They all come from the same factories in China and are all made from the same kind of materials.

I would just buy previous years models. Nothing has changed in racket technology to justify the latest model prices. It is just hype and marketing for clueless players who just want what the pros have.

As for what to buy? Whatever feels good in the hand. A properly sized grip and good stringing job is also important. An expensive racket with crappy stringing job will still be a crappy racket..
If it were just me, I would probably do the same thing. Like I said, I've been playing this long with the cheapo rackets (never paid more than $15 per racket), but the tennis elbow* that kept me out of the game for a couple of years made me rethink. Just one visit to the doctor (and him saying that even surgery cannot fix it with 100% guarantee and rest is the best option) made me decide that I'd spend for my next racket. And I'm at that point now. :-)

* some say it was because of improper technique, others say it was because of bad racket, others blamed it on improper grip size. Personally, I don't know for sure, but do think that getting a racket that dampens the vibrations would be a start...

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Whit
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Re: Tennis Rackets - Head Graphene XT vs Head Graphene Touch

Post by Whit » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:35 pm

an_asker wrote:
Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:50 pm
but do think that getting a racket that dampens the vibrations would be a start...
Are you using a vibration dampener? They cost $2.00 and can be put on any racket. I prefer the "worm" style.

-Whit

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JPH
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Re: Tennis Rackets - Head Graphene XT vs Head Graphene Touch

Post by JPH » Wed Nov 15, 2017 7:47 am

Improvements that truly affect performance evolve very slowly. Changes made to "this year's model" are usually similar to taking an inch off of the hemline of last year's dress.
While the moments do summersaults into eternity | Cling to their coattails and beg them to stay - Townes Van Zandt

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