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Head has launched a new advertising campaign to go along with their newest frame introductions, and it focuses on four players and how they describe their own games and how that translates to their racquet choice.  For example, Novak says that his game is based on quick movement and being aggressive, so his racquet line "Speed" is appropriate, while Andy Murray states that his game is based on being unpredictable and mixing it up, accurately fitting the "Radical" name.  The other two stars in the campaign are world #4 Robin Soderling and his Prestige, and Ivan Ljubicic and his Extreme.  Personally, to me it almost sounds like it is adding a little more personalized touch onto the Dunlop Biomimetic campaign that ensured its five introductions were all associated with a specific pro player.

Sharing a similar name to his old YouTek Speed frame, the newest version features a new paint scheme, a new name, and along with it, an additional technology.  The new Head YouTek IG Speed MP is offered in a couple variations, but of special interest is the 18x20 string pattern version, which is the model endorsed by Novak Djokovic.  Arriving on shelves with identical specs to the previous YouTek Speed model, the update features the result of Innegrity LLC's hard work.  This is, of course, where the IG comes from in the name, which stands for Innegra.  The Innegra fiber was originally designed for application in surfboards to increase strength without drastically increasing weight.  After initial success in surfboards as the low density, high modulus fiber proved to be extremely durable as well as light weight, it was then added to the carbon fiber panels of race cars.  By integrating this fiber within the carbon fiber matrix, they found out that the product became stronger, but more importantly, that performance did not degrade as quickly.

This can be understood fairly simply from a materials standpoint.  In a typical racquet, the frame is made of layers of graphite, which are held together by a binding resin.  Over time the strains and flexing due to temperature fluctuations, impacts, and stringing begin to break down the resin binding the graphite in place.  This is why many professionals will replace racquets after about 6 months of play, some more and some less obviously.  Once the resin breaks down past a certain threshold, the racquet simply does not play the same as a fresh stick anymore.  It is unable to rebound as it should, resulting in a softer, spongy feel and less repulsion.  Now, by adding these Innegra fibers, which have a unique flex characteristics that acts to dampen vibration within the frame, Head has found out that the resin undergoes less stress and does not break down as quickly.  Overall, what we have, is a frame that is more comfortable, and longer lasting.

IG YouTek Speed MP (18x20):
100 sq. in.
11.1oz unstrung
20mm beam
11pts head light
18x20 string pattern

Anyone can look at the YouTek IG Speed MP and know immediately that it is a serious control racquet.  From the thin 20mm beam to the dense 18x20 string pattern, this frame is built to allow strong players to maximize their potential through control.  Thanks to having a slightly larger 100 sq. in. head, it has a bit more pop and forgiveness than you would typically see in a players racquet.  A few of us here have gotten to take this frame out for a test drive and the response has been overwhelmingly positive.  We all felt that we definitely noticed the decrease in vibration compared to the previous model.  Only time will tell as far as frame durability goes, but on initial testing, this might be one of the better Head racquets we've tried.