2012 Favorites: Racquets

It’s time to say goodbye to another year and time to say hello to all the year-end “Best of” lists. So not to be outdone, we’re rolling out our list of Best of 2012 product lists. Once again the playtesters put on their thinking caps to come up with these favorites. We would love to hear yours, too. To kick off the countdown to 2013, we have our 2012 favorite racquets. For a flashback, check out the list of 2011′s top racquets.

AeroPro Drive GT 2013

This may have 2013 in the name, but by our rules, if it sold in 2012, it’s eligible. The new AeroPro Drive GT must be quite the impressive racquet to make the list of not one but two of our strongest playtesters, and it’s only been out for a month or so.

Siobhan: “Racquet of choice right now – I only spent the whole year waiting for it! It feels similar to the previous Aero, and the current Pure Drive, but the feel and response is just improved. I like stiff racquets, which this one is, and combined with power, spin and great control. This racquet just really suits my game and it’s probably the only racquet I feel truly comfortable playing with right now.”

Andy: “Power, access to spin, maneuverable, stable…this racquet has a lot to offer. And with the Active Cortex introduced to the frame, it’s the most comfortable AeroPro Drive yet.”

 

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Quick review: Dunlop Biomimetic M 3.0

Dunlop Biomimetic M 3.0

What’s new

  • The beam moves away from the traditional box beam shape to be a more aerodynamic design.
  • The head of the racquets is more of a tear drop shape to help create more power.
  • Grommet strips sit flush to the frame, reducing drag in the air and increasing maneuverability.
  • The handles are longer to accommodate those with two-handed backhands.
  • Biofibre: Natural fibers, extracted from plants, are placed in the throat and handle of the racquet to increase stability and reduce shock, improving feel and control.
  • MoS2: A grommet technology inspired by snake skin, MoS2 grommets are designed to reduce string friction to allow for more string movement and resulting in more power and greater durability.
  • Aeroskin CX: Inspired by sharkskin, this technology features a dimpled texture on strategic places on the frame. This updated use of Aeroskin reduces drag by up to 36 percent, an 11 percent increase from previous Aeroskin Technology, according to Dunlop.

In a nutshell

Overall, there is some added pop from M 3.0 compared with previous iterations, but the racquet does offer plenty of control without sacrificing feel and comfort.

How it breaks down

Dunlop was successful in amping up the power level of the M 3.0, and our testers did find some added power when compared to other Dunlops. Brittany likes to dictate play from the baseline and has played with the previous Biomimetic 300. She said, “With the new M 3.0 I felt both the control and crisp feel were still present, but there was some added power.”

The only issues came when forced to generate all the pace. “When I had to create my own pace I found some power when the ball hit in the sweetspot, but I found the sweetspot to be quite small,” Brittany explained.

The extra control provided by the M 3.0 was beneficial when it came to net play. Siobhan, also an aggressive baseliner and frequent doubles player, says volleying was the highlight of the racquet.

“I really enjoyed the touch, feel and control,” she explained. I was able to be quite offensive with volleys.”

Control was again noticed when it came to serves, with Jason reporting, “I found it easy to serve with, but the spin was surprisingly just OK considering the open string pattern and the fact that I could generate tons of racquet head speed. I did feel like I could control the direction of my serves well.”

Mark compared this racquet to a variety of control-oriented racquets: ”The M 3.0 reminds me of a firmer, open patterned Head Radical Midplus, a firmer IG Radical Pro, an open patterned K Blade 98 or a slightly lighter Donnay Pro One (newer editions), and it’s similar to the Volkl Power Bridge 9.”

Though we found more power from the Biomimetic M 3.0 than the Biomimetic 300, our testers struggled with a small sweetspot. Despite these issues, the M 3.0 was a consistent performer across categories with maneuverability, control and comfort being standout aspects. That’s what our testers had to say. Check out our customer feedback for more opinions, and if this sounds like a potential racquet for you, demo one today.

Read the complete written review here.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Length 27 inches 69 centimeters
Head Size 98 square inches 632 square centimeters
Weight 11 ounces 312 grams
Balance Point 13.25 inches34 centimeters 2 Pts Head Light
Construction 22mm / 22mm / 22.5mm
Composition BioFibre
String Pattern 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
BABOLAT RDC RATINGS
Score Grade
Flex Rating 66 Range: 0-100
Swing Weight 318 Range: 200-400

Tennis Bags Galore

I’ve been doing product videos for quite some time now. I’ve learned the ins and outs of products including their technologies, materials, designs, and how they fit. Specifically, I’ve come to know most of the bags in our stock very well.

I’ve come across a few that have made an impression. One of my favorite bags I’ve come across is the Head Elite Series All Court 3 Pack Bag. The average 3 pack bag usually consists of one main compartment and accessory pocket. But this is the king of 3 packs. This is for the player who wants a duffle bag design with the ability to store racquets. (Click here for product video.)


For the traveling player, the Prince Tour Team 6 Pack can hold up to 6 racquets and plenty of gear. It’s comfortable, durable, and great for those needing a lot of storage space.


The Babolat AeroPro Backpack protects its contents with its stiff shell. This is great for traveling to and from the courts as it is lightweight and can hold up to two tennis racquets. What’s great about this is that it was once $64.00, but is now $49.00. Yay for money savings! (Click here for product video.)


When it comes to traveling long distances, you need more than just your racquet bag. In and out of cities, you want something that’s easily transportable. That’s where the Dunlop Biomimetic Pro Bag with Wheels comes in. (Click here for product video.)


We have plenty of bags to choose from! Please check out our bag page to search by brand or type.

Peace Sign,
Kana