Result: The Pro Kennex Kinetic Pro 7g is one of the few racquets we've playtested that performed beyond our expectations. It combines the feel of a player's racquet with the power of a 'tweener' racquet, offering a wonderful combination of power and control. The extra swingweight provides power and stability without sacrificing maneuverability. The Kinetic System technology successfully dampens shock and vibration, and the 100 square inch head is either a large midplus or a small oversize. Players who use either head size should be able to play with the 7g.
We playtested the Pro Kennex Kinetic Pro 7g for 2 weeks on clay and hard courts. Here's what we learned.
The Kinetic Pro 7g delivers above-average power for a player-oriented model. Dan explains, "I would call this racquet a 'player plus' model because it offers traditional weight and balance with a little extra pop. Initially, the Kinetic Pro 7g swung a little heavy for its stationary weight (11..7 ounces). However, I quickly adjusted and enjoyed the hefty, yet cushioned feel. I've always liked the feel provided by Kinetic System technology. I was able to generate good topspin and slice on forehands and backhands which helped tame the power level. Nonetheless, I would probably string this racquet tighter for match play. This racquet is great for players who want a player-feeling racquet with a little added power and a comfortable feel." John adds, "as a fan of the Kinetic Pro 5g and Kinetic Charged racquets I was anxious to see what the Kinetic Pro 7g had to offer. I found it well-suited to my medium-fast swing and was able to generate good spin from both sides. On the forehand side I was able to direct balls cross-court or down the line with sufficient pace as long as I prepared early. The thinner 22 millimeter beam enabled me to hit my backhand slice approach shots with ease and accuracy. Upon ball contact there was no noticeable vibration or shock - you can leave your dampener in the bag when playing with the Kinetic Pro 7g."
Mark says, "the 7g wasn't spectacular in any one area of groundstrokes but it was above average on slice, topspin, power and control. Its biggest strength is that it has no weaknesses. It had enough power to put the ball away when I hit a good shot and it had enough control to keep the ball in play during long rallies. When I missed a shot I felt like it was my fault, not the racquet's." Drew offers, "I really liked hitting groundies with this racquet. The power level suits my game, the stability and comfort are excellent, and touch and spin potential are very good. I could hit forehands with a wide variety of pace and spin. The same was true with backhands, but what stood out was the stability. I tend to hit more backhands off-center and with the 7g there wasn't a big drop in control or pace AND minimal jarring." Don continues, "this racquet fit my game perfectly. There's a great combination of weight, balance, power, control and comfort. At first, it swung a little heavy, but after a few minutes I found that with good preparation and a slightly shorter swing I could generate plenty of power without having too swing hard. If I did swing hard a little extra spin kept the ball in the court. I was taking full swings on returns of second serves and the ball was landing within two feet of the baseline. I made fewer unforced errors with this racquet than any in recent history; a real confidence building racquet for me. My arm appreciated the dampened, yet solid feel of the Kinetic System technology." Granville comments, "after an initial 'break-in' period I found the 7g delivered performance I would expect from a 'player's Kinetic'. First and foremost, this is a very comfortable racquet. The Kinetic System's moveable mass really does provide excellent shock absorption. The 100 square inch head also gives that little extra boost from the stringbed which provides good depth on groundstrokes without having to think about it."
The Kinetic Pro 7g provides good power on volleys and will favor net players with compact strokes. Mark comments, "the 7g provided me with a near perfect blend of power and control on volleys. There was enough power to let me drive my volleys using a very short swing and there was enough control to keep the ball in the court. The racquet was also very maneuverable so I was able to get the racquet on a lot of balls." Dan says, "the 7g has a slightly higher power level than most player's racquets so you don't have to work as hard to get good 'stick' on volleys. A short punch sent the ball deep in the court. I didn't feel any manipulation was necessary for short angle winners, either. Just getting the racquet there was enough. Combine this with an already soft feel and excellent spin control and you have a real ally at net."
John adds, "I really enjoyed volleying with this racquet. Despite the 7g's weight and relatively high swingweight I found it to be maneuverable at the net. It is very stable and the 100 square-inch head provides a large sweetspot. At times I felt as if I was playing with my oversize racquet! Off-center shots didn't cause the racquet to twist or torque in my hand and I was able to hit consistently deep and low volleys." Drew offers, "the 7g is very solid at the net. It had enough mass (without being cumbersome) to allow me to block balls with decent pace yet still retain control. The stability also came through on off-center hits." Don continues, "the 7g has a nice combination of solid feel, power and control. Maneuverability was acceptable, especially considering I only needed to block balls for deep, penetrating volleys. Good stability, too." Granville offers, "I'd place the 7g in the 'tweener category when it comes to volleys. The added length seems to detract from the kind of response I'd expect from a player's racquet. Off-center contact felt a bit unbalanced, similar to a lighter racquet. That said, balls hit in the center were solid and predictable."
The Kinetic Pro 7g scored generally high marks on serves. Drew begins, "I was able to hit every type of serve well with the 7g; flat serves, slices and kick serves were all effective . I wasn't generating blistering pace on my flat serves, but when mixed in with spin serves they were highly effective." Dan says, "serving with the 7g is a lot like many other traditional player's racquets, but with a bit more power. I could feel a little extra stiffness, and the added length increased leverage. Racquet head speed was easy to generate despite the hefty feel. I was able to deliver ample slice when needed and got good jump on my kick serves." Mark comments, "I was able to serve consistently with the 7g and hit the occasional ace. I could hit flat, with spin, or with topspin with equal ease. The power was adequate but not exceptional. I was able to keep my opponent off balance by moving the serves around and by varying the pace." John adds, "at first I had a bit of trouble finding the sweetspot when serving with the 7g since the racquet is a little heavier than mine. I adjusted my motion to account for the added weight and let the racquet do more of the work. I was then able to place the ball while imparting enough spin to keep my opponent off balance." Granville offers, "I enjoyed some very good action on my kick serves wide and up the middle. Power was as expected - adequate but with no extra help." Don says, "I served well with the 7g. It had a nice balance of heft and maneuverability. Rather than trying to swing hard I focused on staying loose and swinging with good rhythm. I was able to hit some big first serves and had good confidence in my second serves, thanks to above average spin potential. All in all, a great serving stick!"
The Kinetic Pro 7g is versatile on serve returns; it's maneuverable enough to take a backswing in most situations, yet stable enough to block back hard-hit serves. John explains, "I found the 7g to be extremely solid, stable and reliable on returns. When my opponent sent a rocket my way I was able to block the ball with depth and pace. It remained stable on off-center hits, which are common with returns. When given the chance to hit an offensive return the 7g didn't disappoint. I was able to hit the ball directionally with pace and spin." Mark adds, "I was able to slice or drive the ball with equal ease. The 7g felt very maneuverable and I was able to catch up to most hard serves and drive them back. On high kick serves I could slice my returns and keep the ball deep." Dan offers, "while full-length swings worked best at sending back medium-pace serves, I found enough power in the 7g to take half-swings at harder hit serves." Drew continues, "returns really shined for me. Like most people, I catch a lot of returns off-center but the 7g is so stable and comfortable that it felt like I was hitting them in the sweetspot - a real confidence booster. I was able to stay aggressive off both sides and not have to revert to slicing the ball." Don says, "similar to serves, the 7g provided a good combination of maneuverability and heft on returns. Against big first serves I could shorten my backswing and hit effective returns. Against second serves I felt confident taking a full swing without worrying about the ball flying long. Although normally one of my weakest shots, returns became an offensive weapon with the 7g."
The Kinetic Pro 7g is a worthy addition to the Kinetic line. Few racquets have been so highly praised by the majority of TW playtesters. In fact, two playtesters (Don and Mark) plan to switch to this racquet. The appeal of this racquet is fairly broad, but will be most popular with 4.0-5.5 players looking for comfort, medium-power and a solid feel. Players who like the Kinetic Pro 5g, but need a little more power and added length, should like the 7g. Sound interesting? Try a demo for yourself!
(Scores are determined by averaging individual play test scores)
|Dan||5.5 all-court player currently using a Prince Triple Threat Warrior MP.|
|Don||4.5 all-court player currently using a Yonex Ultimum RQ Ti-1700 MP.|
|Drew||4.5-5.0 player currently using a Wilson ProStaff 6.0 85.|
|Granville||5.5 all-court player currently using a Wilson Hyper ProStaff 6.1 95.|
|John||4.5 all-court player currently using a Prince Triple Threat Warrior OS.|
|Mark||5.5 all-court player currently using a Prince Thunder 820.|
Review date: November, 2001. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
All content copyright 2001 Tennis Warehouse.