Volkl Quantum 8 Review

Volkl's steady climb to becoming a market share contender in the U.S. started humbly - in Germany - where they introduced their first tennis racquet in the summer of 1972. The Zebra was the first composite tennis racquet to hit the world-wide market. In the late 1970's they sold more than 300,000 Servo Soft frames, the follow up to the Zebra, making Volkl the market leader in Germany. Riding on their homeland success, the 80's saw Volkl become a major racquet brand in Europe due to its increasing market shares in Germany and Switzerland.

Fast-forward to the mid 1990's. Volkl introduced the Vario V-1 racquet, a 10.5 ounce 'tweener frame featuring Volkl's patented Big Grommet technology and Dual Dampening Grip. The V-1 (now V-1 Classic) became the #1 selling Volkl racquet in the US due to its comfort and its balance of power and control. Big Grommet was established as a viable technology and quickly caught on with other racquet companies (Wilson Power Holes and Prince Sweetspot Suspension). Volkl also licensed Big Grommet to Head for use in their Comfort Zone technology.

Volkl gained greater fame in the late '90s for its traditional "low tech", control-oriented racquets. The C-10 Pro became a favorite among ATP, college and tournament players. The addition of John McEnroe to the Volkl advisory staff in 1998 (using the C-10 Pro) helped spark even more U.S. consumer interest, while Petr Korda became the first pro player to win a Grand Slam singles title using Volkl ('98 Australian Open). In 1999, 6-time Grand Slam winner Boris Becker became a 50% owner in a newly formed company (Volkl Tennis GmbH), lending his name and image to advertising and marketing campaigns.

In early 2000, Volkl introduced the first of several Quantum racquets, targeting recreational players with 'tweener and power-oriented racquets. The Quantum 8 was introduced in the Fall of 2001, after the more popular Quantum 10. One might say the Q8 was overshadowed by the Q10, but it provides similar performance and comfort attributes. We play-tested the Quantum 8, a midplus 'tweener racquet, for 3 weeks. Our playtesters had the following scores and comments.

Volkl Quantum 8 Technologies

Volkl Quantum 8

The Volkl Quantum 8 is a midplus(plus) 'tweener racquet with an almost even balance. While the balance contributes to a higher dynamic swingweight than its 10.3 ounce weight might suggest, overall mobility remains a plus. There's a forgiving, dampened feel when hitting groundstrokes or volleys. If there was a "comfort 'tweener" category, the Quantum 8 would be included. Spin potential rates about average, probably a symptom of a string bed that's denser in the sweetspot than the perimeter. This "Dynamic Power Control Pattern" may appeal more to players who generate their own spin and/or are chronic string breakers. We feel the Quantum 8 is best suited for intermediate to advanced players with moderate to fast swings seeking a comfort oriented racquet. Although a bit light for advanced players, it's a great "platform" racquet for customizing with lead tape to increase overall weight and stability.

Dan

Player Info Player Scores
Current Racquet:  Babolat Pure Control Zylon 360
Level: 5.0 NTRP
Stroke Style: Long
Type of Player:  All court player, who uses a variety of spins, usually at medium pace. Serve is a strength. Experienced doubles player.
Backhand: One-handed
Power:  6   Serves/Overheads:  7
Control:  7   Groundstrokes:  7.3
Maneuverability:  7   Slice:  5.5
Stability:  7   Topspin:  6
Comfort:  7   Volleys:  7.5
Touch/Feel:  7   Overall:  7

Groundstrokes: The primary feature of the Quantum 8 for me was the soft, arm-friendly feel. I use a vibration dampener and this only helps to enhance the muted, forgiving feel. I liked the 102 square inch head size, too. It plays and maneuvers like a smaller racquet but provides the off-center forgiveness of a larger, oversize model.

The minimally (1/4 inch) head-light balance and 10.3 ounce static weight is an interesting mix that lends a heavier feel than I expected when hitting groundstrokes. For me, it played and felt more like 11 ounces in full swing. The light weight showed, though, when trying to keep slice backhands deep and low - they floated more often than not. There's just not enough pure mass here. I found topspin to be another story. The stringbed is open enough on the Quantum 8 to help produce moderate topspin on a consistent basis.

Volleys: The Quantum 8 is an attractive racquet to volley with. The mix of specs hits the jackpot. It's mobile but still delivers solid control; the type of control difficult to find with some racquets in this weight class. I was able to consistently produce crisp, sharp volleys with compact volley technique. Intermediate and advanced net attackers and doubles specialists may find something special here.

Serves: Nothing blew me away when serving with the Quantum 8. I do swing hard on both first and second serves and like throwing in a variety of angles and spins. I found decent slice and just enough heft here to have some success hitting the big, flat one down the middle. Kick and topspin serves were adequate but not impressive. Bottom line: the Quantum 8 performs well in this category, but it won't be making my all-star list.

Serve Return: I like to slice my backhand returns but, as with groundstrokes, I found floaters to be a problem - a likely symptom of the racquet's light static weight. That same light weight, however, creates nice mobility and the ability to swing quickly in demanding situations and when return time is short. Predictably, the Quantum 8 sports the same soft, arm friendly feel I mentioned on groundstrokes. Complimenting this forgiving feel was the 102 square inch head size, supplying enough room to feel like there's a true oversize sweetspot here.

Granville

Player Info Player Scores
Current Racquet: Wilson Hyper ProStaff 6.1 (95)
Level: 5.5 NTRP
Stroke Style: Compact-Medium
Type of Player: Control oriented all-court player who finds particular strength at net. Experienced doubles player. Uses a variety of spins and pace off both FH and BH.
Backhand: One-handed
Power:  7   Serves/Overheads:  7
Control:  7.5   Groundstrokes:  7.5
Maneuverability:  6.5   Slice:  7.5
Stability:  7   Topspin:  7
Comfort:  7.5   Volleys:  8
Touch/Feel:  7   Overall:  7

Groundstrokes: First - for $89 this racquet is a great deal! The Quantum 8 is a solid "tweener" racquet with its roots in performance. The 102 square inch head gives this racquet a healthy sweet spot and offers considerable power for a racquet weighing only 10.3 ounces. Light enough to offer good maneuverability yet balanced just slightly head-light to offer an overall solid feel.

Volleys: Volleys were perhaps the best stroke for the Quantum 8. They were solid and stable, and the 102 head offers that little bit of extra stringbed for insurance.

Serves: While all the comments above are true for this racquet, the light weight can prevent true "heaters" from reaching their maximum MPH on the serve. 16 mains does give you some good bite (102 head) so it's somewhat of a trade-off: good control vs. somewhat less power.

Serve Return: This racquet is light enough to allow you to really move it around on the returns. Assuming good preparation you can hit just about any shot in the book, but if you are a little late, the lack of mass (and power) will be an issue when trying to drive the ball. That being said, this racquet is still more of a "performance", player's racquet than a true 'tweener, and it is evident on the returns.

Chad

Player Info Player Scores
Current Racquet: Head Intelligence i.Tour
Level: 5.0 NTRP
Stroke Style: Medium-Long
Type of Player: Hard-hitting baseliner with a big serve.
Backhand: Two-handed
Power:  7   Serves/Overheads:  7
Control:  6   Groundstrokes:  8
Maneuverability:  7   Slice:  7
Stability:  8   Topspin:  8
Comfort:  7   Volleys:  6.5
Touch/Feel:  6   Overall:  7.5

Groundstrokes: I don't think you're going to find too many baseliners who are not going to enjoy hitting with the Quantum 8, especially if they naturally produce a lot of topspin. I found that many of my flatter groundies tended to sail long due to the power of the frame, however with a little topspin added those unforced errors turned into effective deep balls. I also tend to dislike lighter racquets, but the lightness of the Quantum 8 only bothered me on low approach shots where I needed to whip the racquet head to create extra topspin. Despite these few instances, I really felt the Quantum 8 is a solid racquet from the baseline.

Volleys: I wish I could say the same thing with my volleys as I did with my groundstrokes, but I can't. I didn't volley very well with this racquet. I felt like I had no touch or control, which are two necessary factors for any good volleyer. Perhaps my poor volleying was attributed to the lightness of the frame or maybe it was caused by factors outside of the Quantum 8's itself.

Serves: The Quantum 8 proved to be an extremely effective racquet to serve with. I felt like I was getting a nice blend of power and control off both my first and second serve. My "money" serve (the flat serve) created all sorts of problems for various opponents. I was also able to get slice and kick serves in with plenty of movement.

Serve Return: It took some time for me to get comfortable returning with the Quantum 8. At first I kept trying to block back my opponents difficult serves, but I finally came to the realization that the Quantum 8 is a 'tweener type frame, and that a little spin might be required to take off some heat already generated from the fast serve I was returning. By putting some spin on the ball I was able to go from a defensive position to more of an offensive one.

John

Player Info Player Scores
Current Racquet: Prince Triple Threat Bandit Oversize
Level: 4.5 NTRP
Stroke Style: Compact-Medium
Type of Player: Consistent all court player, who uses a variety of spins, usually at low to medium pace. Volleys well with good touch.
Backhand: One-handed
Power:  7   Serves/Overheads:  7
Control:  7.5   Groundstrokes:  7.5
Maneuverability:  8   Slice:  7.5
Stability:  7.5   Topspin:  7.5
Comfort:  7.5   Volleys:  7
Touch/Feel:  7   Overall:  7.3

Groundstrokes: The Quantum 8 plays heavier than its listed weight of 10.3 ounces. For me that's a good thing. The feel of the racquet is solid and dampened. I was able to generate a good deal of topspin from the forehand side. However, I had a little trouble hitting slice backhands if the racquet head was slightly open. Balls struck towards the tip did not cause uncontrollable torque or twisting but shots did come off under powered, missing the mark by a wide margin. I found the racquet's mobility worked in my favor when I was stretched wide. I was able to flick my wrist and hit a good enough shot to neutralize my opponentŐs advantage while getting back into the point. Overall, I was pleased with the Quantum 8 from the ground. You get a good deal of bang for your buck.

Volleys: I found the Quantum 8 to be extremely maneuverable at net. Its mobility enabled me to reach balls that were hit at or away from me with ease. Balls struck outside the generous sweetspot found their way into the court but without much pace or depth. If I were to use this racquet on a consistent basis I would add a little lead to the head to compliment a serve and volley game.

Serves: The added length and light weight enabled me generate decent racquet head speed when serving. I was able to move the ball around the service box with consistent, predictable results. Not that I have a huge serve, but I found that I did not hit as heavy a ball when serving with the Quantum 8. I did enjoy the control and maneuverability it provided when serving.

Serve Return: The maneuverability of the Quantum 8 is an asset when returning serve. I was able to get the racquet on balls that were hit directly at me, enabling me to put the ball into play. I was not able to get consistent depth when hitting blocked returns. If I was lucky enough to catch a ball in the sweetspot I was able to return the ball with some depth and pace. If the ball was struck slightly off center the light weight of the frame did not provide enough support to send the ball deep. I was able to direct my returns accurately when given time to set up.

Technical Specifications

Length27.6 inches70 centimeters
Head Size102 square inches658 square centimeters
Weight10.3 ounces292 grams
Balance Point13.4875 inches
34 centimeters
2.5pts Head Light
Construction24 mm Straight Beam
CompositionTitanium/Lite Carbon
String Pattern16 Mains / 19 Crosses

Babolat RDC Ratings

Score
Grade
Flex Rating65Range: 0-100
Swing Weight318Range: 200-400
maneuverabilityN/A

Review date: December, 2002. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.

All content copyright 2002 Tennis Warehouse.