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Please include any relevant information such as string type and tension, skill level and style of play.
Comments: I have owned about 50 racquets over the past 20 years.I have owned several head racquets.I tried other brands, and they were all good racquets.But none of them have the control of the head racquets.I am 65, and am told I should not use such a light racquet.I disagree.The balance keeps it from being too light and overswinging for me.I love it.
From: Ron, Denton, TX, USA, 09/14
String type and tension: factory
Comments: I have been playing with this racquet for a while now. I love the Black Widow. It is light, maneuverable and great up front. I noticed a BIG difference between this one and the Submission. I always thought the Submission was the best one ever. Now it is the Black Widow. I highly recommend this racquet! The only thing I really hated about it is the cheaper, thinner racquet guard protecting the head. It is pretty cheap and cracked pretty quick for me. I dont like having to use athletic tape on my expensive racquet to hold the guard together at the top where it cracked in half from wall play. Otherwise, excellent!
From: Dale, Biloxi, MS, USA
String type and tension: Prince 16ga, 35lbs.
Comments: Impressive racquet! perfect balance, AMAZING control, and one of the most powerful racquets I've ever used (besides the Ektelon Toron lite). It weighs 160g but somehow smashes balls and hits like a 190g racquet. Just insane Power and definitely on par with the Toron Lite. The Control though, wow....control control control. It hits with such precision that making inch by inch adjustments on the back/side wall are a breeze!! The only downside to this racquet is the durability. I played with it for barely a few weeks, and after a few scrapes and bangs it started forming very noticeable cracks at the 10 and 2 o' clock positions on the frame. Now although it didn't seem to affect the function or playability of it, it seems worrisome that they formed so quickly. Also, the carbon frame is very light and hollow, which gives it all the more a "fragile" type of feel. Overall tho, this racquet is about 2 things. POWER and CONTROL.
From: Enrique, Chicago, IL, USA, 06/13
String type and tension: factory
Comments: Excellent balance, no vibration, easy on my arm and shoulders, super light, and more power than the royal flush. I'm still getting used to the 3 points heavy and I'm sure it will take a couple a week or so to adjust. Mainly I'm having problems with my lob service. Up front is where this racquet truly shines. Due to the light weight you could switch shot quickly and more accurate than a heavier racquet. I came from E-force and it feels similar to the NXT Lethal 160 but with better balance. I rip everything that comes on my backhand.
From: Kurt, Oakland, CA, USA, 03/13
String type and tension: Stock
Comments: I demoed this racquet and thought it had great potential. I then got one, and after a few games adjusting to it, loved playing with it. I found the lightness made it greatly playable. I was able to get to balls coming at me, that I believe with any heavier racquet I wouldn't be able to square up on. I love this racquet off the back wall as well. The shots I found the hardest to adjust to were the lob shots.
From:Adam, San Diego, CA, USA, 1/13
String type and tension: Factory
Comments: Well, I have been playing Gearbox for past few years and planned on using the new 165T for this season. However, I had a chance to try this new HEAD black widow and I was amazed at the power and precision it offered. It was very maneuverable due to being less head heavy than previous HEAD models I have tried. I also feel the swinging aerodynamics has been improved due to the new shape of the head near the 12:00 position. I liked it so much that I bought two and sold my GB's. The balance of this racquet is just perfect for my game style. I restrung it with some Ashaway Superkill XL 17g which provides tremendous pop and great feel. I would demo this racquet if you like sticks a little less head heavy. Definitely the best racquet HEAD has made IMHO!
From: Jason, Mount Joy, PA, USA, 12/12
String type and tension: Ashaway Superkill XL 17 @ 38lbs
Comments: I am an old guy getting back into Racquetball. I used to play with the "Voit - Impact One" Aluminum racquet. Everyone laughed at the small size. I then went to the Head Intelligence and loved it. I then stepped up to the Head Black Widow 160. I got hooked on the description and review. It sounded perfect for my game. I put the E-Force Oxygen 17 strings and have found the accuracy and velocity of my shots have improved and I feel much more in control of my game. Great Racquet!!!!
From: Scott, Wyckoff, NJ, USA, 09/12
Skill-level: matter of opinion (B)
String type and tension: E-Force Oxygen 17. (34#)
Comments: I thought the Submission was the best racquet I've ever played with and was hesitant to move to the Black Widow. Well THIS is now the best racquet I've ever hit.
From: Fletch, Long Beach, CA, USA, 08/12
String type and tension: Factory for now.
Comments: So I received this racquet today and right out of the box I was pretty happy. You can see the changes made to the frame and finally it's just a simple paint scheme and logo. In warm up's the racquet seemed to have a ton of power but keep in mind that's warm up. Once we started playing I was able to see some differences. My lob serves had a nice feel to them and I wasn't having to adjust my swing speed as fatigue set in later on while playing. My drive serves didn't feel like they had the "pop" I'm used to and while accuracy was improved, I did miss some of the power. During rallies the racquet felt pretty good and the power / control wasn't as bad as I had feared as long as I was in proper position each time. I did happen to notice that in longer rallies I did miss the head heaviness of the submission to help power out of long rallies as well as being able to snap balls to the ceiling if I was caught out of position. Having to hit the ball while on the run was the biggest downfall. I felt like I had to over swing just to get power to the ball that wasn't an issue last season with the submission. Front court play wasn't too bad but since the racquet has a more balanced feel there isn't much room for forgiveness if your shot mechanics are off. Anything past the 35ft range had a nice feel, the balance offered tons of control. Most of the faults I felt probably due to bad shot choice as well and improper footwork. I'm going to remove the factory grips and install Head taci-max IRT's plus I'm going to restring the racquet with Ashaway Super Kill xl@ 34-35lbs which should give me the feel I like. I's suggest this racquet to upper level players, anyone else I'd suggest going with the 170g racquet.
From: Tom, Mililani, HI, USA, 07/12
Skill-level: Open / A
String type and tension: Head 16g megablast @ factory tension
Comments: I demoed this racquet as well as the Scorpion. Both racquets played well in live games with great power and decent control, but a couple things I experienced in testing will keep me from buying either. First, the racquets did not feel very maneuverable, and this was proven by the fact that both racquets just played dismally in the front court particularly on volley shots. ERP needs to be there on all shots for this racquet to work optimally; unfortunately there are some game situations where perfect ERP isn't always possible. The lighter balance was a definite positive as I think this will attract more players to the racquets. What really got me is the fact that they are still using 16g string on a $230 racquet. It reminds me of putting average auto parts in a sports car, it keeps the racquets from playing to their true potential. Good racquets, played well overall, but would only consider purchasing if the maneuverability and string were improved.
From: Steve, Columbus, OH, USA, 06/12
String type and tension: Factory Specs
Comments: I demo'd this racquet and the scorpion. In warm-ups, I felt like I had to over-swing this racquet to get the whip on the ball I am used to. With the scorpion, I felt like a nice easy swing was all it took to generate an acceptable amount of power. In gameplay however, this racquet shined. I could tell a big improvement in front-court playability compared with the submission because of the balancing. The scorpion did not play well for me in game situations. These racquets are a significant departure from the head heavy racquets. I needed to swing just a little harder to get the power, but I was able to pick balls lower off of the back wall with the additional maneuverability. I'll be swinging the black widow this season.
From: Jeremy, Cody, WY, USA, 05/12
String type and tension: Head Megablast 16ga., factory tension