The last time Head updated the classic Prestige tennis racket was 1992. Now more than 30 years later, the brand unveils the Prestige Classic 2.0 alongside a modern, inline update to the entire Prestige line.
“The Prestige rackets will always have the heritage that our brand stands for,” Felix Schumann, Head business manager of North America tennis, tells me. “It is one of the longest-living legacies in the market.”
To celebrate that heritage, Head not only continues to modernize the inline Prestige line—the latest update since 2021—but also offers up the Classic 2.0 to give those who loved the old-school design of a franchise that launched in the 1980s the specs of a racket that were popular more than three decades ago.
“Head is known for this model and it’s high-quality performance on the court,” Schumann says. “Overall, from a benefits standpoint, this is our most control-oriented racket, giving players the ultimate Prestige-like feel.”
For the October 2023 release, a franchise that has always stood for control needed to take the modern market into consideration and shift toward a more powerful and forgiving design, Schumann says. He notes the brand accomplished this by adding power throughout the line, but especially on the lighter MP L version.
They’ve also added Auxetic 2.0 into the end caps of the line, with the construction helping a player gain additional feel and connectivity to the racket during ball impact.
Auxetic 2.0 is construction strategy meant to highlight the key aspects of each racket silo in the Head catalog. By manipulating how the carbon fibers lay on top of each other, designers can create unique carbon constructions in both the yoke and end cap of the frame to accentuate main characteristics of Head racket franchises.
“With the Prestige, it is all about the touch and feel that the racket has,” Schumann says. “It is provided by the cap grommets, elongated shaft and unique flex, but then amplified by Auxetic 2.0.”
For the modern inline updates, Head released the Prestige Tour 2023, Pro 2023, MP 2023 and MP L 2023. The Tour version was designed for the technical tournament-level player based on its weight and size of a 95-square-inch head with an unstrung weight of 315 grams. The Pro focuses on ultimate control and precision for advanced players with a 98-square-inch head and 320-gram weight. The MP versions up the head size to 99 square inches for a larger sweet spot and come in differing weights.
By launching the Prestige Classic 2.0 in the narrow 19mm beam and original 18×20 string pattern with a small 93-suqre-inch head size and heavy 330 grams of unstrung weight for the ultimate control factor, Schumann says, it really opened the brand up to make the “new inline models a bit more forgiving and powerful with its specs to target a broader audience of players.”
Throughout it all, the new cosmetic of the line features both a “red flip lacquer” paint as the main color block and a see-through carbon element at the throat and tip of the racket that appear slightly different depending on the angle of the frame.
“Our designers have done a phenomenal job to highlight the see-through carbon elements in the new Prestige line,” Schumann says. “It is very appealing to the consumer as it changes colors in the sunlight.”