Expert Review: Volkl V8 Pro Racquet · UnstrungPublished on 05/12/2023 · 5 min read This review is my honest opinion of the tennis racquet, which I tested for 5 days from February to May of 2023.
All photos courtesy of Brandon M.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the tennis racquet, which I tested for 5 days from February to May of 2023.
The Volkl V8 Pro is one of the most unique advanced-level racquets on the market with its moderately low swingweight and control-focused string pattern. In stock form, it offers good pop, excellent maneuverability, and a surprising amount of spin for an 18x20 string pattern. With room to add weight for more stability, the V8 Pro can be an absolute weapon for high-level players.
About the racquet I tested
- Model: Volkl V8 Pro
- Grip Size: 4 ⅜ / EU 3
- String and Tension: Wilson NXT 16g 57lbs
- Head size: 100in2
- Racquet Length: 27in
- Any Customizations: N/A
- Height: 5’11”
- Weight: 185 lbs
- Previous Racquet Played With: Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP
- Experience: 29 years of tennis
- NTRP/UTA Rating: 5.0
- When I tested it: February, May 2023
- Days tested: 5
- Court Surfaces: Hard, Hard Indoor
- Match Play/Practice Session/Both: Both
- Where I’ve used it: Kingsford High School, Kingsford, MI, Marinette County Rec Plex
How it performs
What I was looking for
I’ve been very happy with my Head Graphene 360+ Gravity MP, but am always on the lookout for something that suits my game a little more. As I get a little older, I find myself gravitating more towards frames that give me a little extra power to counter my slower swing speed but still give me plenty of precision and feel.
Why I chose to test this gear
The Volkl V8 Pro is one of the most popular racquets for Volkl-sponsored players thanks to its modern racquet weight with a nod towards control with an 18x20 string pattern. It also takes well to adding weight to fine tune the performance to suit the game of a high-level player. In stock form, it seemed like it would work quite well for my game with a thicker, more powerful beam than my Gravity but offering a tighter string pattern for control. After testing, I ended up liking another Volkl racquet more that I will be switching to this season.
What I love about it
- Maneuverability: One characteristic of Volkl’s modern player's racquets is that they deliver great maneuverability and racquet head speed. The V8 Pro fits right in with the rest of the lineup and lets me swing fast and generate a lot of topspin for an 18x20 string pattern racquet.
- Power: With a tapered beam that widens to 24mm at the shoulders, the V8 Pro makes it easy to generate plenty of pop on ground strokes and serves.
- Serves: Along with that maneuverability I mentioned above, the Volkl modern player’s racquets all have been great on serve for me as well. That low swingweight lets me get the racquet head moving quickly, and the easy power helps make serving an absolute joy.
- Groundstrokes: The power and speed of the V8 Pro make it great for hitting aggressively from the back of the court.
- Stability: The V8 Pro is much more stable than its 317 RDC swingweight would suggest. I was quite surprised since it’s even lower than my Gravity MP on paper, but on court I never noticed an issue except for returning big serves out wide on my forehand.
- Other: The updated tiger-striped paint job for 2023 speaks to me. As a former ski racer, it harkens back to seeing that same orange/black on the feet of some of the best racers in the world.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Feel: The tighter string pattern of the V8 Pro helps to tone down the stiffness of the frame a bit, but it’s not as comfortable as the V-Cell 8 racquets, which are a similar mold with the newer V-Cell construction.
- Control: With its 18x20 string pattern, this racquet has a lower launch angle than my Gravity MP, and I struggle a bit to find the depth control I want. I was able to adjust eventually, but if I wasn’t fully dialed in, the ball could fly on me.
- Volleys: I find it easy to get the racquet on the ball with the V8 Pro thanks to the maneuverability, but I feel like the stringbed was a bit inconsistent at the net. When I hit the sweet spot, there is plenty of power to put the ball away and good control, but when I miss just a bit, the ball floats on me.
Favorite moment with this gear
Playing with the Volkl V8 Pro against my brother-in-law Chris, I hit one of the best down the line backhands of my playing career. It’s a shot that I struggle with at times, but on this occasion I timed it perfectly and hit a clean winner that left him with no response.
Value for the money vs. other options
The Volkl V8 Pro is priced quite competitively for advanced players’ racquets. It comes in slightly less expensive than competitors such as the Yonex Ezone 98 and Head Speed Pro.
The Volkl V8 Pro is a fast moving weapon for advanced players who play with speed and power. The tighter 18x20 string pattern gives a nod to better control, but the frame offers a lot of pop and easy access to spin.