Head Radical Tour Raw EX Pickleball Paddle Review

Head Radical Tour Raw EX Pickleball Paddle Review

As the popularity of pickleball continues to surge, major tennis brands have entered the game, yet Head’s latest paddle stands out as a game-changer. In this comprehensive Head Radical Tour Raw EX Pickleball Paddle Review, we delve into the unique features and performance aspects that set this paddle apart from its competitors.

While tennis brands have previously been slow to adapt to the pickleball scene, Head has taken a bold step with its new paddle the Head Radical Tour Raw and Raw EX Paddle. This review, will be focusing more on the performance of the Raw EX paddle but we will also compare it with the the Raw. Viewpickleball will provide insights into the innovative design choices made by Head, particularly the integration of a raw carbon face – a move that showcases a commitment to pushing boundaries in paddle design.

Before we dive into the performance, it’s worth noting Head’s reputation for crafting exceptional paddles. Head always wanted to produce unique in some way. Usually that was in paddle shape and handles, like they already did with the Head Gravity pickleball paddle. In a market where paddle handles often fall short, Head’s commitment to creating a solid, structured, and well-defined handle shines through.

Ready to discover how the Head Radical Tour Raw EX Pickleball Paddle performs on the court? We’ll explore its playability, responsiveness, and the impact of its unique flared shape on maneuverability. Additionally, we’ll discuss the intriguing balance between power and control, shedding light on how these paddles handle both soft touch shots and powerful drives.

This review won’t just focus on the positives; we’ll address any potential challenges, including the adjustment needed for the expanded sweet spot on the Raw model and the nuances of spin performance. As we break down the on-court experience, we’ll offer valuable insights that can guide players in optimizing their gameplay with the Head Radical Tour Raw EX Pickleball Paddle. So let’s jump right in.

Technical Specs of Head Radical Tour Raw EX Pickleball Paddle

  • Average Weight: 8.1 ounces
  • Grip Circumference: 4 1/8″ – 3 7/8”
  • Handle Length: 5.5″
  • Paddle Length: 16.5″
  • Paddle Width: 7.5″
  • Paddle Face: Raw Carbon Fiber
  • Core Material: Polypropylene Honeycomb
  • Core Thickness: 15mm
  • Edge Guard: 1/8″ Overlapping Paddle Face
  • Thermoformed: No
  • USAPA Approved

Head Radical Tour Raw EX Pickleball Paddle Review

Head Radical Tour Raw EX Pickleball Paddle Review

So the Head produces two new paddles the Raw and the Raw Ex ofcourse the Ex stands for extended length with 16.5 inches. As you look at the paddle you will notice that the paddle face flares out from the top and narrow from the throat and it is more noticeable in the tour raw paddle. Flaring the paddle from the top has an impact of your playability which we will discuss later in the performance of this paddle.

So the Head Radical Tour Raw EX weighs 8.1 oz and the Tour Raw weighs 7.9 oz and the core thickness is 15mm which is unique as it falls between the two most common core thickness 16mm and 14mm. One of the best thing Head has done with these paddles are their handle. The handle is even better than some of best pickleball paddles available in the market. They use the same hardened foam technology in their paddle handles that most tennis brand use to make handle. The handle is solid in the hand and feel structured and don’t feel tacky like you can notice in expensive paddles like the Selkirk. Also they come in two different grip sizes 4 1/8 and 3 7/8 which is perfect for small hands. The handle also uses the stabilize technology and the extended grip length is perfect for two handed backhand.

Performance Rating of Head Radical Tour Raw EX Paddle

Let’s move on and see how Head’s newest paddle perform on the court.

Head Radical Tour Raw EX Pickleball Paddle Review

Feel and Sweet Spot

So the raw carbon face is performed really well on the paddle but the big question is are these paddles thermoformed, so we have checked out the head’s website and some other reputable pickleball paddles sellers but no one mentioned them thermoformed. If you compare it with some of the best paddles in the market like Vatic Pro flash and Vatic Pro V7, the Head Radical Tour Raw Ex feels softer and less responsive than thermoformed 16mm paddles. Which is logical due to the 15mm core thickness. But it has some decent plushness for resets and dinks but is not too plushy like the other 16mm thermoformed paddle.

Head Radical Tour Raw EX Pickleball Paddle Review

It took really long to get use to this flared out shape especially on the Raw which also impact the sweet spot on these paddle which is bigger on the top. That’s good because it makes it more forgiving and sloppier. So when you are taking big swings at the ball on ground strokes and serves the sloppier feeling make you less confident in your shot. The Raw Ex is more crisp than the Raw and also less sloppy which is obvious due to its extended shape and less flared face.

But if you add a lead tape to the Raw Ex it will dialed in the paddle and also the sweet spot will move near the lead tape. It will also increase the sweet spot and will act more like most thermoformed paddle.

Touch and Control

Head Radical Tour Raw EX Pickleball Paddle Review

The Head Radical Tour Raw Ex is really plushy the other thermoformed paddles like ronbus and the vatics and it got even better when you add the lead tape to it. The Head Radical Tour Raw is more soft and less plushy but it is impressive in the control. The flared head makes it less precise but also more forgiving.

Power and Maneuverability

The power is really impressive on these paddle which is obvious due to its 15mm core making it more poppy. The flared shape also adds more power to these paddle as weight shift more on the upside of these paddles. When you hold off the ball up there you play really big shots and flicks. The Raw EX is less intense than the Raw which is obvious due to its shape but it is still very good.

Concentrating more weight up there is really great in term of power but the paddle flared shape will change the way you swing your paddle. More mass on the top mean more head heavy which makes it less maneuverable. The Raw is less maneuverable than the Raw EX.


The spin on these paddles are excellent. The grits feel like hand grab the ball. But the paddles require more time break in. If you compare it with the Ronbus Nova or Vatic Pro Prism, it has less spin.

Final thoughts

So, the Head Radical Tour Raw is for the player looking for power with soft touch and forgiveness. The Raw Ex is really excellent with some customization and play a variety of game. It is more like all-around paddle consistent paddle. With the price tag under $200 they are going to be better than anything else so the answer is no. but for $200 they are very good value with unique design and great handle. If you have more budget you can also check out six zero double black diamond control which is also a very good paddle.

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Liyana Parker

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