Price:

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Upsides

  • Extremely Light
  • Maneuverable
  • Great Feel

Downsides

  • Lack of Power Due to Balance
  • A lot of String Feedback

As part of the most popular Pro Kennex racquet lines of all time, the 2012 KM FFT Series is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Due to its proven popularity, the 2012 FFT Series again features Pro Kennex’s Force Flow Technology. Located in the throat, this technology is engineered to force energy that is normally lost from the frame back into the string bed of the racquet, making it livelier and more powerful than ever. Tipping the scales at a sleek and super-light 165 grams, 146 swing weight and an even balance, the 2012 KM FFT F165 is by far the lightest stick in the second generation of the FFT Series. The F165 is a great choice for the frontcourt player looking for maximum maneuverability, great feel and a generous blend of stiffness and flexibility.

Power: 86/100

After picking up the very light F165, the team assumed power would be this racquet’s lowest scoring category. After a few games it was clear they were right. Croft started by saying, “Feeling the light weight and balance of the F165, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to generate the amount of power I could with a head-heavier frame. On setups and drive serves, I just felt like there wasn’t enough mass for me to really move the ball. That being said, I was able to generate so much racquet speed in the frontcourt I got plenty of power on my re-kills.” Ben L. had similar thoughts, adding, “The lightest FFT racquet didn’t produce the amount of power I look for but had more than expected. It’s all about swing speed with a racquet that light, meaning the player has to produce the power, not the racquet. That said, the Force Flow Tech still did its job, and I was most impressed with how quickly I could react and drive through the ball in reaction situations.”

Control: 90/100

In the control category, the playtest team had similar thoughts of how the weight and balance made control a serious benefit of the F165. Ben L. praised its control, saying, “I’ll lump maneuverability into this control category because that’s where the F165 really shined for me. It features one of the lightest swingweights for 2012 and was really fast to get around on the ball. My drive serves were weaker, but I could easily keep the ball in play and keep the rally going, putting the pressure on my opponent. Since I had such good timing, this racquet put the ball right where I wanted it.” Croft thought similarly, saying, “I thought this stick had excellent control. I’ve always had more control with lighter racquets, and the F165 continued that trend. Since it was so light I had plenty of time to prepare my racquet on setups, but felt it really shined when I was forced to play defense. I could maneuver my racquet so quickly my swing was rarely late contacting the ball, which made my shots land on target more often.”

Feel: 90/100

With similar feelings in each category, the team came together again to praise the feel of the F165. The lightweight, mixture of flexibility and stiffness, and top-notch Pro Kennex Liquid 17 strings all came together to create a great feeling stick. Ben L. loved the feel saying, “In general I’ve always liked the feel of the FFT racquets. Pro Kennex took the best features of their previous racquets and combined them with FFT to create a very responsive feel. The 165 was a bit unforgiving and unstable on off-center shots though, which brought down its score for me.” Croft added, “After giving high scores to the F165 in power and control, the feel category is no different for me. Although I still thought the control was the best category, feel was not far behind. I was extremely confident any time I needed to finesse the ball, whether it was a lob serve or a soft pinch. The one downside was the amount of feedback I got when I contacted the ball, but that was quickly remedied with a vibration dampener.”

Overall: 89/100

Overall the team was pleased with the control and feel they got from the F165 but felt there could have been more power. Ben L. wrapped it up: “Overall this racquet was a little too light and didn’t fit my game style. It required a very fast swing speed and more consistency than I was hitting with. I most enjoyed the quick maneuverability and responsive feel and struggled most with power generation.” Croft had positive views on the frame. He concluded, “This was my favorite racquet of the 2012 FFT Series. The lightweight and maneuverability shined for me, and the swing weight matched up perfectly to my game style. I wish I could’ve generated a little more power on my setups and drive serves, but the power I got when I needed to re-kill a ball overshadowed that. This racquet is perfect for someone looking for a super lightweight, control-oriented frame.”