ProKennex 2012 KM FFT F185 Racquet
Coming off one of the most popular Pro Kennex racquet lines of all time, the 2012 KM FFT series is sure to be a crowd pleaser. Based on 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. As a new weight addition to the FFT family, the 2012 KM FFT F185 weighs in at 185 grams, has an even balance, and a swing weight of 153. Although it plays lighter than the typical 185-gram racquet, the F185 is far and away the heaviest frame in the line.
The RbW playtesters had a suspicion going in that the F185 would score higher marks in power than any other category, and their intuition was spot on. Ben Croft got the ball rolling saying, “I wasn’t surprised with the amount of power that I got from the F185, especially with the mass and even balance. I could generate the most power on my setups, but I could actually hit the F165 and F175 harder during the rally because of the lighter weight. Power was the highlight of this racquet for me.” Ben L. was on the same page saying, “The F185 was my favorite racquet out of the line to just pick up and hit. The power was easily accessible, very solid, and the even balance made timing adjustments fairly seamless. The heavy weight got cumbersome after extended play but would be well suited for a player adapted to the 185-gram frame. Pro Kennex smartly complemented their FFT line with this balanced, power-heavy racquet.”
The team felt the F185’s mass translated to an overall lack of control, thus deducting points. Ben L. said, “The heavy weight naturally lowered my score in this category because I couldn’t react or adjust as quickly. It performed best on ceiling balls and drive serves for me and was lacking most in maneuverability, which was expected. I do feel it’s important to highlight the even balance of this racquet, as that will make it more controllable than most 185-weight racquets out there.” Croft added to Ben’s comments saying, “I’m not used to playing with 185g sticks, but once I got used to how heavy it was I felt confident controlling the ball. I didn’t quite feel the instability on mishits that I did with the lighter FFT’s, which definitely helped my confidence during the rallies. I controlled my down the lines and cross courts the best out of all my shots, and was pleased with the control I got from this heavy racquet.”
As the F185 rounded out the FFT Series playtest, the team knew the feel of this racquet was going to score high marks. Croft began, commenting, “The extra mass in the frame definitely aided the string feedback, but still had a little too much vibration for me. Again, it was a quick fix and once I added the dampener it solved the problem. A positive for me was the F185 did feel a bit stiffer due to its extra mass, but still had the flexibility a lot of racquetball players like.” Ben L. agreed, stating, “I liked that the extra mass in the F185 absorbed more of the string bed vibration and really created a solid, dampened feel. It wasn’t so dampened that it played like a board, which I would credit partly to the soft Liquid 17 string, but had a noticeably dialed in sweet spot.”
Wrapping up the playtest, the team was impressed with Pro Kennex’s ability to showcase the benefits of a heavier racquet without jeopardizing the other important categories. Ben L. finished with, “This was one of the best heavy-weight racquets I have hit for 2012 and really surprised me. The added response and liveliness of the Force Flow Technology gave this racquet some kick that you don’t often find in 180+ gram racquets.” Croft shared the same feelings about the frame concluding, “This was one of my favorite 185’s of the season. The F185 not only hit the ball hard, but it was stable, had ample feel, and I was able to control the ball during the rally.”