Seeking to elevate their position in the crowded marketplace, Dunlop looks to make quite an entry with its latest offering – Dunlop iDapt (“individual aDaptable performance”). Taking cues from the customization that pros often employ with specific lengths, dampening feel, and weight, the iDapt line offers a level of personalized options not seen in the racquet arena until now.
The visual impact upon first glance is remarkable. The head, handle, and dampening interface are displayed in separate pieces, with a total of 432 possible combinations.
There are 4 head configurations: 98, 100, 100S, and 105, all of which fall into what could be classified as ‘tweener specifications. The 98, 100, and 100S all weigh in slightly over 11 ounces strung, with head light balances and swingweights in the 310-330 range (balance and swingweight dependent on the length of handle installed.) In keeping with the current spin-friendly trend, the 100S offers a more open 14×18 (rather than 16×19 found in the 98 and 100) string pattern for added bite and string action. The 105 is the lightest and most forgiving option in the iDapt line, weighing in around 10.7 ounces strung and also offering the six grip size options from 4 inch to 4-5/8.
Depending on your preferred level of feedback and feel desired, the Shock Sleeve dampening interface offers firm, medium, and soft options which are also interchangeable.
All 4 frame models are offered in 3 colors each, from mild to wild, and will list for $199.99. Tinkering with grip size or overall racquet length is as simple as a $30 grip/handle change.
The iDapt frame, shock sleeve and handle is connected via an aircraft aluminum grade bolt connector inside the handle (accessed through the butt cap) and tightened to the proper torque specification with a proprietary torque wrench only available through Dunlop iDapt dealers. This connection is claimed to be many times stronger than a traditional racquet connection, according to Dunlop Product Developers.
So how does it play? Dunlop conducted a blind playtest in July at their Greenville, SC headquarters with frames that were plain white, strung with either black Dunlop Silk multifilament or Black Widow polyester. We had no idea what exactly we were hitting with, other than the head size, length and visibly more open string pattern on the 100S. Response and feel on the frames was excellent, on par with the industry standard ‘tweener Babolat Pure Drive and Wilson Juice. Versatile from all points on the court, with notably more jump on your shots with the 100S. Even with the least damped option installed, the frames had a solid feel and offered as much touch as could be expected from a racquet with this beam dimension and strung with polyester. Bottom line is that you would never know that this racquet was not constructed in a traditional manner. Once we saw that the frame bolts together, it made the playtest that much more positive.
The iDapt line will be in stock and available August 15 from Midwest Sports.
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