Nobody will have failed to notice that Agustín Tapia is no longer a padel hopeful, rather, he is a complete reality. Situated at the very top of the World Padel Tour rankings, for some year now the Genius of Catamarca has had his own line of rackets developed according to his tastes and it has become one of the most requested by padel fans. However, the breadth of the range can cause certain queries or confusion among some fans: what differences are there between models? which racket is most suitable for my style of play? which of them is hardest? In the following article we will attempt to resolve all of these queries.
AT10 Classic Mould
The AT10 classic mould is a medium balance mould, with a shape that is midway between a round mould and a teardrop and it has a very large sweet spot. Its main characteristic, and perhaps one of the successes of the AT10 range is the great handling at the back of the court, when we have to defend with low shots, and in turn, the acceleration it allows both with volleys and high shots from the smash family (bandejas, víboras, x3…). Manu Martín explains it perfectly in his review of the AT10 Luxury Genius 18K, where he highlights how the mass of the racket is spread, enabling both defensive play and attacking power:
The following models share this mould:
AT Attack Mould
Following the resounding success of the first AT10 Luxury Genius rackets, at NOX we began to receive lots of requests from fans requesting a diamond-shaped AT racket. So, the brand took the suggestion into consideration and we immediately began work on a mould that would retain the spirit of the main characteristics of the AT10 mould (large sweet spot, handling and acceleration). Obviously, this is a mould with a higher balance, which boosts play towards the top at the expense of reduced handling. Designed for players who are used to playing with diamond-shaped rackets who get the most out of over the shoulder shots.
How the AT Luxury Genius ATTACK 18K was created.
The materials: rubber and carbon
Here, we are getting into one of the points that causes most queries. Is 12K or 18K carbon harder? What is the difference between the 2021 racket (with 12K carbon) and that of this year (with 18K carbon)?
The first thing you need to know is that the hardness of a racket is not solely determined by the material of the faces, rather, it depends on lots of factors. Among them, we can highlight the racket mould itself, the hole pattern, the type of frame, the density of the rubber or the thickness of the layers of carbon. Although it is true that “in theory” the higher the K number the greater the rigidity of the material and its resistance to breakage, at NOX we think that it is very risky to issue categorical statements based solely on the K numbers of the carbon. We prefer to base ourselves on the feelings and feedback of our own players. As you would expect, all the AT rackets have passed through the hands of Agustín Tapia whose guidelines and preferences have been the definitive ones to determine the combination of materials. Remember that at NOX our players use the same rackets that are sold, they only select the weight that they feel most comfortable with (interestingly, Agustín plays with rackets weighing 377 grammes).
AT Luxury rackets ordered from highest to lowest hardness and the combination of materials of each of them, with 10 the highest level of racket hardness and 5 corresponding to a soft racket with a Foam core:
What is the difference between the AT10 Luxury Genius 12K and the 18K?
In this case, we have two rackets that share the same mould and the same materials, except for the carbon of the faces. The AT10 Luxury Genius 18K was created at the express request of Agustín Tapia who requested a slightly more rigid racket for hotter tournaments, but without altering any of the characteristics of the racket that helped him win a Master Final. The change from 12K carbon to 18K provides the racket with a little more rigidity without altering the other characteristics (sweet spot, handling, acceleration). Agustín began using the first prototypes of the 18K at the end of summer 2021…and from then on we couldn´t get it out of his hands.
Which racket should I choose?
This is the million-dollar question and there is no answer that applies to all players. You should choose the racket that you feel best with. If you are looking for a racket where you are the one who has to “push” the ball from the back of the court to place it in a precise point, our suggestion is for you to choose a harder racket. If you also have a good level of fitness, you can get the most out of attacking play by putting more speed on the ball. Generally, harder rackets will offer you greater control when it comes to placing shots and blocking balls that are hit very quickly at you, but you will be the one who has to precisely carry out the technical gesture.
On the contrary, if you are looking for more ball output, for the ball to move more easily to the other side of the court, then our recommendation is for you to look for a racket with medium touch. It will help you with play from the back of the court and on defensive shots like hitting off the back wall or half-volleys at the expense of slightly less control in blocks.
No matter what your playing style is, there is undoubtedly a racket AT Luxury Genius for you!