After the new Adipower range, Stéphane Penso is now testing the Metalbone 2022 from Adidas.
Metalbone is a series that allows the user to be able to change “on the fly” (on 2 of the 4 models) the balance of the racquet in order to have either weight in mind for more power, or to add more towards the handle in order to increase maneuverability (or to do nothing as well)!
In addition to the 2 models renewed in 2022, new products stamped Metalbone have appeared, the Lite et Woman Lite.
It is therefore a complete range which has come to support the excellent Adipower, and as you will see, they are completely different treasures.
It is a diamond-shaped pala with a factory balance (285mm) oriented towards the racquet head and benefiting from the now very famous weight management system called Weight & Balance.
You can change the weight/balance of this racquet from padel, by adjusting it as precisely as possible so that it is PERFECT (4 screws of 2,5g, and 2 screws of 1g).
Thus, the weights are located around the shaft, if you decide to remove them, it will make the racquet heavier in the head, creating more power.
If you don't remove any weight, it will be evenly distributed, creating a more EVEN balance.
More weight = less power?
Naturally, science tells us that the more weight, the more power, but in this specific case, due to the change in balance, the more weight you remove towards the shaft, the more power you will get.
Imagine you are holding a hammer from the bottom, the weight is at the very top giving you more power.
If you hold the hammer closer to the head, the balance changes and you get less output.
On the model we received, the dry weight without removing anything is 372gr, and if you release the 6 weights, it will go down to 360r (it's up to you to do your own tests to find the ideal formula).
Personally, in view of the pedigree of the power-driven beast, I first took all the weight off so that the natural balance that is in the lead allows me to generate more intensity in hard hits. I then put back the original configuration in order to be able to better evaluate the various reactions.
Now let's focus on embedded technology.
An exclusive 8-edge design that provides firmness and rigidity to the entire structure.
It also has perimeter reinforcements that make it more resistant to strong torsion. This patent, known as “Structural Reinforcement“, has been designed to reinforce the most stressed points of the racket, in order to protect it and extend its useful life.
On the sides, this time we will have OCTAGONAL SPIN BLADE, a rough 3D embossed finish, which will accentuate the effects, but a little less intensely than the other technologies deployed on the Adipower.
The Adidas brand has opted for foam EVA SOFTPerformance as the core of Metalbone 3.1.
Let us recall the different foams used by Adidas.
As you can see, the Soft Performance is the brand's softest compound. It provides a sensation of speed when exiting the racquet and of hitting comfort, but also a certain control when the intensity of the game increases.
Low density, it guarantees a great rebound capacity and a consequent pleasure.
Its surface is made of a fiber of “aluminized carbon 2 for 1".
This new ultra-resistant hybrid fiber gives the racquet great power at impact without compromising on hitting comfort.
It has less flexibility but in the most powerful blows, its characteristics give us the greatest speed at impact.
And in game, what does it give?
It is a very flexible pala with a very good ball output and despite its diamond shape, which is not so restrictive to play.
Smashes are powerful, volleys come out instantly, and in defense this racquet works wonders.
However, I expected to inflict much more punitive punishments, and I remained slightly unsatisfied when it came to sending the trumpets, chestnuts, and other bruises.
Although signed Ale Galan and taken from the Pro range, it would be perfect for advanced or even intermediate players.
The marriage of the most flexible rubber from Adidas and the new generation carbon fiber (the most rigid) gives this pala a pleasant and captivating performance to the detriment of weight and prepotency.
It's a super comfortable diamond shape coupled with harnessable power.
Indeed, the sweet spot is much wider than the other diamond models, and unlike the latter, raw power does not seem to be the key word.
The carbon aluminized 2TB 1 should logically be stiffer than the last-gen 24K (if I'm judging from the board), but in-game it wasn't that obvious.
Note that for big arms, the version stamped HRD (hard rubber), which will be tested shortly, could be a more interesting alternative.
Metalbone 3.1 CTRL
This pala is technologically the same as the version we have just seen, with the only difference that its shape is round, with a balance brought back to the center.
This round shape and medium balance combination will give you very good control as well as significant maneuverability without neglecting the power aspect.
In a nutshell, it's the ultimate all-around racket.
It is a handy pala, comfortable, and which offers a good power for a round shape.
From the bottom of the field, its wide sweet-spot associated with rubber EVA SOFT PERFORMANCE offers excellent ball output which, thanks to its shape and balance, also provides a high level of control.
At net it's a very responsive racquet that won't fail you in the tough phases.
No weaknesses can be cited, although no outstanding features can be emphasized either.
This pala was not specifically created to stun your opponents, this is the characteristic point of this model, although if you have good technique and excellent strength, you can achieve quite biting charges.
Nevertheless, the low density EVA Soft rubber is a little soft for the ball to escape at maximum speed.
In addition, its median balance and its weight (367gr fully loaded) are not intended for power but rather for total control.
Its composition in Carbon Aluminized 2 for 1 on the faces provides additional strength. Being denser, it brings that little extra virility when needed.
Thanks to its design, this fiber makes it possible to obtain thinner and more rigid sheets, and for a first try it is a masterstroke on the part of the German firm. The faces also benefit from an aluminized treatment to optimize flexibility and energy.
Another of its strong points can be found in the frame, more precisely in its design and shape, the technology Octagonal Frame. A design that deserves a separate mention for its performance and the rigidity it brings to the racquet.
Like the previous Metalbone, it has the finish Spin Blade Octagonal, a 3D relief that facilitates the effects, and the Smart Holes Curve also designed to improve aerodynamics.
Finally, Adidas' most innovative technology is still present, allowing you to customize the weight and balance of the racquet, the famous Weight & Balance.
Regarding the design, it is a pleasant looking racket thanks to the combination of the exposed carbon and the azure blue color of the logo.
It is a pala that transmits elegance and sophistication through its composition and shape.
It is a very pleasant pala that I was allowed to test.
Blaster friend, please move on, this is clearly not a brawling essence pala.
All the elements are there to differentiate it from full-power models; round shape, medium balance and soft rubber.
By mixing all these parameters, you get a racquet with a remarkable degree of forgiveness, supreme (and modular) maneuverability and still benefiting from a substantial reserve of power when it comes to finishing points. It's clearly my second favorite at Adidas, after the Adipower CTRL.
Metalbone Women Lite
A model that arrives for the first time in the Adidas catalog to complete the Metalbone range. The brand has decided to meet the needs of offensive players with a powerful racquet with excellent maneuverability.
The Adidas Metalbone Woman Lite racket has several virtues that make it the perfect pala for players looking for a handy model with a good punch.
An aggressive pala that allows you to finish each point with respectable power (restricted by its weight of 351gr) and exquisite typing comfort.
It is ideal for playing close to the net and getting the most out of the game thanks to its technologies and its high balance (285mm) that will give us more energy, speed and precision.
It is a racket that, due to its design with a round shape and an excellent sweet spot, combined with its high balance, facilitates controlled strikes even in fast and imprecise movements. In addition, its medium soft touch will help achieve this feeling of comfort that the player seeks with each shot.
It is built on the same frame as the Metalbone CTRL 3.1 but the difference is that this pala has a surface made of Brainded Fiber Glass, a flexible fiber to provide excellent ball performance and optimal comfort.
As you will see below, we are simply talking about the most flexible fiber of the brand.
The latter combined with the EVA Soft Performance core (remember the most flexible Adidas rubber) makes the new Metalbone Woman 2022 a racket of padel with overbearing comfort and preponderant ball output.
For the frame, the firm opts once again for Octagonal Structure technology. The objective is to achieve greater impact resistance. The eight lines that make up this type of structure ensure the durability of this model. You will only find this technology in the models of the Metalbone range.
With the Metalbone women's racket 2022 it is relatively easy to perform shots with spin, the main protagonist being the Spin Blade Gritt technology (sandpaper effect) which, combined with the curved design of the holes of the Smart Holes Curve system, makes it even easier to feel spin on the ball.
In game, this pala is exceptional defensively speaking (fiberglass + maneuverability) and it will get you out of complex situations.
At net, it's a racquet that will give you great energy return. Indeed, you can rely on the opposing assaults in order to return the ball with a minimum of effort.
Of course, the round shape + reduced weight + fiberglass combination is not the ideal synergy for performing vindictive smashes, and the most offensive players will turn to other models in the range.
Punch, control, maneuverability, stability, and a nice combination of colors with dominant black and pink. This makes Metalbone Women Lite a softer racquet choice with a wide sweet spot and high comfort on every shot.
The round design combined with a slightly overhead balance allows you to inflict more weight when finishing. This wonderful combination of speed and control also makes it very forgiving and reliable.
It is a pala that I would recommend to players (or juniors) who want to develop a game of expectation and comfort, thanks to an inspiring ball exit and foolproof maneuverability.
*Note that a latest version exists at the same price, the Metalbone LITE 3.1, which is in all respects identical to the Woman version, apart from a more standard color code (red replaces pink) and a diamond shape which allows to accommodate the sweet-spot further north.
A slightly heavier pala (357g for the model I received) for those looking for more power and who also benefit from a passive padelistic more important.
I would once again like to thank Julien PES and Manu GARCIA for French Padel The shop, without which nothing would be possible, and which allow me to test the latest generation equipment as soon as it is available.
Fan of padel, Stéphane has become the official tester of the planet padel in Europe. Everything goes through his expert hands. Thanks to his extensive experience in the snowshoeing world, he is able to scan your gear from head to toe!