It escapes no one that Agustín Tapia is no longer a paddle tennis promise, but rather a reality. Located at the top of the World Padel Tour ranking, the Genius of Catamarca has had his own line of blades for some years now, developed to suit his tastes and which has become one of the most requested by paddle tennis fans. However, this breadth of range can cause certain doubts or confusion in some fans: what differentiates one model from another? Which racket is best for my style of play? which of them is harder? In the following article we will try to dispel all these doubts.
AT10 Classic mold
The classic AT10 mold is an intermediate balance mold, with a shape halfway between the round mold and the teardrop mold and a very wide sweet spot. Its main characteristic, and perhaps one of the successes of the AT10 range, is its great manageability at the bottom of the court, when we must defend ourselves with low blows, and in turn the acceleration that allows both volleys and high shots of the shot family. (trays, vipers, x3…). Manu Martín explains it to us perfectly in his review of the AT10 Luxury Genius 18K, where he highlights the mass distribution of the blade, which allows both defensive play and power in attack:
This mold is shared by the following models:
- AT.2 LTD Limited Edition
- AT10 Luxury Genius 18K
- AT10 Luxury Genius 12K
- AT10 Luxury Genius HARD
AT Attack Mold
After the resounding success of the first AT10 Luxury Genius at NOX, we began to receive many requests from fans who asked us for a diamond-shaped AT. So, from the brand we took up the suggestion and we immediately started working on a mold that would preserve the spirit and the main characteristics of the AT10 mold (wide sweet spot, manageability and acceleration). Obviously it is a mold with a higher balance, which enhances the game from above at the cost of less manageability. Designed for players accustomed to diamond-shaped rackets who get the most out of blows over the shoulder.
This is how the AT Luxury Genius ATTACK 18K was born .
Materials: rubber and carbon
Here we enter one of the points that generate the most doubts. Is 12K or 18K carbon harder? What is the difference between the 2021 blade (with 12K carbon) and this year's (with 18k carbon)?
The first thing you should know is that the hardness of a racket is not determined solely by the material of the faces, but rather depends on many factors.. Among them we can highlight the mold of the racket itself, the hole pattern, the type of frame, the density of the rubber or the thickness of the carbon layers. Although it is true that "theoretically" the higher the number of Ks, the greater the stiffness of the material and its resistance to breakage, from NOX we consider that it is very risky to make categorical statements based solely on the Ks of carbon. We prefer to base ourselves on the sensations and feedback from our own players. As it could not be otherwise, all the AT rackets have passed through the hands of Agustín Tapia whose indications 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 marketed, selecting only the weight with which they feel most comfortable (as a curiosity, Agustín plays with 377-gram rackets).
AT Luxury blades ordered from highest to lowest hardness and combination of materials for each one of them, with 10 being the maximum degree of hardness of a blade and 5 corresponding to a soft blade with a Foam-type core:
What is the difference between the AT10 Luxury Genius 12K and the 18K?
In this case we are dealing with two blades that share the same mold and the same materials, except for the carbon on the faces. The AT10 Luxury Genius 18K was born at the express request of Agustín Tapia, who requested a slightly stiffer racket for hotter tournaments, but without modifying any of the virtues of the racket that made him win a Final Master. The change from 12K to 18K carbon provides a little more rigidity to the blade without modifying the rest of the characteristics (sweet spot, handling, acceleration). Agustín started using the first prototypes of the 18K at the end of the summer of 2021… and we couldn't get it out of his hands anymore.
What blade should I choose?
This is the million dollar question and there is no one answer that fits all players. You must choose the shovel that generates the best sensations. If you are looking for a racket where you are the one who must "push" the ball from the bottom of the court to place it at the exact point, our suggestion is that you choose a racket of greater hardness. If you also have a good physique, you can get the most out of it in the attacking game by giving the ball more speed. In general, the blades with a greater hardness will offer you greater control when it comes to placing the blows and blocking balls that are thrown at high speed, but you must be the one who makes the technical gesture precisely.
On the contrary, if you are looking for a greater ball output, for the ball to pass easily to the other side of the court, then our recommendation is that you look for a racquet with an intermediate touch. It will help you in the baseline game and in defensive shots such as the wall exit or the dribble, at the cost of slightly less control in the blocks.
Whatever your style of play, there is sure to be an AT Luxury Genius for you!