HEAD WTB One Ball

overall Rating:

0.67

planets

Andrew (Hao) HUANG
7/28/2021
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I have been using HEAD tennis racquet for most of my career and there are three HEAD racquets lying in my HEAD tennis bag now – hard to claim that I am not a big customer of HEAD. Therefore, I feel that I am responsible for my purchasing decision.

Following by my review on Wilson’s Triniti Ball (please check it out on my page if you have not read yet – link is attached in the reference section), which can be considered as a major competition goods, this review focuses on the rating of HEAD WTB One balls.

Overall, I concern about the quality (specifically its durability) and the market exposure of WTB One Ball. Also, I think HEAD has a lot to do in order to catch up with its competitors Wilson and YONEX in terms of commitment in improving the sustainability level. Most of the ratings in this review are given by benchmarking against the ratings of my previous reviews on Wilson and YONEX products. WTB One Ball from HEAD gets a fairly low score for me mainly due to its unfounded arguments which confuses me.

what it's made of:

0.5

HEAD WTB One, as suggested by HEAD website, is the first success for the team for sustainable products. HEAD has worked with the Wurttemberg Tennis Association (WTB) from April 2021 to introduce this product on the German market. I have also checked Tennis-Point, a popular UK tennis online shopping site, and found that WTB One is on sale. Therefore, it seems that this product is expanding to more markets.

However, I am concern with the durability of the balls based on purchasers’ reviews (I will try to purchase them online and use them and edit my review accordingly). Boris, one of the verified purchaser from Tennis-Point, commented that “there are much more durable balls on the market and the balls only hold two singles.”

However, I hypothesize that the durability problem is one of the main challenges that are faced by ‘sustainable’ tennis balls. Also, on Tennis-Point, some purchasers of Wilson Triniti Balls (which I have previously reviewed) have commented that the balls lose pressure after an hour hitting. Even though the whole manufacturing process of the Triniti balls are eco-friendly – being packaged in cardboard instead of plastic etc. – players still have to discard the balls after few hours’ hitting.

Nevertheless, I am suspicious of the comments because I have tried Wilson Triniti Balls myself and they appeared to be super durable. Therefore, I guess there are many factors that may have an impact on consumers’ experience and it is hard to come up with a black-and-white statement such as ‘sustainable balls are not durable’.

Moreover, I am extremely confused about what makes WTB One sustainable which I will explain more in detail in the following section. In short, the website provides really generic statement and does not provide data or details to support their arguments. I will rate this section 0.5 planet accordingly.

how it's made:

0.5

HEAD’s website provides little and extremely generic information regarding what makes WTB One balls more sustainable.

First, the website says ‘the environment-friendly ball tin made with the high-quality environment-friendly materials’. However, what the tin is made of – I do not know, and based on the picture, it seems like it is another type of plastic. By contrast, Wilson Triniti Balls are packed with a cardboard-made tin – looks much sustainable on surface.

Second, the website says ‘HEAD puts entire production, delivery and recycling processes under microscope and making them more sustainable.’ However, how it puts those processes under microscope, how it makes the processes more sustainable, and what are the processes specifically – the website does not address these questions at all.

HEAD should check out how Wilson has make everything clear and transparent on its sustainable products such as Naked Series racquets and Triniti balls. Accordingly, I will rate this section 0.5 planet because further investigation is needed.

who makes it:

1

HEAD is not as sustainable Wilson and YONEX (which I have all reviewed previously – links are attached in the reference section). Indeed, it is my personal opinion.

First, a basic google search may give you a rough idea. If you go to www.google.com and search “HEAD sustainability” and “Wilson sustainability”, you will get 71,900,000 results for Wilson while only 12,300,000 results for HEAD. More importantly, the only result that I found that is relevant for HEAD sustainability is about WTB One Ball. However, as I mentioned in the previous section, that article is rather generic and lack of solid data/proof. On the contrary, Wilson and YONEX have more relevant results and their sustainability arguments are backed up by data and testimonies.

Second, the extent of market exposure or market share of Wilson Triniti and that of WTB One is unparalleled. As I mentioned in my previous review, Wilson introduced Triniti in 2019 and there are far more purchases based on the amount of comments in Tennis-Point (25 comments for Wilson v.s 3 comments for HEAD) and in Amazon UK (572 comments for Wilson vs 0 comment for HEAD because WTB One is not even on Amazon).

Third, there are more sustainable products from Wilson compared to HEAD. HEAD WTB One probably is the only sustainable product that has introduced in the market from HEAD, as far as I know. By contrast, you can see Wilson Naked Series and Wilson Triniti Balls, and I believe there will be more sustainable products from Wilson because of its continuing effort in developing revolutionary eco-friendly tennis products.

However, I may come up with a false ‘accusation’ against HEAD if HEAD’s products are in fact more eco-friendly, and probably they just did not invest enough in marketing. Nevertheless, it sounds rather impossible and irrational for a huge company not trying hard to market its sustainable product which takes in which much time and money are invested. HEAD has a lot to catch up with its competitors Wilson and YONEX in terms of sustainability practice. However, I believe that HEAD is on its way.

Therefore, for the rating of this section, I am benchmarking HEAD against the rating my previous rating for Wilson (2.5 planets) and YONEX (1.5). I will give HEAD 1 planet accordingly.