Prince EXO3 Tour 100 - 16x18 Tennis Racquet Review

May 30th, 2011 by Graham Theriault

filed in Tennis Product Reviews, Tennis Racquet Reviews

Prince EXO3 Tour 100 - 16x18

 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:
- A nice thin beam and flashy paint scheme looked inviting when I first saw it.  I was excited and very intrigued to see how this racquet performed.  It looked like it had a huge sweet spot, which it did and had a good solid weight to it.

GROUNDSTROKES:
- It took me a little while to dial in my forehand with the  Tour 100 16x18,  Immediately I felt the racket had much more power then I am used too in my regular racquet.  I adjusted and hit with about 75-85% of the normal power I would use and quickly realized that this racket was great for depth shots and spin.  At 11.6 oz strung it is a nice solid baseliner's racquet.  The sweet spot is large and “punchy” as I have found similar to many other Prince racquets with the EXO grommet system.  My backhands felt accurate and the thin beam was comfortable to load-up with in preparation for the shot.  I did notice that the Tour 100 was not nearly as stiff (rated 52) as I am used to and sometimes felt the “wobbling-lance” sensation after I hit a shot off the top of the stringbed, some players like this type of feel, I am not a fan and prefer my racquets much stiffer. That of course is a personal decision and others may prefer the exact opposite.

VOLLEYS:
- The maneuverability of the Prince EXO3 Tour 100 - 16x18 was impressive and it showed with volleys.  With a swing weight rated at 323, I was able to wield it at will.  It had a nice feel to it for solid shots and smashes and definitely gives a lot of “feedback” throughout the frame on miss hits or tough-angled shots.  The weight plowed through volleys nice and the large sweet spot definitely helped.

SERVES/RETURN OF SERVES:
- Serves were nice and easy with the Tour 100.  The 16x18 served a little different compared to it's sibling the 18x20.  The 16x18 seemed a little sluggish for some reason, perhaps it was the way the ball came off the stringbed I'm not sure.  I adjusted and quickly was hitting solid, deep serves.  It didn't stick out as a great serving racquet but was definitely a serviceable racquet.
- Due to the higher power level of this racquet, the large sweet spot, and it's solid weigh,t returns were awesome with the Tour 100.  With little effort, I was able to block back shots at strategic angles.  I found returns to be one of the strengths of this racquet.
OVERALL IMPRESSIONS:
- If you are looking for a racquet around 11.5 oz, has a large forgiving sweet spot and master counter-shots then this racquet may be for you.  To be honest I preferred it's sibling the 18x20 for some reason.  The both versions have nearly identical specs yet feel very different and should be demoed to truly be judged.  In summary; higher powered stick, not that stiff, great counter shots, very maneuverable, and returns like a champ.  Demo it and it's sibling for sure.