Prince EXO3 Tour 100 - 18 x 20 Tennis Racquet Review

June 7th, 2011 by Marc Pinckney

filed in Tennis Product Reviews, Tennis Racquet Reviews

Prince EXO3 Tour 100

 

I really liked this racquet. I don’t know what the deal is with Prince these days, because for years their frames felt way too flexible-too wide-too lacking in feel. I hit with this racquet for a couple of days teaching, and practiced with it for a couple of hours also. There is a lot to like about this frame.

The frame is the standard 27 inches long and weighs 11.6(the 10.9 ounce weight listed on the inside of the frame is useless information-since an unstrung racquet is useless) ounces strung. It has a 100 square inch head and an 18(mains) x 20(crosses) string pattern.

The first thing I noticed hitting with the Prince EXO3 Tour 100 was that it felt solid and hefty in my hand. There was little vibration on contact, and it was easy to generate both pace and spin. The racquet is thin as traditional player’s frames are (something Prince seemed to have forgotten in recent years) and just seems to cut through the air without much resistance. It was very comfortable rallying with this racquet and just focusing on depth and spin. Yet when I wanted to just flatten the ball out and add some pace the racquet was very responsive.

Usually racquets with big open string patterns provide nice power on serves and overheads and volleys, but the added power often comes with a loss of control. I don’t know if it is because of the larger head size of this frame, but even with the 18 x 20 string pattern, I was able to get after my serve with power, spin and placement. Same deal with overheads. The volleys come off this frame feeling really solid. Almost what one would expect playing with a heavier racquet that also had a smaller head? It is almost as if the openness on the string pattern is in balance relative to the size of the head. It was both easy and fun to volley with this racquet, and I was able to create some angles and little flip shots that I usually can’t execute on a consistent basis with a large size head.

One of the things I really like about this racquet is the size and shape of the handle. Prince handles in the past have been roundish, very off putting to a serve and volley player, who grew up on Davis and Wilson frames. This racquet has a long slim handle with clearly defined panels. It was very easy to find my grips initially and to change them, which was never the case with other Prince frames. I hate the whole trending towards white grips in the industry, planned obsolescence theory in action. But I love the tackiness and feel of the Prince Resi Pro grip that comes on this racquet.

All and all this frame is a little bit of a surprise from Prince. I would think that players in the 4.0\4.5 range on up would want to take a serious look at this racquet. For sure all court players would want to consider this racquet very seriously. It is the first racquet I have hit with in a long time that didn’t require major adjustments or have a serious downside in one particular area of my game.