Prince EXO3 Tour 100 - 16x18 Tennis Racquet Review
May 30th, 2011
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.