Prince EXO3 Tour Team Tennis Racquet Review
June 20th, 2011
filed in Tennis Product Reviews, Tennis Racquet Reviews
I was pleased to have the opportunity to play-test the brand-new PRINCE EXO3 TOUR TEAM Mid-Plus racquet recently. It was really cool that I was testing a racquet BEFORE it was even in the stores (kinda makes one feel ;privileged). Prince released this racquet as an addition to their “Tour” performance racquet series. It is stiffer, lighter, and a little less head-light that the other Tour racquets, yet retains a desirable swing weight..
When I first saw the Prince EXO3 Tour Team racquet I was impressed with it's appearance. It's Black/Bronze/White color scheme is immediately noticeable and looks good—even from a distance (in fact, when I first competed with it, one of my opponents said “man—than's a great looking racquet”). I do believe that a good-looking racquet adds to one's tennis enjoyment & I'm sure racquet designers spend a great deal of time figuring out what will “sell”. It was one of those racquets that “felt good” just holding it. It seemed balanced and, for me, and ideal weight.
The Prince EXO3 Tour Team appears to be designed for a large cross-section of players. It is a standard-length (27 in.), has a 100” head size, a mid-range beam (21mm x 22mm x 21mm), is slightly head-light (swing weight 290 unstrung), and a nice open string pattern of 16 x 18. This makes the racquet a good one—at least on paper—for an intermediate to advanced player with a moderate to full swing. It continues with Prince's “EXO3 Energy Bridge” technology which increases the sweet-spot and helps reduce vibration.
The first thing I noticed during baseline rallies was the increased spin being generated (strung with a quality multi-filament synthetic gut). I was able to hit a little harder and the increased spin kept the ball “in”, and the ball kicked a bit higher than my usual shots. I also noticed that it was very accurate—it allowed me to go for wider shots (less margin for error). The only thing I did not like was it's tendency to twist on off-center hits (near the frame). It seemed to do this more than my normal racquet which is about the same sized but has a larger cross-section beam. This racquet, however, is more forgiving than Prince's other EXO3 Tour Racquets.
Volleys / Overheads
The Prince EXO3 Tour Team is about 1 pt. head-light after stringing. It is an ideal balance for players seeking a quick-handling racquet at the net, but which still provides some additional power assistance. It is outstanding on swinging-volleys—-crisp, powerful, and accurate. Overheads were solid, stable & also accurate. The racquet really moves swiftly through the air—you can even hear the “ports” whoosh as you swing!
This racquet really shines in the area of spin potential. It's open 16 x 18 pattern allows the strings to bite the ball. It's slightly stiffer frame provides more power with each stroke. Finally, it's balance allows excellent racquet-head speed—and the harder you hit the more the ball spins. I'd like to try this racquet with one of the many strings now designed to increase spin.
The Prince EXO3 Tour Team performs as expected when serving. It is accurate and enhances “kick” serves. But you must provide the power.
In summary, I really liked the Prince EXO3 Tour Team racquet. I believe that Prince made a good move when they decided to create this “morph” of their EXO3 Tour Racquets—a stiffer, lighter, and more mobile stick than the regular Tour racquets, yet more substantial than the “Tour Lite” version. And a racquet that is comfortable to use, easy on the arm, and even sounds / looks good.