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View Full Version : Praise (from an UN-likely source) for the Prince O3 Hybrid Tour MP (95si)


BounceHitBounceHit
03-25-2008, 09:08 AM
As most of you know, I am kind of old school. I mean, I am old (by tennis standards, anyway) at 45. I like vintage Fila tennis clothes, the Wilson PS 6.0series, and still wait to walk on to the court when a point is being played next door. For Heaven's Sake, I even still use gut strings (in a hybrid, but still.............) ;)

Which brings me to my general distaste for 'gimmick' racquets. And my INITIAL hesitation to try out the Prince O3 Hybrid Tour 95 that my good pal Fabrice Leroy sent along this week in a trade. But this morning the spirit moved me......what the heck, thought I. Maybe I should be more open to new ideas? Brain age, and all that kind of good stuff........

The O3 HT looks kinda silly to me. Those crazy 'ports', etc. But the fit and finish are nice, and the two Fabrice sent me are identical in wt, balance and SW (within a few grams).

I teed 'em up this morning w/ a 24 yo ex-DI college player and let 'er rip. MAN WAS I SUPRISED! This is a GREAT feeling frame! I was hitting groundies deep and with LOTS of spin. I half volleyed a number of her deep shots right off the baseline but still got 'em back with excellent clearance, control, and depth. The frame feels VERY stable and 'forgiving'. I never got that "OK, I am going to swing away but God only knows where this ball is about to go" sensation that I experience with just about every other 'gimmick' frame I've tried.

At net, the O3 HT was nimble and rock-solid stable. Very little adjustment from my AK90, if you can believe that! I felt I had great control over the ball and was hitting piercing, heavy volleys right off the bat. This was perhaps the biggest suprise, b/c usually I don't mind this kind of frame off the ground, but I HATE them at net, as they usually feel 'clunky' and ill-controlled. Not this puppy.

Serving came easily, but I don't think I got as many MPH's as with the K90. Targeting was good.

Return of serve was also quite good.

All in all, a pleasant suprise. I won't be making the move, but some of you out there looking to change from an 'old school' players frame to something a wee bit more powerful and forgiving should give this one ride. ;)

CC

Doc Hollidae
03-25-2008, 09:17 AM
I had similar reservations when I first started demoing last month. I had been playing with the Radical TT Tour OS and couldn't stand any of the new radicals. My first thoughts were a racket with large holes in it can't be stable or feel nearly as good as the old school rackets.

3 weeks of demoing later, I have 2 Ozone Pro Tours and kissed my Radicals good bye.

BounceHitBounceHit
03-25-2008, 12:29 PM
I had similar reservations when I first started demoing last month. I had been playing with the Radical TT Tour OS and couldn't stand any of the new radicals. My first thoughts were a racket with large holes in it can't be stable or feel nearly as good as the old school rackets.

3 weeks of demoing later, I have 2 Ozone Pro Tours and kissed my Radicals good bye.

I am wondering how many guys and gals here have gone from the 'Old School' frames to these Hybrid Tours? I tried the original O3 Tour and was not impressed. Same w/ the O3 White. The Hybrid Tour seemed just that-a players frame w/ a little extra umph. ;)

CC

Automatix
03-25-2008, 12:33 PM
I honestly didn't like the O3 Tour (95 sq. inch) but yes I did demo it because I was intrigued by the O-ports... but the feel was to muted, the stringbed was trampoline like and finally... the synthetic gut on it broke after an hour of play :???:

Ross K
03-25-2008, 12:37 PM
As most of you know, I am kind of old school. I mean, I am old (by tennis standards, anyway) at 45. I like vintage Fila tennis clothes, the Wilson PS 6.0series, and still wait to walk on to the court when a point is being played next door. For Heaven's Sake, I even still use gut strings (in a hybrid, but still.............) ;)

Which brings me to my general distaste for 'gimmick' racquets. And my INITIAL hesitation to try out the Prince O3 Hybrid Tour 95 that my good pal Fabrice Leroy sent along this week in a trade. But this morning the spirit moved me......what the heck, thought I. Maybe I should be more open to new ideas? Brain age, and all that kind of good stuff........

The O3 HT looks kinda silly to me. Those crazy 'ports', etc. But the fit and finish are nice, and the two Fabrice sent me are identical in wt, balance and SW (within a few grams).

I teed 'em up this morning w/ a 24 yo ex-DI college player and let 'er rip. MAN WAS I SUPRISED! This is a GREAT feeling frame! I was hitting groundies deep and with LOTS of spin. I half volleyed a number of her deep shots right off the baseline but still got 'em back with excellent clearance, control, and depth. The frame feels VERY stable and 'forgiving'. I never got that "OK, I am going to swing away but God only knows where this ball is about to go" sensation that I experience with just about every other 'gimmick' frame I've tried.

At net, the O3 HT was nimble and rock-solid stable. Very little adjustment from my AK90, if you can believe that! I felt I had great control over the ball and was hitting piercing, heavy volleys right off the bat. This was perhaps the biggest suprise, b/c usually I don't mind this kind of frame off the ground, but I HATE them at net, as they usually feel 'clunky' and ill-controlled. Not this puppy.

Serving came easily, but I don't think I got as many MPH's as with the K90. Targeting was good.

Return of serve was also quite good.

All in all, a pleasant suprise. I won't be making the move, but some of you out there looking to change from an 'old school' players frame to something a wee bit more powerful and forgiving should give this one ride. ;)

CC

Have heard other good reports about this frame. Two queries though...

Could you tell me a little about how it swings (Light and fast? Sluggish and slow? Something else?) Plus also, could you say a tad more about its power level as regards the serve?

Thanks

R.

Rasta
03-25-2008, 12:47 PM
I am an old school racket player too and I've now switched to the Prince Ozone Tour. It is really flexible and low powered compared to rackets like the Pure Drive. I have played with the Prince Graphite Oversize, the Pro Staff Mid and the Yonex Super RD Tour Midsize and I have no problem whatsoever playing with the Ozone Tour. It is easier to swing but maintains the flex and control that I am accustomed to in a racket. It's good for an old school player who's over 40. :-?

Doc Hollidae
03-25-2008, 01:42 PM
I am wondering how many guys and gals here have gone from the 'Old School' frames to these Hybrid Tours? I tried the original O3 Tour and was not impressed. Same w/ the O3 White. The Hybrid Tour seemed just that-a players frame w/ a little extra umph. ;)

CC

I never got a chance to try the Hybrid Tour, but the SP Tour and Ozone Pro Tour both played and felt similar to the "old school" feel. I demoed those two, the Ozone Tour, and the SP Black. I enjoyed all, but the SP Black. Most of the guys I hit with were also skeptical about the O ports, but after hitting with my Ozone Pro Tours, their opinions changed.

christo
03-25-2008, 01:48 PM
Watched Sam Querrey practicing at IW with this frame , apparently he's using it pretty close to stock. I have to say, I've been hitting with it for about 3 weeks, it's darn impressive , I'm still tinkering with string combos but i really like it's power to control ratio, this is a FUN racquet to bang with.

BounceHitBounceHit
03-25-2008, 05:15 PM
Watched Sam Querrey practicing at IW with this frame , apparently he's using it pretty close to stock. I have to say, I've been hitting with it for about 3 weeks, it's darn impressive , I'm still tinkering with string combos but i really like it's power to control ratio, this is a FUN racquet to bang with.

So, does Sam Querrey play the O3 Hybrid Tour? CC

fuzz nation
03-25-2008, 08:27 PM
Your introduction to this frame sounds almost identical to the way mine worked out. I thought all the O Port stuff was pure cheeze, but even if it is, the Hybrid Tour seems to be one of the better all court frames around that I've tried. I like to describe its behavior as being a lot like a Prostaff on a diet and one or two of our pals here have agreed with that. I'd love to eventually grab one in a trade or something; with a good set of strings, that stick is just deadly.

little_e
03-26-2008, 04:36 AM
So, does Sam Querrey play the O3 Hybrid Tour? CC

Yes the 18 x 20 version that RPNY can get.

saram
03-26-2008, 05:49 AM
Great review, CC. What strings did you have in the sticks and what tensions?

BounceHitBounceHit
03-26-2008, 07:52 AM
Have heard other good reports about this frame. Two queries though...

Could you tell me a little about how it swings (Light and fast? Sluggish and slow? Something else?) Plus also, could you say a tad more about its power level as regards the serve?

Thanks

R.

I think it swings similiarly to my AK90's, and their SW is 335. It is not sluggish, but not QUITE as nimble as the classic players' sticks. The power on the serve is decent, again something akin to the K90. Probably why I liked it so much.............. ;) CC

BounceHitBounceHit
03-26-2008, 07:54 AM
Great review, CC. What strings did you have in the sticks and what tensions?

Fabrice Leroy would have to answer that one........it's some strange orange-colored poly he buys in Europe, I think................. CC

BreakPoint
03-26-2008, 10:37 AM
I am wondering how many guys and gals here have gone from the 'Old School' frames to these Hybrid Tours? I tried the original O3 Tour and was not impressed. Same w/ the O3 White. The Hybrid Tour seemed just that-a players frame w/ a little extra umph. ;)

CC
Actually, that would make sense as this racquet was originally designed for James Blake with a lot of his own input. However, ultimately he never did make the switch to it himself and went back to Dunlop instead.

Captain Haddock
03-26-2008, 02:07 PM
Glad you like it, Craig! I had a hunch that you would. The Hybrid Tour reminds me of the Pro Staff 6.1 Classic: it's fairly stiff, heavy, and with an open string pattern. It's not as muted as the 03 Tour MP, which is great for sore elbows, but which makes it difficult to feel the ball at impact, unless you string it really tight and use the hard throat grommet. BTW, the strings are from a Pro's Pro reel of 17 gauge orange co-poly strings designed to mimic Signum Poly Pro Plasma. I bought 2 reels a couple of years ago, and find that string to be just as good as something like Cyberflash. I wouldn't use it in just any frame, especially those with denser patterns, but it fits the 03 series quite well (and not just color-wise). Meanwhile, I've been trying out Craig's AG 200s and really like them, so it looks like everyone's a winner.

BounceHitBounceHit
03-27-2008, 06:49 PM
Actually, that would make sense as this racquet was originally designed for James Blake with a lot of his own input. However, ultimately he never did make the switch to it himself and went back to Dunlop instead.


Hey BP,

Thanks for that input. It's kinda fun to know this about the frame, and I didn't before. I can totally see how someone who loves to attack off the ground like Blake, but still might end points at net, would benefit from this stick.

Best,

CC

BounceHitBounceHit
03-27-2008, 06:52 PM
Glad you like it, Craig! I had a hunch that you would. The Hybrid Tour reminds me of the Pro Staff 6.1 Classic: it's fairly stiff, heavy, and with an open string pattern. It's not as muted as the 03 Tour MP, which is great for sore elbows, but which makes it difficult to feel the ball at impact, unless you string it really tight and use the hard throat grommet. BTW, the strings are from a Pro's Pro reel of 17 gauge orange co-poly strings designed to mimic Signum Poly Pro Plasma. I bought 2 reels a couple of years ago, and find that string to be just as good as something like Cyberflash. I wouldn't use it in just any frame, especially those with denser patterns, but it fits the 03 series quite well (and not just color-wise). Meanwhile, I've been trying out Craig's AG 200s and really like them, so it looks like everyone's a winner.

Good deal Fabrice!

Glad you are enjoying the Dunlops. I would also urge you to try out the AG100 when they become available from TW. If you like the 200G, I predict you will LOVE the 100G. ;)

Best,

CC

Richie Rich
03-27-2008, 06:54 PM
i didn't like the open 16x18 string pattern. it was a decent frame but didn't have the WOW factor for me. maybe if i would have hit with the 18x20 i might have liked it better

BounceHitBounceHit
03-27-2008, 07:36 PM
i didn't like the open 16x18 string pattern. it was a decent frame but didn't have the WOW factor for me. maybe if i would have hit with the 18x20 i might have liked it better

I tend to favor open string patterns, so it was a good fit. I do think someone said Querrey plays an 18x20 version. Best, CC