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View Full Version : Prince EXO3 Graphite 100 - My Review!


Bottle Rocket
07-13-2009, 06:50 PM
Hey guys,

Well, there isn't a whole lot of discussion on this frame and its playing characteristics, so I figured I'd put something out there. I'm on a mission to find some arm-friendly replacements for my K95 18X20's. I traded a Microgel Prestige MP for this EXO3 Graphite 100. I strung it up with Cyber Flash at 57 lbs.

I've been playing with the Prestige Mid, which I've fallen in love with. I was playing a tourney this weekend and the strings in my Prestige Mid broke in the middle of the second set of my quarterfinal match, so I had no choice but to pull out the EXO3. I completed this match, played my semifinal match, and did some solid hitting with it for a few hours yesterday. I've hit with tons of rackets and also played for a few months with an original POG (without grommets) before it cracked on me. I always enjoy playing with new frames and I was pretty excited about this one, especially after the extremely positive TW review.

Here are my thoughts in the typical TW user review format:

Groundstrokes

The first thing that becomes obvious is the high trajectory of the ball off the strings on groundstrokes accompanied by a ridiculous amount of spin. The amount of spin is nuts. The frame has a soft yet crisp feel, which is awesome. It is definitely arm-friendly, but doesn't feel mushy or soft like, say, a Prestige MP. Very crisp and firm. The crispness goes well with the incredible bite you get with this tihng. I've hit with tons of sticks, but I can't recall ever hitting with a frame where I got so much spin on my groundstrokes without changing anything about my swing. I was, of course, not getting the same pace, but I was really getting having fun with all the spin.

It definitely lacks a little bit of weight in the head for my taste, but I'm used to frames with swingweights near 340, so I may not be normal. But it does have decent weight and feels very evenly balanced.

Finally, backhand slices are great with the same spin and bite as top spin strokes. It was easy to keep them low and hit with consistent depth.

If you're one of those guys who is all about top spin, I can't think of a better stick. I think Babolat has some catching up to do here...

If you're a flatter hitter, or even a semi-western'er who hits through the ball as opposed to hitting loopier shots, I think you're going to find something missing from this frame in stock form. It was rather difficult to hit a shot with a flatter trajectory that felt natural. I'll be the 93 inch would be fantastic for this.

Volleys

Well, uhhh, the worst volleyer trying to make their way into the WTA would be disgusted with my volleys, BUT, It is a nice stick at net. I am good enough to know that. Has good feel. It isn't the most manueverable 12+ ounce stick, but it isn't too much. It is very forgiving and in my semifinal, I found myself hitting some surprisingly good volleys.

If you can volley well, you will volley well with this frame.

Serves

I felt like I couldn't miss a serve with this thing. The control, compared with the Prestige Mid I am now used to, isn't there. But the consistency and ridiculous spin on second serves was nice. The same bite you get on groundtrokes was there on serves. It has decent weight and a pretty natural balance for serves. You're not going to want this frame if you're a flat server, but if you're all about consistency, spin, and heavy kick serves, I think this frame is great.

For me, I found the consistency and spin great, but the control slightly lacking. I also wished there was a little bit more weight in the haed.

Serve Returns

Ehh, I always hated that this was a seperate category. Check groundstrokes.

Overall

Overall, this frame seems to have its place in the "modern game". If you hit with heavy top spin off both wings, I think you'll absolutely love this thing. It has a great crisp feel and rewards those who really take swipe at the ball. The frame is forgiving, comfortable, and easy to play with.

If you're a more traditional type of player, someone who's a fan of the K90's, Prestige's, etc..., I think you'll find the large head size and open string pattern just feels a tad bit difficult to reign in.

My style

I hit with something between a semi-western and full-western forehand, with a full semi-western one-handed backhand. I'm a consistent server, don't hit many aces, but keep a high percentage in with a good amount of spin.

Last words

My EXO3 100 is up for sale (email me or check the for sale forum for more info if you're interested). The quest for my next frame continues. Next up, the Volkl Powerbridge 10 Mid. Favorite so far? Microgel Prestige Mid.

I'd love to hear comments from others who have tried this frame as well. Hopefully I didn't get it all wrong?

Any questions?

Bottle Rocket
07-14-2009, 01:18 PM
There isn't a single other soul on this board that has used this frame?

barry
07-14-2009, 01:56 PM
I demoed the EXO3 100 and 93 from TW a while back. Between the 2 I liked the 93 better. It seems more stable and a bit heavier.

I demoed the Prince Exo 100 and it was a real rocket launcher. You could generate a ton of pace and distance, but it was much too powerful for my play, and sound was unusually muted. I found myself holding back on shots, otherwise they hit the fence.

Next, I demoed the Prince Exo 93, and was very impressed. It is livelier than the new EXO Rebel, and offered great control from the ground. The feel of the racket was impressive; even at 12.3 ounces it felt comfortable and light. Downfall for me was serving; I could not get any pop on the serves. It would take me a while to get use to serving with this frame. Control was great, you could place your serves, but the big flat serve had little pace. Prince will sell a ton of these, they are excellent rackets, and for me a big improvement over the 100. Plus the smaller head size didn’t seem to matter, very comfortable with a large sweet spot.

My next demo will be the EXO3 Ignite 95 Racquets, I still like the Wilson Nsix.one 95 the best of all the rackets I have used.

Bottle Rocket
07-14-2009, 05:10 PM
I demoed the Prince Exo 100 and it was a real rocket launcher. You could generate a ton of pace and distance, but it was much too powerful for my play, and sound was unusually muted. I found myself holding back on shots, otherwise they hit the fence.

I still like the Wilson Nsix.one 95 the best of all the rackets I have used.

Hmm... I didn't say much about the power level, but I definitely do not feel it is a rocket launcher. In fact, when going straight from the Prestige Mid to this EXO 100, I was having trouble getting the same pace/depth for a while. I don't think it is a high powered frame - seems to absorb a lot of energy. This thing is a spin monster and I think that is how to find control with this frame.

I do agree with you on the muted sound - it's no Prestige in that department.

The N95 is an awesome frame. I hope Wilson will add some flex back into the Six-One series with the next iteration. The K95 18X20 is still probably my favorite of all-time (other than he being brutal on your elbow/arm), but the N95 is near the top of my list. Wish they were still around...

sruckauf
07-15-2009, 09:09 AM
Hey BR-

I currently play with this stick, after demoing many racquets over the last year. Am enjoying it immensely.

Regarding your comment about high trajectory of the ball.. I agree with you. I have found that thicker string setups really provide a better, more natural ball trajectory. Depending on if I'm playing singles or doubles, I've been playing Cyber Blue 16, Maxim Touch 15L or 16, Reaction 16, and TNT 15L or 16.

You mentioned you thought it could use a more head-heavy balance.. interesting. For my preference, I found the opposite. I added a little lead under the grip to bring it to 8pts head light, which I like a lot.

You mentioned this: "If you're a more traditional type of player, someone who's a fan of the K90's, Prestige's, etc..., I think you'll find the large head size and open string pattern just feels a tad bit difficult to reign in."

I totally agree with you there. In my experience, moving to thicker strings really addressed this. Since you're coming from K95 18X20, maybe the degree of open string pattern of the Graphite 100 just won't suit you in the end, but I thought the thicker strings helped out in this department. I actually wish the pattern were just a bit more closed.. but again that's why I'm using the thicker strings.

Anyway, thanks for the review - very useful. I'll be tuning to see what racquet you do end up with, since your comments were mostly favorable about this frame.

Spartan
07-15-2009, 12:33 PM
I have one, I like it.... but I like the Ignite 95 better so that is my #1 racquet now.

barry
07-15-2009, 04:55 PM
I have one, I like it.... but I like the Ignite 95 better so that is my #1 racquet now.

Have you hit with an N6.1 95? Read on another thread the Ignite 95 is very similar. Also have you posted a review of the Ignite? Would be of interest to many on this site.

Bottle Rocket
07-15-2009, 07:05 PM
Hey BR-

I currently play with this stick, after demoing many racquets over the last year. Am enjoying it immensely.

Regarding your comment about high trajectory of the ball.. I agree with you. I have found that thicker string setups really provide a better, more natural ball trajectory. Depending on if I'm playing singles or doubles, I've been playing Cyber Blue 16, Maxim Touch 15L or 16, Reaction 16, and TNT 15L or 16.

You mentioned you thought it could use a more head-heavy balance.. interesting. For my preference, I found the opposite. I added a little lead under the grip to bring it to 8pts head light, which I like a lot.

You mentioned this: "If you're a more traditional type of player, someone who's a fan of the K90's, Prestige's, etc..., I think you'll find the large head size and open string pattern just feels a tad bit difficult to reign in."

I totally agree with you there. In my experience, moving to thicker strings really addressed this. Since you're coming from K95 18X20, maybe the degree of open string pattern of the Graphite 100 just won't suit you in the end, but I thought the thicker strings helped out in this department. I actually wish the pattern were just a bit more closed.. but again that's why I'm using the thicker strings.

Anyway, thanks for the review - very useful. I'll be tuning to see what racquet you do end up with, since your comments were mostly favorable about this frame.

Good Stuff, sruckauf. And thank you!

I think a thicker string sounds like something worth trying - would also be good for the added durability. AND, it would add what I think would be a noticeable increase in swingweight. Win win win?

I guess I shouldn't have said I'd prefer a more head-heavy balance. It just feels a little light in the head to me. For all I know, lead in the handle would make it feel just fine. I just never tried it...

I for some reason have totally fallen in love with tight string patterns. It seems the tighter the pattern, the more I like it. However, I was definitely getting more spin with this frame as my hitting partner noticed and described here (post #7); http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=274144&highlight=exo3 . Thanks to kcmiser for that post and being so kind to me, as always. I don't deserve it.

Anyway, I'll keep you all updated with my findings. I've got some Volkl's headed my way (yeah, I know, who would have thought), so that that will be my next review.

onkystomper
07-20-2009, 10:40 AM
OK so i have been hitting this stick for a few weeks now. Feel i should share my thoughts..

Firts up i string with Blackcode at recommeded tension and play at 15.1 in France which is i suppose around 5.0 ish US. so not Federer but can hit a ball.

The sweetspot on this racket is just huge, every shot feels solid and you can tell this racket is graphite, it has great feel to it.

Groundstroke were very consistent and if you are looking fir a spin racket this is just huge, my normal shot was really jumping up of the court and getting out of people hit zone... this is great if this is your game if you are looking for a flat fast shot this racket is not for you.

Due to the huge spin serving with kich was great. I definitely go for accuracy rather than pace with this racket and the spin gets you a lot of cheap points... or sets up your 2nd shot well.

My volleys are weakest part of my game and this racket felt solid... its extra forgiveness helped me out here compared to my normal head Rad TT & the feel was there too.. be aware it has a high swingweight so be sure you can handle it.

I really really like this racket... I was ready to hang up my Ooollllld rackets and stick with these BUT the problem i found is due to the open string pattern I am breaking strings every hour or so & as I am away from home a lot and do not have access to my stringer this is an issue...

Overall awesome racket and anyone looking for a forgiving heavy hitter with great feel should give it a go...

On a side note, i played around with some lead tape... added some at 3&9 .. gave more plough through but feel was muted more

then

moved to the handle = felt there was a bit more on the ball

but bottom line is i preffered it stock

Bottle Rocket
07-20-2009, 12:08 PM
OK so i have been hitting this stick for a few weeks now. Feel i should share my thoughts..


Looks like you and I agree for the most part. Basically this thing is an incredibly solid stick best suited to heavy spinners, both on groundstrokes and serves.

onkystomper
07-21-2009, 07:03 AM
Yeah exactly that. I can get more spin out of this than i did an Aeropro drive or Pure drive, it is just massive... Also there is way more feel there than any of the Babolat rackets...

Casco
02-13-2010, 07:37 PM
I just purchased a EXO3 Graphite 100, and the first thing I did was make it's weight and balance the same as what I typically like. Because the specs show just a 2 pt head light balance, all the lead went under the grip - about 11 grams. This resulted in a 335 gram weight with a 31.5 balance (unstrung) and later, when strung, 351 weight with a 32.1 balance.

Here's where I'm looking for advice. Because I have an arm that is healing, I went with gut on the mains and syn-gut on the crosses, both at 57. I'm a poly player, but didn't want to set my arm's progress back. Two problems: 1) too much power; and 2) the racquet felt way heavier than it should have - I always play with this weight and balance.

Regarding the power issue, I could go with higher tension, but I think given the comfort of the racquet I'll go with a soft poly, maybe WeissCannon Turbo Twist or MSV Evo Hex. So what tension? Bottle Rocket went with 56 in CyberFlash. Maybe go with 57? He didn't weight his up. 57 would be the same tension I used, but I'd be going to poly, so I'd assume I'd have less power with more spin, which is what I'm looking for. Don't want to chance going too high for the arm's sake. And regarding the way it felt heavier than it cshould have - I don't know what to make of this - maybe just a fluke today - or maybe felt heavier because I didn't swing out because of too much power from the stining. I'd welcome any input. Thanks.

iplaybetter
02-13-2010, 08:16 PM
Interesting you though it lacked weight in the head, i haven't used one since last November when i got my hands on some early ones and the balance was the reason i went to the mids, i found that the balance of the 100 was not nearly head light enough...

Casco
02-13-2010, 08:53 PM
Interesting you though it lacked weight in the head, i haven't used one since last November when i got my hands on some early ones and the balance was the reason i went to the mids, i found that the balance of the 100 was not nearly head light enough...

No, I think you misunderstood me. I said that it was only 2 pts head light according to specs and my measurements, which is a relatively low in terms of being head light (it's toward the head heavy side of balance). That's why the lead I added, almost 11 grams went into the handle. So we, in fact, agree that it is not head light enough in its stock form.

Mansewerz
02-13-2010, 09:03 PM
If you like the MG Presitge mid, why are you looking for a new frame?

iplaybetter
02-14-2010, 02:01 PM
No, I think you misunderstood me. I said that it was only 2 pts head light according to specs and my measurements, which is a relatively low in terms of being head light (it's toward the head heavy side of balance). That's why the lead I added, almost 11 grams went into the handle. So we, in fact, agree that it is not head light enough in its stock form.

i read that you thought the swingweight was too low
try the mid, the balance is great