View Full Version : Why I didn't like the O3Tour

06-27-2005, 12:16 PM
Demoed the O3Tour for the third time and I just donít like it.

I really wanted to like this stick. On paper it seemed like the perfect replacement for my 5g. A little lighter, better spin, a little more power. I did like it the first time I played with it.

But I had too many control problems with it. Not enough feel for touch shots. Too lively a stringbed to volley a really hot passing shot, but not quite the pop I wanted on serves.

It seems like there are tons of guys recommending this stick to others, but thought I should post a differing view so potential buyers wonít think itís unanimously loved.

Just shows it pays to demo a few times, not just once.

06-27-2005, 12:23 PM
Just felt too "noodlely" to me which doesn't inspire confidence.

06-27-2005, 12:33 PM
Hi Ben, I demoed the 03 Tour and really liked it and bought it, but I can see where some folks would not. It is an average serving racket, I've played with many that are significantly better. This it is a solid volleying racket in my view when strung correctly (not too loose and with Poly or a not too lively string - (that is key IMO), and since I use Poly I have no problem with too lively a stringbed - very good control with a BB Ace hybrid. The softer flexing and confortable frame I think are a very fine match for using a Poly or Poly/hybrid string set up - which also enhances the topspin of this "spin frame" and therefore the control as well.
Where this racket shines for me is the strength of my game - groundstrokes and return of serve - love the top and control one can get. My serve is average so the racket is fine for me. As I get older I like the lower swingweight but still solid feel.

As they say - different strokes and rackets for different folks.


06-27-2005, 01:03 PM

It was not made for 3.0 players!

06-27-2005, 02:08 PM
Is that supposed to be an insult?

How old are you again?

Richie Rich
06-27-2005, 02:13 PM
I didn't quite like the O3 Tour either (and barry - I'm a 4.5 so not sure what your point was). Groundies were good but volleys and serve were missing something - possible due to the 100sq inch head and it's relatively even balance. Just felt sluggish generating decent headspeed on my serves.

06-27-2005, 02:37 PM
i dun like it either, i dunno if it's the racuqet or the string... i cant really feel the ball on contacts, unlike the POG LB i've been using which i can tell myself where exactly my ball is on the stringbed and how much power n spin i can generate.

06-27-2005, 05:13 PM
My impression is that the string is key. I haven't experimented very much yet. I know that a poly hybrid works well on the O3 Red and I suspect the same, as brought out in previous messages, works for the O3 Tour. My demo came pre-strung with Duraflex 16, which wandered and didn't feel good. Because it is a demo and not all folks may go for a poly hybrid, I turned to TOA Silencer and that feels good.

06-27-2005, 07:24 PM
The 03 Tour is a very fine racquet, however, like every racquet on the market,it isn't for everyone. Actually, I believe that Prince needs to be very strict as to the way in which it is presented in a pro-shop's demo programme. If the tension isn't kept at the right level and if a poor string is used then the tester will get the wrong impression of the frame (which is pretty common with most demo racquets).

As to what level it is best suited to, well I think the 03 Tour is more than applicable to all levels of play and both genders. If you have a look at the TW review you'll see that the 3.0 player is happiest with it in stock form. Those above that level mention that it needs a bit more weight added up top. Possibly the only reason they recommend it for 4.0+ is that it (when strung properly) is that it requires a few technique adjustments (mostly just a bit more work applied to the volley) but that's par for the course when you use a 100sq or up frame.

Would I switch to it? No, I think the Diablo is a better all-around frame for a serve-volley game but I still found it very playable and especially so with the weight increased to 12 ounces and strung at about 60lbs with a finer gauge string.

06-27-2005, 09:56 PM
Buddy of mine bought two...loves the tour and feels it has helped all facets of his game. He's a pretty big server, and has greate results w/the O3.

06-28-2005, 02:40 AM
I purchased and played with both The Prince O3 Tour and The Head Flexpoint Tour rackets.

The Head Flexpoint Tour was very heavy, and in bad need of lead tape at 9 and 3. I used it for about 1 hour total, arm and shoulder was sore. Gave it to a teaching pro his arm and shoulder hurt. Dumped it! It just was not the right frame for my 5.0 game. Also could not tell where the ball was going, to much flex.
The Prince O3 Tour is a nice frame. No arm or shoulder problems. It is solid on the ground and at net. One complaint was the sound, it lack sound when you hit with it. I added lead tape at 3 & 9; the O3 had more power, and overall played better. I did sell it, due to the muted sound. I could not tell how hard the ball was hit based on the sound. The sweet spot is huge, almost the entire frame, but it you hit an overhead; the sound was the same as hitting a drop shot.
The Head racket is much too heavy, and by the time you customize it, it would be over 13 ounces. The Prince O3 with lead tape, leather grip, was perfect 12 ounces. I also like the string pattern on the O3 16 x 18 is nice, you can generate a lot of spin, but still have control. I used a 17-gauge poly string, would recommend using 16-gauge string, somewhere in the 60-tension range. Prince has created a very nice frame even balance for those of us who like to customize. Unlike the Head Flexpoint tour, you can customize the frame to your liking without it weighing 13 ounces.
Just my review of both frames, if it were me, I would consider the Prince O3 Tour, best racket I have tested in a couple of years. If they could only fix the sound issue I would be using it.

One other suggestion, never demo a racket. Buy one, string it the way you like it, test it, and sell it if you do not like it. The demo rackets are usually strung loose and never feel like what you purchase. On average it has cost me $20 or so to buy, test, and sell frames. The demoís I tried owners would not let me customize them to my specificiations.

06-28-2005, 02:43 AM

The TW warehouse review says it is "Best suited to 4.0+ level players" , I miss typed 3.0 for 4.0.


06-28-2005, 03:20 AM
MY flexpoint customized as it is now is 13.0 ounces by the time I'm finished I have some lead tape coming in today the frame will be 13.5 ounces. I don't mind that weight at all and the frame actually feels rather light.
My Ti. Radical is 12.85 ounces and with some more lead tape will be into the 13 ounce category.
Barry the flexpoint hasn't hurt my shoulder at all maybe you should just stick with lighter rackets or you need to start lifting weights becase when the racket is in my hand it feels light but of course I lift.

06-28-2005, 04:12 AM

I think the ti.Radical was the best frame Head ever produced. You must add a lot of lead to get it to 12.8 ounces as the frame strung is around 11.0 ounces. I use Fairway grips and lead tape on my 4 5/8 Ti, and it weighs 11.8 ounces, which is perfect for my game. Also the Ti. is 6 point head light, not 10 like the flex point. I was hoping Head would make the Flexpoint like the Ti.Radical in a 16 x 19 pattern and leave the balance the same. However, they did not, and created an overweight frame, which is hard to play with. Like several reviewers said, you might as well buy an LM.Radical and save your money, the holes are gimmicks.
It is not the weigh which causes my shoulder problems, but the head light nature. I have problems with my shoulder when using any racket above 8 head light. The flexpoint with a fairway is about 13 point head light. You have to add lead tape at 9 & 3 to compensate.
In the old days, players used heavy rackets, but todayís trends are to use lighter head heavier rackets even on the pro tour. It was published in tennis magazine a few months ago.

06-28-2005, 06:08 AM

The TW warehouse review says it is "Best suited to 4.0+ level players" , I miss typed 3.0 for 4.0.


That's okay Barry. What I was suggesting is that, in my opinion, the 03 in its stock form can be a good choice for players at the level down from the TW rating. I don't think it's in any way intimidating for them as it certainly has a large enough sweetspot, enough power and a good weight to be handled ably by a 3.0. Of course, a 4.0+ will probably be able to get the most out of the racquet but I dont think it should stop those below that level. Might be a good one for them to use as they move through the rankings. The better they get, the more they'll get out of it.

Pity you didn't like the 03 Tour. Have you tried the Diablo mp? It has roughly similar specs to the 03 Tour but is a bit more head light. Of course, if you take it up to 12 ounces that could be eliminated. If the sensation is still too muted then a few on the board have said that a modified POG longbody specs roughly the same but has that more traditional feel to it. Assuming, of course, that you're in the market for a new frame.

06-28-2005, 12:44 PM

I hit great with the O3, won both matches and it had good pop. My wife used it and loved it too, she is a 4.5 player. for me, it would take a while to get use to the muted feel. Might try the Diablo MP, tried a NXG mid last year, but it was a little to stiff for me.
I think the new line of Prince rackets are selling very well, we have about 5 players at our club using O3's, red and silver. Understand a new blue model is coming out.

06-28-2005, 06:18 PM
Yes, I've seen the blue version up on the Prince web site. Apparently there's also an 03 White although that is rumoured to be a very light frame.

Sounds like you prefer a frame with good flex and more traditional feedback. If so, welcome to the club LOL. I've been looking for exactly the same thing with limited success. I usually take a flex rating (trusting the TW specs) of 62 to be my ideal so will consider frames just under or just over that rating. Tried the 300G and LM Radical which are both rated at 64 but, for thinner beamed frames (another preference) they felt unpleasantly stiff so I guess that's my maximum (wider body frames dont seem as bad but I prefer the slimmer variety).

There's a few in that bracket but, unfortunately, not so many good ones. I prefer not to go with Yonex (dislike the head shape), Volkl (grip shape) or Head (grip shape) so that limits me to a small band of decent frames.

Have you tried any, or all, of the Fischer Pro Number 1, the new Dunlop M-Fil 300 or the ProStaff Tour95?

06-30-2005, 05:43 PM

I just played two very competitive sets with this the 03 tour today and am completely thrilled with it's performance. Groundstrokes were penetrating and I especially liked the stability hitting on the run. I didn't really hit many volleys but the ones I did felt solid. The only thing that wasn't in sync was my serve, which felt a bit weaker on the first server but easily hit a better spin kicker.

Anyway I've been playing the Diablo mid for about the last 18months and am going to be trading them in ASAP for a couple of these. I just felt it raised my game from the baseline to even consider anything else.

Oh yeah, the last racket that felt this good was my 80s prince cts approach which I played from like 84 until I picked up the Diablo... a year and a half ago.

If you're reading the comments here the best advice is get off the computer and hit some balls, then make a choice :)