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View Full Version : Prince EXO3 Black - Racquet for my wife?


Andreas1965
02-29-2012, 09:23 AM
Hi folks,
my wife decided to buy a new racquet. She played with a Wilson Kobra Tour for the last year, but wants to look for something more powerful, yet spin-friendly and not too harsh to her arm.

She's a baseliner with solid swings, technically good FH topspin and a 2HBH. The Kobra was ok for her, but she's only 48 kg at 170 cm and seems to need a more powerful stick. A few grams less weight would be ok for her, too.

Because of some elbow issues over the last few years we decided not to jump on the Pure Drive train (or APD).

The EXO3 Black is on sale at TW Europe now and seems to match her desire. Unfortunately there's not a single pro shop in our area selling prince racquets, so demoing the frame isn't possible.

Since the Black is only 89,- Euro at TW Europe, I could order one for her, and if the worst case happens, sell it away via the big auction site with only a few Euros loss.

Any opinions on the EXO3 Black? Especially from the girls?

Thanks,
Andreas

floydcouncil
02-29-2012, 10:21 AM
Hi folks,
my wife decided to buy a new racquet. She played with a Wilson Kobra Tour for the last year, but wants to look for something more powerful, yet spin-friendly and not too harsh to her arm.

She's a baseliner with solid swings, technically good FH topspin and a 2HBH. The Kobra was ok for her, but she's only 48 kg at 170 cm and seems to need a more powerful stick. A few grams less weight would be ok for her, too.

Because of some elbow issues over the last few years we decided not to jump on the Pure Drive train (or APD).

The EXO3 Black is on sale at TW Europe now and seems to match her desire. Unfortunately there's not a single pro shop in our area selling prince racquets, so demoing the frame isn't possible.

Since the Black is only 89,- Euro at TW Europe, I could order one for her, and if the worst case happens, sell it away via the big auction site with only a few Euros loss.

Any opinions on the EXO3 Black? Especially from the girls?

Thanks,
Andreas

...as the saying goes.. "once she goes EXO Black, she'll never go back"

interjim
02-29-2012, 10:32 AM
...as the saying goes.. "once she goes EXO Black, she'll never go back"

Negative. That's a standard.

un6a
03-01-2012, 12:04 AM
Hi folks,
my wife decided to buy a new racquet. She played with a Wilson Kobra Tour for the last year, but wants to look for something more powerful, yet spin-friendly and not too harsh to her arm.

She's a baseliner with solid swings, technically good FH topspin and a 2HBH. The Kobra was ok for her, but she's only 48 kg at 170 cm and seems to need a more powerful stick. A few grams less weight would be ok for her, too.

Because of some elbow issues over the last few years we decided not to jump on the Pure Drive train (or APD).

The EXO3 Black is on sale at TW Europe now and seems to match her desire. Unfortunately there's not a single pro shop in our area selling prince racquets, so demoing the frame isn't possible.

Since the Black is only 89,- Euro at TW Europe, I could order one for her, and if the worst case happens, sell it away via the big auction site with only a few Euros loss.

Any opinions on the EXO3 Black? Especially from the girls?

Thanks,
Andreas

Exo3 Black is nice racquet with good power, but Swingweight is around 330 which is much more than SW on kobra tour (around 310 if i recall correctly). So it may be heavy for her.

fuzz nation
03-01-2012, 05:11 AM
Pretty much the two things that lend more power to a racquet are its weight and its stiffness. If your wife needs and arm-friendly racquet, I'll assume that you want to go in the more flexible direction - that will keep the liveliness of the racquet lower than a stiffer option with similar heft and balance. If you also go lighter than the Kobra (no idea what the spec's are for that frame), that will typically also make for a little less pop. Proceed with caution if you get to looking at lighter racquets - a few tenths of an ounce (I'm more familiar with ounces than grams) can make a very big difference.

One thing that can keep any racquet in a more arm-friendly layout is to equip it with softer string. Even frames with some extra backbone can be easy on the joints if strung with maybe a multifiber or some natural gut. I think that this is an essential consideration when seeking an arm-friendly layout.

I think of the EXO3 Black as Prince's version of the Babolat Pure Drive. Lots of access to spin and power as long as the heft of the racquet is right for your wife. If you decide to string a frame like this one with a softer string type, expect to get a LOT of zip out of it. It might need a higher tension to keep that setup from being too much of a slingshot.

Andreas1965
03-01-2012, 07:43 AM
Pretty much the two things that lend more power to a racquet are its weight and its stiffness. If your wife needs and arm-friendly racquet, I'll assume that you want to go in the more flexible direction - that will keep the liveliness of the racquet lower than a stiffer option with similar heft and balance. If you also go lighter than the Kobra (no idea what the spec's are for that frame), that will typically also make for a little less pop. Proceed with caution if you get to looking at lighter racquets - a few tenths of an ounce (I'm more familiar with ounces than grams) can make a very big difference.

One thing that can keep any racquet in a more arm-friendly layout is to equip it with softer string. Even frames with some extra backbone can be easy on the joints if strung with maybe a multifiber or some natural gut. I think that this is an essential consideration when seeking an arm-friendly layout.

I think of the EXO3 Black as Prince's version of the Babolat Pure Drive. Lots of access to spin and power as long as the heft of the racquet is right for your wife. If you decide to string a frame like this one with a softer string type, expect to get a LOT of zip out of it. It might need a higher tension to keep that setup from being too much of a slingshot.
The Kobra is 306 g (sorry, us Europeans are more familiar with grams ;)) and 7 pt. headlight.
My wife absolutely hates multis, she's loving full poly. I can understand this, there's nothing better than a full poly setup. We both string our racquets with Silverstring at low tensions, she's stringing 23/22 kg in her Kobra.

The EXO3 Black is a bit more head heavy, and has the stiffer frame. Might very well be that this means more power for her with the same string setup.
Strung weight for both racquets should be the same, she once played with a Radical MP, which was about 10 g lighter, and hated that.

I think I'll bite the bullet and order one for her.

klementine79
03-01-2012, 08:19 AM
Seems like an unfair trade. It all depends on the condition of the racquet. I would do it if it was brand new. :smile:

Fuji
03-01-2012, 08:21 AM
If you want my input I'll be more then glad to step in.

I own a pair of EX03 Black's and I string them with full poly at 60lbs. The Black is such an odd stick in the sense, that it feels like a 60RA racket when hit in the sweet spot, but a 70RA when hit outside the sweet spot. I absolutely love it for playing some good one-two tennis. The only downside is this set up is absolute trash for net play. When volleying I've found hotspots all over the bed and it's not overly consistent. From the baseline however, it's great! Tons of free power and flick shots become a part of your tool belt rather quickly.

Serving was a mixed bag for me. My serving doesn't really need any extra power, and I still haven't tamed it fully for serving. I hit pretty big (or so I like to think ;) ) and the Black was a bit wild. When I actually got my first serves in, they were heavy and very fast, but I was hitting quite a few long. Second serves are solid, but nothing really wowing for me.

Overall this is a great stick, as long as you have some time to grow with it, and really try out some different string combos.

If you have any other questions, just ask!

-Fuji

klementine79
03-01-2012, 08:49 AM
^ Good points Fuji.

OP, you need to elaborate on the style of game your wife plays a bit more. What are her tendencies? Flatter backhand.. likes to torque the wrist on every shot? How long has she been playing?

If she has elbow problems, a stiff racquet is not what she needs. That being said, Prince does make some comfortable frames but she might not be used to the feel of a prince frame, coming from a wilson and a babolat.

What I've learned about women and tennis racquets (and this is totally subjective and based on the 3 women in my life who play) is that once a woman is comfortable with a certain racquet brand, she tends to stick with it. Strings as well. They aren't too concerned about specs-reviews-the new latest and greatest; that is men for the most part.

A woman knows what she wants and won't make excuses like us men (me..in particular).. 'if I add lead here'...'a lether grip, silicone and drop the tension'. My wife has played with HEAD racquets all her life and refuses to change.

I would look into the Prince Warrior100 (if your mind is made up on Prince). Softer than the exo3black.. thicker beam.. so should be just as powerful, if not more so. The Wilson BLXProOpen, if she liked her old Wilson.

And don't rule out the possibility of getting a flexible racquet but that's a bit heavier. The extra weight will add power and yet the frame will be nice and muted,soft.

Good Luck.

Andreas1965
03-01-2012, 08:53 AM
If you want my input I'll be more then glad to step in.

I own a pair of EX03 Black's and I string them with full poly at 60lbs. The Black is such an odd stick in the sense, that it feels like a 60RA racket when hit in the sweet spot, but a 70RA when hit outside the sweet spot. I absolutely love it for playing some good one-two tennis. The only downside is this set up is absolute trash for net play. When volleying I've found hotspots all over the bed and it's not overly consistent. From the baseline however, it's great! Tons of free power and flick shots become a part of your tool belt rather quickly.

Serving was a mixed bag for me. My serving doesn't really need any extra power, and I still haven't tamed it fully for serving. I hit pretty big (or so I like to think ;) ) and the Black was a bit wild. When I actually got my first serves in, they were heavy and very fast, but I was hitting quite a few long. Second serves are solid, but nothing really wowing for me.

Overall this is a great stick, as long as you have some time to grow with it, and really try out some different string combos.

If you have any other questions, just ask!

-Fuji
My wife plays exclusively baseline-tennis. She even avoids doubles, because she has to come to the net...
I really admire her forehand, much better technique than I have, of course mine is harder, but for a woman...

Fuji, what you are saying sounds good to me.

Fuji
03-01-2012, 08:59 AM
My wife plays exclusively baseline-tennis. She even avoids doubles, because she has to come to the net...
I really admire her forehand, much better technique than I have, of course mine is harder, but for a woman...

Fuji, what you are saying sounds good to me.

That's awesome! If she is a baseliner, then the Black might be a perfect match. I use the Open Port grommets, and I find them WORLDS softer then the hard ones. The hard ones made it feel like a Pure Drive to me, (which is a bit too stiff.)

I have an awful forehand. I slice it a lot, and have a mix of old school flat with a bit of modern topspin. It's a horrendous shot to see, but it gets the job done! LOL!

-Fuji

fuzz nation
03-01-2012, 10:00 AM
The Kobra is 306 g (sorry, us Europeans are more familiar with grams ;)) and 7 pt. headlight.
My wife absolutely hates multis, she's loving full poly. I can understand this, there's nothing better than a full poly setup. We both string our racquets with Silverstring at low tensions, she's stringing 23/22 kg in her Kobra.

The EXO3 Black is a bit more head heavy, and has the stiffer frame. Might very well be that this means more power for her with the same string setup.
Strung weight for both racquets should be the same, she once played with a Radical MP, which was about 10 g lighter, and hated that.

I think I'll bite the bullet and order one for her.

Sorry for being an ugly American - still working out my "at a glance" conversions of weights, temperatures, speed... HA!

I dug up the spec's on the Kobra and it was listed as having a strung weight of 326 grams (11.5 oz.) along with a flex rating of 62. In my book, that's rather a middleweight frame these days. I'd expect the EXO3 Black to probably offer a boost in liveliness or "pop", since it has significantly more stiffness. Since she hated the Radical, this Prince could easily be a step in the right direction.

My concern is that your wife likes to string with full poly. If fostering a healthy elbow is a serious priority, I think that something needs to change. In my experience around the sport, I've come to believe that strings are probably a more significant factor toward arm health than the weight and stiffness of the racquet. I've seen several very strong players suffer injuries in terms of tennis elbow, etc. after switching to poly strings in their regular racquets. In a few cases, those players healed up and kept their racquets, but switched into softer strings upon returning to the courts and were fine after that.

If your wife wants to stick with those strings, then I'd recommend adding an off-court exercise regimen to make those arms (especially the elbow) stronger and more resilient. Otherwise, using the same sort of strings in another racquet with similar heft and much more stiffness will probably only be harder on the arm.

Andreas1965
03-01-2012, 09:58 PM
Thanks for your input, Fuzz Nation!

I can easily understand why my wife prefers full poly. I'm the same. Whenever I tried a hybrid, like SS with WC Explosiv, the change in the ball's trajectory coming off the racquet made me sick. And then there's this certain feeling of hitting a deep and hard forehand down the line with a racquet strung with full poly. I really tried to like hybrids or multis fullbed, but always came back to full poly.

Today she's gonna play with one of her teammates for 2 hours (indoor of course, still no more than 10 degrees celsius here). I strung one of her Kobras with 1 kg lower tension than usual and didn't tell her. Let's see...

Haven't talked with her too much last night, all she did was searching for information about the Black ;) she kept me away from the computer the whole evening ;) I strongly guess she'll order one anyway.

TennisCJC
03-02-2012, 10:06 AM
Have your wife try these:

1. Volkl V1: Organix or PB or Classic (mid+ or OS) the new Organix V1 is cool looking
2. Volkl Organix 8
3. Wilson Pro Open (older model)

The volkls are great for the elbow even with stiff frames and poly strings. The Wilson has a bit more flex than most wide body rackets and is very comfortable with controlable power.

Andreas1965
03-02-2012, 10:19 AM
Have your wife try these:

1. Volkl V1: Organix or PB or Classic (mid+ or OS) the new Organix V1 is cool looking
2. Volkl Organix 8
3. Wilson Pro Open (older model)

The volkls are great for the elbow even with stiff frames and poly strings. The Wilson has a bit more flex than most wide body rackets and is very comfortable with controlable power.
Thank you, but

- Volkl: never ever. I hate that company, if my wife would buy a Volkl, I'll file for divorce

Pro Open: sounds good. Might tell her to give it a try.

Andreas1965
03-03-2012, 08:07 AM
Update: last night she won over a woman that is 4 ranks higher in her club easily with 6:1/6:3 (of course with her Kobra).
Now she's in doubt if changing racquet is a good idea...