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View Full Version : Prince EXO3 Tour 100 16X18 is VERY FRAGILE!


topspin247
11-26-2012, 11:23 AM
Hi,

My 13 yrs old son was hitting a forehand with a 5 months old Prince EXO3 Tour 100 during one of his recent tournaments and after the shot, the racquet frame on one side cracked open that he had to stop the during the point. He is not allowed and has never abused his racquet. He is sponsored junior player by Prince. So I called and told Prince about the racquet and they asked me to send it in. About a week later, I received a letter from Prince stating that they have completed their evaluation of the racquet and find no indications that the damage was the result of any manufacturers or materials defect. The damage appears to be the result of excessive wear to the head of the frame which weakened the racquets supporting structure. And they can not replace. I called and reason with Prince but that leads to nowhere.

He used to play with Babolat AeroPro Drive GT for more than two years. The racquet's paint chipped away every where, the grommet worn out to the frame BUT that Babolat racquet never cracked or broken in anyway. It is still playable.

Has anyone had any experience like this with this Prince Tour racquet? I certainly have lost confidence in Prince racquets. That is very poor quality made.

ricki
11-26-2012, 11:33 AM
If you loose confidence after one crack, move to other brand. imo racquets crack after bad stringing when stringer doesnt string mains from center evenly to sides and crosses from top to bottom.

tennismonkey
11-26-2012, 11:35 AM
i had many exo3 tours - 18x20 though. the paint on them rubs off and flakes off super easy but i've never had any structural problems with them.

i did find them a little flimsy in the upper hoop though. wonder if that contributed to yours breaking.

mikeler
11-26-2012, 11:39 AM
Hi,

My 13 yrs old son was hitting a forehand with a 5 months old Prince EXO3 Tour 100 during one of his recent tournaments and after the shot, the racquet frame on one side cracked open that he had to stop the during the point. He is not allowed and has never abused his racquet. He is sponsored junior player by Prince. So I called and told Prince about the racquet and they asked me to send it in. About a week later, I received a letter from Prince stating that they have completed their evaluation of the racquet and find no indications that the damage was the result of any manufacturers or materials defect. The damage appears to be the result of excessive wear to the head of the frame which weakened the racquets supporting structure. And they can not replace. I called and reason with Prince but that leads to nowhere.

He used to play with Babolat AeroPro Drive GT for more than two years. The racquet's paint chipped away every where, the grommet worn out to the frame BUT that Babolat racquet never cracked or broken in anyway. It is still playable.

Has anyone had any experience like this with this Prince Tour racquet? I certainly have lost confidence in Prince racquets. That is very poor quality made.

Are you with him everytime he plays? Let's just say I never threw my racket as a junior...in front of my Mom.

themitchmann
11-26-2012, 12:36 PM
I'm a Prince sponsored teaching pro, and I have yet to see a Tour break, even with abuse (Speedport Blacks, on the other hand, were another story).

Is it possible the frame was compromised as a result of scraping up low balls, or poor stringing?

tennis_enthusiast
11-26-2012, 02:21 PM
Make sure that you're replacing the bumper guard up top regularly. I see too many people who don't realize that they need to change the bumper guard and they allow the frame to take a beating. When the actual graphite on the frame gets worn down, it greatly weakens the strength of the frame and can cause cracking.

mikeler
11-26-2012, 02:33 PM
Make sure that you're replacing the bumper guard up top regularly. I see too many people who don't realize that they need to change the bumper guard and they allow the frame to take a beating. When the actual graphite on the frame gets worn down, it greatly weakens the strength of the frame and can cause cracking.

My 3 are new. How hard are they to replace?

Maui19
11-26-2012, 03:15 PM
I recently had two rackets crack at the throat without any abuse whatsoever. I mentioned this to a buddy, who pulled out two almost new Wilson rackets that each had a crack at the throat. I can just about guarantee that his rackets, although he crushes the ball.

I don't think the rackets they are making today are immune to these problems.

I Heart Thomas Muster
11-26-2012, 03:20 PM
My 3 are new. How hard are they to replace?

The bumper guards are fairly easy to replace which is good because those head guards wear down quickly. I replace my buddy's all the time.

DAS2011
11-26-2012, 04:30 PM
I've had a few crack as well. One was in the throat and the other was on the bridge. They were both within a year, so I had them replaced.

And in my experience, the bumperguards are quite difficult to replace once their a bit worn, because you have to take out the orange inserts down the side as well. But I have heard there's a special tool that makes it easier.

klementine79
11-26-2012, 04:31 PM
Sorry to hear TopSpin.
I've had the old o3 racquets break/crack on me, at the throat/bridge. None of the new exo's have cracked on me yet.

That being said, I've had wilsons, heads and babs crack on me, so I don't think this has anything to do with a particular companies manufacturing techniques or inspection processes, they're racquets, they'll break eventually.

What it has shown me is that not all companies are equal in terms of warranty procedures and replacements.

Bartelby
11-26-2012, 10:05 PM
Cross-examination on a matter of hearsay evidence, very good Mr Mason, but the reality is this is not a court of law so we're bound to accept what he says at face value.

And what he actually says is 'has never abused his racquet' which sounds like we need to treat his statement at face value as a statement of fact.



Are you with him everytime he plays? Let's just say I never threw my racket as a junior...in front of my Mom.

themitchmann
11-27-2012, 03:48 AM
To the OP:

To what level is your child sponsored? Do you free or discounted gear?

mikeler
11-27-2012, 04:38 AM
Cross-examination on a matter of hearsay evidence, very good Mr Mason, but the reality is this is not a court of law so we're bound to accept what he says at face value.

And what he actually says is 'has never abused his racquet' which sounds like we need to treat his statement at face value as a statement of fact.

I just wanted to throw out another option. Sounds like a good kid so probably not.

PrincessAdam
11-27-2012, 06:10 AM
Most likely it was bad stringing. I had one break at 1 or 2 o clock, but I'm not sure how. I've had 4, and only one broke. The pain job, imo, sucks. My racquets look like they've seen a war and I take exceptional care of them. I've never had any racquet break while hitting though. Has to be bad stringing

Dragan
11-27-2012, 06:49 AM
If you loose confidence after one crack, move to other brand. imo racquets crack after bad stringing when stringer doesnt string mains from center evenly to sides and crosses from top to bottom.

I read many contradictory advices re: where to string crosses from - top or bottom?

As an example, official Wilson's stringing instructions for my racquet differ for one-pice strining vs two-piece stringing job:

Wilson BLX Pro Open

String Pattern
16 Mains x 19 Crosses
String Length
One 35' (10.7 m) length (ss: 9'5") or 19' (5.8 m) mains
and 16' (4.9 m) crosses. Start mains at throat.
Mains skip 8T and 8H. Tie off mains at 6T.
If one-piece stringing: Start Xs at bottom at 8T. Tie off Xs at 5H.
If two-piece stringing: Start Xs at top at 8H. Tie off Xs at 5H & 11T.
Recommended String Tension

I believe your concerns are valid mostly in case of extreme tensions, closer to the higher end of recommended range, or even exceeding it?

themitchmann
11-27-2012, 06:54 AM
In the past, stringing Prince racquets from throat to head voided the warranty.

Dragan
11-27-2012, 07:15 AM
In the past, stringing Prince racquets from throat to head voided the warranty.

Very strange, indeed. On stringforum.net discussion board, an experienced stringer strongly advocates starting crosses from the bottom (throat), as the racquet structure is much stronger there.

topspin247
11-27-2012, 07:28 AM
Are you with him everytime he plays? Let's just say I never threw my racket as a junior...in front of my Mom.

You're right and I understand what your saying. I have been with him at tournaments, clinics, private lessons most of the time but not all the time. However, I just know that he would never do such thing. His opponents, friends, other parents, coaches would say the same thing.


I'm a Prince sponsored teaching pro, and I have yet to see a Tour break, even with abuse (Speedport Blacks, on the other hand, were another story).

Is it possible the frame was compromised as a result of scraping up low balls, or poor stringing?

It could be. I just don't know.

Cross-examination on a matter of hearsay evidence, very good Mr Mason, but the reality is this is not a court of law so we're bound to accept what he says at face value.

And what he actually says is 'has never abused his racquet' which sounds like we need to treat his statement at face value as a statement of fact.

Thanks!

To the OP:

To what level is your child sponsored? Do you free or discounted gear?

He had a preferred player package.

Most likely it was bad stringing. I had one break at 1 or 2 o clock, but I'm not sure how. I've had 4, and only one broke. The pain job, imo, sucks. My racquets look like they've seen a war and I take exceptional care of them. I've never had any racquet break while hitting though. Has to be bad stringing

It could be. I just don't know.


I am just surprised that Prince would not replace it considering its only about 5 months old or so and it does not look like it was in the war either.

TennezSport
11-27-2012, 07:41 AM
Very strange, indeed. On stringforum.net discussion board, an experienced stringer strongly advocates starting crosses from the bottom (throat), as the racquet structure is much stronger there.

That is why you always start stringing the crosses at the HEAD down. The Y yoke at the bottom of the head does add strength to the hoop so it's more stable. When you begin to add cross strings pressure is pushed up or down in the head away from the crosses.

If you start from the bottom, pressure is pushed to the top of the racquet head where there is no additional support and can cause cracks at the key spots where the mains and cross strings are close. Stringing top down has the pressure moving down the head towards the throat where it's stronger so you get much less deformation, insuring racquet integrity.

Hope this clearly explains it and helps. BTW, the OP does not say what string and tension his son strung with, as poly strings at high tensions can cause a real issue with racquets and arms.

Cheers, TennezSport :cool:

topspin247
11-27-2012, 08:42 AM
That is why you always start stringing the crosses at the HEAD down. The Y yoke at the bottom of the head does add strength to the hoop so it's more stable. When you begin to add cross strings pressure is pushed up or down in the head away from the crosses.

If you start from the bottom, pressure is pushed to the top of the racquet head where there is no additional support and can cause cracks at the key spots where the mains and cross strings are close. Stringing top down has the pressure moving down the head towards the throat where it's stronger so you get much less deformation, insuring racquet integrity.

Hope this clearly explains it and helps. BTW, the OP does not say what string and tension his son strung with, as poly strings at high tensions can cause a real issue with racquets and arms.

Cheers, TennezSport :cool:

It was strung with Kirschbaum Proline 2 (17g) and tension 57. It was strung by a pro shop in Daytona Beach, FL.

TennezSport
11-27-2012, 09:35 AM
It was strung with Kirschbaum Proline 2 (17g) and tension 57. It was strung by a pro shop in Daytona Beach, FL.

Kirsch PLII 17 has a stiffness index of 236 which is fairly soft for a co-poly string (range = 187-350), and at 57lbs (max tension recomm by Kirsch) the SBS would be around (**approx**) 63lbs if strung properly. We have strung hundreds of Prince SP frames and not seen this problem but a few times where customers are a bit rough on frames (anger issues). This is not the case from what you have stated.

Racquets can also crack when strung high with poly or kevlar when the ball is shanked alot near the key spots (points in the frame where the main and cross grommets are very close. Manufacturers will look for imperfections in material or manufacturer errors when replacing frames, outside of that it's on you.

Pro players go through approx 80 to 140 frames a year due to racquet stress (stringing everyday along with practice and matches) and fatigue. If your son plays everyday you may want to look into multiple frames of 3-4 to reduce stress fatigue. If this continues to happen with SP frames you may want to look at another racquet company. Good luck.

Cheers, TennezSport :cool:

topspin247
11-27-2012, 11:54 AM
Thanks TennezSport. He plays everyday and has 4 racquets in which he does rotate them each time they need to be re-strung. He got 3 left and will see how they are. If it happens again, then we will surely look into other brand.

mikeler
11-27-2012, 12:24 PM
Thanks TennezSport. He plays everyday and has 4 racquets in which he does rotate them each time they need to be re-strung. He got 3 left and will see how they are. If it happens again, then we will surely look into other brand.

You may have just gotten 1 lemon in the bunch. Did you buy them from TW?

themitchmann
11-27-2012, 02:08 PM
Thanks TennezSport. He plays everyday and has 4 racquets in which he does rotate them each time they need to be re-strung. He got 3 left and will see how they are. If it happens again, then we will surely look into other brand.

Those package deals are fantastic values. Perhaps if you talk to your dealer or contact at Prince, they might replace it at a discount.

Based on what they said regarding wear, I'm thinking it was from scraping the racquet on the court (for low shots). Since the frame is fairly thin, there isn't as much material as a wider frames racquet (like an aero pro). In addition to a lot of big hitting, I can understand why the frame might have broken.

topspin247
11-27-2012, 08:00 PM
You may have just gotten 1 lemon in the bunch. Did you buy them from TW?

The package was sent directly from Prince Sponsorship Program.

Those package deals are fantastic values. Perhaps if you talk to your dealer or contact at Prince, they might replace it at a discount.

They give a little more than 30% discount for additional racquets that a sponsored player wants to buy.

Based on what they said regarding wear, I'm thinking it was from scraping the racquet on the court (for low shots). Since the frame is fairly thin, there isn't as much material as a wider frames racquet (like an aero pro). In addition to a lot of big hitting, I can understand why the frame might have broken.

He plays well with those sticks, but honestly, they look very flimsy.

mikeler
11-28-2012, 05:51 AM
The package was sent directly from Prince Sponsorship Program.

He plays well with those sticks, but honestly, they look very flimsy.

OK, so you got authentic rackets. One bad thing about O-port frames is you are missing chunks of the frame all over. So of course, that has to make it weaker. That being said, I did use a cheap knock off years ago which was the Prince O3 Royal and I don't think I ever broke one of them.

topspin247
11-28-2012, 09:04 AM
OK, so you got authentic rackets. One bad thing about O-port frames is you are missing chunks of the frame all over. So of course, that has to make it weaker. That being said, I did use a cheap knock off years ago which was the Prince O3 Royal and I don't think I ever broke one of them.

Yup. The O-port frame does not have much support like others. I am reading about the new 2013 Babolat AeroPro Drive and it looks promising.

themitchmann
11-28-2012, 12:27 PM
OK, so you got authentic rackets. One bad thing about O-port frames is you are missing chunks of the frame all over. So of course, that has to make it weaker. That being said, I did use a cheap knock off years ago which was the Prince O3 Royal and I don't think I ever broke one of them.

Actually, there is more material, since the ports are molded, not drilled.

I think the main issues is that it's a thin beam that got worn down at a critical place in terms of structural integrity.

2ManyAces
11-28-2012, 02:08 PM
Are you with him everytime he plays? Let's just say I never threw my racket as a junior...in front of my Mom.

so true. I actually cracked a pure storm after a year of wear and tear, and I unintentionally whacked it on a brick. :shock:

I have found that princes die way faster than other brands. For me, bab is at the top for durability, but I could be wrong.