Should Prince go back to normal grommets?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by mxmx, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. mxmx

    mxmx Semi-Pro

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    Hi there

    I have been a Prince fan for many years. Currently playing with the exo tour 100's. Great rackets and nothing feels like them. Sucks for me on the serve though.

    Anyways:
    In recent years, If I am honest, Prince rackets feel trampoliney and not very precise. It feels like the port system creates a larger (yet less precise) sweetspot. With prince I generally have more spin, but less control. With wilson rackets, it seems like precision is easier. Yes, my stringpattern was tighter on the blade 98...but still...something about the traditional string holes, just seems like it has its advantages.

    Should prince not bring out top end, traditional string hole rackets once again?
    I still feel loyal to prince, and still like them more as a company...and I hate going back to wilson - but the specs leave me no choice. Prince has gone too radical, where I feel I need something more conservative, which wilson seems to be all about. Consistency vs. All or nothingness.
    It is harder in my opinion to buy the wrong racket with wilson, as they do not seem to radically change as much over the years than prince does.

    Indirectly, I think this may be the reason I am going back to wilson in a week or so.
    (Blx Surge green 2011)
     
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  2. kimguroo

    kimguroo Hall of Fame

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    I am a prince fan too and began to play tennis with O3 tech.
    I am more comfortable with muted feeling of port system.
    Recently, I have been using TT bandit OS and very surprised that the racket is just good for me. In my opinion, prince should make both traditional rackets and O-port rackets. If they completely go back to normal grommet, Prince will put them to more dangerous position because it means Prince admit o3 techs are complitely failed. I don't think o3 tech is worthless.

    Tested many different rackets but my choice is TT bandit OS with gamma ruff @57LBS, Japanese Rebel 95 10.9oz/310g (natural gut/MSV focus hex) and Rebel 105".
     
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  3. BlueB

    BlueB Hall of Fame

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    Nope, they need to keep the ports. They look, feel and play unique.
    Nothing stops them from having couple of racquets with normal grommets, though.
     
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  4. NickJ

    NickJ Rookie

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    Yes. O-Ports = ridiculousnessness
     
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  5. jmjmkim

    jmjmkim Semi-Pro

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    I've been using original POG. I use both my Rebel EXO and Graphite EXO 93 and 100 all with string ports.
    So, it defies the purpose for Open Ports for me. I like the string ports better than the O Ports.

    Also, stringing will be a lot easier.....
     
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  6. mxmx

    mxmx Semi-Pro

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    Don't get me wrong. I think the port system is great in concept...but something about the 03 system felt better than the speedport system. I used to have a 03 blue, as well as a speedport black as well as my current exo tours. The 03 blue was excellent.

    I think the problem lies in a terrible string hole insert. If it was made out of more solid materials, and maybe without any holes, it would have a more solid feel and better sound.
     
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  7. mxmx

    mxmx Semi-Pro

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    Totally agree
     
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  8. brownbearfalling

    brownbearfalling Hall of Fame

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    Saying that prince should go back to traditional grommets is like saying Yonex should make round racquets.

    The "ports" set them apart from every other brand. This gives the consumer options and is good for the sport of tennis. It is good that they are challenging the design of traditional tennis racquets. They are innovating with each generation of the ports. Prince is doing a lot more work to redesign there ports which you can clearly see rather than just making up fancy names and changing paint jobs like other brands are doing. Maybe someday this will pay off and they will create a design that is more preferred than the traditional style racquet. Yes it is true that traditional racquets are preferred a lot more than the port racquets but for them to revert back to "older" technology isn't the answer. Take a look at the specs: a prince rebel with tradition string holes would be identical to a Dunlop 200.

    Why should they be like every other brand out there that have traditional grommets?
     
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  9. eman resu

    eman resu Semi-Pro

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    Prince should go back to 28" racquets, that's what I think.
     
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  10. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    Yes they should
     
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  11. mxmx

    mxmx Semi-Pro

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    I agree. I do however feel that materials should maybe play a larger role?
    With wilson, I don't understand why they took away what I thought was a very good technology in "karophite". Is "Blx" really better? With Prince, they used to have a built in dampener at the bottom of the head which I thought was excellent.

    It is just that sometimes one cannot really reinvent the wheel. Normal string holes are almost that wheel. Sometimes it is better to improve on what is already there. I like the port and 03 technologies or the idea of it...I just don't like the execution, especially with the insert options after the 03 series. The shiny plastic parts is not better than what the 03's had...or is it?

    But in the end, if Prince had a more traditional racket as an option, I may not have switched back to wilson.
    ps. The rebel ports almost seem more practical/developed than the tour ports. Are they exactly the same or equally good/bad? It could be that the tour, being so different to most rackets, was just too big a change for me that it may have given me the wrong impression of very good technology. Maybe I would have experienced the trampoline effect less on the rebel than on the tour.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
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  12. USS Tang

    USS Tang Rookie

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    After 40+ years of playing tennis with various Wilson, Dunlop, and Head rackets, my game improved immensely when I switched to the Prince port technology. I use the EXO3 Red 105. Yes, there seems to be slightly less precision, but the trade-off in power and spin gain more than makes up for it. The racket is easy on the arm and moves effortlessly, especially on volleys. I am 67 years old and play the style of tennis taught in the 1960s. Perhaps, this explains why I like the racket so much.
     
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  13. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Are you using the 16x18 version of the Tour?
     
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  14. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    I think that Prince has cultivated a market for their O3/Exo3 technology, and to completely give up on some of their successful frames would be a mistake. I know there are a lot of racquet "snobs" out there (I used to be one of them) that will never concede that they might play better with a Prince just because of the stigma of playing with ports/muted feel.

    I think they need to release some traditional frames, but still produce some of the popular Exo3 frames (Tours, Rebels, Red/Blue/Silver). I would be interested to see both an Exo3 and a traditional style Rebel.
     
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  15. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    I know this is not new news, but it is evidence of just how well Prince is "innovating"

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304050304577377880911280286.html

    Not everything different in a racquet is good for the game or good for the consumer.
     
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  16. mxmx

    mxmx Semi-Pro

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    yes...in either lead or no lead. Why you ask? You can see me serving here:
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=446421
    Lead helps the serve, but sometimes stock is better all round. Which is why i use both.

    I think the more rigid, wilson should give my serve more oomph...almost like the speedport black did...or at least, I hope it will.
     
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  17. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    That's evidence of mismanagement. Prince has has best selling racquets since the release of O3 Tech (whites, blacks, reds, etc). They've been out marketed on the pro tour, but have still managed to sell product without huge endorsements.
     
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  18. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    I swear that I am just being sarcastic.....but crack sells without endorsements too, does not mean it is good for people or the industry.

    This one would have been a good poll but based on responses it looks like most people think Prince should walk away from the O-ports.

    My only responses were due to the fact that different does not always equal good for the buyer.....and more does not always equal good either. Keeping O-ports/grommets because it makes them different is exactly the kind of thing that will make them bankrupt, and keep them in a struggling condition.
     
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  19. themitchmann

    themitchmann Hall of Fame

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    I don't think comparing tennis racquets to crack is a fair comparison.

    My point is that they've built an audience for the ported frames, and that completely abandoning them wouldn't necessarily help them. I would also argue that continuing to only produce ported frames wouldn't necessarily help them. In my opinion, they need to offer both types of frames (at least in the near future).
     
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  20. niremetal

    niremetal New User

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    I don't doubt that you're being sarcastic, but this analogy doesn't even make sense. The illegal drug industry is not driven by "big name" endorsements like the sporting goods industry is. Really, no industry is as endorsement-driven as sporting goods. Michael Jordan lifted Nike from being an afterthought in basketball to being THE basketball shoe company. Chuck Taylor basically invented the basketball shoe years earlier. Sampras with the Pro Staff, Agassi with the Radical...the list goes on.

    Prince has managed to stay at or near the top in racquet sales despite the fact that there hasn't been a slam champion using a Prince tennis racquet since Ferrero and no truly dominant player (one who stayed #1 for more than a few weeks) since...well...ever? That's a testament to consumer credibility for the brand.
     
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  21. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    I think Prince's biggest mistake was the same as IBM's; they told the customer what he/she wanted instead of listening to them. It's perfectly OK to have an innovation, but when a segment of the paying public says they'd like conventional frames, some business people should stand up and tell the engineers they aren't running the company. Ever since coming out with the O-ports, it's been reported that Prince has refused to budge off them. I mean what's wrong with giving folks a choice?

    And, Prince has learned some things as well. A buddy of mine runs a large pro shop. He attends all the Prince sales and marketing meetings. At one, they had an engineer who was espousing the technical merits of the O-frames. My friend asked if he'd ever hit with a racquet. The engineer was befuddled and didn't know why that would make a difference. Someone else responded that the frames overall were too stiff and hit like bricks. Prince now has a line of much, much softer frames that are doing well with a segment they didn't reach before.

    All that said, I'm a convert to the speedport frames. I liked the EXO3 Pro and like the Warrior. I personally like the feel of the frames. I don't like stringing them too much, but what the heck. They do hit well and are easy on the arm.
     
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  22. svarthofde

    svarthofde New User

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    i think prince is going to have a coming back on the big market. players like sharapova and monfils dropped them and that sends a message.
    apart from that a 8-9 year old kid who worships sharapova won't care about the O-ports. she will play with whatever sharapova plays with. that means they loose a large piece of the market because they do not have players in top 25 to use the racquets and attract fans.
     
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  23. svarthofde

    svarthofde New User

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    " a hard time coming back"
     
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  24. racertempo

    racertempo Semi-Pro

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    The argument made was that Prince sells a lot of product without much advertisement or endorsement......so my point was obvious. Sales numbers don't always equate to good products. I made this point since the comment was made that Prince stopping the O-ports was synonymous with asking Yonex to make a round racquet. Yonex has made Isometric frames and ONLY Isometric frames for my lifetime.....while Prince has a "gimmicy" grommet with the O-ports. Not at all apples and oranges.

    There are dozens of grommet technologies out there:

    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/technologies.html

    They don't all sell racquets based on their technology advancement, but saying that the O-Port was a technological advancement that should not be dropped because it is better for the consumer is a going a little far IMO. I don't know Prince's numbers, but if they sell more of those frames then other frames, and if numbers are not in decline, then keep making them....and don't stop until numbers start to tell you to stop.
     
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  25. TripleB

    TripleB Hall of Fame

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    Yes...I seldom look at any offerings by Prince anymore because of their open grommet system.

    TripleB
     
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  26. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    If they've lost TripleB, they've lost a large share of the market.

    At least at TW, they have started offering the original Prince Graphite Mid and Oversize. Add remakes of some of the other popular rackets that fill specific niches (Warrior for lighter racket, Chang for extended, maybe even a Thunderstick) and they would have a whole new line of popular rackets.
     
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  27. CaptinStiff

    CaptinStiff New User

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    As an EXO3 user, I've never had an issue with their port hole racquets and tech personally, and don't think they should abandon it in their product line.

    Although there exists a branch of tennis players that will always prefer the traditional feel of grommets, which are not served by this brand. Why not support some quality grommeted frames in your lineup and let the free market decide what is better Prince?

    Prince does offer grommet kits for their frames as a compromise, but they never market them, and most consumers probably don't even know they exist.

    For me Prince's issues don't solely lay with their existing products (most of which are great). It's just that they have an unbalanced product line to date. They've allowed themselves to get whacked by their competitors in the marketing department, and lack top pro exposure.
     
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  28. TripleB

    TripleB Hall of Fame

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    You got that right. :mrgreen:

    TripleB

    *at least with me being off the courts for at least another 7 months they have an opportunity to go back to standard grommets ;)
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
    #28

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