Help in racquet search?

Vilgan

New User
Hi all,

I've been using the Prince Beast since the racquet came out strung with Babolat Nat Gut in the mains and Lux 4G in the cross. However, I've frequently felt like the racquet just had too much power and especially uncontrolled power. I liked the feel of the Beast but felt like I was always working to keep myself from hitting it a bit long and sometimes it felt like the ball would just rocket unexpectedly on me. I did love the spin it would give, especially on a new set of strings. For style I tend to hit with more spin than average (for a 3.5) and a decent amount of power.

I've been trying to find a racquet and setup that still allowed a good amount of power and spin, but felt more controlled. Some racquets I tried:

Prince Phantom: did not like it at all, felt like I had to work way too hard

Wilson Blade 97 w/ poly: I really liked this racquet for ground strokes when I had time to swing fully, just felt like I plowed through and it had a real nice feel. However, I didn't like it for volleys and when it didn't seem to block back very well and would just die on me if I didn't get a full swing in.

Yonex Vcore Pro 97 HD: Wasn't a fan, just felt a bit dead/unremarkable. Tried with both poly and multi, although I might like it a lot better with nat gut in the mains.

Head Speed Pro: Really liked this racquet, especially with poly (TW demo). Moved quick, felt more controlled than the Beast I use now, was able to whip it to get a lot of spin. First impressions this was the racquet I was planning to explore more and potentially buy.

Pure Drive 2021 with RPM Blast: At first I didn't like this racquet compared to the Head. However, the person I was hitting with felt like I had a lot more spin with it and once I settled in it felt like I had a more "controlled power", a lot of spin, and was hitting a lot of winners with it. It didn't explode long on me like it felt like my current Beast did. I also served well with it after adjusting. It also seemed to grip the ball nicely on kick serves (strings?). I didn't notice arm pain, but this was a single 90 minute hitting session.

Judging right now, I'd lean towards the PD 2021. However, it was strung with fresh RPM Blast whereas the other racquets were TW demos with (presumably) older strings. How much of what I liked was the string, and how much was the racquet? I've heard poly goes dead fairly quickly, will I still love the RPM Blast a few weeks later?

Would love some insight on other racquets/things I should experiment with. If I had to pick today I'd go with the PD 2021, but I feel like I've tried out such a small amount of possibilities and I'm not sure how to proceed intelligently from here. Are there other racquets people would recommend I take a look at? Would the Head with RPM Blast be noticeably different than whatever Poly TW puts in their demos?

Any guidance, suggestions, tips, etc would greatly be appreciated. I feel like I have so little knowledge about something that seems pretty important.
 
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Have you tried different setups in the Beast? Like a full bed poly at low tension?

You said you use NG / poly hybrid which is pretty powerful. Just wondering what other setups you tried in the Beast and how you felt about them. May help get a better idea to give more accurate suggestions.
 

FuzzyYellowBalls

Professional
Yonex HD, needs under 48 lbs tension, not often found if it was a demo you used. But, I think you would like the Ezone, Clash, Pure Strikes. PD 2021 I predict will have too much power once you get into multi-set matches under pressure, but yes, it will hit winners, just will it hit enough winners to win a match.
 

PT280 Fan

Semi-Pro
The Beast requires weight at 10 and 2 to really stabilize the string bed. I have a couple from the blowout last year and though I've gone to something heavier and smaller head for now, I recognize it's a good frame and will probably transition back into it in a few years as I approach 70. Regarding the power surge, it's definitely more of a topspin frame ergo you have to impart the windshield wiper motion or slice to control the ball. This is pretty much the case with anything at or over 98 with anything less than an 18/20 string spacing IMO. That being said, it does everything quite well from my way of thinking. I have Zyex Crossfire in mine with a small differential (9 lbs) at around 50 lbs combined. If you like to flatten it out and flatline it some, I suggest you either consider more crowded string spacing, higher tension or a smaller head size.
 

Vilgan

New User
The yonex ezone 100 is exactly the frame you should use with the current gut/poly strings.
Thanks, will take a look

Head extreme MP definitely should be considered.
Also will look into this one.

Yonex HD, needs under 48 lbs tension, not often found if it was a demo you used. But, I think you would like the Ezone, Clash, Pure Strikes. PD 2021 I predict will have too much power once you get into multi-set matches under pressure, but yes, it will hit winners, just will it hit enough winners to win a match.
Yeah, as I played more with the PD 2021 it felt like I was blasting it a bit long again whereas with the Head Speed it was all landing in, even if it wasn't quite as impressive. Would much rather get it in more often even if it means fewer winners. I really liked the feel of the PD though, I wonder if there's a way to get that solid feel with a bit less power?

Also this whole adventure made me curious about how I'd like my remaining Beast (had 2, but 1 frame broke) strung with RPM Blast instead of NG/Poly.
 

time_fly

Hall of Fame
Also this whole adventure made me curious about how I'd like my remaining Beast (had 2, but 1 frame broke) strung with RPM Blast instead of NG/Poly.
It would be worth trying the Beast with poly, but with only 1 surviving frame and the series being discontinued it's probably time to move on anyway. Pros replace poly after only a handful of hours, but honestly unless you are hyper-sensitive you can go longer than that. If you play almost daily then I would replace it within 4 weeks; if you are on a more casual recreational schedule then you should get a couple of months. After that you can still play with it, but it will be nothing like fresh and may hurt your arm.
 

hadoken

Semi-Pro
Prince Textreme Tour is what I would recommend. If someone likes a frame but there are some quirks they don't like, I generally recommend you start with the same mfr and then move from there. I demo'd a Beast 98 and it was way too unwieldy. The Textreme tour 100 is a much more versatile racquet
 

2nd Serve Ace

Hall of Fame
Prince Textreme Tour is what I would recommend. If someone likes a frame but there are some quirks they don't like, I generally recommend you start with the same mfr and then move from there. I demo'd a Beast 98 and it was way too unwieldy. The Textreme tour 100 is a much more versatile racquet
I agree with everyone to move out of the beast as this is shutting down. The prince tour is a nice feeling frame but dang, that 16/18 pattern doesn't offer a lot of control, which is why I still promote the tight exone 100 as my recommendation.
 
keep your gut mains intact and restring tighter cross strings and increase the tension of the string bed. Do this until you can control your shots with the Beast. Recognize that string selection and tension are big factors to a frame's performance.

If you like extended frames I would part with some of my Pure Drive Pluses, which don't change much year to year.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
Usually it is wise to experiment with strings and tensions first before you consider changing racquets. Maybe, all you need is to string your racquet with soft poly strings rather than a gut/poly hybrid or try higher tensions. Racquet performance can be ‘tuned’ a lot by changing strings and tensions.
 
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