Prince 03 shark, a great tweener frame

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by dman72, Feb 6, 2012.

  1. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

    Nov 7, 2006
    Long Island, NY
    May be long and boring to some of you.

    So I've been using Prince NXG OS's for the last 5 years or so, but it's time to move on. Over the last 3 years I've bought a half dozen frames, usually stuff on closeout. 03 Graphite 100, 03 Shark, Diablo MP, Microgel Instinct, and my old liquidmetal radical that I bought before the NXG's.

    I basically modify all of them to have similar weights, balance, and swingweight. 350-360 grams strung with all the overgrips, dampeners and lead added, around 5-6 pts head light with swingweights probably in the 350's..swingweight not actualy measured, I go by feel. To me these specs are where tennis elbow dissapears and redirecting anything but the heaviest pace and spin becomes easy, while still being able to whip the head through on running or defensive shots.

    I got these all freshly strung and took them out to my weekend indoor hitting session. After hitting about 20 strokes and a few serves with each, the 03 shark made me by far the most confident. The previous string on this made it seem like a rocket launcher, but with a Kevlar mains/poly hybrid at 65 lbs, the power was controllable. And no, I have no elbow pain after hitting for 3 sets. The added weight helps, and this is a very comfortable frame for being rated at 65 flex. The diablo and graphite 100 seemed to have much smaller sweetspots and jarred the arm more on anything off center (these are both strung around 50Lbs with the same string set up). The instinct seemed really low powered despite being a thick beam..probably because it's 18X19. The Radical is very nice and comfortable but it really slows my serve down.

    The big thing was the serve. My first serve percentage was up around 80 percent with this Shark club, and I was basically swinging out. The guy I was playing commented that everything I hit seemed to have more pace and spin compared to any of the other frames, or my NXG's. I still launched a few when my shoulder opened up too early, but that can happen with any frame. As long as my form was good and I aimed 4 feet inside the court, I had no issues with control. I lost the first set 6-4 using the 03 Graphite, and won the next 2 using the Shark, 6-3 and 6-4. This is against a quick and very competitive ball retriever who I lose to more often than not.

    I'm thinking of buying 2 more of these and putting everything else in storage or selling them.

    One thing I noticed on TW is that the 03 White has almost the exact same specs as the shark, just .2 ounces heavier and 2 pts more head I wouldn't have to add as much weight to reach my comfort zone. Has anyone hit with both of these frames? One thing I don't want to lose is the comfort, though. Edit: also, it looks like the White has o ports everywhere, where as the shark only has them in the head and throat. Interesting.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2012
  2. maruzo

    maruzo Semi-Pro

    Apr 18, 2009
    Hi dman,

    I've used hybrid shark and hornet off and on for the last couple of years.

    I started with the shark OS unmodded with the included lightning string. The power was as you said easy and shots were solid and full of pace.

    But control was a real issue. With my long swings i tend to over hit the ball if i didn't have sufficient preparation time.

    Then i switched to hybrid hornet MP. Again no mod except the 2 rubber bands I afixed onto the bottom of the string bed.

    Much better control with somewhat less power. But the MP stick was more maneuverable so i has sufficient time to prep and unleash my shots.

    The problem was, after 2 years of using the hornet, i developed my first ever tennis elbow!!

    After reading up on quite a few player's online comments on the hornet, I came to the conclusion that the stiffness of the frame was the culprit.

    So 6 months ago I switched to a head microgel extreme MP. Much more muted feel and very solid strokes. The shots launched without any issues nor any vibration. My strokes were much more consistent even compared with the hornet.

    The trouble was, the frame was still giving me elbow pains after a 3 set workout. Which takes me almost an entire week to recover.

    Plus the stick was less maneuverable compared to the hornet.

    I finally decided to switch back to the shark 3 weeks ago. So far i've played 3 straight weekends with it and won all my matches with it.

    And my elbow felt less stiff and less painful after the matches.


    Now that I grew to like the ease and consistent (somewhat) play of this oversize stick, i've decided to pick up a midplus version of the shark to see if the overhitting issue might be addressed along with better control.

    But I just got my MP stick today, and upon closer inspection, i found it to have almost identical dimension and weight as the hornet MP!!

    I am really dreading tomorrow's tryout of this new stick. :(

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