@@@@@The OFFICIAL Prince EXO3 Tour 100 Club@@@@@

TheOneHander

Professional
I think this is why in theory, a smaller headed racket is ideal. There is more leverage on a larger head for the racket to have directional change when the ball strikes off centre. The larger the head size, the more directional force is available for the ball to twist the racket in your hand (thus directional changes on the ball). This is why someone like Federer can get away with a 95sq racket like the Rebel. His footwork is very good, so he tends to centre the ball better than most. But not all of us is like Federer.

From what i've read, it seems as if one of the largest drawbacks of the exo tour 100 is the volleys. Its a flexible racket with a largish head...so i can imagine one could lose control on volleys. My second concern (from what ive read) would be serving first serves with this racket.
Very interesting points you made, I wanted to comment on the head shape of these frames in more detail. I actually prefer the rounder head of the Tour because it gives me a better spin window and I find it to cooperate more in defensive shots, as the sweetspot is that much bigger. The Rebel, I think, has more control because of the tighter head size and string pattern, but the Tour offers me so much margin for error. I also compared my Rebel's head to that on my Aero Storms', and the shape is very similar. One of my complaints about the Storms is that the head was too thin and too long for me, resulting in more shanks. This problem was remedies with the Tour's much more forgiving headsize.

That being said, the Tour volleys extremely well. It's just so solid while still being fast, and touch shots are a breeze. I can really "knife" my volleys, too, so it really does a splendid job at net. The Rebel is more of the same, except that I get even more stick and control on my volleys. The only area that the Tour bests it in is on low volleys, where the 52RA really gives me a lot of feel for scooping up tough balls.

I have yet to serve with my Rebel, but the Tour did take some time to get used to on serve. At first, there were loads of spin, but no power, leaving my kickers to be eaten alive by my opponents. After reigning in my swing and relaxing, though, I was really able to mix my serves up, and now that I've had my Tour for a good three months, I'm serving just as well as I have with any stick aside from the serve monster that is the KPS88.

In other news, though, I'm getting another Rebel in soon-my conversion to Prince is nearly complete!

EDIT: the Rebel I used had port grommets, which I think are great in the Tour because they enhance the soft, flexy feel. However, I lost the ball in the Rebel with the ports, so after tomorrow I'm going to use string inserts. Hopefully they'll make the string bed a little more distinct.
 
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stronzzi70

Professional
My EXO Tour 100 18x20 is coming tomorrow friday, really I don´t want to hate this stick for the feel side, maybe is too flexy for me, I was hitting couple weeks ago with the old ozone pro tour, was a nice racquet, maybe a little over power, but the feel was ok, I know is not the same feel with this exo tour 100 18x20, but maybe close?...........somebody?
 

asiank90

Rookie
I think I'll be a member of this club soon, about to receive 2 demos; a 16x18 and a 18x20

It seems that BHBR and Solinco Tour bite are the most popular strings for this frame, so what tension would you recommend?
 

mxmx

Hall of Fame
From behind the service line, I like to take a cut at a bolo volley every once in a while. I guess the C10 kinda spoiled me because I rarely missed those with it.

To your other question, the EXO3 Tour Team 100 is great on volleys for me. I did not like it at all at the net strung with Lux BB Original @ 48, but that was the string I think. Strung with Lux Ace/TF NRG 17, it is a scalpel at net and can do anything I am able. FWIW, I really prefer to play at net.
Sorry...i misunderstood on the volley. I was referring to a volley much closer to the net. The swinging grounstroke volley is what you were referring to i suppose :p

As for strings:
I normally use pro hurricane yellow or white, or babolat ballistic with my k-blade...and when they really wear down, lots of wilson string savers. It seems as if I play better when the strings get a bit older...so maybe my tension of 58-60 is far too high.

On the speedport black, i use Ashwaway crossfire 18 (mixed combo)...Even the durable babolat strings doesn't last on this racket...and the dead kevlar strings seem to be the only strings capable of lasting in such an open string pattern that most prince rackets have - especially also on a powerful racket as the black...But on the up side, one can at least gain confidence in your stroke without being scared the strings are going to break. One can kind of predict if the strings are about to break by looking at them.
http://tennisworld-tennis.blogspot.com/2010/12/ashaway-crossfire-18-kevlar-tennis.html

I break far too many strings. It is the most expensive part of tennis for me. It costs more than my club fees, more than my rackets or shoes. This is why i am desperately seeking to have at least two of the same rackets from now on.
Any recommendations on the tour 100 for strings? Or has anyone tried babolat pro hurricane on the tour rackets?
 

mxmx

Hall of Fame
Very interesting points you made, I wanted to comment on the head shape of these frames in more detail. I actually prefer the rounder head of the Tour because it gives me a better spin window and I find it to cooperate more in defensive shots, as the sweetspot is that much bigger. The Rebel, I think, has more control because of the tighter head size and string pattern, but the Tour offers me so much margin for error. I also compared my Rebel's head to that on my Aero Storms', and the shape is very similar. One of my complaints about the Storms is that the head was too thin and too long for me, resulting in more shanks. This problem was remedies with the Tour's much more forgiving headsize.

That being said, the Tour volleys extremely well. It's just so solid while still being fast, and touch shots are a breeze. I can really "knife" my volleys, too, so it really does a splendid job at net. The Rebel is more of the same, except that I get even more stick and control on my volleys. The only area that the Tour bests it in is on low volleys, where the 52RA really gives me a lot of feel for scooping up tough balls.

I think everyone must be experiencing the tour 100 differently. I think there are averages sure, but i think ones own technique and ability definately influences ones experience of the racket. I cannot wait to get mine if all goes well....I like taking risks - i cannot imagine the rackets being terrible..or worse than what i own...and if they are, i will get used to them, just like it took me months to really get into the groove with the blade and black respectively.

I have yet to serve with my Rebel, but the Tour did take some time to get used to on serve. At first, there were loads of spin, but no power, leaving my kickers to be eaten alive by my opponents. After reigning in my swing and relaxing, though, I was really able to mix my serves up, and now that I've had my Tour for a good three months, I'm serving just as well as I have with any stick aside from the serve monster that is the KPS88.
One of the biggest fears for me of this racket, is lack of power on the serve. But im getting the feeling that i will be getting even more kick on my second serve, which would be a bonus...my second serve is better than my first though. With the black, there is torque with its head heaviness...I really started to get rythm and power with this racket, with no effort whatsoever. With the tour, i fear that i will have to adjust my serve again. With its head lightness, i predict a better second serve based on angled head accelleration, open string bite, and less miss hits (thus more margin for risk)...but with the first serve, im not sure what it would be like. I predict more accuracy, but less power.

In other news, though, I'm getting another Rebel in soon-my conversion to Prince is nearly complete!
There is something about prince that just seems better quality, little details. Their bags, branding or identity, just seems better to me than most other companies, including wilson. Small little things like the materials they've chosen for the racket bags, or the zipper quality. I wonder how much of this is true in the rackets itself though. But in the same breath, the pre strung strings used in prince rackets, are the worst strings ive ever played with.

EDIT: the Rebel I used had port grommets, which I think are great in the Tour because they enhance the soft, flexy feel. However, I lost the ball in the Rebel with the ports, so after tomorrow I'm going to use string inserts. Hopefully they'll make the string bed a little more distinct.
On the black, ive tried string grommets as well as the port grommets. I could not handle the noise and plastic feel of the string grommets. But on smaller head prince rackets, i would assume that the port grommets are probably advised, especially trying to increase the sweet spot on such a small headed frame.
Personally, i would rather play around with string types and tensions before bothering ordering string grommets.
 
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Kcraig

Professional
Had the chance the other night to play w/ the EXO 16*18 strung with full multi (actually it was a weird hybrid of NXT/Black Xcel at 54#) and added 3g around 3.5/9.5ish. The plush pocketing and dwell time was back from my demo experience. Hit 45 min of baseline games and then prioceeded with 5 sets of 4.5 dubs!! Needless to say I was worn out afterwards--but was jst having soo much fun. I felt like (jst as another poster mentioned above) like I was jst holding the ball on the strings and then firing where I wanted the ball to go!!! The added lead helped a good bit on stability and power. Def better on volleys than stock (no lead).

Think the main thing w/ this frame is to use low tension!! Polys shld prolly be no more than 52 and even better possibly at 45-48#s. Multi or syn gut will work well at 52-56 (if on a CP elec machine--mine is strung on a Star 5) and 55-60 on a crank. Jst my opinion--but def recommend the low tension--whatever you think u shld do--take off 2lbs!
 

Orion3

Semi-Pro
Have you measured the weight difference from normal to low tension? How much has it increased?
No - I didn't bother weighing. I can imagine it's going to be that significant; at worst it may be and additional 1-2 lengths of string.
 

babar

Professional
I have really liked hitting with the 16x18 and 18x20 EXO3 Tours. Everything about the frame is great except for power generation. I feel like I'm swinging out but not getting the put-away penetration and speed on my shots. Also, the first serve power is fair at best. I've tried the frames with a full multi and with a poly-multi hybrid.

Has anyone used the Ozone Tour and is that racquet more powerful? The stiffness rating is listed as 60 for the Ozone Tour as opposed to the 52 on the EXO3 Tours.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
You need to add a couple grams of lead to the frame and use the 16x18 if you want more power. Also string in the mid 50s or less if you use full poly.

That solves about everything. The SW will be right around 330, which equals a powerful racquet.
 

Kcraig

Professional
You need to add a couple grams of lead to the frame and use the 16x18 if you want more power. Also string in the mid 50s or less if you use full poly.

That solves about everything. The SW will be right around 330, which equals a powerful racquet.
Agree totally. 3-5g of lead helps a ton w/ power level without any loss of control. Still comes thru strikezone very quickly. Plush!!!!!
 

TheOneHander

Professional
I have really liked hitting with the 16x18 and 18x20 EXO3 Tours. Everything about the frame is great except for power generation. I feel like I'm swinging out but not getting the put-away penetration and speed on my shots. Also, the first serve power is fair at best. I've tried the frames with a full multi and with a poly-multi hybrid.

Has anyone used the Ozone Tour and is that racquet more powerful? The stiffness rating is listed as 60 for the Ozone Tour as opposed to the 52 on the EXO3 Tours.
What's your string setup? I'm using full poly at 52 lbs as my reference tension, and I get tons of power from my sticks-they make my Rebels feel like 2x4s in terms of pop.
 

Papa Mango

Rookie
May I join the club

4 16x18's
4 18x20's
The ones I am play testing are leather + 3gms @ 3 & 9...

Still trying to decide which ones to keep...........




 

babar

Professional
What's your string setup? I'm using full poly at 52 lbs as my reference tension, and I get tons of power from my sticks-they make my Rebels feel like 2x4s in terms of pop.
I had Wilson NXT 16g at 57lbs and Head Sonic Pro/FXP hybrid at 57 lbs. The tension loss was pretty dramatic after the first few outings. I played some singles with the 18x20 today and the serve control and spin was really good. I still had trouble putting the ball away and when pushed with a heavy ball by my opponent, the racquet felt like it got pushed around a lot. When I was in control of the point, it was great! I moved my serve around to illicit weak returns, stepped-in to hit to the corners, and then put the ball away. It's just on returns and stretched shots that I had trouble.

I added a couple of layers of head tape across the bumper guard to weigh it down a little, but not too much. It felt about the same.

So, the posters here are recommending a few lead tape strips to power up the frame. Where do I put the lead tape? How do I fit the tape around the holes?

Thanks.
 

NYCtennis1

Rookie
Just hit with what will finally be my setup today.

16 x 18, strung with tour bite 16L at 60 lbs

3 grams at 3, 3 grams at 9, 6 grams under the butt cap.

Specs come out to....

341g strung

SW is around 336

Balance is 6 pts HL

Still need to get my other matched to those specs.

Anyone who really likes full poly (especially former ALU users like me,) should give Tour Bite a go. I liked them both equally playability wise (maybe ALU a fraction more,) but at $155 per reel TB is the obvious choice for me.
 

bluetrain4

G.O.A.T.
I'm thinking about switching to the EXO Tour 16x18. But, I'm not sure. I'm coming from a Pure Drive Roddick, and I've generally like the results, but I hate the feel of the PDR and it's a bit harsh. My Demo had pretty crappy strings, and I'm assuming the EXO3 would be a lot better with my regular string.

What I really want to know is what effect having the string-hole inserts has on the frame?

I like the flex of the frame, but I wish it were slightly less (less flex, more stiffness).
 

tata

Hall of Fame
I'm thinking about switching to the EXO Tour 16x18. But, I'm not sure. I'm coming from a Pure Drive Roddick, and I've generally like the results, but I hate the feel of the PDR and it's a bit harsh. My Demo had pretty crappy strings, and I'm assuming the EXO3 would be a lot better with my regular string.

What I really want to know is what effect having the string-hole inserts has on the frame?

I like the flex of the frame, but I wish it were slightly less (less flex, more stiffness).
General consensus is that the string inserts stiffen the string bed up giving you more feel and a firmer response but losing a tad of pop since it's not as lively.
 

fibbert

New User
4 16x18's
4 18x20's
The ones I am play testing are leather + 3gms @ 3 & 9...

Still trying to decide which ones to keep...........



:shock: 8 versions of the same racket! Please be kind enough to donate one to poor children like me... I;m in manchester, just send it by post.

Seriously though, I'd love to have a Tour but unfortunately out of my price range. The only Tour that I can get is the Tour Lite, but I really don't like the 5pt HH business when the others are like 10pt HL or summat. It is also a hybrid model so is basically only half Exo3.

Would still appreciate any views from people who have played with the Tour Lite, if they can tell me how it plays. Cheers.
 

Orion3

Semi-Pro
:shock: 8 versions of the same racket! Please be kind enough to donate one to poor children like me... I;m in manchester, just send it by post.

Seriously though, I'd love to have a Tour but unfortunately out of my price range. The only Tour that I can get is the Tour Lite, but I really don't like the 5pt HH business when the others are like 10pt HL or summat. It is also a hybrid model so is basically only half Exo3.

Would still appreciate any views from people who have played with the Tour Lite, if they can tell me how it plays. Cheers.
A couple of weeks back JJB were selling these (online only) for £80 - I got two!

Probably still have some stock
 

fibbert

New User
A couple of weeks back JJB were selling these (online only) for £80 - I got two!

Probably still have some stock
£80 too much I'm afraid. Like I mentioned in the Cheap players club the other day, max budget of £50 in a place where rackets are sold more expensively anyway.

The Tour Lite I can bundle down to 54, so not actually in my price range yet... but the price has been falling so who knows.
 

Papa Mango

Rookie
:shock: 8 versions of the same racket! Please be kind enough to donate one to poor children like me... I;m in manchester, just send it by post.

Seriously though, I'd love to have a Tour but unfortunately out of my price range. The only Tour that I can get is the Tour Lite, but I really don't like the 5pt HH business when the others are like 10pt HL or summat. It is also a hybrid model so is basically only half Exo3.

Would still appreciate any views from people who have played with the Tour Lite, if they can tell me how it plays. Cheers.
The only reason I have 8 is because I can't seem to decide which one I like better the 16 or the 18. And prince had the promo going on last few weeks.
I would be happy with 4 and plan on NOT buying any more rackets for the next 5 years (or so I hope)
 

TheOneHander

Professional
The only reason I have 8 is because I can't seem to decide which one I like better the 16 or the 18. And prince had the promo going on last few weeks.
I would be happy with 4 and plan on NOT buying any more rackets for the next 5 years (or so I hope)
How similar are the two versions? I'd really love a long, in-depth comparison between the two-if I don't start clicking with my Rebels they might have to go for some Tour 18x20s for when the 16x18s get a little rowdy ;) In all seriousness, though, I'm very interested in how the pattern affects feel and spin. The 16x18 just produces so much bite on the ball.
 

babar

Professional
How similar are the two versions? I'd really love a long, in-depth comparison between the two-if I don't start clicking with my Rebels they might have to go for some Tour 18x20s for when the 16x18s get a little rowdy ;) In all seriousness, though, I'm very interested in how the pattern affects feel and spin. The 16x18 just produces so much bite on the ball.

TOH, I've been playing with both patterns for the past few weeks.

For the most part, they both play very similar. I've really just felt a tad more comfortable with the 18x20 when hitting out as I'm hitting my targets with more precision and less margin for error. I haven't tried the 16x18 with a full poly yet, so not sure how that would affect the feel and control, but the power, touch, comfort, and spin have been consistently similar for both patterns. The racquet really just comes thru the swing zone so much quicker than other frames I've played that the 18x20 helps to ground the strokes more and keeps them from flying on me. Maybe once I am accustomed to the feel and swing more, I can switch to the 16x18 with more success.

The tennis retailer locally keeps telling me that the 16x18 has more power and spin, but I have not found this to be the case for my game. I am a 4.5 player with a Semi Western FH and a diverse backhand (sometimes I hit a OHBH and sometimes a 2HBH).

I really want to get the EXO3 Tour 18x20, but the lack of power (penetration on groundstrokes) and the inability to handle heavy kicking serves very well is keeping me from buying this stick. I've noticed since moving to 4.5 tennis that my put-away shots are not actually staying put-away, but coming back too many times. I want to be able to add some speed and power to my strokes, but not sure this racquet can do it for me. I felt the EXO3 Graphite 100 was too unstable and I did not like the leather grip. I might try the new Dunlop BM 400 Tour and see how that plays.

(Sigh) Still searching. . .
 

mxmx

Hall of Fame
*I apologise for elaborating once again. I feel a indepth history of explanation will eventually help me in making the correct decisions (so only read on if you have the patience please) Thanks for those who have helped thus far and have not been totally bored with this topic*

Okay...lately my game has been on form. This is making it hard for me to objectively approve or disapprove my current tennis rackets as well as the potential purchase of two exo tour 100 rackets.

With the 03 speedport black team i own (not exo), i have had extremely different results thus far. When i was off form, i would totally miss the court. But when i am on form (like the last couple of months), i hit shots many would be proud of. This weekend for example, someone with quite a large serve hit a first serve of an estimate 170-180kph where i returned it back faster with no effort whatsoever (on the forehand) - this happened more than once.
Because of the powerful racket, my general rythm on my serve and volleys has improved, and this brought confidence in the rest of my game. I can however still feel some level of lack of control on the groundstrokes especially, but becaue im on form, they still go in. I am convinced that my groundstrokes will suffer when my form drops with the powerful racket. But in the same breath, the power of the racket has made me hit with a looser smoothness (effortless) which kinda has had its own advantages also.
Summary: (Definite improvements on my game with this racket: Serves, volleys > flows to confidence in rest of game when on form) Drawbacks: severe lack of control and direction when off form )

With the kblade98, i would not have these drastic elements of power and would definately not have the power on the serve and the control of the volleys. But the groundstrokes would be quite controlled all way through, except when im on the run. The small head makes it hard for me to centre always. I have come to the conclusion that with opponents that overpower me, the speedport black is better to defend with...but against players where i dominate, the kblade is better (on grounstrokes). If the kblade was 100sq inches like the speedport black, i think it would have been the perfect racket for me.
Summary: (Definite plus points of this racket: Contoll everywhere when on form especially on all groundstrokes. Drawbacks: miss hit when eye is not in or off form > not as strong on volleys and serves as black)

With the set of Prince exo tour 100's (which i do not own yet):
I am assuming that:
- i will have same/even more control than the kblade except less off centre hits
- Less power than the speedport black team
- better kickserves
- weaker first serves
- more control on short angled groundstrokes based on headlight accelleration (problem with speedport black)
- probably more controlled (but less powered) volleys
- better feel than either kblade or speedport
- short string life much like the speedport
- feel free to ad or edit based on your experience

Should i be considering the exo3 black instead?
Is the prince exo tour really that "powerless"?
I am trying to get a racket that will stabalise my level of play. In other words, i want to get my highs lower and my lows higher. I am a very erratic player with reasonable technique, but can be extremely moody on court. How can i word this? Is the prince exo3 100 a racket of "good averages" or some form of "leveller" compared to an extreme power or extreme control racket? Are people out there with good technique, severely struggling to gain power with this racket?

*Thanks for your patience end rant*
 
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Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
No the EXO is not that powerless at all. Honestly. I use the 16x18 and hit as many winners as with other sticks, but I did add 2 grams of lead total to 3 and 9.

I think it boils down to how you swing. I have a fast swing, lots of top, western and SW grip. If the EXO was low powered, I honestly would not use it. I like sticks with power.
 

pug

Semi-Pro
String makes a huge difference with the exo3 tour in my opinion. I have only hit with the 18x20, so my experience is limited there. I have tried:

Full poly at upper 40s, lacked enough pop for me, my shots felt a bit weak.
Nautral gut mains @ 53 and poly crosses @ 47, better, more pop same level of control.
Natural gut mains @ 53, prince original sythetic crosses @ 45, my prefered setup. Still have a very high level of control, but I now have the pop to put away winners when I get the chance.

I have not tried a full bed of natural gut.

Just my thoughts.
 

mxmx

Hall of Fame
How similar are the two versions? I'd really love a long, in-depth comparison between the two-if I don't start clicking with my Rebels they might have to go for some Tour 18x20s for when the 16x18s get a little rowdy ;) In all seriousness, though, I'm very interested in how the pattern affects feel and spin. The 16x18 just produces so much bite on the ball.
Open string patterns has probably been one of the largest reasons I have been playing with prince. I used to be a very spin orientated player.
I had a 03 speedport blue > it had great spin and balance of power. The racket was balanced in weight. Lacked a bit of control at times.

Later, I ended up with a very closed string pattern in the wilson k-blade and it literally took me months to adapt my stroke. It DEFINATELY has better feel than either the 03 blue or the 03 peedport black
I think this is for two reasons: racket is more flexible...and the string pattern is closer.

Anyways, my groundstrokes have changed with the wilson in that i had to hit more through the ball instead of over it, with a eastern forehand grip and sometimes semi-western. In a sense, the wilson forced me to adapt "better" technique plus i could have variation on my forehand now, either heavy topspin and control, or more agressive flatter shots lower over the net. Fortunately the k-blade is extremely head light and lower powered than the prince rackets i was used to, and i could at times generate more spin on the forehand and second served, based on head accelleration alone. So i could assume its safe to say that i generated spin with my stroke instead of with the racket if you get what i mean. Essentially my controll improved with this racket (when i dont miss hit).

After the wilson, i got the speedport black, assuming it would have the spin of the 03 blue and i would have more control. I was wrong...it definately lacked the control and spin i could generate with the k-blade. Until recently when my form lifted...my stroke has re-adapted to suit the black racket. I have tried the string hole inserts as well as the string port inserts...the annoying noise of the string inserts was not enough in the presumed control one was supposed to get with them. I am now on the string port system for a while > much better in my opinion.

Conclusion:
String pattern is all relative. The frame characteristics and balance is just as, if not more relevant. I could generate more spin with a headlight smallish headed frame, than a larger headed racket which is slightly head heavy with a open string pattern.
One definate thing i have noticed though, is that a open string pattern, on flatter strokes, may have more directional change(error) than a tighter string pattern with flat strokes. So with flat strokes, a tighter string pattern has more control...a player who plays more spin, i would suggest the more open string pattern rackets (assuming the frame characteristics and balance is the same).
Ie, generally Nadal/slow/clay courters should switch to prince, and Federer/fast courters should stick to wilson :p

To me, the open string pattern, is not the main reason i would want to get the prince exo3 tour 100. Years back, it was one of my main reasons i would get a prince. But after the wilson, i have realised the benefits of a tighter string pattern. To me the most important factors now in a racket is the balance and weight as well as the head size. What i would gain in spin with an open pattern, i would lose in directional control. What i would gain in tight string pattern, control wise with flat shots, i would lose in spin. Each has its benefits, and im fine in adapting to it...as long as my "stroke" is not affected too much with the racket with things such as balance. With the tour 100 im expecting it to be:

1) flexible: This will help me to have more dwell time on the ball (ball pocketing)
2) head light: This will help me accellerate over the ball to create angled groundstrokes
3) open string pattern and 100sq inches: more intentional spin control with brushing the ball as a bonus.

^ hopefully the tour 100 racket to me will be a k-blade, with a 100sq frame, and a open string pattern or close to it.
 
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mxmx

Hall of Fame
No the EXO is not that powerless at all. Honestly. I use the 16x18 and hit as many winners as with other sticks, but I did add 2 grams of lead total to 3 and 9.

I think it boils down to how you swing. I have a fast swing, lots of top, western and SW grip. If the EXO was low powered, I honestly would not use it. I like sticks with power.
can you compare it power-wise to some rackets, like the k-blade maybe?

Is there a way to hide the lead tape in the port holes?
 

mxmx

Hall of Fame
String makes a huge difference with the exo3 tour in my opinion. I have only hit with the 18x20, so my experience is limited there. I have tried:

Full poly at upper 40s, lacked enough pop for me, my shots felt a bit weak.
Nautral gut mains @ 53 and poly crosses @ 47, better, more pop same level of control.
Natural gut mains @ 53, prince original sythetic crosses @ 45, my prefered setup. Still have a very high level of control, but I now have the pop to put away winners when I get the chance.

I have not tried a full bed of natural gut.

Just my thoughts.
I totally agree...this was going to be one of my latter questions on this racket. With the 03 black, it was extremely heavy on strings. This limits my string options i suppose on the tour 100?

Anyone use babolat pro hurricane or the ashaway kevlar strings as well as string savers?
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
can you compare it power-wise to some rackets, like the k-blade maybe?

Is there a way to hide the lead tape in the port holes?
It seems like you are over thinking this racquet way too much..lol.

I don't really care about hiding the lead. When you have it at 3 and 9 it will be visible, but you will see most touring pros who have their sticks customized lead at 3 and 9 as well if they have it.

I have never used a K Blade. The power difference between the APDgt and the EXO was not substantial. I went by an opponent's opinion. Another said that he can not get to my shots like he could with other sticks.

If you want a flexible, comfortable stick with great spin and modern power, you will like the EXO.

Honestly, it's not worth overanalyzing or you will drive yourself insane. All I can say is that most people's reviews echo mine. You could take 2 6 inch lead strips, start them at the 3rd cross on each side and be all set. Your SW will be right around 330, and it will still whip around fast. So you get awesome racquet head speed and plenty of power and spin. That small amount of lead makes a big difference and doesn't slow the stick down.

Then just try whatever strings you like and adjust from there. I am currently using Black Magic mains and Big Ace Micro crosses at 52#s. I'm also going to try babolat NV crosses just to see how those workout as well.
 

Papa Mango

Rookie
Here it goes..

How similar are the two versions? I'd really love a long, in-depth comparison between the two-if I don't start clicking with my Rebels they might have to go for some Tour 18x20s for when the 16x18s get a little rowdy ;) In all seriousness, though, I'm very interested in how the pattern affects feel and spin. The 16x18 just produces so much bite on the ball.
You pretty much nailed it.. the 16x18 is the rowdy younger brother of a slightly more refined 18x20. Agree on most of the posts above but here is what I have experienced so far

Me: Righty top spin oriented all court 4.0 player, can take a few sets of established 4.5s and have beaten a couple as well. Like to finish points up at the net but lately have been watching balls go by as I stand at the center hash due to some nagging injuries

Set up: Both rackets have TW leather and 3gms lead at 3 and 9.
16x18 is at 340gms 6 pts hl
18x20 is at 343gms 7 pts hl
Did not get enough pop stock with all the diff string set ups (below) but with this added weight am loving it.

Strings:Trying all sorts of string set ups, play testing both the rackets are set up with the same strings.

Full multi (TF MF) @ 58: balls were flying all over for me with both rackets so gave that up very quickly

Full poly (CF, tourbite, BHBR) between 45-48lbs: Spin was exceptional but lacked the put away as noted above. The salient point is that I could actually play with a full poly setup 3 days in a row and feel nothing in my shoulder or wrist. Any other racket my shoulder and wrist get sore after about 2 hours

Current Multi mains (TF multifeel @ 57) and poly crosses (CF @ 53) : Loving it so far in both set ups. Comfy/pop/control it has everything. However I am getting about 1.5 sets/1 hour with the 16/18 and about 2 sets/2 hours with 18x20, but the set up is cheap enough that if I have enough time to string 4 rackets every week I will keep it.

Not tried poly mains multi/syngut crosses: They are up next

Now for the rackets
Serves
16x18: This racket is so much fun on second serves. I have had a second serve kicker jump 3 feet above a 6' partner. granted it was on har-tru but the expression on my partners (and even mine) was priceless. Lacks a little bit on pop on flat serves but the kickers are so good that I find myself kicking serves in on both first and second.

18x20:Much better on the flat serves, loses some kick on the second serves but the control you get is superb. I can go for the lines/corners which I would not do with the 16.
Winner: Tie but if I had to make a choice I will go for the 16x18 for the pure fun of it

Forehands
16x18: Top spin monster! I can get good top spin even with smaller headed rackets (AG100), but this is a good 500-1000rpm more (I know but that's what it looks like to me). Lacks in the put away department but with the spin I get on this I can always come in and finish the point at the net, so you end up hitting an extra shot. Where this racket really shines is defense, no matter where you are on the court I can hit a running forehand and I am sure it will be loopy and will land deep enough to give me enough time to get back in the point.

18x20: Control is amazing, i think of a spot and the racket will put the ball there. I can hit much flatter balls but sometimes balls end up being short in the court. Given time to set up I can put away balls and no need for the extra volley. This one is a little unforgiving if I am late to the ball.
Winner: 16x18, Defense wins matches.

Backhands
16x18: Like the forehand, the drive backhands have enough spin and depth and is fairly consistent of the back of the court. The only think that I don't like that much about this racket is the slice. Unless hit perfectly, they tend to float and sit up, and due to the added spin if I slice down the line the tend to hook left a little bit more giving me more UE's than I would like off the b/h.

18x20: What I love about this racket is the backhand slice. no matter how lazy I am the slices never float, are deep and just die after the bounce. This is the best slicing racket I have ever hit with. I can slice all day with this racket with no need to hit a drive backhand which it does pretty well also. A lot more control mean less UEs for me on the backhand side.
Winner: 18x20 hands down becoz I can slice all day long!

Volleys/overheads
16x18: I did not enjoy volleying with this frame in stock form. but it is much better with the added weight. I feel the volleys lack the put away punch and control is a little iffy for me, volleys tend to float a little bit. Overheads are generally good but tend have a little bit more spin for my liking (i know my technique!) but I can angle them off court.

18x20: A much better volleying racket. solid at contact can put away volleys where I want them. Overheads are good, again can paint the lines if i want.
Winner: 18x20 I play doubles mostly with this stick now as there is beer on the line.

Overall:
I don't think you can go wrong with either stick. They are sooo comfy which is the primary reason for the switch.
If you are rafa go for 16x18. If fed/djoko go for 18x20.
What the 18x20 lacks in spin (not much) you gain in control.
If you demo one you must demo the other one.. and that is how I got stuck with 8!

ps: I think I just made up my mind!
 

pug

Semi-Pro
It seems like you are over thinking this racquet way too much..lol.

I don't really care about hiding the lead. When you have it at 3 and 9 it will be visible, but you will see most touring pros who have their sticks customized lead at 3 and 9 as well if they have it.

I have never used a K Blade. The power difference between the APDgt and the EXO was not substantial. I went by an opponent's opinion. Another said that he can not get to my shots like he could with other sticks.

If you want a flexible, comfortable stick with great spin and modern power, you will like the EXO.

Honestly, it's not worth overanalyzing or you will drive yourself insane. All I can say is that most people's reviews echo mine. You could take 2 6 inch lead strips, start them at the 3rd cross on each side and be all set. Your SW will be right around 330, and it will still whip around fast. So you get awesome racquet head speed and plenty of power and spin. That small amount of lead makes a big difference and doesn't slow the stick down.

Then just try whatever strings you like and adjust from there. I am currently using Black Magic mains and Big Ace Micro crosses at 52#s. I'm also going to try babolat NV crosses just to see how those workout as well.

This is very good advice. I added enough lead tape to get mine up to 333g or about 11.7 oz. I split the lead tape up about equally between 12 oclock and 2 and 10 oclock on the racquet. Brought it down from 8 pts head light to about 5.5 points head light. Still very manuverable at the net, but power on tap from the baseline.
 

Papa Mango

Rookie
Its not the bow.....

Should i be considering the exo3 black instead?
Is the prince exo tour really that "powerless"?
I am trying to get a racket that will stabalise my level of play. In other words, i want to get my highs lower and my lows higher. I am a very erratic player with reasonable technique, but can be extremely moody on court. How can i word this? Is the prince exo3 100 a racket of "good averages" or some form of "leveller" compared to an extreme power or extreme control racket? Are people out there with good technique, severely struggling to gain power with this racket?

*Thanks for your patience end rant*
Honestly speaking I don't think any racket will help you NOT be moody on the court. I am a similarly moody player but with the tours, my average has gone up rather than the swings becoming less drastic. I still have off days and good days, the difference is even on the off days I still enjoy hitting the ball with the tours.
As for the power level if you have decent/great technique you will find enough power in the tours. But a little bit of lead on the hoop does really bring out the awesome in the tours.
 

TheOneHander

Professional
Thanks for the review, Papa! That was exactly what I was looking for, which ones are you going to keep?

I have to also agree with the Tour's averaging. The spin potential let me reign in my shots while still giving me a heavy ball if I need to build up some rhythm.

To mxmx: my opinions and thoughts are in bold.

It DEFINATELY has better feel than either the 03 blue or the 03 peedport black
I think this is for two reasons: racket is more flexible...and the string pattern is closer.

I slightly agree on this one. The Kblade, while rated 67, plays more like 64. You'll find better feel with a lower flex frame for sure. The O3 series also have a much different feel than traditional sticks, so combined with the relative stiffness of your O3s the feel may have been somewhat unique.

Fortunately the k-blade is extremely head light and lower powered than the prince rackets i was used to, and i could at times generate more spin on the forehand and second served, based on head accelleration alone. So i could assume its safe to say that i generated spin with my stroke instead of with the racket if you get what i mean. Essentially my controll improved with this racket (when i dont miss hit).

The Kblade is only 3 points headlight, which isn't that headlight (although it is to the relatively even Speedport Black Team). You'll find more "whip" out of the Tours than you will even with your Blades, which balance out at about 6 points headlight.

Conclusion:
String pattern is all relative. The frame characteristics and balance is just as, if not more relevant. I could generate more spin with a headlight smallish headed frame, than a larger headed racket which is slightly head heavy with a open string pattern.

Try overlaying your Blade on top of the Speedport Black Team. The headsize isn't all that different-2 square inches is a lot smaller than you would imagine.

One definate thing i have noticed though, is that a open string pattern, on flatter strokes, may have more directional change(error) than a tighter string pattern with flat strokes.

I think this is due more to the fact that your open patterned racquets are more power oriented than the closed pattern Kblade. The string pattern does have an impact on directional control, but not to the point where it should be unpredictable as a function of just the string pattern.

So with flat strokes, a tighter string pattern has more control...a player who plays more spin, i would suggest the more open string pattern rackets (assuming the frame characteristics and balance is the same).
Ie, generally Nadal/slow/clay courters should switch to prince, and Federer/fast courters should stick to wilson :p

I really hope this is a generalization made in jest. Please say it isn't so.

To me, the open string pattern, is not the main reason i would want to get the prince exo3 tour 100. Years back, it was one of my main reasons i would get a prince. But after the wilson, i have realised the benefits of a tighter string pattern. To me the most important factors now in a racket is the balance and weight as well as the head size.

Nailed it.

What i would gain in spin with an open pattern, i would lose in directional control.

Mmm...I think this is up in the air. If you hit a lot of spin, you can gain even more control with an open string pattern because it will allow youth manipulate the spin more.

What i would gain in tight string pattern, control wise with flat shots, i would lose in spin. Each has its benefits, and im fine in adapting to it...as long as my "stroke" is not affected too much with the racket with things such as balance.

100%.

With the tour 100 im expecting it to be:

1) flexible: This will help me to have more dwell time on the ball (ball pocketing)
2) head light: This will help me accellerate over the ball to create angled groundstrokes
3) open string pattern and 100sq inches: more intentional spin control with brushing the ball as a bonus.

^ hopefully the tour 100 racket to me will be a k-blade, with a 100sq frame, and a open string pattern or close to it.

Well, your three assumptions are entirely correct. You should expect, though, much more free spin and a more solid feel from the Tour, as well as much better ball manipulation (which I think is power that can be controlled by the spin produced from the frame). Having played both frames, I can tell you that the Kblade is a sweet racquet, but the Tour is an entirely different animal that will make the Blade look like a toy.
can you compare it power-wise to some rackets, like the k-blade maybe?

It depends on what you string it with. I can get more pop on my shots with the Tour with poly at 52lbs, but I think that's more of a virtue of being able to swing out. The Kblade never felt like it was a ball-crusher like the Tour or, say, a PDRGT. Compared to your Black and the Blue, you should expect less power.

Is there a way to hide the lead tape in the port holes?

Check the X-Men thread for this one.
I totally agree...this was going to be one of my latter questions on this racket. With the 03 black, it was extremely heavy on strings. This limits my string options i suppose on the tour 100?

Anyone use babolat pro hurricane or the ashaway kevlar strings as well as string savers?

Full poly at low tensions is the way to go. The durability of the string itself saves it from being eaten alive, and it produces loads of spin. I tried full multi in the Tour and hated it, but there a lot of good opinions in this thread.
 

Papa Mango

Rookie
String makes a huge difference with the exo3 tour in my opinion. I have only hit with the 18x20, so my experience is limited there. I have tried:

Full poly at upper 40s, lacked enough pop for me, my shots felt a bit weak.
Nautral gut mains @ 53 and poly crosses @ 47, better, more pop same level of control.
Natural gut mains @ 53, prince original sythetic crosses @ 45, my prefered setup. Still have a very high level of control, but I now have the pop to put away winners when I get the chance.

I have not tried a full bed of natural gut.

Just my thoughts.
Pug, what do you think about the tension difference in NG mains and syn gut crosses especially because the crosses are going to keep dropping tension while the mains won't?
Also, how long does the NG/poly set up last for you? I am scared to try because if I really like it my wife might throw me out of the house as I am a string breaker.
 

Papa Mango

Rookie
Thanks for the review, Papa! That was exactly what I was looking for, which ones are you going to keep?

I have to also agree with the Tour's averaging. The spin potential let me reign in my shots while still giving me a heavy ball if I need to build up some rhythm.

To mxmx: my opinions and thoughts are in bold.
Going for the 18x20 for more serious play, but am going to keep a couple of 16's around for the fun days when I just want to sit on the baseline and loop heavy ball back at the opponent.

^PP, may i ask how has the exo made you more consistent?
Are you putting more balls back in play or are you consistently hitting the shots you want to hit?
I am just curious not trying to disagree or anything.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
I just have more control over the ball. Why? I am guessing it is the spin. It allows me to move the ball around more and keeps me from going big all the time.

I also hit a much better backhand with this racquet. Can't tell you why for sure, but I do. I can hit steady CC backhands over and over when needed.

I use the 16x18 and hit with heavy spin, so I guess the racquet just matches up to my game rather well.
 

BigM

Rookie
Going for the 18x20 for more serious play, but am going to keep a couple of 16's around for the fun days when I just want to sit on the baseline and loop heavy ball back at the opponent.

^PP, may i ask how has the exo made you more consistent?
Are you putting more balls back in play or are you consistently hitting the shots you want to hit?
I am just curious not trying to disagree or anything.
I have been play testing a Exo3 Tour 100 16x19 for about 2 weeks now and I'm loving it. I'm generally a very consistent player off the ground but my level of consistency has raised to another level with this stick. The spin I'm able to produce is off the charts. This racket encourages me to hit harder and go for more depth which in turn puts my opponents under pressure. It has taken me a little while to get used to the slightly different fee. This racket is soooo comfy. I have had some arm issues with my last couple of racket selections which are not apparent at all with the Exo tour. I feel so confident in my technique that I can hit out with spin and the ball just lands in. This compliments my game perfectly at the moment.
 
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Papa Mango

Rookie
I just have more control over the ball. Why? I am guessing it is the spin. It allows me to move the ball around more and keeps me from going big all the time.

I also hit a much better backhand with this racquet. Can't tell you why for sure, but I do. I can hit steady CC backhands over and over when needed.

I use the 16x18 and hit with heavy spin, so I guess the racquet just matches up to my game rather well.
I was just curious. Like I said In the review, the 16 is a great defensive racket. I can put a lot more balls back in play deep in the opposite court on the back foot that would either plop into the net or go flying over the fence with other rackets.
However I still miss those easy mid court balls that are sitting there to be punished. The difference is now I miss by a few inches what I would miss by feet. :)
And I agree on the backhands, it is just so easy to keep putting the ball deep cc with either racket. I think it has to do how easy the rackets swings that i am catching the ball in front rather than being late on the backhand. Did I mention the slice with the 18's...
 

pug

Semi-Pro
Pug, what do you think about the tension difference in NG mains and syn gut crosses especially because the crosses are going to keep dropping tension while the mains won't?
Also, how long does the NG/poly set up last for you? I am scared to try because if I really like it my wife might throw me out of the house as I am a string breaker.
Papa,

I am not a big time string breaker, but I do hit with good pace and topspin. I had the original full poly in for about 2 hours, did not like it and cut it out.

I had the NG and Poly in for about 12 hours, and then cut out the poly only ( I know it voids the warranty, bad for racquet, etc. but I do it anyway and have had no problems.)

I have had the NG and Prince sythetic in for about 3-4 hours. So about 15-16 hours on the NG (Volkl Icon 16). It is fraying but still looks good for some more hitting sessions.

I went with the Prince original synthetic because it holds tension well and is very crisp for a syn. gut. I think it will hold up for several hours before I need to cut it out. This is fine if you string your own, but if you have someone else string for you, it could get expensive.

If I had to pay someone to string it for me, I would probably just go full natural gut at about 55 pounds.
 

pug

Semi-Pro
I wanted to add, that I have tried not to like this racquet, "Oh it is too underpowered, the paint sucks, the exo3 holes are just gimmicks, etc., but I really do like the way it plays once I got the string right.

Credit where credit is due, Prince got this one right.
 

IceNineTX

Semi-Pro
I just switched to the 16x18 a couple of months ago. I love it, but it eats strings up. I am averaging about 3 hours on the ball machine for full poly and 90 minutes for poly/multi hybrid. My Head MG Extreme was much more string friendly.

I'm going to try some variations this week and see what I can make work.
 

mxmx

Hall of Fame
It seems like you are over thinking this racquet way too much..lol.
Yes...i agree
But its fun, and i have way too much time before i can buy this racket...and im excited :p Believe it or not, i learn a lot racket wise by being so analytical about it :p


I don't really care about hiding the lead. When you have it at 3 and 9 it will be visible, but you will see most touring pros who have their sticks customized lead at 3 and 9 as well if they have it.
I will look at my 03 black and see how much space the ports has. If i ad lead, it will be the lowest recommended amount (and maybe it will fit in strips within the ports cause heck lead is ugly. Someone cut small little strips and placed it on their tour100...i was thinking of cutting some strips and placing them inside the port holes or beneath the grommet.

I have never used a K Blade. The power difference between the APDgt and the EXO was not substantial. I went by an opponent's opinion. Another said that he can not get to my shots like he could with other sticks.
I bet he struggled to deal with the added spin. Look, im not scared of low power...im scared of no power. If the power is at least that of a k-blade or more, i will be happy.

If you want a flexible, comfortable stick with great spin and modern power, you will like the EXO.
The comfort and flex as well as headlightness, is fast becoming the main reason i will be getting these rackets (if all goes well)

Honestly, it's not worth overanalyzing or you will drive yourself insane. All I can say is that most people's reviews echo mine. You could take 2 6 inch lead strips, start them at the 3rd cross on each side and be all set. Your SW will be right around 330, and it will still whip around fast. So you get awesome racquet head speed and plenty of power and spin.
To make matters worse, i will only play with these rackets when i go on leave in december hehe....I like saving the best for last...it has become a tradition for me and it really tests my patience. I once saved a nice pair of barricades (on special) a whole year before i used them.

What is the final actual weight compared to the stock weight after you applied your lead tape on your racket?

That small amount of lead makes a big difference and doesn't slow the stick down.
This was my biggest gripe with lead tape...that my racket would become head heavy and too heavy. But its good news if minor changes can make a big difference.

Then just try whatever strings you like and adjust from there. I am currently using Black Magic mains and Big Ace Micro crosses at 52#s. I'm also going to try babolat NV crosses just to see how those workout as well.
I agree...I will stick to the strings i know at first in order to get a accurate feel of what the new attributes of the new rackets will be.

thanks again for your time :)
 

mxmx

Hall of Fame
Honestly speaking I don't think any racket will help you NOT be moody on the court. I am a similarly moody player but with the tours, my average has gone up rather than the swings becoming less drastic. I still have off days and good days, the difference is even on the off days I still enjoy hitting the ball with the tours.
As for the power level if you have decent/great technique you will find enough power in the tours. But a little bit of lead on the hoop does really bring out the awesome in the tours.
I may have worded it wrong...but yea...i basically need a racket that kind of levels things out for me on court...a racket that has some form of consistency in itsself (aside from my own game). Even when you read reviews of top players, they say that "sometimes (unexpectedly) my strokes are falling short or i lose directional control" - i can relate to this -...and with the speedport black i play with, it is as if it enhances my off days, whereas, on my off days, i play better with the control racket of the k-blade. The k-blade basically has less of an influence on my off days, than the black does. Arrghh...wish i could word this better. But, from what i've read thus far, i think the tour 100 will definately level things out for me more (like the k-blade has, but only more)
 

mxmx

Hall of Fame
TheOneHander said:

To mxmx: my opinions and thoughts are in bold.

I slightly agree on this one. The Kblade, while rated 67, plays more like 64. You'll find better feel with a lower flex frame for sure. The O3 series also have a much different feel than traditional sticks, so combined with the relative stiffness of your O3s the feel may have been somewhat unique.
cool man

The Kblade is only 3 points headlight, which isn't that headlight (although it is to the relatively even Speedport Black Team). You'll find more "whip" out of the Tours than you will even with your Blades, which balance out at about 6 points headlight.
It felt like the blade was quite headlight and it was the only reason i could play with the slightly heavier weight that i was used to. One of the worst things for me on the groundstrokes (not the serves + volleys) of the black, is the slight head heaviness...something about head heavy feels off to me...Maybe the rigidness of the black is the reason i lose control with angled groundstrokes, and not just the balance. With the blade i really have much more control on the angled groundstrokes. Based on this, i am assuming the tour100 will be at least more controlled than the black, which is good either way.

Try overlaying your Blade on top of the Speedport Black Team. The headsize isn't all that different-2 square inches is a lot smaller than you would imagine.
If done this numerous times..and it is very suprising that there is such a small difference. What i dont understand is that my miss hits on the black is like 3 times less than with the blade (this is my biggest and only problem with the blade tbh). Can 2sq inches make a difference? It definately feels like it does to a large extent.
I think this is due more to the fact that your open patterned racquets are more power oriented than the closed pattern Kblade. The string pattern does have an impact on directional control, but not to the point where it should be unpredictable as a function of just the string pattern.
I suppose it is worth saying that i normally string quite tight - 58-60, even on the blade. I have great directional control with the blade especially...pin point...not so with the prince...Volleys + miss hits on the blade is a problem.


What i would gain in spin with an open pattern, i would lose in directional control.

Mmm...I think this is up in the air. If you hit a lot of spin, you can gain even more control with an open string pattern because it will allow youth manipulate the spin more.
Yes, but with a flat stroke and open pattern, one can lose direction as well as lack of depth control...definately feels like this to me.

Well, your three assumptions are entirely correct. You should expect, though, much more free spin and a more solid feel from the Tour, as well as much better ball manipulation (which I think is power that can be controlled by the spin produced from the frame). Having played both frames, I can tell you that the Kblade is a sweet racquet, but the Tour is an entirely different animal that will make the Blade look like a toy.
And its a prince. I hated the fact that i like the blade and its a wilson.

It depends on what you string it with. I can get more pop on my shots with the Tour with poly at 52lbs, but I think that's more of a virtue of being able to swing out. The Kblade never felt like it was a ball-crusher like the Tour or, say, a PDRGT. Compared to your Black and the Blue, you should expect less power.
Great, sounds like a inbetween power level, which would be great.

Is there a way to hide the lead tape in the port holes?
Check the X-Men thread for this one.
Is that a joke, or is there such a thread? :p

Anyone use babolat pro hurricane or the ashaway kevlar strings as well as string savers?
Full poly at low tensions is the way to go. The durability of the string itself saves it from being eaten alive, and it produces loads of spin. I tried full multi in the Tour and hated it, but there a lot of good opinions in this thread.
Can someone please confirm this for me?
Low tension = longer durability on strings - more power
high tension = lower durability on strings - more control

As my game developed through the years, it feels like i play better once the strings has lost some tension. So i should probably consider lowering my tension? I don't see many players with higher tensions on this forum :|


thanks man for your time :)
 
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TheOneHander

Professional
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=275896

While it's not Tour specific, it's EXO3 specific, and there's a lot of good information about mods and whatnot within this thread. I highly suggest that you check it out!

That reminds me. What do you all prefer re ports and holes? I'm waiting to order a set of hole grommets for the moment because I only have 2 sticks and match play season is coming up.

-----
Does anybody want to do a members' list like in all the other club threads? Maybe once we hit ten pages...
 
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