The Shark devours the Drive

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by bismark, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. bismark

    bismark Rookie

    Apr 18, 2004
    I'm surprised the Prince Turbo Shark Midplus does not seem to get much attention in this message board. It could be this board is predominantly male and about 40% are adolescents (from a recent poll). :wink: Anyway, I've demoed the Shark Midplus over the recent week, and I've been impressed!

    The Shark Midplus played somewhat like the Babolat Pure Drive (my current stick), but are more superior in certain characteristics. In terms of CONTROL, STABILITY and COMFORT, the Shark is a better racquet than the Pure Drive. The Shark also played 'SOFTER' than the Drive, thus giving more touch and feel. POWER (groundstrokes & serves), SPIN POTENTIAL and MANEUVERABILITY are about the same for both frames.

    I'm switching to the Shark Midplus. Chick-stick or not, IMO, the Shark is a much superior version of the Pure Drive. Move over Roddick, here comes Sharapova! :lol:

    (I'm a 4.5 all court player, previously played with Babolat Pure Drive and Prince NXG Midplus)
  2. radical tourist

    radical tourist Rookie

    Feb 22, 2004
    I'd be interested in your comments on the Shark MP vs. the NXG MP.
  3. thomas martinez

    thomas martinez Professional

    Feb 18, 2004
    New York
    Well, the big comfort factor with the Shark comes from the reintroduction of Prince's Cushion Grip System. It replaces the traditional foam handle/one piece frame with a handle made from rubber with a cushiony synthetic grip(in this case the Duratac). They were WIDELY praised back in the 80/90s when they were used on their CTS line of frames, and laterly the Precision Response/Precision Spectrum frames. Also doesn't hurt that the flex of the Shark is 64 RA versus the 70 RA of the Pure Drive. It's also more flexible in the throat in addition to the overall. In the end though, personally, I'd still stay with my drives, I just prefer their feel, and ability to spin the cover off the ball, plus you can get them in a longer length.
  4. Craig Sheppard

    Craig Sheppard Hall of Fame

    Feb 19, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    I can't think of any racquet that was primarily endorsed by a woman (and only a woman) that sold well. IMO, for Prince to make models specifically for Capriati and "Giggles" Sharapova is the best way to get them onto the clearance rack. Guaranteed if someone like Coria or the X-man endorsed the Shark, they'd get a look by everyone.

    Take Wilson for example--the Brian Bros are about the only people I know using the Surge and people are interested in that racquet. Venus and Serena? What do they use? I haven't a clue... who cares anyway? That's my point.

  5. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Feb 18, 2004
    Darn, wondered why i got those looks when I whipped out my Lady Advantage or Chris Evert Autograph. Still have them along with my R-7 and R-22.
  6. perfmode

    perfmode Hall of Fame

    Apr 17, 2004
    The Shark is an exact clone of the Pure Drive. So is the Surge. You're wasting your time. It's the same flavor of ice cream served with different scoops.
  7. finchy

    finchy Professional

    Apr 11, 2004
    well said perfmode.

    its also the price that differs greatly. similar to ice cream too. pay extra for godiva ice cream rather then good old blue bell.
  8. monologuist

    monologuist Hall of Fame

    Sep 28, 2004
    The Shark may have been an attempt at copying the PD, but it feels different enough to warrant side by side comparison by anyone looking at this category of weight and power. The Prokennex Laver S and Wilson Surge are also supposed knockoffs of the PD, but after playing all of the aobve, I can tell you that there are subtle but important differences....
    1. The Shark and the PD are more similar IMO because they both have "woofer" grommets. The Shark's Sweetspot Suspension System is similar to the Babolat Woofer grommets, and yields the same strengths and weaknesses....namely that it provides a cushioned response that is comfortable and powerful on more flat shots (and gives a boost on serves), but creates a trempoine effect when striking the sweetspot that can send the flatter shots sailing out if the racquet is strung below 60 lbs or so.
    2. the Surge and Laver S retain the same basic idea of the PD, but minus the woofer.....which for me allows greater control, despite a slight drop-off in power, and gives it much more feel and predictability on volleys and flat shots. Between these two, the Surge feels a little better for some is a little stiffer, but the sweetspot feels bigger.
    3. The combination of the Cushion grip, sweetspot suspension grommets, and the lower stiffness rating of the Shark make it play quite a bit softer than any of the above. It also has a higher swingweight for some reason. As a result, it feels the most solid and substantial of the 4. Unless you have a reliable semi-western or western topspin that will keep the ball diving down into the court with consistency, I think you'd have to string the Shark either with a low-power string (poly or poly hybrid) @ around 60 or so, or if using a synthetic, gut or multi, even higher, maybe 62-66, which is what many of tried with the PD. However the advantage of the Shark would be that, with its softer flex, you could do that and not feel as boardy and jarring to your joints as the PD....a subtle yet significant distinguishing factor.

    In conclusion, I ended up preferring the Surge X out of all of the above, as it maintained a healthy swingweight (similar to the Shark), gave me a power boost on my backhands and serves without sacrificing too much maneuverability, and rated number one in feel and control out of all the PD clones. It also volleyed the best, and had the most consistent stringbed. The only downside was that it felt the stiffest of all of them and had me concerned about joint problems. But the Shark is definitely a close second, I just wish they had a Shark Plus 27.5" .

    So despite what people may say about their apprent likeness in specs and shape, having played extensively with all of the PD clones, I think the differences, albeit subtle, are significant to anyone that is relatively sensitive to racquet performance, and should not be assumed to be actually be "clones". The differences, in my case were enough to really shine through on the court, and I played by far my best tennis with the Surge X....just keeping my fingers crossed that my elbow and shoulder don't start acting up...(I have mine strung with Poly mains and multi crosses @ 59 lbs)...if they do, it's back to the Yonex MP Tour-5.

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