Gear Review – The Dinker Likes the Prince Exo3 100. But do I?

So I tried out a few more racquets in my quest to find a new stick. As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve had the same Yonex R-23 for many, many years but with the help of giftcard from Tennis Express, I’m finally springing for a new one.

One thing I learned during my testing phase is that one needs to play different players with different playing styles and see how the racquet handles each time. Case in point. I hit with a teenager who really puts a lot of oomph on all his groundstrokes. Now I like to hit with a lot of pace too so I found I like some racquets better than others simply because they allowed me to feed off of his pace better. Now when I played later in the week with a dear friend who’s more of a dinker and slicer of the ball, everything changed. Now I had to generate the pace and rely more on control. Those racquets that I liked when playing the ball crusher didn’t do the job against the dinker.

My advice — just because you like hitting with a new racquet doesn’t mean it will do the job each time. Test out a racquet with as many varied hitting partners as you can.

Let’s get to the reviews which are completely non-scientific and just my opinion.

Prince Exo3 Black 100
This is a new racquet from Prince that apparently Maria Sharapova and Vera Zvonareva currently use. Using something called “Energy Channel” technology, this racquet stays light in the air allowing you to generate more power. With a 100 square inch head, this racquet felt smaller but I liked the amount of control this stick offered. It definitely added more zip to my serve and my volleys stayed crisp and on target. Even my friend, the dinker, said after playing with it that he could aim his shots where he wanted with more ease. This racquet would be great for a lot of players, if you are baseliner or serve and volleyer, so I would check this one out for sure.

Dunlop Aerogel 4D 300
This racquet, made from 100% graphite, also includes 4D Braided technology at strategic parts of the racquet to help improve stability and control. At 98 square inches, the Dunlop “felt” like an old-school steel racquet as it stayed firm on every shot, but didn’t give a lot, especially on spin shots. This was great when I hit against the hard-hitting player as I could really feed off of the pace for my own shots. It wasn’t so great against the dinker where I had a hard time controlling my shots and didn’t have a lot of feeling when I hit a slice shot. It’s aimed at recreational players 3.5 and above so I would recommend it if you like to hit hard from the baseline but maybe not so much if you like to slice now and then.

Yonex RDiS 100 Mid
At just 93 square inches, this small frame is definitely for advanced players who can create their own power and need a precision tool. The weapon of choice for David Nalbandian, this stick with its firm feeling but just enough give on spin shots make it perfect for aggressive baseliners. Although I liked it well enough when hitting groundstrokes, a lot of shots went long which meant I needed to be perfectly positioned to time hitting with this one. This one would be great for advanced players 4.5 and above, but anyone else should try a Yonex with a bigger head frame.

I’m narrowing down my choices but would be glad to hear your comments along my journey to finding the perfect racquet. Read my first installment here.

For more info on the Prince Exo3 Black 100 Racquet, click here.

For more info on the Yonex RDiS 100 Mid Racquet, click here.

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