Prince Thunderlite Longbody Racquet Review
"If it sells make it longer!"
- racquet manufacturs credo
It was as inevitable as night following day. A year after releasing the Thunderlite tennis racquet Prince has come out with an extended version- the Thunderlite Longbody . I guess the good news is that Prince probably wouldn't make a longer version of a lousy racquet. If the Thunderlite is a good racquet (and it is) then the Thunderlite Longbody should be more of a good thing.
The Thunderlite Longbody comes with either a 95 or 110 square inch head, the same as the standard length Thunderlite. Both head sizes are 24mm wide at the shaft and 28mm wide at the head, the same as the standard Thunderlite. Both head sizes are black/white/green with red/green highlights, the same as the standard Thunderlite, except the Thunderlite Longbody has a glossy finish while the standard Thunderlite has a matte finish(this is also true with the Prince Equipe and the new Prince Equipe Longbody). The Thunderlite Longbody midplus has the same string pattern as the standard Thunderlite (16M/19C), but the oversize Thunderlite Longbody has a 16M/19C string pattern while the standard Thunderlite oversize has an 18M/20C string pattern.
The Thunderlite Longbody Midplus
The Thunderlite Longbody Midplus has a Prince power level of 800, which puts it at near the lower end of the power scale (600-1200). It weighs about 10.5 ounces strung and is head light. It has the same Prince Morph Beam design and Sweet Spot Suspension System as the standard Thunderlite.
Our play testers felt the Thunderlite Longbody Midplus had the feel of a traditional "player's" racquet (Wilson ProStaff Classic 6.1, Prince Graphite Original) with a little extra power. Although they thought it had more power than other "player's" racquets the play testers felt it had a lot less power than the oversize Thunderlite Longbody.
Except for power, the Thunderlite Longbody Midplus scored well in all our play test categories. Most of our play testers thought it was good all over the court, but they thought it was exceptional only in maneuverability and control. The maneuverability helped a lot at the net (and certainly boosted the volley rating), while the control made it easier to hit sharply angled shots from the baseline.
The maneuverability of the Thunderlite Longbody Midplus also helped on serves and overheads. Our playtesters were able to generate a lot of racquet head speed on both serves and overheads, and they were able react quickly on offensive lobs.
The Thunderlite Longbody Midplus would be good for someone using a control racquet who wants a little more firepower, or someone using a power racquet who wants a little more control. It's a solid, all around performer that has no real weaknesses and It should appeal to a large audience.
The Thunderlite Longbody Oversize
The Thunderlite Longbody Oversize has a Prince power level of 900 which puts it in the middle of the Prince power scale (600-1200). It weighs about 10.5 ounces strung and is head light. It has the same Prince Morph Beam design and Sweet Spot Suspension System as the standard Thunderlite.
The Thunderlite Longbody Oversize scored higher than the Midplus in every category except control and maneuverability (although maneuverability was close). Our play testers thought it had a soft, control feel despite having significantly more power than the Midplus. This extra power can be attributed to the larger head and more open string pattern on the Oversize. The soft feel is a trademark of racquets that have the Morph Beam Technology and the Sweet Spot Suspension System.
I wasn't surprised the Oversize scored higher than the Midplus on volleys because it has a great combination of power and touch at the net. I was a little surprised that it scored higher on groundstrokes. I think the open string pattern allowed the play testers to hit with more spin using the Oversize and that translated into a higher rating.
The extra power and spin also helped the Thunderlite Longbody Oversize score well on serves and overheads. Our play testers were able to hit hard, flat serves, or heavy spin serves equally well. The serve and volleyers liked being able to serve effectively and then follow it up with great volleys.
Like the Midsize, the Thunderlite Longbody Oversize is a solid overall racquet with no real weaknesses. It's extra power will appeal to players who need a little more offense in their game. It might be too powerful for someone using a traditional "players" racquet, but if you need a little extra pop you might want to try it out. Serve and volleyers will probably like this racquet the best, but it works from the baseline as well.