Prince Tour 98 ESP Racquets Customer feedback

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Please include any relevant information such as string type and tension, skill level and style of play.

Comments: I am a junior player (UTR 11) that has been playing with this racquet for almost three years so far. I string it with Luxilon Alu Power Spin 16 (at 65 lbs) and Prince Premier Touch 16 (at 65 lbs). I play doubles for high school and singles USTA and have loved this racquet since switching to it from the Prince Black. This racquet is on the lighter side, but I personally enjoy lighter racquets that have a whippy feel to them. The spin generated on this racquet is amazing. The lack of weight is apparent in the serves though (my serves were around 8 mph less than when I hit with the RF97), which makes this not an ideal racquet for those who like to hit big flat serves into the court. The other thing is that for me and my string configuration, I will only last around 90 minutes before the mains snap, but this is also partially due to my use of a fragile string along with hitting a heavy ball. Looking at TW's review, I can say that this racquet is definitely a lot better than they made it out to be. I have four, but I may pick more up now that they are back.
From: Tim, 10/16

Comments: I haven't gotten chance to hit with this frame yet but I am looking forward to it. With TW's PRIME promotion and price, I just couldn't pass it up. Of course, I could hate it and be out $50 but I'm sure I can resell it. Anyways, I ordered these sticks not only for the price but I wanted to give Prince's EXO3 ports style grommets another try. I tried a few of their frames a few years ago when Prince introduced the technology and after hitting it once, got rid of them. The best way to describe it was "mushy." Never quite got it to feel crisp or solid for me. Truth be told, I never really gave them a fair chance. One short hitting session and I gave up on it. Apparently the trick is to use thicker gauge strings and string them a little tighter than a traditional grommet system frame. As far as the cosmetics and overall look/feel/weight of the frame: A+ as far as I'm concerned. Might be a little on lighter side for a tournament type player. I realize the bumble bee paint job isn't for everyone but I personally dig it. To each is their own. In the coming weeks, I'll have to play around with string tensions and gauges and report back for those that are curious.
From: Alex, 7/16

Comments: I've used my Prince Tour ESP for about 8 months. I'm a developing player with 1 and a half years of practice. Sometimes I love this racquet, but other moments a hate it at the same tension. It's crazy. I'm changing tension when re-stringing to identify the perfect set for me. At 54 lbs with Prince Tour XC 15L 1.35mm I founded a great frame that let me very hard groundies with very good control. The worst thing a noticed this racquet is on serves. The pace is terrible. My first serve was good, but now always land on net. I need to develop another tecnique and forgive older one. When I tried thinner strings than 1.30mm I lost to much control and don't recommended. I will insist looking for a configuration that let me continue developing my game, my agressive baseline style. I'm willing to customize with lead tape to achieve better pace serves without giving up control with thinner loose strings.
From: Mario, 7/16

Comments: I started playing tennis around 2 years ago, and then due to work/life got busy and again started to play tennis again this year. What I recall from my initial outings was that my elbow started to ache a bit. So, this year I read and bought a racquet which was sufficiently HL (6+ points). My criteria was as follows: HL (6+); weight around 10-12 ounces, size 95-100 square inches; I wanted the beams to be around 21 to 23 mm as I like playing more aggressively so something that would not be too beefy when it came to beams was preferable so i can generate my own power! I wasn't looking for a string pattern that would give me more spin, but that was not a deal breaker. I finally decided and ordered this racquet with Volkl Cyclone 16 black sting, strung at 58 lbs and hit for about an hour yesterday, just to get the feel. I have to say I loved the feel of this racquet and was surprised how forgiving it was, as I tried to take full swings the ball still stayed within the limits! Maneuvering the ball around the court was really easy and the weight just felt right! I can't comment on the string breaking issues that people have reported as I am a novice and still not at a level where I think I will break the strings. But, I have also been pleasantly surprised by how elastic the strings feel, what I mean is, I can lay into the shots aggressively and the ball still stays within limits, for someone who is new to the game it definitely helps when you see the racquet+string combo work with you rather then work against you. I am totally satisfied with this purchase!
From: Aavi, 5/16

Comments: A friend has this racquet and I tried it out of curiosity. Good control, spin and feel. I prefer the feel, control and weight from my Head IG Prestige MP. The cosmetics are not my cup of tea, it was like hitting the ball with a bumble bee, but I was impressed by the control and feel of this light player's racquet.
From: Eric, 4/16

Comments: My 2nd review of this racquet and I'm still pleased with it. But it is a saw when it comes to strings. I've bumped up to16G and 15L poly and hybrids and am lucky to get 2-3 hours of play before shredding. The racquet does need some extra weight in throat to maintain balance but add weight as it can be knocked around by heavy hitters. Using Pros Pro Nano Vendetta and Poly Spin with a syn gut cross strung in low 50 lbs. Stable racquet and nice spin, but demo first as it is a different feel.
From: Jason, 4/16

Comments: Long time fan of the Wilson 6.1 (18x20) iterations. Tried some spin racquets lately, the Wilson 6.1 95S one coming on top of my list. I like this Prince 98 ESP better, however. It definitely produces more topspin and retains top notch control for drop shots, e.g. topspin lobs are ridicously easy to place, and those mid velocity backhand slices have to be seen to be believed. Serves have not the raw power like the best (in my experience: Wilson 6.1 (18x20) and Babolat Pure Drive Roddick), but you can dish out really nasty spin serves, which prove to be both more consistent and effective at my ability level. Balance/weight ratio is perfect for me. Feel and comfort are at an all time high, equalled only by my ProKennex Ki5. This is a very good stick for someone like me who wants to up his consistency a bit with less weight and more topspin without giving away versatility and precision. Someone who kills his opponents with a topspin power game like Rafa's better look elsewhere. Strung with Luxilon Alu Power Feel 17g at 51 lbs.
From: Andrew, 3/16

Comments: Today was my first day with this stick and I felt so much comfort in just 1 hour of hitting and was doing amazing at the net even though I am not good at volleys.I wanted to have an arm friendly, less stiff racquet so after reading a lot of reviews I opted for this one after trying the Pure Drive (very stiff), RF 97 (good), and Head Speed Pro (good) and I am not disappointed at all. I am able to maneuver the stick without any issues. Hope it's not a string breaker as I have seen in some reviews. I want to try out the Yonex DR 98 also but it is out of stock for demo.I am using Ashaway Monogut ZX 16 at 53 lbs.
From: Rajesh, 2/16

Comments: Why is this racquet only $59?! I've hit with Prince for years and switched to Yonex roughly 2 years ago when the Ezone Ai came out. I love that racquet but just didn't feel like I was producing enough spin with it. I wanted something flexible with an open string pattern and I ran across this baby. After demoing it for 10 minutes, I knew I had found the perfect racquet for my game. I strung it up with Vokl Cyclone 16 at 50 pounds it is absolutely awesome. My first match was against a guy I have not beaten in a year and even though he took the first set, I took the second and third pretty easily. His comment to me was he had never seen someone drop more balls two or 3 inches inside the baseline when was positive that there were gonna go long. How great is that?!?! And no, this is not a paid review, I do not work for or represent Prince, and I do not sell tennis equipment. This is just one fierce stick with tremendous point and shoot capability. As far as the low swing weight, throw little bit of lead tape at 10 and 2 o'clock and you are good to go. Hope this helps, and enjoy the ride.
From: Chris, 1/16

Comments: An absolute stunner from the baseline. Spin is super easy as promoted, and I don't feel any loss of control when paired with 15L string. I prefer full poly setup string at very low tension (30-35 lbs) and it works just fine with this stick. With the current price tag, I would recommend this to anyone who can swing it with decent speed. 9 out of 10 for me.
From: Kim, 11/15

Comments: Loving the racquet right now. I can see where some would not like it, but if given time, it is a very comfortable racquet. Seems a little more hefty than expected but it is easy on the arm. Strung initially at 51 lbs with Volkl V-Pro 16 -- but buyer beware this racquet saws through strings. I ripped through 2 sets in a span of 6 hours. Trying a new hybrid with PP Spinox/SynGut at 52/56 lbs and Prince Beast Hybrid 17 (probably will be shredded in 1 hour). The comfort is nice and I love the extra spin. Still trying to dial in the serve due to going down in weight but for the price you are getting a nice racquet at great price.
From: Jason, 10/15

Comments: The key to this frame is to extend into your shots. You can actually hit with flatter mechanics and the racquet will add spin. You have to accelerate until the finish. If you pull off, shots can either sit-up or fly long. The racquet serves well. There is good feel around the net once you adjust to the different feel that the ports, flex, and open pattern provide. Feel is there, but is very different. This may put some off. Strings are an issue. My best results came when using Prince Tour XC 15g and I got about 12 hours of heavy hitting. Gut mains and poly crosses are also a good setup. It takes about a month and a commitment to hitting out to really appreciate what this frame can do.
From: Patrick, 10/15

Comments: Overall, this was a great racquet. My only complaint, which I knew before buying it, is this goes through quite a few strings. Even after using 15L strings, I break them after one or two practice sessions. I am a 5.0 player and have tried full poly and combo set ups, and both ended with the same result. I really like this racquet, however, if this keeps up, it's time to look for a new stick.
From: Zach, 9/15

Comments: For all those comments below saying that TW only gave it a 78 overall, Spencer did give it an almost perfect score of 9.2. It was only because of averaging. Why the others didn't like it is beyond me.
From: Tyler, 8/15

Comments: I love this racquet. I needed more spin in my game and it delivered. It feels great on serves. I may put a few weights on it for a slightly more heavier feel at the net. For more stability, ensure that you order your exact grip size. Strung with Technofiber NG 17.
From: William, 11/14

Comments: The spin is incredible, and incredibly consistent. It takes practice to use, but when controlled properly with a flick of the wrist, it forces opponents way behind the baseline and makes low-percentage shots high-percentage. The racquet is flexible with a low swingweight and surprisingly good control. The flexibility gives a dampened feel, the swingweight allows easy power to use with the spin (although lead tape can be added for more swingweight), and the control allows for aggressive shot-making. The racquet is great for an aggressive baseliner, and I highly recommend giving it a try.
From: Jackson, 7/14

Comments: Overall, this racquet is very good for all parts of the game. But the most impressive point is spin! As it has a low stiffness, it is comfortable and produces low power, great control, and is very fast. It may be too light for someone but it is easy to add weight, no doubt. Volleying is good but you may need to adjust because the feel is a bit weird feeling because of the extremely open string pattern. Serves are also great if you want to add spin to make your opponent feel uncomfortable on return. Service returns are also great because of its stability and comfort. Finally, this stick should be tried at least if you want to try a midplus size, flexible (arm-friendly), great control, low power, quite light weight, fast swing and extreme spin potential! I switched from a Yonex Vcore 100S as it is too stiff and too much power for me.
From: Halo, 4/14

Comments: Of all the ESP racquets Prince offers, this has the most all around playability. Having said that, it's all relative to your game and swing speed. Prince has divided all their equipment by power level, the harder you swing/better timing the lower power you need. So this racquet is designed for a 4.0 and up player. Like most modern racquets it's got a lot of advanced technology (open stings, double bridge and composite construction). Playing with this stick now for several months. As with all the ESP line there is more string movement, but the racquet is less stiff then the others. Unfortunately, string breakage is a problem. I've talked to Prince and they recommend a 15 gauge string and no shaped strings as they rub too much against each other. I have found this to be the case. My string of choice now is Ashway Kevalar 17 and Prince contour 15. I also purchased two additional racquets and started doing my own stringing because of frequent tension loss/breakage. This is a case of the string technology has not caught up with the racquet technology yet.
From: Jeff, 4/14

Comments: I really wanted to not like this racquet so I could stay with my Volkl PB 10 Mid. However, the more I use it, the more I'm finding that it suits my game. Forehand wise, with my stoke, it's great with the open string pattern for the added spin. I was actually expecting huge amounts of extra spin, but it really wasn't that much more. at least, it didn't seem that way. My one handed backhand is my favorite stroke, and I absolutely love the feel with the PB 10 Mid. With this racquet though, this is the worst feeling shot even though my shots do have that added margin. Slice backhands were also very blech, to give it a technical term. I don't know if it's the lower swing weight or what, but I felt as if I had to really swing faster. When it is swung fast enough, movement of the ball is excellent. Actually, in all shots, I felt i couldn't slow down my swing to really take advantage of what the racquet had to offer. I guess I would categorize this in the touch and feel section. Of course, definitely not as much feel as the Volkl but it offered enough. The feel of the racquet wasn't as smooth, even with the softer flex, but it also translated into poorer execution of angled and touch shots. At the same time, I think the racquet allows for safer shots then. To me, it translates into more control from the stringbed versus having control from the smaller frame -- this is something that is completely subjective to each person. Volleys were fine. nothing to report there. I added a leather grip, and this helped to add to a more head light racquet. The handle itself is definitely more rectangular, which i like, and is also very similar to Volkls in that way. it does have that weird whistling sound, but it's pretty whatever. I think this stick as actually very unattractive looking. However, to each their own. Lastly, the shot that really forces me to use this racquet more is the serve. Definitely easier to swing through and allows for safer serves with some spin, especially in a match situation. Overall, if you're used to the PB 10 Mid and looking to get something with a little larger headsize, I'd recommend at least demoing this guy.
From: Ian, 4/14

Comments: I am very surprised TW gave this racquet an overall rating of just 78 and specially some opinions like "not enough stable against big hitters" make me laugh. Of course if you are at the pro level and need some more wight you can put some lead type but even in stock form Tour ESP is ultra playable frame, stable enough to resist 110 mph serves with ease. During the past month I've played many times against a 6.0 tournament player (friend of mine) and even his huge groundstrokes didn't push around this racquet at all. Other negative comments like "missing feel for touch shots" are pretty individual and could be solved very easy by replacing the original grip with leather grip as I did (this will increase stability, too). This racquet could be customized very easy according to your needs just in few minutes. The right choice of string and tension could make huge difference in the performance (basically this racquet is created for poly strings). You will never feel any harsh vibrations and your arm will be in perfect condition even after very long sessions. If you are looking for extremely forgiving racquet with huge amount of spin, mixed with right blend of stability, maneuverability, control and power, give this a try! I am a big fan of Volkl and during the past several years my racquet of choice is PB 10 Mid. I am addicted to it. After I demoed Prince Tour ESP I found that it's created with such rare combination of right specifications I've found in only a handful of racquets I've tested till today.
From: Fedex, 1/14

Comments: Fantastic racquet. Comfortable, forgiving, great for return of serves and groundstrokes. However I'm finding, unlike other racquets I've used, the strings (the ones provided with the racquet) lose tension pretty quickly, at which point it's a bit of a dead, lifeless, useless old thing.
From: Col, 1/14

Comments: The Prince Tour 98 ESP is an excellent racquet that gives me unparalleled access to spin! I am a 4.5 all court player who plays several times a week. I found great control, power and touch from this racquet. It does an excellent job of pocketing the ball, and is very arm friendly. However, the single greatest aspect is the access to spin -- from kickers, slices, topspin -- you ask for it, you get it from this great new racquet. The color combination is also very cool! Contrary to some reviews, string breakage is not a problem. I have been using Prince Tour polyester with no problem. I highly recommend this stick!
From: Chris, 1/14

Comments: Fantastic new spin machine from Prince. Good control, great spin and plenty of power. The head light design makes it very quick at the net. Just be aware this stick is also a string eating machine. I strung with the identical setup as I have played with my Babolot Aeropro Drive for the last 2 years. I have never broke a string in my Aeropro, but with the new Tour ESP the strings were only lasting 2-3 hours, with one set lasting 45 minutes. These were 17 gauge strings and I am now experimenting with the same strings at 16 gauge. I must like the racquet, I am here to buy my third one.
From: Ken, 1/14

Comments: Well, I really wanted to like this racquet, given the very cool graphics and racquet design. Unfortunately, after about six hours of hitting, serving, and playing with the racquet, I started to develop a case of tennis elbow. This hasn't happened to me in a very long time, ever since I changed to the EXO3 Rebel 98, which I love. Stopped hitting with this new, "improved" version and started to feel better almost immediately. I think for me, the extra weight, plus the headlight configuration resulted in my increased number of mishits, vibrations, etc. which ultimately impacted my elbow. I have decided to stick with the Rebel 98 for now, although I do believe a number of people will really like this racquet. It's just not for me.
From: Andy, 12/13

Comments: My new racquet of choice. I love this "savage banana" and even love it more after a slight modification where I added eight 4 inch strips of lead under the bumper guard (four at 10 and four at 2). I counterbalanced that with an overgrip and now I have it at the perfect weight (about 343 grams) and balance (about 3 pts HL). I am able to handle really heavy balls when I am receiving and I can serve monsters when it's my turn to dish out the pain.
From: Juice, 12/13

Comments: Whoa! Power, spin and precision. Huge open string pattern still provides plenty of control, but ups the ante in power and spin. I'm using 17 gauge strings and after over 8 hours am expecting breakage, but there is none. I would rate this racquet 8.5/10. It's a serious stick for heavy hitters. Highly recommended.
From: Benny, 12/13

Comments: Are you kidding me? TW gave this a 78 overall? This is by far superior than the BLX Six One 95 in every category. Now this is a spin monster. Soft feel, good ball pocketing, great depth, great control. I'd give it a 90 out of 100. This surpasses the APD Babalot for ultimate playability in my book.
From: GS, 12/13

Comments: Awesome racquet!
From: Terry, 10/13

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