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Racquet Review: Prince EXO3 Rebel 95/98

Thursday, March 01, 2012 /by

PrincerebelMSRP: $189
HEAD SIZE: 95 SQ. IN (95); 98 SQ. IN. (98)
LENGTH: 27 IN.
WEIGHT: 12 OZ. (95); 11.1 OZ. (98)
BALANCE: 7 PTS. HL (95); 4 PTS. HL (98)
SWINGWEIGHT: 330 (95); 322 (98)
FLEXIBILITY: FLEXIBLE (95); FIRM (98)
BEAM WIDTH: 20MM (95); 21MM (98)
STRING PATTERN: 18 X 20 (95); 16 X 20 (98)
IDEAL SWING: LONG (95); MEDIUM TO LONG (98)
NTRP: 4.5+ (95); 4.0+ (98)
 
The Pitch: The Prince EXO3 Rebel 95—the racquet of choice for touring professional Gael Monfils—and EXO3 Rebel 98 have been updated with new and improved EXO3 string suspension inserts, which now utilize a thermoplastic resin for reduced vibration and improved feel. Prince claims that the racquet’s large holes and EXO3 inserts liberate strings from restrictive grommets, which allow the strings to respond more freely upon impact for a bigger sweet spot as well as more power and control. The final result, Prince says, is a larger, more consistent hitting area.

How It Tested: The Rebel 95 was the most comfortable, flexible player's stick we reviewed this year. Playtesters with long, fluid swings raved about how the 95 delivered smooth feedback and stability, remarkable touch and dwell time, and well-controlled power from all parts of the court. As one strong 4.5 playtester remarked, “The sweetspot is relatively generous for a 95; it plays like a 98.” Said another, “It’s almost forgiving for a player’s frame. But it’s still a tool with which to go to battle with—maneuverable enough to create angles, but still enough heft to withstand the pressure of a seriously hit ball.” For one 5.0 player, however, the Rebel 95 didn’t produce the big spin he was accustomed to. “It was very solid with a good mix of control, power, and depth,” he said. “There was good control of distance. But I found it somewhat difficult to generate spin.”

Those playtesters who found the 95 too heavy to wield relished the Rebel 98’s lighter weight. According to one 4.0 playtester, the 98 had “great feel, excellent balance, and outstanding comfort. A quarter to a half an ounce of extra weight would have made it even better. But it felt good everywhere.” However, for most, the 98 came with a caveat: its extra forgiveness, coupled with a relatively flexible frame, produced a jarring sensation at the string bed’s tip on off-center hits.

Bottom Line: Laser-like, comfortable precision for intermediate (98) and advanced (95) players.


More Racquet Reviews:
 
Babolat Pure Drive/Pure Drive Lite
Babolat Pure Drive 107
Donnay Pro One 16 x 19
Dunlop Biomimetic 700
GAMMA RZR 98/98T
HEAD YouTek IG Prestige (Pro, MP, Mid)
HEAD YouTek IG Radical (Pro, MP, OS)
HEAD YouTek IG Prestige S/Radical S
Prince EXO3 Rebel 95/98
Prince EXO Warrior 100
SOLINCO Tour 8
Völkl ORGANIX V1 (MP, OS)
Wilson Juice 100/108 BLX
Wilson Pro Staff Six.One 100 BLX
Wilson Steam 100 BLX
YONEX EZONE Xi 98/100
YONEX EZONE Xi 107

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