Founded in Atlanta, Georgia, Prince stormed onto the tennis scene in the 1970s when they invented the tennis ball machine. It was the first of their cunning innovations, created by putting a vacuum cleaner into reverse, and they’ve been innovating ever since.
Prince’s biggest success came in the 90s when brand ambassador and tennis legend Pat Rafter stormed to success after success. At that time, Prince tennis rackets were the top selling tennis rackets in the world, and who can really be surprised? Although sales have declined a little in recent years, facing stiff competition from Wilson, Head and Yonex, Prince are still a brand with a storied history, producing some of the most advanced rackets on the market.
Prince are a great brand with some fantastic rackets. They combine excellent build quality with an ethos of innovation that has produced some seriously impressive sports technology over the years. Their O3 technology in particular has created tennis rackets with enormous sweet spots, and people have taken notice. It’s no wonder that ATP Tour players like David Ferrer, John Isner, and Jelena Jankovic are all Prince fans.
Whilst Prince’s built quality is really very good, you really get what you pay for. Their entry level rackets are extremely affordable and get the job done, but they’re very bare bones as a result. Companies like Yonex might throw in some high tech design features just to be nice, but Prince are trying to get you to buy their better rackets if you can afford them. Of course, if you’re willing to pay, Prince’ s high-end rackets are some of the most advanced sports tech around.
Time to run you through some of the big hitters:
Best Prince Tennis Racket for Juniors
Young players don’t need to be about to turn pro in order to take advantage of a little high-tech quality. The Warrior Elite Junior boasts a good-sized 104 square inch head, with a great sweet spot. The GraphAlu (Graphite/Aluminium) composition of the Warrior Elite ESP keeps the racket nice and light, and it is strung using Extreme String Pattern (ESP) design, which can increase spin on the ball by up to 30%. With more spin you can get better clearance over the net, as well as excellent shot penetration.
Big, light, and just fun to play with. This is a great junior racket for a young player who’s taking their tennis a little more seriously. The GraphAlu and ESP design are great features, and they don’t add so much to the price that the Warrior Elite ESP becomes unaffordable.
Best Budget Prince Tennis Racket
The Thunder Dome 100 is a nice little entry racket that comes with a very modest price tag. No flash carbon nanofibers here, just a solid lightweight aluminium frame. There’s a fairly light, mid-plus sized head (100 square inches) that’s has a good area to it, whilst staying manoeuvrable. The DuraPro+ grip also delivers a good combination of tac and shock absorption.
This would be a good choice for a hobbyist who wants a solid racket for the odd game, but who doesn’t feel drawn to any high-tech bells and whistles. But, having said that, Prince have still included their Morph Beam technology, giving the Thunder Dome 100 some extra stability and power too.
For the price, you can’t really go wrong here if all you want to do is get down to business and play some tennis. However, if you’re hyper-competitive and looking for an edge, you’ll want to keep an eye out for something a little more advanced.
Best for Beginners
The Prince Thunder Bolt 110 ESP delivers great performance at a price that won’t makes your eyes water, making it perfect for a beginner who wants a well-built racket that they can use to improve. It may not be all singing and all dancing, but the Thunder Bolt has some great pieces of innovation, including Morph Beam technology, to improve its stability and power, and Extreme String Pattern (ESP) design, which can increase spin on the ball by up to 30%, granting better clearance over the net alongside excellent shot penetration.
This is a very lightweight racket, with all the manoeuvrability that you would expect to go along with that, and it allows for a pretty large head size too (110 square inches). The sweet spot, as well as being commensurably larger, has been made even wider through use of Prince’s Sweet Spot Expansion System, so this is just a lovely racket to strike balls with.
Light and speedy, this is a perfect beginner racket at an entry-level price. That said, the Thunder Bolt will likely be too light for any muscled new players who are already beating their balls about the court like Rafael Nadal.
Best for Intermediate Players
The TeXtreme Warrior 100L is a light racket, designed for long, heavy baseline rallies. A supremely light frame (255g) with a mid-large head size of 100 square inches, allows for excellent spin and power without sacrificing precision.
The headline here is the technology for which the racket is named: TeXtreme. This unique feature of Prince rackets involves stiffening the frame through the use of extremely thin, straight carbon fibres, to create a composite material that is 20% lighter than usual, as well as being more resilient. The resulting frame twists up to 25% less when it strikes the ball, increasing both strength and accuracy. As a result, TeXtreme rackets are well-suited to aggressive play.
With great power comes great vibration… all the way down your racket arm. Players susceptible to wrist and elbow strain may want to have a look at this racket, which generates a lot of power whilst dampening most of the forces involved.
The TeXtreme Warrior 100L is a solid choice for regular players. Its cost won’t break the bank, but it has some innovative design features that really help the player to get a great balance of weight, size, power, and control. Reviewers say that this racket is particularly suited to play styles with more compact strokes, so club players may find The Warrior ideal.
Best for Professionals
Powerful, large and light – that’s the Prince TeXtreme Premier 120 in a nutshell. The whopping 120 square inch head is combined with Prince’s O3 technology, a grommetless innovation that expertly dampens sudden vibrations, whilst increasing the size of the sweet spot by an enormous 54%. This means that the TexTreme Premier 120 boasts one of the most impressively large sweet spots ever made.
As with the Warrior 100L (above), TeXtreme technology has stiffened the racket through use of extremely thin, straight carbon fibres, creating a composite material that is 20% lighter than usual. The resulting frame twists up to 25% less when it strikes the ball, increasing both strength and accuracy. As a result, TeXtreme rackets are well-suited to aggressive play.
The largest, lightest, most powerful racket in the Prince armoury, with a credible claim to having the largest sweet spot on a racket ever seen. This will be particularly rewarding to any players with shorter strokes, whilst the head size and open string pattern should allow players who love to spin and slice plenty of leeway. When it comes to volleying, the TeXtreme Premier 120’s surface area and stability make it impressive, and the extra reach of the head makes serving a cinch.
Advanced players looking for comfort and power need to look no further than the TeXtreme Premier 120.
Despite a fall from their 90s heyday, Prince are still one of the biggest Tennis brands in the world. They have an ethos of forward thinking and innovation, and they’re still putting out some of the best rackets you can buy. You get what you pay for, though, so don’t expect too much from their lower-end offerings.