I was very excited to receive in to the store the new Prince Textreme Pro Warrior 600 Squash Racquet. We received it just over a month ago. I was quite interested to see if the Textreme that was added to the racquet would make the racquet feel different than previous versions of the same mold. The weight and balance of the racquet was also something that had me pretty excited about it. Its 129 gram unstrung weight and balance point of 353 mm was right around what I like. Having played with both the Prince Pro Beast 750 and the Prince Airstick 130 how the Warrior compared was also of interest to me. I have been hitting with it now for a few weeks and below are my findings.
The racquet that I have been most recently playing with before the Pro Warrior was Prince’s Pro Beast. The Warrior and Beast have a lot of similarities. The weight and balance are very close. The balance is the same and the Warrior is just 1 gram heavier. So there is certainly not too much difference in those specifications. The two big differences are the string pattern and the addition of the Textreme. I really found the Textreme Pro Warrior to have a really solid feel, free of vibration. It was very comfortable to hit the ball with. That is something that is important to me. I like the racquet to have a very stable feel, even as much as possible on miss hits. The Prince Textreme Pro Warrior 600 was terrific in that regard. I had noticed an improvement right away from the Pro Beast.
As mentioned the weight and balance are right around what I like. I had been playing with the Pro Beast 750 before switching to the new Textreme Pro Warrior 600 and the balance is listed as the same and the weight is only 1 gram different, with the Warrior being heavier. I think there is a little more to the weight and balance of the racquet then just the 1-gram difference though. I think it comes down to the stringing pattern. The Beast is a 14 x 15 string pattern, the Warrior a 16 x 17 pattern. As the measurements from Prince are for the unstrung weight the denser string pattern adds a bit more weight to the racquet than the 14 x 15 pattern does. In particular it adds that bit of extra weight in the head of the racquet
The weight and balance of the racquet are a really good combination. The racquet is light at 129 grams and with its 353 mm balance it is pretty evenly balanced. Being light and fairly evenly balanced it is quick to play which I like. I do like to take the ball before it gets to the ball as much as I can so I end up taking a lot of balls on the volley. I found the Pro Warrior 600 to be pretty quick to get back and through to the ball. Not quite as quick as the Beast but not a huge difference. I found it faster to get back and through to the ball than the Airstick 130 which makes sense as it is a just a bit lighter and its balance is less towards the head. I found the Warrior to be quite good for hitting straight length shots as well. I found there to be more overall accuracy with it compared to the Pro Beast which I was playing with most recently. From an accuracy standpoint it was more or less the same as the Airstick 130 which makes sense as it so close in weight and has the same head size and stringing pattern.
The new Prince Textreme Pro Warrior 600 Squash Racquet is a very exciting new addition to Prince’s squash racquet line-up. It is ideal for those that like the Airstick 130 but were looking for something just a bit lighter and with a bit more of an even balance. It is also ideal for those that like the Pro Beast 750 but were looking for more accuracy due to its denser string pattern. It has a really nice solid feel on contact and is well suited for those that like to volley but still have a racquet with enough mass to have an effective length game. I believe the difference in feel on contact is due to the addition of Prince’s Textreme technology. The Pro Warrior 600 is a real winner. This is also the racquet that Ramy Ashour is supposed to be playing with this coming squash season. He did look to be using earlier in the year.
I have never played with a Prince racquet before and I am very happy I got to try out the Prince Pro Shark 650. This racquet is very light yet very powerful with an amazing amount of grip. I play with a slightly heavier racquet with very similar balance to the Pro Shark (should be able to generate more power with mine) and I found out that I could generate the same amount of power with the Prince racquet. Featuring a more open string pattern, 14 x 15, I was also able to get tons of cut on the ball. This racquet not only looks great, it plays amazingly.
Prince Pro Shark 650
Weighting 129 grams when unstrung and with a balance of 35.3mm this racquet has a great combination between light weight and power. This is a great advantage as there is increased maneuverability without a significant loss of power. The racquet’s maneuverability comes from its light weight which helps with aggressive play when volleying on the middle of the court. The power is generated by both the head balance and the string pattern; the head heavy balance keeps the head stable and lets the racquet go through the ball more easily while the open string pattern provides a higher trampoline effect. Also, due to its weight, it was easier to prepare the racquet thus giving me more time to hit my shot as well as letting me use a shorter swing without compromising power. In addition to this, I noticed that hitting the ball on the racquet’s sweet spot felt amazing and created a larger amount of power; however, racquet stability is decreased on off-centre shots but this shouldn’t be a big problem. These are not the only great features of this racquet since its more open string pattern provides something really important: cut.
When trying to hit hard and low shots or drop shots, it is essential to create a good amount of cut or ‘bite’ on the ball. For the Pro Shark 650 this is no problem at all. Its open string pattern lets the strings ‘grab’ the ball more and thus creates more grip between the ball and the strings. I was able to hit better low shots since the strings gave me the extra cut needed to reduce the distance between the ball and the tin; I found these shots to be the most effective ones when using this racquet. Furthermore, my drop shots improved as well as I was able to put more backspin on my shots which led the ball to a shorter bounce making things more difficult for my opponent. Not only did the increased cut help me in the front court, it also helped in the back court. The cut on the ball also reduced the ball’s bounce when coming off the back wall making it harder to retrieve the shot.
The Prince Pro Shark 650 caught me by surprise. At a first glance I didn’t expect much from a light racquet with such an open string pattern. But, once I took out for a hit, I remembered not to judge a book by its cover. I was impressed by how fast I could swing the racquet and how much power I could generate on short swings. I am usually not an aggressive player but with this racquet I felt I had to be since all its features are great tools for aggressive play. Being able to hit quick volleys, powerful shots just above the tin, and very short drop shots gave me a great advantage over my opponent. I would recommend this racquet to the more aggressive type of player who likes to combine great power with fast and short swings. I know it could be an odd looking racquet but give it a try and you will not regret it!
To learn more, or purchase the Prince Pro Shark Powerbite Squash Racquet click on the “View in store” button below.
The Prince Pro Beast Powerbite 750 has been here on the shelves at Control the ‘T’ Sports for about 6 weeks now and I can’t believe I haven’t had a chance to appreciate the engineering that went into its design until now. The racquet’s name aptly encompasses its distinguishing features that allow it stand apart from other racquets I’ve hit with in the past. With elements of both touch and power, I’m having a hard time thinking of a type of player who would not make use of what it has to offer.
Let’s begin by taking a look at what sets this racquet apart from some of the others in the Prince family. The “bite” in the racquet is a function primarily of the string pattern that is extremely widely spaced out. Only 14 main strings and 15 cross strings are used to string the racquet on one of the largest frames Prince has to offer (480 square centimeters). Continue reading
They were not quick to arrive but we are sure glad they have. Prince is set to make a real resurgence in the squash market. They have completely revamped their lineup for this squash season which is the first time they have done so in years. Ramy Ashour is endorsing a new racquet. There are some very familiar technologies in this years lineup; EXO3 and Power Ring. A new technology in the Prince lineup for this season is their PowerBite technology. There are also some familiar model names such as the Rebel, Pro Tour and Airstick. There are some new model names as well such as the Pro Beast and Pro Shark models. Continue reading
Photo Credit to www.squashsite.co.uk
Prince, Ramy’s sponsor must be really happy with their decision to sign Ramy Ashour. Not only has he not lost a match since he switched back to them but he left court in the final game to get a new Prince Airstick 130 because the last one he grabbed after breaking a string did not have the logo stencilled on the strings! While not technically allowed in the rules of the game I am sure it was definitely appreciated by Prince!
Ramy Ashour is the 2013 Allam British Open Champion!
Photo Credit to www.squashsite365.com/site/?p=17583
I was interested to see that James Willstrop looks to be playing with the Prince EXO3 Pro Tour Squash Racquet at this years’ British Open. James is a Prince sponsored player of course so playing with Prince makes sense but he has been switching back and forth between racquets. I have seen him playing with the Prince EXO3 Rebel, an old Prince Speedport and now the Prince EXO3 Pro Tour recently. The Pro Tour is a little heavier than the Rebel but is slightly head light where the Rebel is head heavy.
|Picture courtesy of Worldsquash.org
Since the start of the 2013 Tournament of Champions there has been a great deal of conversation about Ramy Ashour and the racquet he is playing with. We have definitely seen a spike in visits to our site about him and the racquet he is playing with. So what is he playing with? As the title of this post would indicate he is playing with his old favourite as pictured here, the Prince Airstick 130. The picture above is old but was a good shot of him with the Airstick 130. From what I have read he is no longer sponsored by Dunlop and is therefore free to play with what ever racquet he chooses. His old favourite the Prince Airstick 130 is what he has gone back to. It is a great racquet. We have a review of it here , if you are looking to purchase one of these great racquets and are in Canada or the USA please click on Add to Cart button below.
The first reference I found of Ramy switching back to the Prince Airstick 130 was from Twitter here.
James Willstrop has won the North American Open and regained the #1 ranking on the PSA Tour.
James performance against Ramy Ashour in the final was incredible. Actually it was inspiring. Having watched the match on PSASquashtv.com I was so impressed not only with James play but with his strategy. He came in with a plan to contain Ramy, stuck with it, played beautifully and did what most thought he would not – win.
James’ use of height was what really won him the match. If he was under any duress at all he got the ball high and in to the back corner and really limited Ramy’s ability to attack. Tied together with James use of height was his use of the straight ball. High, soft and straight balls that Ramy had to let pass. When Ramy tried to pick up the tempo James was able to deal with it when needed and would slow it back down with the lob. His accuracy on the lob was terrific. He managed to get it over Ramy and forced him to let it drop and did not over hit them either having them come off the back wall.
How effective was James in executing his game plan? How many nicks did Ramy hit? First report was none but there was one in the second game that was in back court. Even that was not a roll out nick. It took a funny bounce when it hit the nick and James could not get it back. Not actually hitting the nick though could just be Ramy being off. What really tells the tale of how effective James was how many front court nick attempts did Ramy even attempt? I have not gone through and counted them but there were very few attempts. Why? Simply put James hardly ever gave him the ball where Ramy could attempt it.
Congratulation to James Willstrop on winning the North American Open and on regaining the #1 ranking on the PSA Tour. The North American Open was the first time in months where all of the top players in the world were in the draw. James came through brilliantly and truly showed the quality of player he is.
James Willstrop is a Prince sponsored played and plays with the Prince EXO3 Rebel Squash Racquet.
James Willstrop is on quite a roll. He has won his last two tournaments and has moved to #2 in the world. This is the 2nd time that James has reached #2 in the world. With a win in India this next week he could move to #1.
The 2012 season is really looking interesting. Hopefully Nick Matthew and Ramy Ashour will be back and injury free. Can James Willstrop reach and possibly even maintain a #1 position with these 2 playing injury free? His current run has not included victories over either of them. With the form that Willstrop has shown it seems possible though. The control with which he has been playing has been astounding. He is moving the ball around the court with astounding precision and giving his opponents so few opportunities to attack.
I expect that Nick Matthew and Ramy Ashour are definitely going to push James harder than he has been pushed in his last couple of tournaments. Ramy’s attack will no doubt be tough for James to counter. The intense physical pressure that Nick plays with will also prove difficult for James. It will be interesting if we can get all 3 of these players playing at the top of their game who will come out on top. Will James’ precision on court be enough to contain Ramy? Will it be enough to force Nick to let balls go past him to the back of the court to keep him from exterting his physical presence he normally does by playing so high on the ‘T’? I definitely look forward to watching and finding out!
It is September and that means the squash season is upon us! A new squash season at Control the ‘T’ Sports means new squash gear! We have all of the newest rackets from Black Knight, Dunlop, Head and Prince.