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.
Prince Pro Beast 750 Squash Racquet endorsed by Ramy Ashour
Ramy Ashour is endorsing a new model this year; the Prince Pro Beast 750 Squash Racquet. We have not seen him play with it on tour yet. He has been off tour injured for months unfortunately. When he comes back we will see if he is indeed playing with it. It looks to be an evolution of the Airstick 130 that all he has played with for years with 2 of grams taken off the weight, a more even balance and featuring the new PowerBite technology. I for one and am very excited to see if he will indeed end up playing with this exciting new model. The Prince Pro Beast Powerbite 750 Squash Racquet is 128 grams unstrung. It has a balance point of 35.3 cm. It head size is 480 cm2. It features Prince PowerRing and PowerBite technologies. Its light weight and fairly even balance should make this racquet excellent on the volley and should suit an attacking style like Ramy Ashour plays.
EXO3 has been around for several years now. It is a pretty exciting technology that is designed to allow the strings to move more freely and to increase the size of the sweet spot of the racquet. It also has an additional advantage of making the racquet more aerodynamic. Prince puts the EXO3 ports on the side and top of some of its top of the line models. These are the key areas to increasing power. Grommets restrict the movement of the string which is why the string the string move freely with the EXO3 technology. The EXO3 technology eliminates the need for grommets. The length of the string effects the size of the sweet spot in large part. In a traditional frame the string contacts the grommet on the inside of the frame. With EXO3 the string contacts the EXO skeleton structure at the outside of the racquet. This increases the length of the string which increases the size of the sweet spot. EXO3 technology increases string movement, increases the size of the sweet spot and makes the racquet more aerodynamic all of which help the racquet produce more power.
Prince's PowerRing technology has been around for years now. Like EXO3 it is designed to make the strings more freely. It also makes for longer more uniform string lengths which help increase power as noted and also helps the strings respond in a more uniform and consistent manner. Prince has kept the technology in their frames for so many years because it works.
The PowerBite name is completely new but what this technology provides is a more open string pattern. A very open string pattern in fact. Prince has really opened up the string pattern on the models featuring PowerBite technology. The Pro Beast 750 and the Pro Shark 650 have a 14 x 15 string pattern. An open string pattern provides greater power and increased spin or "bite" on the ball. The name PowerBite thus makes perfect sense as the technology increases both power and bite. Prince while opening up the string pattern has kept the string spacing uniform which helps produce consistent results when hitting the ball.
Prince Pro Rebel 950 Squash Racquet
The Prince Pro Rebel Squash Racquet is as its name would suggest is the evolution of EXO3 Rebel that has been around for a few years. Most of the specification are the same. It is a 135 gram racquet, has a 16x16 string pattern. It features Prince's EXO3 and PowerRing technology. The balance point seems to have moved a slight bit from 37.5 to 37.7 in this new model. That will make the racquet play a slight bit more head heavy. This is the racquet that Nicol David the long time #1 on the WSA tour is playing with. If you are looking for a racquet with a great deal of trampoline effect this is an excellent choice. The PowerRing and EXO3 technologies make the string bed very lively.
Prince Pro Tour 850 Squash Racquet
From Prince's website it looks like James Willstrop will be playing with or endorsing the new Prince Pro Tour 850 Squash Racquet. The Pro Tour features the same technologies and frame as the Rebel. Its weight and balance are different though. It is a heavier racquet than the Pro Rebel at 142 grams unstrung. Its balance is less head heavy at 36.7cm. While it is heavier than the Pro Rebel having its balance less head heavy help the maneuverability of this racquet. It has a 16x16 string pattern and a 464 cm2 head size. The Pro Tour 850 features EXO3 and PowerRing technology.
Prince Airstick Lite 550 Squash Racquet
Yes it is in Airstick. Yes it is 130 grams. Yes it has the same balance as the venerable Prince Airstick 130. Is it the same racquet just with different paint? I can't say that for certain but I can say the specifications all match up. The Prince Airstick Lite 550 weighs 130 grams unstrung. It has a balance of 36cm which is a bit head heavy. Its head size is 480 cm2. It features Prince PowerRing technology. The primarily black and red paint job on this racquet looks really nice. The Prince Airstick 130 Squash Racquet is one of the best sellers all time will the Prince Airstick Lite 550 do as well. It is a great racquet at a great price so I expect it to be a very popular model!
Prince Pro Shark 650 PowerBite Squash Racquet
Another new frame in the lineup from Prince for this season is the Prince Pro Shark PowerBite 650 Squash Racquet. This racquet features lots of bite and power due to having the PowerBite technology from Prince. It is a 129 gram racquet with a balance point of 35.3 cm making it close to an even balance. It features a 480 cm2 head and has Prince's PowerRing technology. I expect this racquet to be a hit with those who like Prince frame but have been looking for something less head heavy. The cosmetics of this racquet are really nice in the primarily black and blue finish. AT just a bit heavier and with just a bit more head heavy balance than the Pro Beast 750 the Pro Shark PowerBite 650 should be suited to those who want the PowerBite technology and are looking for just a bit more weight in the head
So that is what is new for this season from Prince. The new PowerBite technology is pretty exciting and should help get more power and spin out of the racquets that feature it. Ramy Ashour apparently switching to the Prince Pro Beast 750 is pretty exciting. As always we will need to wait to him actually playing with it to know for certain. Hopefully we will see in on a squash court soon!
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