I’ve had the opportunity to try out a lot of different types of rackets. When I’m not coaching, you’ll often find me on the court, testing out new gear. The Prince Ripstick 100 caught my eye for its promise of power and spin. I’ve spent a good amount of time with this racket, and here’s my in-depth review.
Groundstrokes are essential part of any tennis player’s game, and this model is designed to make them impactful. However, there are other factors that could impact your ability to use the racket in the right way.
The Power Factor
The first time I took this racket for a spin, I was amazed by the sheer power it offered. My forehands were landing deep, and my opponents were struggling to keep up.
However, I had to adjust my swing slightly to prevent the ball from sailing long. It reminded me of a session I had with one of my advanced students, where we worked on controlling power. This racket would be perfect for players who can harness its energy.
The 16×18 string pattern is a spin-lover’s dream. My topspin forehands were dipping in nicely, but I did struggle a bit with my slice backhands. They weren’t staying as low as I’d like, something I often emphasize in my coaching sessions.
Maneuverability and Speed
The racket is surprisingly quick through the air, despite its power-oriented design. I found it easy to whip up topspin or change the direction of the ball, a skill I often teach my students to keep opponents guessing.
I love teaching people different styles and techniques of volleying, and I was eager to see how the Prince Ripstick 100 would perform at the net.
Stability and Power
The racket is stable, which is crucial for volleys. I could easily punch the ball deep into the court, a tactic I often use in doubles play, and teach my students for effective net play.
Feel and Comfort
The racket has a muted feel, which can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, it absorbs shock well, making off-center hits less punishing. On the other, it lacks a bit of the tactile feedback that I personally prefer for touch volleys.
Serving is my favorite part of the game, and I was excited to see what kind of heat I could bring with this model. The results were outstanding
First Serve Impact
The racket’s power is evident when serving. I found myself hitting aces and service winners more frequently, something I demonstrate to my students as the epitome of a good first serve.
Second Serve Reliability
For second serves, the racket’s spin potential comes into play. I was able to hit kick serves that jumped off the court, making it difficult for my opponent to attack, a strategy I often recommend those I am coaching.
Returns are the first line of defense in a rally, and the Ripstick 100 offers a blend of power and stability that can be both an asset and a challenge.
The racket allows for aggressive returns, but it’s easy to overhit. I had to remind myself to add more topspin, similar to what I advise my students when they struggle with control.
On defensive returns, the racket’s stability shines. I could block back powerful serves with relative ease, a tactic I often employ in my own game and provide others with some tips for handling big servers.
Strings and Customization
A racket’s performance can be significantly influenced by the choice of strings and any customizations. Here’s how the Prince Ripstick 100 fares in these aspects, based on my experience.
The racket’s spin-friendly nature makes it a good candidate for a textured or shaped polyester string. I experimented with a few different setups and found that a co-polyester string brought out the best in terms of spin and control. This is something I often discuss in my coaching sessions: the right string can make a world of difference.
While the racket is quite stable, some players might want to add a bit of weight in the handle to improve maneuverability. I tried adding some lead tape, and it did make the racket more “whippy,” allowing for quicker adjustments—a useful tip for those looking to tailor the racket to their playing style.
Who Is It For?
Not every racket is for everyone. Based on my coaching experience and personal playtesting, here’s who I think would benefit the most from this one.
The Aggressive Baseliner
If you’re an aggressive baseliner who loves to dictate play with powerful groundstrokes and spin, this racket should be on your radar. It allows you to generate pace and depth effortlessly, pushing your opponent on the defensive.
The Serve-and-Volley Player
The racket’s stability and power make it a good choice for serve-and-volley players. You can hit penetrating serves and follow them up with solid volleys, a tactic I often use in doubles and teach my students to master.
If you’re an all-court player who likes to mix things up, you’ll appreciate the racket’s versatility. It performs well from the baseline and at the net, giving you the tools to adapt to different game situations.
Maintenance and Durability
A racket isn’t just a one-time purchase; it’s an investment in your game. Here’s what you can expect in terms of maintenance and durability from the Prince Ripstick 100.
Given the open string pattern and the spin potential, you might find yourself breaking strings more often than with other rackets. This is common with spin-friendly frames and something I always warn my students about. It’s wise to have a couple of backup sets of your preferred string.
The racket is built with a combination of TexTreme, Twaron, and Graphite, making it quite durable. I’ve used it extensively for coaching and personal play, and it has held up well. Durability is often overlooked but is a crucial factor I discuss with my students when choosing a new racket.
Tips for Transitioning
Switching to a new racket often comes with a period of adjustment. Therefore, the process will require some time before you are able to get the most out of the features and capabilities.
When you first pick up this racket, I recommend spending a few sessions just rallying and getting a feel for its power and spin. This is something I always advise my students to do with any new racket. Pay attention to how it affects your groundstrokes, volleys, and serves.
Adjusting Your Style
Once you’re comfortable with the basic feel, start focusing on specific areas of your game. For instance, if you’re an aggressive baseliner, work on controlling the depth of your shots to keep your opponent on the back foot. If you’re a serve-and-volley player, practice your approach shots and volleys to make the most of the racket’s stability and power.
Is Prince a good brand?
Yes, Prince is a reputable brand in the tennis industry, known for its innovative technology and high-quality rackets. They offer a range of products suitable for players of all levels.
How to choose a tennis racket?
Choosing a tennis racket depends on various factors like your skill level, playing style, and physical capabilities. Consider the racket’s weight, balance, string pattern, and head size. It’s often beneficial to demo a few rackets before making a decision.
Which tennis players use Prince?
Several professional players have used Prince rackets, including David Ferrer, John Isner, Jelena Jankovic, Michael Chang, and Patrick Rafter. Endorsements can change over time, but these associations speak to the brand’s quality.
Do pros use light or heavy rackets?
Professional players often use heavier rackets for better control and stability. However, the weight is usually customized to suit their specific needs and playing style. Lighter rackets are generally not as common on the pro tour.
As someone who lives and breathes tennis, I can say that this racket has been a fascinating addition to my coaching toolkit and my personal game. If its features align with your playing style and you’re willing to invest the time to adapt, the Prince Ripstick 100 could very well be your next game-changer.