Ice Down, so you can Fire Up

With all the tennis I play weekly, I’ve developed a mild case of tendinitis in my knees over the past year. One thing I’ve found to help alleviate the next day stiffness and pain is that age old remedy of icing. Makes sense and sounds easy enough, right? Just get some ice and put it on your knees. But when icing at home, using ice from your freezer can be more trouble than you think. The ice cubes can be too big or uncomfortable, not creating even distribution of cold, not to mention the bags that hold the ice can leak, causing a mess. Yes, these things have happened to me, and it’s a real drag.

Enter Ice Down.

Re-freezable cold packs with neoprene wraps. No ice cubes or possible leaky bags to deal with. Simple, yet convenient. Just pull the cold packs out of the freezer, insert them into the neoprene wraps and wrap them around your problem areas while securing them with that old versatile Velcro enclosure.

I, along with my avid running wife, use them all the time and find them not only soothing on our aches, but highly convenient as well. With a year of regular use under our belts, they’re still in great shape, and when we Ice Down, it helps us get ready to fire up for our next workout!

Order yours today!

Spencer, TW.

Prince EXO3 Tour 100 – making the 2nd impression count

Often times it’s human nature to dismiss something, based on the initial experience. First impressions come to mind, with the saying you never get a second chance at a first impression. However, when it comes to the Prince EXO3 Tour 100, it’s the second impression that did just that. Impressed.

Prince EXO3 Tour 100

Rewind to my first hit with the EXO3 Tour 100.

If I had only one hitting session with this racquet, I most likely would have set down the racquet with no intention of picking it up again. Why? I didn’t like the feel. The stringbed felt too expansive and soft. I didn’t get the feedback I was accustomed to and felt the ball was getting lost in the stringbed. Though I liked the spec range, I wouldn’t get over what I first thought was a lack of feel. So I thought.

Since this was a playtest, I’d have to make the best of it. Doing a month-long test, there are going to be good days and not so good days. As the playtest continued, I did notice that I was playing consistently better. The good days were really good, and the bad days weren’t so bad. On top of that, I was getting used to the unique feel; to the point that I didn’t even think about it. When the playtest concluded, I couldn’t deny the fact that I played better with this stick. More specifically, I played better with the 16/18 string pattern. I liked the 18/20, but felt the 16/18 offered a little more liveliness and spin that helped better benefit my game and style overall.

Groundstrokes were solid with excellent directional control. The combination of being able to flatten out shots for winners yet enough touch to place the more delicate shots was very good. I felt comfortable hitting all shots from the baseline whether it was an angled forehand, coming over the top of the backhand or slicing one down the line. Suffice it to say, I felt confident with precision from the baseline. At net, the EXO3 Tour 100 spec’d out well for me. It had a nice head light balance, a large sweetspot, and a soft flex and feel. It provided opportunities to vary shots because of its versatility. I felt the same concerning serve returns. The stability of the frame made chipping and blocking back serves rather easy, while still maneuverable enough to come through the ball with good swing speed when looking to be aggressive. If there was one thing I thought it lacked, was power on serve. To be fair, it’s not underpowered in this regard, but I was hoping the open string pattern of the 16/18 would offer some added zip.

When it’s all said and done, the Prince EXO3 Tour 100 is a racquet that I would have to consider using as my main stick of choice, because I can’t deny the results. Anyone else that has had the initial “don’t like the feel” feeling with this racquet, I recommend you have some patience, as you might just be wooed with that second impression.

Check out the Video Review on both the 16/18 and 18/20 versions of this racquet.

Spencer, TW.

*The string I preferred during this test was the Prince Hybrid Power EXP. Putting Prince Poly EXP in the mains, with Prince Premier LT in the crosses was a nice compliment to the overall performance of the racquet.

Beauty and the Beast XP

It is said that the eyes are the portals to the soul…

When you stare into the eye of the Beast XP, what do you see?

Let’s look into what’s behind these eyes….or in this case, “eye”.

Several months ago, there was some information floating around about a new green polyester string. Known at the time as 361 Nation, This neon-esque string was seen at some junior tournaments. Tennis enthusiasts could go to the 361 Nation website to request a free set to sample. Of course this created quite a stir because everyone was curious about who 361 Nation was. The website didn’t offer any information about where it was manufactured, or who was manufacturing it.

Tennis warehouse was sent a handful of samples as well. The return address was unfamiliar and not traceable, so we were also in the dark about who exactly was behind 361 Nation. Some of the super sleuths from the Talk Tennis message board had some ideas based on what they did find, but the findings weren’t necessarily concrete.

Shortly we (Tennis Warehouse) were asked to seed hundreds of sets to the tennis public around the world. Here is some of the feedback from our message board users that play tested the string:

“…the string proved to take my control to the next level.”
“Tension maintenance is best part of this string. After playing for 12 hours, string is not noticeably softer.”
“…it allowed me to create angles I didn’t know existed!”
“I am very impressed with this string. I would definitely be interested in stringing this again in all 3 of my sticks and switching to this string as my #1 favorite.”
“I have a very sensitive elbow, and these didn’t affect me, which is great.”
“…I can hit almost any shot from any spot on the court because of the spin I get.”
“I will definitely use these strings again in the future.”

That’s some pretty good feedback for a string that, at the time, was not associated with any of the big names in tennis.

Lo and behold, when the “cat” finally was out of the bag, it was revealed the string was a Prince string, named Prince Beast XP.

Touted by Prince as the first Thermo-poly string, Prince claims this polyester to offer extreme precision with improved trajectory control and feel, featuring a secret alloy additive. It is also claimed to offer improved tension maintenance compared to standard monofilament polyesters due to Prince’s special manufacturing process of sequential heating and stretching.

The Beast has arrived at Tennis Warehouse and is ready to strike. Click HERE to order your set and experience its ferocity!