Prince Textreme Beast O3 104 Specs
Head Size: 104 sq. in. / 671 sq. cm.
Length: 27in / 68.5cm
Unstrung Weight:280g / 9.9oz
Balance: 34.29cm / 0 pts EB
Unstrung Balance:33,5cm / 3 pts HL
String Pattern: 16 Mains / 19 Crosses
I often reference the Prince Beast rackets as an example of some cool racket naming, but beast really doesn’t sum up the Prince Textreme Beast O3 104. The Beast name is an excellent description of the Prince Texteme Beast Pro 100 Longbody that John Isner plays with, but they may have been ironic when they decided to include this racket in the name.
Weighing at 280g, this racket has a bulbous 104sq inch head that should mean you never miss the middle of the racket, but also means you’re going to struggle to fit it in the car to get it to practice.
I jest of course, but the size of some of the racket heads out there is pretty ludicrous, and I can’t see what anyone has to gain by playing with something this size. It’s not that hard to find the middle of the racket with a 100sq inch head and you can string one of those up like a trampoline to mimic the effects of the massive head if you like.
To be fair to the Textreme Beast O3 104 though, it’s 104sq inch head is quite simple compared to something like the Head Graphene Touch Speed PWR’s 115 sq. inch head, so I shouldn’t complain too much. I guess I just got a bit put off that they call such a racket “the beast.”
Anyway, I’ve tested the Head Graphene Touch Speed PWR and was fairly complimentary about its comfort and concluded it would make a good racket for someone who was fairly advanced in age. With that in mind, I set about seeing whether the Prince Textreme Beast O3 104 would also be a useful weapon for the tennis oldies!
I must say I got a few odd looks when I rocked up at my club with this bat. It’s not really the type of racket people are used to seeing me with, but I always maintain that if you gave me a slab of wood, I could make it sing, so I set about showing everyone just that.
My use of the oversized racket must have impressed some of the oldies because I ended up talking to one guy who is 87-years-old about my racket choices. As well as noting that his racket was a little heavier than the one I was using, I also gleaned some priceless advice on how to fight the inevitable advance of time.
My new-found friend, Ken, told us that still, at the age of 87, he plays tennis 3 times a week, and that tennis is great for slowing aging because it is tai chi in fast-motion. With this in mind, I continued my playtest with the Textreme Beast O3 104, ensuring to strike my best tai chi poses and get the most out of this racket.
Groundstrokes – 7/10
I had one hope for this racket, and that was that it would at least be comfortable. It was never going to have the feel I enjoy, as I like quite a dampened feeling from a dense string pattern. The Textreme Beast O3 104 has a massively open 16 x 19 string pattern that’s spread out over a frame the size of Russia, but as long as it gave some comfort then I could see some benefit in this racket.
The answer to my question was a resounding yes, as the large head cushioned the blow on contact, and the O3 Technology helped to limit the vibrations. The downside of this for me was that the strings moved far more than I would like, losing a lot of control. So, I was forced to simplify my strokes and try and hit much flatter than I normally would.
Once I got the hang of the Textreme Beast O3 104 it was reasonably predictable and although it was very pingy, you knew what you were going to get. With a half-paced swing you can get easy depth with this racket, and it would give a beginner or early intermediate player a nice little boost in the power and spin departments.
As you develop your game though, you are going to outgrow this kind of racket. Although it has an excellent swingweight for this type of racket, and above average stability for something so light, it simply doesn’t have the ability to deal with full, fast strokes.
So much power is lost on contact when you hit through the ball with aggressive spins that you end up toning down your strokes. As your technique progresses you will want to move onto something a little more substantial.
If you’re at the other end of your tennis career, however, and you’re tired of having to put everything into absolutely every ball, then this could well be a good option. With the Textreme Beast O3 104 you simply stand and deliver. You can’t really miss the sweet spot and you get a nice ping back to the other side that requires minimal stress.
Comparing this racket to the Head Graphene Touch Speed PWR, I would lean towards the Prince, just because it more closely resembles a normal, sensible tennis racket. The 115 sq. inch head on the Touch Speed PWR is very gimmicky if you ask me, whereas the Textreme Beast O3 104 is a more sensible oversized racket.
You can’t find too many faults in what the Textreme Beast O3 104 aims to do. It’s comfortable and easy to play with, and as long as your strokes aren’t complicated, it does the job well. It has limited use, in that you’re never going to play high-level tennis with it, but if that doesn’t concern you, then it’s nothing to worry about.
I would suggest this racket to adult beginners to start with, as they can get some encouragement from the extra help this racket can give you. As you get better though, you will want to move on to something a little more advanced.
Overall, I gave the Textreme Beast O3 104 a 7 out of 10 groundstrokes. It’s uncomplicated, easy and comfortable. You won’t get a ton of control from this racket, but you will be able to pop the ball back and forth without putting too much strain on your body.
Volleys – 7/10
Again, the Textreme Beast O3 104 is good for popping the ball back and forth across the net. It’s easy to swing and absorbs the impact very well, meaning you get a decent shot without having to put too much effort in.
Unfortunately, I had Lawrence at the other end for this playtest and he was booming balls at me over 100mph. The result was I hardly hit a ball back in the court. There is almost no control or stability with a racket like this when your opponent is hitting a big ball, and your volley will almost certainly spray everywhere and anywhere.
If you don’t have to face this, then the Textreme Beast O3 104 is decent at doing what it says at the net. If you’re slightly older and looking for a racket to play doubles with without breaking your arm, then this is a very good racket.
I certainly wouldn’t describe the Prince Textreme Beast O3 104 as a good volleying racket, but I wouldn’t say it was a bad one for the kind of racket it is. I gave it another 7 out of 10. It does what it’s supposed to do with no drama.
Serve – 7/10
Keeping things simple was the name of the game with the Textreme Beast O3 104 on the serve. If I tried to hit with spin, then I found the strings moved way too much and you ended up with no power and no control. Hardly surprising that the result was a serve straight into the bottom of the net. Without being able to produce topspin you must be careful how hard you swing through the ball as the pingy nature of this stick tends to send the ball long.
This was a particular problem for me on the second serve, where I had little to no confidence in the Textreme Beast O3 104. I wasn’t able to get any spin that I could control, and, in the end, I missed a lot of second serves long.
Eventually, I decided to slow things down completely and started to hit the serve at 70% of my max, keeping things nice and simple in the process. This did have the desired effect, and I started to make a lot more serves, although there was not much quality to them.
This racket is not designed for complicated serves, but if you are still learning the ropes of tennis it has a lot of qualities that you can use. The large racket head gives you an excellent chance of hitting the sweet spot, and when you do you get a huge burst of easy power.
With such a light weight, the Textreme Beast O3 104 is also extremely manoeuvrable, and players of all ages will be able to get good racket head speed with it.
I figured I’d complete the set and give the Prince Textreme Beast O3 104 a 7 for the serve. If you keep things simple it will do the job for you, and you can’t fault its comfort.
Conclusion – 7/10
Thanks to the “Beast”, I made a new tennis friend and now know the secret to longevity, so a pretty good playtest I’d say.
The racket itself wasn’t to my tastes, but I can see it being a very useful tennis racket for someone who is a little bit older and wants to take the strain off their body.
It could also work out for a beginner who is looking to learn the game whilst getting a little bit of extra help from their racket. Eventually, you are going to want to move on to a more advanced racket, but the Prince Textreme Beast O3 104 can do a decent job in the meantime.
I don’t understand why this racket is included in a range named “Beast”. This racket is more of an overweight pussycat, but it is better than some of the other rackets with oversized heads. 104 sq. inches is still reasonably sensible, even if I can’t really see much benefit from it.
Overall, the Textreme Beast O3 104 is a solid 7. It’s no use to most tennis players out there, but for those that it does suit, it will do a very good job of making tennis comfortable.
Review by: Will