Prince Textreme Phantom 93P (14×18) Racket Review
Prince harks back to the old school plush feeling of a flexible frame with the Textreme Phantom. The 93P (14x18) is a super dialled in specification that is insanely focused on offering the maximum control possible. A frame this small is something we hardly see anymore these days, with so many rackets opting for a larger sweet spot, more power and more forgiveness. However, Prince stuck to their guns and refined the 93P to the point of perfection. This racket definitely isn't for everyone, but if you are an aggressive net rusher that craves the precision and feel of a flexible, smaller headed racket, the Prince Textreme Phantom 93P (14x18) is well worth a try.
8out of 10
Despite the old school specs of the Prince Textreme Phantom 93P (14×18), it has been brought up to date thanks to modern technology. Prince has strategically placed their Textreme material in the throat of the racket and combined it with Twaron to give the racket better stability and damping.
This is a great addition to the frame as having a stiffness rating of just 62 and a very thin beam could easily leave the 93P feeling a bit shaky.
This technology has also been added to the upper portion of the frame. The idea behind this is to improve the response of the racket nearer the sweet spot, which for most modern players that hit with heavy spin tends to be in the upper hoop.
Again, this shows how Prince is thinking about the demands of the modern game whilst offering a uniquely retro racket.
What’s more, Prince has also engineered an anti torsion system for the racket. This again adds to the stability of the racket, but also increases the plow through. The result is a crisper feel and a bit more power from the frame.
The weight of the racket also dials out some of the unwanted vibrations that such a low stiffness rating may otherwise produce.
The head light balance and relatively low swing weight relative to the static weight make the Prince Textreme Phantom 93P (14×18) very manoeuvrable and you can tell that it is most at home up at the net.
The 14 x 18 string pattern is a truly unique feature of this racket. It opens up the string bed and enhances the spin potential, whilst also increasing the sweet spot. This makes the racket a lot more forgiving and accessible despite the tiny head size.
The open string pattern also adds to the liveliness of the racket, which makes it more enjoyable to hit with. Whilst a 14×18 string pattern isn’t ideal for string breakers, it does give you a higher launch angle which helps with height over the net and consistency.
The spin that the racket can generate is very impressive and reminds me of some of the most spin friendly rackets out there like the Babolat Pure Aero.
That being said, the open string pattern is a bit more susceptible to inconsistent feedback compared to the 18×20 version which we found very control oriented and predictable.
I found that on backhand slices the ball would stay nice and low but when rallying from the baseline with topspin and trying to be consistent, the racket would occasionally throw in a curve ball and my shot would land short.
You can tell the racket is designed for all court players that like to transition into the net. When you need that bit of extra feel or control when threading the needle on a tough approach shot or even a passing shot, the racket is very rewarding.
The pin point accuracy of the frame gives you a lot of confidence in knowing wherever you are looking to place the ball, the Phantom 93P will oblige.
The comfort that the racket offers is something to behold. It is really plush on contact but not too shaky that it upsets the contact with the ball.
Whilst the sweet spot has definitely been increased due to the open string pattern and the technology Prince has used, it is still quite a difficult racket to hit with if you are used to a typical mid plus. The main issue is the lack of margin for error with such a small frame.
You also don’t get a lot of easy power from the racket. The Phantom 93P will reward you if you strike the ball out the middle of the string bed, cleanly, and well timed. But if you don’t it won’t take many prisoners.
This is not something that really detracts from the overall experience, but it well worth keeping in mind if you are looking to switch to this racket.
9out of 10
Volleys are the real star of the show when it comes to the Prince Textreme Phantom 93P (14×18). You can tell that the racket is most at home up at the net due to the stability, solid feel on contact and insane precision and control.
The smaller head size combined with the damping technology and open string pattern give a great sense of connection to the ball. What’s more, you can really cut the ball nicely and it is never phased by fast incoming balls.
For an inexperienced volleyer or someone that lacks a bit of finesse at the net, the Phantom 93P (14×18) could be a little intimidating. It is not a racket that gives you much margin for error.
However, if you feel confident approaching the net and want a racket that will reward your inputs, give you pinpoint accuracy and unrivalled feel and control, this could be well worth a try.
The combination of the thin beam and small head make the racket responsive and dialled in whilst being comfortable. It is a great stick for any keen volleyer and will also help you find those small gaps in doubles.
8out of 10
On serve, the Prince Textreme Phantom 93P (14×18) is very impressive in terms of how much spin and pin point accuracy you can access.
The specifications of the racket really lend themselves to a server that wants to manoeuvre their opponent around with slice and kick serves rather than blast them off the court with out and out power.
This makes it ideal for a serve and volley that wants to take a bit of pace off and create angles with their serve, opening up the court and giving them time to get into the net.
The spin and accuracy helps you pull your opponent off the court and open up space for an easy put away.
The racket is a bit underpowered and whilst the weight makes it feel solid, I would have liked a little more free power at times. This is to be expected for this type of racket of course, but it is a characteristic that even aggressive players can benefit from.
Overall, the Prince Textreme Phantom 93P (14×18) was a strong performer on serve, offering plenty of spin and precision. It doesn’t help out much with power generation but will reward your inputs if you are already a strong server.
7.5out of 10
Control oriented rackets like the 93P can either be very rewarding to return serve with or they can be quite unforgiving.
This largely depends on how large the sweet spot is and how well damped they are, as a harsh, unforgiving racket can make it difficult to time the ball well and hit it cleanly.
In the case of the Prince Textreme Phantom 93P, the racket did a great job of encouraging me to swing out at the ball and attack my returns.
It did take a bit of time to get used to as it is such a small frame and despite the open string pattern, the sweet spot is still pretty small compared to a lot of larger headed mid plus rackets.
The thin beam adds to the racket’s whippiness through the air, something that I benefited from when returning serve. It meant I could get the racket in front to meet the ball more quickly, which helped with my timing.
The 93P is not a racket that would suit all players, but for the intermediate to advanced level player that likes to chip and charge and go after their returns with big swings, it could be a great fit.
8out of 10
Overall, the Prince Textreme Phantom 93P (14×18) is an old school, control oriented racket that Prince has adapted for the modern game. The super small 93 sq in head makes this a scalpel on the court.
The open string pattern helps you carve up the court with slices, low volleys and angled serves.
If you are the type of player that likes to move your opponent around with angles, spin and control, this could well be a match made in heaven.
Whilst the racket can be a little inconsistent at times in terms of the feel off the string bed, it is still a plush and well balanced racket that is pretty easy to swing considering its weight.
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