Prince Twistpower X97 Tour Racket Review
Prince has made some absolute classic player’s rackets over the years. They have also never been afraid to step outside of the box and try innovative designs in order to offer customers something different. They have really dialled this up with the Twistpower C97 Tour, offering a unique take on the traditional performance racket.
8out of 10
As far as groundbreaking concepts go, the Twistpower from Prince is one of the most unique.
We have seen their EXO ports which form larger grommet holes, but this twisted construction is something that we haven’t seen before.
The Tour version of the racket has more of a performance oriented spec than the Twistpower X100, with its higher static weight, swing weight and smaller head size.
All of these changes point towards less power and more control, which is exactly what the Twistpower X97 delivers.
The first thing you notice about this racket is how small the throat is.
Whilst this, along with the 66 stiffness rating would make you think the Twistpower would be a very brittle racket to play with, it is actually surprisingly supple given its specs.
The twisted shaft actually allows the racket to flex more on contact, so you get a nice blend of feel and stability. It is therefore a supple yet solid feeling racket that is very zippy through the air and looks great in its blacked out paint job.
This is a very control focussed racket. You won’t get a tonne of power from this racket as it is aimed at performance players that want precision over brute force.
You can really pick your spots and hit them with accuracy with the Twistpower X97, it is like using a scalpel carving up the court.
Despite this, it has quite a dead or muted feel. It is very precise but not the most communicative racket out there.
The smaller head size reduces the sweet spot of this Twistpower compared to the 100 version, which of course dials up the accuracy and precision.
This does reduce the margin for error that you have to play with however, so if you are a beginner looking for a user friendly stick you may be better off elsewhere.
That said, the shape of the frame is more circular than an oval, which actually enhances the forgiveness of the racket slightly despite the smaller head size.
Maybe it is in my head, but the ball seems to feel a bit more pocketed by the string bed with rackets of this shape.
The Twistpower X97 is a very spin friendly racket, so if you are looking to hit heavy forehands from anywhere in the court, this could be a great choice for you.
You can really knife your backhand slices well with this racket, as it cuts through the air like a knife through butter and connects with the ball crisply.
Although the racket doesn’t give you a load of help when it comes to power, it does glide forward nicely as you swing in a similar way to a Babolat Pure Aero.
The racket does feel a little lighter than its swing weight would suggest, which is great for manoeuvrability.
This does detract from its plough through somewhat, but the fast racket head speed, higher launch angle and spin potential you get from the racket makes it easy to hit a heavy ball regardless.
The Prince Twistpower X97 is a unique proposition that is most definitely a control focussed player’s racket. It strikes a good balance between spin, stiffness and comfort, making it a great choice for a player with an all-court game style that can generate their own power.
8.5out of 10
As far as volleys go, the Prince Twistpower X97 was a real hit. I normally prefer a more supple racket to cushion the ball with, but the Twistpower feels reassuringly stable.
The twisted frame construction also helps the racket have just a little bit of give, which takes the harshness out.
You get a very crisp feel from the racket when punching through volleys, which is tactile and helps you feel connected with the ball.
The racket moves so well through the air that it can sometimes be hard to tell if you are lined up to the ball correctly on a volley with a bigger swing, but once you have gotten used to the feel of the racket this becomes easier to deal with.
The stiffness does reduce the plush feel you get from the racket overall. You really have to stick the volleys with this racket rather than caress them. If you are a serve and volley player that likes a bit more of a flexible racket you may be better off going for a Wilson Clash or Prince Phantom.
7.5out of 10
On serve, the Prince Twistpower X97 is a controlled racket that is great for exposing acute angles.
The muted feel does mean you lack a bit of connection and I found myself sometimes misaligning my serve to where I thought I had placed it. Whilst you can definitely be accurate with the racket, it does take a bit of dialling in.
The spin you can generate makes it easy to carve slice serves and get that kick serve bucking up.
Despite this, the racket can feel a little underpowered which forces you to strain a bit more to generate your own. This isn’t so much of an issue when you first start hitting with the Twistpower X97, but after a while it does get a bit tiresome.
Again, this isn’t a huge issue, but worth considering if you are in the market for a control oriented racket but still want a bit of help on the serve.
8out of 10
Returning with the Prince Twistpower X97 felt great. Whilst the racket doesn’t give you much free power, it does offer a great deal of accuracy and spin.
If you are the type of player that likes to step pack and hit angled returns, this would be a well suited racket for you.
The Twistpower pockets the ball nicely which almost feels like the ball is clinging onto the strings as you make contact. This creates a slingshot effect which is taken even further if you string this racket up at a low tension.
You can redirect fast serves with this racket easily, as it feels very solid and is easy to manoeuvre. Whether you are blocking the ball back aggressively with topspin or chipping the ball deep, the Twistpower will serve you well.
The racket feels great when you want to whack a return back deep and relatively central.
When you are looking to go for the lines, the racket is accurate and you can place the ball where you want. However, you may need to hit for a bit of time to get used to the feeling of the racket in order to really dial this in.
8out of 10
Overall, the Prince Twistpower X97 is an accurate, spin friendly and solid feeling player’s racket that is well suited to intermediate to advanced level players.
It is a great choice for those who want a unique alternative to a Babolat Pure Aero or Wilson Clash. It combines that solid feeling from the stiffness, with an easy to swing, aerodynamic frame that will help you place the ball wherever you want on the court.
You won’t get much in the way of power from this racket, but this forces you to increase your racket head speed and therefore spin, which in turn enhances your control even further.
The racket encourages you to swing fast and rewards you for doing so. The Twistpower X97 is great for an all court game style, particularly someone that likes to slice and dice their way around the court, hit a lot of spin and finish points with accurate, crisp volleys up at the net.
We wish you good luck with your search! If you are still on the hunt for a new racket, give our custom fitting service a go, we take all the stress out of finding your next racket!
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