Prince Vortex 300 Racket Review
The Prince Vortex 300 is a spin machine that offers a vortex-like response. Its unique design, construction and string pattern all work together to deliver a sharp bite on the ball which sends your shot kicking down the court. The racket features a unique V shaped throat which helps the racket cut through the air and generate more spin whilst adding to the power and comfort. This is a racket that stands out from the crowd and suits a modern, aggressive game.
8out of 10
As the name suggests, the Prince Vortex 300 is a racket that generates an awful lot of spin from all areas of the court. The unique 14×21 string pattern really sets this racket apart.
The fact that there are so few mains and so many crosses increases the amount of contact the strings have with the ball and enhances that brushing sensation. This imparts way more friction onto the ball than a normal 16×19 pattern would, therefore generating more spin.
This is definitely one of the most lively sting beds I have experienced and the sweet spot is pretty big too on this racket. This makes it even more forgiving and power friendly than you might think, further adding to its suitability to the modern game.
The first thing you notice about the Prince Vortex 300 is the stunning bright blue paint job. The shiny blue colour is offset nicely by the dark purple and black paint on the other half of the frame, a design that is pretty unique like the rest of the racket.
The V shaped throat of the Vortex 300 is also something different. This has the benefit of extending the string bed which makes room for all those cross strings!
This effectively makes the sweet spot of the racket larger, which has the added benefits of more power and comfort. You can still get a pretty powerful and clean strike on the ball even if you contact it away from the centre of the racket.
In terms of stiffness, the Prince Vortex 300 is pretty middle of the road. Naturally it is a fairly stiff frame as it is geared to producing more spin and power, but it is not harsh on the arm or unforgiving.
For this type of spin friendly mid plus racket, it is probably comparable to a Babolat Pure Aero or a Head Graphene 360+ Extreme MP.
The open string pattern was great for generating plenty of topspin from the baseline. The racket has such a high launch angle that it’s actually pretty tough to hit the ball in the net!
This was great when I wanted to rip heavy forehands from the baseline, and it also helped me out with generating power on my topspin backhand. Slices would sit up a bit from time to time if I didn’t really make the effort to knife them, but this was not a major issue.
One way that this unique string pattern did catch me off guard slightly was on the consistency of contact with the ball. Dense string patterns tend to feel pretty uniform in their response, as they don’t produce as much of a trampoline effect or generate as much spin as open string patterns.
This is great for control and precision as dense string patterns tend to be more predictable. However, with the Prince Vortex 300 having so few cross strings, you can sometimes misjudge the contact with the ball and brush it too much or not enough.
This definitely takes some getting used to and it is well worth having a long play test with this racket if you are thinking of buying it.
Prince’s signature Textreme material features in the top part of the racket’s hoop, which dampens vibrations and enhances stability where most modern players will be contacting the ball.
This really helps dial out some of those unwanted vibrations when you are ripping the ball with a lot of racket head seed, adding to the playability of the racket.
The swing weight is reassuringly solid and you can definitely feel the racket plowing through the ball on contact. However, it is not too weighty and you can whip the ball around the court with ease.
This is particularly useful when you need to get an approach shot up and down quickly as you approach the net or when hitting an acute angle on a passing shot.
7.5out of 10
Volleying with the Vortex 300 was solid but not overwhelming. The racket obviously generates a lot of spin and has a large sweet spot, so this is great for punching the ball away with purpose and cutting the volley with a lot of backspin.
This is a great trait when you want to stop the ball dead in its tracks as you can add a lot of spin to the ball and get it moving away from your opponent.
However, this slight lack of consistency can catch you out from time to time, particularly if you lack a really solid volley technique.
If you are the type of player that only really comes to the net to put the ball away at the end of a long point, then I’m sure the Prince Vortex 300 would work just fine.
However, for keen volleyers that are looking to get into the net at every given opportunity and hit multiple volleys in the same point, the Vortex may prove a little unpredictable. Don’t get me wrong, the racket still has its strong attributes.
The power, spin and comfort of the racket are great and this does help when you want to attack the ball and hit a killing out away volley.
However, it does lack that absolute touch and feel of a more control oriented racket.
8.5out of 10
On serve, the Prince Vortex 300 was a bit of a spin monster! I had my kick serves jumping off the court and I actually needed to take a bit of slice off my wide serves as they were coming off the string bed with so much spin!
If you are a player that struggles to generate enough spin on your serves and this is causing them to fly long, give the Vortex 300 a try!
The generous sweet spot gave the racket some easy power which was a great asset on serve. This again made it very enjoyable to serve with, especially as you can open up the court so easily with heavy, well placed deliveries.
Again, it was not the most consistent racket in terms of the feeling off the string bed, so you do need to watch out for the odd miss hit that can detract from the accuracy of the racket slightly.
However, the weight of the racket was well judged. It was heavy enough to feel reassuringly solid in the hand and stable on contact, but also won’t tire you out in a hurry.
This is a great all rounder racket to serve with overall. Not too heavy, not too stiff. Just plenty of spin and power with a reasonable level of accuracy.
8.5out of 10
The Prince Vortex 300 does a good job on returns. It is a pretty stable racket thanks to its stiffness and damping, but is also fairly comfortable for such a spin friendly racket. This means you can block the ball back with confidence, even on bigger first servers.
The ball will find the back of the court easily thanks to the high launch angle from the 14×21 string pattern.
However, again there were a few times when the ball left the strings with a bit of an inconsistent feeling, which did take some getting used to.
I’m sure if you owned this racket and played with it time after time you would find your groove, but it is something that may even put you off on a short play test.
You may find that if you string the ball too far towards the top or bottom of the string bed that you get a slightly dead response and the ball can dip, rather than shoot off high out of the string bed.
That being said, the spin and easy power you get from the large sweet spot on this racket make returning serves a lot more accessible. You can block the ball deep with ease, but also taking the ball early and attacking it with spin and power is something that feels natural with the Vortex 300.
The ball does look like it will fly long on you at times but tends to dip down inside the baseline at the last second. This again is not a major issue but it is something that takes some adjusting to at first.
8out of 10
Overall, the Prince Vortex 300 is a great all rounder mid plus racket that is geared up to generate as many RPMs as possible.
The racket is specifically designed from the ground up to offer power, spin and comfort in spades.
Consistency of contact was a bit of an issue on some shots, but with enough practice this is something you could learn to live with. It does a great job of this and it would definitely suit an intermediate to advanced level player that likes to hit aggressively from the baseline.
The Vortex 300’s unique design and construction is something that sells the racket itself. If you want something completely different that will generate a tonne of spin, give the Vortex a try.
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