Prince Vortex 310 Racket Review
The Prince Vortex 310 is the weightier, more performance focused version of the original. The vortex model line is designed with spin in mind thanks to its unique 14x21 string pattern. The added stability and plow through of the extra weight make the Vortex 310 a great option for a performance player that wants to hit heavy. This is a great alternative to some of the more popular spin rackets out there today and is well worth a try.
8.5out of 10
Prince has come out with some pretty left field rackets over the years and this is certainly one of them! The company has never been afraid to try new designs and incorporate innovative technologies, and they have given something completely new a try with the Vortex 310.
The stand out feature of this racket is its V shaped throat construction. This is something that we haven’t seen before and the aim of the design is to add more surface area to the string bed.
This accommodates that extra cross string and also gives the racket better comfort, power and a larger sweet spot. All of these combine to make the Vortex an ideal racket for an intermediate to advanced level player seeking both power and spin.
The unique string pattern is incredibly open. We are used to seeing 16×19 or 18×20 string patterns, with some variations within that sort of range. However, as 14×21 is truly something different and I was interested to see how it would play.
Having so few main strings can generally upset the consistency of the string bed, with off centre strikes feeling a bit dead. This is something that the Vortex can suffer from at times, but it is not as bad as you might think.
The string bed is very lively and responsive as expected with such an open pattern. The strings grip the ball and send it bristling with spin! The racket has a pretty high launch angle so it is fired pretty high over the net by default.
The Vortex 310 rewards your inputs and will enhance windscreen wiper strokes that generate a lot of power and spin. Players with long, flatter swings may find the Prince Vortex 310 a little underwhelming however, as it can feel a little inconsistent at times.
It does take a bit of getting used to though. Despite there being a lot of spin potential in the racket, the easy power needs to be modulated as the ball can still fly on you at times if you are more used to a control oriented racket.
The lively response from the string bed is great when you are looking for the racket to add power and spin to shots when off balance or on the run. The large sweet spot makes it great for a counter punching game style.
Another area that the Vortex 310 performed well was on the slice. It feels more solid than the 300g version and if you have enough racket head speed and hit through the ball, it will stay very low thanks to the extra spin.
The relatively low stiffness rating of 63 means you can benefit from extra comfort without sacrificing any power, crispness or stability. Prince has added weight to the Vortex without actually compromising on much at all!
The racket feels more solid than the 300 version but is no harsher on the arm. The flex rating also means you can pocket the ball in the string bed, allowing you to have a better sense of connection with your shots.
Another thing that is surprisingly pleasant about the Prince Vortex 310 is how easy it is to swing. The swingweight is similar to that of the 300 version, but the racket benefits from added stability and power due to the extra weight.
This helps you hit an even heavier ball from the baseline but does not require much extra effort to do so. Best of both worlds!
8out of 10
Up at the net, the Prince Vortex 310 was surprisingly solid considering the lower flex rating. I think the combination of the extra 10g and the large sweet spot make the racket ideal for punching volleys away with power.
However, the added flex means you can benefit from the stability of a heavier stick without sacrificing any comfort.
The open string pattern really helped with adding spin to my volleys which actually gave me a lot of control. I could place the ball where I wanted, but this was more achievable when floating it into the court with spin rather than placing the ball with pure feel.
If you are a volleyer that likes to rush into the net and put the ball away immediately, this racket could work well for you. However, much like the 300g version, the open string pattern here also has the downside of being a bit too inconsistent for my liking.
The added weight of the racket does round it off nicely and make it a better volleying racket overall. The launch angle being quite high helps on lower volleys as you don’t have to be quite as strict with your technique.
However, this has the downside of the ball popping up a bit from time to time on drop volleys, giving your opponent more time to react.
This is not my favourite racket to volley with of all time, but it does a solid job up at the net and this frame definitely benefits from the added weight. You get the benefits of added stability without the racket being any harder to swing.
8.5out of 10
Serve was another area in which the Prince Vortex 310 performed well. The spin generated from the 14×21 string pattern was more than I have experienced from any other racket! So much so that I had to take a bit off and go for more power to counteract the ball going wide.
The added weight combined with the swing weight staying similar to the 300g version means you again get added power and stability with no increase in arm fatigue.
I definitely prefer serving with this racket compared to the Prince Vortex 300, but there were still inconsistencies with the string bed. The ball just comes off a little bit unpredictable at times, especially if you don’t strike it straight out the middle.
This is something that you could get used to however. The spin also makes up for any lack of feel or precision that the racket shows. It is so easy to generate a lot of kick and the ball seems to come off the racket very heavily.
8.5out of 10
The added weight in the 310 version of the Prince Vortex definitely improves the feel on returns. It is no more difficult to swing or get into position than the Vortex 300, but feels more solid and secure when blocking the ball back deep.
It is also slightly more predictable thanks to the added mass, which again improves its performance on returns.
Returning serve is hard enough as it is, let alone when using a racket that makes you second guess yourself as to whether the ball will come off the string bed cleanly or not.
The open string pattern again did a great job of generating spin, even with short backswings. I could knife my chip returns low around the service line, or float them back towards the baseline and they would tend to land in most of the time.
Ripping angles with the Vortex 310 is a joy thanks to the ease of which you can generate spin, simply flick the ball back using your opponent’s pace and you can take control of the point.
8.5out of 10
Overall, this weightier version of the Prince Vortex is a more performance focused version of a very spin friendly racket. It is a great alternative to the Babolat Pure Aero as it is a little more supple and still produces a tonne of spin and power.
Whilst the string bed can be a little inconsistent at times due to how open the string pattern is, the racket has a large sweet spot and is very easy to swing which offsets these drawbacks.
The racket looks great with its striking paint job and the unique design helps it stand out from the crowd.
So, if you are an intermediate to advanced level player that likes to hit heavy from the baseline and wants a spin friendly, powerful racket to suit your game, check out the Prince Vortex 310.
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