Design flaw, incompetence or conspiracy at Prince?

Sometimes you just have to wonder. Prince, claiming to be the company to produce the most technologically advanced racquets on the planet seems to continually fall short. In previous years technologies that were not ready for prime time were rushed to the market. The grommetless Air series is an example. Strings shanking all over the place. Oops!

Next came the O Ports followed by the Speedports. When the O Ports were first introduced there was a problem with the channels in the head being too shallow. This resulted in strings not having the proper protection, being scraped and breaking prematurely. Surely the world-class engineers at Prince would recognize this petty issue and correct it with deeper channels on future models. Guess what, they designed an ineffective grommet enhancement that wears down quickly on the 1st generation Speedports. At least this indicated to us that Prince recognized the problem. The solution was far from perfect, but it was addressed in a remedial way.

Surely the next generation Speedports would have a long-term fix. Today I received a Speedport Black to restring and it served to remind me that Prince has failed miserably to address this known issue.

My customer purchased it less than two weeks ago. She had it strung with the uber-expensive Prince Recoil. The string had snapped at the head. The reason, abrasion wear from lack of protection. The design flaw has still not been properly addressed and it is costing customers money.

In the case of the Speedport black, the inserts are ridiculous! There is no reason why these could not allow the strings to be further recessed. While fractionally deeper, the channels on the racquet head are still too shallow!!! This is absurd. It is a design flaw that should have been addressed before any of the port-style racquets were put into the marketplace, but to have it remain unaddressed for years is questionable. It makes one wonder if the shallow channels are PURPOSEFULLY designed knowing they will lead to more frequent string breaking and greater string sales. At this point a conspiracy theory is well warranted. What do you think? Feel free to comment in our blog.

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3 Responses to Design flaw, incompetence or conspiracy at Prince?

  1. Jonathan says:

    I agree…

    I used to love Prince racquets (I played with them exclusively growing up) but I feel like in recent years they have gotten more gimmicky and poorly designed.

    I wish they would go back to the basics and ditch the O ports entirely. I am sure that won’t happen now that they have invested so much in that technology.

  2. PKS says:

    Jonathan, and others, the prince tour graphite(pog) is still made new, and is the best frame of all time. prince still makes the old school stuff that is perfect.

  3. ggtennis says:


    Thank you for reminding us that not all Prince frames use the port-technologies. The POG and POGOS are classics and stand up well to the test of time. I played with the POGOS for a number of years. I also really enjoyed the old Prince Mono which I take out every now and again from grins and giggles. I wish they would reintroduce the mono shaft…what a great design. Too bad it never caught on.

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