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Jagman
11-01-2009, 02:11 PM
I tried doing a search on this string earlier and couldn't come up with anything other than one reference where a poster was planning to use it. I recently strung a Yonex RDiS 100 Mid (93) with this hybrid and reported it here: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=250034
I thought I might provide a more detailed review of the string itself in this forum. My apologies if this has already been covered. My search skills can be sketchy at times.

Tough Brid is a hybrid comprised of a 16 gauge poly and slightly smaller diameter (16L ?) textured synthetic (multifilament). It is advertised as providing greater comfort, control, spin, and durability. I played about 3-1/2 hours of doubles today, so I can't really speak to the durability. I'm not a stringbreaker.

I put this setup in a RDiS 100 Mid at low tension; poly in the mains at 48 lbs, multi in the crosses at 46 lbs.

The hit was very comfortable. I've put polys in the RDiS before, at higher tension, and the feel can be rather board-like. The comfort was appreciated, as the poly used in the Tough Brid is hard and stiff. It may be the stiffest poly that I have used, as compared to others from Gamma, Babolat, Luxillon, and Technifibre.

Control was at least adequate. Not as much pocketing as Zo Power, for example, at low tension, but some cupping could be discerned. Control was best maintained by using a long, smooth swing. Sudden acceleration, with the increased dwell time, could result in some minor, but unwanted, deviations from the intended flight path of the ball. For example, I tried to unleash on a one-handed backhand down the line past the netman, but ended up jamming him on the strong-side hip. A winner, all the same, but I was trying to thread the needle. Precision could be problematic. However this could be more a factor of me adjusting to the low tension (I normally string around 60), as opposed to being an effect of the string.

Power at low tension was evident. A smooth swing kept the power in harness quite nicely, but too flat of a stroke could easily sail long.

Spin was abundant, but I'm not so sure this wasn't more due to the pronounced cupping at low tension as it was the textured cross string. The spin could actually be problematic at times, as it was possible to generate too much spin and not enough depth. My normal groundstrokes are naturally flat, but when I want topspin, I do utilize a more modern stroke, brushing up and across the back of the ball sharply. Again, if I didn't make an effort to smooth out my strokes a bit, spin would often apt to be too much of a good thing. In my experience, textured strings don't usually provide that extreme of an effect and I attribute it mostly to the lower tension, or at least a combination thereof.

I didn't find anything especially remarkable about the Tough Brid. At best, I can say it was adequate, behaved mostly as a poly should, and played much softer than expected given the harshness of the poly when stringing. The softness of hit, though, I believe derives almost entirely from the low tension.

Feel was one area which I thought suffered with this setup. The RDiS can offer up a rather muted response with a variety of strings, quite unlike its predecessor, the RDS001 Mid. A big part of my ability to obtain "feel" with a racquet comes from the associated auditory cues generated by the contact between ball and strings. The Tough Brid, at low tension in the RDiS, provided a relatively dull sensation at impact. I thought it made touch shots a bit more difficult. It is something I would have to adjust to if I were to pursue this setup in the future.

It is quite possible that a tighter setup would be more satisfactory from a performance standpoint. However, I would tend to wager that this would be a very trying and perhaps, painful, experience from the arm's perspective. As always, YMMV.

Cheers!

Jagman
11-11-2009, 05:42 AM
For those that care, a bit more information:

This doesn't appear to be a bad poly/multi hybrid for those that are economically minded. At $8.95 US per set, it offers decent, but not exceptional, performance.

At approximately 10 hours of play, I think the poly has reached the end of its playability. My last practice session was pretty bad, with balls going all over the place. Could be just a really off day for me, but I don't believe that is the case. Ten hours of play, for the price, doesn't seem that bad.

As stated before, in my OP, power was good with this setup at low tension. However, control was always an issue. I tend to hit with a variety of spin, but nothing extreme. My natural groundstroke tends to be more flat. Flattening out the stroke produced a lot of pace, but increased the likelihood that the ball would sail long.

Spin was readily available, perhaps too much so. I've come to the conclusion that I don't care too much for textured string. Getting depth on the ball continued to be a problem. I had to put a healthy dose of topspin on the ball to keep it in check, but then couldn't get good penetration. I struggled to find the range throughout this trial. On the plus side, my efforts produced such a diversity of spin and pace that it gave my practice partner fits.

Serves were good, but results were similar to the ground game. Flat serves had excellent pace, but were harder to control. Slice and kick serves had good action, but were apt to land short in the service box. Serving the short ball out wide on either side was above average.

Returns could be a bit problematic, as I had to apply spin to control them. No flat drives; even blocking the ball could be somewhat dicey. Results were much more promising returning the ball against a net rusher, but you just don't see that as much nowadays. Chipping the return was okay, but you can't do that very often without getting predictable.

Volleys were outstanding! The string seemed to have good bite on the ball, enabling me to really stick my volleys. Half-volleys were also quite good, for some reason, generating impressive ball speed off a simple redirection.

The string did seem to settle in a bit after the first session. Feel improved some, and became, perhaps, a little more "crispy"?! Given my playing style, I think I would have liked the setup better without the textured multi cross. On the other hand, control might have really suffered without it; that fine of a line for me. I think people who hit the ball with an extreme amount of topspin might find Tough Brid more to their liking.

Durability was fine, but then, again, I am not normally a stringbreaker. Probably 6-8 hours of optimum play for me after the string settled in; perhaps not bad for $8.95, but I suspect a quality poly (e.g. PHT) at twice the price would also give you twice the playability.