Wilson Ripspin Playtest

Discussion in 'Strings' started by TW Staff, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

    Mar 14, 2006
    Suprisingly Pleasant Experience All-Around


    Tension used for playtest
    60 mains / 46 crosses, both pre-stretched.
    Pre-stretched by leaning on one end of 20-ft segment (with about 80 lbs of force) until the relaxed length stopped noticeable growing. I added about 7” to the relaxed length of the 20-ft segment, more stretch than most poly.

    Regular string set up
    Ashaway Kevlar 18g / Monogut ZX 16g, 66 / 46.

    Racquet brand and model used for test
    Prince EXO3 Graphite Mid, Shortened to 26-3/4”, leaded to 367 SW, 13.6 oz., 12.55”.

    Playing Level:
    5.0 (as long as I practice at least twice a week)

    I was pleasantly surprised by this string. I normally dislike full beds of round poly, but this string seemed to really work well with the high tension differential to negate all of the undesirable qualities that I normally associate with round poly.

    Power of test string
    Seemed slightly high for a poly. Nothing unusual.

    Surprising comfy given the control I was able to get, was softer feel than my normal setup. I normally associate soft feel and longer dwell time with loss of control, but somehow this string seem to work when strung at the high differential.

    Spin was better than a typical round poly strung normally, but I think much of that had to do with the 14-lb tension differential. The string has surface that is quite slippery and on the firmer side for a poly, which I believe helped with spin.

    As I said already, this was surprisingly comfy. No issues here.

    There is a little bit of denting, but no signs of breakage after about 4 hours of play. I will update if this changes.

    Playability Duration (share thoughts on if/how the playability changed over time)
    I haven’t noticed any loss in tension after 4 hours of play. The string seems to hold well after a thorough pre-stretch. Based on how much it elongated in pre-stretch, I would think the tension maintenance would not be very good if not pre-stretched. Will update if this changes.

    Control (predictable trajectory? performance on different strokes and swing speeds?)
    I seemed to be able to control all of my shots quite well with this setup. It was better than any other full poly setup I have tried, but then again, this is the first time I have strung full poly with such a high differential. I liked it for spin shots and flat shots alike. Even touch shots.

    Compare to the string you use most often
    I still like my current Kevlar/ZX setup better (which I’m using on my Blade). My Kevlar/ZX is a little crisper and gives a bit more accuracy, and also a bit more spin. Nevertheless, I will be playing a tournament for the first time in a while this weekend, and I feel confident enough in the EXO Graphite with Ripspin to use it as one of my official backup racquets to my Blade.

    Tension recommendations (after hitting it, would you recommend a different tension? Why?)
    I think I nailed the right tension. I wouldn’t change a thing.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  2. Laney Tennis

    Laney Tennis Banned

    Oct 20, 2010
    Gauge - 17g

    Tension used for playtest - 55lbs

    Regular string set up - Volkl Cyclone 17g 55lbs

    Racquet brand and model used for test - Pro Staff Tour 95

    Power of test string - Power seemed to be medium, it is a very lively co-poly on par with Cyclone although Cyclone have a bit more pocketing and springier, Ripspin is firmer and easier to control. All players hit a little differently and some may say this is at the medium to the low end.

    Feel - Excellent feel for a poly. After the first few hits, I was confident this is something I can transition to easily. There were no doubts on whether or not I'm going to like this string, only question is how to explore the possibilities of its potential.

    Spin - I had my doubts on spin when I first saw this string since its not textured but the first few hits proved me wrong. Ripspin can more than hold its own in this category, it may not have the bite of a BHB 7 but I can definitely see the action the ball has when a full swing is used. Bottom line, Ripspin scores high in this department and has more spin potential than many of the textured co-polys out on the market.

    Comfort - The Wilson team did a really good job in this area. Comfort level is excellent, gave me the impression I can rip the ball and not worry about damage to the arm or elbow. The string is soft but not mushy or springy. At point of contact after the initial give, the string will firm up then shoot the ball out so there is actually a tad of firmness to it.

    Durability - I'd say durability is average to above average. After a few sessions I can see notching but not to the point where I am alarmed by it. One of the main reasons I stopped using BHBR is durability, Ripspin doesn't seem to have that problem.

    Playability Duration (share thoughts on if/how the playability changed over time) - After the initial settling in period, tension stability held up reasonably well. Playability stayed consistent throughout my play test even though mine ended on a shank in the 3rd session. I would definitely give this another go or recommend this to one of my clients to see what they think of it.

    Control (predictable trajectory? performance on different strokes and swing speeds?) - All the shots I've hit had a consistent path and did what it was supposed to. There were no surprises or shots that made me say oh what happened there. Control is excellent.

    Compare to the string you use most often - At first hit, I can already tell this string is something I'm going to like, there were no adjustments necessary as I can go in hit and do what I want with hit. I hate to admit but my initial thoughts were wow, this may actually have better playability than the Volkl Cyclone. It has more comfort than Cyclone, spin is slightly less but overall playability and feel may be better.

    Tension recommendations (after hitting it, would you recommend a different tension? Why?) - After a few hours with it, I'd stay at the same tension since there is nothing out of the norm that require an immediate adjustment, string is lively, control is good, spin is excellent so everything is working well.

    One last thing, I noticed that the lettering on the string was not very well printed on, after stringing, the lettering was smudged to the point it is difficult to tell the brand's name and model, I'd like to see a product where attention was paid even to the smallest detail.
  3. TW Staff

    TW Staff Administrator

    Jan 21, 2004

    As stated in the past, we pick playtesters based on various criteria. We take in to account previous playtests and reviews, quality of posts on Talk Tennis, participation on Talk Tennis, member longevity, just to name a few. We try to get a good mix of playtesters.

    Hope that helps!

    Brittany, TW
  4. man_untd11

    man_untd11 Rookie

    Jun 23, 2011
    Gauge :1.30
    Tension used for playtest : 48 lbs
    Regular string set up : Pros Pro Vendetta 1.20 @ 50 lbs
    Racquet brand and model used for test : Wilson Blx Prostaff 95
    Power of test string : Power Seemed a little low on this string
    Feel : The feel wasn't that great. The string felt very stiff
    Spin : Spin Potential was very good it provided a lot of spin to make my ball dive down towards the court
    Comfort : This string wasn't the most comfortable but it wasn't bad
    Durability : Very durable string it hardly indents like other polys
    Playability Duration : The playablility was great it played very well for a good 3 weeks but after the tension drops it starts to drop dramatically.
    Control : Very control oriented string because of its low power. I could take very big cuts at the ball and it would still go in where i wanted
    Compare to the string you use most often : Compared to what i usually use this string is much stiffer and lower in power but the control was better
    Tension recommendations : For the average person i would recommend stringing at the same tension you usually string your poly at its a very average poly thats a little more durable.
  5. Praprad

    Praprad New User

    Dec 30, 2011

    Tension used for playtest
    54 pounds for both mains and crosses.

    string set up
    Pro Hurricane Tour 17 @ 54

    Racquet brand and model used for test
    Prince Exo3 Tour 16X18

    Power of test string
    Alright power, not too much but just enough

    somewhat muted and gets extremely soft and mushy after about 10 hours of play

    Better than average spin but nothing outstanding

    Not too harsh on off-center hits but lacked consistency

    Good durability, regular for a poly.

    Playability Duration (share thoughts on if/how the playability changed over time)
    Dropped exponentially after about 10 hours. Strings began moving, stringbed became mushy and it became somewhat unpredictable at times

    Control (predictable trajectory? performance on different strokes and swing speeds?)
    trajectory is consistent and control was better than average.

    Compare to the string you use most often
    They are two different strings, one soft and the other crisp. I like the PHT better solely due to spin production and power.

    Tension recommendations (after hitting it, would you recommend a different tension? Why?)
    I would probably string it tighter as it became mushy and unplayable after a while.
  6. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

    Aug 16, 2009
    ]Gauge: 17 G
    Tension used for playtest: 52/50 lbs (lockout)
    Regular string set up: VS Gut 16- 54 lbs/ Pro-Line Evolution 17- 52lbs
    Racquet brand and model used for test: Youtek Extreme Pro

    Power of test string: 4/5. Ripspin has some nice pop to it. It's a bit less powerful than Pro-Line in a full bed, but not by that much.

    Feel: 3/5. Feel was decent, but I wasn't expecting a natural gut like feel. The string had a nice crisp response and I enjoyed the feel I received when taking some pace off the ball and going shorter angles on serves and ground strokes.

    Spin: 4/5. I thought the spin was really nice for a round poly. The string was smooth and slick and allowed for good string movement. The string maintained good spin production throughout the playtest as it was round and didn't notch as quickly as the textured polys.

    Comfort: 3/5. Ripspin seemed to be on the softer side. It had a somewhat similar feeling to Pro-line evolution which is a string I find to be pretty soft. It definetly was not a harsh string.

    Durability: 4/5. It started to notch somewhat after my playtest (5-6 hrs). However, the string definetly had some life left in it. This string was plenty durable and I found it comparable to most other smooth polys.

    Playability Duration (share thoughts on if/how the playability changed over time): 4/5. I liked the string best after an hour or so of play. It seemed like it softened/loosened up a bit at that point and performed best for me. It maintained that playability throughout my playtest and the notching that occurred did not seem to noticeable effect the ability to generate spin. However, I was only able to use the string for 5-6 hours and I find that most polys hold playability throughout that time period.

    Control (predictable trajectory? performance on different strokes and swing speeds?): 3/5. The control was good. I use alot of spin to control my serves and groundstrokes so the spin the string offered helped with control. This wasnt a 4g like control poly to me though which was a good thing in my eyes.

    Compare to the string you use most often: It's hard to compare it to a NG hybrid so I will compare it to a full bed of Pro-Line Evolution. The Pro-Line has a little more power, but is not as spin friendly. The Ripspin also seemed to be a little more crisp and held tension better.

    Tension recommendations (after hitting it, would you recommend a different tension? Why?): I think somewhere around 50lbs work well with this string. I would recommend going in the high 40's or low 50's. At those tensions you will get nice power and will still be able to control the ball well.

    Thanks for the chance to playtest the string. I want to give it a try as a cross with natural gut.
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013
  7. XFactorer

    XFactorer Hall of Fame

    Jun 20, 2005
    West Coast
    Gauge: 16
    Tension used for playtest: 52
    Regular string set up: Volkl Cyclone 18g at 52lbs
    Racquet brand and model used for test: Yonex VCORE Tour 89

    Power of test string: 7/10
    Feel: 7/10
    Spin: 10/10
    Comfort: 8/10
    Durability: 9/10

    Playability Duration: I've had this string in my racquet now for 2 weeks and it's still playing well. The first night I noticed a lot more spin on my serve. So much so that I double faulted into the tape quite a bit. Then I started getting used to it and it was fine. Two weeks later, the string has lost some spin, but it is still comfortable and playable. It is on its way out, but I am going to use it in my tournament this weekend before I cut it out.

    Control: The ball tended to land short, most likely because of the extra spin it imparted. I noticed the trajectory was a lot lower than Cylcone making it difficult to get depth on my shots (at first). Later on, I got used to the spin or the coating was wearing down and I was just fine with the racquet. I like this string for groundstrokes and volleys - once I got used to it, everything went where I wanted.

    Compare to the string you use most often: Compared to Cyclone, this string has a lot more spin potential at first. Then over time, I either got used to the extra spin or it lost the "spinny-ness" it initially had. I don't normally like 16 gauges, but I didn't mind this one at all. It was super soft and very easy to string up in a racquet.

    Tension recommendations: I think 52 was perfect for me and my racquet! It spins the ball really well right after you string, but that feeling goes away after a while. I'll be curious to see if I notice my Cyclone under-performing when I go back to it.

    Overall: For the price Wilson wants, this isn't a bad choice at all. I'd like to see some 18 gauge version of this. The emphasis of this string is spin and it delivers (for a few hours).
  8. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Jul 27, 2006
    tennis courts
    lol i like how after being here so long, i dont pay attention to whats being posted. thanks!
  9. ChadW

    ChadW Rookie

    Jun 29, 2012
    Gauge: 17G. White.
    Tension used for playtest : 48/50 LB.
    Regular string set up: Tourna Big Hitter Black 17g, Low 40s
    Racquet brand and model used for test : Head Youtek Speed MP 16x19
    Power of test string: The set up was rather stiff, and therefore didn't have much power, which was preferable for my game.
    Feel: Great feel for a stiffer polyester. Had a solid response on volleys, and felt smooth on groundstrokes. Had a good pop on my serve too.
    Spin: So, the name is Ripspin, and rip the spin it does! I hit a heavy topspin ball, and my shots were dropping in well even with high net clearance. The true beauty of the string comes out on my drop shots. There were a number of drop shots that bounced backwards due to the bite and spin on the string.
    Comfort: Since my usual set up is a full polyester bed, I didn't have any comfort issues with this string. I surely wouldn't recommend this to any of my stringing clients that are looking for a 'soft' poly though. It's got a solid and stiff feel which can be tough on the elbow.
    Durability: No signs of excess wear after about 3 sets in. Seems to be as, or more, durable than any of the number of polyesters I've tried.
    Playability Duration (share thoughts on if/how the playability changed over time): Only used it for three sets (and just got the strings on 8/28), as I was in the midst of playoffs and wanted to stick with my known set up, but there hasn't been any noticeable change to the playability since stringing.
    Control (predictable trajectory? performance on different strokes and swing speeds?): Felt good control at this tension. The string itself seems to be control-oriented and with the availability of spin, hitting spots on the court comes easier with the right swing mechanics. I was able to put my serves down the T or out wide with pretty good regularity. The touch on drop shots was excellent.
    Compare to the string you use most often: Compared to BHB7, this doesn't have quite the bite, but does appear to have better longevity. I could surely see this as something that I'd play more with though, and even recommend to those for which I string that are looking for a control-oriented spin available string. My kick serve wasn't quite as jumpy with this set up, but still was able to hit my spots well.
    Tension recommendations (after hitting it, would you recommend a different tension? Why?): I would like to try this in the low 40s. I like the feel of low tension polyesters, but strung this up closer to my racquets recommendations.

    Thank you again TW and Wilson for the chance to try this out.
  10. rdis10093

    rdis10093 Hall of Fame

    Feb 28, 2011
    so overall ,this was a pretty good playtest? I am between this and a reel of spicky shark.

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