What are the most soft polyester strings?
Using TW database string and filtering for polyester strings, ordering by stifness I get the following results.
1 Topspin Cyber Flash 17L 158.3
2 Polyfibre Poly Hightec 18 166.3
3 IsoSpeed Pulse 17 170.3
4 Polyfibre Cobra 17/1.20 172.0
5 Polyfibre TCS 18 (1.15) 172.6
6 Polyfibre TCS 17 172.6
7 Polyfibre Poly Hightec 17 174.3
8 Polyfibre TCS Rapid 16L/1.25 176.0
9 Polyfibre Hightec Premium 17 176.0
10 Polyfibre Viper 17/1.20 176.6
11 Wilson Enduro Tour 18 178.3
12 Gosen Sidewinder 17 179.5
13 Topspin Cyber Flash 17 180.0
14 Polyfibre Hexablade 17L (1.18) 180.0
15 Head Sonic Pro 16 181.7
16 Polyfibre TCS 16L 181.7
17 Polyfibre Poly Hightec 16L 182.3
18 Weiss Cannon Silverstring 120 183.5
19 IsoSpeed Pulse 16 184.0
20 Head Sonic Pro 17 184.0
21 Poly Star Turbo 16 (1.30) 184.6
22 Poly Star Turbo 16L (1.25) 184.6
23 SuperString Pure Control V8 17 185.7
24 Wilson Enduro Tour 17 186.3
25 Gosen Polylon PolyBreak 18 (1.20) 186.9
Polyfiber seems to dominate the top 25.
Is TopSpin CyberFlash really that soft?
One thing about the stiffness is you should relate it to energy return and tension loss. A stiff string with less energy return can be strung looser so may have more spin or last longer etc... I always try to relate strings to something I've already used and liked if I'm looking to try something new. I've found the Weiss Cannon Silverstring to be a good all-round string. Not too stiff, spinny enough and holds its tension better than most polys. However it seems to be sensitive to temperature - it seems to lose tension quicker in hot weather than some other polys I've tried.
Note: you may as well delete the Wilson Enduro Tour strings. They've not made them ages and the stock has degraded. I had 3 sets break within a couple of minutes of hitting with them and another 2 break on the machine and that was about 9 months ago. They shouldn't even be selling them anymore.
Ever wonder why they're so cheap? That's why.
Ok. Thanks for the heads up :)
Cyber Flash IMO plays softer than a lot of multis. It has the spin, durability, and control of a poly and the comfort, pop, ball pocketting, and touch/feel of a multi. It doesn't move much either and has good tension maintenance. Well worth a try I think.
Dunlop black widow is about the softest poly out on the market, there is also weisscannon turbo twist which is very soft for sure.
I believe rsi did an article about a year ago about this that you should be able to look up on google...
Kirschbaum Pro Line II is the softest one I have used. I haven't used any in the list though.
We need some science here.
Polyester (Sorted by Stiffness)
Company String Material Gauge Stiffness (lbs/in.) Tension loss (lbs)
Head FXP Tour 16 Polyester 1.33 165 14.93
Babolat Pro Hurricane 18 Polyester 1.21 187 22.29
Dunlop Black Widow 18 Polyester 1.20 189 22.77
Dunlop Black Widow 17 Polyester 1.25 190 25.25
Dunlop Black Widow 16 Polyester 1.30 192 25.03
Head Sonic Pro 17 Polyester 1.23 199 23.09
Genesis Heptonic 18 Polyester 1.16 200 22.49
Pacific Poly Power 18 Polyester 1.09 201 21.17
Polyfibre Poly Hightec 1.10 Polyester 1.09 206 23.68
Isospeed Pulse 1.20 Polyester 1.23 209 21.78
Polyfibre Poly Hightec 1.15 Polyester 1.16 211 23.49
Gamma Zo Tour 16 Polyester 1.32 214 20.73
Head Sonic Pro 16 Polyester 1.31 214 22.18
Isospeed Pulse 1.30 Polyester 1.30 214 23.74
Gosen Polylon Comfort 17 Polyester 1.26 215 19.91
Gosen Polylon Polyquest 17 Polyester 1.25 215 20.70
. . .
Topspin Cyber Flash 1.20 Polyester 1.20 236 17.47
Topspin Cyber Flash 1.25 Polyester 1.23 240 15.54
236 is not that soft. Quite a few (as listed) are softer.
I've used Cyberflash a lot and I have never thought it to be this soft. In fact, polybreak is much softer to me.
The TW Professor gives out stiffness data based on swing speed. The results are pretty surprising how one string is stiffer than another at a fast swing speed but less stiff at a slower swing speed.
Searchable by string type/name/diameter/etc.
also the RSI tests @ 62 lbs, which may be way higher than some of us ever use.
I string my full multis @ 54 lbs and my hybrids @ 48 lbs. So, giving me numbers @ 62 lbs doesn't really tell me much. That's why I like the TW site better, it gives me the option of choosing low and mid tensions to give me a better sense of what I'm really going to feel.
I used Cyberflasher 1.20 for a while and take note of the other traits: Power[energy return] is very low and couple that with it being super soft and you can see why it goes dead so fast. Very limited resilience.
Check out the dwell time; the ball stays on the strings for ages, longer than natural gut I think. This level of control is ridonculous.
I find that many soft polys with low power go dead kind of fast because by their nature they have low resilience. Some definitely hide it better than others, and it gets better the more powerful the string.
Some years ago I was playing in a tournament and knew I was going to play this dude who's a pusher/junk baller that I had great trouble in beating. I decided I needed extra control so I strung up one of my racquets with CF 1.20 just for him.
I ran him ragged all over and off the court with awesome angles and balls that would land perfectly in the corners. Splendid spin and placement I got from those strings.
I beat him 6-2, 6-0, it was glorious, one of my fondest tennis memories. I never saw him after that, I don't know why, he was a nice guy.
I agree with everyone, that
Also, it shows us that poly behaves quite differently at varying tensions; just compare the same string at 40, 51 & 62, and also at slow, medium, and fast swings. I think RSI's charts are just 62 lbs and fast swing.
Someone looking for "Soft" poly, is probably going to string between 40 & 50, or at least they *should* if they want soft, as even the 'so-called' soft polys will be hard on the arm if you tension too high, like at 62+...
Anyhow, all this said it is also VERY important to note that these TWU & RSI logs should only be looked at as a "guide", something to help you transition from known string A to unknown string B, and not used as a "definitive" source that is going to tell you A is better than B, or whatever.
My vote for very soft polys based on playtesting and arm-reaction:
WC Mosquito Bite
PS Energy 17 and Turbo 16L
MSV Co-focus (1.27 & 1.18, depending on your string pattern).
In all cases, string below 52 lbs for max comfort.
Make sure to take note of the ACTUAL pre test tension, in addition to the intitial starting tension when you are looking at the TWU stiffness digits. Without factoring that in, the data is almost meaningless.
The stiffness test takes place after 20 good whacks with a test hammer, the impacts are simulation equivalent to twenty 120 mph serves. After those impacts, many of the TopSpin strings have lost 30 lbs or more from the initial 60 lbs... TopSpin CyberFlash 17L is at 27 lbs at the time of testing. So it's no wonder that lots of these polys test as being soft. It's because they are leaders for tension loss as well.
What do you think?
^^^ PH 18 is a nice soft string. I should have included it in my top three, it has been so long since I used it that I almost forgot about it.
Yeah cool, now you are on the right track. Once you start looking at the tension loss digits as well as the stiffness digits, the task of choosing which string to demo becomes both harder and easier at the same time. Easier because there are many strings that you can cross off the shopping list right away. More difficult because now you realize there are trade-offs involved. Just looking at the stiffness Vs tension loss trade-off picture, Gosen Sidewinder slight more attractive to me than Hurricane 18. I have a package of Sidewinder but have not strung it up yet so I cant really comment just yet. FWIW I've been searching for quite a while now, and the most 6 most comfortable poly's I've used, ranked from most comfy first, would be:
1. Polyfibre Hi Tec 18
2. WC Mosquito Bite
3. Yonex Poly Pro Tour
4. Dunlop Black Widow 18
5. MSV Co- Focus 17L
6. Big Hitter Blue Rough 17
WC Mosquito bite 18 and Yonex Poly Pro Tour make exceptionally good crosses for gut mains.
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