Volkl Cyclone 17g
An interesting feeling string in the hand. It doesn't feel like any other black poly, and although it's a geared string, you can't really tell. Stringing Blue Gear is only annoying because it's very stiff. I would say that this string is about as stiff as Genesis SpinX (albeit with less kinking) or Black Magic (albeit while still being able to feel the texture). In the crosses, however, it reminded me why I don't like full poly. Now, I string full poly incredibly often for my customers. I've yet to even use Cyclone and it reminded me almost exactly of the first time I strung Babolat PHT. It's just annoying. It's not supple enough for me to weave at a constant speed across the stringbed like other polys i.e. Silverstring, Scorpion, Spiky Shark, Mosquito Bite, Pro Red Code. It doesn't kink or have bad coil memory, but it just feels incredibly plasticky which makes it more difficult for me. Now, keep in mind I do not push or pull weave. I use a modified sewing motion where I pass the string between my hands above and below the stringbed (hands are too sweaty and I can still string a racquet in 25 minutes on average, so not a disadvantage), so having a supple string makes it much either. I can only imagine that pushing or pulling the cross string would be tough since you're pulling across a geared string. We'll see how it goes, but I've woven polys that are easier than some multis (Scorpion, B5E, Pro Line 2, Big Ace Micro). Strung 53/53, no prestretch of any form.
This string...wow. This is the shocker of the four. I honestly expected nothing from this. It doesn't cost much, isn't particularly well known, and makes no boasts or claims whatsoever. However, this is by far and away the best of the four tested here. My God. Forehand, backhand, return of serve, slice, EVERYTHING was simply OUTSTANDING
. I have never been more blown away by a string simply on the basis that I expected the least out of this. It's soft on the arm, gives great control, and I haven't even gotten to the best part yet. This string is poly, and you will NOT forget that as soon as you mishit. It vibrates like any poly does when you don't get it in the sweetspot. Off the forehand, this is the one you've come to see. You can roll shots whereever you want them, and I mean whereever you want them. The spin that this thing can create is magical. It's not like the ball is being shredded, it's just that you can make such a heavy ball from such little effort. The power of this setup was honestly as powerful as the Hyperion/gut hybrid. Yes, I said it: a gut hybrid is as powerful as this, and yet Cyclone has more of everything. On my backhand, AHHHH!!!! Passing shots, rally shots, approach shots, everything is just what you are wanting. The sound as well is simply glorious: it doesn't boom like Tour Bite and BHBR, but cracks like a broken string every time. It's an intoxicating sound which makes you want to hit dead on the sweetspot just to hear it again. This feels like a combination of Scorpion's power with B5E's control.
I was doing a serve return drill with my coach today, and he was working me across the court when I was using the Cyclone. He pulled me wide on the BH, and I skidded a slice back DTL, about 4ft away from the line. He got to it, and having recovered to the middle, tried to hit it behind me. I just stepped into the ball, and rolled that sucker into the corner of the service box for a perfect passing shot. He said this, and I quote: "That's the best shot you've hit all night!" That may not sound like a big deal, but it was the last shot I hit in the lesson, and I was playing through 3 blisters. It really even made me go like....damn! Supreme control: no other word(s) for it.
At the baseline, this is without a shadow of a doubt the best string tested in this entire thread. By far. Now some of you are saying "well, you're using hybrids and this is a full bed!" Let me remind you that every single string that I own, and as a few of you (you know who you are
) can attest, I known a lot of strings, but every single one of them I do try in a full bed. That includes everything tested in this thread. Up until now, I've preferred the hybrid version of everything tested here. This, in a full bed, is just as good from the baseline as any gut hybrid thus far. I didn't think I would be able to do this having used Scorpion, but: Overall
There isn't anything special about this string from a serving standpoint. It doesn't shine in any area. It honestly feels a lot like Silverstring, but with more power and spin. It's a unique combination for sure, but definitely not close to Scorpion or Silverstring. Overall:
Here it comes again! Cyclone is a dream at the net. It's soft enough that you get great feel for a poly. I would not say that it's a top 5 poly for feel or touch, but if you get pulled into the net, you will have zero problems whatsoever. So, I give my rating based on this being a full poly stringbed. Overall:
Truth be told, I have never used a Volkl string before in my life. I've never used a Volkl anything, for that matter. So, I honestly cannot report on what it's like from tension or durability standpoints. Along with BHBR, I'll leave this one in my bag. Overall:
Too Early to Tell
Wow, what a surprise. This string is simply magic. I understand the reviews now of people saying "How can they offer this string for so little money?" and "This plays better than strings twice the price". I agree entirely. This will be in my next round of testing with a gut cross without a shadow of a doubt. Whoever recommended that I try this string: thank you, thank you so much. I am completely blown away, and having tried so many strings, that has only happened twice thus far: Scorpion and B5E. I can add a 3rd to that list now. I recommend it to EVERYONE. If you have arm problems, cross it with something soft, but it honestly is not harsh or stiff in the slightest. This is truly a special string. Not special for the price, but special full stock. Volkl, please do not go out of business because you've created what I am going to openly state as the sleeper of the string world.
Surprise number two, and there's no exclamation point here. I have never been more taken aback by a string in my entire life. This stuff honestly made me gasp when I hit with it again today. The power is still there. The addictive sound is still there. Everything else? Gone. Spin? I guess, but it doesn't matter. Control? Again maybe, but it doesn't matter. Tension? What's that? This poly has the worst tension maintenance of anything I've ever used. To be quite honest, this would give RPM Blast a run for its money as the string most likely to infuriate you when you go to use it after a few hours time. At first, this stuff played like Zeus was in the hoop of my racquet throwing thunderbolts in the form of tennis balls. Now, it feels like there is a trampoline there.
I honestly can remember maybe 4 balls being satisfactory out of nearly half of a basket. I had to change my stroke to just keep it in. I switched to the BHBR, went back to my normal stroke and was just fine. Same stroke, same me, same racquet, same balls, and this stuff was just garbage. The strings are moving around all over the place and this is only the THIRD time I've used this. I was hitting balls into the curtain off of both wings. Serves were landing long, volleys were at the grace of the chaos theory and touch shots? Not possible. You try to hit a drop shot, and you'll end up with some floating crap that your opponent will laugh at. If you've got a dialed in game, then you'll probably end up having to change it once you get past the 4 hour mark with this stuff.
Honestly, I don't know if I'm even going to bother testing this as a hybrid in any form. No other string has gone to **** so quickly, especially after having been so spectacular. So, to those out there looking at this: yes, it does play incredibly well. However, if you want to be happy, cut it out after every match and restring. I can't honestly recommend this to anyone since it just doesn't last. This is the holiday romance of the string world.
Updated Overall: 7/10