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Old 02-09-2012, 03:08 PM   #1808
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 7,543

Solinco Tour Bite 18g / Genesis Thunderblast 16g

Stringing: Tour Bite 18 really isn't that bad to string. It's not much fun to weave due to its texture, but in the mains, it's as easy as any other soft stringing poly. Thunderblast was pie just like last time. Ultra soft stringing multifilament, no friction burn, knots easily. Strung 51/54 lbs.

Groundstrokes: If you've never hit with Tour Bite, you simply owe it to yourself to try it. It's easily a top 5 spin producing string and it also creates an insane amount of power. Unlike other spin polys, the "edges" don't wear off since Tour Bite is a square profile. That means that you get a rough stringbed which is also quite slippery against any cross. In this case, ThunderBlast fit well. It leaves the prerequisite black marks on the balls, and flattening out shots is fairly easy. Control is below average, however, due to the power. This setup has an Achilles heel, however, but off the ground, it's very solid.
Overall: 9.25/10

Serves: Where to start?! Best serving stringbed I've ever used, without a shadow of a doubt. That means a lot to me since I use my serve very meticulously. Due to my injury, I cannot serve above even 75% on any given day. It just depends on how my arm is that day. Yesterday was one of those days. This past Saturday, however, was not. As remarked earlier in this thread, the sound this makes when hitting solid serves literally generates responses from fellow players. Since it is so easy to serve with, when one of the off-shoulder days arrives, I could still serve offensively without worrying about it being a floater or going long. Oddly, this leads me right into the absolute worst downfall of any stringbed tested in my life: the next section.
Overall: 10/10

Volleys: Let me put this succinctly: there is zero feel and control beyond the service line. I am not kidding you, I likely hit 8 volleys and 4 overheads long when I first tried this stuff, and that didn't change after a few hours. This is uncontrollable at the net. While you can dial down your effort, trying to volley or hit touch shots with this much power is a waste of time. Even simple putaway volleys tend to make you cringe as they land on the baseline or sideline. I've never experienced this before. It's almost like the strings are saying "hey now, what are you doing at the net?" Because of this monumental let down, this gets the worst rating in this thread for a simple reason: the best serving setup that happens to be the worst volleying setup deserves zero praise overall. You can imagine why.
Overall: 3/10

Durability: While it's not Signum Pro or WC as far as tension stability, Tour Bite holds up well. Thunderblast is remarkably durable given how much it appears to be worn. I would say therefore that you could get a very good amount of time out of these strings.
Overall: 9/10

To date, Volkl Cyclone's paradigm shift in performance after it dies was the worst letdown in this whole thread. Seeing my serves come in with so much heat only to literally BLAST a putaway volley 3 feet deep...time and time again...takes the cake. Perhaps it's the 18g, I don't know. I have some 16L which is the most popular, so perhaps I will try that with Xcel FO (out of Thunderblast) or NXT 16. Either way, as someone who loves to serve and needs a solid serve to set up points, I can't have my setup let me down when I come in to finish the point. I would blame it on bad technique, except that upon switching to the Tornado stringbed, the volleys were back on point every time. Such a shame. However, if you don't play like this and stay at the baseline, then this is magical.

7.5/10, all-court and S&V
9.5/10, baseliner and counterpuncher.
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