String: Babolat RPM Blast 17
Frame(s): YT Radical Pro
For those of you who have never worked with this string before, it's a bit of an enigma. It feels fairly soft in the hands but it's rather deceiving. The true stiffness of the string rears its head when you go to tie knots (particularly starting knots). Otherwise, the only really noticeable characteristic of this string is the coating. RPM has a slick, if not oily coating to it. Very strange.
I've strung this up for customers and they rant and rave about it but I really wasn't impressed in the least with this string. Groundstrokes felt ok but no where near magical. I didn't find anywhere near the reported massive spin production on the ball. Yes, the ball penetrated the court if I hit into it but not in a manner that wow-ed me. I also got the impression that RPM isn't particularly powerful. Flat shots stayed on the court but didn't have the raw speed nor the skid that other strings can give. Having said that, it doesn't play half bad at all; just not what I expected for USD17.00 a set. I also found myself hitting a bit long since I've gotten used to the wicked drop of the Big hitter series. Feel wise was ok too. I'm not sure if it's the string or if it's my new Radical but the RPM is resonating in the frame when you hit a ball; It's a bit annoying.
Updates: I'm really not impressed with this string and the whole resonating stuff is just getting on my nerves
That being said, it hit pretty-much the same as it did the last time I played with this setup. I got in about 1.5 hours of doubles tonight and aside from serving well, I didn't find anything special about this string. The ball stayed in when I hit with spin, flew long if I didn't. Can't say I played fantastic though; it was a rough night
I think I enjoyed serving much more than hitting ground strokes. My flat serve seemed to jive with this string. I wasn't necessarily cranking up the mph but I was able to place the ball fairly consistently or adjust on a second serve easily. As a result, I didn't hit very many spin serves haha. Spin is definitely there though and you can get the ball to jump off the court if you hit it properly.
Update: If I had to laud this string, it would be here. For some reason I serve in the 100+mph range wickedly consistent with this string. One of my opponents was joking around that my second serve was coming faster than my first. Turns out he wasn't joking; I seem to be able to adjust and tweak my serve to go in that second time with confidence. Spin serves have action but nothing to brag about. Can't seem to hit a servicable slice recently so I can't comment there.
Slightly above average for me. A bit powerful at times but it could have also been the overall pace of play that contributed to it.
There was a small initial break in time for these strings but so far so good 1.5 hrs in of doubles.
Update. So far the string is still pretty comfortable and lively. I haven't noticed any significant shifting so far so that's good. Then again, 3 hours of doubles isn't anything to brag about.
Not bad so far although I only played 1.5h of doubles. The strings have started to notch but I think they'll hold out pretty well
Update: Notching is still at a minimum: Hurrah!
Comfort: 3.5/5 Stupid buzzing...otherwise a 4 for a stiffer poly
Tension: 4/5 Tentative. I'm waiting for the infamous tension drop I keep hearing about
While this string is earning pretty high marks, I'm not terribly impressed with it (except the notching-- it's excellent in that category so far.) The only thing that I'm really enjoying is the boost in confidence on serves. I'm simply hitting through everything and the few double faults are more than rivaled by the forced errors on return. Otherwise, as far as being Babolat's miracle string... I'm not convinced. It does everything it should and with some flair but nothing exceptionally well. if I were given this as a blind test I would rate as is but for the price I think there are better strings out there.