ischo Iontec [Earthworm]
Frame(s): YT Radical Pro
Don't care what anyone says... it's not salmon, it's earthworm. After stringing it up, it's an injustice to my favorite sashimi... I'm not quite sure what Discho is trying to do with the color; perhaps they're trying to make a play off BBO? Either way, it's downright ugly in my YT radicals.
The bright side is that this string is incredibly easy to work with. I might just put this among my favorite polys to deal with. Interesting note is that Discho uses 3 zipties with their sets of Iontec but only 2 with hexa. Perhaps it's just the [very small] organizational part of me but I like it. Keeps everything neat. One of the most interesting characteristics that I noticed while stringing the 1.25 is that it's malleable soft. The string itself is average if not slightly softer than average when you first pick it up and start working with it. After running it through a few grommets, it seems to soften up in your hands. This is most evident when weaving crosses since the "head" of my piece of string actually became wavy.Tie offs are no problem at all.
I'm not quite sure what to make of it because the string doesn't snap back as aggressively as other polys when playing with the mains but on the flip side, there's a bit of flex and give @ the sweet spot. Should be interesting.
I'd like to introduce to you my nomination for most comfortable poly of the year. I've always been a dedicated vibration dampener player...always, regardless of what I'm hitting with. Iontec is a go without one; It's not even pingy. Now that that's aside it's time for the good and the bad. Iontec got the trial by fire tonight. I had to play against the no 1 singles from my 4.5 team until a doubles court opened up and then got the chance to hit with a former D1 college player. Off the ground, the string does what you want it to and it enhances your strokes if you hit them properly. Power is there in spades-- even a touch too much at times. Flat strokes, spin strokes, all comfortable. There are two things I simply don't understand with this string. Slices and serves. It was like I was playing russian roulette. The serves that went in were absolutely killer-- the rest. Fault-gasm. That much is unacceptable since my serve is my biggest weapon, especially playing singles. The end result, I lost the set 4-6. The feedback from my opponent was all positive though. He commented that if I were more consistent with my serves, that the match would have gone decidedly differently. He also mentioned that my kick serve was off the charts which is a HUGE plus since I haven't been able to hit an effective one in a while.
Basically, I'm really really hoping that this string retains its characteristics. I'm sure I can figure out how to serve with it etc with some practice but to have a comfortable poly at a low price is a gem. Definitely needs more play to be certain though.
If I had to pick a single adjective to describe this string, it would be "comfortable." Even though IT is fairly stiff in the hands, it plays nothing like it. What I mentioned above is still, for the most part, true. I can play this string after so many days strung and several hours of hitting without a dampener. Hitting forehands and backhands with this string is just awesome. There's plenty of pop but not so much that it's uncontrollable. Add a dash of spin and you have a penetrating ball with minimal effort. If you should choose, ratchet up the RHS and change the trajectory of your swing and you have a stroke that kicks up deep in the court. While I've been having more difficulty with it, hitting flat is solid too. You can get a really nice crack off the frame if you hit the ball properly and transfer your weight through the shot. I find that I'm enjoying the return of serve with this frame quite a bit as well. The responsiveness of the string bed is helping me cover my weakness of return. I've been trying to employ a much abridged motion with a short back swing and provided I'm placing the racquet correctly, the ball is zipping off the frame. On shots where you're stretched out and reaching, the strings provide enough pop to get the ball back on court. The issue I'm still having with this string is hitting slices. Unless I really have ample time to control my racquet and hit a "textbook" shot, I'm just drawing a blank. I've almost literally taken slices out of my game when hitting with these strings. This is definitely something I need to dedicate some time and practice with.
Oh boy, Oh Boy, Oh Boy. I figured it out. It was a combination of a few things tonight-- principally me making some adjustments and breakthroughs on my service motion. I had the opportunity to play 3 sets of good doubles and a tie breaker so quite a bit of pressure serving. Held all but 1 game. Held serve in tiebreak too. If you hit a proper flat serve, the ball just positively SINGS off the strings and eats up court. Tonight, I was working on placing my feet more appropriately and adopting a true "trophy" pose. It paid off in spades. I was able to crack flat serves down the T and wide with alarming speed. Don't get me wrong, I made more than my share of errors but the beauty of playing with this string is that I was able to rely on a wicked kick serve to win points on my second serve. I haven't seen a ball jump to 6' and hit the back court (or the side curtain) in years. The absolute best part is even after hitting serves at 100%, I had absolutely no discomfort in my arm. With some of the other setups I've been playing, I've had this abnormal numbness in the pointer finger of my right hand after hitting the ball (mind you, connecting square in the center, not shanking); not here. My buddy has 2 of the sets on his GoPro-- I'm really curious to see if I can get the speed off some of my flat serves by measuring frames.
Ehhh--Here's where I'm not entirely certain how to react. I've had both good and bad nights hitting volleys with this string. The first time I played with it was positive while tonight, playing doubles, wasn't. I'm going to chalk it up to my poor volleys and not the string. Having said that, the string has a fair amount of pop to it which helps nicely when you hit the ball properly. Mis-hits are terrible. There's nothing on it, no saving grace. Touch isn't my specialty but I didn't see anything in the string that would enhance it-- it's simply too lively for my taste. On the flip side, it's great for getting you out of a jam when you have to reach for volleys to get them back on court. Granted, this is alleviated by better footwork and anticipation of the ball.
At 4.5 hours, I'm impressed. The strings are starting to shift but it's not patently noticeable. Play is changing a bit but the string still hits great and feels lively; There's no "dead" poly feeling yet.
At 4.5 hours, I'm shocked...At 1.22 measured by caliper...
The strings are notched but only marginally. 1/4 at BEST. Had I been given this frame without knowing how long it had been played, I would say it's in the "just set" period. Just about any other string I've played has been utterly destroyed at this point. Kudos to Discho.
*Update* Up to ~8.5 hours and the string is about half way notched. Still viable for practice although shifting is apparent
Durability: 5/5 I've yet to have a full bed last me this long...
Final thoughts: Had I been given this string as a blind test, I would have been really impressed by the simple comfort and durability. Knowing the price point of the string, it's a stellar purchase in my book. Despite it's atrocious look in my frames it plays fantastically and that's what matters. The performance/price ratio is off the friggin' charts for me. I don't do things hastily and without adequate research but I fully intend on playing a few more sets of this and trying out the different variants Mamba/Discho has to offer. If I have similar play experiences though, you can be sure it'll be on my "reels to buy" list.