String: Volkl Cyclone 17
Frame(s): YT Radical Pro
This stuff is a minor pain in the butt to string. The ridges stick to almost everything they touch. Otherwise, no real issues here. Careful when pulling your crosses-- you'll burn the string. Otherwise, the string doesn't feel particularly hard or soft-- it's poly
Hm, interesting. A decent and nice feel to the string bed but different from most of the polys I've been playing with; very grippy. When the stringbed is straight fresh off the machine the ridges actually rip chunks off the ball. Not talking a little fuzz here, pieces of it(it was very cool until I realized the balls were bald!). Unfortunately, my crosses were smooth after 15 mins of hitting. Having said that, spin is definitely the forte of this string. Instead of getting the trampoliney, pockety, feeling that most co-polys give at this tension, Cyclone plays much stiffer or crisper. The response is very direct off the stringbed which is nice and reassuring when you're relying on shots to go where you want them. I recently have been playing singles for my 4.0 team and while the players are skilled in placing the ball and creating points, the sheer weight of the shots seen at 4.5 isn't there. Imo, Cyclone is an awesome string for these situations. Cyclone grips into the ball and gives you the spin you need to really stick those fluffier balls. Control is a premium here
Afterthought: control control control. This string is a low powered control/spin string, 100%. No other way of describing it.
Will update a little more on this next time I play but it seems like placement and spin are the key terms for this section. I didn't feel a lot of the give/pop that most other polys in the 40's lend which leads me to believe it's not a flat hitter's string. I'll have to take a good warmup and put it to the test though instead of just hitting a few around.
Afterthought: eek. No point in hitting a flat serve here, it just feels wrong. While the placement is there, the feel is just null and void. There's no extra pop, only grip. Slices and Spin are the way to go again.
The same general trend seen with groundstrokes extends here. I didn't feel a lot of the give that is typically sought after in a volleying setup. Ball to string to court is a very linear or direct process. The stringbed transfers exactly what you put in to the ball, nothing more, nothing less. On one hand this is good because it conveys a sense of precision while on the other hand, it leaves you wondering what touch would be like.
While I didn't notice anything really significant in the way I was hitting, one of my hitting partners noticed a change in sound signature as our session went by. Time will tell.
Afterthought: I'm not entirely certain if it was my simultaneous hitting of M2 Pro or if it was the string itself but I felt like this string held tension fairly well. While it definitely dropped, I didn't have to worry about adjusting my game to compensate for it. When I needed the control, it was there.
So far so good. I have about three hours on this string and some nice hot car-time (unavoidable, the weather has been ridiculous here). The wear and tear is definitely showing but it's holding up nicely. I'm not too certain if it's going to make it to the 5hr mark but it's definitely possible.
It's tough to assign values here because the string has a distinctly different feel than other co-poly. See the notes that go with the #s.
Groundstrokes: 3.5-4/5 A very specific feel--or lack thereof. Baseline bashers will love it because of the ability to generate shots; everyone else will probably hate it
Serves: 3.5/5 Not very versatile, it does well but there are other strings that perform at or the same level with extra feel, power, etc...
Volleys: 3.5/5 Very direct
Comfort: 3/5 While the string did not hurt my arm in any way it felt like hitting with kevlar.