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Old 03-21-2013, 01:05 PM   #8
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: NY
Posts: 127
Default Volkl V-Torque Playtest

Received V-Torque in 17 gauge today. Strung it up on my Wilson PS 6.0 85 at 50lb. The string felt thin and stiff, with an unusual texture -- almost as if three tiny round strings were stuck together. Stringing was a breeze. It's not exactly my favorite color (will it glow in the dark?), but still, I'm looking forward to testing it out for a week.

Playtest set-up: Volkl V-Torque 17 at 50lb CP
Regular string set-up: Signum Pro Tornado 17 at 50lb CP
Racquet: Wilson Pro Staff 6.0 85

Power: 3/5. Coming from lively poly strings such as Tornado and Baseline Speed, V-Torque felt relatively low powered. But don't let the low score fool you -- it is an ideal level of power for me, and I really enjoyed it. I could fully swing out on the ball without worrying about it going out. Flat shots were fantastic. Topspin groundies initially bounced short, but that was not too difficult to adjust. The pace on my serves were OK overall. As expected, flat serves were not as effective as with Tornado, so that's something to keep in mind if most of your first serves are flat.

Feel: 5/5. The string felt very crisp and solid. I personally enjoy this type of feel, as it complements my heavy frame rather well. If I had to pick a negative, off-center hits were slightly harsher on my arms than others.

Spin: 4/5. Great spin. I am debating whether it should be a 4 or a 5. My kick serves and sliders were very effective. Many of my deep ground strokes dipped last minute to clip the line. The string definitely provides more than enough spin potential for me to utilize. What's even better is that, unlike some other spinny strings, I felt quite comfortable switching back and forth between topspin and flat ground strokes.

Comfort: 3/5. The comfort level was average, comparable to Tornado. Like Tornado, good hits never gave any problems, but mishits felt harsher than softer poly strings. When playing doubles, I was at the net and tried to block a passing shot to my backhand. The ball hit the top of my frame, and my elbow mildly ached for a second. It's not a deal-breaker for me, but it's something to consider.

Durability: 4/5. The string looks pretty durable. The mains started notching in the first hour, but crosses are still OK after 3 hours; the mains slide back and forth fine. I am more interested in playability duration so I will keep this part short.

Playability duration: __/5. After 3 hours, so far, so good. Playing characteristics have remained stable and predictable. Tension has also remained very much intact. Immediately after stringing, the pitch of my string bed was D#. After an hour, it fell to D, but remained there ever since. The strings have become rounded near the sweet spot, but at a rate slower than other shaped strings such as Tornado. It might be due to its unique shape, which is sharper and more protruding... almost as if three tiny strings were stuck together... There is no noticeable change in spin or power so far. The strings do move about (mildly) in the first hour, so it's definitely not for the OCD-minded. I will update this part in about a week.

Control: 4/5. Control with V-Torque is very good. The string allowed me to do everything that I wanted to that were within my skills, plus a few occasional special shots. I had no trouble controlling ground strokes, volleys, and serves with this string. I made a few good running forehand passing shots. The only minor complaint I had was that I could not effectively perform cross-court wrist flicks, which is a bit easier with Tornado.

Comparison with Tornado 17: Personally, I find Volkl V-Torque to be a great alternative to Tornado. There are two differences. First, V-Torque is slightly lower powered, which made me feel more comfortable swinging out flat shots, while at the same time marginally hurt my serves and defensive shots. Second, the feel is different. They are both pretty crisp, but V-Torque feels a bit deader and more solid. I am happy with both. Other performance characteristics are comparable. So an important question is, will V-Torque hold its playing characteristics as well as Tornado? If so, I will consider changing my go-to strings to Volkl V-Torque.

Tension recommendations: Your regular poly tension should be fine.

I will reserve my overall comments until I see how well the string retains its playing characteristics in the following week. It looks promising. The glow-in-the-dark green color is a bit disturbing, but you can use it to your advantage by waving it in front of your opponent(s) -- they will surely be blinded by its glow.

Follow-up review here.

Thank you TW for the play test!
Wilson Pro Staff 6.0 95.

Last edited by lawrencejin; 03-31-2013 at 09:54 PM.
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