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Old 05-08-2013, 05:29 PM   #81
tkoziol's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Charleston, SC
Posts: 292

About me
5.0-5.5 ntrp player and full-time tennis instructor/pro shop owner. Semi-western forehand grip (wwfh), two handed flatter backhand (Safin form). Aggressive heavy spin baseliner.

Gauge and color of playtest string
17g with a wheat color

Tension used for playtest
51 pounds

Regular string set up
Volkl Cyclone or RPM Blast

Racquet brand and model used for test
Aero Pro Drive 2013 weighted to 12 oz or so (weight in handle and tape added to 6 and 9)

Ease of stringing
I found this string to be easy to string, but a bit time consuming. To have this string performing properly you might need to pre-stretch. You will also want to take your time with knots (pull slow). Lastly, its best to allow the strings to elongate, so you need to wait about 10-15 after pulling to tension. In other words, this would not be the string you would want to use to break your stringing speed record. However, it is not a something that you dread having to string either.

Power of test string
It had pretty good pop to it. I do believe that it played closer to a stiff synthetic gut or a soft poly in regards to power.

A bit stiff compared to the natural gut (even some synthetic guts). I felt that this string was not crisp at all. I was unable to get the feel needed on touch volleys and on any shot with spin. It did feel good on flat shots (similar to Luxilon 4 g but stiffer). Overall I would say the feel reminded me of a tournament nylon.

I did not get great spin from this string on a consistent basis. The strings did not bite into the ball like I'm used to. However, I'm used to shaped poly strings, so I thought maybe this was the problem. I was wrong. After the playtest, I strung up my racquet with a full bed of cheap tournament nylon. The tournament nylon gave me noticeably more spin, though the strings moved all over the place. The problem is that these strings just did not give me a consistent bite or ball pocketing feel. I would not recommend this string for spin players.

I would say that the comfort is similar to a very soft poly or a stiffer synthetic gut. Its not to jarring on the arm, but its not very mushy either.

Judging by how slippery the string is, I assume that its durability would last quite a long time. I did not notice any unusual notching or fraying issues.

Playability Duration
Played for several hitting sessions and multiple lessons. I did not notice a drop in playability, however I did not like this string from the start.

Given that the majority of my control is based on the angles I can produce with topspin, I was not pleased with the control. Slice shots and touch shots at the net suffered as well. However, I was unusually dialed into my flatten out shots (especially two handed backhand). My flat serve also had good control giving me a few heaters up the T.

Tension recommendations
I decided to stick with my normal 51 pounds so I could really feel the differences. Given that I don't hit flat and powerful very often, I was ok. Most of my shots that launched were due to lack of spin. For a more experienced flat hitter, I would go up to 55 pounds or so...

Compare to the string you use most often
This string is just not for my game at all. I need a heavy spin string such as RPM Blast, PHT, BHB7, Cyclone, etc. This string did not have enough spin, ball pocketing, bite, feel, or comfort.

Final thoughs
If you hit with spin then this probably isn't the string for you. For flat hitters, or those with very little spin in their game, this string is a must try. This string might also be nice in a hybrid set up. Players who have never tried a poly before might benefit from this string as well.

Thank you for this opportunity TW and Ashaway! Looking forward to the next playtest!
Tennis courts are not getting slower:
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