Tennis Warehouse Playtest - Babolat RPM Power 1.25

SteveI

Legend
As the others have said, its a possibility. But I'm not sure if it wouldn't be taking away from what I presume is one of their main goals of this string: full bed poly that doesn't feel like a full bed poly, meaning it isn't harsh on the arm.

That is always one of my comments in string reviews: What's the price point? Past playtests have shown some good deals (Big Hitter Silver Tour 7 at $9.95 comes to mind), and some not-so-good deals (HDMX Flouro at $19.95 MSRP was way overpriced...which is why its probably now listed at $15.95). I suspect this will fall into the $15-18 range, putting it on the high side of my budget.

Furthermore, when I switch to a string, I normally go 'all in' and buy a reel. Babolat traditionally does not discount reels as much as others. For example, a pack of RPM Blast is $18, and a reel is $245. Assuming 17 stringings per reel, that comes to $14.41 per pack, or a approx 20% savings.

By comparison, BHST 7 is $10 per pack, and $100 per reel. Using the same estimates, that comes to ~ $5.60 per pack, or a 45% savings.
Great post... Price / Performance is always a major issue. Tourna is great when you buy in reels. Babolat packaging is a BIG issue for me. Move to something GREEN.. too much plastic. Our local Village will not recycle them. Reels no issue .... Or use Card-Board. The exploding package is an issue. I know how it works. If you open it from the back.. etc. If you open it the way it is designed.. explosion!! How about charging less for the string by using a less expensive package??
 

SteveI

Legend
RPM – POWER 1.25 mm

Tension(s) used for playtest:
52 lbs. Mains and 50 lbs. Crosses

Regular string set up & tension: Volkl Cyclone 19G 52/50 Full Bed or LF Native Tour 17G/ Vorso 17G. Again, when opening the package one has to go through the trap drop and not the front door to get the string out ..otherwise.. explosion!. I would also like to see Babolat move to Card-Board packaging for a more Green solution. Maybe change less for the string and spend less on package. Babolat stings are going to sell in any event… lets go Green!! Stringing was ok… the string was more like a stiff SG and was cracking and popping like SG. Interesting coating.

Racquet used for test: ProKennex 5G Stock (100 Head Size, 16 x 20, 11.7 - 7 points HL)

Power/Control of test string: I found this string to be on the higher side for power compared to most polys I have used and or tested in the past. The string seems to respond better to my strokes when I was trying to drive through the ball and less well when I was trying to shape the ball. The strings did not respond as well to spin as Volkl Cyclone 19G. Since I use spin to help control my shots, control was an issue for me. The launch angle was much lower than I like. I was not well connected to the ball and my confidence was lower than I like on full strokes. Flatter stokes much better. Once I attempted to hit near my max output with modern strokes, I was not rewarded. String bed on nice contact has a great sound! This string was a winner hitting volleys.. not off the ground for me.

Feel (Stiff? Mushy? Muted? Crisp? Comfortable?): I did enjoy the crisp feel and the string caused no arm issues or pain outside of my normal issues for my age. As the string bed aged a bit, I enjoyed nice feel on drop shots and volleys. Still not as good as my normal set-ups.

Spin: Since I use spin in my game to help my serve and ground strokes.. this lack of spin production vs my other options was a deal breaker. Snap back was not the best and strings moved around seemed to locking in place like a good syn. Gut. Ball seemed not to be grabbing ball like other round polys I have used.

Durability: Never became an issue for me as I quit about the 10 hour mark. Pretty sure I would get a nice long hit from this one and if I used flatter strokes.. I would get a good long hitting cycle.

Playability Duration: Hard to say for me.. since I was disappointed in my play with this string. The string did seem to open up at the 8 hour mark for me.. but at that point I was disconnected to the sample and was not picking up the frame to use it much.

Tension Recommendations (would you string it differently next time? Explain answer): I think I got the tension correct. Maybe I would have gone lower or higher to see if the string would look better for me and my game.

List any additional thoughts (optional):

I can see a market for this string… not at my Price / Performance number. Did not work for me or my game. It could work for others. They need to address the packaging… deal breaker for me. As other have said... maybe this a great cross string option?

Thanks TW and Babolat! I loved the color!!
 
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mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
I think the RPM Power will be great for those loved using the multi-filament but wanted more control. I had a hitting partner who hates the feel of any poly strings - he especially hates the feel of the RPM Blast - to try out the string. He is a pusher around 3.5 level who loops most of his shots deep around the baseline without hitting with much pace. He absolutely loved the string for providing the needed control he was seeking without killing his arm in the process. He told me that though the string felt crisp compared to his go-to string Tecnifibre X-one but just as comfortable. This string actually gave him more confidence as he spent about 30 minutes of hitting. He attacked more aggressively and noticed more action behind his shots. He is definitely considering about switching to this string.

My review will be up soon.
 

SteveI

Legend
I think the RPM Power will be great for those loved using the multi-filament but wanted more control. I had a hitting partner who hates the feel of any poly strings - he especially hates the feel of the RPM Blast - to try out the string. He is a pusher around 3.5 level who loops most of his shots deep around the baseline without hitting with much pace. He absolutely loved the string for providing the needed control he was seeking without killing his arm in the process. He told me that though the string felt crisp compared to his go-to string Tecnifibre X-one but just as comfortable. This string actually gave him more confidence as he spent about 30 minutes of hitting. He attacked more aggressively and noticed more action behind his shots. He is definitely considering about switching to this string.

My review will be up soon.
Nice post.. There has been a next generation of multis.. that have been designed to play more like a poly... Head Velocity, LF Supreme 2.0 and Origin.. etc. This might be a poly designed to be closer to a multi.. coming for the other direction. Interesting insights.. Great work!
 

djNEiGht

Hall of Fame
Nice post.. There has been a next generation of multis.. that have been designed to play more like a poly... Head Velocity, LF Supreme 2.0 and Origin.. etc. This might be a poly designed to be closer to a multi.. coming for the other direction. Interesting insights.. Great work!
I liked how TF HDMX played like a poly but comfort of a multi
 

MisterP

Hall of Fame
Babolat RPM Power 17

Tension(s) used for playtest:
53 mains, 51 crosses

Regular string set up & tension: RPM Blast Rough 17 (black) at 53/51

Racquet used for test: Babolat Pure Strike Tour (3rd Gen 350g, 9 pts HL, 340 SW)

Power/Control of test string: 7/10 This string is more on the powerful side of the spectrum for a modern copoly string. The ball comes off the strings very quickly – not much dwell time, and you really have to be careful not to overhit. Control is tough to measure with a string like this that favors power over spin. Generating topspin is an integral part of the game, and this string just didn’t provide enough spin, on its own.

Feel (Stiff? Mushy? Muted? Crisp? Comfortable?): 8/10 This is a soft, comfortable copoly string. Not stiff or crisp, really.

Spin: 6/10 The spin production of this string was nowhere near what you would get out of something like RPM Blast Rough. This was particularly noticeable on groundies. The ball just wouldn’t dip like you would expect it to. It played more like a multi, or maybe like Babolat Origin.

Durability: 6/10 This is a soft string for sure. It didn’t stay in the racquet long enough to break, but significant notching was evident after 3 to 4 hours. I would estimate that this string would break in the 5-6 hour range.

Playability Duration: 4/10 After 2 hours this string became so lively that it was difficult to continue to play with. The lack of spin and powerful response began to erode confidence, which made things worse.

Tension Recommendations (would you string it differently next time? Explain answer): I would go up. Maybe a lot. I could easily see stringing this in the high 50s just to get some control out of it. And it’s comfortable enough to support that, I believe.

Overall Score: 6.2

List any additional thoughts (optional):


I struggled to think of a string this reminds me of. The obvious comparison is Element, just because of the color. But, in reality, it plays more like Luxilon M2 Pro, if you remember that one. Also, as mentioned previously, it reminds me of Origin a bit as well. It’s soft and powerful, and it really opens up after a couple of hours. I would really like to see how this string plays in a hybrid with a shaped poly in the mains. I also think this would be a good string for somebody with straight strokes, who doesn’t spin the ball a lot. Just not really my cup of tea.

Big thanks to Babolat and TW for the opportunity to do the playtest. I recognize that this is a critical review, but hopefully Babolat can either tweak the formula a bit to get some more performance, or possibly market this string toward players who prioritize comfort over spin but want a little more durability than a multi or syngut.
 
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1HBHfanatic

Legend
@MisterP
funny you said lux.element,, Im actually comparing these 2 strings side by side
on a w.blade.98.16/19
I like lux.element more!!, its softer, but it also dips like a normal POLY does
this string i agree with you, just does not DIP like a poly!!
i find it hard to beleive that they named it RPM
i also agree with you, this string feels more like a crisper babo.oRIGIN!!?!,, why would they not name it babolat.ORIGIN.tour

i do like the feel, not bad at all
it should work "ok", on open pattern babolat racquets
 

djNEiGht

Hall of Fame
@MisterP
funny you said lux.element,, Im actually comparing these 2 strings side by side
on a w.blade.98.16/19
I like lux.element more!!, its softer, but it also dips like a normal POLY does
this string i agree with you, just does not DIP like a poly!!
i find it hard to beleive that they named it RPM
i also agree with you, this string feels more like a crisper babo.oRIGIN!!?!,, why would they not name it babolat.ORIGIN.tour

i do like the feel, not bad at all
it should work "ok", on open pattern babolat racquets
yes yes...the name of this string is mis-leading
 

jim e

Legend
Babolat RPM Power 17

Tension(s) used for playtest:
47 lbs mains and crosses

Regular string set up & tension: Luxilon Natural gut 63lbs. and Klip nat gut uncoated 63lbs. , I use both switching between every so often, as I like both set ups.

Racquet used for test:
Head radical

Power/Control of test string: Decent power level for a poly string. I am able to swing out even harder than with my typical natural gut set up for big baseline hitting.
My nat gut has more power, that is expected, but with this string I can swing even harder for increased power.

Feel (Stiff? Mushy? Muted? Crisp? Comfortable?): Comfortable hit. Has nice feel for volleys. I would say a crisp feel, with a different sound when ball strikes string bed.

Spin: The spin production was fine for me, as I am more old school eastern forehand flat style hitter, but mix up shots and produce spin as needed. When hitting some players that hit same style spin with every shot, you can expect just how the ball will bounce. By mixing it up like I do, players will not expect same bounce each time. This string worked fine for me and my style of play.
Kind of reminds me of a hybrid I once used with X-1 mains and a poly,( Pro hurricane tour) cross string.

Durability: String snapped on overhead serve at about the 6 hour mark of singles hitting.

Playability Duration: For the 6 hours of hitting, string played well. As above, string snapped at approx. 6 hour time of singles hitting,

Tension Recommendations (would you string it differently next time? Explain answer): Comfortable hit with tension I used.Has nice crisp feel, and can take big swings for baseline hitting.
When I hit a poly string I normally use 47 lbs. and I would keep it the same.

List any additional thoughts (optional): Nice string with crisp feel, decent power level for me.
No problems stringing or opening up package, as same as other Babolat sets, just poke a hole in back cover, and lift out tail of string, and unraveled fine, with no birdsnest. I actually like the packaging as no tie to snip.
Thank you TW for the chance to try the strings, as I string a decent amount of players racquets, and its nice to know 1st hand how string hits and performs, so I can make honest recommendations for different players when they ask my advise on strings.
 

martyr444

Rookie
  • Babolat RPM Power 1.25 Play Test
  • Tension(s) used for playtest – 63#

  • Regular string set up & tension - Tourna Big Hitter Silver 7 Tour 16 or Volkl Cyclone Tour 16 at 63#

  • Racquet used for test - Prince Tour 100t ESP

  • Power/Control of test string – It has plenty of power. The first session of 3 sets I was hitting longer than usual and at times holding back on my stroke because of this. Part of this is due to less spin compared to my regular strings. The next time out it seemed to play better and the control was better.

  • Feel (Stiff? Mushy? Muted? Crisp? Comfortable?) – It felt a little on the crisp side. It was very comfortable and with good touch on drops and lobs.

  • Spin – Not made for spin. It gave only what I put into the stroke to create spin. It did do better my later sets during the testing period but still the weakest point of this string..

  • Durability – Good durability. It did not break until around the 7th set of match play.

  • Playability Duration – I liked the way it played better after it got broke in from use. It played mostly the same after the break in period up until it broke.

  • Tension Recommendations (would you string it differently next time? Explain answer) – I would probably drop it down 3# due to the fact it played better after the first 3 sets.

  • List any additional thoughts (optional) – I really liked the color of the String. It did make strange noises during the stringing process when pulling the crosses through. I don’t think this String will be a big seller. There are too many other better Strings and many of those will be in a better price range.
Thanks for the Play test opportunity!
 

jwocky

Rookie
Thank you to the @TW Staff and Babolat (@Babolat Official) for this opportunity to playtest a string.

Babolat RPM Power (17g 1.25mm)
Tension(s) used for playtest

23.5M/23.5X in kg
52.0M/52.0X in lb

Regular string set up
All 1.25mm in the 22kg +/-1 (48lb) range with Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution, Tourna Black Zone

Racquet used for test
Dunlop Aerogel 4D 200 Tour (16x18) weighted to 365gm (12.9oz), balance 305mm (12 HL)

Overall Rating of test string
7
Overall this was a decent but unremarkable co-poly string in play. Its relatively unique color and finish did get it noticed on the courts and while stringing. The 12 hours of play testing (10 doubles, 2 singles) did not offer one or more compelling reasons for changing to this string in a full bed at the expected Babolat price point. However, I will try this this out again IF the string has a decent price on sale.

Note: The string sample measured closer to 1.30mm with a digital caliper (ten locations).

Power/Control of test string
8
Strung at 52 lbs this offered slightly more power than I expected and some stroke modulation was necessary to keep balls in. I will string this at a higher reference tension in the next go around.

Once I developed a feel for the power of the string, there was no problem with control until later in the play when balls started landing longer a little more often than expected. This was closer to the 10-12 hour mark and made me wonder about the reference tension to use next time.

Feel (Comfortable? Stiff? Mushy? Muted? Crisp? etc.,)
8
The string bed was comfortable during play and felt neither crisp nor muted. I did not have any discomfort in the arm after longer play sessions.

Spin
8
As a consistent user of round cross-section strings, I did not experience a material drop in the spin level relative to other configurations. There were occasions when balls had a lower launch angle than expected, but I identified swing speed/path parameter. Definitely, there was not more spin on offer than other strings like Weiss UC or Tourna Silver 7 Tour.

Durability
8
The string did not break during the play test and outlasted its playability.

Playability Duration
7
The string bed seemed to become less predictable in the 10-12 hour range for me, but I kept playing to see if it would break. I am not a co-poly string breaker in general.

Tension findings (if you installed this string again, would you select the same tension? Explain answer.)
As noted above, I intend to trial at this again at slightly lower and higher reference tensions.

List any additional thoughts (optional)

The distinct string color, finish and sound while stringing is a conversation starter.
 

El_Yotamo

Professional
Tension(s) used for playtest: 48/44 in my trusty Pure Storm Ltd

Regular string set up & tension: To those unfamiliar with my reviews, I don't stick to one setup at a time so I basically go back and forth between my racquets and strings that I have on hand. Usually low tension poly-poly hybrids in more classic frames

Power/Control of test string: This is a pretty powerful string. It had that distinctive spring that some setups have where I'll be on the defensive and just barely get to touching the ball and it'll still go deep, sometimes out. The control was there most of the time though on more aggressive plays I sometimes struggled a bit to control the ball as well as I often do.

Feel (Stiff? Mushy? Muted? Crisp? Comfortable?): It's hard to describe this string with a word that isn't lively. As a direct result of that I felt a decent connection to the ball and I've already mentioned the power level, so yeah. I'll also note the string had a high level of comfort though that's not really something I care about too much with the setups my arm continues to have no problem taking. Either way the string had a nice feel to hit with.

Spin: Unfortunately this wasn't the string's strongest point, which is partly why the relative high level of power was sometimes hard to deal with. I could see this string working decently as a cross but in full bed it doesn't quite match up to a lot of what I'm used to. Compared to the average poly it's about on par as far as spin goes, so not too bad just not quite the level I'm used to. The low tension did help it though at the expense of control from getting even more power.

Durability: This string was somewhere in the middle of my range of durability for polys, that is to say not bad at all. Some notching for the last hour or two of play but then that is almost to be expected with a string of its softness. Overall it lasted a little under 8 hours which meets my expectations more or less.

Playability Duration: Well I've had worse, and I've had better. I've already mentioned the notching but then that was only for the last 15-20% or so of the string's lifetime. Generally, the tension loss wasn't so bad and the string didn't lose any of its major characteristics in too noticeable a way. Of course I did feel a change over time especially in the spin department where it became slightly harder to control the ball as the string lost some tension and probably there was some increase in inter-string friction over time as well. Overall, not overwhelmed by the tension loss in either direction.

Tension Recommendations (would you string it differently next time? Explain answer): I think I might raise the tension a bit, but most importantly I don't think I'd put it in a full bed. Strings that I do full bed are very few and far between, and while this string could be interesting as a cross in the future it wasn't incredible enough to warrant being in its own fb.

List any additional thoughts (optional): I'll take a moment here as well to say that this string is a great one and I could see it working for a lot of different playstyles and people. A main disadvantage is that at it's price it's not quite as attractive as many options out there since as I said it didn't quite blow me away. Finally, thanks as always to TW for these string playtests, and thanks to Babolat for promoting them as well :)
 

McLovin

Legend
Babolat RPM Power 1.25 Playtest
  • Tension(s) used for playtest:
50lbs using a 10% machine pre-stretch.​
Stringing was a bit of a chore due to the initial attack of the coil monster and its coil memory. I did not have any issues with the crosses though, as others had mentioned.​
  • Regular string set up & tension: Laserfibre Native Tour 17, also at 50lbs using a 10% machine pre-stretch
  • Racquet used for test: Yonex VCORE 98 +
  • Power/Control of test string
For a poly, I'd put this in the medium-high category. As others have mentioned, it feels as if the string produces less spin, which results in more energy being put into horizontal direction. It still has more spin than synthetics and multis, but most players with modern strokes will notice a difference immediately. On my forehand, I was getting the ball deeper than usual, although when indoors I did have a tendency to overhit a few in the beginning. Near the end of the test I played a few sets on clay, and the added power was welcome. I felt as if I was keeping the ball deep more often, which kept my opponent behind the baseline. The added pop at the net was welcome as I'm more of a defensive volleyer, and I really felt my volleys were driving deeper into the court.​
Initially I had some issues with control, more specifically with depth. But after a few hits I started to get the feel for it and was reigning in a little of the power. As I developed confidence, I was having no problems directing the ball side-to-side, hitting short angles, and driving the ball deep off both sides.​
  • Feel (Stiff? Mushy? Muted? Crisp? Comfortable?)
I'd say initially, Comfortable and Crisp, but after the string settled in (maybe 30 min), it lost a bit of its 'crispness'. I really liked the feel as it was reminiscent of my Laserfibre Native Tour. I had a bout of TE almost 2 years ago brought on by 4G Rough, so now I'm always super careful when trying out a new poly. Absolutely no arm issues with this string.​
Also, there's definitely a unique sound off the stringbed, and its even more amplified when playing indoors.​
  • Spin
As others have mentioned, spin is definitely less with this than most polys, although in my case it wasn't as pronounced (as I joked earlier, I may have lost 10% spin, but 10% of 10RPMs is still 9RPMs...). I could still generate decent spin, but I really had to work harder if I wanted to bring the ball up & down quickly.​
Understand that this is all relative. There is still more spin with this string than multis and synthetics, but people using strings such as normal RPM, Tour Bite, etc, will likely not enjoy this string as much.​
  • Durability
I'm not a string breaker, and this was further exacerbated by 90% of my hitting taking place indoors. I did notice at around the 8 hour mark that the strings were starting to move (or more specifically, not move back into position on their own). Whether this is an indicator of pending breakage, I do not know.​
  • Playability Duration
After 10 hours (most of it hitting/drilling), the string is still playing nicely for me. As I mentioned above, it seemed to lose its 'snap back' around the 8 hour mark, but I was able to continue playing with no issues. If I were a normal user of this string, though, I'd probably cut it out at this point.​
I found the tension maintenance to be slightly better than most polys, losing just over 10% from start to finish. The following 3 images reflect (1) immediately off the machine, (2) after my 1st hit (which was approx 5 days after stringing), and (3) after 10 hours:​
Since there was no string factor in the RacquetTune database, I used 'Generic Poly'.​
  • Tension Recommendations
For me, this was spot-on. I liked the blend of power/control/spin that I got from it. However, if I were to recommend this to a player with more modern strokes, I might bump them up a couple lbs from their normal tension to help compensate for the lack of spin.​
  • List any additional thoughts
I think this is an excellent string for 'classic' players (e.g., those with flatter strokes) who are looking to get some of the good aspects of a poly (increased spin, durability), without the drawbacks (lack of feel, arm issues, poor tension maintenance). I compare it to my current string, Laserfibre Native Tour, and honestly think I could switch back & forth between the two with minimal adjustment period.​
The unique color is also pretty cool. Its a shame they don't make the VCORE+ in Galaxy Black, because the bronze string in that frame would look really sweet. The big question, as always, will be price point, and how much of a discount reels are over sets. $18 per pack (assuming its priced the same as RPM Blast) might be a little too over my limit, but if I could get a reel that averaged out to $10 per pack, I'd definitely consider it.​
 

lidoazndiabloboi

Hall of Fame
Tension(s) used for playtest: 52 lbs

Regular string set up & tension: I currently have been playing with a variety of polys strung at 52 lbs on my RFs, including Lux ALU, 4G, Element, RPM Blast, RPM Rough and Gut/ALU Rough.

Racquet used for test: Wilson RF97

Power/Control of test string: One thing this string definitely has is power. The ball feels like it shoots straight off the firm stringbed, and everything was landing toward the baseline. The lack of spin actually allowed me to hit certain spots on the court much easier. I was able to control and hit the service box corners with my forehand with better precision than other strings.

Feel (Stiff? Mushy? Muted? Crisp? Comfortable?): Hearing the name RPM on a string, and the first thing you think of is stiff. That’s not the case with RPM Power. It is very comfortable even though the string bed is firm. You get a nice crisp sound through every swing. You wouldn’t think this was a poly string at all. No wrist or arm pain at all.

Spin: I felt the spin potential was only slightly above average, compared to other polys that I have playtested in the past. I could get the ball to dip but it would not kick back up on my opponents compared to other higher spin potential polys. If you are looking for more spin, RPM Blast or Rough might be a better option.

Durability: Tension held up very well through all my hitting sessions. After a few sessions, I have yet to notice any durability issues. Only a slight bit of notching in the strings.

Playability Duration: After the first initial hits, I surprisingly noticed quite a bit of string movement. Normally with the polys that I play with, there would be no movement at all until the tension drops. There seems to be a break in period for this string. After 10-20 mins of hitting, and the string coating rubs off, the string movement settles down, then it starts to play the test.

Tension Recommendations (would you string it differently next time? Explain answer): Currently at my tension of 52, it plays fairly good. When I change tensions, I would increase/decrease by 3 lbs, in order to get a decent enough change and see differences in playability. I would hoping lowering the tension would give a decent increase in spin without losing the current control.

List any additional thoughts (optional): When I first starting stringing the string, the texture of it felt much different from a traditional poly. As I came to fanning the crosses, it reminded me very much like I was stringing a multi. It’s interesting to see the new string trend shift towards softer feeling co-polys, but still with access to power and spin. I think this could definitely be my new string of choice, but I will need a few more plays at different tensions to be sure. Everyone should give this string a try. Thanks to @TW Staff and @Babolat Official for allowing me to playtest this string!
 
Tension(s) used for playtest: 53 lbs

Regular string set up & tension: I tend to experiment with polys and just usually play with whatever I can get a good deal on. TW had a B1G1 free a couple months ago for Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution so I have about 10 packs of those left and like the string enough to use until I run out. Other strings I have used lately are Head Lynx and Volkl Cyclone Tour. I will typically string in the 53 to 55 lbs range.

Racquet used for test: Babolat Pure Strike Tour

Power/Control of test string: I'd say the string definitely has a nice level of power compared to most other polys I've tried but not too much power to the point where it was uncontrollable. For me, I get most of my control through spin and as others have said, the spin is good on the string but a bit lacking compared to other polys so I noticed a minor loss of control in my game although it was minimal.

Feel (Stiff? Mushy? Muted? Crisp? Comfortable?): Compared to other RPM Strings I've tried, the feel on this is actually quite comfortable and plush. No complaints here at all.

Spin: I was able to get adequate spin on most of my shots but struggled on some shots. I felt like I missed a lot of shots where I tried to dip balls at the net player. Normally these balls seemed like they would go in but a lot of these balls would get dumped into the net, perhaps the launch angle isn't as high as I normally expect. On normal balls where my opponent is at the baseline I thought the string gave me enough spin for the most part although I hit short more than usual.

Durability: Have done about 8 to 10 hours of hitting and doubles and string still appears to be holding up well. Normally my crosses will begin to start thinning out heavily around this time but I haven't noticed it yet.

Playability Duration: Still appears playable at the 8 to 10 hour mark. Most of the times I will just play with a string until it breaks and it appears I still have a good amount of time with this string left. I'll most likely play with it until it breaks so I can playtest the new Head string I received from TW

Tension Recommendations (would you string it differently next time? Explain answer): 53 lbs seemed to work fine for me. If I were to play with this string again I'd probably keep it at 53

List any additional thoughts (optional): Overall a good string by Babolat and something I wouldn't mind playing with. I like the string but it would probably be too expensive for me assuming that it's in the typical RPM price range. I usually try to keep it to under $10 a set since there are plenty of solid poly options at that price point. Regardless, big thanks to Babolat and TW for the opportunity!
 

mhkeuns

Hall of Fame
Babolat RPM Power 1.25 Playtest:

Likes - Color, Crisp, yet forgiving feel, predictable responses during rallies
Dislikes - Does not provide enough spin for full-poly users, lack of control on hard shots

My impression:

Having been a user of full poly for the last few years, my view on this string may be different than the players who prefer the multi-filament or synthetic gut strings. Though I liked it as a good practice and rally string, it did not give the spin or control on hard shots that I get from the poly strings. It looks beautiful and provides ample power, but because I didn't get the spin I normally would get from my string, I became less and less aggressive on my shots during games that I used this string.

1. Tension(s) used for playtest

50lbs.

2. Regular string set up & tension

Currently rotating between RPM Blast, Signum Pro Hyperion & Luxilon Alu Power usually around 48lbs (18G on my Phantom 93P), 50 to 52lbs with other guages.

3. Racquet used for test

Angell TC95 18x20

4. Power/Control of test string

As soon as I hit the first shot, the easy access to power was noticeable. I was hitting deep shots near the baseline with less effort than my normal set up. The control seemed nice as long as the pace was kept at the leisurely pace. The control, however, felt lacking on the shots that I was being really aggressive, especially when I wanted to hit the winner. This was due to the string having lots of power but does not provide the spin I need to keep the balls in.

5. Feel (Stiff? Mushy? Muted? Crisp? Comfortable?)

The best part of the string is the feel it provides. It felt crisp on contact, yet really easy on the arm. There was no pain whatsoever after a long session of rallying. It felt connected but not harsh.

6. Spin

It's almost silly to call this a poly string due to the fact that it does not aid in providing more spin or control. This was a huge disappointment, especially since I expected a lot of spin. During stringing, this string made violin sounds, which had me thinking that this string would just bite and obliterate the balls. It just gave me the expectation that this was a grabby string that the sounds were coming from the intense friction it was causing due to the sticky surface. Nope. This is probably one of the worst poly string for spin. Does Thiem really use this string? In the mains, or crosses?

7. Durability

This was also somewhat of a disappointment because the string to notch up like multi or synthetic gut strings only after a few hours. I've never seen any poly strings do that. I never broke the string, but after about five or six hours of play, I noticed both mains and crosses moving. I guess it loses playability quickly, so even if it didn't break, I'd say it needs to have better durability.

8. Playability Duration

Overall, the string was still playable even after the string began to move, but I think it loses its maximum playability around 6 to 8 hours.

Tension recommendation - Would you string it differently next time? Explain answer)

I strung mine at 50lbs in an 18x20 pattern. It felt nice, but I'd go up much higher - like over 55lbs - because when the going got tough, it didn't provide the control that I needed. It almost plays like a synthetic gut string in which stringing it at 50lbs was way too low.

9. List any additional thoughts (optional)

This string was tested by a dedicated multifilament string user. He hates the poly strings due to the arm problems he's had while experimenting with poly strings. He actually hates the feel of the RPM Blast because of how jarring it feels for him. He was going pretty easy a first few hits with the RPM Power getting used to the feel. Once he got used to the feel and the responses from the string, he began to go for his shots more. He is usually a deep moon baller/pusher who never hits his hardest. He is great on defense and able to bunt back most of his shots back deep near the baseline. He definitely is not an offensive-minded player, but he got into a groove and was trying to rip some of his shots. He said the string gave him the extra spin he needed while providing a crisp, yet forgiving feel.

I think this string is best for the players who want more out of their multi-filament setup but don't want to move to harsh full-poly. I don't think a full bed of this string is good for the full-poly users who seek more spin and control. This should be a great hybrid string for those who want both softer feel and more control than having the synthetic gut or multi-filament.

The color... It really looks beautiful, especially strung in a black frame.

Thank you, TW. Thank you, Babolat. Thank you so much for the opportunity.
 

fed1

Semi-Pro
Babolat RPM Power 1.25 Playtest

Tension used fro the playtest:
48lbs. I had no problem stringing this particular string on my Babolat Star 5. Also, no problem with any excess coiling when I removed the strings from the package.

Regular string set up and tension: Recently made a switch to Lynx Edge at 48lbs.

Racquet used for test: Head Gravity MP

Power/Control of test string: I would say that this a fairly powerful poly. I tend to hit a bit more flat, not excessive topspin, so I was happy about the power level. From the beginning of the test I had no problem getting sufficient length on my shots. With that being said, it’s a string that I never felt was out of control.

Feel (Stiff? Mushy? Muted? Crisp? Comfortable?): The ball had a different sound went it hit the strings. I would say it had a crisp feel with a good amount of comfort. Touch shots, angle volleys were not an issue with this string.

Spin: As I stated above, I don’t hit with excessive topspin so the spin level was good for me. I could see that getting heavy spin on the ball with this string may be an issue as I felt the ball would just take off from the string bed.

Durability: I will cut strings out before I break them, not a big string breaker so I put in a good 16-18 hours and still no issues with durability.

Playability Duration: This is a string that I felt got better as it “settled in”.

Tension Recommendations: I feel like I got the tension right for me. Players looking for a bit more control way want to go up a couple of pounds.

Additional thoughts: This string seems to fit nicely between regular RPM and RPM Rough.

Thanks to TW and Babolat for this opportunity.
 
Tension(s) used for playtest: 52

Regular string set up & tension: Hyper G at 52

Racquet used for test: 2013 Aeropro drive

Power/Control of test string: While the string does have good power, I felt a weird sensation while hitting it. The power almost seemed to be reckless and too
much, but at the same time the aeropro is very powerful on its own. Maybe the racquet wasn't made for a powerful poly, but more on that later. Overall, no control but too much power

Feel (Stiff? Mushy? Muted? Crisp? Comfortable?): The string was comfortable. Not that it was lively, but it wasn't muted as well. It has a unique brassy feel to it which did not make it jarring, but not lively either. Definitely the first string with that feel.

Spin: Spin was lacking. I hit with a full western forehand so spin is something I can generate on my own, but I felt like I got no help from the string. While it wasn't shaped, it was not too slick either and had to readjust my strings once the playability died off

Durability: It was pretty durable compared to a poly. I hit with it for about 15 hours and didn't pop it, which is my usual amount of time I take to pop poly strings

Playability Duration: I want to say the playability died off around the 5 hour mark, but in reality it has such a unique and erratic brassy feel that even when dead the string was not bad. I could remain hitting with it with no real adjustment. My balls were landing long since the beginning of the playtest, and i continued to hit long towards the end. Overall, pretty consistent feel with no massive dropoff

Tension Recommendations (would you string it differently next time? Explain answer): I would have liked to string it much lower to see if the brassy feeling goes away, or even hybrid it with a gut or premium multi to try to change the feel a bit.

List any additional thoughts (optional): I hate to say it, but I didn't like the string. There aren't any single qualities I liked about it other than maybe it was a bit comfortable. It has an erratic yet brassy feeling to it which I could not overcome and get over. I lacked confidence in serves and groundstrokes due to it. I would say I did not know where my shots were going to land, and spent half the time guessing. Maybe other opinions differ, but at least for my spin heavy all court game with an aeropro drive, I would not pick this string again :(
 

M Pillai

Rookie
I realize that one of the reasoning for possible disappointment from many folks would be the expectations coming from the string name. When you hear "RPM Power", you immediately tend to expect retaining all those great qualities of "RPM Blast" with some extra power. But that expectation leads to disappointment, especially for the "RPM Blast" crowd.

If the string was named something totally new (which is what it really is, totally new material, feel and sound), I would think it would have been viewed differently. And all the great and unique qualities of this string would have been better appreciated.
 

SteveI

Legend
I realize that one of the reasoning for possible disappointment from many folks would be the expectations coming from the string name. When you hear "RPM Power", you immediately tend to expect retaining all those great qualities of "RPM Blast" with some extra power. But that expectation leads to disappointment, especially for the "RPM Blast" crowd.

If the string was named something totally new (which is what it really is, totally new material, feel and sound), I would think it would have been viewed differently. And all the great and unique qualities of this string would have been better appreciated.

I agree... I think this string is a hybrid.... Poly / Multi. Other companies are doing the same... Some from the other direction.. Multis than are more like polys.. etc.

Calling it RPM Power is not the way to go... on this one. Having said that... I still did not connect with this offering. The normal Babolat price point can also be an issue.

Great insight..
 
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jwocky

Rookie
I agree... I think this string is a hybrid.... Poly / Multi. Other companies are doing the same... Some from the other direction.. Multis than are more like polys.. etc.

Calling it RPM Power is not the way to go... on this one. Having said that... I still did not connect with this offering. The normal Babolat price point can also be an issue.

Great insight..

Agree.

This string was closer to the Tecnifibre HDMX (Fluoro) in many respects than a more traditional Babolat or mid-range stiffness co-poly.

As @M Pillai mentioned - the moniker could be a herring and detract from the marketing effort.
 
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djNEiGht

Hall of Fame
Agree.

This string was closer to the Tecnifibre HDMX (Fluoro) in many respects than a more traditional Babolat or mid-range stiffness co-poly.

As @MPillai mentioned - the moniker could be a herring and detract from the marketing effort.
HDMX i would say plays a tad more comfy and had loads more spin
 

McLovin

Legend
This string was closer to the Tecnifibre HDMX (Fluoro) in many respects than a more traditional Babolat or mid-range stiffness co-poly.
HDMX i would say plays a tad more comfy and had loads more spin
I was also part of the HDMX playtest, and I think if there was a scale with something like ALU on one end and something like X-One Biphase on the other end, RPM Power would be on the 'poly-side' of the middle and HDMX would be on the 'multi-side' of the middle.
 

SteveI

Legend
I was also part of the HDMX playtest, and I think if there was a scale with something like ALU on one end and something like X-One Biphase on the other end, RPM Power would be on the 'poly-side' of the middle and HDMX would be on the 'multi-side' of the middle.
For sure... agreed
 
RPM – POWER 1.25 mm

Tension(s) used for playtest:
42 lbs. Mains 37 lbs. Crosses

Regular string set up & tension:
Babolat VS Gut 17G mains 55lbs Babolat RPM Blast 18G crosses 52lbs,
Prince Tour XR 17G mains 42lbs Babolat RPM Blast 18G crosses 39lbs,

Racquet used for test: Head Graphene 360 Radical MP custom setup. 335 swing weight 367g 11pt HL

Power/Control of test string: After playing with this string a few times, I think this is a decent co-poly but isn't something I would consider playing with on a constant basis. Though there is minimal tension loss over time, I felt that the strings didn't snap back nearly as well as RPM Blast or other polys. These strings react more like a multi-filament with strings sticking out of place quite a bit. Spin was easy to generate and felt as if I had good control with placement. Felt that power was lacking compared to other set-ups I've tried or currently use.

Feel (Stiff? Mushy? Muted? Crisp? Comfortable?): I did feel it had a crisp feel but these strings caused some arm issues and pressure in my elbow. As the string bed settled in, I felt these strings had good tension retention. Still no where near as good as my typical set-ups.

Spin: Spin is decent but feels more like a control string than power.

Durability: Though testing time was minimal, with good retention of tension, there is minimal notching on strings.

Playability Duration: I've played with this string for 6 hours now but will be cutting it out to save my arm. I did get a secondary set and will try a RPM Power/ RPM Blast Hybrid setup next.

Tension Recommendations (would you string it differently next time? Explain answer): Yes, considering the 16G string I think I would drop the tension to 38 mains 35 crosses for my elbow issues

List any additional thoughts (optional): Though I wasn't directly chosen for this play test, I did get a set of these from my local tennis store. I've been doing play tests for them for many years with different types of strings. I've had extensive elbow issues and have done a lot of research on strings and the stiffness factors. I've since started stringing my own rackets and tested many different strings and tensions to resolve my elbow issues. Typically 42lbs is the max tension my elbow can tolerate for poly strings. I'm left handed and hit with a lot of top spin.

Secondary review
I've restrung my racket with the hybrid setup now and dropped the tension. RPM Power mains 40lbs RPM Blast crosses 37lbs. Feel this is a much better setup now. Strings actually snap back and don't have issues with strings sticking. Creates good topspin and hits with depth in the groundstrokes. Would possibly consider dropping an additional 2lbs on mains and crosses. Still has crisp feel and better power throughout all around game.
 
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1HBHfanatic

Legend
I realize that one of the reasoning for possible disappointment from many folks would be the expectations coming from the string name. When you hear "RPM Power", you immediately tend to expect retaining all those great qualities of "RPM Blast" with some extra power. But that expectation leads to disappointment, especially for the "RPM Blast" crowd.

If the string was named something totally new (which is what it really is, totally new material, feel and sound), I would think it would have been viewed differently. And all the great and unique qualities of this string would have been better appreciated.
agreed
cool color
should have been named babolat.ORIGIN.PRO
its slightly more firm than b.origin, with a lot o the same characteristics, good feel and power, mono filament string
does not seem to have any poly qualities imo
 

Mark H.

New User
Wasn't this string supposed to be released in December 2019? I haven't seen it available yet unless I'm missing something...Anyone know anything different?
 

SteveI

Legend
Maybe they read some of the reviews in this thread???

Not overwhelming love for this one..

This is what is on site:


Not sure I saw a release date..
 

deaner2211

Semi-Pro
Babolat RPM Power 125

I posted a review for this string on December 1st and don’t know what happened. But anyway this is my late review.

Tension used for playtest
52 lbs for the mains and 50 lbs for the crosses

Regular string set up and tension
Wilson Sensation 17 in the mains at 56 lbs and Wilson Revolve in the crosses at 53 lbs

Racket used for test
Wilson Pro Staff 90 (2014)

Power/Control of test string
The string was a 6/10 when it came to power which was a good thing because I could play more aggressive by talking full swings, while control was a 9/10. Where ever I aimed the ball would go.

Feel 8/10
This string was very comfortable for a poly once it broke in. I played mostly in 50 degree weather and I was amazed with the comfort which gave me incredible touch on volleys.

Spin 5/10
This was not a spin friendly string. I don’t hit with much spin but even when I tried to creat more, I could not get the ball to kick up.

Playability duration 8/10
I played with the string for more than 15 hours and it played the same after it broke in until I finished the test.

Tension recommendations
For winter tennis I thought the tension was fine. I would be interested in how the string would play in warmer weather. Perhaps I would increase the tension 3 pounds in both the mains and crosses.
 

SteveI

Legend
A great choice for high-level players.
Endorsed by 2020 Australian Open Finalist Dominic Thiem.
“We had a real demand for more power, while keeping the famous RPM spin. There was also this demand for a more ‘crisp’ sound and feel, which gives players more confidence,” says Alexandre Israel, Babolat Tennis Category Manager.
 

Ft.S

Semi-Pro
First time I tried this string in 2.5 hr practice and a singles match, total about 5 hrs now, and all I can say is that I think I am falling in love. Most comfortable and powerful poly I used thus far, fits very nicely with the control-oriented PS Tour (y) :)
 

Kal-El 34

Hall of Fame
Firestorm has snap back where as RPM Power does not. Will need to revisit firestorm again for better comparison
ive been playtesting firestorm and like it. I have a few test sets of RPM power as well. I always liked blast but felt with a little more juice it would be amazing.
 

djNEiGht

Hall of Fame
ive been playtesting firestorm and like it. I have a few test sets of RPM power as well. I always liked blast but felt with a little more juice it would be amazing.
RPM Power did live up to half of it's name. With the lack of spin, the bar did end up landing further in the court. I have a partial reel of Firestorm and have used it a couple times. It's not bad and has some spin and snap back.
 

Kal-El 34

Hall of Fame
Thanks for the feedback. Any other strings you recommend in this kind of category instead? Head hawk rough also on deck


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