The String’s the Thing

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Big Ace string made me see red. No, it didn’t make me lose my cool, but after hitting with a full bed of Big Ace’s red string, I couldn’t see playing with anything else.

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For fellow travelers who have searched for a string with a wicked, dynamic blend of control and power, no further explanation is needed. For anyone who hasn’t set out on a rigorous journey and then found a string that translates directly to his/her bottom line, better match results, I’ll explain more.

But first I should say that I’m not a “Check with me first!” type of string expert.  I am not qualified to write highly technical reviews of strings. I also recognize that everyone’s experience with a particular string is different. This is merely to describe my search, and its impact on my family, friends, and me.

I was stuck in a Tecnifibre NRG2 rut for many years. No complaints, it’s a fine string. I was chiefly focused on its all-around performance, along with its comfort as I worked my way through an arm injury.

I finally gave in to the tidal wave of facts that polyester strings were changing the game. I had heard top ATP pros make this case for several years, but I didn’t really become sold until I hit with other 4.0-5.0-type players and saw them taking full, robust rips with a full bed of poly and hybrid setups and live to play another day with arms no worse for the wear.

I started by experimenting with various Luxilon mains and synthetic crosses. Of course, I was an instant convert, but I didn’t like the strings’ short lifespans. And being a victim of my mother’s thrifty Scottish genes, on a play-per-hour basis, I didn’t like the price per reel. I was also hoping to get 10 hours of play out of each of my family’s racquets before restringing, so I was eager to find a better alternative. There was, and I was on its trail.

A friend and I were talking about online tennis stores and customer service, and he raved about his great experiences with Strings Depot Plus (now The Tennis Depot), especially how quickly and thoroughly they responded to e-mail questions. So I called and peppered its staff with questions about Pro Supex and Signum Pro poly strings. I tried and liked some of them, but Big Ace came to be the runaway favorite for my family as we came to appreciate its unique combo of control and power, softness, and maintenance of tension. The only fair measure of anything is results, and those characteristics clearly translated to our being able to generate heavier, more penetrating shots while swinging freely.

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Other junior players began asking my 16-year son about the strings in his racquet, and at his USTA tournaments, other parents would ask about the bright red stuff in both of our sticks. One by one, a bunch of my son’s friends called The Tennis Depot and switched to Big Ace.

When I would see these teenagers and some adults playing on our local public courts, I was amazed to see how many had converted to Big Ace. When I asked them why they switched, they said some form of the following: performance and price. The symmetry of Big Ace appearing anew on a monthly basis among 4.0-5.0 junior and adult local players on our beloved, no-frills local courts wasn’t lost on me. Big Ace strings matched perfectly with the personality of our home away from home: high quality, durable, and smart value (okay, inexpensive…okay, unbelievably cheap! Ah, now my mom is really smiling).

I recently brought some Big Ace into an urban, award-winning tennis store and showed it to the manager, who is a big fan of Luxilon. His response: “You like this fishing line?” I asked him if he had tried it; of course, he had not. I handed him a sample, and told him I couldn’t demo a racquet anymore unless it was strung with Big Ace because otherwise I’d have no valid basis of evaluation or comparison. I don’t yet know if he has tried Big Ace, but I’ll be curious to see if this isn’t yet another example of this product selling itself.

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One Response to “The String’s the Thing”

  1. Dale Says:

    Very interesting post. Big Ace is indeed a phenomenal string.

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