Comparison String Review: Genesis Spin X and Signum Pro Tornado

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As explain in an earlier post, the tennis string market has gone through some significant changes in the last few years.  It wasn’t long ago that Natural Gut reigned supreme as the top choice (if you could afford it) for players of all levels.  Virtually all pro’s on tour had variations of “Gut” in their frames to achieve great ball feel.  Today, there has been a great shift towards the newest string composition: Polyester.  Recent polyester strings offer offer supreme ball control at high swing velocities along with great durability. Looking even further, “textured” polyester strings are currently in the tennis equipment lime light as they provide all the benefits of regular polyesters with added ball bite and spin.  Two such recently released textured polyester strings that reign at the top of their class are Genesis’ Spin X and Signum Pro’s Tornado.

Let me preface my review of these strings by stating that they are two of the most advanced 3rd generation polyester strings on the market; players can’t go wrong with either string in their racquets.  That said, there are some subtle differences that can help you decide which string better suits your individual game style and needs.

Genesis Spin X:

Genesis is a relatively new string brand that hit the ground running as they initially released Spin X as their “flagship” string.  During stringing, Spin X is resistant to kinking and lacks extreme coil memory which makes for easy installation.  The construction method Spin X is a very sophisticated process that allows the already octagonally textured string to be twisted around the axis.

From a playing perspective, the string provides great access to spin with its rough and twisted surface.  I was able to achieve great ball bite for heavy topspin while maintain pinpoint control over shot location, especially at high swing speeds.  Volleys are crisp and “plow through” is still substantial, something textured strings can often lack.  Spin X is also less resistant to string notching and after an initial break-in period holds playing characteristics until it breaks.

Benefits:

  • Great blend of control / spin
  • Resistant to notching compared to other textured poly’s
  • $ – very affordable for high-end polyester

Signum Pro Blackline Tornado:

This is Signum Pro’s new flagship string that continues a tradition of great polyesters from this company.  Signum Pro’s previous strings (such as the entire Poly Plasma Line) are known to provide great tension maintenance and a consistent string bed right off of the stringing machine.  Tornado continues with these characteristics, and adds great access to spin with its textured / twisted surface and substantial power for a polyester string.

Installation is slightly more tedious than Spin X as Tornado has a rougher texture; this shows up as an added benefit on the court with extreme amounts of ball bite.  Where Spin X blends control and spin, Tornado is a mixture of power and spin – so much so that I would recommend stinging 2-3 pounds tighter to help offset the “pop” off the string bed.

On court I was able to hit very heavy topspin shots off both sides, and my slice shots stayed low and dug into the court on the other side.  My kick serve jumped up like never before, often forcing my opponents to hit returns above their shoulders.  This added spin does come with a couple downsides, in that I found it difficult to flatten out my strokes at times as the extra texture likes to really bite into the ball.  Also, Tornado played extremely well in my racquet from the start, but after some time began to notch and lose its playing characteristics.

Benefits:

  • Extreme amounts of spin from anywhere in the court
  • Great power and pop, especially for a polyester
  • Maintains Poly Plasma-like tension maintenance

All in all, both strings are great choices for those looking to break into the world of textured polyester strings.  The best way is to truly give them a try yourself and see which one better suits your game style.

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2 Responses to “Comparison String Review: Genesis Spin X and Signum Pro Tornado”

  1. nick Says:

    Hi I’m currently using a hybrid of Tornado 17 with Forten Sweet 17 at 47/45(and it seems fine). A guy I know says that the softer string should always be strung 2-4 lbs tighter than the stiffer string in hybrids. He claims that this will achieve “an even constant stringbed stiffness”. What do you guys think about this? Thanks, Nick

  2. meowmix0669 Says:

    Nick,

    String tensions are extremely subjective and really up to you. Your friend is correct in that to achieve a more constant stringbed stiffness, you should string the softer string a few pounds higher. If you’ve ever played around with different strings (and it seems like you have going by your hybrid), then you know that different strings strung at the same tension feel different. A full bed of Tornado at 47 feels a lot stiffer than a full bed of Forten at 47. Thus, if you want “constant stringbed stiffness”, then yes, string the softer string at a slightly higher tension.

    That being said, what good does that do you? After all, most of us don’t particularly care about constant stringbed stiffness. Rather, we care about the results. Stringing the soft cross string at a looser tension will enlarge your sweet spot as well as give you more comfort. If you want some more control, then upping the tension on the cross is a great idea. Otherwise, if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it!

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