Archive for the ‘Tennis Strings’ Category

Best Valued Multifilament Tennis String

June 17, 2014

Multifilament strings are great for the players that are seeking a great combination of feel, comfort, power and playability. The biggest advantage of them is higher elasticity and superior playability in comparison to polyester strings which are very popular amongst players today. The disadvantage is string durability as they tend to break quicker. This article is not designed to dive into what multifilament strings are or how they are constructed but instead what are the best-valued multilament stirngs on the market today. We here at The Tennis Depot pride ourselves in offering the highest quality products in the marketplace that comes with the best value and bang for the buck to the consumer.

The ultimate #1 valued multifiament string is the Pro Supex Maxim Touch which many players compare to Wilson Sensation, Wilson NXT, Tecnifibre NRG, Babolat Xcel Premium among many others. We have even gotten some that compared it to the Babolat VS Natural Gut or Pacific and Klip natural gut strings.

Pro Supex Maxim Touch has a multifilament core and is reinforced by outside wrapped fibres. It has a polyurethane coating and increases your sweetspot by 30%. This string is arm friendly and can decrease tennis-elbow problems. Maxim Touch works great as a hybrid as well as a full job. We recommend the 16 gauge if you are seeking durability and playability at the same time. When taking price into equation, Pro Supex Maxim Touch is hands down the absolute best multi string on the market today for its price.

Two other multi’s that offer incredible value are both the Genesis Thunder Blast and Genesis XplosionGenesis Thunder Blast offers amazing repulsion power and controlled spin. Players who come in to the net a lot will appreciate the soft capabilities of this string with its impeccable touch and comfort. Thunder Blast has also some of the best tension retention from any multifilament string thanks to a very unique construction process. The center core utilizes a very elastic monofilament compressed and heated to stretch easily. The outer core is twisted by soft elastic multifilaments. A coating resembling a rough surface is added for increased spin.

Genesis Xplosion is a multifilament string compromised of over 2000 filaments that are bonded and twisted together. Genesis Xplosion offers gut like performance without the premium price of most natural gut strings. Xplosion provides superior resiliency and maximum power. Utilizing special heating and cooling treatments, Genesis has achieved a very arm friendly string that offers great feel and touch. A polyurethane elastometer resin coating provides easier stringing and increased durability.

These 3 strings are without a doubt the best bang for the buck amongst multifilament strings out on the market. Be sure to check them out and let us know your feedback once tested!

 

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New Product: Polyfibre Black Venom Rough

May 24, 2011

The new Polyfibre Black Venom Rough is a further advancement of the best-selling Polyfibre Black Venom string and the new Black Venom Rough has improved tension stability, improved durability, spin and control. Our playtest team has reported the Black Venom Rough to produce insane spin while playing soft for a poly-based string offering and coming at an excellent value when purchasing the reel as it brings the cost down to just $8.50 per set.

Power, spin and touch are the trademarks of the new Polyfibre Black Venom Rough. Polyfibre’s specially developed Standardized Molecular Distribution Technology (SMD) provides this string with long-lasting resilience as well as the necessary control. Through the application of olefins and a special corona coating the string has an “orange skin” type surface with the following advantages: the string grabs the ball better, spin potential is maximized, and string slippage effectively prevented. Players will enjoy the combination of greater control and better feel – the textured surface structure providing maximum comfort. The added rough surface further increases the spin potential of this string. The 17 gauge is ideal for players who need a good combination of durability and playability.

To view this and other Polyfibre string offerings, please visit: http://www.thetennisdepot.com/tennis-strings/polyfibre.html

A Guide to Less Arm Pain

August 23, 2010

So You Have Tennis Elbow?

Tennis elbow, commonly shorted to TE, has been a plague that has beset the tennis nation more and more. Increasing numbers of players complain of this pain that seems to come from around the elbow. “It hurts,” says one. “After I play tennis, I need copious amounts of ice,” complains another. What can you do?

First of all, if you’ve been having serious pain for any serious length of time (one week or more), stop and put away your rackets. Playing while injured in ANY sport is not a good thing. Tennis is no different. If you’ve been suffering from tennis elbow consistently, STOP. Let your arm heal. The only way to do that is to STOP HITTING. It’s not pleasant and you may miss the sport, but do your arm and your body a favor. Take a month long break.

Fact of the matter is, technique is the NUMBER ONE CONTRIBUTOR to tennis elbow. If you have shoddy technique, you are a very likely candidate for tennis elbow. Stopping the racket mid swing, not swinging out, hitting too close to the body, arming the ball, etc are all indicative of poor technique that can lead to arm pain. After taking a break, see the nearest pro and have them critique your technique.

So now you’ve been to your local pro and he tells you that your technique is fine. After giving you a pointer or two on how to better hit that pesky inside out forehand approach into the corner, you come onto the court the following day… and continue to have arm pain! The next things for you to look at are your strings. Are you using polyester strings? Are you using kevlar strings? If the answer is YES to either of these, get rid of them! Polyester and kevlar strings are stiff and a major contributor to tennis elbow. If you absolutely INSIST on keeping polyester in your frame (and you really shouldn’t), then switch to an arm friendly polyester. Something like Babolat Pro Hurricane, Pro Supex Big Ace, Genesis Black Magic, etc. A much better and more arm friendly option is to switch to either a synthetic gut (if your wallet has been taking a pounding), a multifilament, or a natural gut (if you care to splurge). These much softer options are far more arm friendly. The best string if you have tennis elbow is natural gut (a particularly soft and comfortable one is Pacific Prime, although even the cheapest/worst gut is better than any multi in terms of elbow friendliness). Natural gut is the most comfortable, the least stiff, the absolutely best string for anybody suffering from arm pain. If you can’t afford a full bed of natural gut, consider a hybrid of natural gut and synthetic gut. The natural gut in the mains will contribute most of the feel and softness and arm friendliness of the gut, while the synthetic in the crosses sharply decreases the overall cost of the string bed.  If this hybrid stuff confuses you, just remember this: natural is good.  The more natural, the better.

Next, what tension are you stringing your strings at? If you’re one of THOSE people that strings Luxilon Alu Rough at 75 pounds in your Pure Drive and wonders why your arm is in a sling… STOP! Unless you have arms of steel, do not string Luxilon in the 70’s! The lower the tension, the better off your arm is. Lower tensions absorb more of the impact from the ball hitting the strings, and less power/shock is transferred to your arm. A good starting point for anybody suffering from mild arm pain/discomfort is to lower your tension by 3 pounds. If that’s not enough, try lowering 2 more pounds. If that’s still not enough, then you need to switch strings.

Grip size is rarely mentioned as a contributor to tennis elbow, but it is a contributor nevertheless. Try to avoid playing with anything too small, as the twisting of the racket in your hands doesn’t make your arm happy. Playing with something too big may strain your hand too much and you may not be able to hold onto the racket properly, again damaging your elbow. Don’t be stupid and try to emulate the pros with their smaller grip sizes. They’re pros and they’re able to generate massive amounts of speed that makes the twisting of the racket much less of an issue. Unless you can generate headspeed like Nadal, don’t imitate him by using an overly small grip.

Next on the chopping block is your racket. There are some rackets that are simply menaces. That’s not to say that they’re not great rackets for some people. However, rackets that are overly stiff and overly light kill the arms. Light rackets aren’t good for the simple reason that the lighter the racket, the greater the impulse that is transmitted to your arm. Brining elementary physics into the picture, the momentum of the ball has to go somewhere. That “somewhere” is dependent upon mass. If you’ve got a feather for a racket, then virtually all of that momentum goes straight up your arm. Stiff rackets are likewise horrible for your arm. The stiffer a racket, the greater the shock that is transmitted through the racket into your arm. The more flexible, the less. Thus, rackets that extremely light and extremely stiff should be avoided at all costs. Other rackets that are often cited for causing arm problems include the Babolat Pure Drive, Babolat Aero Pro Drives, Head Extremes, Wilson 6.1 95’s, and others. If you’ve made sure your technique is good, your strings are soft, your tension is low and your grip size is right for you and you’re STILL having arm pain, it’s time to switch. Switch to something that’s flexible, and preferably somewhat hefty. Good advice with regards to weight is to use something that’s as heavy as you can handle. Prokennex makes excellent rackets that are extremely arm friendly. Find something that catches your eye and try it out! Another racket/family of rackets that is very arm friendly is the V1 line by Volkl/Becker. Both the MP and OS versions are excellent arm friendly rackets that provide some nice oomph.

Tennis elbow is something that’s extremely unpleasant. It’s also something that doesn’t necessarily reflect the immediate. If you used to play with something extremely stiff a few months ago but then switched, pain might not manifest for a few months. Keep this in mind when your arm starts to hurt. Take a while off, and then find what exactly it is that is causing you arm pain.

New Genesis Strings Now Available

July 19, 2010

Genesis recently released 4 new strings to their string lineup, Hexonic, Heptonic, Xplosion and Tournament Nylon. These strings are aimed towards the player on a small budget yet is seeking a high-performance string at a very competitive price. Genesis Hexonic is a 6 sided hexagonal strings with excellent spin potential. It is available in 1.09m, 1.18mm and 1.27mm in red color. Genesis Heptonic is a 7 sided heptagonal string with even more spin potential and it is available in 1.14mm and 1.24mm in white color. Genesis Xplosion is a premium multifilament string, used to soften up the stringbed with polyester-based strings or as a full stringjob for comfort and playability. Lastly, the Genesis Tournament Nylon is an excellent value string offering that comes in 1.30mm and 1.36mm in 3 unique colors.

For more info on these new Genesis string offerings, please visit: http://www.thetennisdepot.com/tennis-strings/genesis.html

Genesis Typhoon Review

May 19, 2010

Genesis Typhoon String Review

The following is a playtest review received by a customer:

String was strung on a Gamma 7.0 MP at 57/61.  The machine used was an Alpha String Pal, a dropweight machine.  For the past season, I’d used a Wilson Natural Gut 16/E-force Fluid 18 hybrid. Before the season, I’d experimented with polyester on and off for about a year. My favorite poly is Kirschbaum Competition 16 for the solid feel it gives, as well as its relative long life span.

Initial comments- stringing:  The string comes in a very nice little package- very sharp. Coil memory is far below average- very little. The string did not coil up on the floor as most polys do, it spread out. Just handling the string, you feel the twisting of the string and the unevenness.

The string was quite a bit EASIER to string than most polys, at least for me. Weaving the string, while slightly painful (it was a little more painful than usual because of how much my hands had taken a beating during the AP World examination), was easier than usual. The string felt softer than most polys I’ve strung.

Knots cinched up very nicely. From appearances only, this stuff looks quite like Alu.

How it played:

The racket was strung up about 4 pm on Thursday afternoon, and I hit with it on Sunday morning, and again on Monday morning. There was definitely some tension lost in the first few hours, but then the tension held steady.

This stuff absolutely blew me away. While a lot of polys I have tried have this weird plastic-y feeling to them, Typhoon is extremely solid. It feels, for lack of a better word, substantial. The string is undoubtedly powerful. Keep in mind that my tennis season just finished two weeks ago, and for the duration of that two month season, I played pretty much every day with a Wilson Natural Gut hybrid. Truly, you don’t get that much more powerful than that. Today was the first time I’d played since the season ended, and I was really impressed how powerful Typhoon was, even compared to a gut hybrid. No, I am not saying that Typhoon has gut like power. However, for anybody wishing to move to a poly from a multi or synthetic gut, this string would be a very nice place to start, as it provides more power than any other poly I’ve ever tried.

The feel from this string is a tad bit lacking. Granted, I’ve become a bit used to the feel of natural gut, but the string provides no sense of pocketing. The ball touches the string, and then seems to rebound right back. On touch shots, it’s a bit difficult to gauge exactly how the shot left the strings. Did I put enough spin on it? Enough power? Etc… This was one aspect of the string that I was not impressed by.

On the issue of spin, I was not blown away at the spin capabilities, but they are quite impressive. One of the things I missed the most when I used natural gut was the relative lack of spin I could put on the ball. While Typhoon doesn’t spin the heck out of the ball as, say, Alu Rough, the spin that it does provide is indeed quite impressive. Compared to the Kirschbaum Competition I have sitting in my other racket, my topspin shots bounced higher, my slices skidded lower, and my kick serves were more deadly. If you’re looking for a string that can add some spin to your game, this string is a MUST try.

For the all important characteristic of control… there is no doubt that this string does not lack. With the comment above about the power of the string, one would think that control must be quite bad. Not so. The spin provided by the string was easily able to tame the power. Shots that I could have sworn would go out dipped at the last minute and hit the baseline. I had absolutely no fear of pounding away at shots knowing that they would land in. And they did.

Comparison to Luxilon Alu Power Rough:

It’s been a while, actually, quite a long while since I last played with Luxilon Alu Power Rough. From memory though, Alu Rough is a superior performing string… in the first few hours. Genesis Typhoon is a GREAT string, perhaps one of the best I’ve ever used. However, Alu Rough just had this… magic to it that puts everything in the court with great accuracy and spin. Unfortunately, Alu Rough just died on me after 2 sessions. That previous power, spin, accuracy all went away. It was alright playing after those initial few hours, but not particularly great. Genesis Typhoon on the other hand starts off playing great, and ends playing great. From the very first shot until around 10-12 hours later, Typhoon has consistently great performance. You KNOW exactly how the forehand is going to feel. You KNOW that your shot is going to drop in right at the baseline. Alu Rough has a slight edge over it in the beginning, but after 3-4 hours of play, while Alu Rough is dead, Typhoon keeps on shining. Considering that Typhoon is under ½ the price of Alu Rough in reel form, there is no doubt in my mind that Typhoon is a better value.

Final comments:

Genesis really nailed it on this string. It performs amazingly, does not lose tension, plays consistently through the life of the string (which is VERY long), and feels far more solid than many of its competitors. It should be noted that Typhoon should NOT be strung at a lower tension as most polys should be. String this as you would synthetic gut, and prepare to be amazed. If you use Kirschbaum Spiky Shark, Babolat RPM Blast, Tecnifibre Black Code, Luxilon M2, try the Genesis Typhoon today!

For more information on the Genesis line of strings, please visit: http://www.thetennisdepot.com/tennis-strings/genesis.html

Topspin Cyber Flash- Becoming a Favorite among Colleges Quickly

May 18, 2010

At the most recent NCAA Division 2 Championships, 16 teams from the men’s side and 16 from the women’s side gathered from around the country to compete for a national championship. With Over 300 players in attendance in Altamonte Springs, FL, some of the greatest talents in the country were displayed. We were told that the 2nd most popular string used during the NCAA championships was Topspin Cyber Flash which came close behind the front-runner Tecnifibre Red Code. This was a surprise to many of the stringers in attendance as they expected Luxilon Alu Power or Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour to be among the most popular strings. The national champion, Barry University purchase strings from The Tennis Depot and have used the Pro Supex line of strings along with Topspin Cyber Blue and the Unique Big Hitter reels for many years now. Keep any eye on the Topspin Cyber Flash and some of the other strings offered at The Tennis Depot as they are coming to a park near you soon!

For the full range of the Topspin string offerings, please visit our Topspin String Page.

Topspin Cyber Flash

Keeping String Tension in Mind

May 11, 2010



This week, the topic up for discussion is string tension.  String tension is something that, despite being extremely important, most people don’t understand.  So here’s to making this a little more… lucid.

To me, string tension is every bit as important, if not MORE important, than any other part of your equipment (excluding the user, that is). String tension is also something that is extremely subjective, and depends on a variety of factors. What works for me may not work for you. What works for me on December 10th may completely fail me on July 10th.

First of all, what does string tension do? String tension influences how comfortable your string bed is. The higher the tension, the harsher the string bed, and the more damage your arm is liable to incur. For example, Kirschbaum Competition at 70 pounds will be harsher on your arm than will the same string at 50 pounds. If you’re having arm problems, consider dropping the tension on your string by 5 pounds and see how that works out for you. Also, string tension influences power. The higher the tension, the lower the power and the lower the tension, the higher the power (or rather, the ball will travel a longer distance with the same swing). If your shots are consistently shooting out by a couple of inches, consider upping the tension by 2-3 pounds.

Now, you might be wondering… why did Dan say that “What works for me on December 10th may completely fail me on July 10th ?” Well, strings tend to perform differently under different conditions (aka weather). The warmer the day, the “looser” the strings will feel, and shots will be a little deeper. As such, if you normally string Pro Supex Big Ace at 55 pounds in the winter, then you should consider upping the tension by 2 pounds in the warmer months to get a similar result. Also, humidity plays a factor on certain strings. Gut (such as newly available Pacific Tough Gut– try that out!) especially is particularly susceptible to humidity. If you’ve strung up with gut, either full or in a hybrid, then you probably shouldn’t use that particular racket in humid conditions. The reason is that humidity ruins gut: the strings will absorb the moisture in the air, and prolonged exposure to excessively humid conditions will make the gut strings virtually unplayable (they’ll lose tension, become a lot softer, and become “floppy”). That’s not to say that gut is the only string that humidity effects though. The more moisture there is in the air, the softer your string bed will feel. However, most strings will not be greatly effected by humidity.

A final point to keep in mind: string tension is EXTREMELY subjective.  What feels great to me might feel absolutely terrible to you.  Some people string their rackets in the teens, others, in the 70’s.  Find what works for YOU, not what works for person XXX.

The next time you’re getting your racket restrung, consider playing around a little with string tension. Up it a bit for more control, lower it a bit more for more power… who knows, maybe you’ll finally find your perfect setup?!

Product Spotlight of the Week: Poly Star Energy Tennis String

May 9, 2010

Over the years, most of the commentators talk about the ATP players using either Luxilon Alu Power or Babolat Pro Hurricane tennis strings. They however failed to mention that the world’s 5th best ATP player, Nikolay Davydenko has been successfully using the Poly Star Energy string this past decade and has helped record wins over the world’s elite players. Did you know that former ATP players, Michael Stitch, Brian Gottfried, Yones el Aynaoui, Carlos Costa,  Alberto Berasategui and others all used Poly Star strings to help them reach the top of the ATP rankings. So what are you waiting for, try Poly Star Energy today and experience the difference today!

Poly Star Energy is one of the most powerful polyester string out on the market. It offers optimum control over ball acceleration combined with outstanding elasticity and longevity. Softer than Poly Star Classic, players will find some nice touch and feel with Poly Star Energy. With minimal tension loss and excellent durability, Poly Star Energy is a very good string. Players seeking the a nice blend of durability and playability should go with this 17 gauge.

Special Discount: Buy A 660’ Reel of ANY Poly Star Reel (classic, energy or turbo) and receive 10% off the regular price! Please use coupon code:  PSS10 during checkout  This coupon expires Sunday May 16 2010.

The complete line of Poly Star strings can be viewed here: http://www.thetennisdepot.com/tennis-strings/poly-star.html

Playtest Review on the NEW Genesis Typhoon!

May 4, 2010

Genesis Typhoon Review:

Overall: 9/10. Great string. I play tested it next to Luxilon ALU Big Banger and they felt very similar. However, Typhoon clearly held its tension better, was slightly stiffer, and had more spin than its counterpart.

Groundstrokes: 9/10. I felt that I could easily take control of the points off the baseline with more ease than with Luxilon ALU, primarily because of the bite that Typhoon had. I could hit my crosscourt forehand to drag my opponent off the court easier than with any other string I have played with. Also, flattening the ball out was not a hassle at all, but I felt that ALU did a better job at this. For my baseline game, Typhoon takes the trophy home considering I hit more safer, topspin shots than flatter, all-or-nothing shots. Approach shots were easier to hit as well with Typhoon, probably because I could grab the ball better than with ALU so the ball would sink into the court with a sharper parabolic path than ALU.

Volleys: 8/10. A significant step up from Spin X in the volley department. Because of the stiffness of the string, I could stick my volleys with greater ease than with my previous string. The only thing that Spin X had over Typhoon while hitting volleys was the drop volley, however one doesn’t hit this volley nearly as much as the deeper, penetrating volley, which Typhoon was better at.

Serves: 8/10. On the serve, I could not find any differences between Typhoon and ALU. I definitely served better with both compared to Spin X due to the stiffness of the strings, but both strings I could place my serves well. I will add that I did have more slide and kick on my slice and topspin serves with Typhoon than ALU.

Feel: 7.5/10. This was clearly the dimension of Typhoon that wasn’t up to par with Spin X. I found that it had better feel than ALU, however with drop shots and drop volleys (as I previously mentioned), Typhoon wasn’t quite there. It definitely had feel, but not as much as Spin X. Also, Typhoon doesn’t have nearly the ball pocketing that Spin X has, which is a good and a bad thing. In terms of touch, it is a bad thing, however for my game I found this to be beneficial.

Spin: 9.5/10. Probably Typhoon’s best characteristic. Because of the stiffness and the texture of the string, I could easily get access to spin and generate more rotational velocity on the ball more than any other sting that I have previously used. I found this when I would hit passing shots. My ball would dip at my opponent’s feet very fast, causing them to make an error. Also, I could hit Nadal-like hooking passing shots down the line (maybe not at Nadal’s level, but close) significantly easier than with Spin X or ALU.

This string tops the highly anticipated Babolat RPM Blast in every category!

-This review was written by a customer who will be attending a SEC Division 1 School in the fall!

Hybrids

April 6, 2010

In the past few years, hybrids have become increasingly popular. More often than not, we see people with two different strings in their rackets. Many of pros have also gravitated towards hybrids: Federer with Alu and VS gut, Roddick with Hurricane and VS gut, etc. So, the questions that should come to mind are: what are the advantages of hybrids, and should I hybrid? I’ll try to answer both of those questions for you.

As a baseline, the hybrids that are generally used are gut mains with poly crosses, poly mains with gut crosses, gut mains with synthetic gut/multi crosses, and kevlar mains with synthetic gut crosses. There are several advantages to these various hybrids. First, hybrids combine the characteristics of two strings, and depending on how you string, can create some very nice combinations. The main strings are mainly responsible for the power (and with that, control) of the string bed, and also mainly for how the string bed feels. Thus, if you want your hybrid to feel mostly like polyester, then put your polyester string in the mains. If you want ultimate comfort, then put your gut in the mains. Crosses on the other hand add a bit of comfort and influence how stiff the string bed is. They will also influence power/control, but this influence is relatively small when compared to the influence of the mains. Thus, you can add a gut or a multi in the crosses to a polyester main to add some comfort and decrease the battering that your elbow gets. Or, you can add a polyester cross to a natural gut main to add a bit of control to the setup and increase stiffness. The second advantage of hybrids is cost. Let’s face it: strings can get pretty darn expensive. A full set of VS gut will set you back $42, a full set of Alu Rough will set you back around $16, and a full bed of Pro Line II will set you back around $12. I don’t know about you, but my wallet doesn’t appreciate being emptied every week. Thus, hybrids are nice. A hybrid of my favorite natural gut or polyester with a synthetic gut cross will cut my cost per string bed by around half, and give me something very close to that original feeling. Third, hybrids are generally easier to string that the full bed of string (despite giving a feel very close to a full bed). A bed of natural gut and synthetic is a lot easier to string than a full bed of natural gut. To go along with this, if your stringer is charging you extra for labor when he strings a hybrid, somebody’s trying to rip you off.

So to answer whether or not you should use a hybrid, you generally should if you fall into one of these categories: you want something that feels close to what you use now, but want something cheaper; you want something that’s a little more comfortable than the full bed of polyester you’re using now; you want to add a bit more control to what you’re using now (although this can be also done by adding a pound or two of tension to what you use now); or if you’re a stringer and want to have an easier time with stringing.

Hopefully, this will clear up any questions or confusion that you might have had about hybrids. If you’re still doubtful, take one for a try. I recommend taking whatever you use right now and using that for your mains and for your crosses, I’d recommend starting with a synthetic gut (favorites of mine include Forten Sweet and Pro Supex Syn Gut Spiral Flex). This should give you something close to what you normally use.

PS (if such a thing exists in a blog?) There are such things as prepackaged hybrids.  Take for example the Pro Supex Matrix Hybrid.  Such hybrids are nothing special- they’re just 2 half sets of strings that the manufacturer believes play well together.  You can get the exact same hybrid by purchasing one set each of Big Ace and Maxim Touch, cutting them in half and combining them.  Viola!  You’ve just created your very own “Pro Supex Matrix Hybrid.”