It’s not every day that a string comes along with the comfort of Tecnifibre NRG2, Babolat Xcel and Wilson NXT. Optimus, a new multifilament from Wilson, is just such a string. Constructed with an army of shock absorbing filaments, we think it will lighten the load on your tendons as well as any multi on the market.
But that’s not the whole story. Unlike some multifilaments that are mushy and come with an unruly “trampoline effect”, we found that Optimus, when tensioned correctly, had a wonderful crispness along with above average control for the breed. This somewhat unique response is partly due to a thermoset co-polymer membrane, which firms up the filaments in the core and slightly tempers this string’s elasticity. Granted, advanced big hitters and string breakers will likely not find enough durability and “snapback” with Optimus (in a full bed), but we think this unique multifilament is a strong option for the non-poly player who wants a great blend of comfort and controllable power.
Right before your favorite pro goes to serve, a complicated dance ensues between player and ball-person. The player descends into what appears to be an OCD ritual, rifling through several different balls, looking intently at each one, shuffling them back and forth until finally arriving at the right one. The most memorable instance of this behavior occurred at the US Open several years ago. I watched as a very famous Spaniard paused long and hard over a particular ball, choosing eventually to throw it back to the ball person only to recall it two seconds later with a look of worried intensity and mild suspicion. He was, as many of you know, looking for the ball with the least amount of exposed fuzz (or at least that is what I hope he was doing).
But why? The theory, by no means a secret, is that the ball with the least amount of unruly fluff moves through the air with more speed, an important fact for those hoping to steal crucial milliseconds from unsuspecting opponents. This is why even savvy high school players are now reserving their first serves for the ball that resembles a Marine crewcut as opposed to the Bob Marley dishevelment that you see at the end of long clay court session, in the rain, where the ball becomes a waterlogged, dirt weighted grapefruit that slows down and sits up nicely for your opponent.
Our very own Tennis Warehouse University Professor decided to investigate the relationship between ball speed and wind drag, hoping to explain what really happens to a ball in the air, and why a cleaner ball travels faster. To perform this experiment he and Professor Rod Cross fired balls from a ball machine and measured the change in speed between two locations in the trajectory.
To make a long story short: the pros are not crazy. To find out why, check out this experiment: Click HERE!
Disclaimer: it’s not every day that one of our great American tennis brands revamps its string line. So please forgive us in advance if we seem a little excited.
From comfortable and powerful multifilaments to crisp and spin-friendly co-polys, the 2014 Prince string line has something for everyone. Let’s take a brief tour of their offerings.
The Premier Series – Multifilaments
Prince’s Premier line of strings features three very tendon-friendly multifilaments loaded with pop. Offering three distinct levels of firmness and playability, the Premier line gives the multifilament player the ability to select the one with just the right feel. Premier Touch, the softest of the bunch,features a very innovative ribbon core which is designed to have the responsiveness of natural gut. This new offering comes in three gauges, including 15L(!), which should please anyone who wants a side of durability and directional control with their comfort and power. As with the very unique Isospeed and Head ribbon technology strings, this one has an almost unbelievable level of vibration dampening (which makes it the perfect match for today’s lighter, stiffer frames). Coming in slightly firmer is Premier Power which updates Premier LT and continues to offer exceptional comfort. This update features an army of shock absorbing fibers wrapped in high density nylon filaments for improved durability. Finally, we have the firmest member of the Premier clan, Premier Control. Like the string it replaces, Premier Attack, this one features a stiff tri-core center wrapped in velvety soft nylon filaments. The result is a comfortably firm feel delivering near poly-like control without taxing the tendons like a traditional monofilament. Continue reading →