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TW Playtester Chris’ Pick of the Week – Traditional polyester tennis strings

Posted on February 5, 2014 in Strings

Chris prefers the classic, old-school feel of the traditional polyester string

Chris prefers the classic, old-school feel of the traditional polyester string

When it comes to polys, I like ’em old-school!

One of the perks of being an avid tennis player working at TW is getting to test all of the new products. We test many, many strings (some that never make it to market and others we test from prototype through to production), but my love for traditional-feeling poly strings has yet to be diminished.

Modern co-poly strings blend additives to the polyester to ‘improve’ performance. Various additives are used to make the string play softer, hold tension better and provide improved snap back etc. These additives are the ‘co’ part of the co-poly name. However, I prefer to nix the ‘co’ and let my poly fly solo.


Quick review: Volkl Cyclone Tour

Posted on November 6, 2012 in Strings

The new Volkl Cyclone Tour is softer as well as twisted during production for added spin potential compared to the original Cyclone.

Volkl Cyclone has been, for a long time, one of my favorite polyester strings around! It performs as well as any poly out there, with the right blend of power and control, while also providing excellent ball grab for lots of spin potential. Furthermore, at only $7.99 a set, it’s affordable, too!

Building off the success of the Cyclone, Volkl has re-engineered it to make it even better. With new technology used in the material of the string, Volkl has made it softer and more arm-friendly than the original Cyclone. In addition, Volkl’s taken the 10-sided design and twisted it during production, giving it more spin potential than ever.

The new Cyclone Tour is available in single packs or in a 660' ft reel, good for 16-18 racquets.

I’ve had the chance to hit numerous sets of the Cyclone Tour in many different racquets, and once again I’m impressed by Volkl! It really is much softer and more powerful than the original Cyclone, so much so that I’ve had to increase the tension a couple of pounds to get the desired amount of control. Along with the improved comfort, it still keeps that outstanding ball feel at impact that I loved in the original version.

If you’ve been a fan of Cyclone in the past like me, give the new Cyclone Tour a try! Once again, at only $8.99 ($1 more than the original Cyclone), Volkl’s come out with a great polyester string at a great price. They continue to be one of the best values around in the polyester market.

Get a set now!

Thanks for reading,


Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution 17 string review

Posted on December 22, 2011 in Miscellaneous Strings

It’s new, it’s blue and it’s at TW, Pro Line Evolution 17 is the latest offering from Kirschbaum.

A pre-stretched co-polymer monofilament string, Pro Line Evolution 17 is high on control, great on spin and maintains tension better than most competing co-polys. That’s great news if you love the control and spin of co-poly strings but aren’t a string breaker. Most co-polys lose too much tension to be playable much longer than two weeks. With Pro Line Evolution 17, we’ve found the string to last much longer.

You can expect a firmer feel right off the stringing machine because of that pre-stretching, and we actually like to drop the tension a few pounds compared to most co-polys from other brands. If you are familiar with Kirschbaum strings or are coming from another Kirschbaum string, then string up normally.

We’ve been hitting this string a lot here at TW recently. It is currently our go-to string when we are racquet testing. Here’s what our playtesters had to say after hitting Pro Line Evolution 17 in a multitude of different racquets:

Chris — “I really like this string. It offers more pop than say Kirschbaum Competition and better comfort, yet it still has the crisp feel I love and expect in a Kirschbaum string. The thin 17 gauge makes it spin-friendly and especially helps in a racquet with a tight string pattern. I’ve found it to last well, both for durability and tension. I usually go a couple of pounds under mid tension, but can also go way lower with this string and not lose control. I’ve not found a racquet yet that it doesn’t look good in. I guess it’s like blue overgrip, it goes with everything.”

Brittany — “For me, Pro Line Evolution provided a good combination of power and spin. I found easy access to spin when strung in a full bed and found it played best a couple days after it was strung. When wanting just a touch more power, hybriding it with a multi provided the extra punch I needed.”

Spencer — “On the first hit it feels a little stiff. I like it after it has been in the racquet a day or so. It is a precision-oriented string with good control. Once the string has set over the first day or so, I like the tension maintenance and I think it offers a very consistent response.”

Jason — “First, the color is dy-no-mite! It looks great in just about every racquet we’ve strung it up in. As far as playability, I felt like it plays pretty firm, even for a 17 gauge string. I definitely liked it more after the string was able to sit in the racquet for a few days. It seems to me that it plays a bit crisper than the Pro Line II. Spin? Pretty good, and I like that. I think this could be a great string for players who like to hybrid.”

Tiffani — “Like other Kirschbaum polys, I think this one plays on the firm side. As someone who prefers hybrid setups or full multi string setups, this was a hard transition for me to play in a full stringbed. There is more control with this string than my usual choices, though.”

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