About five years ago…
Gamma set out to create a hybrid cross string unlike any the tennis industry has ever seen. FYI: hybrid cross strings are, with some definite exceptions, the soft counterpart to the stiff poly main; their job is to supply the hybrid with comfort, power and touch whereas the polyester main is supposed to deliver control, durability and bite (for spin). The problem Gamma set for itself was this: how could they preserve the traditional properties of a cross string (e.g., comfort, power, feel) while also smuggling in a property that the majority of soft strings aren’t particularly known for, that being low friction or a surface that facilitates the sliding action of the main strings. It should also be noted that Gamma wasn’t looking for the kind of low friction that comes from a silicone application (like many co-polys); rather, they wanted the kind of legit slipperiness that is baked right into the molecular structure (so it doesn’t perish with play). Finding the right substance wasn’t easy, but after years of testing and tweaking, Gamma finally settled on a material from the fluoropolymer family. The name they chose for the string was Glide.
Now that Winter has released its cold grip on most of the country, it’s time to start thinking about the long tennis season that lies ahead. In light of this realization we have some good news and some bad news.
First, the bad news. If you didn’t get a chance to play a lot this winter, your timing will likely be a little off. With that in mind, I want you to go grab your racquet.
Go ahead, I can wait.
Now that you have your racquet in hand, I want you to look at your stringbed. If you don’t see any strings, keep reading for the string deals below. But let’s say you do see strings, and let’s further speculate that they are the same strings that were in your racquet at the end of last tennis season. If that’s the case, allow me to be frank. Those strings are old and have likely lost too much tension. With tension loss comes changes in feel, power, friction properties, and trajectory (i.e., bad news). Couple that with the winter rust plaguing your mechanics and your timing problems just got worse. In other words, it’s time to restring.
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.