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

For me a traditional poly offers a very firm and crisp response. It is a string that cashes in on control and turns its back on pretty much everything else. Such firm playing polys give me the confidence to take a big swing at the ball without fear of over hitting. I find them very spin-friendly since I can swing fast all of the time. You simply can’t get the ball to spin fast if you don’t swing fast, and nothing gets me swinging faster at the ball than a set of dead poly!

Kirschbaum Super Smash is one of the original polyester tennis string.

Kirschbaum Super Smash is one of the original polyester tennis string.

Call me crazy (no, really. Go right ahead. I’ve been called worse) but I like the stiff feel, too. Even the firm feel of a dense 18×20 string pattern usually feels better to me when its firmed up further still with a set of poly like Kirschbaum Super Smash. The firm feel has me feeling very connected to the ball. I find I get the best sense of depth and direction from the stiff feel of a firm poly.

To put everything in perspective here are my positives and negatives of choosing a traditional poly:

Positives:
-Firm feel offers lots of feedback.
-Confidence-inspiring lack of power — easier to swing big without over hitting.
-Great access to spin.
-Budget friendly – plain polys without all of the fancy additives tend to be the cheapest poly based strings you can buy.

Negatives:
-Firm equals not arm friendly! If you have any kind of wrist or elbow issues then run as fast as you can from this stuff.
-If you are looking for easy power, look elsewhere.
-Tension maintenance? Er, nope, not here! Traditional polys tend to drop tension quickly.

Gosen Polylon is a great poly at an exceptional value.

Gosen Polylon is a great poly at an exceptional value.

 

Some of my favorite polys:
Kirschbaum Super Smash Honey or Spiky, Kirschbaum Basic Poly (the name says it all!), Gosen Polylon, Isospeed Baseline and Klip Hardcore are all affordable polys. With their traditionally firm feel, these all represent a great place to start.

Cheers,
Chris.

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