A friend is testing racquets to find a new one that “feels good” to him … but most people believe the feel ofthe racquet (and its performance for you) will be controlled more by THE STRINGS you choose to put in. And since my shoulder is starting to twinge in pain again (!) I am making a change.
TennisLife Magazine had a good piece on stringing options and said, “no other string can equal the elongation (stretching) of natural gut. Plus no other string has better tension maintenance (elasticity) than natural gut.”
But then when compared to the new co-polymer strings, like Luxilon, they say that string has very little elongation and loses its tension rather quickly.
After my shoulder-troubled love affair with the Luxilon Big Banger string two years back, I had been using a hybrid combination of 17 gauge (thinner) Luxilon in the main strings and the softer Technifiber in the crosses – both strung at a fairly low 52 lbs pressure.
I had found what the article continues to point out… because the stiffer polymer strings stretch very little, they let you take a much bigger swing at the ball – thus putting more topspin on the shot.
Buuuuuuut, I am now having shoulder pain starting back up in the same location. So I just cut out the hybrid in one of my racquets and put in 16 gauge gut (for the first time in my life!). Along with ice and Aleve, we will see if that “fixes” my problem. (“Why don’t you stop playing tennis for a couple of weeks?” You don’t need to ask me that, DeDe already has!!!).
Now, there is a new string on the market that is becoming very popular with the pros: Babolat’s new Black String. According to the manufacturer, the black string marked with the white “double-line” has been used since the Australian Open by three Team Babolat players: Rafael Nadal (SPA), Andy Roddick (USA) and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (FRA).
RPM Blast (Revolutions Per Minute) is a monofilament string that allegedly gives players more spin, more power and a unique feel at ball impact. “With this new string, I have more spin, and it helps me hit deeper. We have worked hard with Babolat,” explains Rafael Nadal.
Also, Andy Roddick uses RPM Blast in a hybrid combination with Babolat VS Natural Gut for even more power.
Worth a try? According to Bill Simonton, who beat me in three sets using this new string, it is!