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Babolat Tennis String Comparisons

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Babolat offer a wide range of strings for tennis players of all styles and abilities. These can be sorted into three main groups: Polyester, Multifilament, and Natural Gut.

Each individual string has unique characteristics, meaning there is always a string for you. These characteristics can be broken down into six main categories: Power, Spin, Control, Comfort, Tension Maintenance, and Durability. 

POLYESTER

Polyester strings are durable and low powered when compared to other types of string. They are ideal for big hitters, offering added control and spin. They can be too harsh on the arm or underpowered for juniors but also players with existing injury problems and older players.

Babolat offer five different polyester strings, each with different playing characteristics, for different players and different styles. The entire polyester string range has recently been rebranded, so that each string now comes under the RPM (Revolutions Per Minute) umbrella. These are: RPM Blast, RPM Hurricane, RPM Power, RPM Team, and RPM Rough.

 

RPM Blast

Advantages: Spin, Control, Durability
Disadvantages: Comfort, Underpowered for certain players

RPM Blast is Babolat’s most popular polyester string. Used by a variety of professionals, including 20-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal, it is widely considered to be the best string on the market for players looking for maximum spin and control.

Octagonally shaped for maximum ball bite, it will cause the ball to dip inside the baseline more times than can be believed. The high bounces caused by the huge topspin will make like difficult for opponents, who will find themselves playing further behind the baseline than normal.

Medium powered when compared to other polyester strings, this offers a great compromise of control and power for big hitting players. Players with shorter swings may find this string to be underpowered, as this string performs best for aggressive, full swinging styles.

 

RPM Hurricane

AdvantagesSpin, Control, Durability
Disadvantages: Underpowered for certain players

Previously Pro Hurricane Tour, RPM Hurricane has developed a reputation as a fantastic string for club players. Octagonally shaped for generation of spin, this string is a slightly more all-round performer than RPM Blast.

Offering more comfort, slightly more power and marginally less spin, it is ideal for players who find RPM Blast a little too underpowered or harsh on the arm, but who still desire great spin and control. This is an ultra-durable string, which will also maintain tension better than most polyesters on the market.

 

RPM Power

Advantages: Power, Control
Disadvantages: Spin

Babolat’s newest polyester string, RPM Power has become popular with a wide range of players, including current World Number 3 and US Open champion Dominic Thiem.

A more all-round string than Babolat’s other polyesters, RPM Power is covered in a coating which provides a crisp feel, and a consistent response off the string bed. This makes it ideal for players wanting a predictable ball flight, whilst still being able to confidently strike through the ball.

The higher power level of this string compared to other polyester strings means it is also suitable for players with slower strokes, who also desire the incredible control this string provides.

 

RPM Team

Advantages: Power, Comfort
Disadvantages: Control, Tension Maintenance

RPM Team is a more arm friendly version of Babolat’s famous RPM Blast. Softer, and providing the most power of any RPM string, this is a great string for players who require a durable polyester but would like to retain most of the power and comfort of a softer synthetic string.

It is an ideal string for juniors who are just starting their polyester journeys. The increased power and lower spin this string provides also makes it ideal for players with slower swings, for whom a low powered string would see them struggling to hit the ball a consistent depth on court.

 

RPM Rough

Advantages: Spin, Comfort
Disadvantages: Control, Tension Maintenance

Formerly RPM Blast Rough, this string offers a unique blend of spin and power. The rough surface of this string grips the ball for maximum spin, whilst the softer design provides great comfort for a polyester string.

The extra elasticity of RPM Rough, when compared to most other polyester strings, means that it is ideal for flatter hitting players, whatever their stroke speed and style. Players naturally producing a lot of spin may find the response off the string bed a little too unpredictable.

The elasticity also causes a sharp drop in tension early in the string’s life. This flattens out very quickly, meaning that stringing RPM Rough slightly tighter than your normal polyester will combat this issue.



MULTIFILAMENT

Multifilament strings are the softest synthetic strings available. Comprised of thousands of individual strands, these offer very high power and comfort. They offer a more affordable way to protect against tennis elbow than Natural Gut. They are also ideal for juniors and older players. Match and tournament players may find that the increased power and lower spin will mean they lack the confidence to aggressively hit through the ball.

Babolat offer two multifilament strings, Addiction and Xcel.

 

Addiction

Advantages: Power, Comfort
Disadvantages: Control, Spin, Durability

Babolat Addiction is a go-to string for many casual and older players. Offering extremely high levels of power, this string is perfect for beginners, juniors, or older players who may struggle to generate their own power.

The thousands of strands this string is composed of makes it extremely elastic and comfortable. It is a popular string for players suffering with elbow issues, as the comfort and softness result in a large reduction of vibrations.

Also popular in a hybrid setup with a Polyester string, it offers a reduction in harshness and an increase in touch and feel compared to a full bed of polyester.

 

Xcel

Advantages: Power, Comfort, Control
Disadvantages: Durability

Babolat Xcel is Babolat’s premium multifilament string. Although low powered for a multifilament, this string offers good power levels for those who require it.

The lower power also allows players to hit through the ball more than with other multi-filaments, meaning more spin is available, with great levels of control. The double coating on Xcel means it gets very close to Natural Gut for feel and gives it exceptional durability for such a soft string.



NATURAL GUT

Natural Gut is the softest, most comfortable, and most powerful string available in tennis. It also provides unrivalled feel and touch. Tennis string was almost exclusively Natural Gut until the late 1990’s.

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Serena Williams, Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov. These are just a few top players who continue to use natural gut in their racquets, showing that although synthetic strings offer so many different benefits, nothing truly compares to Natural Gut.

Babolat offers two Natural Gut strings: Touch VS, and Touch Tonic.

 

Touch VS

Advantages: Power, Comfort, Tension Maintenance
Disadvantages: Spin

Babolat created tennis strings in 1875, and since then, Touch VS has offered unrivalled performance. A popular string for an endless list of professionals, VS strings have won more than 100 Grand Slams.

Touch VS is Babolat’s premiere Natural Gut. The most powerful, comfortable string available. The feel the string provides means that although it offers unrivalled power, there is still a great amount of control given to the player. The coating also means that durability rivals that of Polyester strings.

It is almost unquestionably the most comfortable string on the market. Popular with older players, or players with elbow issues, this is not just a performance string. There is no feel that compares to Natural Gut, and Touch VS is the original Natural Gut, and in the eyes of most, still the best.

 

Touch Tonic

Advantages: Power, Comfort, Tension Maintenance
Disadvantages: Spin

Touch Tonic is a great way for players to experience the unique playing characteristics of Natural Gut, at a lower cost than Touch VS.

Offered in up to a 1.40mm gauge, it provides the option to the player to extend the playing life of their string. As Natural Gut does not ever lose significant tension, the playability duration of this string is much longer than synthetic strings.

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