Tennis Industry magazine

 

Playtest: Toalson Cyber Blade Tour Thermaxe 123

By Greg Raven

Toalson Cyber Blade Tour Thermaxe 123 is a new monofilament developed for tournament players based on the opinions and experience of Toalson contract players worldwide. According to Toalson, Thermaxe 123 affords an excellent combination of elasticity and durability by blending special polyester material with themoplastic. Toalson recommends that you reduce your normal tension by 5 to 10 percent when using this string.

Toalson Cyber Blade Tour Thermaxe 123

Toalson Cyber Blade Tour Thermaxe 123 is available in 1.23 (16L) in silver only. It is priced from $9.95 for coils of 44 feet 4 inches, and $149.95 for reels of 656 feet. For more information or to order, contact ATS Sports at 800-866-7071, or visit ATS Sports on the web.

In the lab

The coil length measured a whopping 45 feet 3 inches. The diameter measured 1.22-1.24 mm prior to stringing, and 1.21 mm after stringing. We recorded a stringbed stiffness of 74 RDC units immediately after stringing at 60 pounds in a Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 95 (16×18 pattern) on a constant-pull machine. After 24 hours (no playing), stringbed stiffness measured 69 RDC units, representing a 7 percent tension loss. Our control string, Prince Synthetic Gut Original Gold 16, measured 78 RDC units immediately after stringing and 71 RDC units after 24 hours, representing a 9 percent tension loss. Cyber Blade Tour Thermaxe 123 added 14.95 grams to the weight of our unstrung frame.

The string was tested for five weeks by 33 USRSA playtesters, with NTRP ratings from 3.5 to 5.5. These are blind tests, with playtesters receiving unmarked strings in unmarked packages. Average number of hours playtested was 21.5.

No playtester broke his sample during stringing, 17 reported problems with coil memory, five reported problems tying knots, and two reported friction burn.

On the court

Our playtesters found that Toalson Cyber Blade Tour Thermaxe 123 has outstanding durability, rating it third highest of all the strings we’ve tested in this category. This is not a complete surprise for a polyester string designed for big hitters, although this rating is accompanied by ratings well above average for Spin Potential, Holding Tension, and Resistance to Movement. Additionally, our playtesters rated Toalson Cyber Blade Tour Thermaxe 123 as above average in both Power and Control. These strengths combined to give Toalson Cyber Blade Tour Thermaxe 123 an overall score well above average.

Six testers broke the sample string during play, with one at eight hours, one at nine hours, one at 12 hours, two at 16 hours, and one at 25 hours, for an average time before breakage for these six playtesters of 14.3 hours.

Conclusion

If Toalson’s definition of a “tournament player” is someone who blows through strings but can’t afford to forgo other aspects of string performance, the polyester blend in Cyber Blade Tour Thermaxe 123 has definitely met its design goals. Toalson Cyber Blade Tour Thermaxe 123 aced the four main categories for a string of its type (Durability, Spin Potential, Holding Tension, and Resistance to Movement), without sacrificing Power or Control. And Toalson Cyber Blade Tour Thermaxe 123 is more than “just” a string that can hang in there in punishing conditions: Its overall average score — up in the range of the better nylon strings — is testament to its well-rounded nature.

Comments

“Reminds me of that famous silver-colored poly. Full power and confidence. Love the string, and it would make a great hybrid with my current string. I would recommend this string to poly players. I love this playtest program!” 3.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Head i.radical OS strung at 62 pounds LO (Forten Aramid Gear/Luxilon Big Banger 15/16L)

“Pretty good feel for a polyester. I’d like to try it in a hybrid combination in the mains.” 4.0 male all court player using Prince TT Bandit OS strung at 59 pounds LO (Prince Synthetic Gut 16)

“For a poly, this sample plays well. I get good spin as the ball comes off the stringbed, and with above-average durability for a thinner gauge, this string will be an appealing choice. While the stringbed seemed a little stiff overall, the string still played comfortably. I also liked the lack of string movement.” 4.0 male all court player using Yonex RDX 500 strung at 59 pounds LO (Wilson Sensation 16)

“This string feels like a typical polyester. I would use it for any of my big hitters who break strings quickly.” 5.0 male serve-and-volleyer using Head Liquidmetal Radical MP strung at 67 pounds LO (Bow Brand Championship Gut 16L)

“Some coil memory during stringing. On court, this string played quite well. I found lots of power and control. I would consider using it as a hybrid string for the mains. Lots of pop on volleys and I was able to produce more spin.” 4.5 male all court player using Wilson n5 strung at 58 pounds LO (Wilson Stamina 16)

“Good string. I found good power in the first 10-12 hours, then it became loose. This would work great as part of a hybrid.” 5.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Babolat Pure Control Zylon + strung at 59 pounds CP (Babolat Super Fine Play 17)

“Good poly. I liked the thinner gauge.” 5.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Prince Turbo Shark strung at 62 pounds CP (Gamma Power Play 18)

“Very nice string. Reminded me of Luxilon Big Banger. Not the easiest string when doing the crosses, but not too difficult either. Had nice pop, even after several hours of steady hitting.” 5.0 female baseliner with heavy spin using Head Liquidmetal 4 strung at 51 pounds LO (Wilson Stamina 17)

“A very consistent string that held tension well.” 5.0 male all court player using Prince More Control DB 800 strung at 58 pounds CP (Prince Premier w/Softflex 16)

“Very good control string, similar to my normal string only a bit softer. Tension loss is minimal, but still occurring due to the type of string. Overall 8/10 for exception feel and control for this type of string, and great durability.” 5.0 male all court player using Wilson Pro Staff 6.0 Original strung at 58/56 pounds CP (Gosen Polylon 17)

“I am pleasantly surprised by the playability of this string. Given its durable nature, I would think it to be an excellent choice for hard hitters. I am looking forward to find out what it is.” 4.0 male all court player using Volkl Catapult 7 strung at 55 pounds CP (natural gut 16)

“This string is “rock solid.” After 30 hours of teaching and playing I had very little tension loss and virtually no movement.” 4.0 male all court player using Head Liquidmetal Radical OS strung at 60 pounds LO (Head Ultra Tour 17)

“Pack measured 44 feet and I experienced strong coil memory. The stringing was comparable to other “soft” polyester strings; no clamp slipping even with light pressure. Excessive friction experienced during cross stringing but no more than other “soft” polyesters. Using a Stringmeter, there was little to no tension loss after 24 hours (no play) and only approximately a 10 percent loss after 22 hours of play. Comparing the playability and durability to my regular string, I experience more power on my groundstrokes and especially on my serve. Control and power on volleys also appeared to be better as well. There was more spin potential on both my groundstrokes and serve and thus there was much more string movement than my regular string, which shows no string movement during play. I have noticed a decrease in power after the 22 hours of play, however, I still appreciate the play left in the strings and will most likely continue playing with the string until it breaks. I would recommend this string to any player wanting control who can generate most of the power with a full and fast swing. Great for baseliners with heavy spin. ” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Head Liquidmetal Radical strung at 60 pounds LO (Unique Tourna Poly Big Hitter 17)

“Initial feel of the string seemed oily, but this made it surprisingly easy to string. More playability than 16-gauge strings, but not as much feedback. The downfall is that after the initial three hours of play, the tension has dropped quite a bit. The string did not fray prematurely at all. For a thinner-gauge string it has a nice feel to it. It caught ahold of the ball.” 5.0 female baseliner with heavy spin using Prince AirDrive B975 OS strung at 60 pounds LO (Dunlop Max Comfort 16)

“I compared the test string in one racquet against another racquet strung with a well-known silver poly. The test string felt very similar, perhaps less powerful but still very close. If it is less expensive, I think a lot of players of the name-brand poly might switch to this.” 4.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Wilson H4 strung at 63 pounds LO (Luxilon Alu Power 16)

“A stiff monofilament feel, but with no string movement. A nice combination of control and power with a slight concession to feel.” 4.0 male serve-and-volleyer using Head i.x6 MP strung at 54 pounds CP (Gamma ESP 17)

“Better than expected across the board. Putting in the string was the worst part.” 5.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Prince More Control DB 800 MP strung at 58 pounds LO (Prince Premier/Babolat VS Team 16/15)

“I do not feel as if this string gives me as much spin as my normal string. However, this playtest sample definitely lasts. I find the stringbed a bit hard. There is little string movement. Given its durability, this string would be worth investigating for players who tend to break strings often, depending on the price.” 5.0 male all court player using Babolat Pure Control Zylon strung at 47/45 pounds CP (Babolat Razor Spin 16)

“I bumped up my tension 2 pounds. The string felt solid. Nice slice effect. Would recommend to students and playing partners as a starter string for durability. Nothing outstanding, though.” 4.5 female all court player using Prince TT Scream MP strung at 65/62 pounds LO (Alpha MXT 17)

“Average string. Nothing unusual.” 4.5 male touch player using Babolat Z Tour strung at 58 pounds LO (Babolat Xcel/gut 17)

“Felt tinny at first, and it seems to have a lack of pop. After a few hours, the tension loss is noticeable. A good string otherwise, with a nice stiff feel.” 5.0 male all court player using Head Liquidmetal 5 strung at 54 pounds CP (Wilson Sensation 17)

“The string is rather stiff right from the start. No problems with installation except that the sample is somewhat slippery, which makes it more difficult to string without the use of tools. All the major playability characteristics are on the positive side of average. Holding tension (according to measurements taken with my Stringmeter) is the best of any string I’ve tested.” 5.0 male all court player using Head i.radical Tour strung at pounds LO (Gamma Synthetic Gut 16)

“I am surprised how well the string resisted movement, and had good spin potential, especially after reducing tension, and with such a smooth surface.” 4.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Babolat Pure Drive + strung at 50 pounds CP (Babolat gut 16)

“Nice durability, but it does not have great feel.” 4.5 male serve-and-volleyer using Wilson H Tour strung at 55 pounds LO (Wilson Sensation NXT 15L)

“This doesn’t perform as well as other polys. Much harsher feel than my normal string, and a lot of buzzing from the beginning. I do not think I would recommend this to potential poly customers.” 5.0 male all court player using Wilson nSix-One 95 strung at 60 pounds CP (Gamma Zo Life/TNT 16)

“I thought the string lost its tension quickly, and I would recommend the use of a dampener to squelch the noise it makes on off-center hits.” 5.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Prince More Game MP strung at 62 pounds LO (Prince Lightning XX 16)

“Very durable, but it does not have enough control, comfort, touch, or feel. It is also a little more difficult to string.” 3.5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Prince Tour NXGraphite MP strung at 57 pounds LO (Prince Synthetic Gut 16)

“I didn’t like the feel of the ball off my racquet.” 4.0 female all court player using Head Liquidmetal 8 strung at 58 pounds LO (Wilson Sensation 17)

“This test string plays similar to other polyesters I have used. It seems to have lost some resiliency, and I feel less control after playing for several hours.” 5.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Head Liquidmetal 2 strung at 62 pounds LO (Wilson Sensation 16)

“This string feels better than most Kevlar strings, but still did not have the feel I expected. I would guess this to be a good for string breakers, but with some touch and feel. The thin gauge helps, but not enough for me.” 5.0 male serve-and-volleyer using Wilson H Tour strung at 55 pounds LO (Wilson NXT Tour 17)

(Strings normally used by testers are indicated in parentheses.)

Ratings

EASE OF STRINGING
compared to other strings.
Number of testers who said it was:
much easier 1
somewhat easier 1
about as easy 8
not quite as easy 20
not nearly as easy 3
OVERALL PLAYABILITY
compared to string played most often.
Number of testers who said it was:
much better 0
somewhat better 5
about as playable 11
not quite as playable 14
not nearly as playable 3
OVERALL DURABILITY
compared to other strings of similar gauge.
Number of testers who said it was:
much better 9
somewhat better 23
about as durable 1
not quite as durable 0
not nearly as durable 0
RATING AVERAGES
From 1 to 5 (best)
Playability 3.2
Durability 4.5
Power 3.3
Control 3.4
Comfort 2.9
Touch/Feel 2.8
Spin Potential 3.4
Holding Tension 3.5
Resistance to Movement 3.9

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About the Author

Greg Raven  is an associate editor for RSI magazine and technical writer. He is certified as a Master Racquet Technician by the U.S. Racquet Stringers Association. He can be reached via e-mail at greg@usrsa.com, or through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. He plays tennis five days a week, and is turning into an avid cyclist.

 

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