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Playtest: Pacific Power Hybrid

By Greg Raven

Pacific Power Hybrid 16L is a combination of two top-performing Pacific strings: Poly Force 17 (1.24 mm) and Power Line 16L (1.28 mm).

According to Pacific, Poly Force is an exclusive German-made high-modulus co-polyester string, and is Pacific’s number one co-polyester. It is the most-requested Pacific string by ATP players. Poly Force has won numerous string tests around the world due to its tension maintenance, spin, and power.

Pacific Power Hybrid

Pacific’s Power Line is a co-polymer (nylon) with a solid-core, double wraps, and a special coating. Pacific tells us this is a very “quick” string with outstanding tension maintenance.

Power Hybrid can be installed with either string as the mains, depending on player preference. According to Pacific, 75% of ATP players prefer the Poly Force in the mains, while among older recreational players, about the same percentage prefers Power Line in the mains.

Power Hybrid is available in 17/16L in orange/natural only. It is priced from $11. To learn more about Pacific, please go to pacific.com. Stringers and shops with a business license wanting to learn how to receive a free sample of Power Hybrid should e-mail Pacific at info@pacific.com, or call Pacific at 941-795-1789 (877-847-7721 toll-free fax).

In the lab

We recorded stringbed stiffness immediately after stringing at 60 pounds in a Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 95 (16 × 18 pattern) on a constant pull machine. We re-measured after 24 hours (no playing) for tension loss, as shown in the table. 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. Power Hybrid added around 17 grams to the weight of our unstrung frame: A little more with the Poly Force in the mains, and about half a gram less with the Power Line in the mains.

Poly Force Power Line
Coil measurements 23’6” 21’8”
Diameter unstrung 1.23-1.24 1.27-1.28
Diameter strung 1.20-1.22 1.24-1.25
Poly Force mains Power Line mains
Playtesters 35 34
NTRP ratings 3.5-6.0 3.0-6.0
RDC stringbed stiffness new 74 74
RDC stringbed after 24 hours 65 65
Tension loss lbs. after 24 hours 9 9
Tension loss % after 24 hours 12 12

The string was tested for five weeks by USRSA playtesters. We tested Power Hybrid “both ways:” One team used Poly Force in the mains and Power Line in the crosses, while another team used Power Line in the mains and Poly Force in the crosses. These are blind tests, with playtesters receiving unmarked strings in unmarked packages. We did advise our playtesters to reduce tension by ten percent when stringing the Poly Force, compared to the Power Line, as recommended by Pacific.

Stringing Power Hybrid is easy, no matter which string you use for the mains. The Poly Force is pleasantly smooth, and almost feels soft during installation, but we didn’t have any trouble grabbing the string with the tips of our fingers when weaving crosses.

On the court

Power Hybrid scored well with each playtest team, supporting Pacific’s findings, with the edge going to Power Hybrid with Poly Force in the mains and Power Line in the crosses. In this configuration, our playtest team scored Power Hybrid 6th overall for Spin Potential, 7th overall for Control, 12th overall for Tension Retention, 17th overall for Resistance to Movement, and 20th overall for Durability. Power was also judged to be well above average. These scores were good enough to give this configuration of Power Hybrid a 14th-place overall average of the 126 strings we’ve playtested to date.

Power Hybrid with Power Line in the mains and Poly Force in the crosses garnered well above average scores in Durability, Power, Control, and Resistance to Movement, for an overall score that is also well above average. This configuration also scored above average in Playability, Comfort, Spin Potential, and Tension Retention.

  Poly mains/
nylon crosses
Nylon mains/
poly crosses
Broke during stringing 1 0
Excess coil memory 3 7
Difficulty tying knots 0 1
Friction burn 0 1
  Poly mains/
nylon crosses
Nylon mains/
poly crosses
Average playtest duration 20.7 23.5
Broke during play 4 5
Break hours 6, 9, 12, 13 6, 8, 16, 18, 26

Conclusion

With six top-20 scores out of a possible 10, Power Hybrid with Poly Force mains would seem to be the clear choice. When you look at how little separates these two configurations in the scores, however, you see instead how well Pacific has done in choosing the two strings that make up Power Hybrid. This match-up gives the stringer the flexibility to satisfy a wide range of clients with one string. If you have a stringing business and are thinking about carrying Pacific strings, give them a call.

Testers talk

(Poly mains)

“This string breaks in nicely after two hours of play. It has great pocketing, spin and power. The feel is comfortably firm, which contributes to the remarkable control.” 5.0 male all-court player using Yonex RDS 002 Tour strung at 60 pounds CP (Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 16)

“This hybrid has a unique blend of control and power. Topspin hitters will be able to hit a very heavy ball with this string. It is definitely one of the most comfortable hybrids I’ve ever used. This combination works.” 5.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Fischer M Comp strung at 57 pounds CP (Babolat Tonic + Ball Feel 16)

“This combination is comparable to many of the high end hybrids on the market. It plays a lot like the Luxilon TIMO hybrid I’m currently using.” 3.5 male all-court player using Prince O3 Citron OS strung at 58 pounds LO (Luxilon TIMO/Nylon 18/16)

“The soft cross makes this a very enjoyable hybrid to play with. The pocketing and dwell time are pronounced, adding a great deal of control and spin.” 5.0 male all-court player using Wilson Hyper Pro Staff 6.1 strung at 40 pounds CP (Wilson NXT 17)

“This hybrid has a soft, comfortable feel. The control and spin are excellent.” 4.5 male all-court player using Head MicroGEL Radical MP strung at 60/62 pounds LO (Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour 16)

“After the initial break-in period, this hybrid plays extremely consistent. The power and responsiveness are truly impressive. The control is outstanding. Over time, one would expect the power and control to waiver. This string retains its playability over the long haul. Pretty impressive for a polyester.” 4.5 male all-court player using Yonex RDS 002 Tour strung at 54/56 pounds CP (Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour/Bow Brand Championship 17/16)

“This is one of the better hybrids to hit the market in a while. It does everything well. Tension maintenance is excellent and string movement is minimal. The pop and control are apparent from the first hit.” 4.0 male all-court player using Head MicroGEL Prestige Pro MP strung at 52/58 pounds LO (Luxilon Alu Power 17)

“This hybrid surpasses my normal set-up in playability. The ball pockets very nicely, enabling great control and tremendous ball rotation. After a short break-in period, there is plenty of power. Unlike most polys, there is very little vibration and no buzzing. I will definitely put this in my inventory, as well as switching to it myself!” 4.0 male all-court player using Kneissl White Star strung at 54 pounds LO (Luxilon Alu Power/Wilson Sensation 17)

“The soft cross definitely adds loads of playability and decent power. This is a comfortable hybrid with great bite.” 4.5 male all-court player using Head MicroGEL Extreme Pro strung at 60/56 pounds LO (Head Sonic Pro 17)

“Considering the polyester mains, installation could not be easier. This is not your average polyester hybrid. The tension maintenance and lack of string movement are excellent. The combination of playability, control and spin make this the kind of string I would add to my inventory.” 5.0 male all-court player using Wilson KPro Tour strung at 53 pounds CP (Luxilon Original Rough 16L)

“This hybrid is definitely a standout. The feel and playability are exceptional. Unlike most hybrids, there is very little impact shock. The crosses add comfort and dwell time.” 5.0 male all-court player using Head i.S2 MP strung at 60 pounds LO (Luxilon Original Rough 16L)

“Once I figured out how to play these strings, I really started to like them. They hold tension remarkably well and they move very little. I usually cut strings out after they lose too much tension and playability. I have kept these strings in much longer than usual.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Prince Triple Threat Bandit OS strung at 55 pounds CP (Luxilon Alu Power 16)

“Minimal coil memory. The stiff mains and soft crosses create a crisp feel with a high comfort level. Spin comes very easily. Serves are deadly accurate. Great choice for hard hitters and spin masters.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Dunlop M Fil 200 strung at 57 pounds CP (Babolat Pro Hurricane/Gamma Synthetic Gut 17/16)

“This is the best hybrid I’ve tested. Playability and control are truly superior. Along with good tension maintenance and minimal string movement, this string has just the right amount of spin, power, touch, and comfort.” 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson nSix One (68 Holes) strung at 45/50 pounds LO (Head FiberGel 16)

“The mains and crosses compliment each other. The crosses add comfort to this very solid feeling hybrid.” 4.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Boris Becker Becker 11 (325g) strung at 53/58 pounds CP (Gamma Asterisk 17)

“Finally, a poly hybrid I really like. Great playability with a truly solid feel. And power too! 50 hours on the same string. This is a record for me. No noticeable tension loss.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Wilson nPS strung at 62 pounds CP (Tecnifibre NRG2 17)

“This string has a great combination of comfort and power. The cross strings hold up surprisingly well over time. String movement is very minimal.” 5.0 male all-court player using Prince Tour Diablo MP strung at 64 pounds CP (Polyester 18)

“This string starts with a stiff feel. After a few hours it breaks in very nicely. It is a very arm friendly hybrid.” 4.5 male all-court player using Yonex RDS 001 strung at 51/54 pounds CP (Topspin Cyber Flash 17)

“This combination does not have the usual polyester tension loss. Consequently, the string bed does not soften up after a few hours. I would recommend reducing the tension more than the recommend 5-10%.” 4.5 male touch player using Wilson KFour strung at 52/57 pounds CP (Polyester 16)

“This string has a wonderfully crisp feel. It has very good control and spin. The comfort is above average for the breed. Power is on the low side, thus adding to the control.” 5.0 male all-court player using Head Liquidmetal Radical OS strung at 55 pounds CP (Head FXP 16)

“This string has excellent control. It has a comfortably firm feel with remarkable playability. This is recommended to players who prefer a crisp control string.” 5.0 male serve-and-volleyer using Yonex RQIS 1 Tour strung at 58 pounds CP (Luxilon Alu Power Spin 17)

“This is a crisp hybrid with good durability. Tension maintenance is surprisingly impressive. Big hitters looking for a solid feel and lively response will like this string. Players with compact strokes might have a little trouble executing touch shots.” 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson KPro Open strung at 60 pounds CP (Gamma Revelation 17)

“Mildly difficult to string in a midsize frame with a dense pattern. Impressive playability. This hybrid will bring out the big hitter in you. You can swing away with impunity. Given the breed, I am very surprised by the comfort.” 5.0 male all-court player using Head Flexpoint Prestige Mid strung at 55/50 pounds CP (Head FXP 17)

“This is the perfect string for big hitters. Because I don’t have to worry about hitting long, I find myself engaging in some aggressive targeting. Though the string bed is a little harsh at times, I would definitely use this hybrid. Tension loss is minimal, especially when compared to other polyester hybrids.” 5.5 male all-court player using Völkl Tour 10 V Engine MP strung at 60/65 pounds CP (Polyester/Nylon Multifilament 16)

“This hybrid has very little string movement and tons of bite. Tension loss is negligible. Big hitters, especially those who use heavy topspin, will love this sting.” 4.0 male all-court player using Dunlop M-Fil 300 strung at 68 pounds CP (Wilson Sensation/Prince Synthetic Gut w/Duraflex 17/18)

“This hybrid’s playability makes it a bit better than others in its class.” 4.5 male all-court player using Babolat Pure Storm strung at 50 pounds LO (Pro Supex Blue Gear 17)

“This is a powerful hybrid. Very easy to keep my opponent behind the baseline. The bite is great and the feel is solid and comfortable.” 3.5 male all-court player using Wilson nPro strung at 52/56 pounds LO (Wilson NXT 17)

“Ground strokes and serves lack power. Full swings are required to achieve penetrating depth. Control is adequate and spin comes easily. The string broke in the sweet spot at the 9 hour mark.” 4.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Head MicroGEL Prestige Pro strung at 56/54 pounds CP (Gosen Polylon SP 17)

“This is a decent hybrid. Control is excellent. Long, fast swings from the baseline produce great results. I find myself taking very big cuts at the ball without having to worry about the ball sailing long.” 5.5 male all-court player using Prince O3 White MP strung at 54 pounds LO (Wilson Sensation 16)

“I typically find hybrids to be harsh and underpowered. This one is quite comfortable, and it definitely has power when needed.” 4.5 male all-court player using Head Flexpoint Radical MP strung at 56 pounds CP (Prince Synthetic Gut w/Duraflex 16)

“Overall this hybrid plays well. The softer crosses add comfort and touch. This combination does not have a lot of rebound energy, making for a somewhat dead feel.” 6.0 male all-court player using Wilson nTour Two strung at 55 pounds CP (Wilson NXT 17)

“Durability and tension maintenance are good. The feedback is a little too harsh.” 5.0 male all-court player using Head Liquidmetal 4 strung at 55 pounds LO (Luxilon Original/Tecnifibre NRG2 16)

“Durability and ease of installation are strong suits. There is some string movement, but it does not lead to premature breakage. This combination was not powerful enough for my game, and the spin potential is less than other hybrids I’ve used.” 5.5 male all-court player using Head MicroGEL Prestige Pro MP strung at 55/57 pounds CP (Head Ultra Tour 16)

“Compared to most polyester strings, the installation is easy. The control and spin are above average. The crosses tend to move a bit.” 5.0 male all-court player using Wilson KSix One (68 Holes) strung at 51/57 pounds LO (Luxilon Alu Power/K Gut Pro 16L/16)

“The durability and tension maintenance are good, but the polyester diminishes the touch, comfort, and playability. For players who prefer soft strings, I would recommend putting the polyester in the crosses or reducing the tension.” 4.5 male all-court player using Prince OZone Seven strung at 55/60 pounds LO (Babolat Conquest 16)

(Nylon mains)

“This is a very user friendly hybrid. I would recommend this to a wide range of players, not just hard hitters and string breakers. Excellent comfort and control. Touch artists will not be disappointed.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Prince Triple Threat Hornet OS strung at 62 pounds CP (Wilson NXT 16)

“This combination makes for crisp volleys. The liveliness makes it easy to punch the ball into the back court. The responsiveness on slice serves is excellent.” 6.0 male serve-and-volleyer using Prince O3 Speedport Black (Hole Inserts) strung at 62 pounds CP (Prince Sweet Perfection 17)

“I’ve always found hybrids too stiff and powerless. It never occurred to me to put the polyester in the crosses. This hybrid provides the control advantages of a polyester set up, but it lacks the harsh feedback and dead response. Putting the poly in the mains seems to add whole new levels of comfort and power. Perhaps this manufacturer is on to something.” 3.0 male all-court player using Head MicroGEL Radical OS strung at 54/50 pounds LO (Wilson Sensation 16)

“This hybrid renews my interest in stiff strings. Though this is obviously a control string, I cannot get over the high level of power.” 5.5 male all-court player using Wilson KPro Open strung at 54 pounds LO (Wilson Sensation 16)

“This combination has the perfect mix of power, control, and feel. This is the first hybrid I truly enjoy. I would recommend this string very highly.” 5.0 male all-court player using Head MicroGEL Extreme Pro strung at 54/51 pounds CP (Klip Legend 16)

“Putting the poly in the crosses makes this a very comfy combo. There is definitely a nice cupping effect. Unlike many hybrids, this string has excellent power and touch. My kick serve and topspin forehand have more action.” 5.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Wilson nBlade strung at 55/52 pounds CP (Tecnifibre Red Code 16)

“Initially, this hybrid feels stiff and powerless. After a few hours, they feel great. Excellent spin and touch. Control and comfort are impressive.” 4.0 male all-court player using Head MicroGEL Radical Pro MP strung at 63/57 pounds CP (Head Intellitour 17)

“This hybrid has better playability and control than anything I’ve tried. The comfort and touch are outstanding.” 4.0 male all-court player using Head Metallix 6 strung at 52/46 pounds CP (Gamma Zo True 18)

“This string has a very nice combination of control, comfort, and feel. I’m surprised how well it played, considering the polyester crosses.” 5.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Babolat Pure Storm strung at 60/55 pounds LO (Luxilon Timo/Babolat Xcel Premium 18/17)

“During the first few hours, the string bed feels stiff and lacks power. After that, the string bed comes to life with the perfect combination of power and control. This hybrid is easily one of the best I’ve tried. Though I have a large and complete inventory of strings, I will make room for this one.” 3.5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Prince Thunder Rip OS strung at 62 pounds LO (Unique Big Hitter Blue 17)

“This string has great spin and a lively response. After the tension loss, however, it becomes harder to generate power. It has a nice combination of comfort and durability.” 5.0 female all-court player using Prince O3 Speedport Black (Hole Inserts) strung at 60 pounds CP (Gamma Professional 63)

“This is a powerful combination with tremendous bite. Though it is a tad stiff on touch shots, it should still be considered an arm friendly hybrid. It has very noticeable pop on serves and volleys. This is one of the better all-around hybrids I’ve tried.” 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson n5 Force strung at 63 pounds CP (Wilson Sensation 16)

“The string has a surprising mix of playability and durability. String movement is minimal. This is a very comfortable hybrid with great feel.” 4.5 male all-court player using Head Flexpoint Radical OS strung at 55 pounds LO (Gamma TNT2 17)

“This hybrid holds tension better than most of its peers. The mains and crosses compliment each other nicely. Off center hits have very little shock.” 5.0 male all-court player using Prince O3 White MP strung at 62 pounds CP (Prince Lightening XX 16)

“Despite being strung at the low end of the tension range, this hybrid starts pretty stiff and powerless. After it breaks in, the playability increases measurably.” 4.0 male all-court player using Tecnifibre T Fight 335 (16x20) strung at 58/53 pounds LO (Tecnifibre Synthetic Gut 17)

“This combination has just the right amount of power and control. Unlike most polyesters I’ve tried, this one does not hurt my elbow. It is recommended to players who want the positive aspects of a control string without the typical increase in tendon shock.” 5.0 male all-court player using Wilson nSix-One (68 Holes) strung at 60/54 pounds LO (Wilson Sensation 16)

“This hybrid seems designed for players who make their own power. Comfort is higher than normal and the bite is exceptional.” 4.5 male serve-and-volleyer using Völkl DNX 10 Mid strung at 54 pounds CP (Natural Gut 17)

“Pre-stretching is advised to counter the coil memory and diminish the initial tension loss. For a hybrid, this is very comfortable.” 4.5 male serve-and-volleyer using Wilson KSix One (68 Holes) strung at 56 pounds LO (Wilson NXT Tour 17)

“Control and tension maintenance are excellent. As a soft string user, I am not accustomed to the stiff feel of hybrids. Thankfully, this one is not as stiff as most of the ones I’ve tried.” 4.0 male all-court player using Wilson KPro Tour strung at 54/45 pounds LO (Wilson NXT 16)

“The feel is amazing. This string handles touch shots much better than you would expect. Putting the polyester in the crosses creates a whole new feel. You get the control advantages of polyester in a comfortable package.” 5.0 male all-court player using Head Liquidmetal 1 strung at 61 pounds CP (Tecnifibre NRG2 16)

“I’ve never tried polyester in the crosses. It seems to create a whole new hybrid experience. There is more comfort and touch. I still prefer nylon multifilaments, but my interest has been sufficiently piqued.” 3.5 male all-court player using Prince O3 Hybrid Tour (16x18) strung at 58/52 pounds LO (Wilson NXT 17)

“The polyester crosses add some major control. The sweet spot seems larger with the nylon mains. Off center volleys are lively and comfortable.” 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson KPro Open strung at 62/57 pounds LO (Babolat Superfine Play 17)

“This hybrid has more power than most that I have tried. The comfort is also impressive.” 5.0 male all-court player using Prince 03 White MP strung at 61/58 pounds CP (Gamma Power Play 18)

“Big hitters are advised to put the polyester in the mains. Otherwise, there is not enough spin and control.” 4.5 male all-court player using Head Metallix 2 strung at 61 pounds CP (Gamma Synthetic Gut 17)

“This string has great playability. Tension loss is felt fairly quickly. The strings begin to notch after about 4 hours.” 4.0 male all-court player using Fischer Pro No. One FT strung at 62 pounds CP (Gamma Zo Power 16)

“This hybrid plays better after the initial tension loss. It has low power and excellent control. Touch shots are harder to execute.” 4.0 male baseliner with moderate spin using Prince O3 Blue strung at 65 pounds LO (Gamma TNT2 17)

“I do not prefer the feel of polyester strings, but I do appreciate the increased control of this hybrid. I would recommend this to big hitters and string breakers.” 4.5 female all-court player using Prince O3 Speedport Silver strung at 63/60 pounds LO (Nylon Multifilament 17)

“This string has good bite and control. The mains broke after 6 hours. String breakers are advised to install the polyester in the mains.” 5.0 male all-court player using Wilson Pro Staff 6.0 Original MP strung at 55/50 pounds CP (Luxilon Alu Power 16L)

“The strings do not move, but there is excessive notching, leading to premature breakage.” 4.0 male all-court player using Wilson Sledge Hammer 3.8 strung at 64 pounds CP (Gamma Live Wire 16)

“The poly crosses made for some difficult knots. Initially, the combination is very lively. After a while, however, the string bed feels dead. The high durability and lack of string movement make this a good choice for big hitters and string breakers.” 4.0 male all-court player using Völkl DNX 3 strung at 55/50 pounds CP (Babolat VS Touch 16)

“Tension loss is pronounced, thus compromising touch and feel. For those who prefer a crisp string bed, I recommend higher tensions.” 5.0 male serve-and-volleyer using Prince O3 Speedport Pro White MP strung at 58 pounds LO (Wilson NXT Tour 17)

“The feel is too stiff for me. I find myself swinging tentatively and spraying too many balls. Perhaps it would work better for more advanced players.” 4.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Head Liquidmetal 4 strung at 56 pounds LO (Tecnifibre NRG2 17)

“This hybrid is too stiff.” 4.0 male all-court player using Babolat Pure Drive + strung at 61/55 pounds LO (Babolat VS Touch/Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour 17/17)

“Feel and durability are negated when the polyester is used in the crosses. I am not particularly impressed by this hybrid. It loses resiliency quickly and feels dead after 8 hours. I’d like to try the polyester in the mains.” 4.0 male all-court player using Gamma Air Carbon 3.0 OS strung at 60 pounds LO (Gamma TNT2 16)

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

Playtester ratings

EASE OF STRINGING
(compared to other strings)
Poly M’s Nylon M’s
Number of testers who said it was:
much easier 4 2
somewhat easier 3 5
about as easy 25 20
not quite as easy 3 6
not nearly as easy 0 1
OVERALL PLAYABILITY
(compared to string played most often)
Number of testers who said it was:
much better 1 1
somewhat better 10 6
about as playable 11 11
not quite as playable 12 13
not nearly as playable 1 3
OVERALL DURABILITY
(compared to other strings of similar gauge)
Number of testers who said it was:
much better 5 3
somewhat better 13 15
about as durable 16 10
not quite as durable 0 6
not nearly as durable 1 0
RATING AVERAGES
From 1 to 5 (best)
Playability 3.4 3.3
Durability (20th overall) 4.2 3.9
Power 3.4 3.4
Control (7th overall) 3.8 3.7
Comfort 3.1 3.3
Touch/Feel 3.1 3.1
Spin Potential (6th overall) 3.6 3.2
Holding Tension (12th overall) 3.7 3.3
Resistance to Movement 3.9 3.7

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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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