Tennis Industry magazine

 

Playtest: Luxilon Adrenaline 16L

By Greg Raven

The Adrenaline line of strings uses Luxilon’s new Liquid Crystalline Polymer (LCP) technology. Luxilon does not divulge much information about its proprietary technologies, but it has told us that LCP is a unique combination of raw materials and processing that give the string its unique feel. According to Luxilon, Adrenaline strings provide great spin, durability, and tension maintenance.

Luxilon Adrenaline

Adrenaline is aimed at younger monofilament/polyester players who are looking for exceptional performance at an exception value. These players would include top juniors, high school players, and college players, as well as anyone else who is taking big swings and wants his string to provide power, precision, and playability.

Adrenaline is available in 1.20, 1.25, and 1.30 mm in platinum only. It is priced from $9.00 for sets of 40 feet, and $135 for 660-foot reels. For more information or to order, contact Luxilon at 800-272-6060, or visit luxilon.com.

In the lab

We tested the 1.25 mm (16L) gauge Adrenaline. The coil measured 40 feet. The diameter measured 1.24-1.23 mm before stringing, and 1.19-1.20 mm after stringing. We recorded a stringbed stiffness of 73 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 67 RDC units, representing an 8 percent stiffness 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. In lab testing, Prince Synthetic Gut Original has a stiffness of 217 and a tension loss of 11.67 pounds, while Luxilon Adrenaline 1.25 has a stiffness of 261 and a tension loss of 19.4 pounds. Adrenaline added 14 grams to the weight of our unstrung frame.

The string was tested for five weeks by 37 USRSA playtesters, with NTRP ratings from 3.5 to 6.0. These are blind tests, with playtesters receiving unmarked strings in unmarked packages. Average number of hours playtested was 25.8.

Luxilon recommends reducing the reference tension by 10 percent compared to a typical nylon string when installing Adrenaline, which is what we advised for the members of our playtest team.

No playtester broke his sample during stringing, 12 reported problems with coil memory, four reported problems tying knots, and two reported friction burn.

On the court

Luxilon strings are renowned for their power, spin, durability, and resistance to movement, and Adrenaline continues with that tradition. Adrenaline came in 13th best of the 145 strings we’ve playtested in the Power category, 18th best (tie) in Spin Potential, and 20th best in Resistance to Movement. Our playtest team also rated Adrenaline well above average for Durability, with a score that puts it in the top ten percent of strings we’ve tested. Adrenaline also received well above average scores in Control and Tension Retention. Adrenaline’s great showing in these six categories give it an overall average score that is well above average.

Two of our playtesters broke the sample during the playtest period, one at four hours and one at 22 hours.

Conclusion

Luxilon’s dominance in the area of “poly” tennis strings is easily established. Whether you’re looking at strings the pros are using, or claims that strings by putative competitors are “just like” Luxilon, Luxilon has become the benchmark for this category of string. Adrenaline looks to extend Luxilon’s reach in the market, appealing to players looking for that Luxilon cache but at a lower price point. With the scores garnered by Adrenaline, you have to wonder what will happen to sales of Luxilon’s higher-priced offerings.

Playtester comments

“Very easy to string for a poly. This is a powerful polyester with great control.” 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson K Pro Team FX strung at 57 pounds LO (nylon monofilament 17)

“This string has outstanding feel and comfort. The excellent control on both long and short strokes makes it unique.” 5.0 male all-court player using Wilson K Tour Team FX strung at 58 pounds LO (Wilson Hollow Core 16)

“The pronounced pocketing of this string provides a great sense of control. The spin is remarkable. It is surprisingly soft and playable for the breed. Best of all, it delivers less shock to my shoulder.” 5.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Prince Graphite EXO3 Graphite strung at 49 pounds CP (Prince Tour 16)

“This plays like a softer version of Luxilon Alu Power. Amazing shock-absorption. Players in search of heavier spin should give this a try. It makes a good slice even better. The feel is crisp and solid.” 5.0 male all-court player using Babolat Pure Drive Team strung at 56 pounds LO (Wilson NXT 16)

“The faster the swing, the better the results. Big hitters will love the spin and control.” 4.0 male all-court player using Wilson nSix Two MP strung at 53 pounds CP (Gosen Polylon SP 17)

“Incredible combination of power, control, durability, and playability. This is a very nice string.” 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson K Blade strung at 57 pounds LO (Polyester/Nylon Multifilament 17/17)

“This string gets better with age. The power is remarkable. It is recommended to string breakers who want more pop.” 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson BLX Pro Open strung at 62 pounds LO (Wilson Sensation 16)

“This poly has a refreshingly low stiffness level. The feel is surprisingly good on a diverse range of strokes. The playability is above average for the breed. The pocketing is excellent.” 4.0 male serve-and-volley player using Wilson nTour strung at 50 pounds LO (Prince Poly EXP 17)

“This is a good all around poly with excellent control and durability.” 6.0 male all-court player using Vantage VT002 White strung at 58 pounds CP (Natural Gut 16)

“The tension holds up very well for a poly. The increased power and spin are unmistakable. I think I found my new string.” 4.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Babolat Aeropro Drive strung at 55 pounds CP (Gosen Polylon 17)

“This string has great feel and spin. There is definitely some added dwell time. You can feel the ball accelerating off the strings. I intend to recommend this string very highly.” 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson K Six.One Tour strung at 60 pounds LO (Luxilon Alu Power Rough 16L)

“This string adds power to my serve. Ground strokes have amazing depth, pop, and control. For a poly, the pocketing is truly exceptional. Very easy on the arm. I need to get another set of this string!” 4.5 male all-court player using Head Youtek Speed MP 70 Holes strung at 54 pounds LO (Prince Hybrid Power EXP 60)

“This is one of the best polys I have ever tested. It is rare event when the feel on hard ground strokes and soft touch shots is equally incredible. This string builds confidence and encourages aggressive targeting.” 5.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Babolat Aeropro Drive strung at 57 pounds CP (Babolat Pro Hurricane Tour 17)

“This string would make a very playable hybrid. It has ample spin, power, and durability.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Pro Kennex Core 1 No. 10 strung at 60 pounds CP (Pacific X Force/Gosen OG-Sheep Micro Super 18/17)

“This is a great control string. Those looking for pop and comfort are advised to lower the tension. Great control on baseline strokes, but feel at net is lacking.” 3.5 male serve-and-volley player using Wilson Hyper Pro Staff 6.1 Stretch strung at 51 pounds CP (Gamma TNT2 Fat Core/Babolat VS Touch 17/16)

“Until trying these strings, I was not a fan of polyester. While the feel is somewhat lacking, the control is amazing.” 5.5 male all-court player using Head Liquidmetal Radical OS strung at 65 pounds CP (Babolat VS Touch 16)

“Surprisingly comfortable, with excellent durability and control. It is recommended to string breakers in search of a more arm friendly option. Still, the touch and feel crowd may not want to give up their natural gut just yet.” 4.5 male all-court player using Pro Kennex Kinetic 7g strung at 60 pounds CP (Prince Lightning XX 16)

“This is an arm friendly polyester with above average touch, feel, and control. Perhaps I should give polyester a second chance.” 5.0 male all-court player using Prince EXO3 White MP strung at 55 pounds CP (Prince Premier LT 16)

“Wow! This is a poly I might actually use. The playability and comfort are surprisingly good. Even at lower tensions, it plays crisp and responsive. The feel on drop shots is excellent for a poly. I normally steer people away from polyester. I might have to revisit that policy.” 4.0 male all-court player using Prince O3 Red MP strung at 48 pounds CP (Gamma TNT2 Pro Plus 17L)

“This is a stiff string which emits a slight “ping” on impact. Playability improves over time. Tension maintenance is excellent. The strings do not move. It would perform best in a hybrid or oversize frame.” 4.5 male all-court player using Head Radical MicroGEL MP strung at 55 pounds LO (Babolat Xcel Premium 16)

“This string is too harsh during the first few hours of play. After a little tension loss, it has great playability, comfort, and control.” 4.5 male all-court player using Babolat Pure Drive GT strung at 53 pounds LO (Pacific Tough Gut 16L)

“Great control on ground strokes and volleys. No trampoline effect. Unlike most polys, the comfort is high. Like most polys, this string loses tension pretty quickly.” 3.5 male all-court player using Pro Kennex Graphite Acclaim strung at 54 pounds CP (Prince Synthetic Gut Original 16)

“This string plays softer than a typical poly.” 4.0 male all-court player using Head Prestige Classic strung at 58 pounds LO (Gamma Professional 18)

“Great playability and depth control. The energy return is remarkable. For a stiff string, the ball really jumps off the strings. I’m not sure where the power comes from, but it’s definitely in there somewhere.” 3.5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Prince O3 Silver strung at 55 pounds CP (Luxilon Original Rough 16)

“This poly has the power of a multifilament nylon, but the feel is slightly lacking.” 5.5 male all-court player using Wilson K tour strung at 55 pounds CP (Wilson Extreme Synthetic Gut 16)

“You can tell that this is a high end polyester. The extra power is noticeable from the first hit. The control is as good as it gets. It has a quiet and comfortable response. The feeling is solid. As with most polys, there is some tension loss. On balance, it has fewer negatives than the competition.” 5.0 male serve-and-volley player using Volkl DNX V1 OS strung at 42 pounds LO (Gamma Zo Tour 16)

“This is stiff string with surprising power. The shock on off-center hits leads to some control problems. Great power on serves. This string breathes new life into my topspin.” 4.0 male all-court player using Babolat Aeropro Drive Cortext strung at 70 pounds LO (Gamma TNT2 16)

“This string gets more playable over time. Ultimately, though, I think its native stiffness makes it better suited for a hybrid.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Head i.X6 OS strung at 60 pounds LO (Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 17)

“This string gets the job done, but it doesn’t quite measure up to the top polyesters on the market.” 5.0 male serve-and-volley player using Tecnifibre T-Flash 315 SpeedFlex strung at 56 pounds CP (Tecnifibre Black Code 18)

“As a soft string user, I prefer a more playable string. Advanced players with heavy sticks and big strokes will like this string. Novice players may need to drop the tension or add a soft cross.” 4.0 male all-court player using Prince O3 Tour Mid strung at 55 pounds CP (Tecnifibre NRG2 17)

“The power level is on the low side. Durability is excellent. Given the stiff feel, this string would play better in a hybrid.” 5.0 male all-court player using Babolat Pure Storm strung at 55 pounds CP (Babolat Xcel 16)

“The ten percent tension reduction is definitely necessary. This is a solid control string with great spin. It is quite stiff though.” 5.0 male all-court player using Babolat Pure Storm LTD strung at 49 pounds CP (Babolat VS Touch/Polyester 16/17)

“There is definitely some coil memory. Pre-stretching is advised. Knot tying is a challenge. This string plays stiff in the beginning. After a few hours, it settles down nicely. After 20 hours, however, the resiliency starts to waiver.” 3.5 male touch player using Dunlop Aerogel 4D 2 Hundred strung at 59 pounds CP (Tecnifibre NRG2 16)

“This is a powerful polyester with limited feel. Lower tensions are advised.” 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson n5 strung at 57 pounds LO (Wilson NXT 16)

“This string feels too boardy. It lacks sufficient comfort and feel.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Dunlop 200G (Muscle Weave) strung at 58 pounds CP (Prince Synthetic Gut w/Duraflex 17)

“This string is too stiff for my stroke style. As a multifilament user, I require a softer feel and more power.” 5.0 male serve-and-volley player using Prince O3 Hybrid Lite OS strung at 58 pounds LO (Prince Premier LT 16)

“This string was too tight, even with a ten percent tension reduction. My arm could not handle it, so I aborted the test.” 5.5 male serve-and-volley player using Wilson BLX Six.One (68 Holes) strung at 60 pounds LO (Wilson NXT 17)

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

Playtester ratings

EASE OF STRINGING
(compared to other strings)
Number of testers who said it was:
much easier 0
somewhat easier 3
about as easy 19
not quite as easy 12
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 8
about as playable 8
not quite as playable 17
not nearly as playable 3
OVERALL DURABILITY
(compared to other strings of similar gauge)
Number of testers who said it was:
much better 6
somewhat better 19
about as durable 10
not quite as durable 1
not nearly as durable 0
RATING AVERAGES
From 1 to 5 (best)
Playability 3.3
Durability 4.2
Power (13th overall) 3.6
Control 3.7
Comfort 3.1
Touch/Feel 2.9
Spin Potential (18th tie) 3.5
Holding Tension 3.4
Resistance to Movement (20th overall) 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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