Playtest: Genesis Typhoon 16L
By Greg Raven
Genesis Typhoon is a five-sided monofilament poly. It is made from a proprietary composite formula of high-tech polyester resin combined with new performance- enhancing chemical additives and aluminum fibers. Genesis tells us that after extruding Typhoon, it applies several heating and cooling stages. Typhoon is then additionally twisted axially for maximum bite. A coating of Teflon increases the liveliness and offers a nice crisp stringbed.
Genesis Typhoon is recommended to the competitive and professional players who demand the absolute highest levels power, spin, feel, and control. Over 30 colleges are now playing with Genesis string including 2-time defending NCAA national champion USC, University of San Diego, Texas A & M, Portland State University, George Washington University, and many more. Genesis strings are now being distributed through many countries including USA, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Japan, South Korea, and Australia. Genesis believes that Typhoon’s price/performance ratio is unmatched in today’s market.
Typhoon is available in 16L (1.26 mm) in Battleship Gray and Twilight Blue. It is priced from $9.90 for sets of 40 feet, and $118.90 for reels of 660 feet. For more information or to order, contact Genesis at 888-750-1011, or visit genesis-tennis.com.
In the lab
We tested the 16L gauge Typhoon. The coil measured 40 feet. The diameter measured 1.25-1.29 mm before stringing, and 1.22-1.24 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 x 18 pattern) on a constant-pull machine.
After 24 hours (no playing), stringbed stiffness measured 67 RDC units, representing a 8 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. In lab testing, Prince Synthetic Gut Original has a stiffness of 217 and a tension loss of 11.67 pounds, while Genesis Typhoon 16L has a stiffness of 237 and a tension loss of 20.64 pounds. Typhoon added 15 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 27.8.
Genesis Typhoon feels thin for a 16L string, and there is no question about it having a polygonal cross-section — or about it being twisted during the manufacturing process — when you see it. Typhoon has what might be called “coil memory,” even though its tendency is that it wants to be straight, rather than coiled. Typhoon glides nicely for a twisted, polygonal string, whether you’re pulling the crosses across the mains, feeding it through an angled grommet, or cinching up a knot.
No playtester broke his sample during stringing, 10 reported problems with coil memory, one reported problems tying knots, and three reported friction burn.
On the court
Our playtesters forgave any issues with stringing Typhoon once they hit the court, ranking it 10th overall of the 147 strings we’ve playtested for publication for Spin Potential, and well above average for Durability, Resistance to Movement, Tension Retention, and Power. As a result, Genesis Typhoon’s overall average score was also well above average. Because Genesis recommends Typhoon for competitive and professional players, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that playtesters with NTRPs of 4.5 and above and/or playtesters who normally use polyester strings gave Typhoon higher marks than the rest of the playtest team.
When playtesting a poly, you expect the playtest team to comment favorably on the string’s spin, resistance to movement, and durability. You don’t expect raves about the feel and touch, yet that’s exactly what several of our playtesters did. With the publicity about poly strings these days, tennis players of every age, shape, and description are considering trying them. According to our playtest team, Genesis Typhoon is one you could recommend even in cases where there could be issues with arm sensitivity.
Another one of Genesis Typhoon’s strengths is its tension maintenance. In our 24-hour stringbed test, it lost less tension than our benchmark nylon string, and several of our playtesters praised this characteristic.
“The feel is outstanding.” 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson K Six One (68 Holes) strung at 55 pounds LO (Wilson Hollow Core Pro 17)
“This is a responsive string with an excellent feel.” 5.0 male all-court player using Prince EXO3 Black (port inserts) strung at 58 pounds CP (Prince Premier LT 16)
“The texture enhances bite. This string has some serious spin potential.” 4.0 female all-court player using Prince O3 Tour MS strung at 58 pounds CP (Tecnifibre NRG2 16)
“Typically, I do not prefer a full poly setup. However, this string has surprising levels comfort, power, and touch. My strategy of using a lower tension really paid off.” 5.0 male all-court player using Babolat Pure Storm LTD GT strung at 53 pounds CP (Natural Gut 16)
“This is a great option for hard hitters. No shortage of bite.” 3.5 male all-court player using Pro Kennex Graphite Acclaim strung at 57 pounds CP (Wilson Natural Gut 17)
“Typically, durability, and control come at the expense of feel, touch, and comfort. Not so this string. In summary: Wow!” 5.5 male all-court player using Wilson K Six One Tour strung at pounds CP (Luxilon Alu Power Rough 16L)
“This is is one of the best polyesters I’ve tried. The shape separates it from the pack.” 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson nPro strung at 55 pounds LO (Wilson NXT 16)
“I’m willing to overlook the high coil memory: This string is worth the trouble. It has great pop on serves, surgical control on volleys, and heavy spin from the baseline. I’m hooked.” 3.5 male serve-and-volley player using Wilson Hyper Pro Staff 6.1 Stretch strung at 57 pounds CP (Babolat Tonic + 15L)
“Excellent comfort, feel, and pop for a poly. The extra dwell time imparts a heightened sense of control, which leads to higher pace and more aggressive targeting. Very arm friendly.” 4.5 male serve-and-volley player using Prince O3 Hybrid Hornet OS strung at 60 pounds LO (Prince Premier LT 16)
“Excellent tension maintenance, spin, and control. Very little string movement. Surprisingly good touch.” 4.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Babolat AeroPro Drive strung at 55 pounds CP (Genesis Spin X 17)
“This string has amazing feel and control at low tensions. Big swings have very predictable results. The spin is explosive. The high comfort level makes this a great option for people who want to try polyester for the first time.” 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson K Blade strung at 52 pounds LO (Babolat Superfine Play 17)
“This string has an impressive mix of power, spin, comfort, and control.” 4.0 male all-court player using Pro Kennex Core 1 No. 10 strung at 65 pounds CP (Pacific X Force/Gosen OG-Sheep Micro Super 18/17)
“This string has a crisp response with the perfect amount of feel and comfort. Control is excellent.” 4.5 male all-court player using Pro Kennex Kinetic 7g strung at 60 pounds CP (Prince Lightning XX 16)
“Given the string’s stiffness during installation, I was very surprised by the comfort and playability on court. This is a very responsive string that encourages big, confident strokes.” 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson K Pro Staff strung at 58 pounds LO (Luxilon Alu Power Rough 16L)
“This polyester has the best feel of any I’ve tried — and I’ve tried more than I can count. The combination of comfort, control, and tension maintenance is truly rare. The added confidence increases my service speed. Kicks and slices are, without question, more severe. After a few games, my opponents, awash in mishits, have the look of the damned.” 4.5 male all-court player using Babolat AeroPro Drive GT strung at 54/51 pounds LO (MSV Focus-EVO 16)
“This is an arm friendly polyester. Recommended to hard hitters looking for a control string with that rare combination of durability and comfort.” 5.0 male all-court player using Babolat Pure Drive Team strung at 60 pounds LO (Wilson NXT 16)
“Tension maintenance, power, and resistance to movement are above average. The slight texture does not increase spin.” 4.0 male all-court player using Babolat AeroPro Drive Cortex strung at 56 pounds LO (Gamma TNT2 16)
“This string packs a little extra bite. Durability is excellent.” 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson K Blade strung at 56 pounds LO (Luxilon Adrenaline 17)
“Great spin and tension maintenance, but it’s definitely on the stiff side.” 5.0 male serve-and-volley player using Tecnifibre T Flash 315 VO2 Max strung at 56 pounds CP (Tecnifibre Black Code/Babolat VS Touch 18/16)
“The spin, control, and durability are impressive. A comfortable cross would be the perfect compliment to this string.” 4.0 male all-court player using Wilson nTour 95 strung at 55 pounds LO (Prince Poly EXP 17)
“This is an average poly which plays better after the initial tension loss. Big hitters will enjoy the control.” 5.0 male serve-and-volley player using Volkl DNX V1 MP strung at 42 pounds LO (Gamma Zo Tour 17)
“Excellent durability and resistance to movement. This is a good all-around polyester. The power, spin, and comfort are serviceable.” 4.0 male all-court player using Wilson nSix Two MP strung at 53 pounds LO (Gosen Polylon SP 17)
“The coil memory makes installation a little challenging. This polyester has decent control and power from the back court. Baseline bombers will appreciate it, but the average club player will need more playability and touch.” 4.0 male all-court player using Prince O3 Red MP strung at 48 pounds CP (Gamma TNT2 Pro Plus 17L)
“Spin is easy to generate. Those who find the sweet spot will be rewarded with power and control. Off center shots have a very ‘boardy’ feel with much less control.” 5.5 male all-court player using Head Liquidmetal Radical OS strung at 65 pounds CP (Babolat VS Touch 16)
“These strings play very lively in the beginning. The spin is excellent. After 5 hours, the resilience and feel start to go south.” 5.5 male serve-and-volley player using Wilson BLX Six One Tour (68 Holes) strung at 60 pounds LO (Wilson NXT 17)
“I’m not a big fan of polyester, but I really like the spin potential of this string.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Dunlop 200G (Muscle Weave) strung at 65 pounds CP (Prince Synthetic Gut w/Duraflex 17)
“Heavy spin and decent power. Feel on touch shots is lacking.” 5.0 male serve-and-volley player using Prince EXO3 Hybrid strung at 63 pounds LO (Prince Premier LT 16)
“Great for string breakers and hard hitters. If you’re looking for comfort and power, however, there are better options in the co-poly universe.” 6.0 male all-court player using Vantage VT002 Black strung at 56 pounds CP (Natural Gut 16)
“This string has a low energy return. Those looking for a livelier feel are advised to try a hybrid.” 5.0 male all-court player using Wilson K Tour Team FX strung at 60 pounds LO (Wilson Hollow Core 16)
“Less spin than anticipated. Decent comfort and power.” 3.5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Prince O3 Silver strung at 60 pounds CP (Luxilon Original Rough 16)
“This string plays remarkably well in the beginning. After 4 hours I thought I had found my new string. Over time, however, resilience and playability go the way of the dodo.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Wilson n1 strung at 60 pounds (Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 16)
“This is a very durable string with excellent tension maintenance and low string movement. Impact is accompanied by a loud ping. Players in search of feel and comfort are advised to lower the tension or go with a hybrid.” 4.5 male all-court player using Head Radical MicroGel MP strung at 58 pounds LO (Babolat Xcel Premium 16)
“The durability is excellent, but playability is only so-so. This string would probably work better in a hybrid.” 4.0 male all-court player using Head Prestige Classic strung at 48 pounds LO (Gamma Professional 18)
“This string lacks the ‘wow’ factor.” 4.5 male all-court player using Wilson BLX Pro Open strung at 62 pounds LO (Wilson Sensation 16)
“Durability is great, but the feel is sub-par.” 5.5 male all-court player using Wilson BLX Tour strung at 55 pounds CP (Wilson Extreme Synthetic Gut 16)
“After a few hours, the stringbed starts to feel dead. Predictably, this is accompanied by a decrease in spin, power, and playability.” 5.0 male all-court player using Babolat Pure Storm strung at 60 pounds CP (Babolat Xcel 16)
(Strings normally used by testers are indicated in parentheses.)
EASE OF STRINGING
(compared to other strings)
|Number of testers who said it was:|
|about as easy||21|
|not quite as easy||10|
|not nearly as easy||4|
(compared to string played most often)
|Number of testers who said it was:|
|about as playable||13|
|not quite as playable||15|
|not nearly as playable||5|
(compared to other strings of similar gauge)
|Number of testers who said it was:|
|about as durable||12|
|not quite as durable||1|
|not nearly as durable||1|
|From 1 to 5 (best)|
|Spin Potential (10th best)||3.6|
|Resistance to Movement||3.8|
See all articles by Greg Raven
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or through Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. He plays tennis five days a week, and is turning into an avid cyclist.