Tennis Industry magazine

 

Playtest: Yonex Poly Tour Pro 130

By Greg Raven

Yonex Poly Tour Pro has a monofilament core, which is finished with high polymer polyester. During manufacturing, it is stretched under controlled temperature, making the string more resilient to tension loss, and increasing durability and consistency, while maintaining its energy transfer characteristic. The soft feel of the string makes it comfortable to play with, and reduces vibration levels and duration.

Tour players Maria Kirilenko and Richard Berankis use the Poly Tour Pro 125. Maria commented, “The Poly Tour Pro string allows me to trouble my opponent with extreme spin. It helps me play with great aggression.”

Yonex designed Poly Tour Pro for big hitters with an attacking, aggressive style of play. This includes players looking for a softer-feeling poly that retains tension and has added durability, and those looking for a spin-friendly string that allows them to rip the ball with confidence.

Poly Tour Pro is available in 16 gauge (1.30 mm) and 16L gauge (1.25 mm) in Flash Yellow only. It is priced from $8 for sets of 39 feet, and $100 for 200-meter reels. For more information or to order, contact Yonex at 800-44-YONEX, or visit yonexusa.com. Be sure to read the conclusion for more information about getting a free set to try for yourself.

In the lab

We tested the 16-gauge (1.30 mm) Poly Tour Pro. The coil measured 40 feet. The diameter measured 1.30-1.33 mm prior to stringing, and 1.26-1.27 mm and mm after stringing. We recorded a stringbed stiffness of 76 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 9 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 Yonex Poly Tour Pro 130 has a stiffness of 216 and a tension loss of 20.94 pounds. Poly Tour Pro 130 added 16 grams to the weight of our unstrung frame.

The string was tested for five weeks by 35 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 22.5.

Yonex recommends a 5 to 10% reduction in reference tension compared to nylon string, which is what we recommended to our playtesters.

No playtester broke samples during stringing, eight reported problems with coil memory, three reported problems tying knots, and two reported friction burn.

On the court

The information Yonex sent us on Poly Tour Pro emphasized its durability, and the packaging has “DURABILITY” in black capital letters against a yellow background for maximum durability. Our playtest team didn’t have access to any of this information, but still pegged Poly Tour Pro as a durability string, rating it well above average in the Durability category. They also rated Poly Tour Pro well above average for Resistance to Movement — a traditional strength of poly strings. However, they also rated it well above average for Power and Tension Retention, which are nice attributes for a poly string. Filling out the categories, the playtest team rated Poly Tour Pro above average in every other category, which indicates that it’s a more balanced string than its high durability rating would seem to indicate. The resulting overall rating is also well above average.

Conclusion

The members of our playtest team must really have gotten carried away with how great Yonex Poly Tour Pro 130 is on court, because not one of them even mentioned the great color. They did mention the durability, of course, but they also mentioned the comfort and feel of the Poly Tour Pro, which we don’t always see in playtests of poly strings.

If you think that Yonex Poly Tour Pro might be for you, fill out the coupon to get a free set to try.

Playtester comments

“This is a ‘Top 5’ polyester. It is arm friendly and responsive, with an excellent blend of durability, control, and playability. I would highly recommend this to big hitters and string breakers.” 4.0 male serve-and-volley player using Prince O3 Speedport Pro White MP strung at 63 pounds CP (Wilson Sensation/Prince Synthetic Gut Original 17/18)

“This string does not play like a niche polyester designed exclusively for big hitters. The high power allows for the execution of deep, penetrating shots without the need for unruly head speed. The comfort level is impressive for such a durable string. Maybe it’s finally time to switch to polyester.” 4.5 male all court player using Wilson nPro strung at 52 pounds LO (Babolat Superfine Play 16)

“Power and spin come very easy. This string has a unique feel, almost like a nylon based string, but with more pop and bite.” 4.0 male all court player using Babolat Pure Drive Roddick + GT strung at 57 pounds LO (Solinco Tour Bite 17)

“This poly is packed with playability. The extra dwell time provides a heightened sense of control. The feel is so good that I have to look down after each point to make sure it’s a polyester.” 5.0 male all court player using Yonex V Core strung at 57 pounds CP (Babolat VS Touch/Luxilon Alu Power Rough 16/16L)

“This poly is lively and comfortable from the very first hit. The balance of power and control is perfect. Even touch shots feel good.” 4.0 male all court player using Pro Kennex Kinetic Pro 7g strung at 59 pounds CP (Luxilon Alu Power Rough 16L)

“No break-in required. Excellent control. I will recommend this string to my customers.” 4.5 male all court player using Head Youtek Radical OS strung at 57 pounds LO (Luxilon M2 16)

“Unlike some strings that are too springy, this string has excellent playability and control at ultra low tensions.” 4.0 male all court player using Wilson K Pro Tour strung at 32 pounds CP (Golden Set Hex Poly 18)

“This heavy duty poly has tons of power, playability, and comfort. No need to hybrid.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Dunlop Aerogel 4D 5 Hundred Tour strung at 58 pounds LO (Solinco Tour Bite 16L)

“While I don’t prefer polyester, I can tell this is a high quality string. Poly veterans who want durability and control will not be disappointed.” 4.5 male serve-and-volley player using Head Youtek Extreme MP strung at 56 pounds CP (Gamma TNT2 17)

“This is a powerful polyester with excellent control and comfort.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Wilson nPro strung at 52 pounds LO (Signum Pro Poly Plasma 18)

“This is one of those strings that feels perfect from the first hit. It takes minimal effort to achieve big spin on serves.” 4.0 male all court player using Volkl V1 Classic strung at 53 pounds LO (Wilson Hyperlast Spin 17)

“This is a tendon friendly polyester that feels closer to a nylon string.” 5.0 male all court player using Head MicroGEL Extreme Pro strung at 49 pounds LO (Prince Poly EXP 16)

“Good combination of spin and power. Easy on the arm, wrist, and shoulder.” 5.0 male all court player using Wilson BLX Tour strung at 56 pounds LO (Luxilon Alu Power Rough 16L)

“The increased friction adds time to cross weaving. Comfort and playability are high for a poly.” 4.5 male all court player using Babolat Pure Storm GT strung at 57 pounds CP (Tecnifibre Pro Red Code/Gamma Synthetic Gut 18/16)

“The soft feel is great for touch volleys. The extra power makes for heavy ground strokes and big serves. The feedback is great, which leads to more control. The break-in time is minimal. Spin is slightly lacking. Higher swing speeds create the best results.” 4.5 male all court player using Wilson Hyper Hammer 5.3 Stretch MP strung at 53 pounds CP (Gamma Zo Twist 20)

“Great playability ‘right out of the box.’ There is definitely a little extra power. The bite is amazing for such a comfortable string.” 4.5 male all court player using Wilson Kobra Tour strung at pounds CP (Wilson Hollow Core Pro 16)

“After the first session, the lifeless response is replaced by a nice combination of playability, comfort, and control. Touch at net is very good.” 4.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Head Youtek Radical MP strung at 56 pounds (Gosen Polyquest 17)

“Very easy installation for a poly. Quite possibly the stiffest polyester I’ve tried. The high stiffness level provides tremendous bite with a somewhat harsh feel.” 4.0 male all court player using Wilson K Pro Open strung at 53 pounds CP (Gosen OG Sheep Micro/Luxilon Alu Power 17/17)

“This is recommended to polyester users in search of heavier spin and better tension maintenance.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Babolat Pure Drive Roddick strung at 57 pounds LO (Luxilon Alu Power Fluoro 17)

“This is an arm friendly poly with plenty of pop. The feel at net is lacking. Control on ground strokes is excellent. Playability does not waiver over time.” 4.5 male serve-and-volley player using Head Youtek Radical MP strung at 53 pounds CP (Gamma Asterisk Tour 17)

“This string holds up very well. Tension loss is minimal. The power and playability are excellent, but the feel is only fair. Bite is definitely above average.” 6.0 male all court player using Wilson BLX Tour strung at 53 pounds CP (Babolat RPM Blast 16)

“The extra spin gives my opponent fits.” 4.5 male all court player using Wilson nTour strung at 55 pounds CP (Nylon/Polyester 16/16)

“Good durability and control. The feel is impressive. This is worth stocking.” 4.5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Head Youtek Radical MP strung at 56 pounds CP (Isospeed Professional 17)

“Lower tensions yield comfort and playability. Plays a bit boardy at first, but eventually settles in.” 4.5 male all court player using Babolat Pure Drive Roddick strung at 55 pounds CP (Solinco Tour Bite 18)

“The feel is unusual. This string plays like a mix of polyester, kevlar, and nylon. The control and spin are average at best.” 5.0 male all court player using Head Flexpoint Radical MP strung at 55 pounds CP (Polyester 16)

“Durability and tension maintenance are excellent, but feel, power, spin, and comfort are lacking.” 5.0 male all court player using Babolat Pure Drive Cortex strung at 58 pounds CP (Luxilon Alu Power 16L)

“This polyester has a soft response. Feel and touch are excellent, but tension maintenance is lacking.” 5.0 male all court player using Volkl Power Bridge 8 (315g) strung at 60 pounds CP (Tecnifibre Black Code 17)

“While tension maintenance, durability, and resistance to movement are excellent, my socks failed to be knocked off. This string would work nicely in a hybrid.” 5.0 male all court player using Wilson BLX Tour strung at 50 pounds CP (Babolat VS Team 17)

“This string might be playable in a hybrid, but it is too stiff as a full set-up.” 4.0 male using Wilson BLX Six One Team strung at 54 pounds LO (Wilson NXT 16)

“The power is on the low side. Non-poly players should consider lowering the tension.” 4.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Babolat Aero Storm GT strung at 52 pounds LO (Babolat N.vy 16)

“Playability improves slightly after a short break-in period. Pocketing is minimal compared to my nylon multifilament. Control, spin, and power are average.” 4.5 male all court player using Prince EXO3 Rebel (port inserts) strung at 56 pounds LO (Prince Synthetic Gut Multifilament 17)

“While this string is definitely harsher than my nylon multifilament, the comfort does improve with age.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Boris Becker Legend strung at 56 pounds CP (Gamma Professional 17)

“Power is high for the breed. The response is springy. The absence of feel and touch, however, makes a number of shots challenging.” 5.0 male all court player using Wilson BLX Six One (76 Holes) strung at 62 pounds LO (Wilson Hollow Core 16)

“During the first several hours the string feels comfortable with a surprising blend of power, feel, and control. By the sixth hour the string starts to lose feel and spin. By the eighth hour the string feels harsh and more effort is required for basic stroke production.” 5.0 male all court player using Yonex RDS 002 Tour strung at 50/47 pounds CP (Tecnifibre X One Biphase 17)

“This string lacks the ‘poly tradeoff.’ The overly stiff response does not yield any additional control or spin.” 3.5 male all court player using Wilson K Blade strung at 51 pounds CP (Solinco Tour Bite 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 7
about as easy 18
not quite as easy 9
not nearly as easy 1
OVERALL PLAYABILITY
(compared to string played most often)
Number of testers who said it was:
much better 1
somewhat better 6
about as playable 12
not quite as playable 11
not nearly as playable 5
OVERALL DURABILITY
(compared to other strings of similar gauge)
Number of testers who said it was:
much better 8
somewhat better 13
about as durable 12
not quite as durable 2
not nearly as durable 0
RATING AVERAGES
From 1 to 5 (best)
Playability 3.2
Durability 4.1
Power 3.4
Control 3.5
Comfort 3.1
Touch/Feel 3.1
Spin Potential 3.3
Holding Tension 3.4
Resistance to Movement 3.7

See all articles by

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.

 

Babolat Play

TI magazine search

TI magazine categories


TI magazine archives


 
 

Movable Type Development by PRO IT Service