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Our Top 5 Favourite Tennis Strings

It was about time we made some string content, and we’re starting big by rounding up our five favorite tennis strings right now.
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So when I say “our” five favourite strings, I’m not actually talking about more than one person. Of course, we have many tennis players at the store, but I figured for this article, we would discuss some of my favorite strings as I’ve spent the last couple of years rigorously playtesting just about everything that’s come out.

There have certainly been massive developments in the string game, especially on the polyester side, and I think at least one of these five setups should work for any 3.5+ player.

Of course, this top 5 will be heavily based on personal preference, and I’ll run through what I tend to like in a string in a bit, but you’ll notice that this list won’t have any multifilaments or synthetic guts. While both those strings serve an important purpose, they don’t work for my game, and that’s why they’re not here. Perhaps in a future article, we could discuss multis and syn guts, but for now, check out this article if you want to learn more about the differences between strings.

Before we get into any specific strings I am going to quickly discuss some of the things I like in a string and some of the qualities I don’t like so much.

Much like it is with rackets, I’m a sucker for good feel – it’s the number one thing I look for in a string; if it’s dead or mushy, I tend to stay away.

I also dislike the feeling of “stickiness” from my strings. I get this most with shaped strings, especially soft, shaped strings, and it’s usually because the strings don’t slide very well on each other.

That’s about it for my preferences – apart from that, I’m not too picky; without further ado, let’s get into number 5.

Toroline Wasabi

Toroline is a recent addition to the store, and what a great one it has been! We’ve received tons of positive feedback, and they’ve become extremely popular with good reason. Every Toroline string is unique and very good in its own right, but it’s Wasabi that has stuck out as my personal favourite so far.

Interestingly enough, it’s one of Toroline’s sharpest and softest polys, and considering what I just said about those two characteristics, it’s pretty surprising that I like it so much, and yet Wasabi has none of that stickiness to it. It’s one of the snappiest and most responsive polyesters on the market right now, and I was quite dumbfounded when I first tested it because, after stringing it up, I was almost sure it would play similarly to the other soft, shaped polys I’d tried.

Hyper-G Soft is an example of a string that I find inconsistent because while its softness and shape make for a ton of bite on the ball, you don’t get the same well-defined snapback as a smoother string.

Somehow, Toroline has combined the best of both worlds: the extended pocketing and bite of a shaped poly and the snapback of a moderately stiff, round string. This is extremely impressive.

My one issue with Wasabi, and the primary reason it’s not higher up on the list, is that it doesn’t have the best feel. It has a slightly plasticky, muted feel on contact, but I also think that’s how they’ve made it so slick. It’s a sacrifice you’ll have to make, and if you can move past that, you’ll have one of the most spin-friendly and technically impressive strings on the market right now.


Luxilon Alu Power

We’re going from one of our newest strings to one of the classics, and I want to make this clear: strings will come and go, hype will follow, but one poly will always be king, and that’s Luxilon ALU Power.

There’s a reason Alu Power is one of the two most popular strings on the pro tour: there’s something almost magical about its playability. Spin and control are obviously great as it’s round, slick, and stiff, but it’s that unique Alu Power feel that makes it so special. There’s no other polyester that provides such positive feedback when you make clean contact – it has this gorgeous, poppy but still extremely controlled response when the ball leaves the string bed.

That sensation is missing on a string like Wasabi, and while there are undoubtedly other polys with good feel, none can quite match that magical sensation that Alu’s had for all these years. While it’s good, it completely eliminates the typical dead polyester feel, but that’s just it—it’s not good for very long.

It’s actually not good for very long at all, and when it goes bad, it falls of a cliff, into a ravine, does a couple of summersaults and then buries its playability deep beneath the earths crust. This short lifespan is why professionals can work with it, but us mere mortals should probably consider something else unless, of course, you have infinitely deep pockets.

Babolat RPM Rough

Babolat RPM Rough has also been around for a while – maybe not quite as long as Alu Power – but it has much less hype surrounding it for some reason.

This string encompasses everything I like in a polyester, and its most outstanding feature is just how ridiculously spin-friendly it is. It may not be shaped, but it produces that much spin because it can create so much snapback. It’s the slicked string I’ve ever playtested, and that’s in large part due to the rough texture.

Compared to its far more popular, non-rough sibling, RPM Blast, it does feel like it’s a notch above in terms of spin potential, but it’s actually the feel that I much prefer on RPM Rough. This is a good time to mention that colour is oddly quite important for string feel; I’ve always found black strings to be quite dead and muted, whereas yellow strings have a nice crisp pop to them. Of course, many players like the dead feel of RPM Blast since that’s what made polyesters so popular in the first place, but I like the livelier feel of Rough, even if it does come at the expense of some control.

The one small issue I have with RPM Rough is that it almost feels artificially spin-friendly. That’s not surprising considering how much spin it can help you generate, but it can sometimes become a bit overpowering. I don’t think it’s the type of string you should put into a super classic racket like the Pro Staff 97 or Prestige Pro because that slick feel can take away from that pure connection to the ball you want with those rackets.

String it up in a spin-friendly frame, and the two will complement each other to perfection. Pure Aero, Vcore, Shift… you really can’t go wrong with any of those.

Head Lynx Tour

Before I talk about Head Lynx Tour, I just want to say that my number one is a bit different from all the others, so if we’re talking about my favourite “normal string,” this takes the cake. Lynx Tour is special because, while I don’t think there’s any one outstanding feature (like spin on RPM Rough or feel on Alu Power), it’s just an incredibly well-rounded string with no significant weaknesses.

It’s a bit like Wasabi in that it’s a shaped string that doesn’t suffer from a drop-off in control or consistency. I find it even more slick and predictable that Wasabi, but it’s Lynx Tour’s crisp ball feel that is on a whole other level compared to the Toroline string. In a way, it’s similar to Alu, where it provides well-defined feedback when the ball exits the string bed – it may not be quite as magical, but it also doesn’t lose playability nearly as fast.

It’s quickly become my go-to playtesting string because its playability is so well-rounded and also because it doesn’t have one outstanding feature; nothing about it will overpower the feel of a frame. Still, it’s by no means “boring,” and because it still has some shape to it, it does add bite on the ball, which is beneficial when you’re playing with a low-launching 18x20, and you want to add some arch to your shot.

Control, feel, spin – you’ve really got it all with Head Lynx Tour, and that’s without even mentioning the gorgeous champagne colour that it comes in.

VS Touch and Alu Power Rough Hybrid

To be honest, making this list wasn’t too difficult. Numbers 2 through 5 did require some thought but a gut and Alu Rough hybrid has been my favourite string setup for years now.

As I mentioned, this setup is a bit unique. All the other strings are full polyesters, which means they play very differently to gut, but they also cost a lot less. Gut isn’t cheap, and the issue is that once you try it, it’s difficult to move away. When you pair it with Alu Power Rough, there are very few drawbacks.

I’ve talked about feel enough at this point, but this really is the holy grail for feel in tennis. Take the crisp feedback I mentioned in the Alu Power and Lynx Tour sections, multiply that by ten, and you have the amazingly plush but also extremely responsive feel of natural gut. You feel every bit of the ball on impact, and the best thing about natural gut is that it always seems to complement the natural feel and flex of the frame, rather than overpowering it the way some polyesters can.

Playing with gut for the first time really was a transcendental experience for someone like me who places such a high value on feel, and honestly whatever technical loss in spin and control you’re supposed to get with this string is extremely negligible. Because you’re so connected to the ball, it feels like you can manipulate it any which way you want, and if you do want more control, string it a little bit higher.

I would still say that it’s important to pair gut with a rough polyester. That’s the best way to marry the power and feel of the gut, with the control and spin you need in the modern game. The rough texture is very important because it slides much better on the gut, and of course, I pick Alu because it also has such good feel that the two strings complement each other very well.

If you do feel that your wallet can handle natural gut until the end of your tennis days then, by all means you should do it. Just remember, it isn’t cheap and you won’t be able to go back once you have given it a shot.

If you want to try out any of these strings in your racket, you can schedule a stringing appointment with our awesome technicians or buy yourself a reel or some sets online.

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