Many players have come to know co-polyester tennis strings as a great way for getting better control and durability when they play. Professionals on the ATP and WTA circuits often use polyester strings for this very reason. Unfortunately though, these same strings are causing many players to get elbow injuries and stop playing for months at a time. Manufacturers are realizing this trend and are finally making softer co-poly strings that provide less feedback to the arm while still maintaining great control, durability and power. Here are a list of some of our play tester favorites that players should try for themselves.
Luxilon Alu Power Soft
Almost everyone knows that Luxilon is famous for their Alu Power polyester string. This is because most players on the ATP and WTA tours use it for its ample power, control and durability. However, Alu Power is not made for just anyone to use due to its higher string bed stiffness. Thus the Belgium brand created another version called Alu Power Soft which has a better feel and response without loss in playability. On contact players will get more flex and ball pocketing in the string bed enabling better accuracy on their shots. Players won’t get a stiff feeling string bed unless it’s strung up at a high tension (57 lbs +). Tension maintenance and durability are better than most Luxilon strings so players will not have to restring too often. Many players will be happy to find an alternative to Alu Power that isn’t so heavy on their arm. Luxilon Alu Power Soft comes in 1.25 mm as a set.
Genesis White Magic
Genesis is an American brand that started revolutionizing the string market when its first co-poly string – Black Magic – was released in 2009. Black Magic took the industry by storm offering players a great balance of power, control and durability, but many players felt that it was too stiff. Now Genesis has gone back to the drawing board and come up with a similar string that has everything players look for in a co-poly but with more comfort – White Magic. White Magic will give players extraordinary comfort from the start and better feel for the ball thanks to the softer outside layer. Right away players will notice a distinct difference in the string bed stiffness and want to hit longer with the string. Feel, spin and power are the best aspects of this string as it fits right into the modern tennis game plus the price point makes it a bargain. Tension maintenance is pretty good, but players may want to lean towards the higher end of their tension range to keep control for longer. Genesis White Magic comes in a 16G (1.30 mm) and 17G (1.25 mm) as a set or reel.
Kirschbaum Pro Line No. II
Kirschbaum has been developing monofilament strings for the last 20 years and Pro Line No. II seems to be the favorite out of their entire line. Tennis players around the world are choosing this string for its superior combination of power, control, spin potential and durability. This is one of Kirschbaum’s softest co-polys to date and it will give players more feel when they hit. Off the string bed players will get better ball pocketing and snap back allowing for better opportunities to utilize spin. What has this string continuing to be a favorite though is the excellent tension maintenance. Players can put this string in their racquets for 8-10 hours before they start to notice any difference. This won’t have as soft a feel as some of the other strings on this list, so players may want to experiment with a lower tension. The best part about this string is the many different opinions available and the price point. Kirschbaum Pro Line No. II comes in a 16G (1.30 mm), 16L (1.25 mm), 17G (1.20 mm) and an 18G (1.15 mm) as a set or reel. Plus it’s priced reasonable well so players won’t have to spend big bucks to get an awesome string.
Playtester Picks from Vincent Mallari:
Vince currently is a Stringing Specialist at Tennis Express. He is an USRSA Master Racquet Technician and has had his certification for the last 4 years. He has been to the US Open once and wants Andy Murray to come back healthy this year!
Laserfibre Native Tour
Coming in under the radar is a co-poly from a smaller tennis brand – Laserfibre. This string is developed and made right here in the US of A. Players will find commanding power, comfort and feel thanks to its quick bonding co-polymer make up. There is a great amount of snap-back ability allowing players to generate increased spin on all shots. No color dyes are added during construction which allows for enhanced playability and performance for all levels. Laserfibre incorporates a proprietary additive during the manufacturing process to give Native Tour a one-of-a-kind feel. Tension is a blessing with this string since it can be strung tighter and still be very comfortable. Players will get good command for the ball and not worry about their arm hurting after hours of play. Laserfibre Native Tour comes in a 17G (1.25 mm) as a set or reel.
Head Sonic Pro
One of the better priced co-polys on our list is Head Sonic Pro. This is a uniquely refined co-poly constructed with soft molecular fibers and resins to give players a softer feeling string without sacrificing control or durability. The slick outside layer gives this string its soft sensation that translates to better feel on every shot. Similar to most strings on this list, Sonic Pro will give players more pop and spin when you attack the ball. There is a good, crisp feeling at contact translating to less jarring on off-center hits. Players will want to string this one a little higher since it can lose tension pretty fast. Head Sonic Pro is available in 16G (1.30 mm) and 17G (1.25 mm) as a set or reel.
This is one pick that was consistent among all of our play testers. Being one of the softest polyester strings that Luxilon makes, it is very helpful for players that had previous arm troubles or are recovering from injury. Element uses a Multi-Mono construction to deliver unparalleled power and spin while enhancing comfort and ball pocketing. Players will find this string to be livelier and more feel oriented than any traditional co-polyester. The increased feel allows the string to absorb impact really well and hold the ball before launching it off the string bed. This translates to better directional control when you play with no unnecessary feedback to your hitting arm. Similar to other monofilaments though tension decreases pretty quickly. Players will have to experiment with the tension to see what feels right to them. Luxilon Element is available in 1.30 mm and 1.25 mm as a set or reel.
Playtester Picks from Sam Jones:
Sam currently works at Tennis Express on the Content Marketing team. He previously played at Southwestern University, taught tennis for 10+ years and earned his Master Racquet Technician Certification in 2011. He is an active USTA League and Tournament player at the 5.0+ level. He secretly wants Djokovic to become the GOAT in tennis.
Solinco Tour Bite Soft
Tour Bite Soft is a shaped polyester string from Solinco that is more versatile and comforting on the arm. This string combines a softening chemical composition with a polyester monofilament fiber to increase power, spin and bite on the ball. Players that traditionally use Tour Bite, will get a better feeling with this softer version since it lowers the stiffness of the string bed and doesn’t lose control. Similar to other textured polys players will get awesome spin levels to aggressively hit out on the ball. Its springy nature will transmit an immediate difference in power, but players will need to be careful of tension. Anyone with fast racquet head speed will want to string at a slightly higher tension to prevent premature notching and increase control. Solinco Tour Bite Soft is available in a 16G (1.30 mm), 16L (1.25 mm), 17G (1.20 mm) and an 18G (1.15 mm) as a set or reel.
Volkl V-Torque Tour
This co-poly from Volkl was created to give players better spin, comfort and control when they play. It is designed with softening agents in the material to boost the comfort, feel and power without making the string bed super stiff. Unlike most textured co-polys, players will get a softer sensation during hitting and get rewarded with more spin thanks to its six-sided profile. Players will feel a better connection to the ball allowing them to stay in control of points. Although it gives a good sensation on court, players will want to restring it after about 6-8 hours of play due to the drop in playability. Overall Volkl has done an incredible job with their co-poly strings and this is a great one to sample. Volkl V-Torque Tour comes in a 16G (1.30 mm), 17G (1.25 mm), 18G (1.20 mm) and a 19G (1.10 mm) as a set or reel.
Playtester Picks from Matt Locke:
Matt formerly served for 3 years as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho. He is a PTR certified coach and is an active USTA 4.5+ League and Tournament player. He loves Nadal’s determination, but secretly wishes he had Federer’s effortless style.
This is a new string from Luxilon that will take traditional thinking and playing out the window. LXN Smart is the first co-poly string on the market to intelligently identify swing speed and adapt in real time to give more flex on touch shots and more stiffness on power shots. What’s most unique about this string is that it works better when it’s strung at a lower tension (+/- 40 lbs). Usually lower tensions mean the ball will fly off the string bed and players won’t get any control. But with LXN Smart players will actually get more control, string durability, spin/power potential and better tension maintenance. I know it’s hard to believe but even after playing with Smart I was shocked at how well it did for such a low recommended tension. There is a short adjustment period needed to get use to the lower tension, but players will see the impact right away and fall in love. LXN Smart is available in 1.30 mm and 1.25 mm sets.
Dunlop NT Max Plus
Although the Dunlop Srixon brand is not known for polyester strings, NT Max Plus is definitely here to make a statement in the string market. This premium co-poly string features a unique outer coating that prevents tension loss, promotes more feel and increases control. Like many other soft polyester strings players will get plenty of power and spin with an excellent amount of feel. What stood out to me though was the amount of control and superior tension maintenance. Control was never lacking and it can withstand a lot of heavy hitting over time. Tension maintenance helps keep the string bed consistent time and time again so players can maintain control for hours. Players that like to string at a higher tension will not feel like their arm is going to fall off. NT Max Plus is available in 16G (1.30 mm) and 17G (1.25 mm) sets.
All in all, players that want a co-poly string with more arm friendliness, but doesn’t lack in control or durability then one of these 10 strings are perfect. Start shopping today at Tennis Express and keep tennis elbow out of the picture.
Playtester Picks from Chris Virk-Brown:
Chris currently works at Tennis Express on the Content Marketing team. He previously played at Neumann University and coached at the collegiate level for 3 years. He is USPTA Certified and is an active USTA League and Tournament player at the 4.5+ level. He really wants Gael Monfils or Jo-Wilfred Tsonga to win a grand slam.
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