Fans of Volkl’s Power Fiber string that have been hoping for a multifilament with a bit more focus on control will find their wishes fulfilled with the introduction of Volkl’s new Power Fiber Pro string. While it maintains the multifilament construction of the original Power Fiber, the new Pro versions utilizes larger diameter filaments made from a polymer that is firmer in nature. This results in a more controlled response while still offering plenty of comfort. A new low friction coating works in tandem with the larger filaments to offer improved durability. As a fan of control-oriented strings, I was excited to test drive this new offering in Volkl’s lineup. Note: I playtested the 16G version of this string in the Wilson Blade 16 x 19 V7 tennis racquet at 50 lbs.
Power, Spin & Control
The power level of Power Fiber Pro fell into the medium category for me. Being a multifilament, it had more pop than my typical polyester setup. Relative to other multis, it played with a bit less power. I found it easier to reign in my shots with PF Pro compared to other strings I’ve tested in this category recently. I appreciated the boost in pop from the ground and on serve while still being able to hit out without fear of sending every other shot long. Spin production was on par for the category. It didn’t produce the high bouncing, violent action that polyester can create but I found enough spin to hit with margin over the net. The low friction coating seemed to help the string slide a bit easier, boosting the spin production a little bit. The firmer build and slightly more spin friendly nature gave PF Pro very impressive control. I felt I had good control over shot depth and could aggressively hit to targets in the outer thirds of the court. The string was also well controlled on volleys as well. I was consistently able to place volleys in the right spot, whether feathered short or driven deep into corners.
Power Fiber Pro had a firmer feel on contact than the original version of the string, but it was still easily recognizable as a multifilament. The string still had plenty of flex on contact, just with a bit crisper ball feel thanks to the larger diameter filaments. All court play was still easy thanks to the smooth, well connected feel. I had full confidence mixing in a variety of different shots, from big cuts to delicate touch shots. Comfort with Power Fiber Pro was also still very solid. The string was well cushioned on impact and absorbed shock impressively well. The string bed was uniform in its response and didn’t have any hot spots or unexpected buzzing. The string could be a good compliment for a player needing to tame a stiff frame without giving up comfort as a key factor.
Durability and Playability
The durability of Power Fiber Pro was above average for the category based on my experience. The low friction coating did a good job minimizing abrasion for as long as possible. While I didn’t get the double-digit court hours before breakage that I can out of poly, the string was still on the upper end of longevity for my experience with multis. Playability was another area where the string performed above average. For a multifilament, Power Fiber Pro exhibited impressive tension maintenance. This yielded consistent playability and responsiveness across the life of the string. Even as it wore and frayed apart, the string played remarkably consistent, never becoming too overpowered or mushy feeling. From start to finish, the string was playable from all areas of the court and I never felt I had to compromise my style of play as the court time with it piled up.
Volkl has created an impressive offering for multifilament fans looking for something with more control. It offers accessible power, decent spin and excellent control. These attributes are coupled with great cushion and feel and an impressively durable and playable nature. Any player who wants confidence inspiring control without compromising on feel and comfort should consider trying out the new Volkl Power Fiber Pro.
About the Author: Matt Locke 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.