By Matt Locke
It's no surprise that Babolat calls its latest string Origin -- they are clearly aiming to make it the start of something big. Origin is an extremely unique natural monofilament. It is made out of a bio based polyamide called PureCombo. Essentially, this string exists to bridge the performance gap between synthetics and natural gut. It’s unique design and properties allow for more power with less effort, promising the comfort and playability of gut in a package that offers better durability and tension stability than multifilament strings. I have gotten to spend several hours on court with the string, and I’m happy to share my thoughts.
First off, if you like multifilament (i.e. Wilson NXT or Babolat Xcel), you are going to love Origin. It plays with effortless power and feel. I play mostly with polyester string and the power increase is immediately noticeable. Poly players who switch to a full set of Origin will need to adjust to the power level, but multifilament users will be right in their comfort zone. As advertised, the feel and comfort is much like natural gut. Touch shots and volleys are exceptional and off-center shots are easier on the arm compared to poly. Spin production is substantially lower when compared to polyester but this string will be used in full sets by flatter hitters and players who prioritize comfort over anything else. Durability and tension maintenance are superior to any multifilament I have used recently.
The monofilament design also helps Origin stand up to hard hitting. Compared to multifilaments, Origin had more consistent playability as it wore down and lost tension. Where this string truly shined for me was in a hybrid with polyester mains. In this setup, Origin does an excellent job softening the string bed and adding a bit of power. It also improves touch around the net and gives a bit more ball pocketing. The monofilament design allows it to hold up much better than multifilaments as the polyester mains slide and snap across the cross strings. I can’t get much use out of other poly/multi hybrids as the polyester shreds cross strings pretty rapidly. Having Origin in the crosses greatly extended the life of my hybrid string jobs. In my view, it would make an excellent substitute to natural gut in premium hybrids.
Babolat’s Origin is very much the start of something impressive. It will provide tremendous comfort and power to players who need a soft, forgiving string that supplies power and feel. However, its versatility in hybrid setups makes it very appealing to players who want the power and spin of poly mains but need better durability from their cross strings. It is priced competitively with other premium multifilament offerings, but offers substantially improved durability and tension maintenance at a more affordable price than natural gut. If you want incredible comfort, great power and excellent feel and durability, then you want Origin. Be sure to pick up a set from Tennis Express today!