Solinco X Natural String Review
Construction: Monofilament Polyester
Gauge: 16G (1.30mm)
Test Racquet / Tension
Head Graphene XT Speed MPA. 16x19 configuration/ 54lbs
Over the last few years, polyester has received the lion share of attention in the tennis string world. Solinco has been at the forefront of polyester innovation thanks to its venerable Tour Bite line. Not wanting to leave multifilament lovers out, they have created the all new X Natural multifilament string. With a TPU resin bonding for greater elasticity and a Diamond Rough texture for increased spin, this new string offers a more controllable multi with better spin and tension maintenance than most competitors. Here’s how the string stacks up on court.
X Natural is definitely low powered for a multi. While most need to be strung at high tension to rein the power in, I found this string to play well at a variety of tensions. The reduced power allowed me to swing out with confidence and play aggressively. Control was excellent from all areas of the court. I had excellent directional accuracy and enough control to flatten out mid court shots. Spin was slightly above average. The rough texture seemed to offer a bit more grip, generating a bit more topspin than most multis and adding great bite to slices. The drawback to the texture is that it tends to smooth itself out as you string at higher tension, effectively negating its benefits.
Feel / Comfort
The string plays with a crisp feel on contact. It does a solid job of avoiding the mushy feel that many multifilaments have. Feedback from the ball was very solid, allowing for execution of drop and touch shots from all areas of the court. Net play was enjoyable as the feel provides connection to volleys and confidence in attacking the ball. Comfort was solid all around. The only issue I had was some slight fatigue over time due to the lack of free power available from the string. I was taking more big cuts at the ball than I typically would with multi and it led to a tired feeling my first couple times out before I made the adjustment.
X Natural demonstrated excellent playability of the course of its lifespan. After an initial tension drop, it stabilized and lost a slight amount of tension each time out. This resulted in an ability to play with consistent control and predictability all the way up until breakage. The string itself began to start fraying within a couple hours and I snapped a main at the six hour mark. For a multifilament, this was a solid length of time for me. Players may find additional life by using it in a hybrid. If doing so, they should consider using a smooth, slick poly as opposed to anything textured or shaped. The anti abrasion coating and texture of X Natural would create a lot of string bed friction with a shaped or textured poly, resulting in less spin.
Solinco has become a well respected name in string, mostly on the strength of its polyester offerings. X Natural offers a unique experience for players who want more control and spin from their string, but aren’t ready to go to poly yet. It offers low power for confident swinging and an increase in spin production and bite over many other strings in the category. Players who want all court feel and response along with control and solid durability would do well to string up X Natural the next time out.
About the Reviewer: Matt Locke currently serves as the Junior Programs & Development Coordinator for USTA-Idaho and is an active USTA League and Tournament player.