Saturday, January 14, 2012

Pat Markey

Which Wilson tennis string should I be playing with - a comparative analysis

Wilson has a majority of the market share when it comes to strings and racquets on the market today and it could be said therefore that they have a number of tennis strings to meet most every playing style.  With the addition of its Luxilon distribution that market-share has expanded even more.  I want to spend some time here on this post discussing several Wilson strings, do a comparative analysis and discuss how they might benefit your game.

Red Alert, Shock Shield, NXT control and Hollow core pro are four tennis strings by Wilson that are sure to meet most players needs in the non polyester categories.  Look at these as individual full set options or enhance your current string set up by using these as a hybrid combination with a polyester based string.  

Red Alert - is considered a solid-core multi filament that according to Wilson is the most durable synthetic string they make.  It boasts that it is 2x as durable as other synthetics. It is available in red only and in a 16g (1.32) string.  It adds about 15 grams to an unstrung frame and is considered the stiffest of the four strings mentioned here.  Feedback on this string from RSI Test Lab would say that it offers durability yet increased playability say over more stiff polyester strings.  String reviews at Stringforum do not claim that it is as durable and play testers have not given high ratings to this string however.  Retail price around $ 6.95

NXT Control - This performance multi filament is a hybrid of sorts.  The internal mixture of polyester strands weaved with nylon strands make this multi filament offer the durability characteristics of a poly based strings supposedly without the harsh stiffness. The Wilson NXT line is known for its performance and control.  It is rated high in comfort and power at Stringforum.  It comes in a 16g (1.32) only.  The RSI Test lab indicated a 9 percent tension loss after 24 hours and added approx 15 grams to the weight of an unstrung frame.  Overall this string provides an excellent source of control with some power built in.  This string performs exceptionally well considering it is comprised 50+ percent polyester.  Retail price around $ 16.95


Hollow Core Pro - The triangular center core is polyester and air filled.  It is available in 16 (1.30) or 17(1.27) g.  Characteristics of this string include superior ball feel and touch.  Tension loss is a bit higher than with Red Alert and NXT Control.  You can view the Stringforum rating here. Retails for $12.95

Shock Shield - This string is comprised of a gel-filled center core to reduce shock and vibration and multi-filament outerwraps.  It comes in a 16 (1.33)  and a 17 g.  This string will lose tension at about the same rate as Hollow Core Pro.  StringForum has not rated this string yet.  It is a fairly new string and comes in blue. Retail price around $ 14.95

Red Alert is going to be your opportunity to increase your durability and have more feel than a polyester based string.  If you want a better playing string that is still durable than the NXT Control would be your choice.  If you need the benefit of vibration dampening due to arm problems than SHock Shield is your choice.  Hollow Core Pro will also give you the added benefit of feel and touch.  I hope this helps you get a better understanding of these strings.  I will be reviewing more so stay tuned.  (Information gathered by a number of sources, article by Patrick Markey, MRT).

Pat Markey

About Pat Markey -

Patrick Has been stringing rackets for over 25 years including at many professional events around the country including the US OPEN and AUSTRALIAN OPEN. He brings a depth of knowledge and love for the industry.

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