I’ve been playing a lot of different rackets lately, and have usually been using Babolat Xcel French Open as my string of choice, due to some recent arm sensitivity. This is an excellent string, and one that we at Gecko Tennis recommend highly to our customers. My style of play really benefits from a poly. Specifically the lower powered response gives the confidence to go for big shots, with lower risk of hitting long, more spin to create angle and margin, and of course an element of string durability. With the recent arm sensitivity however I’ve noticed arm tightness after outings with another favourite string, Volkl Cyclone, in my Babolat Pure Strike.
I’ve been hearing a lot of positive things about a string called Cream from ISOSPEED. It is at the softer end of the stiffness spectrum, sort of right in between Babolat Xcel French Open and Volkl Cyclone. So naturally I was keen to give it a try and see what the fuss is about and purchased a couple of sets to trial.
The play test conditions were demanding. The first outing was what ended up being approximately five hours of doubles play (mens and mixed) in a Fast4S tournament. Due to the competition nature I chose to string Cream in my Babolat Pure Strike 16×19 (ProjectOne7), being that it is the most familiar racket to me, and the one I feel I currently play my best tennis with.
So how was it?
Well, that evening and the following day there is no awareness at all in the arm/elbow that I’ve played any tennis with a poly, let alone almost five hours of it. That in itself is an astonishing accomplishment. Comfort therefore gets my tick of approval. On contact there is very obvious ball pocketing and dwell on the string bed, that’s a good thing. I need to hit them side by side for a direct comparison, but the string seems very similar to the Babolat VS Touch / Luxilon ALU Power hybrid that I love playing indoors or in fine conditions. Again this is sort of astounding. I actually think that because of the string being a round poly with lower string-to-string friction than a multifilament that the softness plays even lower that its specification.
Strung at my normal reference tension of 55 pounds, power and depth felt very predictable. In fact in all honesty I spent precisely no time at all during matches thinking about accomodating the sting at all. It felt completely familiar and predictable in every respect.
I’ll definitely be putting more time into this string, and will almost certainly be adding this to our regular string options for customers.