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Tennis Blog - Tennis Equipment Review: Kirschbaum Pro Line II

December 2, 2008 12:09 AM

11/1/08

It isn’t very often that you will find me doing a product review, because with all that I have going, very few products move me enough to inspire me to expend the time and energy to do a review. That said, sometimes a product comes along that really is too good to keep to myself and I have to share it with others. This is one of those occasions.

I have played with Kirschbaum’s Pro Line II (1.25) since July of this year, shortly after meeting Kirschbaum USA’s president Quiroga at the USPTA Convention in Delray, and I really, really like this string.

But saying, “I like the Pro Line II string” is like saying, “I like my friend Holly Luisi’s Tiramisu or Amy Ciarrocchi’s Blueberry muffins.” Holly’s tiramisu and Amy’s muffins are like national treasures. Both are the absolute best in their classes, and although I haven’t tried nearly all the strings there are out there, Kirschbaum’s Pro Line II is by far the best string that I have used other than natural gut.

Why do I say that Kirschbaum’s Pro Line II is the best string I’ve used? Well, as you may know by now I am getting close to the ½ century mark, and I can’t hit the ball as hard, or put as much spin on the ball as I used to, and the arm and shoulder don’t absorb the punishment of smacking a tennis ball the way they used to.

Those changes led me on a protracted search to find a new racquet, and strings to complement the racquet. I have used a variety of racquets and strings over the past year in attempts to maintain a decent game as my body breaks down. It was during that process that I came across Pro Line II, and the following is my personal assessment of the string.

Power, Spin, Feel
I confess that I am not the greatest touch player in the world, but how the ball feels coming off my racquet is extremely important to me. I really like the responsiveness of this string. I am able to generate the kind of power and spin that I want to generate based upon the type of swing I use. I compared the Kirschbaum string to Luxilon Big Banger Ace 18 and found that the Pro Line II was easier on the arm, and I was able to generate more power and spin with the Pro Line.

Tension Retention
A very important component of any string is how well it retains its tension over time. Pro Line II has maintained tension better than any string I have ever used, bar none! Prior to using this string, I have mangled my fingertips by straightening my strings before every point. With these strings, after weeks of play at 58 lbs I didn’t have to adjust my strings at all. Strung at 57 lbs (where my racquets are strung now), there has been very minimal movement, and only after having played several grueling points. The minimal shifting of the strings didn’t begin until after I had played with the racquet for approximately 15 hours!

Durability
If money is an object for you as it is for me, the frequency of restringing is probably a major factor for you. Since I began using Pro Line II in July, I have not broken a string. However, I have cut the string out, because it seemed to lose its integrity (become less lively and responsive) after approximately six-to-eight weeks of heavy play. I recently cut the strings out of two racquets that have been strung since the third week of August, before I played the USTA National Grass Courts in Philadelphia. 

Stringing
After having done multiple string jobs with Pro Line II, I can say that it is very easy to use. Given its co-polymer monofilament composition, typically quite stiff, the Pro Line II performs as admirably during stringing as it does during play.

Overall
I evaluated the string on a number of dimensions, including comfort, feel, spin, power, control, durability, and tension stability. While I have used strings that offered more power, I have not used a string that had the unique combination of power and control, along with the tension stability I found with Pro Line II. If you are a competitive player, you owe it to yourself to try this string.  

Other Opinions
I gave three other players (one female and two male 4.5 players) Pro Line II to try. The two men really liked the strings, but the woman didn’t.  For more details about their play tests, click here.

Game, set, match,

T.A. Niles

 

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