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Babolat RPM Series string

Introduction

On top of giving a new graphic identity to their string packages, Babolat has decided to redesign the structure of their string ranges and add new references and modify the name of certain models.
We have decided to focus on the RPM range : this range consists of monofilaments and is oriented towards spin and control
(RPM = Rotations Per Minute).

The RPM range is composed of the following strings :

New string
in the range
Formerly called
RPM Blast Rough
Same string
and same name
Formerly called
RPM Blast Team
Formerly called
Pro Hurricane Tour

In order to compare the different strings, we have tested them according to to following caracteristics :

speed
control
spin
tension upkeep
comfort

The test protocol : In order to obtain objective comparisons, we used the Playsight system on our tennis court. This is a machine that is connected to 5 cameras around the court to analyse each shot and provide accurate statistics on : speed • rotation • height over the net • accuracy We were able to rank the strings based on each aspect listed above. We even used a ball machine in order to guarantee that a similar type of ball was coming our way during the various tests.

Ball speed

In order compare the ball speed, each tester had to hit 10 shots as hard as they could on the forehand side, then on the backhand side with each Babolat RPM string range.

The Babolat RPM Team string obtained the best result for ball speed. This can be explained by its superior elasticity that derives from the material used during the manufacturing process.
On the other hand, the RPM Rough and the RPM Hurricane strings are very stiff and contribute a slower ball speed to players who possess a lot of physical power.
It is important to note that the strings are monofilaments and their ball speed is slower compared to multifilament and natural gut strings.
DID YOU KNOW ?

The more flexible the string, the more it deforms and this accumulates energy during the time of contact with the ball. Similar to a trampoline with stiffer springs. The stiffer springs will not allow you to jump as high as a trampoline with looser springs. A monofilament is stiffer and thus generates less energy. This will limit a monofilament string's ability to develop ball speed.

Control

In order to compare each strings' competence in terms of control, our two testers did an exercise where they had to hit a precise area of the court.

The Babolat RPM Power string provided the best results for control. This can be explained by the stiff coating added around the string. This feature will bring you extra control.
Contrarily, the RPM Team and the RPM Blast strings are among the most flexible of the range and thus offer less control. The more flexible monofilament strings are ideal for players who are looking for a balance between power and control.
It is important to note that monofilament strings provide more ball control compared to multifilament and natural gut strings.
DID YOU KNOW ?

The stiffer the string, the more it will enhance your control. The low return of energy will enable you to master your shot placement. Monofilaments, as indicated in the name, are made with only one filament. This filament is usually made of very stiff polyester. This will limit string movement and put forth more control compared to a multifilament.

Spin

In order to compare the five strings' ability to generate spin, our two testers hit short and cross-court shots. This maximised their likelihood of hitting with more ball rotation.

The Babolat RPM Hurricane string offered the best results for generating spin. This can be explained by its octagonal structure and higher amount of stiffness.
On the other side, the RPM Power string suffered as it possesses a round shape and more elasticity. However, this string's results remain superior to the average monofilament string.
DID YOU KNOW ?

Spin can be measured by the number of rotations applied to the ball per minute.

Several factors can influence your ability to hit spin :

• A structured string : the shape of the string (ex : pentagonal, squared...) may create additional edges and increase your grip on the ball
• A textured string : certain strings possess a rougher finish in order to grip the ball.
• The « Snapback » effect : This consists of string movement and more particularly, the mains will quickly come back into their original place and increase ball rotation.

Tension Upkeep

A string naturally loses tension over time. This is why it is important for a string to maintain its initial tension for a longer period of time. This will allow you to benefit from better feel when you are striking the ball.
In order to measure each string's ability to maintain its initial tension, we have measured the tension right after stringing the racquets.
We then put the racquets aside for one hour before conducting the test and we measured their tension once again.

The Babolat RPM Hurricane string benefits from its extra stiffness and is able to maintain a similar tension for the longest period of time.
On the other hand, the RPM Rough string's tension dropped faster compared to the other strings of the range.
It is important to note these strings are monofilaments and their ability to maintain tension is not as good as multifilament and natural gut strings.
DID YOU KNOW ?

Tension loss can derive from several factors :

• The game
• Time duration because even in optimal conditions, a string's tension will progressively loosen.
• The humidity, especially with natural guts.
• The temperature : whether it is too warm or too cold, a string can loosen.

Comfort

The comfort level of each string has been noted by the testers at the end of each test.

Due to the RPM Team and RPM Power strings' high amount of elasticity, these strings are the most comfortable of the Babolat RPM range.
On the other hand, the RPM Hurricane is more geared towards physically stronger players because it is not as comfortable and this is not ideal for all players.
It is important to note that monofilament strings provide less comfort compared to multifilament and natural gut strings.
DID YOU KNOW ?

A string's comfort level is directly related to the materials used to make the string :

• The most comfortable strings are natural gut.
• Multifilament strings also offer an exceptional amount of comfort.
• Monofilaments provide the least amount of comfort because they are stiffer.

Conclusion

How to find the Babolat RPM string that is best for me ?

Following our tests and analyses, we can provide you with a recap chart below
in order to help you find the string that best corresponds to you and the advantages you are looking for.

Our testers' opinions

Jérémy
ranking : 15/3 - game style : defender
Favourite string to test : RPM Team « I have particularly enjoyed the RPM Team string because of its power, but also because of its spin. This allowed me to obtain more security and control on my shots. »
Vincent
ranking : 15/2 - game style : counter-attacker
Favourite string to test : RPM Power « I really liked the feel of the RPM Power. I had a lot of control and enjoyed a good combination of power and spin. This string provided excellent feel and comfort and I really liked hitting shots with full confidence. »