Wilson Ripspin String Review
- Too firm and underpowered for beginners
Wilson Ripspin is a co-poly designed with a special coating to amplify spin. The design worked quite well for our playtest team, and we definitely found some extra spin (if not the lethal bite of a shaped poly like Solinco Tour Bite). Moreover, when tensioned correctly there was more than enough control to take robust upward cuts without having the shot slip out of its intended trajectory. The payoff was a ball that dived sharply before jumping off the court with a weighty combination of spin and pace. Like most of the high tech co-polys we've hit in recent years, this one is built with some extra flexibility, the effect of which is slightly above average comfort for a firm monofilament. Ultimately, while neither playtester is switching to Ripspin, our team found it hard to argue with this string's combination of spin, precision and overall playability.
Power - Score: 43
With its very modest power level, Ripspin is ideal for big hitters like Troy, whose long, fast strokes don't need a lot of extra power. He said, "It's a given that polyester strings have less power than other string materials, but what I found with Ripspin was a low-powered, control-oriented response compared with other poly strings that I've used. With proper technique, this string allows you to take big cuts at the ball without fear of hitting long. I found this string optimal when paired with a more powerful racquet than my Six.One 95. When I hit this string in the Wilson Steam 99S it seemed to dial in the control. I think those seeking a string to tone down the power level of their racquet will enjoy the performance of this string."
Finding slightly more power than Troy, Michelle said, "Ripspin wasn't overly powerful (which is a good thing for me), but it did have some pop. This was OK because I could string it up higher, which I tend to do, for more control. For me, the 'Rip' can come in two ways with a string like this, either by using my own power at a higher tension or using some of the string's power at a lower tension. Either way, I was definitely ripping some balls with this string."
Spin - Score: 84
Specially designed to amplify spin, Ripspin gave even our resident flat ball hitter some extra ball rotation. Michelle said, "I'm a fan of polys that give added spin to my flatter game, so Ripspin's extra spin was appreciated. Because this co-poly is round the spin potential felt slightly different from shaped polys. I didn't feel the tight grip of a shaped poly, but Ripspin definitely snapped the ball out of the stringbed with decent spin. The feel can be slightly erratic with shaped polys, so I enjoyed the predictable launch off my stringbed that I got from Ripspin."
Though not at the top of his spin list, Ripspin provided Troy with more RPMs than the average poly. He said, "The low-friction coating on this string was noticeable when hitting groundstrokes with heavy spin. Ripspin created some good curve on my topspin shots. Out of the long list of poly strings that I have tried, I've accessed more spin with strings like Babolat RPM Blast, Volkl Cyclone and Solinco Tour Bite. I found better than average spin with this string, but I feel that this string really shines in a spin-effect type racquet."
Comfort - Score: 63
Like most co-polys, Ripspin was made with special additives to reduce some of the harsh feedback for which polyester strings are known. This formula definitely worked for Michelle, who said, "Ripspin was very comfortable! I didn't have any problems with comfort with this string. I could string a stiff racquet in the high 50s without any comfort issues at all! I'm always happy when I can play around with the tensions in my stiff racquet and not suffer at all after pounding balls on the court for a couple hours."
Ripspin gave Troy a little more comfort than the typical control string. He said, "Finding this string to be low powered and control oriented, I was surprised that it didn't feel too firm on the arm. As far as arm comfort goes, I would say this string has a crisp feel but isn't necessarily jarring on the arm. I have found strings such as Solinco Tour Bite, Luxilon 4G and Prince Beast XP to feel more jarring on the arm, especially when contacting the ball outside the sweetspot."
Control - Score: 85
If our playtesters have it right, big hitters will definitely appreciate the control Ripspin offers on full swings. Troy was impressed, saying, "Control was the best aspect of this string for me. I felt connected to my shots when trying to paint the lines. The low-powered feel of this string was beneficial when attacking the ball from the baseline. I tried this string in the Wilson Steam 99S, and this string helped tone down the liveliness of that racquet, which was a benefit in my opinion."
Always looking to add some control to her flat bombs, Michelle said, "As with most polys, I found adequate control from this string. It helped reel my power in slightly when strung at the right tension and gave me enough access to spin to keep my balls in, so I didn't have to worry too much about balls flying out. I'm always looking for more control, so if anything, I wouldn't mind even more control from this string, but that's getting picky."
Playability Duration - Score: 78
Ripspin held up quite well under the pressure of Michelle's huge strokes. She said, "I was able to try Ripspin in a couple different gauges and found the playability duration to last well through the playtest. It didn't ever seem to lose any snapback, and the string played true through the playtest. I didn't have any problems with notching or fraying."
For Troy, Ripspin performed like a typical poly-based string. "Playability was average compared to other co-poly monofilaments. I found a solid 10-12 hours of play before this string started to feel dead, with the elasticity diminished compared to its initial feel."
Overall - Score: 80
What type of player would you recommend this to?
Michelle - "Anyone who prefers the rounder polys but is still looking for added spin potential from a lower powered string. Also, this string will probably pair really well with spin-friendly frames. Players who already use a lot of spin in their fundamentals should love this string. Even players who hit flatter will enjoy this string because of the added spin potential."
Troy - "Advanced players with big groundstrokes will enjoy this string for its overall control. I also feel that the intermediate player who is trying to get more control out of their racquet will find a good response from this string."
Michelle - "I appreciated the 'Rip' and 'Spin' from this string -- that's exactly what I like in my game! I found this poly to be controlled enough that I could rip the ball but it had enough added spin potential that I could whip through and find the topspin I was looking for. It was comfortable and durable, and it played solidly throughout the playtest!"
Troy - "I enjoyed the control of this string when swinging freely from the baseline."
Michelle - "I can't say there was anything that stood out with this string that I didn't like!"
Troy - "I preferred this string in an open string pattern racquet or a more powerful racquet than my Six.One 95."
Comparing the string to others they've tried, our testers said:
Michelle - "It has a similar feel to Luxilon Adrenaline, a little less lively to me, though, but similar in terms of comfort, spin levels and playability."
Troy - "I found a similar feel to Topspin Cyber Flash and ISOSPEED Black Fire, but this string possessed more spin potential."
(Scores are determined by averaging individual play test scores)
Playtester String Setups
Playtest Racquet: Babolat Pure Drive Roddick GT
Playtest Tension: 60 lbs
Typical String: Polyester 16g
Playtest Racquet: Playtest Racquet: Wilson Six.One 95 (18x20)
Playtest Tension: 45 lbs
Typical String: Luxilon 4G 1.25
Review date: October 2013. If you found this review interesting or have further questions or comments please contact us.
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