Luxilon Smart Review and Play Test
String: Luxilon Smart 16 (1.30 mm)
Construction: Co-Polymer with 3 core filaments (whatever that means)
Racket Used: Babolat Aero Pro Drive
Tension: 48 lbs (about 22 kg)
LXN Smart – What You Need to Know
Luxilon Smart makes some lofty claims. A string that adapts to your swing! Unfortunately if you swing like crap this string isn’t going to save you (no string can do that). Rather the idea is if you swing fast and hard the string will stiffen up and increase spin potential and if you swing slow the string stays soft giving you a better sense of touch. Sounds an awful lot like what a poly/multi or gut/poly hybrid is supposed to do. Believe it or not it does do this and it is noticeable. When you warm up short court and then go to the baseline and start swinging for real you’ll definitely feel it. That being said the experience isn’t all that special or memorable. I think in the feel department a good Poly/Multi hybrid blows this string out of the water and the performance is comparable. Maybe a little more control with smart but that’s about it. By no means is this a must try string but I applaud Luxilon in making a polyester string that really does perform like a hybrid in a lot of ways. So bottom line cool concept but nothing special once it’s in your racket.
Disclaimer: For this review I strung LXN Smart in at the highest recommended tension of 48lbs. People that are used to playing with lower tension polyesters will probably enjoy this string a lot more than me based solely on the fact that I usually string on the higher end of the spectrum.
LXN Smart – What I Loved
I think I love the concept more than anything else. This seems like an interesting idea that Luxilon should continue tweaking, researching, and developing. I did like how obvious the difference in feel was off the stringbed depending on the shot. The feel of a drop volley versus a super aggressive baseline groundstroke is impressive but not game changing in as much as it’s more interesting than enhancing. I found my kick serve especially responded (jumped) well with this string. I think from a shear performance angle that was the one shot I really felt better hitting.
LXN Smart – What I Hated
Number one has to be the price. It’s really expensive for what it is. There are tons of stings and/or hybrid combos for equal or lesser value that perform and feel better for my game. Second I would say the strict tension requirements for this string to perform optimally (44 +/- 4 lbs). No I get that the technology is supposed to make it so that aggressive swings stiffen up the stringbed but it’s still too loose for me and a lot of my regular groundstrokes went long. As I said above I think more research and development into this “type” of string would go a long way. In some ways I actually wish the string didn’t fluctuate as much from one swing to the next. That would make it more predictable but still give just the right amount of
Not great. I think players who prefer to go Poly/Multi hybrids can certainly get a better deal or comparable deal (think Alu/Nrg2) for a better overall experience. Players preferring the hybrid will find LXN Smart more durable but that doesn’t mean you should leave the string in your racket longer than the life of your hybrid just because it isn’t breaking or fraying.
Who this string IS for
I’d say players coming from the Poly/Multi setup (on the lower tension side) looking for a little more control but similar playability would be the most likely to gravitate towards Smart. This is one of the few polyesters that will work well for players with an all around game/doubles players that spend a decent amount of time at the net and/or hitting touch shots. I could see players that go to the serve and volley liking this one also. Like a lot of “softer polyesters” I think this string is best suited for players in that 3.0-4.5 range that have all the shots/spins and play with a decent amount of variety.
Who this string is NOT for
Players currently using a full set of synthetic gut, multifilament, or polyester probably won’t appreciate this string a whole lot. I think players above a 4.5 will get annoyed with this string especielly on groundstrokes. There’s just not as much “safety” with this string as with other elite/stiffer polys like Alu, RPM, or Hyper-G.
Luxilon Smart is fine. It does adapt to your stroke but it doesn’t do anything super special either. For me personally the 48lbs is just too low when I take a full cut. Granted the string definitely does stiffen up and act as though the tension is a lot higher just not high enough for me. I think I’d rather go with a fancy Poly/Multi hybrid job at a higher tension. I also prefer the feel of most of the hybrid combos I’ve tried compared to this string. And for $20 it just isn’t a string I could imagine recommending to anyone other than the niche audience I described in the who this string is for section. What I’d love is a little more research and development to be done with this string concept to find something a little more suited to the 5.0 and up crowd.