Volkl Cyclone

String: Volkl cyclone (16 1.30 mm)
Construction: Co-Polymer Monofilament
Racket Used: Babolat Aero Pro Drive
Tension: 59 lbs (about 27 kg)
Cost: $9 a set (Typically)

Cyclone – What You Need to Know
Volkl Cyclone is one of the most hyped up polyester strings available today. I would say it has a cult like following but at this point it’s safe to say it has crossed into the mainstream. Typically with these reviews I try to focus on performance and not preface everything on cost but in this case it is worth pointing out that Cyclone often ranks #1 on peoples value for money list. This string would rate highly on my value for money list as well. Cyclone is a great bargain string that may actually suite many players more than say RPM Blast or another “elite poly.” I’m not saying objectively Cyclone is better just that it’s playing characteristics would benefit a lot of 3.5-4.5 players more. It’s softer, feels crisper, and is a more powerful string that plays well for a surprisingly long amount of time. I played with this one until it broke which is rare for me. A little too much power and not quite stiff enough for my game but again when picking a string you need to think about your style of play not mine.

I do have one criticism which, to be honest,  may just be something strange that happened to me. After stringing the racket I was on court within an hour and it felt really weird and not pleasant the first time I played with it. It felt kinda sticky and I absolutely hated this string the first time I tried to play with it. Maybe I’m in the minority here but I found this string needs a little break in before reaching its peak performance. After Volkl Cyclone settled into the frame I didn’t really have any complaints and the string more or less performed the way most positive reviews have described it. So bottom line I’d say the hype is real especially for the more modern swinging 3.5-4.5.

Cyclone – What I Loved
After breaking the string in I have very few complaints. It’s certainly an elite polyester that would rank in my top 10. Definitely loved the feel and overall playability of this string compared to some of the stiffer options. It’s the sort of polyester that really doesn’t put too much stress on the arm and therefore I felt the confidence to go guns blazing on serve. With polyesters that’s typically what worries me the most. As I’ve already stated I think this is the perfect polyester for players in the 3.5-4.5 range who take a modern top spin style swing but aren’t swinging out of their shoes. For me personally Hyper-G definitely comes out on top but that’s because it matches my swing style better. Feel on volleys is average for a polyester but I did like the soft response on serve.

The other thing worth mentioning is the sustained playability. Cyclone drops off slowly and gradually compared to a lot of other polyesters which adds to that “great value” that’s often associated with this string. I played with it until it broke and it was fine. However, when I went to a fresh stick the difference was night and day. But, if you want to save some money you could probably get away with leaving this string in longer than you probably should.

Cyclone – What I Hated
The initial feel off the stringer. The first time I played with the racket I more confused than anything else. It felt almost sticky and overall just very strange. After about 30 minutes I had to put the racket down. The following day I pulled the racket out and was shocked by the difference. I was really put off by my first impression and almost considered cutting the strings out on the spot. I’m not sure if I’m just weird or had an odd experience but it really was quite dreadful on initial play moments off the stringer.  If I were to use this string again off the stringer I’d probably smack the strings with my fists several times on each side and leave the frame to sit for 24 hours before using it.

Value
Considered by many to be one the best value for money strings on the market. I’d agree with that. Definitely lasts a ton longer than Alu Power and actually still plays pretty well after several hours. The drop in tension and playability is gradual which is both good and bad. I played with it until it broke and wasn’t all that unhappy. That being said when I went to a stick with a fresh string job it was a massive difference.

Who this string IS for
For players that are fans of strings like RPM Blast or Alu Power but looking for a cheaper, softer alternative, that doesn’t suffer when it comes to performance. More powerful than some of the other big boys which may deter some but I found the playability, longevity, and tension maintenance to be above average. Will be suited for players who take modern swings but don’t swing as hard as say the average college player or professional. This is not a bad entry level polyester string as it is softer and more responsive than other “elite” polyesters.

Who this string is NOT for
As mentioned above I think players that take really massive cuts at the ball will find this string marginally too powerful. Obviously anyone with serious arm problems or players that need their strings to generate most of the power will want to stay away. But in terms of a polyester it will be suitable for more of that 3.5-4.5 crowd whereas a string like RPM Blast, Black Knight, or Tour Bite is more geared to 4.5’s and up.

Final Verdict
I can see what all the hype is about. I just wish right off the stringer it didn’t feel so sticky and strange. That really put me off about this string but when I returned to the racket I was very satisfied and enjoyed playing with cyclone. When it comes to value this string is right up there with Tier One’s most popular strings; Black Knight, Firewire, and Firewire Boost. That being said I would rank all of those strings ahead of cyclone so you may want to try those out if you haven’t already. I think Firewire is the closest to Cyclone. I’ll leave the finer details to you.