When I talk to customers or tennis friends about their favorite strings, the usual suspects come up—brands like Luxilon, Babolat, Prince, and Gamma. But over the course of the past year or two, I've noticed that more than a few "smaller" string brands are starting to creep into the marketplace and challenge the big boys for attention. I gave one of those brands—Solinco—some love a few months back when I reviewed two of their most popular offerings: Tour Bite and Tour Bite Soft.
But Solinco isn't the only newish brand getting a slice of the action. Genesis strings are also making some noise and garnering some attention. Only after looking through some customer-submitted reviews on our website did I realize just how popular Genesis has become. Based upon customer reviews, Genesis is one of the most highly-rated string brands on our site!
Genesis sent some samples our way a little while back and I was excited at the time, but I just couldn't seem to get caught up enough to put some Genesis in my racquet. Well, I finally got a little bit of breathing room and decided it was time to see what the Genesis buzz was about. After digging through the envelope of samples, I found the one I wanted—Genesis Typhoon 16L—and got busy stringing it up at 48 pounds in my Prince EXO3 Rebel 95.
I didn't encounter any real problems during installation, but Typhoon was definitely a bit tougher on the hands than some other polys I've strung. Typhoon is extruded with a pentagonal profile so the edges are on the sharp side. To make matters tougher, the string is also twisted, which made it harder on the fingers. Coil memory was moderate and I noticed a tendency for the Typhoon to kink while pulling the strings through. Although polyester strings are resistant to heat (so there's less risk of "burning" the strings when pulling the crosses through), they can be damaged if the get kinked or bent at a really sharp angle, so I spent a little extra time making sure to work all the kinks out to prevent damaging the string during installation.
Installing it in the dense 18x20 string pattern of my racquet didn't do much to enhance my enjoyment, but even in a more open string pattern I think stringing Typhoon would be a little tough. Still, that about sums up the general stringing experience for any textured/shaped polyester, so installing Genesis Typhoon doesn't exactly stand out in my mind as a particularly negative experience when compared to similar strings.
As a side note, during installation I felt that Typhoon had a lot of texture between the pentagonal profile and twist. If you're dead-set on using Typhoon as part of a hybrid, make sure you take extra care not to damage your cross strings during installation—especially if you're using gut or a soft multifilament. Taking normal precautions on the crosses like stringing "one ahead" will help, but I'd still recommend pulling crosses through slowly and pushing them down in a big 'u' shape so they don't get prematurely worn during installation.
I have to be honest, when I first took the courts and hit with the Typhoon, I didn't particularly like it. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but for some reason I just didn't have a feel for it. Balls for were flying out and the strings didn't seem to be responding with the crisp snap back that I'm used to from polyester. I know what you're thinking—"How do you know it was the string and not your game?"—and I'll admit that you're probably right; maybe I was rusty or maybe I just didn't have it that day (which seems likely). In any case, once I got about an hour of hitting under my belt, the Typhoon started feeling much better and responding much more like I expected.
The string plays stiff and crisp—no surprise there—and doesn't offer loads of feel, but most players who are committed to a full bed of polyester, myself included, usually aren't looking to massage the ball around the court. I was happy with how well I was able to feel and control the ball on volleys. Some polys I've hit with can really make net play feel like you're volleying with a board, but Typhoon didn't feel bad at all. I was also pleasantly surprised that Typhoon was pretty easy on my arm. I don't really have any nagging elbow pain, but sometimes long hitting sessions with polyesters can leave my elbow feeling a little tender. After playing two long, tough singles matches with a full bed of Genesis Typhoon, I was elated to find that aside from normal fatigue, my arm felt perfectly fine!
Tension maintenance was fair, but Typhoon seemed to lose more tension than some of the other polyester strings I've used—and of course it lost significantly more tension than other types of string. In any case, unfortunately that's always the "price you pay," so to speak, for the benefits you can get from a full bed of polyester. Still, I've put around 12 hours of play on one set of Typhoon over the course of about 2 weeks and never thought they became unplayable until close to the end when they just started feeling dead—which is really about par for the course with polyester strings. Personally, I've found that somewhere between the 10 and 15 hour mark, most polyesters stop playing the same, even though they may not break for another 5 to 10 hours.
Overall, I came out with a very favorable impression of Genesis Typhoon. It's a well-priced polyester that offers very solid performance and I think it deserves the praise it's gotten from customers on our site. Aside from a few minor quibbles about slightly lower-than-average tension maintenance, I felt that Typhoon stacked up really well against the other polyester strings on offer. Typhoon's sharp, twisted pentagonal profile provides plenty of grip and spin, but also means that it's not ideal for blending with softer crosses. That's a little disappointing for hybrid fans—especially since mixing it up with a nice syn gut would help counteract tension loss issues—but Typhoon can still be used in a hybrid, as long as you're forewarned that Typhoon can shred softer strings. I also think Typhoon plays pretty soft for a poly, making it a great choice for players who like the feel and performance of polyester, but want something that's a little less stiff.