Babolat Touch Tonic String Review
Natural gut strings offer the last word in comfort, power and touch. As far as natural gut goes, Babolat is one of the best and most historic manufacturers out there. They have supplied natural gut strings to the best players in the world for over a century, and their Touch Tonic string is one of the best out there. VS Touch has been a long-standing string in Babolat’s arsenal for many years now, Touch Tonic is a newer variation with durability in mind. This is a slightly less consistent version of Babolat’s iconic natural gut strings, but it still performs very well.
9out of 10
Due to the elasticity of natural gut strings, they are incredibly powerful and offer the best feel of any tennis string going. The softness of these strings also gives them an absolutely exceptional feel and touch, which is why so many of the top players in the world use them!
Using a natural gut string is generally quite expensive, not only because the strings cost more to buy, but also because they don’t last very long!
Babolat Touch Tonic looks to address these issues, as it is specifically designed with a thicker gauge. Whilst this reduces the power of the string somewhat, it enhances the control and durability thanks to the lower levels of elasticity in the string. Despite this, Babolat Touch Tonic is a seriously powerful string!
It feels meaty and robust on contact. The ball flies off the string bed and you can feel the ball being pocketed.
There are actually two different gauge choices for Touch Tonic, although they are a little less specific than you may be used to. Because of the way the string is made, it comes in a 16 gauge which is less than 1.35mm, or the 15L which is more than 1.35mm.
Babolat has not been particularly specific with the gauges here, but perhaps that brings the costs down. Touch Tonic is one of the more affordable natural gut strings on the market, opening up this iconic string type to a wider audience.
This slight inconsistency in the string’s gauge means there will be slight differences in tension maintenance, performance and power from string to string. However, these differences will be so minute that it is very difficult for anyone less than a professional standard to notice.
As far as power goes, Babolat Touch Tonic is very lively! The added thickness compared to VS Touch along with the Thermogut technology enhances durability without detracting from the explosive power.
There is a lot of plough through and ball pocketing from this thicker string. The ball is slingshotted off the racket and there is a distinctly heavy feel to your shots. Not heavy in terms of topspin, but there is a noticeable weight to the ball thanks to the natural elasticity of Touch Tonic.
If you are looking for that old school feel then it is well worth giving Babolat Touch Tonic a try as a full bed. However, if this is too difficult to control but you still want to experience the power and unmatched feel of a natural gut string, Touch Tonic will also work well in a polyester hybrid.
7.5out of 10
Control is an area that natural gut strings tend to be open to interpretation. Whilst you get a great sense of connection with natural gut strings, the fact they are so powerful can actually hinder how easy it is to control the ball.
Oftentimes, because natural gut strings lack friction it is difficult to produce spin and get the ball dipping. This means shots can sometimes fly on you and it can actually be quite a challenge to keep the ball under control.
Whilst Babolat Touch Tonic is of course a very powerful string, the thicker gauge helps tame the beast somewhat.
The lack of spin can be remedied by adding a polyester string and making this a hybrid setup, as well as stringing Touch Tonic up at a higher tension to reduce some of that characteristic liveliness.
9out of 10
Touch is the area in which Babolat Touch Tonic really excels. It’s even in the name! This natural gut string is incredibly tactile and you can feel everything that is going on when the ball hits the string bed.
The level of feel you get is very difficult to match thanks to the string being so soft and easy on the arm. Right from the word go Touch Tonic feels dialled in and plush.
The ball tends to linger on the strings when using Touch Tonic. It is incredibly easy to place the ball exactly where you want it, particularly on deft drop shots, slices and volleys.
When you need to rip the ball with a lot of topspin, there are definitely better strings for the job. But, if you love playing that traditional style of tennis that relies on feel, placement and precision, strings don’t come much better than Babolat Touch Tonic!
4out of 10
As natural gut strings are so soft and plush, spin is not really what they are designed for. You can of course string them up at quite high tensions and this helps increase their spin potential.
On its own, Babolat Touch Tonic doesn’t produce much spin, especially when strung at a lower tension. You do get a great sense of connection with the ball and this helps with placement and control, but in terms of raw topspin, it can be a bit of a struggle.
You need to work quite hard and exaggerate brushing up the back of the ball to produce a lot of spin with Touch Tonic.
However, if spin is what you’re looking for, pairing this string with a rough polyester such as Babolat RPM Blast Rough would definitely do the trick.
6out of 10
Tension maintenance is a real strength of natural gut strings. They tend to feel just as fresh after a few hits as they do right off the stringer.
The thing that tends to let these strings down more often than not is the overall life of the string. This is where the natural gut gets its reputation for lacking durability.
Because the string is so soft, it is generally very prone to breaking after only a few hitting sessions, so doesn’t actually last long enough to see any significant drop in performance. However, Babolat Touch Tonic has been specifically designed with durability in mind!
The extra thickness means there is more material to chew through when you are hitting heavy topspin shots, whilst Babolat’s Thermogut technology improves the heat resistance of the string.
This is a common factor that contributes to the degradation of natural gut strings, so the Thermogut manufacturing process looks to combat this.
It works by making the inner fibres of the string more cohesive, effectively making the string more resilient, without impacting any of the playing characteristics.
There is also hardly any fraying from Touch Tonic even after it being strung up for a long period of time, which is impressive for such a soft string!
The upshot is a much more durable natural gut string that can be enjoyed for hours on end!
9out of 10
Comfort is another area where Babolat Touch Tonic is in a league of its own. It is incredibly arm friendly and is perfect for players that need a soft, forgiving string.
If you have suffered from arm issues in the past or simply like that plush feeling from a softer string, Touch Tonic is well worth a try.
When you are returning big serves or looking to hold your ground at the baseline and redirect powerful shots, Touch Tonic does a great job of absorbing shocks. The string is very smooth to hit with and delivers an all round comfortable playing experience.
8.5out of 10
Overall, Babolat Touch Tonic is a great natural gut string that sits well in the company’s line up.
The thicker gauge and Thermogut construction help increase the durability of the string, so you can enjoy its incredible power, comfort and feel for longer.
It is not the most expensive natural gut string on the market either, so it is a great way for recreational players to try out this type of string.
If you are looking to dial in your touch and want a forgiving string that will offer that old school feel, give Babolat Touch Tonic a try!
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Jul 6, 2022 • Babolat Strings
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