Luxilon Alu Power Soft String Review
Luxilon are one of the biggest and best tennis string manufacturers out there today. Their strings are the most used on the professional tennis tours which goes to show how good the quality is. One of their most popular lines is ALU Power, home of the iconic Big Banger. These polyester strings are specifically designed to offer fantastic power, spin and control. However, these strings are aimed at intermediate to advanced level players as they can be a little on the stiff side, which can be difficult for a beginner to get the most out of. Luxilon ALU Power Soft seeks to solve this issue by adding more flex and feel to the string.
6.5out of 10
Many tennis string makers have sought to fill the gaps in their model lines by bringing out ‘hybrid’ strings. These aim to meet in the middle of typical string characteristics, but can sometimes be a jack of all trades master of none.
So-called hybrid strings tend to take the form of a softer polyester or more firm multifilament string, as they look to bridge the gap between performance extremes.
However, as Luxilon is one of the most prestigious tennis string brands out there, we had high expectations for ALU Power Soft.
Given that ALU Power Soft is based on the original Luxilon ALU Power string, which we really like, a slightly more forgiving version of this control oriented string is what we expected.
This is pretty much what ALU Power Soft delivered, but it was not as forgiving or comfortable as expected.
Given that many big name brands are producing crossover strings that effectively fill the gaps between their different model lines, ALU Power Soft could have been a little more supple.
Alternative strings such as Babolat RPM Power do a better job of offering those familiar polyester string qualities of control and spin, whilst bringing comfort and power to the party.
Luxilon ALU Power Soft does a great job of offering spin, precision and control, but it is hardly a ‘soft’ string as the name suggests.
For a player that has never played with the original ALU Power, they would be hard pressed to tell any major differences between it and ALU Power Soft.
Admittedly, when you ramp up your game and start taking bigger cuts at the ball, the added forgiveness does show itself. But, if you are simply warming up or not playing at full intensity, the two strings feel quite similar.
As far as out and out power goes, Luxilon ALU Power Soft is definitely a string that still leans more towards control. As I say, there is a little bit more cushioning when you are really going for your shots, but power levels overall are moderate.
9out of 10
As with the original ALU Power string from Luxilon, the Soft version performs extremely well in the control department. There is a very predictable response off the string bed which high level players will appreciate.
Intermediate to advanced level players tend to prefer a more consistent feel from strings as it means there is one less variable to try and control in an already unpredictable sport. These control oriented strings tend to be low powered but deliver a muted response to help with placing the ball with precision.
Again, when hitting up the middle there is not much discernible difference between ALU Power Soft and the original. It is perhaps slightly more forgiving, but there’s not much in it.
Nonetheless, the Luxilon ALU Power Soft is a low powered, control oriented string that encourages you to play big and go for your shots.
Since the string doesn’t offer much pop itself, you have to take big cuts at the ball to increase your intensity. However, the string definitely rewards you for this as there is a lot of control and spin on offer.
You get a very crisp response from the muted string feel, which helps with consistency and predictability.
If you are a big baseline hitter and play with a powerful racket like say a Babolat Pure Drive, Luxilon ALU Power Soft will definitely compliment your game.
6out of 10
Touch and feel are playing characteristics that firm polyester strings tend not to score too highly on. Whilst you get a lot of control and spin, which helps you place the ball with precision, the actual sense of connection you get with the ball can be a bit lacking.
However, in the case of Luxilon ALU Power Soft, the string offers a crisp feel that lets you know when you’ve hit the ball cleanly. Whilst it is firm, it is not a punishing string to play with.
There isn’t as much feel as a traditional multifilament or natural gut of course, but for a firm polyester string that’s main aim is control and spin, it does a pretty good job.
The accuracy of the string comes more from its consistent feedback rather than a dialled in sense of connection. Whilst the muted feel of ALU Power Soft is not particularly lively, this really helps with modulating your inputs as you have a good sense of where the ball will end up.
Whilst touch is not the strongest point for ALU Power Soft, it is still a solid performer that will be well suited to a hard hitting intermediate and advanced players.
8out of 10
Polyester strings always tend to score pretty highly on the spin front. Their firm feel and the construction techniques used to produce them help with generating those RPMs.
Many big brands have added more texture to their polyester strings to help them grip the ball and create more friction.
For a smooth surfaced string that is designed to be more forgiving, Luxilon ALU Power Soft does a good job of producing spin.
It isn’t the most spin friendly string on the market, but you can generate enough to get plenty of dip on the ball. This gives you the confidence to strike out and go for your shots, suiting an aggressive game style.
ALU Power Soft feels particularly good on slices. The spin and crisp response helps you knife the ball nicely and volleys also stay low to the ground.
7out of 10
Poly strings can often suffer from a sharp drop off in performance and tension maintenance is not always their strongest suit.
Luxilon has always used durable materials in their strings to ensure the longevity of their strings is just as good as the exceptional performance. Therefore, ALU Power Soft is, as expected, offered a consistently high level response across the life of the string.
You may lose a couple of pounds in tension over a matter of weeks, but this is pretty minimal compared to most polyester strings.
Overall string lifespan was strong too. This is a great choice for regular string breakers, so if you hit a heavy ball from the baseline and need a string that will stand up to the test, ALU Power Soft is a solid option.
If anything, the string becomes more accessible and forgiving once it has bedded in, which could be more to the taste of players expecting a ‘soft’ string in the first place.
6.5out of 10
Whilst Luxilon ALU Power Soft is marketed as a more comfortable string, in reality it is still pretty stiff. It is not necessarily harsh or unforgiving, but don’t expect a butter smooth ride comparable to a natural gut or multifilament. If you strike the ball outside of the sweet spot the string will let you know.
It is not afraid to send a few extra vibrations down your arm but it is not enough to be jarring or upset your contact point.
In truth, it is not much more comfortable to hit with than the original ALU Power. This isn’t a string that is going to give you a tennis elbow after a few hitting sessions, but it will feel firm for players that are more used to a full bed of multifilament for example.
7.5out of 10
Overall, Luxilon ALU Power Soft is a control oriented string that offers a solid amount of spin and a crisp response. It is not the most comfortable or powerful string out there, but for a polyester it has a fairly good touch.
Luxilon has attempted to bridge the gap between their popular ALU Power models and some of the softer strings on the market.
However, there is only a subtle difference in comfort and forgiveness between ALU Power Soft and the other strings in the model line.
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