Kirschbaum is another name that’s not that well known in tennis but actually produces some extremely good products. One of those products is Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution String, a firm poly that seems to do everything well.
While Pro Line Evolution is a little bit too underpowered for beginner players, it offers advanced players excellent control and spin with surprisingly good feel. In today’s modern world of polyester strings, feel is something that has been neglected a bit, and it was nice to playtest something that was as comfortable as it was high performance.
Despite the Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution’s above-average feel and comfort, it still showcased the traditional control and spin qualities of a poly string and is well suited to modern, aggressive swings. As someone who uses a very control-oriented string in the Babolat RPM Blast, I felt right at home with the Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution and was able to really go after my shots with confidence.
If you’re someone who is switching to a poly string for the first time, it’s likely you will notice a big difference in the way these strings play. Although they offer reasonable power for a poly string, you’ve got to swing hard with the Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution, otherwise, you just don’t get anything out of them.
This means that you need to be fairly confident in your swings and be able to really swing through the ball. If you can do this, and you generate plenty of power naturally, then you’re going to reap the rewards that the Pro Line Evolution offers you in terms of control and spin.
We say that poly strings are underpowered, but in reality, that just means you can unleash all the power you build up naturally, and it’s likely you’ll find this power is much more of a weapon than the easy power you get from more powerful strings.
Just to give you an idea of how I set up for this playtest, I took my Babolat Pure Strike 18 x 20s out with the Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution, one strung at 52lbs and the other at 42lbs. I find it’s always helpful if I have two rackets strung at slightly different tensions, just so I can see how they perform across different weights.
So what can you expect from Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution string?
Power – 7/10
The Pro-Line Evolution offered excellent access to power for a poly string. I felt that when I did slightly mistime a shot or hit off-center, there was plenty of give in the string and I didn’t lose too much power. I find that with the RPM Blast, if I don’t get things quite perfect then I notice a drop off in power, but with the Kirschbaum, I didn’t notice it to the same extent.
My one question with the power levels of this string is whether it’s too powerful for a poly? This sounds like a silly question, but there are lots of people who are drawn to these strings because of their limited power. The answer is no though, the Pro Line Evolution has enough control to keep your ball in court when you’re on the front foot, but when you’re hitting a really difficult shot from out of position it has enough easy power to get you out of trouble.
I haven’t found too many poly strings where I’ve felt as comfortable hitting on the run and off the back foot as I did with the Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution and that’s because it’s got just a little extra pop to get you out of trouble.
We gave the Pro Line Evolution an impressive 7 out of 10 for power.
Control – 8/10
It’s tough to find a poly that’s not got great levels of control and the Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution string is pretty normal with an 8 out of 10 for control. I think this is one of the most important things with the modern game – people want to play with full, fast swings, and to do that, you need a string that’s going to give you plenty of control.
Do you sacrifice a bit on comfort to achieve this control? Yes, you do! However, there are different ways of getting the perfect blend of control and comfort that suits your game and the Pro Line Evolution goes some way to solving that problem.
It doesn’t have the same levels of control as something like RPM Blast, but it’s still going to be more than enough for the majority of people. You can really go after the ball with this string and be extremely confident it’s going to land inside the lines.
Touch – 6.5/10
This is an area where I was extremely impressed with the Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution string. I recently did a playtest on the Luxilon LXN Smart String, which is supposed to bring new levels of touch for a poly string, but I’d go as far as to say I would take the Pro Line Evolution’s touch over the Smart String. That’s quite a feat!
Still, that only puts this string at a 6.5 out of 10 because of the stiff nature of polys. They don’t have the pocketing that some of the natural gut and multifilament strings do, and this tends to mean lower levels of touch.
That’s a tradeoff me and many other people out there are willing to make though, and I’m sure once you get used to the string, you’ll be able to hit all the shots you’re used to hitting.
Spin – 8/10
This is another category where the Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution string performs very well. It gives you access to what I call controlled spin. It’s not where the strings move a lot on the racket and you get spin that you’re not really in control of. It’s more where the strings grip the ball, you’re in charge, and you can get some serious RPMs on your shots.
Another characteristic of the modern game is the use of heavy topspin shots and strings like the Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution are allowing us to develop this trait even more. While it’s not the most spin-friendly string out there – I’d have to give that to Babolat RPM Blast Rough – they still offer more than enough spin potential.
If you want to rip the ball really hard and with a ton of spin then you’re more than capable of doing that with this string! We’ve given the Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution string an 8 out of 10 for spin.
Comfort – 7/10
This was another area where I was particularly impressed with the Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution String. The Pro Line Evolution’s great comfort for a poly string reminded me of Solinco Hyper-G, and really got me thinking of this string as a brilliant option.
The problem with playing with stiff, control oriented polys is that you’re wrist, arms, elbows, and shoulders can really suffer as a consequence. Racket companies are always trying to make their rackets more comfortable, but sometimes the biggest change you can make is in the strings.
If you want to move to a more comfortable string without sacrificing in control and spin, then it’s well worth taking a look at the Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution. It really is the complete package as far as polys go, and will give you a little bit of everything.
We gave the Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution string a 7 out of 10 for control, which is an excellent score for a poly.
Durability – 7/10
Another great thing about poly strings is that you know they’re going to last you a reasonable amount of time. If you’re hitting aggressive strokes with a multifilament or natural gut string then you’ll find you end up doing a lot of stringing. That’s certainly not the case with Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution though.
I found the Pro Line was particularly good at holding its tension, meaning you knew exactly what you were going to get every time you came to use it. It also lasted a long time, equalling what I get from my Babolat RPM Blast.
You can’t underestimate the importance of durability in a string. Not only is it costly having to constantly restring your rackets but it takes up a lot of time. The best thing to do is get yourself a durable string and that’s what you will get with the Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution.
Overall – 9/10
Overall the Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution is a brilliant string. It impressed me so much that I would certainly consider switching to it.
It’s perhaps a little more powerful than I would normally go for, but the big thing is the comfort. It’s got the control and spin that I crave but it’s just a bit more gentle on the joints than most other polys. It’s tempting to go all out on performance and neglect comfort, but with the Pro Line you get a bit of both.
There weren’t any categories where the Kirschbaum did badly, but there were a few where it excelled, with control, spin, and durability being particularly good. I really couldn’t find any complaints with this string.
All this adds up to an excellent score for the Kirschbaum Pro Line Evolution string, and we’ve given it a 9 out of 10.
Review by: Will