I have read a lot about Gosen tennis string, however; I haven’t had a chance to get myself a set…until now. To be honest, I mainly ordered the Gosen Sidewinder 17 because it came with a free Gosen t-shirt and who doesn’t love free stuff?
Gosen Sidewinder 17 tennis string playtest
I ordered the yellow version of the Gosen Sidewinder 17 (it also comes in Orange) and I was hoping to find the next kick-ass textured tennis string. Holding the Gosen Sidewinder 17 in my hands I could easily feel the textured twist on the surface, however; it isn’t majorly prominent like Volkl’s Cyclone or even Polyfibre’s Black Venom strings.
I strung this string in my Donnay X-Dark Red at 60 pounds, hoping for more control. Stringing was not too bad, it’s a softer poly and I pre-streched the tennis string so the coils were not as “coily”. I had a little problem when I tied off one side of the mains, but after thinking about it, it was my fault and not the strings fault. Knotting the ends off were not too bad; the crosses weaved nicely and were easy to finish off.
The first day of play testing the Sidewinder, I considered cutting it out. I hated it. It felt too soft and lacked the crisp feeling when making contact that poly tennis string is known for. The string lacked power and ball pocketing, I was unable to direct the ball at all. It felt boring, I just was not feeling it. I felt that I couldn’t get access to spin like other strings I’ve reviewed; for being a textured poly I thought I would at least get a 5% increase in spin but it just would not give me the extra RPM’s I was after.
I was convinced that the Gosen Sidewinder 17 fell into the “never again” category of tennis strings, but I decided to give it another chance. I’m somewhat glad that I did not cut out the strings after the first day, the strings loosened up a bit and the full potential finally came around on the second day of testing. I was able to get some decent power and pop off the string bed, while getting some pretty generous spin. I could finally start to feel the ball on the string bed a little longer which allowed me to really crank on my groundstrokes. The Sidewinder did lack at the net, I felt that I had to try to put volleys deep into the court, the string felt like it was absorbing all the energy from the ball.
Gosen Sidewinder 17 final thoughts
So did I like the Gosen Sidewinder 17? Would I use it again? I like it just fine – after it lost about 5 pounds of tension and the strings notched a little. If I were to use the Gosen Sidewinder 17 string, I would use it in a hybrid set up in the mains, at a much loser tension. I would recommend the Gosen Sidewinder 17 for players who like loser string tensions and softer string; it has a lot of potential for the right player.