The first time I heard about Babolat RPM Power, I was in the stringing room at the 2019 US Open and saw Dominic Thiem’s tennis racquet come through. It was accompanied by a copper looking tennis string. On the reel it said “RPM Power.” I was genuinely interested in what this string was about. That night, back in my hotel, I remember looking for any info on this tennis string and not anything. Fortunately, I was given a set to try out.
I was pumped to get it in my tennis racquet and hit the courts. The copper color was actually really neat. That particular color on a tennis string isn’t very common. It was nice to see something other than silver or black.
RPM Power: Stringing
I have strung tons and tons of different strings, some are easier than others and there are some I would rather never have to string again. In the case of RPM Power, it was on the easy side of stringing. There seemed to be some sort of polish feeling finish on it. The strings would easily slide into the grommet and I found that weaving the crosses was incredibly easy.
I decided on a tension of 50 pounds (22.5 kg), after all, it’s a co-polymer monofilament and has “power” in the name. So I wanted to absorb some of said power.
Babolat RPM Power: Playtest
When it came time to get out on the courts to hit with this tennis string, I had very high expectations. I wanted this string to perform and give all the spin production, as its cousin RPM Blast, with additional power. Because it’s in the name!
Let me tell you, RPM Power felt more like a firm multi than it did a poly. This tennis string is extremely comfortable to hit with for a co-poly. This I liked, a lot. It’s nice to play with a poly that is softer than most, this is one of the softest poly strings on the market.
As I played on, I really enjoyed the feel I was able to get on my shots. But, I wasn’t getting the hopeful power that I so wanted. I struggled to get the ball have the pace that I was used to. I ended up overhitting a lot of balls, I felt like I was forcing myself to overswing to get the depth I wanted.
Babolat RPM Blast is known for it’s ability to snapback and generate a lot of spin. I figured that RPM Power was no different. Unfortunately, RPM Power lacked so much spin that my hitting partner asked me if I had changed my grip to more Eastern (flat). He said that the incoming ball wasn’t kicking up like it usually does. He also said that visually the ball didn’t appear to have the same revolutions that I generally produce.
The lack of spin was an immediate concern, modern players rely on spin to hit harder and keep the tennis ball inside the lines. I was not generating nearly enough spin to get the ball to drop in with my normal swing. To get the spin to happen, I had to put more effort in coming over the ball and gripping my racquet with a grip somewhere between extreme and semi western. Even still, the ball was not getting those valuable RPMs.
RPM Power: Highlights
Even though I was unable to get a feel for the power and spin from this tennis string, there were a couple of things that I thought were worth mentioning. The control of this string was above average. Even at low tension this string allows for pinpoint accuracy. Another highlight of this string was how soft it was. Lately, I have been having some arm issues (particularly in my shoulder), so I was a little hesitant to even do a RPM Power review, but I was totally surprised just how comfortable this string was. Definitely worth a try if you have some arm pain but can’t quite quit the poly strings.
The final highlight of this string is the tension stability or maintenance; Babolat RPM Power held its tension significantly better than RPM Blast! I believe I had playtested this string for over 8 hours of play and I never felt that I had lost control or that the stringbed got the “trampoline effect”. A pleasant surprise.
All in all, Babolat RPM Power didn’t perform as much as I wanted it to; however, the added control and comfort makes this tennis string worth a try for every level of tennis player…especially those with slight arm tenderness.