Let me tell you, this Clarke Poly Power Pro string is a very surprising string, one that I very much enjoyed reviewing.
Stringing up the Clarke Poly Power Pro was very easy, the coil memory was no problem to deal with. The weaving was a snap, I did not experience any kinks or twists at all. I strung at 48lbs, hoping for a little extra pop from a low powered poly.
I was expecting this string to not be anything remarkable, considering I had never heard of “Clarke” before. Generally speaking, big brand names like Babolat, Wilson, or Luxilon produce the most popular strings in tennis. So I wasn’t sure if I was going to hit with “junk” strings.
As soon as I started to warm up, I was pleased at the soft stringbed that these strings provided. There was a crisp response to the ball making contact with the strings, I was impressed. I could not wait to go full speed with Clarke Poly Power Pro in my frame.
Clarke Poly Power Pro playtest
Wowzers! I love this string! Hitting groundstrokes with this string was an absolute pleasure. The string responded exactly as I wanted, crisp with very little shock to the arm.
I felt that I could swing away and go for my shots. I could literally smack a zipping winner down the line or cross court with ease. I was really enjoying the pop these strings offered.
One of the only struggles I had during my playtest was spin. I won’t say that it wasn’t there, it was just lacking. This could be because I have been hitting a little flatter lately and this string is round. Most polyester strings these days come twisted, shaped, altered, and anything else manufacturers can think of to amplify spin. This string felt more traditional, like a Luxilon Big Banger ALU Power. Though the Clarke string had some characteristics that impressed me more. More on that in a minute.
On serves, the Clarke string impressed me, especially on flat serves down the “T” or out wide. Because of the power the string offered, I was able to really thump it for an impressive ace. One problem though, second serves, kick, or slice serves were a little more challenging. I had to force myself to get out of my comfort zone and change my grip and service motion to get the spin.
It wasn’t a deal breaker though.
Touch shots were mediocre, the pop of the Clarke string made touch shots more difficult. The ball would seem to travel about 15% further than with other low powered polys. I could not find the middle ground for easy shots, I was over-hitting frequently with this setup. I would have to go with a higher tension, say 52lbs for future setups with this string.
After about 7 hours (not in a row) of hard hitting and three best of 3 matches, the Clarke strings finally gave way and lost all feel and control. Tension dropped and the ball went everywhere. I could not find the inside of the lines for the life of me after the strings went dead. Though, for the price, it is by far superior to similar strings.
Final thoughts on Clark Poly Power Pro
Aside from the “not-crazy-spin” offering from Clarke did provide several key elements to make this a must try. Specifically, power, comfort, string life, and tension maintenance. I was confident going after my shots, knowing the Clarke Poly Power Pro was going to give me balanced power and control that I needed; all the while providing comfort to the joints (perfect arm friendly poly tennis string).
The Clarke Poly Power Pro is absolutely a tennis string I will recommend to my string clients and encourage you to try. You won’t be disappointed. When you do try this string, I suggest, at first, trying as a full bed at 2-4 lbs tighter tension than you normally use.
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