I have played with Tier One Firewire several times in the past, yet I have not written a Tier One Firewire review…until now! If you are not familiar with this tennis string, it is a monofilament string in the shape of a triangle. Tier One claims, “Tier One Firewire offers one of the best ball bites and spin potentials in the string industry. Solid durability and exceptional tension stability makes this string the front runner for the competitive weekend warrior.” Let’s see how this string held up to these claims!
Tier One Firewire 17 review: String Installation
I have strung thousands of tennis racquets, with hundreds of different types of tennis string. Some are easier to install than others, Tier One Firewire 17 is a special string for stringers. It is a firm string, with a triangular shape, this shape design is very sharp, sharp enough to cause damage to the fingers if you aren’t careful. So, be mindful of your fingertips.
I opted for my usual tension of 46lbs (20.5kg) on the mains and 48lbs (21.5kg) on the crosses. I figured this would give me the additional control I would need. The main strings wove in nicely, no real issues here; however, on the crosses, I found that if I was not careful, I would prematurely notch the intersecting string because of the extremely sharp edges that Tier One Firewire has.
An additional note, take extreme caution with your tie-off knots. Because of the sharp edges of the string, I noticed that the bends tend to cut into itself which can, and has, caused a knot to fail. This happens very infrequently, just wanted to point out that it does happen.
Tier One Firewire 17 review: Playtest
Once I was able to get onto the tennis courts for a little practice, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this string (the first time I playtested). There is a lot of positives from Stringfourm.net, it was rated #1 in spin a few years back.
Upon my warm up, I could definitely feel the tennis string biting into the ball. A nice grip, strings slide back, and the snap-back; that was very very nice. I was very curious what more this string could do on on the court.
As soon as I started with a full-speed hit, I knew for sure that Tier One Firewire was a definite winner. The amount of spin I was generating was outstanding! I could feel the ball bite into the tennis strings, so much so, I could see a big puff of tennis ball felt underneath the lights of the tennis courts. I was able to generate massive amounts of top spin, dipping and kicking up into the guy at the other end of the tennis court. I was feeling very connected to the string, knowing full well that I could hit a shot and it would dip in right around where I wanted it to.
Controlling shots were fairly simple, picked my spots and the ball went. I infrequently would hit a ball very far away from my spot. It was nice, definitely nice.
One additional standout characteristic is the amount of power that Tier One Firewire offers, the strings definitely have a lot of pop. Big hitters will like the response from the spinning power and those who need some extra “umpf” in their swings will benefit nicely.
Again, the standout of Tier One Firewire is the access to spin, there’s TONS of it.
Tier One Firewire 17 review: Is it a Firm or Soft Poly?
Players, like myself, who have string sensitivity (aka tendency to get tennis elbow) Tier One Firewire may not be the tennis string for you. It is fairly firm, not medium firm, just firm. I found that I was getting a little bit of tenderness in my elbow. Not terribly bad, but definitely something that I came onto my radar.
Because this tennis string is a fairly firm, I have found that lowering tension a couple of pounds would be in your best interest; it will alleviate some of that firm response. Alternatively, players could blend this poly tennis string with some multifilament or their favorite synthetic gut tennis string. Keep that in mind when trying this out.
Tier One Firewire 17 review: Durability & Tension Stability
Everybody wants a tennis string that lasts a long time and performs exactly how they want it. Unfortunately, Tier One Firewire 17 isn’t that majestic tennis string that offers performance and durability. I found that Tier One Firewire tends to cut into the intersecting tennis string at a much rapid rate than most other tennis strings. I believe the sharp triangular edge is the culprit. I definitely broke the strings sooner than I would lose tension.
Even with the strings breaking early on, the tension stability was decent. I didn’t feel that there was a huge drop off in tension, even after several hours of hard hitting, playing points, and playing sets; or even the racquet sitting around.
Tier One Firewire 17 review: Final Thoughts
This tennis sting is the right choice for tennis players who are looking for more spin from their equipment. There is massive spin potential and can offer additional power for those looking for a combo of the two. Keep in mind, this tennis string is a bit firmer than most strings and players with sensitive elbows will not be the most comfortable. Coming in at just under $9 a set, it’s a steal for a performance tennis string. Take it for a test drive only at Tier One Sports
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