String Review: Head Hawk

by: Jon Levey | November 25, 2013

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Back around the U.S. Open we invited readers to test out a new pro player string from Head. The monofilament co-polyester was designed with input from some of the manufacturer’s top touring pros. The goal was to create a powerful control and spin string, that reaches a higher level of touch and comfort for a polyester. The then unknown string now has a name: Head Hawk. Did it fly with our testers? Here are the results:

Power: 7
Spin: 7.3
Feel: 7.4
Control: 7.7
Comfort: 8.2
Durability: 7.8
Tension maintenance: 7.6
Overall Playability: 7.8

Playtester comments for Hawk were extremely favorable. The string scored its biggest compliments in the comfort category, with almost all the playtesters feeling that for a firm monofilament it had a plush, forgiving response. They were especially impressed with the ball-pocketing when they found the sweet spot. It’s not a powerful string, but for a polyester it rewarded them with surprising pop. Many felt they didn’t need to swing as hard as they would with other strings in the category to generate the same amount of power. Hawk also lived up to its promise to deliver better feel on touch shots, especially around the net.

Even though the string is a little lively, no one felt it came at the expense of control. Spin generation was easy, although some felt not quite at the level of other more textured polyesters. There was good jump on their shots, but nothing extraordinary. Some also noted that string snapback, which enhances spin, tailed off a bit after a week of hitting due to some notching. For this reason a few mentioned that Hawk would work extremely well in a hybrid with a less abrasive counterpart.

Good durability, a hallmark of monofilament polyesters, was no different here. Tension maintenance, however, a problem for many polyesters, was seen as a plus for the Hawk. One tester measured only a 14 percent loss of stringbed stiffness (DT) from installation through first week of hitting. And those that did the stringing themselves found Hawk to be one of the least demanding polyesters to string; there was very little coil memory and the crosses slid easily into place.

After going through all the feedback, the only consistent quibble I could find with Hawk—and it’s hardly overly negative—was that testers found it to be an all-around impressive string without one hugely distinguishing characteristic. It’s like an all-court player who does everything well without one discernible weapon. Yet even if nothing blew them away about the string, they all felt positive about their demo of Hawk. In fact, of the 22 testers who sent in their review forms, not one reported they didn’t enjoy hitting with the string. And of those 22, 20 claimed they would consider switching to Hawk.

Those are some pretty soaring numbers.

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