Some frames, due to their high weight or small head size, can earn the demanding label. They’re not for everyone, but in the right hands they still have a lot to offer. The same holds true for strings as well—some can be more challenging to use than others, but the results can be worth it. Such was my experience with Gamma’s Moto.
Moto ($11/set) won a polyester playtest in tennis magazin (German) against the likes of Babolat RPM Dual, Head Hawk, and Luxilon 4G. I’m not experienced with the Babolat, but I’ve played with the other two and enjoyed them both. This had me eager to try Moto.
Before trying it out, I chatted with one of our racquet testers who also happens to be a tour stringer. He categorized Moto as a softer poly, so I went with 53 lbs. as a starting tension. That was probably too ambitious. It didn’t feel like old-school poly that would have me receiving for the Advil, and it might be soft for a tour player, but I found it to be firmly on the firm side. This caused my initial reception of Moto to be a bit chilly, as I couldn’t feel the ball that well on the strings. I would have been better off starting several pounds lower.
But once the strings settled in and soften up some, it played much more comfortably. Shots in the sweet spot had a solid feel and resulted in above average spin. It’s heptagonal shape gripped the ball nicely, which resulted in good jump on ground strokes and kick serves. My favorite characteristic of Moto, however, was the control; perhaps this is a result of it being firmer than what I’ve typically been playing with. I didn’t generate as much pop or appreciable spin as I do with softer, shaped polyesters, but my consistency was elevated with Moto.
(Every time I write "Moto", which I enjoy doing, I think of that Motorola cell phone commercial.)
The only real downside to my experience with the string, though, was the consistency of feel. I was having good results by way of the scoreboard with Moto, but not always in the most pleasing manner. Shots hit outside the sweet spot, or some that got there as a result of severe brushing motion, could feel a little harsh. One of our testers came away with wrist and shoulder soreness from his sessions with Moto. Years of play has left him susceptible to those trouble spots, and certain racquets or strings will exacerbate it.
I don’t suffer soreness from firm strings, and that wasn’t a problem for me with Moto. Any discomfort was my own doing. When I consistently found the sweet spot, Moto made sure my opponent knew it. When I missed it, Moto returned the favor.
So if I were to continue using Moto it would probably be as the main strings of a hybrid, coupled with a softer cross string. It just so happens that Gamma is packaging Moto with Glide, its new cross string. While certainly comfortable and playable, the real attraction to Glide—and why it’s being sold in half sets ($20/set) as a cross string—is its low friction. The buzz word is higher lubricity. According to Gamma, this allows the mains to move further and snap back faster than other cross strings, promoting enhanced spin. (Check out the demo in the video below if only for the NBA 2K inspired montage music).
Adding Glide to the string bed definitely gave the Moto a softer feel. I also dropped the tension of the Moto mains to 48 lbs., with the Glide crosses at 50lbs. Gamma recommends stringing Glide 5-10 percent higher than the mains, but the firmness I find in Moto discouraged me from following their advice. It was probably the right move for me as it felt more comfortable without feeling mushy.
The promised spin from Glide was also easy to come by. I hit several ground strokes that jumped up on my opponent causing him to make late contact on shots he was seemingly prepared for. However, the added flex in the strings did take away from some of the control I found so attractive with pure Moto. More of my ground strokes and serves flew long, even if they had some extra rotations. My strokes felt better and had more life, but they weren’t quite as sharp.
I’d still like to try Glide with a different main string; one I’m more familiar with and suits my game a little better than Moto. Or maybe for fun I should string one of the extreme string pattern frames entirely with Glide and see if I can tear the cover off the ball.
Overall, the results with Glide were rather positive. Paying $20 just for a cross string could be a difficult ask for many players. But if you’re a hybrid user and can swing the expense, it’s definitely worth a try.
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