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Head wanted to fill a hole in their string lineup. The company felt it had polyesters with a firm feel and heightened control, but lacked a model that was more forgiving and comfortable. A poly with good spin potential and command that could appeal to a broader audience thanks to its softer response and easier power.

After three years of development, the result is Hawk Power. The designers wanted the round string to be unique in several facets. The prime directive was imbuing it with a friendlier feel than a traditional polyester. This promotes the perception of good ball-pocketing and a larger sweet spot. Yet, it still delivers the depth control and last-minute, dipping ball flight that players have come to appreciate from these types of strings.

Head Hawk Power

Head Hawk Power

Another priority was creating an inviting sound at contact. Polyesters can often sound pingy or dead at impact, which players associate with being muted or lacking ball connection. Hawk Power was developed to feel dampened, but still have a lively, solid sound, as users typically perceive this feedback favorably. The results may not be any different in terms of playability, but players believe their shots to be more formidable.

One aspect of the string that was a happy accident is the look. The petrol color has been deemed a big hit, yet it wasn’t initially in the blueprint. Head came across the shade in a batch of discarded string during the manufacturing process. Refuse or not, they were taken by the distinctive appearance, and took several months of trial-and-error to duplicate it.

The production of Hawk Power also represents something quite different for the company. For the first time, the Austrian-based brand is manufacturing a string in this country. As the U.S. is the biggest tennis market, simply getting product to players exacts an environmental toll. So, in addition to using recycled materials in the packaging, shipping and travel costs are mitigated to create a more eco-friendly string.

Hawk Power is currently available in 17g ($16/set). Plans are in the works for thicker gauges to appeal to college players and bigger hitters needing greater durability. In the meantime, if you’re looking for a poly with some extra pop and comfort, it’s definitely one to try.