Big Red Playtest Report | Unique Sports Products

Big Red Playtest Report

Tourna Big Red 16

Tourna Big Red is a monofilament poly. According to Tourna, Big Red is a soft, comfortable, playable poly that is easy on the arm. Tourna designed Big Red as a control-oriented string with outstanding feel, with medium power to give players excellent accuracy and directional control. Additionally, Tourna tells us that Big Red has great tension maintenance and durability.

Tourna Big Red is intended for intermediate to advanced players.

Big Red is available in 16 and 17 gauges in Red only.

In the Lab

We tested the 16-gauge Big Red. The coil measured 41 feet 10 inches. The diameter measured 1.27 mm prior to stringing, and 1.26 mm after stringing. We recorded a string bed stiffness of 74 RDC units immediately after stringing at 60 pounds in a Wilson Pro Staff 6.1 95 (16 x 18 pattern) on a constant pull machine.

After 24 hours (no playing), string bed stiffness measured 69 RDC units, representing a 6.8 percent tension loss. Our control string, Prince Synthetic Gut Original Gold 16, measured 84 RDC units immediately after stringing and 77 RDC units after 24 hours, representing an 8.3 percent tension loss. In lab testing, Prince Synthetic Gut Original has a stiffness of 217 and a tension loss of 11.67 pounds, while Tourna Big Red 16 has a stiffness of 194 and a tension loss of 16.32 pounds. Big Red 16 added 16.3 grams to the weight of our unstrung frame.

The string was tested for five weeks by 31 USRSA playtesters, with NTRP ratings from 3.5 to 5.5. These are blind tests, with playtesters receiving unmarked strings in unmarked packages. Average number of hours playtested was 23.4.

Tourna Big Red feels stiff out of the package, which is not unusual for a poly. Coil memory made it a bit unruly on the mains, but installing the crosses was nice, as the mains offered just the right deflection during weaving. Even before getting the lab test results, it became obvious that Big Red wasn’t as stiff as it seemed, because we had to trim the end twice while negotiating a blocked hole. Finally, Big Red offers great feedback when cinching down knots.

On the Court

Our play test team found Durability to be excellent in Tourna Big Red, and Resistance to Movement and Control each to be well above average.


Big Red’s higher-than-normal installed weight implies a denser material, which might help explain its great durability and truly impressive measured tension maintenance. These characteristics at this price point should be exceptionally attractive to budget-conscious players.

Playtester Comments

  • “I was reluctant to string this sample, as I had just strung my frames with some expensive premium string. That being said, when I did string my racquet, I was totally impressed with all facets of this string, especially power, control, and comfort. I am eager to learn what specific brand, model, and gauge this sample is, as I want to play with it in the future.“ 4.0 male all court player using Head Youtek 6 strung at 50 pounds CP (Gamma iO 17)
  • “String has great control and resistance to movement. Plays fairly stiff with average power, but very good for putting spin on the ball. Has a firm feel on volleys and is great for hitting aggressive serves. Easy to keep the ball in the court.” 4.5 male all court player using Wilson Steam Spin strung at 64 pounds CP (Head Reflex MLT 16)
  • “This is a great all-around poly, with easily-measured power and plenty of control and spin. I was really impressed by how well the string maintained its playability, with minimal notching and consistent snap-back, even after 15 hours on the court.” 4.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Prince Response strung at 48 pounds CP (Luxilon Alu Power Spin/Luxilon Alu Power Feel 16L/17)
  • “Frame broke during 9th hour of use. Stringmeter results: Reference tension = 52 pounds, average mains before any hitting = 50.9 pounds, average mains after nine hours = 48.9 pounds. A loss of only 3.93%! No notching, only negligible memory compression marks visible. No surface disruption on mains or crosses. Despite stiff appearance while coiled, this string relaxed nicely leading to simple installation. I really enjoyed this set. Appears to be a sensational product!” 4.5 male all court player using Dunlop iDapt Force strung at 52 pounds CP (Tecnifibre Pro Red Code/Gamma Synthetic Gut 18/16)
  • “Very good power from the baseline. Good spin production. Slight loss of control probably due to lower tension. Very good tension retention.” 3.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Prince O3 White strung at 51 pounds CP (Ytex Square X/Ytex Touch 16)
  • “When I opened the package and saw the red string, I thought ‘Wow, I love the color, hope the string is as good as it looks.’ The string maintained tension better than most of the others I have tested. The power and control were definitely noticeable. I love the touch with these strings; you knew exactly where the ball was going to end up. I do not normally hit out, but with this string I could without losing control of the ball. Excellent string!” 5.5 male all court player using Babolat Pure Drive strung at 60 pounds CP (Babolat VS 16)
  • “This string is the best poly I’ve ever tested. It has the playability of a top-of-the-line synthetic gut and the power and control of a poly. Truly a string that maximizes your game. From the baseline controlled game to serve and volley play. For serving, the ball jumps off the strings with accuracy. Also, no significant effect on your arm after hours of play. This string seems to have it all. For me it is time to switch.” 4.5 male all court player using Head Radical Graphene strung at 53 pounds CP (Luxilon Alu Power Feel 18)
  • “With the plethora of polyester string choices on the market, this string does stand out from the crowd with massive spin and above average power! Feels slightly softer than my usual very stiff string. But this increase in power was complemented by the huge spin generated by this string. I would switch to this string in a heartbeat if it is moderately priced!” 5.0 male baseliner with heavy spin using Wilson BLX Pro Open strung at 58.5 pounds LO (Luxilon Alu Power 17)
  • “This string hit well! Recommended for anyone looking for a more durable string either in a full poly setup or in a hybrid. The hybrid would provide the durability and control of a polyester with a softer feel and power of a multifilament.” 3.5 male baseliner with heavy spin using Babolat Pure Drive Roddick strung at 60 pounds LO (Solinco Tour Bite 16L)
  • “Dynamic tension was 43 after stringing, so it seemed like a rather stiff string. It was a little bit stiffer than what I normally like, in the 39-41 range. After a few days of teaching it measured 41 and was still at 39 two weeks later. It could be coincidence, but the first several days it measured 39, I played the best I have played in several years. I would definitely try this string again. For a poly, it had very low coil memory out of the package so it was practically a breeze to string.” 4.5 male baseliner with moderate spin using Head Speed Pro Graphene XT strung at 43 pounds CP (Head Gravity 17/18)
  • “While it still had a poly feel, the playability was better than expected. This is one of the few strings that I would be willing to switch from a hybrid for.” 4.5 male all court player using Prince Textreme Tour strung at 49 pounds CP (Prince Tour XC/Prince Premier Control 16L/16)
  • “Loved the red color of this poly. Seemed to be a softer poly with very good feel. I got plenty of power at 45 pounds tension without the sacrifice of control. There was very little wear after 46 hours of play/teaching time. Very durable!” 3.5 male all court player using Dunlop iDapt 27.5 strung at 45 pounds CP (Wilson Sensation/Prince Synthetic Gut 17/18)

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