Will This String Make a Comeback?
Many, many years ago in a galaxy far, far aw…oh, sorry! I got carried away trying to go back so far in the history of tennis string!
Years ago there were only a handful of tennis string manufacturers and one of the largest and most reputable was Toa of Japan. The most recognized string made by Toa was “Leoina 66”. I suspect many of you remember this string. It was light amber in color, big and round (15L, .0557 Diameter) and inexpensive. In addition to all those attributes it had a very subtle texture.
Why would I be talking about this string now with so many new “hi tech” strings available? I have a few reasons but I will start with the most appealing one and that is…cost to the consumer!
As you all know “spin” is the name of the game now and the way to get “spin” in the view of many, is to use polyester based string or use a racquet with a very open string pattern, say, like 16 x16. Two things can happen. With polyester based string only the strongest among us can realize the benefit of this material, and it can contribute to painful issues.
The other option is the very open pattern racquets and that creates another issue which is string durability, or lack thereof. Open patten racquets will tear through strings at an alarming rate.
Why is this a big deal? Unless you are a highly ranked, or highly paid player you need to pay to have your racquet strung. The latest “hi-tech” materials are, in my opinion, very expensive. So here is where Leoina 66 comes in. It is not costly!
Try pairing Leoina 66 with a polyester based string as a hybrid format and try using a full set of Leona 66 in a very open pattern racquet. The 15L gauge adds a little more area to the string which takes a little longer to wear through. The slight texture can mitigate movement which can cause frictional notching and therefore failure.
Maybe Leoina 66 is not “hi-tech” as we know it now, but if you are interested in saving a little money this is an option. There are a number of thicker strings around but this is the one I most familiar with so you may want to try other bands and if you do let me know what your reaction is to thicker and cheaper strings.