Babolat Xalt String Review
Updated: Sep 17
The well known tennis company of Babolat creates a new multifilament. In this Babolat Xalt string review we find that Xalt is a comfort and control-oriented multifilament string with the upside to replace a hybrid string bed at a lower cost. If this sounds like something you're interested in then you have come to the right place.
Does the French string manufacturer have another banger of a string in its repertoire? Babolat takes a stab at a new multifilament string that aims to be their control and comfort multifilament string. Xalt (Comfort & Control) becomes the third multifilament string in their lineup alongside Xcel (Comfort & Power) and Addixion (Comfort). This will be their most premium multifilament string coming in at the highest price point between the three but priced competitively across the market at 21.95$.
In this post, I will score 9 different categories based on the strings playtest and give recommendations on who should be using Babolat Xalt. A quick thanks to Tennis-Point for allowing me early access to this string.
About the String
Starting from the outside and working our way in, Babolat Xalt has a silicon coating that encases a polyamide layer with glass beads that finally covers the final multiple polyamide filaments. In other words, there is a soft casing that holds a layer of tons of little beads that are meant to react responsively and consistently each time you strike the ball firmly. Inside at the core are a lot of mini fibers that help create comfort by pocketing the ball and an elbow friendliness factor.
The shape of the string is simply round with no texture and the color is a pearl-like white. Finally, the French manufacturer has made it known they are trying to be more environmentally friendly by creating a 100% recyclable package and producing solvent-free products.
Babolat Xalt Scores
Being that I use mainly multifilament strings, power is one of the first things I will notice a drop off in when playing. It is not that I felt Babolat Xalt lacked power rather it required a few hitting sessions before I noticed the effortless power you can get from a multi. I would recommend taking it out to hit on against a wall or hit casually with a friend 2-3 times before playing any matches with it if you are expecting some of that power. After those few sessions, it will feel pretty comparable to the power of Babolat Addixion.
A bit opposite to the few hits needed to notice the power, I was stunned with by how much control I had immediately from a round multifilament. The ball was getting enough depth and I felt there wasn't really much of a chance for me to over swing, as the ball would still land inside the baseline. Since the first few hits though, I did notice you do have to tame your swing as with more play time the power does increase and you will lose some control. With that being said definitely a strong competitor for best in class in the control department of multifilament strings.
Spin is never high on scores in any multifilament string, especially when they are round strings. With that being said, I did feel that Xalt out performs other round multifilament's in this category. I'm not sure how they are achieving with the shape and structure of the string but I felt pretty confident in my ability to hit a heavy shaped ball with a full bed of Xalt. Compared to a shaped Poly of course it would not perform well hence the 6.5 but for a round multi, I was impressed. Most other round multifilaments would score below a 6.
Babolat excels at comfort in their multifilament strings. Xalt was no exception, especially for a multi that is on the firmer end due to the responsiveness that you get from the glass beads inside. It finds the perfect combination of being responsive and soft with wonderful pocketing.
Alongside comfort, the feel is one of Xalt's best attributes. Hitting drop shots with this string is oh-so satisfying and you feel connected throughout the whole stroke. The same goes for groundstrokes and serve. There is a certain connection that can't be described but only felt and the Xalt string does this so well.
As with most multifilament strings, the durability was not perfect. I noticed tiny cuts in the strings before I noticed actual fraying, this led to the strings picking up on the felt of the ball which can be annoying to some. After 5 hits and no fraying, I think it has lasted a bit longer than the other multis I have tested as of late though still holds no chance in durability to a polyester.
The price of Xalt is fair since it is a premium brand with premium quality, I think you get what you pay. Where it could get interesting is if you use it in place of a Hybrid that combines say natural gut/High-end Multi with a high-end poly. Then the value would be great. Currently, where it stands it's just a fair value.
The main reason why I primarily use multifilament strings is for the arm friendliness. Babolat normally does a top-notch job with their multis in this category and the Xalt was no different. Though this string is a bit firmer than Addixion or Xcel, I experienced no pain in the hitting sessions I completed during this review. The reason for it getting an 8.5 is because of the noticeable firmness compared to the other strings. There is a possibility that it's still too firm for someone with extreme arm pain which in that case I would recommend Xcel.
I strung my Tecnifibre Tfight 305 at 44lbs which I know is lower than the average player, I still recommend going up two pounds in tension from your normal tension as I did notice a drop after one hit. I'd say it dropped about 2 lbs and stabilized around 42 lbs for quite some time. The original drop in tension and the strings moving around the bed were the main reasons for this not scoring higher.
Overall Score: 70/90 or 77.78%
Who should use Babolat Xalt?
The main group of players that should be using Xalt is intermediate-level players who want a consistent string trajectory that has plus comfort from control whilst not worrying about generating too much of their own power. Secondly, Juniors who are thinking of transitioning to a poly string or in need of more control. Finally, anyone who wants an arm-friendly string that offers good control, typically arm-friendly strings can lack some control.
My bonus player group would be someone who currently uses a hybrid setup (Polyester and Multifilament/Natural Gut), replacing your likely pricey setup of two separate strings with one string that achieves most of what you want out of a Hybrid setup.
First and foremost Babolat can firmly say they offer three very different great options within their multifilament line all offering great comfort. The connected feel you get with this string is high level and classic-styled players will really enjoy this string's control benefits. On top of this is a great option for juniors who are either currently using a multi with limited control aspects or using a hybrid that wants to just use one string. Finally, if you have any stringing needs Tennis-Point is the best tennis retailer in the world and you will find Babolat Xalt on August 31st at Tennis Point!