Hailing from Ukraine, Mayami is a newcomer to the tennis string market. Founded in 2018, they've already made a splash amongst the recreational market and have received lots of positive feedback regarding their innovative string designs.
They are also currently used by several touring pros, including Ilya Marchenko and Kateryna Bondarenko, and numerous promising Ukrainian juniors.
I had seen Mayami mentioned on String Forums several times when they first launched and made a note to test them.
Finally, at the backend of 2021, I got around to it, purchasing a set of their strings, and I will be reviewing them over the next few months.
The first string I chose to review from the Mayami lineup is their Big Spin string, a triangular-shaped polyester string that, as the name suggests, should give players plenty of topspin to their game.
Big spin isn't my natural game, but I've tested and used plenty of spin orientated strings over the years like Solinco Confidential, Yonex Poly Tour Pro and Babolat RPM Blast. Hence, I have a reasonable idea of ‘spin potential' in my game and how the string can impact it.
Let's look at how Mayami Big spin played in this playtest and review.
Mayami Big Spin Specification
MAYAMI BIG SPIN is a triangular contorted polyester string with astonishing qualities that produces a huge amount of spin, comfort and control. An unordinary oddity on the tennis string market! How Mayami pitch their Big Spin tennis string
- Co-poly monofilament
- Triangular, Twisted (3 sided twisted)
- Gauges – 1.25mm and 1.30mm
- Colour – Black
Racquet Setup for Testing
For this playtest, I used the Wilson Blade 98 16 x 19 v8, which is a control orientated racket that weighs 329g strung.
I strang the racket on my portable Mi Stringer stringing machine as a two-piece string job. I set the tension at 53 lbs with the 1.25 mm gauge of Mayami Big Spin.
Upon opening the packet, you can instantly see the twisting in the string, and it has a glossy look and feel to it.
Coil memory is significant, but overall I found Big Spin relatively easy to string with.
Due to the twists and triangular edges, I was expecting a very harsh stiff string on the fingers, but it has a soft feel, and it was pliable when weaving and feeding through tighter spaces.
Mayami Big Spin Playtest
So how did Mayami Big Spin play? Let's take a look with a full playtest and review.
Initial Thoughts and How It Felt
My first hit with Mayami Big Spin was on a fast indoor court. It was a surface I've not played on before, and I'm not even sure it has an official name.
It was an acrylic like tiled surface (joints at specific points that were sealed) with a slight tread pattern on the top, so it's not entirely smooth.
It is an interesting surface, very squeaky underfoot, quite slippy despite the tread, and the ball can jump up from the topspin but is just as likely to skid through below waist height, making it quite unpredictable.
I was also coming in off a 2-month hiatus, so my first hurdle was to get used to a ball that went through the court at light speed and gave you very little time on the ball.
After slowly but surely getting used to hitting a tennis ball again, my first thoughts on the string were it was unique to play with.
Purely from looking at the string in the packet and the colour, I assumed it would be similar to RPM Blast, but after stringing and the first few hits, they're not comparable at all.
It's a soft feeling polyester, very comfortable to play with, has above-average power, and there wasn't any break-in period—a good start.
How It Played
After a lengthy short court warm-up to get a feel on the ball and get the legs moving (it was an 8 am start), the session moved to baseline hitting.
Big Spin felt good from the outset. Whereas some strings like Solinco Confidential feel a bit board like when freshly strung, Big Spin didn't have that feeling, and it has a soft, lively response from the first shot. I was playing around 15 hours after freshly stringing it.
The first 10-15 minutes were more about me getting used to the speed of the ball and preparing early, so I was more concentrated on what my feet were doing than the string itself.
However, once things began to click, I started to feel what the ball was doing off the racket and get more idea of how the string plays and compares to others on the market.
I've tried a couple of twisted/shaped strings in the past, including WeissCannon Ultra Cable (you can compare all twisted strings using our string finder tool), but I was never a massive fan of them.
I find they tend to give a bit of an inconsistent response. One shot can fly, the next can shoot off at a weird angle, but with Big Spin, I found a consistent reaction with no issues on variable launch angle.
However, the biggest surprise for me was the power, it's hard to call a polyester a ‘power' string given its properties, but there was some liveliness with Big Spin.
I felt like the string gave some extra ‘pop' compared to other polyesters, and it plays more elastic than plastic, which provides a good ball pocketing feel.
I don't suffer from any arm problems, but Big Spin is undoubtedly more comfortable than most other spin focused polys which tend to be extremely stiff. In comparison, this one has a softer, more elastic, explosive feel on contact.
Durability and Price
I'm not a big string breaker, so I rarely drag strings through the mire when it comes to durability but based on previous strings I've used, Big Spin is average on durability.
I think you can expect anywhere from 5-10 hours out of this string for those who hit big.
The triangular edges will certainly flatten out over time, and I noticed some light notching/wear & tear after a couple of hitting sessions.
In terms of tension maintenance, I played with the racket about 15 hours after stringing it at 52lbs, and it had dropped to 42lbs when I measured it using the String Tension Android app after a 90 minute hit.
Price-wise, Mayami Big Spin runs at $11.90 for a single packet or $129 for a 200m reel which puts it in the middle price range.
It's half the price of some Luxilon, Babolat and Yonex strings but slightly pricier than other decent polyester offerings from Head, Isospeed, Kirschbaum and MSV.
Based on that, I think its price to performance ratio is good as it's easily on a par with more expensive strings.
Who Is This String For?
As the name suggests, Big Spin will be a very popular choice for players who want a comfortable string but still want to put as many revolutions on the ball as possible from the baseline.
This string will reward you if you swing hard with a fast, loose arm. The real heavy hitters who play in the Nadal, Ruud type mould will prefer stiffer polys. But for those who want a bit more comfort, some added pop without sacrificing spin, Mayami Big Spin is one to consider.
Were I to use this string again, I'd string it at an even lower tension as I think that's where it will perform best. Not quite at Mannarino tensions (~12kg) but around the 20kg mark.
I also think this string could work well in a hybrid setup and if you read reviews on Talk Tennis, combining Mayami Big Spin with Mayami Magic Twist seems to produce pleasing results for those who have tried it.
How does Big Spin compare to other Mayami Strings?
- vs Mayami Tour Hex – Compared to Tour Hex, Big Spin has more comfort, more power, but less control, not as good tension maintenance and less consistent behaviour over longer durations of playtime.
Find Your Ideal Tennis String
Looking for a new string to try in your racket? Use our easy to use tennis string finder tool. It lets you filter by string type, gauge, colour, price, stiffness and shape.
Mayami Big Spin is an impressive string, and for players looking for a modern ‘twist', this is one string they should be testing.
Regarding where I place it amongst other polyester strings, I'd say it has above-average power, above-average comfort and very high spin potential. Tension maintenance is reasonable, and durability is what you'd expect for a string of this nature.
I also have another set of this string to use, and I plan to reserve that for the spring where I can use it on a slower outdoor court where I think the string might come even more into its own. I will update this playtest once I've tested it on clay.
- Great Spin
- Plenty of power
- Comfortable for a polyester
- Twisted / Triangular string can be harsh on grommets
- Not the most durable
Have you tried Mayami Big Spin? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments, and stay tuned for further Mayami String reviews as I work through their string lineup.