Intermountain / Colorado

HighFIVE: Ryan Burbary

Rachel Morley | September 30, 2022


Burbary, Velociti develop biodegradable string


Have you ever thought about what happens to old tennis string? Colorado native and Velociti Tennis President, Ryan Burbary, did and at the young age of 22, developed Velociti Catalyst, the first line of synthetic biodegradable string. Most synthetic string takes hundreds of years to biodegrade, but Catalyst only takes 3 – 5 years to fully decompose, about 99% less time. 


Growing up in Lone Tree, Ryan didn’t start playing tennis until he was a freshman at Highlands Ranch High School, where he played for four years. But Ryan is no stranger to the Colorado tennis retail industry as his dad, Adam Burbary, is the owner of Game-Set-Match, Inc., Colorado’s leading brick-and-mortar racquet sports store. Ryan says, “Growing up working at Game-Set-Match, I saw how much string we ended up throwing away, as its useful life is pretty short in comparison to the hundreds of years it will ultimately be around.”


“The idea for the string came about as I saw biodegradable technology being used in other industries and we decided to see if it could be applied to the tennis industry,” says Ryan. The string is a co-polyester which contains the same materials used in all synthetic string as well as small amounts of organic technology. 


Besides being better for the environment, Ryan says there were unforeseen benefits of the string. The durability, playability and tension maintenance (keeping its tension while strung) are a little better than comparable string. It also only starts to biodegrade once it is in a landfill, so it won’t start while it’s in the racquet.


While the Catalyst line is the first biodegrable string from Velociti, it is not their first ecofriendly product. Their TurboPoly line, which was tested in January 2022 by Racquet Sports Industry Magazine, came unpackaged in a simple coil to prevent single-use packaging from ending up in landfills. The TurboPoly got great reviews with comments such as “well-suited for 3.5- to 5.5-level players looking for durability and spin”, “price is also attractive”, “scored high marks for overall durability and spin potential” and Ryan is hoping for similar reviews about the Catalyst line.


Ryan graduated this past spring from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a degree in Finance and Accounting and will be putting his degree to good use as he plans to continue to lead the growth of biodegradable technology in tennis. Catalyst is expected to be available to the public in the next month or two at, Game-Set-Match stores in Colorado and at a few other brick-and-mortar stores across the country. Ryan admits that building brand awareness has been the biggest challenge so far but is currently working on expanding distribution channels throughout the country. He is also working on expanding the product line to include biodegradable multifilament and synthetic gut strings.


Ryan’s vision and timing of introducing environmentally friendly products into tennis could not have matched up better. He says, “The tennis industry is already witnessing a shift as modern players see the value of tennis products made from environmentally sustainable materials. It’s super low cost but can have a huge effect. I firmly believe our new biodegradable technology will soon become the norm for the industry and I’m very excited about that prospect.”


To stay posted on what Velociti is doing, follow @VelocitiSports on Instagram or check out their website at

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