What are the best squash strings

Either you broke your squash strings again or you are looking to upgrade your racket. Its cool how squash equipment has evolved over the years to suit all the different playing styles, from rackets, to strings, to eye guards, to shoes etc. People even ask me what the best socks for squash are! Any sports socks are fine.

In this article we are going to review the best squash strings, tried and tested. We will give recommendations on which string to use based on the type of player you are.

First some pointers on squash string gauge and tension

It is necessary to know about the different kinds of squash string gauges in order to make an informed decisions of not only which string to buy, but with which gauge and specifications.

String Gauge in racket sports represents the thickness of a squash, tennis, or badminton string. Squash strings typically come in 4 different gauges; 16G, 17G, 18G, and 19G, where 16G is the thickest, and 19G is the thinnest. Thicker strings tend to be more durable and last longer. In fact, 16G strings are thick enough to be used as tennis strings. In the same way, 19G is an extremely thin string, meant for those who hit the ball extremely cleanly and never break a string. The most commonly used strings are 17G and 18G. In general, thicker strings give more durability while thinner strings give more performance. By performance I mean power and control since thinner strings are more stretchy and can cut deeper into the ball (recall the trampoline effect from Squash String Tension).

Reasons for Squash String Breakage

Squash strings break for two main reasons:

  1. Hard miss-hits: This is the most common cause of string breakage and happens in a moment of intensity. A hard swing with the ball near the frame puts massive pressure on the string it hits, causing it to stretch excessively and get pushed into the frame of the racket, where it either gets cut or snaps. As squash players, we want to hit the ball with the center of the racket face, evenly distributing pressure throughout the string bed and preventing premature breakage of our strings.
  2. Wear and tear: Squash strings have a life. With continuous usage and cutting the ball for various shots, our strings will begin to fray. Squash strings have a multi-filament construction, meaning that a single string is actually a union of several thin fibers twisted together into a strong, flexible, braid like structure. With time and usage, these fibres sheer and fray, and eventually your string bed is literally hanging by a thread. A frayed string bed is a sign of a good player who has been hitting cleanly and putting lots of cut on the ball without breaking a string. Learn how to properly cut the strings of a racket.
What is the difference between 17 and 18 squash strings?

Should I use high gauge or low gauge strings?

Thinner squash strings (18G and 19G), although very high performance in terms of power and control, tend to break very easily from a single miss-hit, which is why they are recommended for very advanced and professional players. The deterioration of the string does not effect them much either since they regularly restring their rackets.

A thick string of 16G is meant for beginners and “string breakers”, people who tend to break their strings at least once a month. Restringing your racket can become a costly affair, which is why it is recommended to use a 16 gauge string as your technique and ability to hit the ball cleanly gets better. You are more likely to break the frame of your racket before breaking a 16G string.

For most players, a 17G string is optimal as it provides the best balance of performance and durability. Due to its popular demand, it is produced abundantly and is also reasonably priced. Thinner strings like 18G and 19G are more specialised and tend to be pricier for the pros who are willing to pay for that extra performance.

Squash string tension refers to how how tightly your racket is strung. Think of your racket face as a trampoline. When the ball makes contact with the string bed, it pushes into the racket face, causing the strings to stretch. Looser strings have more elasticity and tend to stretch more while tighter strings are already stretched, so will stretch less on contact. Using Newton’s third law, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, the string bed trampoline will push the ball forward with the same kinetic energy accumulated in the stretched strings.

Put simply, looser strings: more stretch, more power. Tighter strings, less stretch, less power.

String Tension: Power v.s. Control

Unfortunately, there is always a trade-off between power and control. When the tension is low and strings are stretchy, the ball will be flying off your racket, making it difficult to control. You would need very soft hands to keep your drop shots low and short, and develop a good feel for your racket face while playing lobs to keep the ball in court. Driving and hard hitting would be a lot of fun though once you optimize your swing.

With tighter strings, you will feel more control of your shots. You can feel your strings cut against the ball, giving you better touch and a fraction of a millisecond more time to put direction into your shot. Unless you are very strong player and hard hitter, you will certainly feel that you have to put more effort into your swing in order to get the satisfying WAPAH!! sound when you hit a clean hard drive.

What tension should I string my squash racket?

The standard tension on a squash racket is 25 pounds (25 lbs). Most factory strung rackets come at a slightly higher tension to account for the relaxation of a the string during transportation, storage and sitting on shelves. Most people who are very picky about their strings tend to replace these immediately anyways.

Anything above 25 lbs is considered high tension. 26-27 lbs is slightly high while 28-29 lbs is very high. Anything more and your strings could snap, racket could break, and you wont get much power. Mohamed El Shorbagy likes his racket at 27lbs. It makes sense for him since he has a killer forearm anyways and wont miss out on any power.

Anything below 25 lbs is lower tension. The range in low tensions is endless and varies from player to player. I usually play at 24-25lbs, and have seen many people play with 22lbs, 18 lbs, 19 lbs etc. Gregory Gaultier is rumored to use as low as 15 lbs of tension. That explains his strings comically exploding during a match with Golan.

I am comfortable with 24 lbs tension. I get good power and control, and less breakage compared to when I play at 25 lbs or higher.

The best squash grips

Best Squash Strings Recommendations

#1: tecnifibre DNAMX

Endorsed by Mohammed El shorbagy, this particular string has been my favorite to play with for years. Available in 16G, 17G, 18G, I preferred the standard 17G strung at 24lbs tension on my tecnifibre Carboflex 125 X-speed racket. In fact that particular racket comes factory strung with tecnifibre DNAMX 17G string.

It has great power, good control, and feels very light on the racket. Some strings have a weight and influence the overall balance of the racket. This string has also broken less frequently on me. As a power player I have not experienced much breakage with this string. The fray of the string is also gradual, making this string reasonably durable and cost effective.

For those who own a Dunlop Hyperfibre Revelation Ali Farag series that came with Dunlop Silk 17G string, the tecnifibre DNAMX is a great substitute for the Dunlop Silk string which is difficult to find and is slightly pricey. I don’t think you would be able to tell the difference.

#2 tecnifibre 305 Green

This is the flagship string by tecnifibre, used by every pro you can think of. Nicole David, Raneem El Welily, Tarek Momen, Karim Abdel Gawad, Ramy Ashour, Gregory Gaultier, the list goes on. This string can be seen from miles away due to its iconic bright green color. It has incredible power, control, and touch. When you feel the string with your hands you can feel an oily and rubbery varnish on it that gives its texture and grip on the ball.

Compared to any other string, including the tecnfibre DNAMX, you will feel an insane amount of power coming from this string in your hard drives from the back of the court. At the front you will feel the weight of the ball on your racquet face during your drop shots. Its obvious why this string has become one of the most popular amongst the pros. Available in 16G, 17G and 18G, there seems to be an option for all levels of players and their preferences. The Tecnifibre suprem line of rackets come factory strung with the 305 green string.

Although this will remain the favorite string for most squash players, its disadvantage is more relevant to amateur and club level players: its fragile. One wrong hit with excessive force and a brand new set of strings goes to waste. Its also not meant to last beyond a full season of play as it withers very quickly. This string is more suitable for high performance players who can afford to replace it after every tournament or few weeks on several rackets.

I still recommend every serious player to try this string at least once to experience what it offers.

#3 Ashaway SuperNick XL

A workhorse of squash that has endured the years. Ashaway is an American brand specializing in strings for all sorts of racket sports including squash, racketball, tennis and badminton. They know their business. Ashaway SuperNick XL is one of the most popular strings among club level and advance level players for its performance, durability, and price. Although just slightly below tecnifibre in terms of power, its texture produces good control and cut, generating lots of spin on the ball.

Its also reasonably durable, and can go on for months without breakage if played without too many miss-hits. Ashaway SuperNick XL comes in 17G in two different colors; an iconic red white and blue, and a red, lime green, and blue, both performing equally well. There is also an 18G variant, the Ashaway SuperNick XL Micro, for more precision players and comes in lime green and black. Many racket brands including Black Knight and Harrow come factory strung with Ashaway strings.

Ashaway SuperNick Variants

Ashaway has other other string variants to try including Ashaway ZX, Ashaway Powernick, Ashaway UltraNick, Ashaway MultiNick, and the titanium coated variation of this string, the SuperNick XL Ti. The SuperNick XL Ti comes in a textured metallic coating that claim to enhance durability. However I found that string to be very prone to breakage and was only sold at generic sports stores rather than specialty racket shops.

If you ever need a good reliable squash string and have trouble deciding, the Ashaway SuperNick XL is a safe option for all players. The other great thing about it is that most shop carry it and its reasonable prices.

#4 Head Evolution Pro

If you are a beginner or an intermediate player with a history of breaking strings, this is a great string that is reasonably priced and performs decently. Im glad Head is still producing these strings in three different colors, an attractive flaming orange, a pearly white, and a jet black. The string also comes in both 17G and 16G variants depending on whether you want more performance or more durability.

The best thing about this string is the price. You can keep breaking it and it wont hurt too much. Its a great string to develop your game with or repair your racket for the one-off squash session (though I always encourage endless play).

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