Squash strings

May 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

From Dominique Chiquet, UC Berkeley Squash pro:

Stringing Recommendation:

Restring your racket each year as many times as you play each week. Always restring at least once a year. Most Racquets come prestrung with cheap Nylon, which looses tension the fastest and needs to be replaced the quickest. Some come prestrung with high-end strings (Black Knight, Tecnifibre racquets) that play well untill they break.
The mains should be strung 2 lbs/1kg tighter than the crosses.
String the thinner string 3lbs/1.5kg looser than the thick to get the same feeling.

Attention: Give your racquet directly to a squash stringer!!
Literally all places offering restringing in SF don’t carry squash strings(except squash clubs).
=> your racquet comes back with thin tennis strings, often strung with the wrong tension.
a thin tennis string is completely different than a squash string. Tennis strings are much stiffer than squash strings = not elastic enough => you will get little power and feel for squash.
Tip: If you go to a shop, ask them for the package or reel of the string.

Thickness of a string, measured in gauge

Gauge Diameter
18 1.06 – 1.15 mm thin => stretch more => more touch and power
17 1.16 – 1.25 mm thick => remains flatter => more control and durability
16 1.26 – 1.34 mm (never used for squash)

a 17 gauge tennis string is not the same as a 17 gauge squash string!!

String Tension

Higher tension = more control
Lower tension = more power
Racquets tend to be strung at 25-29 pounds or 11 – 13 Kilos, anything outside of this range is quite extreme.
Larger racquetheads need slightly higher tension for comparable playability.
High tension and hard hitting => pop more strings.
Very low tension => pop strings by wearing them out by abrasion, (strings tend to saw back and forth against each other more).

Elasticity: . Non-elastic strings (nylon and synthetic gut) => more control
Elastic strings(Tecnifibre/Ashaway and natural gut) => more power and touch.

Tension loss/Performance life

All strings lose a significant amount of tension after stringing and after play.
(roughly 10 percent by the day after they’re strung. The more you play, the greater the loss of tension.

Performance life = the time until strings no longer lose tension; they are “dead” = most elasticity is lost => playability is very poor => time to restring.
Performance life is the key measure of how long a string lasts. It has absolutely nothing to do with string life (durability).
Nylon strings are recommended to be replaced within 3 month as they loose tension very quickly. Many racquets come prestrung with Nylon.
Synthetic strings loose tension slower than Nylon, elasticity is lost completely after about 6 months for monofilament to 12 months with multifilament strings.
Tecnifibre/Ashaway/Natural Gut and other high-end strings don’t need to be replaced until they break because they lose tension very slowly.

Durability
Heat and moisture are enemies of racket string.=>
-Don’t store your racquet in the trunk of your car on a hot, humid day, or in a damp basement during the off-season.

String types

Monofilament strings => durable but stiff => poor performance life => cheap and only for recreational players,

Multi-filament construction = large number of strands of the same material and diameter twisted together. Multi-filament strings are considered to be the softest, offering the most feel but shortest performance life.

Trouble with tennis elbow?

Ideally use natural gut, the most elastic string there is, but hard to find these days.
Tecnifibre is almost as good.

Different stringing machines

Different stringing machines may produce very different results: for example, 30 lb. on one machine may be equivalent to 25 lb. on another.
In order to get consistent results, find a stringer you like to work with and stay with him or her.
The biggest difference is between manual, or ‘lock-out tension’ machines, and ‘continuous pull’ electronic machines. You’ll get about 10% higher tension with an electronic machine, both set to the same weight.
The other thing is that rackets strung with electronic machines hold tension better.

Spin

Thinner strings are better. They dig a bit deeper into the surface of the squash ball, generating better traction for more spin control.

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