When you buy a squash racket it´s normally well strung and you can perfectly play with it. However, over the years more experienced squash players tend to develop preferences and many have discovered that by choosing certain strings you can improve the playing characteristics of the racket. Below we´ll talk about the best strings that are on the market and see how string tension affects the racket.
To illustrate the importance of the choice of strings and tension, I sometimes take as an example the tires of a car. The composition of the tire determines your feel and grip on the road. A soft natural rubber tire has much more grip than a hard artificial rubber tire. The same applies to squash strings as well. Racketsnormally come out of the factory prestrung with thick, artificial strings, which means that they tend to have a long lifespan but you´ll lose in terms of comfort and control.
Which squash string should I choose for my new racket?
Which string is the most suitable for you depends on your preferences and on how often you play. Most squash players choose a string from Tecnifibre and Ashaway. These brands manufacture high-quality strings which improve the playing characteristics of your racket. The famous green Tecnifibre 305 squash string offers you excellent comfort and control over the ball. It´s not for nothing that this string is considered the very best squash string, and it actually says enough if most professional players choose it. Players looking for more power can opt for the Tecnifibre DNAMX. After all, it´s a matter of asking around and trying out, but with these brands you´re likely to make a good choice.
How to choose the right tension?
When you re-string your racket you also need to choose the tension. In squash, we talk about the tension in kilograms because we refer to the amount of pressure with which the string is pulled by the stringing machine. In general, the tighter the strings (this requires more pressure) the easier it is to control the ball. On the other hand, the looser the strings the easier it is to generate a lot of power for your shots: with low tension the stringbed is more flexible and the strings can move up and down as a trampoline, which in turn results in more ball acceleration.
Most players prefer a tension of 11.5 kg which is also the factory tension for most rackets. It´s not too tight but not too loose either. If you don´t know what tension to choose or don´t have a preference, 11.5 kg is a safe choice. Players looking for more power can choose 10.5-11 kg. If you´re a newcomer, I recommend you to gradually increase or decrease the tension and not to go directly to any extreme. Rather, take small steps to discover what best fits your playing style. Those who want more ball control can choose a slightly higher tension because tighter strings make it easier to play accurate shots. If you have several rackets of the same model, you can have them strung with slightly different tensions and try out which tension is ideal for you.
What role does the thickness of the string play?
Squash string thicknesses vary between 1.10 mm and 1.30 mm. If the thickness deviates from this the string isn´t usually designed for squash but for other racket sports. With a thin string you have more grip on the ball. You can control the ball better and feel perfectly what you are doing with the ball. On top of this you also have more power. Then why would anyone choose a thicker string? Because a thin string wears out and breaks faster and you´ll have to restring your racket more often. With a thicker string, you lose a bit in terms of control and power, but the lifespan of the string is significantly longer. Most players choose a string with an intermediate thickness of 1.20 or 1.25 mm.
The composition of the string also influences its lifespan. Squash strings made of softer plastics increase your playing comfort considerably, but tend to break faster than stiffer strings made of a harder plastic.
When it comes to the details of stringing a racket, most professional players keep them to themselves, otherwise we could simply copy what they use. Finding the best brand, model and tension is a matter of trying out.
But at Squashpoint there are no secrets and we want to help you and other players to find the ideal string and tension as soon as possible. We´d love to read about your experience and preferences in the field of strings and restringing. Leave a message below to help other readers make the right choice.
You may also be interested in the following articles:
The difference between the Dunlop Pro and the Dunlop Competion Squash balls
Tips on how to plan a squash training session
Watch your opponent and your game will improve