Racket strings don’t necessarily have to break to need replacing. If you’re playing frequently (three or more times per week) we recommend that you restring your racket at least three times a year to ensure optimum performance as all strings will lose their elasticity and deteriorate with constant use.
Even if you are playing less frequently you should ideally still restring your racket at least a couple of times a year even if the strings have not actually snapped. Once the strings are pulled to tension within a racket they will gradually lose elasticity even if they are not in use. Many players neglect their strings, even though proper stringing can make a huge difference to the way a racket performs.
Here’s our quick guide to squash racket restringing
1. String tension Every racket comes with a recommended string tension which is sometimes listed on the racket throat.
There is a common misconception when choosing squash racket strings that a higher string tension gives greater power; in fact the reverse is true. A higher or tighter string tension provides less power but increases control. This is because the string works like a trampoline. When the ball hits the racket it ‘catches’ then shoots the ball back out again with greater power.
We restring most rackets at 24-30 lbs.
2. String gauge Thin strings generally offer better control and feel but do tend to be less durable so can work out more costly to use as more frequent restrings may be required.
Thicker strings are more resistant but as they are generally less responsive there is a trade off. Squash strings generally range from 1.10mm – 1.30mm thickness. Thicker strings are available but these are really designed for tennis or racketball rackets.
3. String construction There are different types of string:
Natural gut Natural gut strings have great resilience and offer good control and touch. They do tend to be more commonly used in tennis rackets and can be very costly.
Synthetic strings Most squash rackets come pre-strung by the manufacturers with synthetic strings and there are several types available i.e. monofilament (one solid piece), multifilament (many pieces intertwined) or nylon.
Here are some examples of the strings we currently recommend to squash players, together with approximate prices. The guide cost includes the professional restring as well as the string itself.
Synthetic Gut £16
Head Evolution Pro £18
RAB Sensor Fibre £19
Tecnifibre 305 £20
Tecnifibre X-One biophase £23
Tecnifibre 305+ £22
Ashaway Supernick £20
Ashaway Ultranick 16/17 £22
Ashaway Ultranick 19 £24
Ashaway Powernick 18 £22
Ashaway Powernick 19 £24
Most professionals tend to restring all their rackets with the same string and at the same tension. Some will use a thicker gauge for training and a finer gauge for match play. For example some of the strings/string tensions currently used by leading pro players are:
Nick Matthew – current World no.2
String: Ashaway Powernick 18 Tension: 28lbs – rackets always strung by his dad.
Mohamed El Shorbagy – current World no.6
String: Tecnifibre 305+ Black 1.1 gauge Tension: 26lbs.
Chris Simpson – current World no. 28
String: Tecnifibre 305 1.1 gauge “during tournaments I use the 1.1 thickness, but in training I will mostly use 1.2 thickness…training with the thicker string means I'm not breaking as many, but I still get the extra feel in matches”
Tension: 29.5lbs “I just strung four rackets up at different tensions when I first started playing with the Harrow Vibe, and out of the four I most liked the one strung at 29.5!” – strings his own rackets.
Laura Massaro – current Women’s World no.3
String: RAB sensor fibre Tension: 29lbs “at that tension it gives me a mixture of feel and power that suits me best”.
Laura has a green down section and a yellow cross section (her signature colours, also matching her green and yellow grip).
We always recommend using an experienced, professional stringer with a good quality stringing machine which will calculate tension precisely (We restring all our rackets with an electronic Babolat Sensor machine).
4. Budget Budget will undoubtedly be a factor for most people. As shown above, prices start from around £15 but can vary significantly.
Finally, it may take some trial and error to find a string tension to suit your game. Each time you take your racket for restringing keep a record of the string and tension selected so that you can stick with those which help you to perform at your best in future!
Visit our chosen equipment partner in the UK and Europe pdhsports.com for more information.