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Strings for a beginner?

Published: 16 Jan 2009 - 11:46 by Eddy01741

Updated: 18 Jan 2009 - 06:25

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Alright, I've played with my Wilson nTour now for about 4-5 weeks (playing every weekday and most weekends when possible), and understandably, the strings broke (I think they are the Helixx 17 strings). THey started notching really early on (notches on most of the mains), and in the last week they started fraying, and they just broke today (I guess they fray fast...).


Now, since I'm at a high school and there is a stringing machine here (not sure which kind), there are some JV/Varsity players that know how to restring, and one of them told me he could do it for 10 dollars, which I see as a good deal considering my big brother had to get his racquet restrung for 40 dollars (restringing+cost of Supernick XL Tis) at the local squash shop. Hell, if I watch him do it, I might even be able to do it myself, saving myself even more money next time I need to do it.


So obviously there comes the question of which strings to use. I can't say I love the Helixx 17 strings on the nTour, but then again, I'm probably not good enough to know the difference, and havn't tried some any other popular strings out there yet (Tecnifibre 225/305s, Supernick XLs, Powernicks). I figured that just looking at prices online, the difference between the cheapest strings and the most expensive is only like 10 dollars, so might as well get me some decent ones instead of getting like crap nylon strings.


Just meandering around the site I guess I'll probably go with either the 225/305s, Supernicks, or Powernicks, seeing as how plenty of people seem to like them. I don't know which gauge I want, durability matters, but not THAT much. I usually stick with straight rails along the walls for my shots of choice, long rails to the back corners preferably, not a big fan of boasts and dropshots, but IF the occaision arrises (like I pinned the guy in the back corner and he scooped it out), I will occaisionally use them.


So any advice on strings?


Also eh, just a result of more browsing (I have a lotta free time these days), what is the difference between Supernick XL, Supernick XL Pro, and Supernick XL Ti?

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From Eddy01741 - 18 Jan 2009 - 06:25

Alright, I ended up getting Tecnifibre 305s, the tennis and squash shop I went to didn't have powernicks (only supernicks and the 225/305s from Ashaway and Tecnifibre respectively), I'm probably gonna string at around 24-25lbs.

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From Eddy01741 - 17 Jan 2009 - 10:34

Alright, just browsing the stringing tips on the ashaway usa website I found this potentially useful table

Stringing Choices
thin gauge / loose tension
thin gauge / tight tension
thick gauge / loose tension
thick gauge / tight tension







Alright, so as you can see, it has listed the differences between thick and thin as well as loose and tight. THe way I see my priorities are 1. power, 2. control, and 3. durability, so the two possibilities I see are loosely strung 17 or 18 gauge strings.


However, I thought I read that 18 gauge also gives more bite (meaning more  control, no?) since thinner strings can impart more on the ball.


Anyhow, I think I will probably look at the powernicks, and since they say string 10-20% lower tension, then I am looking at like 22-23 pounds, which would be 10% less tension than 25 lbs (and 25 lbs is at the lower end of the racquet's reccomended 24-28lbs tension). Any other advice on the tension would be appreciated though.




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From Adz - 16 Jan 2009 - 22:55



Tough one to call really. Both strings have some good pros, but you'd expect that from some of the top of the range strings on the market! I'd say the tecnifibre ones are slightly softer and will wear through quicker than the powernick ones (of equivalent guage).

Cons on both would probably be......

Powernick - Not enough touch in the string for a true touch style player

Tecnifibre - Can wear through very quickly if you tend to cut the ball a lot.


All up to you I guess, but I'd probably suggest giving the powernick 17 a try.





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From Eddy01741 - 16 Jan 2009 - 22:39

Alright, thanks guys, I guess this weekend my parents and I will take a look at what they got at the local squash shop and look for 305s or powernick 17/18s.


Can you care to give a detailed comparison of the powernicks and the 305s though? LIke the pros and cons of each?

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From Adz - 16 Jan 2009 - 18:52

Ok, given that you've used the string to the point of notching it probably means that thinner strings wouldn't be too much of a problem for you on durability.

Depending on the type of player you are, it will affect the choice of string that will best suit you. Ashaway and Tecnifibre are both fantastic brands, and it's always worth remembering that the bigger brands have pedigree for a reason.

If you're a solid player without too many touch shots, I'd probably recommend a slightly thicker string than the 225. Either a 1.2mm 305 Tecnifibre or the 1.25mm Powernick 17 (the blue one) could be worth a shout for starters. Either that or give the Powernick 18 a try.

I think Sloejp is right about the tensions being just as important as the string. Get them wrong and a really nice string can feel really poor.


Finally the difference in the Ashaway strings are:

Supernick XL - Standard string. Soft feel. Said to be the best selling squash string in the world.

Supernick XL Pro - Basically the same as the Supernick XL, but with a slightly more durable make-up. Designed to be a bit harder wearing than the Supernick XL, so will probably be a little less feeling.

Supernick XL Ti - Once again, same basic design but using difference outer-wraps in the braids. Including a titanium technology wrap. I guess this is the middle ground between the top two strings. Softer feel like the S/N XL but more durable like the S/N XL Pro.






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From sloejp - 16 Jan 2009 - 14:37

 when i started playing squash, i found that getting the tension right was more important for me than the brand of string. i had a lot of trouble generating power with rackets strung at high tensions and struggled to get the ball past my oponent and to extend rallies. so i had my racket restrung at a lower tension and tried out a few different brands of string. once my game improved i upped the tension and settled on 225s. why not take the time to try out a few different strings and see which you like best? the candidates you mentioned are all quality strings; from that point on it's just a matter of personal preference.

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