Info for Your Squashgame

More string advice

Published: 02 Feb 2009 - 19:16 by Jegga

Updated: 18 Feb 2009 - 03:23

Subscribers: Log in to subscribe to this post.

Hi everyone,

Ok, so I have read all of the other threads in regards to strings and would like some recommendations from your personal experience.

I bought a Wilson Ncode N120 just before xmas (5 weeks ago) and after sifting through the threads here I decided to get it restrung straight away. I went with the Ashaway PowerNick 18's as people had good opinions of them and I didn't have much knowledge (I am relatively new to the game - it was my second racket and first restring).

Anyway, I was down having a practice tonight and they snapped...bugger.

So my next question (or questions) is what do I go for next based on 1) my racket as mentioned above. 2) my game style which is quite deep in the back corners with some touch shots when the oppurtunity presents itself and 3) Durability.

I don't mind paying that little bit extra if the strings are going to last longer, as in the long run it probably works out costing a similar price in comparison to replacing more often with lesser quality strings.

I play approx 3 - 5 hours a week.

From what I can tell my backhand is relatively open when I strike the ball which may have something to do with the strings breaking, but my forehand is neither open nor closed.

If it helps, the strings broke at the top of the head and I had all the string protectors.

I think that covers everything.

Oh, I live in Auckland, New Zealand if anyone knows of a good place to get them restrung. The last place I got them done was where I bought the racket (Just a general sports store).


Thanks in advance,


squash game squash extras How to add images to Members' Forum posts and replies here...


Please Note: The most recent replies are now at the top!

From Adz - 18 Feb 2009 - 03:23

Ah....... I kind of went away from Ashaway strings on this one........


I tried powernick 18 and 17 but couldn't get the control right. Tried Supernick Pro (restrung to my tensions!) and they felt dead. Tried a tecnifibre rip-off that were pretty good but didn't quite feel right. Tried X-one and although it started ok I think it lost more tension than i was expecting due to creep (and I'd prestretched them too!). I tried Toalson Bio-Logic which felt the best of them all until I tried Gosen Sheep Tour which felt perfect.


Been using them for a few weeks now and they seem just right. So much so that I bought a reel ready to do my other racquets. Don't get me wrong, in all other racquets I've had, I've got on great with Ashaway, never been much of a fan of tecnifibre, but this time I have to say the Gosen has come out on top.

I know what you mean with the powernick and control, it was the problem I had when I first changed to the Black Knights. Found the supernick XL (that they come with) but restrung to tension had great control but no power, so after some hard searching around I settled on the Gosen.


Hope that helps!




Back to top

From Demo - 18 Feb 2009 - 02:55

Hi Adz,


Out of curiosity, which string and tension do you have on your Ion Drive right now?

I didn't like the Supernick Pro that came with it, so I restrung it with Powernick 18, for a lack of TF X-One. But with that I lost some control.

Black Knight racquets are readily available here, since it's a Canadian company. I think a large majority of players at my club use their racquets.


Back to top

From Adz - 10 Feb 2009 - 18:35


Sadly it can be a long process to find the perfect string to play with. Depending on your level of play and your style of play, different strings can be more useful for you to try. If you're looking for something durable but with good playing characteristics, try to give the powernick 17 a try.

If you can't get hold of them then it would be worth nosing at the Head Intellistring. Either is pretty durable.






Back to top

From Jegga - 10 Feb 2009 - 12:50


As per your comment on 3rd Feb at 4.47 relating to the SuperNick XL Ti's power and strength, I now see what you mean. After 3 games and less than a week after I had them strung the 'notching' of the strings is pretty severe and it looks as though they are going to snap very soon, possibly even during tonights game that I have :S Bad news.


So, now I have a few options:

PN 18 again

PN 17

TF X-One

TF 305

Or instead of this should I just go for some cheap string which is going to have 7 power, 7 control and 7 durability?

I'm not keen on replacing strings every damn week as it gets expensive very fast.




Back to top

From mlongobard - 07 Feb 2009 - 14:21

Following up about the O3 Black -- I took the racquet back to the stringer after the second break., After some  back and forth it became clear that he'd gotten a batch of TF 305 that was breaking like crazy --  but it still seemed like a legitimate question whether part of the problem was the grommetless design of the O3. :His resolution was to restring (at no charge) the crosses with TF NRG2 17-gauge tennis string. "If this breaks at the same point," the stringer said, "then the problem is definitely the racquet." I haven't hit yet with the new string ... if it doesn't feel all right, I'll find a new stringer. If it breaks at the same point, I'll try to get a replacement racquet from Prince. 

Back to top

From Adz - 05 Feb 2009 - 18:56

That's quite a strange one off that list........

I saw Willstrops racquet strung in Liverpool and they used Prince Lightning XX to do it, so he must have changed since then. If that's the case then I'd guess than nearly all top 10 players use either TF or Ashaway powernick.


As for the Pro Supex strings..... I think they were the company that contacted me about testing their strings for them, but I never heard anything more about it. THe strings look quite good but it comes down to price and availability.


In squash strings the same as anything else in life you get what you pay for when you go back to trade pricing. The most expensive strings work out around £7-8 per set and the cheapest as low as £0.30 per set (200m for £7!!). Clearly with many of the top players using the Ashaway and TF there's something of an advantage in these strings.






Back to top

From Good Length - 05 Feb 2009 - 07:48   -   Updated: 05 Feb 2009 - 14:20

 Adz, during your adventures with strings have you seen Pro Supex - Fibre Force available anywhere?

Pro Supex make some very highly regarded tennis strings. Their "Big Ace" is prefered by many over the Luxillon offerings and their "Maxim Touch" is rated by some as equal or better than TF x-one (the tennis version).

Seeing as Maxim touch is about 1/3 of the price of x-one. It has to be worth trying Fibre Force. The other squash string they do is blatantly a Supernick copy and might be worth a look too.

Back to top

From Good Length - 05 Feb 2009 - 07:36   -   Updated: 05 Feb 2009 - 14:23

 Just be careful to 'polish' and not saw through!

As for pro strings... (from

Looking through the log so far and some of the players ... 
Chris Simpson - ESquash Pro Ti - Powerfibre @ 29lbs 
Robbie Temple - Prince O3 Speedtour - Powerfibre @ 31lbs 
Ben Ford - Prince Speedport Black - TF 305 @ 31lbs 
Lavigne - Wilson NRage - Wilson Sensation Strike @ 10.5k 
Joey Barrington - Dunlop Aerogel - Powerfibre @ 30lbs 
Kashif - Prince Speedport - Powernick18 @ 28lbs 
Azlan - Head Microgel Extreme - TF X-One @ 32lbs 
James Willstrop - Prince Speedport Black - TF 305 @ 29lbs 
Adrian Grant - Dunlop Aerogel - Powerfibre @ 29lbs 
Naudi - Harrow - TF 225 @ 12k 
Shelley Kitchen - Harrow - TF syn gut @ 29lbs 
Cameron Pilley - Karakal Pro 35 - Karakal syn gut @ 30lbs 
Amr Shabana - Dunlop Aerogel Ultimate - TF X-One @ 13k 
Nick Matthew - Slazenger - Powernick18 @ 27lbs 
Lowest tension so far is from Phil Nightingale, who asked for 22lbs, came back later and then asked for 19lbs! 

Back to top

From mlongobard - 05 Feb 2009 - 00:04

Thanks for the feedback on the O3 Black. With flossing and some tape, I hope I'll stave off another break.  Seems like a flaw in the design, though, which is a shame. In other respects it's my favorite racquet, but if the breakage continues I'm going to move on to something else.

Back to top

From Adz - 04 Feb 2009 - 18:38

Eddy the esquash powerfibre is a different string, supposedly used by the top players, but since a lot of the top boys (e.g. Willstrop) have moved away from the e-squash brand, they haven't had so many players using their strings.

If you look at the top 10, if memory serves, 8 of them use ashaway or TF, 1 uses Prince and the other I don't know. Keep in mind that TF and Ashaway BOTH do white or uncoloured versions of their top two strings - Powernick 18 and TF X-One!!

The "powerfibre" I was referring to is how they name it on the ebay site. The guy is based in the far east and then links up with "wholesalers" in different countries to sell the products on his behalf. The exclusive UK wholesaler is charging DOUBLE what the guy was selling for in the first batch!! Personally I think that's disgusting! Paying £60 for reel a knock-off string when I can buy a reel of proper X-one for £90. No contest in my eyes, especially if it stops rip-off traders. I've used up what I bought the first time (at £30 delivered for the reel!!) and won't ve buying any more from either of them.





Back to top

From Jegga - 04 Feb 2009 - 12:33


Thanks very much for your comprehensive breakdown of strings based on your experience.

Sadly I had already told our pro to go ahead with the SN XL Ti's so there is no going back now. Depending on how these go I think the TF X-One could be the next string choice for me based on your review.

Going to have a knock with the new strings tonight so hope all goes well.

Thanks for all the advice and will let you know how they go.


Back to top

From mike - 04 Feb 2009 - 11:34

mlongbard - you can put crash tape over the bumper strip to protect the outside of the string from wall scraping. Of course this won't offer any protection for the string inside the frame, but it might stop the wall from grinding through the string if the bumper strip is broken away.

Back to top

From Eddy01741 - 04 Feb 2009 - 10:45

By chance Adz, is this "knockoff tecnifibre" string that is called Powerfibre.


Is this the same as this string:


I hear it's pretty popular in Europe, and it's used by bunch of the top players (as listed on the website).

Back to top

From Good Length - 04 Feb 2009 - 10:30   -   Updated: 04 Feb 2009 - 10:30

mlongobard, I've had exactly the same problem.. although the string actaully went after a slight tap on the wall (not hard not deliberate and not during a game!).

When I restrung it, before I did I took some old string and 'flossed' all the holes to make sure they were polished and smooth. Touch wood it hasn't happened again since. I also know someone who has broken strings a few times in the same place by hitting the ball up against the frame.

I think in general, even if the hole is smooth, A hard hit right against the frame just places too much shear stress on the string at the point it meets the frame. At least with semi flexible grommets prodruding from the frame, it speads out the stress.

But try smoothing the grommets and good luck to us both!

Back to top

From mlongobard - 04 Feb 2009 - 08:58

Very interesting to read all of the detailed string info here.  I'm hoping you all can give me some guidance as well.

I've been having problems with strings breaking on my Prince O3 Black. There's one string hole (at about two o'clock) that doesn't have a grommet, isn't protected by the bumper guard, and isn't one of the "o-ports."  I've had brand-new Tecnifibre 305 strings snap at this point twice in the past two weeks.

Has anyone else had a similar experience, and if so, is there a fix for it? I've used TF 305 in other racquets with no premature breakage, so I'm inclined to thing the problem is with the racquet rather than the string.

Any feedback would be appreciated!

Back to top

From Adz - 03 Feb 2009 - 20:47

Jegga, I disagree with the guy!

The SN XL Ti isn't as "powerful" as the powernick 18 as it is a softer feeling string and also a thicker gauge. Also it certainly isn't as durable as the powernick 17 or 18 which have zyex filaments as opposed to "titanium" filaments. I still think "titanium" strings are a bit of a gimmick myself, and depending on what characteristics you want think about the following:

More powerful: Thinner gauge, stiffer string but with good elasticity (something like a TF X-One or a powernick 18)

More control: Thin gauge smooth string or medium gauge textured string. Moderate elasticity. Soft string is normally best (something like TF 225 or 1.2mm 305 or SN XL range)

More durability: Medium to thick gauge. Denser materials are better so keep an eye out for duraflex or zyex filaments (PN 18, TF 305 1.3mm would be an example)

So...... there's plenty to choose from out there in terms of string types and gauges, and if you've been following my recent posts then you'd know it's taken me ages (about 8 restrings over 6 weeks) to find a string that suits my game whilst using a Black Knight Ion Drive.

From what you described and what's been recommended by others, I'd suggest (with marks out of 10)

Powernick 18 - Power 9, Durability 6, Control 8

Powernick 17 - Power 8, Durability 7, Control 7

TF X-One - Power 10, Durability 6, Control 9

TF 225 - Power 9, Durability 5, Control 10

TF 305 (1.2mm) - Power 9, Durability 6, Control 9

TF 305 (1.3mm) - Power 8, Durability 7, Control 8

Naturally as the two best ranges from the two best manufacturers, their scores would be closer to a perfect 10 than your average string! However I refuse to give higher marks for durability as they are gut-like strings and not monofilaments. Some solid strings I have seen and used in the past DO NOT BREAK. And that is no joke. It is like playing with wire in the racquet. Only this type of string can get a durability of 10. All gut like strings should never get above a 7 off a balance of every string available. What I mean by this is that if I give a string a 10 I believe it to be the best possible available in that category.


Some others I've also tried recently:

Powerfibre 1.25mm (Tecnifibre copy from the Far East - available on ebay) - Power 8, Durability 9, Control 8

Toalson Bio-Logic Green 1.2mm - Power 9, Durability 5, Control 8

Supernick XL Pro - Power 7, Durability 6, Control 9

Head Intellistring 17 - Power 7, Durability 7, Control 9

Supernick XL Micro - Power 9, Durability 5, Control 10

Gosen Sheep Tour - Power 8, Durability 7, Control 9


Now naturally these scores are quite high as I do tend to go for specific types of string with very good characteristics. I aim to pick strings that give an excellent balance of all three characteristics. If you notice, NONE of them are monofilament cores, and most of them are gut-like in performance and feel (which I find tends to sacrifice durability but have high power and control).

Some others I'm keen to try are:

Head Evolution Pro

Karakal Nano Fusion

Prince Lightning XX (although this one is a monofilament core)

Also the Wilson string that comes factory fitted in the new K-series racquet feels quite nice, but I didn't get chance to try this out as it only came to me as a re-string after being worn through.


Loads to decypher in this post so ask if you want to know any more details!!






Back to top

From Jegga - 03 Feb 2009 - 11:56

Thanks for all your replies..

I spoke to the guy who restrings at my club and he recommended the Supernick XL Titanium as this offers the same power as the PowerNick 18, More playability than the PowerNick 17 and was equally or more durable than both of them. Does anyone agree or disagree with this information?

Good Length, thanks for the information on the TF's. It sounds like the 305 could be quite nice..has anyone had experience with both the ashaways and the TF's for a bit of a comparison?

Mike, I had been previously been keeping an eye on my strings to see how much fraying had occured and there was some but nothing serious from what I could tell. It may well just be a case of bad luck like you mentioned...

Back to top

From rippa rit - 03 Feb 2009 - 11:55

Folks, this all could be quite irrelevant to the breaking of your strings in this instance, but there is some housekeeping to keep in mind with your gear, as it is precious, eg don't leave your racket in your bag when you get home from the courts, especially if the grip is wet; take the racket out, wipe the strings and grip, and let the racket dry out completely; alternate your rackets if you play regularly; take out your wet gear immediately you get home, including your shoes to dry them out,  even if they are stored in a separate bag/compartment; don't leave your racket in the car; note the tension of your restrings especially note the one that seems right, are the mains and across strung at the same tension; is the stringer experienced; the stringer's name; find out what equipment the stringer uses and that his stringing is duplicatable.

How many times has a stringer put an awl in the hole to hold a string and damaged the string? Do the holes need cleaning out to make sure there are no sharp edges, is the bumper strip doing its job; are the strings being cut on the wall as some do protrude behind the frame

There is probably more, but this breaking of strings would frustrate the hell out of me. Once I have established the "feel" of a new restring I never want to give that racket up.

Back to top

From mike - 03 Feb 2009 - 10:31

If the strings broke at the top you may well have just been unlucky, and may well get better durability the next time out of the same strings.

One thing my stringer mentions is that the strings should "settle in" when new. By this he means make sure not to hit the wall during the first session. Thus I prefer to hit on my own with new strings and not smash the ball straight away.

Can you ask at your squash centre if they restring, or can recommend someone?

If you do want to try something different next time give the Technifibre X-One Biphase a go. They are a guage 18 (1.18mm), but supposedly more durable than the other TF.

Back to top

From Good Length - 03 Feb 2009 - 10:25   -   Updated: 03 Feb 2009 - 10:49

 Ah well doesn't seem as though cold played a part here then.

Well to answer your other question. I've not tried the powernick 18. But some say it is quite a stiff string. Adz can probably shed some light on that.

But in general the TF string is very good. 305 has quite a soft cushioned feel to it but great and plenty of power too. Tends to drop a few lb after stringlng then play well until it breaks. The x-one has a crisper feel and a feels slightly springier than the 305. Both feel like they stretch well and pocket the ball but the x-one feels like it snaps back quicker and therefore gives more power. It can feel a little 'boardy' if too tight though. It also takes a good few hours to 'break in and really start playing nicely. I think the coating is tougher on the x-0ne. Get it just right and is feels pretty awesome though. 225 feels different again. Similar to 305, maybe a little crisper at the same tension but feels like it stretches significantly more on impact. Not sure if i like it (in a prince O3 - I suspect it would take some beating in a traditional shape head with shorter mains).

Durability: my current set of 305 has about 15 hours on it (@27lb) and hasn't stared to fray yet! x-one lasts me even longer. Only have about 2 or 3 hours on the 225 but I'd expect it to be a fair bit less than the 305. 

Back to top

From Good Length - 03 Feb 2009 - 10:03

Yes Rita is right and it's well worth getting a decent bag for you own convenience if nothing else. And I notice that the shop is as good place to look as any. (There you go Rita i did the shameless plug for you, hehe ;))

Do bear in mind that any thermal bag will only stop sudden change in tempareture. If you leave the bag in your car for a few hours or longer the cold will make it through to the racket after a while.

But I'm keen to hear if cold was involved in this case.

Back to top

From Jegga - 03 Feb 2009 - 09:58

It is the middle of our summer at the moment so wasn't cold - probably around 18 degrees Celcius and was about 8.00pm.  

My racket had been sitting in my room at home all day in my bag (which like mentioned by Rippa rit is a Wilson Thermoguard)....

Back to top

From rippa rit - 03 Feb 2009 - 09:39

Strangely enough most of the string discussion and problems seems to be coming from the cold countries. Rackets do not get cold in Oz!  Some Racket Bags that are sold in the UK and US Squashshop have a word in their description, "thermal", eg WILSON Tour Super Six ThermalBagPatent-pending Thermoguard® technology protects your rackets from extreme heat and moisture. WILSON Tour Super Six ThermalBag.

It is true that excessive heat makes some synthetic materials brittle, and so does excessive cold, to the extent that things snap......has anybody done an experiment on this? 


Back to top

From Good Length - 03 Feb 2009 - 08:55

Out of interest what temperature was it at the time and if it was cold, did you have your racket in the car before you played?

As Adz says there are a few things that can negatively affect the strings but I've noticed in particular strings (even new, well strung ones) going when the strings are cold and get a frame impact.

Back to top

From Jegga - 03 Feb 2009 - 08:12   -   Updated: 03 Feb 2009 - 08:12

How about something from the technifibre range? How do these rate in comparison to the Ashaways?

Thanks in advance.

Back to top

From Jegga - 03 Feb 2009 - 07:46

Hi Adz,

Going for the powernick 17 though, I would lose some finesse (not that I really have much to work with ;-D) and gain more power correct?

I'd prefer it was the other way round if possible..Would you recommend?

Back to top

From Adz - 02 Feb 2009 - 21:28

Strings breaking at the top of the head could be a bad string job, or it could be a sharp gromet strip, or it could just be a faulty string in one place.

The powernick 18 is the most durable multifillament string I've ever seen for its gauge. So I'd be surprised if it broke quicker than any other similarly spec'd string.

However, if most of your game is power play, or driving then you could always try the powernick 17. More durable than the 18, but slightly less on the touch front. They also cost the same as the 18 so no difference there.


Hope that helps??






Back to top

Sorry, only members can post replies on this and all other Members` Forum items.

Join Here - It`s fast and it`s free!

Check other member benefits here...

Support Squashgame

Support us here at! If you think we helped you, please consider our Squash Shop when purchasing or make a small contribution.

Products Now Available

US Squash Shop



Squash Balls


Squash Rackets

Sport and Leisure

Video Games