Tecnifibre 305 1.1 String

After 20 years of playing squash, you’d think I might know a bit about squash string. Not true though.

Recently the factory strings broke on my Biomimetic GTX 130, and I decided to take this opportunity to learn a bit more about strings.

I asked Dean from my pro shop for help. My one request was “slippery strings”. That’s a technical term. Over the years I’ve noticed some strings are rough and have lots of grip. Others are smooth, “slippery” in my made-up terminology, and have less grip. I think I like smooth strings better because I think they help me keep my rails tighter. Notice how equivocal that statement is — I’ve never really done a proper comparison. But I went with my gut, haha, and started my string explorations by asking for slippery string.

The next question was the tension. I believe most squash rackets are strung at 25-30 pounds. I kind of knew that, but I double checked on this helpful write-up on squashskills.com. In the past I’ve usually asked for my rackets to be strung at average tension, so I assume I’ve been having them strung at 27 or so pounds. This time I asked for the racket to be strung at 26. I’m more of a control player — I don’t generate tons of power from my swing — so I thought I’d try stringing it a bit light and see how that felt. A lower tension is supposed to give you more power (and less control). I’ve also been working on shortening my backswing, to give myself more attacking options. I thought a lower tension would help me generate adequate power even with a shorter backswing.

The final question was the string gauge. I asked for the thinnest gauge, which is usually 1.1. This is supposed to give you extra feel and I wanted to see what it felt like. I’m a bit concerned about the durability, but I figure I can always move up to a higher gauge if these strings break.

In the end, Dean and I settled on the Tecnifibre 305 1.1 squash strings:

Tecnifibre 305 1.1 squash string

Buy (US): amazon.com

I’ve been using this setup for about two weeks and my feeling is “so far so good”. I am able to make a shorter backswing and still hit with power. I also get good feel when taking the ball in short, which I attribute to the thinner string gauge.

I will try some different setups in the future and see what I can learn, and of course I will share any insights with with you all.

Comments

  1. Brock in HK says

    I use these strings on my Prince AirStick 130, Ramy’s racquet of choice. The strings have been good performers. I’ve been happy with the performance. The feel and sound are just right, I get a decent amount of cut on drops and shots hit with a lot of cut, and good power when hitting straight drives.

    That said, the string has been quite fragile. Just when they get a little cut where they cross at the sweet spot and settle in, they break. It’s also a brittle string, so if you hit with a hard swing on the edge of the racquet, that can sometimes cause the strings to break. I can get between 5-20 games (depending on luck, I think) on a set of string, which isn’t that much. I had used TF1.18, which was much more durable. I’m keeping my pro busy with stringing, but I’ll probably stick with it for a while.

    For comparison, I had compared the TF 1.1, the TF 1.18 and a couple Ashaway (Red, Black) over this past summer and the TF 1.1 was my favorite string of those I tried. Hope that helps.

    • Pierre says

      Hi Brock thanks for the feedback! I have already got that little cut around the sweet spot. We’ll see how long they last. I might also try some of those other strings you mentioned.

      • D says

        Pierre, have you seen some of the discussions on strings over at squashgame.info?

        It dates back several years but is a good source of opinion about different strings.
        Personally, I find TF strings expensive, and when I tried the 1.1, they snapped rather quickly. After trying TF 305 1.1 and 1.2, as well as TF X-One (nice, but even more expensive!), I’ve settled on Ashaway Ultranick 18g, the blue ones, which I really enjoy. Same amount of power as the Powernicks, but increased feel and much softer. Granted, they are textured, but worth a try!

        D

  2. Ron Chanderbhan says

    Pierre,
    I have used the Technifibre 305 1.1 for the past 6 years at least. Best string I have ever used. In my experience with this string it needs to be pre-stretched to work optimally. I usually use them at 27-28 lbs tension.
    Good luck on your string experiments and look forward to hearing more about your string trials.

  3. Lauri says

    Pretensioning is a feature that can be found on best stringing machines. You can adjust the pretensioning level. Basically it tightens the the string 10-30% more then looses the string and tightens it to desired level. Without pretensioning you can loose 10% in the first 24 hours.

    305 is one of the best squash strings I’ve ever tried. Also the wilson NXT pro was great, even better, but for some reason they stopped manufacturing it and presented the new hollow core (not that good). The playing feel with 305 vs. NXT was quite similar. Did you know that wilson NXT was manufactured in same factory (technifibre, france)!

    Now has anyone tried the new black 305+ string? It’s the thinnest from TF so far (1.05). Mo El Shorabagy and many others use it

    • Ben says

      Hi Lauri, I have tried the 305+ 1.30 (in my prince airstick 130) and it is a great string, but takes a long time to get used to it, but when I did it was a great sting which gives great power and control, as it is meant to be a blend of the x-one biphase and the 305 string. Also you are getting confused with Ashaway PowerNick 19 which is the thinnest string in the world (1.05) as Tecnifibre do 1.10, 1.20 and 1.30
      and no thinner or thicker.
      Ben

  4. Felix says

    @ Brock: I cannot agree on the short string live of the tecnifibre 305 1.1mm. I’ve been using it for several years now and playing squash 7 hours a week on average the strings generally more than 2 months. Once they start to cut in at the crosses they still last a long time!
    By the way: strings breaking at the grommet is due to a misshit and generally is a sing of lacking skills -> if the ball is not tight to the wall there is no reason to hit it off-center. If the ball is glued to the wall the only way to play it safely (I’m talking of not making a poor shot and possibly loosing the rally) is to lift it up in order to get it to the back of the court with little power and maximum control.
    On the other hand strings tend to break less easily at the grommet if the racket is strung at higher tension.

  5. Felix says

    I’ve recently tried the black string (tecnifibre 305+, 1.1mm) and I wasn’t happy at all. I know the x-one biphase (red) and from advertisement I took that the 305+ should be like the 305 but with more power, somewhat like the x-one biphase.
    I was very disappointed of its performance. It felt very tight and hard and generally didn’t provide a comfortable feeling on the shots. I know several players who say they have no issues with it. Maybe it’s just not suitable for my Racket (Tecnifibre Supreme NG130)?

    I’ve been stringing my rackets myself for years and I’ve tried probably more than 20 different strings and found that the 305 (green) is the best in my opinion.

    • Pierre says

      Thanks for the feedback Felix! Right now I am trying out the Tecnifibre red x-one biphase 1.18. It feels nice and solid but I don’t experience the sane “pop” on the ball that I did with the green string. I haven’t tried the black, thanks for your insight there!

      -Pierre

    • Ben says

      Hi Fellex, I use tecnifibre 305+ 1.30 in my prince airstick 130, and it took about 3 months to get used to but one day it finally clicked, and BANG! The string provides great control and power as it is meant to be a blend of the x-one biphase and the 305, so right now it seems to be working well, but you have to stick with it, however I will be using the 305 in my Prince Rebels when they arrive.
      Ben

  6. Felix says

    Pierre, in case you try the black I’d be very curious to read of your experience with it.
    It surely is a matter of personal preference and I’d like to learn what aspects of a string players appreciate. Thanks!

  7. M says

    Hi, i’ve been using serveral strings as well and i must say the tecnifibre 305 1.10 (green) are the possibly the best strings in the world. It is no wonder that it is by far the most popular strings on tour, used by ramy ashour and james willstrop etc. i string at a slightly lower tension, usually around 24 pounds as this gives a really nice trampoline effect (the ball being trapped by the strings for a short while then shooting it out nicely using the elasticity of the string) for a soft string like that. I would advise going with the lowest gauge (1.10) as this gives the best playability, feel and power off the strings. Durability hasn’t been much of an issue for me though admittedly i don’t pay much attention to how long each set lasts. But yes, the string still holds up well after it begins to fray.

    I have tried the tecnifibre 305+ (black) as well at 1.20 gauge and i was quite disappointed. It was too stiff for my liking, almost like cables. However in terms of stiffness, nothing beats the ashaway powernick 18, nick matthew’s choice of strings. By no means are stiff strings bad, its just a personal preference.

    I also used to use the tecnifibre x-one biphase red 1.18, but have since went in favour of the 305 green. The x-one actually feels quite nice after it has frayed to some extent.

    • Pierre Bastien says

      Thanks for the review M! I also gave the red 1.18 a try at 26 pounds. I liked it well enough, but I agree with you — the green was much better. I didn’t have the red in my racket long enough to find out what it was like after the strings frayed (my frame broke).

  8. Ben says

    Hi guys i know quite a bit about squash strings, and these are some of the best, and some of the most popular strings in the world. Tecnifibre do they string in three types of gauges ( 1.10, 1.20 and 1.30) 1.10 giving the best play ability, 1.20 giving a blend of durability and play ability and finally 1.30 giving durability. the Tecnifibre X-One Biphase 1.18 squash string (red) is there power string and, frays after some use but to hesitate to buy them because they are great strings and are meant to fray because it gives the strings more bite and cut on the ball. This affects the strings durability but improves the play ability and they do have decent durability for such a good string.
    the 305+ string is a good blend of the X-One Biphase 1.18 and the 305 it too comes in three gauges (1.10, 1,20 and 1.30) what you get is all the power of the X-One Biphase with all the control of the 305, designed to get the best of both. and this does not fray, despite this the 305 (green) are my favorite strings.
    Ben

    • Pierre Bastien says

      Thanks Ben! I have been using the 305 + 1.2 for a while now (I think… it’s what came pre-strung in my Carboflex 130, black color). I like it. I feel like it’s a good combination of power and touch. I think I do prefer the green string though. Whenever these strings break I am going to go back to green.

      • Nektarios Katikas says

        Hi Pierre,

        I have the same racket as well and I have to admit although have not played it enough i am not very happy. I think its ore of the string than the racket. So you think its will work if we use the green one for this racket? have you used it? Which one would you use 1,1 or 1,2?

        In addition do you know at how many lbs is the racket strung from technifibre? are you going to use the same tension or will you experiment? Sorry for asking so many things but I am trying to figure out whats happening.

        p.s. fantastic website

        • Pierre Bastien says

          So far I am still using the black 305+ 1.2 that (I think) came with the racket. I will probably switch to these green 305 1.1 string eventually. I think they give a bit more control. To be totally honest though, I have a hard time telling the differences between these strings. I have not tried the 305 1.2.

  9. lesley says

    the ashaway powernick is also a great string and great feeling and lives longer.

    But when i have the technifibre 305 in my racket i play the best!
    The 305 play,s better in my opinion.

  10. John says

    My 2 cents. I play with the Tecnifibre Carboflex 125 which comes with + . I came from Ramy’s great stick the Airstick 130 with 305 in it at 25 lbs. So I was used to and enjoyed the 305. I have used the x-one a while back in a Head Cyano 2 tremendous amount of power and once it frays nice control but since it is recommended by Tecnifibre to string it 10-20% lower tension than you usually use to get the most from the string that was 23-24. The string never settled in at that tension after every rally I would spend time realigning it. If you don’t, miss hits are the result of not straightening them. Great once it’s straight great power and nice control. Unfortunately this just breaks my concentration and doesn’t work. So upped the tension to 26 to try to keep the strings from moving. Still great power but for lobs and touch the ball would sail and the strings still moved around to much for my liking. So went away from the x-one to the 305. Just for reference have used the Powernick, UltraNick, Dura Ace…… Either to stiff or just wouldn’t settle in. So the + compared to the 305? Well since the + comes in the racquets I spent some time with it. Getting use to the racquet and string. Great Racquet best I have used and now own three. The + is very powerful, doesn’t fray and just goes dead when it is used up. It is stiffer than the 305 but not as stiff as the powernick or ultranick. Just can’t seem to put my finger on it but with all the power and stiffer strings your timing has to be dead on to keep the ball on the rails there is no room for error no forgiveness. Touch is good nice control though at times a little to much power during touch shots. For hard low kills great string. The 305 less power incredible control and touch, spin on serves and shots is great. Easier to keep the ball tight on the rails and great for lobs. The + feedback is over hyper every hit is sent up the arm the 305 you feel each hit but the feedback is usable if that makes sense as if controlling the ball not just hitting it. The + is a great string if you can control it or if you need more power and want to sacrifice control. The 305 is the best all around string does it all great. I have restrung one of the 125’s with 305 1.10 at 26 and I am enjoying the game.

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