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:
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.