Did you know that 50% of the performance of your squash racket comes from your strings?

July 27 2022

Squash strings are the engine of your racket.

Whether you are just starting to play squash or are competing on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour, your choice of squash string and the tension that you string your racket make a significant difference to the overall performance of your squash racket.

The more knowledge you can have when selecting your squash string and squash tension, the more competitive you will be and our guide to squash racket string and restringing has been complied by our team of squash experts to provide valuable insights into the complex subject of stringing and more importantly suggestions of how you can improve the performance of your racket.

Please consider however that no matter how much information you have, the only way to know if you are getting the most from your squash string is through practice and playing competitive matches. Our overriding advise therefore is to restring frequently and try different string tensions until you find the one that best suits your standard and unique playing style.

Squash players typically spend many hours debating the relative merits of one squash racket versus another and agonise for several weeks before purchasing a racket which they believe is best suited to their standard and style of play. Surprisingly, very few squash players pay any attention to the string in their racket or the tension of their string, and whilst the choice of your racket is important it is the strings that provides most of the power, control and feel in your shot and can argued from a competitive perspective to be the most important piece of squash equipment.

Whilst it is difficult to see from their visual appearance, squash strings are surprisingly technical with the primary variables being gauge (or thickness), materials and construction. Differences in stringing tension and racket design will also influence how a string performs.

Did you know that 50% of the performance of your squash racket comes from the strings?

Players are continually looking for the optimum combination of power, control, feel and durability from their squash strings and traditionally natural gut has been recognised as offering the best overall performance, particularly for increased power and feel. Modern synthetic strings have been developed to offer greater levels of durability.

Born from our observations of an ever-evolving modern game, UNSQUASHABLE have sought inspiration from the past while innovating for the future.

We have continued to explore new innovative materials and technologies to help players perform their best and enjoy the game more than ever, and with input from our growing number of professional players, we have developed a revolutionary new approach to squash racket string design combining unique and thoughtful engineering to provide a modern version of natural gut.

Our UNSQUASHABLE TOUR-TEC PRO 1.18 squash string is a modern version of natural gut with every aspect of its construction the result of an uncompromising search from our designers and engineers for the marginal gains that make it the most technically superior squash string available.

With input from our growing number of professional players, our UNSQUASHABLE TOUR-TEC PRO 1.18 squash string combines a multifilament CarbonWeave™ polyurethane core, comprising thousands of micro filaments for maximum elasticity, with a revolutionary anti-abrasion coating to deliver the optimum dynamic performance Tour-Proven power and feel.

All #teamunsquashable players competing on the PSA World Tour use our UNSQUASHABLE TOUR-TEC PRO 1.18 string which is available in Hi-Vis Yellow and Black.

1.18mm string gauge
100m Reel Length (approximately 10 restrings)
Powered by multifilament CarbonWeave™️core
Anti-abrasion coating

As well as being used by all our PSA World Tour players and brand ambassadors, our UNSQUASHABLE TOUR-TEC PRO 1.18 squash string is also the preferred string of many of the world’s leading stringers.

“I’ve strung rackets for UNSQUASHABLE players at many PSA World Tour events over several years. The TOUR-TEC PRO 1.18 is a premium multifilament string that produces a very consistent finish to the string bed and is great to string with. Perfect for all players, not just the pros,” said Nick Down, European Racquet Stringers Association (ERSA) Master Pro Tour Squash Stringer.

“UNSQUASHABLE TOUR-TEC PRO 1.18 provides me with the ideal combination of power, control & feel. Simply the best string I have ever used,” said fomer World No.1 James Willstrop

Our guide to squash racket restringing:
Many players don’t recognise the huge difference that strings can make to the performance of their squash racket.

Our guide to squash racket string and restringing provides players of all standards and playing styles with the necessary information to help them make the best possible choices to achieve the optimum levels of power, control, feel and durability to suit their game.

The first point to consider is that squash strings don’t necessarily have to break before needing to be replaced and therefore if you are looking for the best possible performance from your racket, you shouldn't always wait for your strings to break. A good rule of thumb is that how many times you play squash a week is how many times you should have restring your rackets each year. For example, 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 a racket has been restrung, over time the strings will lose elasticity and tension even if they have not been used.

We always recommend using an experienced, professional stringer with a good quality stringing machine which can calculate tension accurately and consistently.

Please email sales@unsquashable.com for more information regarding our network of UNSQUASHABLE Authorised Stringers.

String Tension:
All UNSQUASHABLE squash rackets come pre-strung with a durable synthetic multifilament string which is 1.20mm in diameter and strung at a tension that suits the overall performance of the racket.

For improved performance, particularly for club players through to professionals, we recommend that you restring your rackets with our UNSQUASHABLE TOUR-TEC PRO 1.18 (mm) squash string between 24 to 30lbs which provides superior overall performance by offering greater levels of power, control and feel or a combination of these three different attributes.

The most common misconception amongst squash players when choosing squash racket strings is that higher string tensions provide greater power. In fact, the reverse is true and higher or tighter string tensions provide less power but increased levels of control. This is because the string works like a trampoline.

Much of the power generated from a squash racket comes from the ‘trampoline effect’ which is the rapid stretch and rebound of the string bed as it contacts the ball. The key characteristic is called ‘dwell time’ which is the amount of time that the ball stays in contact with the strings before it is pushed away. A longer dwell time, achieved by lower string tensions, means that the string will stretch further and is therefore able to impart more force on the ball to allow the player to generate more power.

Lower string tensions produce greater dwell times and therefore generate more power, whilst tighter string tensions offer more control.

Thin string is naturally more resilient than thick string and strings strung at lower tensions can stretch more than at higher tensions.

Therefore, to increase power, you need to use a thin squash string, strung at the low end of the tension range.

Conversely, the more the string bed stretches on impact with the ball, the more difficult it is to control the direction and spin on the ball.

Higher quality squash strings will provide more grip and feel on the ball although they are not necessarily more durable as higher quality performance squash strings are generally a finer gauge (tinner) and they are therefore working harder as they are grip the ball.

Thicker squash strings are more durable and hold tension longer. Using thicker string or stringing at higher tensions will produce a stiffer string bed and the resulting reduced ‘dwell time’ will enhance control over the ball.

Another point to consider is that at the same tension a thin string is stretched more than a thicker string and therefore the thinner string will behave as if it is tighter. Consequently, if you switch to using a thinner gauge string to generate more power, you should reduce your overall string tension. This phenomenon is called ‘relative tension’ and factors in the influence of string thickness and tension.

By changing the tension, you can adjust the amount of power or control that you get from any string, thick or thin.

Professional and highly skilled players will also discover that thinner strings penetrate the surface of the squash ball more on impact which provides more control. Thinner strings also generate less resistance through the air and so allow the racket to be swung faster to generate more power from a faster swing speed.

Your string choice and string tension should be based upon your own unique style of play what best suits your own unique needs.

Based upon our recommendation of restringing UNSQUASHABLE squash rackets between 24 to 30lbs, rackets should be strung at the lower end of the spectrum for more power and at the higher end of the spectrum for more control.

Please note that you may void your racket warranty if it is strung tighter than our highest recommended tension of 30lbs.

Long string lengths stretch more than short ones under the same loads, and this is the principle reason why rackets with a ‘Teardrop’ (open) headshape generate more power than the more traditional Classic (closed) headshape. String tensions should therefore be proportional to headsize with larger headsizes requiring a tighter tension versus smaller headsizes to achieve comparable playability.

For players who are uncertain about what tension to choose, we suggest starting off at 25lbs which will give you a good overall performance as well as providing a starting point should you want more power or control from your strings the next time you come to have the racket restrung.

It may take some trial and error to find the optimum string tension to suit your game and it is important to keep a record of your string tension in order that you can make future adjustments to help you to perform at your best.

String Gauge:
Squash string thickness (gauge) generally ranges from 1.10mm to 1.30mm thickness and whilst thicker strings are available, these are generally designed for tennis rackets.

Thin strings generally offer superior performance but are less durable and break more frequently, whilst thicker strings are more resistant and durable but are less responsive and offer less overall performance.

In general, thinner squash strings are more powerful as they stretch further on impact with the ball and therefor the ‘trampoline’ effect and ‘dwell time’ (referred to above) is greater.

There are two main causes for squash string breakage.

The first reason is often referred to as ‘notching’ which is the result of friction between the shorter horizontal cross strings and the longer vertical main strings caused when the stringbed contacts the ball which cuts notches into the mains strings which eventually becomes so deep that the string break. Generally, it is always the mains strings which stretch further due to their longer length that break.

Whilst breakage caused by notching occurs gradually, the second major cause of breakage is overstretching or tensile failure which is sudden and is generally occurs most when the ball contacts the stringbed off-centre and near the frame. In this instance, the string which wants to stretch equally on both sides of the ball stretches beyond its elastic limit and simply snaps.

Our UNSQUASHABLE TOUR-TEC PRO 1.18 squash string has a thickness of 1.18mm which our research has shown to be the optimum string diameter.

Squash String Diameters: in addition to referring to the thickness (diameter) of a squash string in millimetres, some stringers refer to its ‘gauge’ and the correlation of the two is summarised below:

18 gauge refers to diameter between 1.06mm & 1.15mm
17 gauge refers to diameter between 1.16mm & 1.25mm
16 gauge refers to diameter between 1.26mm & 1.34mm

Different types of squash string:
Strings made from Natural Gut were first developed in the 1800s and are generally considered the best type of string in terms of playing performance by virtue of retaining their tension longer than may other types of string.

Synthetic squash strings are inexpensive, nylon-based strings with a solid core that are very durable and ideal for beginners.

Multifilament strings use pliable synthetic fibres to absorb shock and provide a softer all-round performance and an affordable alternative to natural gut.

Final Thoughts:
Your selection of squash string and string tension is a personal choice. Some squash players seek greater control by using a high tension, whereas other players enjoy the softer feel and longer ‘dwell time’ feel of a low string tension.

If you have any further questions about squash string or restringing, please email sales@unsquashable.com and a member of our sales team would be happy to help and offer expert advice on the best available options.

We welcome your feedback should you have any suggestions how we can improve our Buying Guides or any aspect of your shopping experience and please do not hesitate to email sales@unsquashable.com should you require any further help or information.