Who's Using What? 500 Squash Restrings Later!
Whilst stringing a few rackets over the Bank Holiday weekend, I decided that it may be useful to compile a list of rackets that I've restrung. So, I compiled a list from the last 500 squash restrings that I've done. The below is based purely on my experience. Others may have a different view.
I thought it would be useful to gauge where loyalties rest within the squash community that I string for. It was really interesting to note that whilst there have been a few issues with Prince recently, they remain the most popular choice of racket (based on my data anyway)... Or are they?
Whilst Prince account for 100+ restrings (20%), it's worth noting that the frequency that they need restringing is probably higher than most of the other makes I string. There are a number of factors to consider; string choice (TF 305 aren't very forgiving on mishits), the load factor on the strings through the Power Ring and a higher than usual proportion of split grommets and cracked paint around holes vs other brands that I've noticed, causing strings to rub. I also don't seem to string many post 2014 Prince models - the newer rackets don't appear to outlast the first set of strings, whereas the older Prince rackets seem to be bullet proof.
Probably the longest lasting string/racket combo appears to be the Powernick 18/Black Knight (Corona model). This seems like a pretty decent mix for durability, though the Powernick's are a bit of a 'marmite' string. Some love the strings, some hate them (I quite like them, depending on the racket they're in).
Behind Prince, we have the likes of Dunlop, Head, Karakal, Eye and Tecnifibre. Interestingly, Wilson accounts for very few restrings on my list, whereas I expect Wilson to be very high on the Tennis list that I will put together in time. I think there may be an identity issue with Wilson in the squash game, though it appears that they're marketing the brand a bit more now.
I've found that there are certain types of string and tensions that work better in a particular type of racket, so I always try to recommend a string/tension to suit. One thing for sure though, is that most of the Prince players I string for are die-hard fans of the Prince/TF 305 combo, regardless of the risk of breakage. Obviously the desire for playability trumps durability!
More recently I've been stringing a lot more with 2 strings that don't feature prominently on the list, though I expect their popularity will grow. I've been getting really good feedback on the Karakal Hot Zone range, which seems to be durable, elastic and has decent power. The other string which I have used a lot over the last few months is the Eye X-Tech Green. This is the string that I personally use (1.15mm is my favourite gauge) and has a really good 'bite' to it with decent power.
I hope you find the results interesting. Happy to answer any queries.
All the best,