How much you spend on squash equipment is often determined by how seriously you take the sport, but definitely one good investment is getting a good string for your racket. Sometimes you will be forced into this when your racket string snaps. However, this probably is not the only time you should change it.
How much does it cost to restring a squash racket? It will normally cost around $30 to have a squash racket restrung. Most squash or racket shops and retailers provide this service. There are many features to consider, such as the type of string to use, and the tension.
In this article we look at the key features to look for in a new string, what the impact is on your game, and what the cost is of these different options. We will also look at possibilities like restringing the racket yourself.
Why Change Your String If It Is Not Broken?
More often than not, ensuring that you walk onto the court with the right string tension is hugely significant and will have a big impact on your game.
Given the nature of squash, string tension gets impacted regularly, especially if you are competing with the double yellow balls.
In essence, if you are competing at a reasonable level, you are more likely to either break your string, or feel that the tension has changed. However, for all players maintaining an optimal string tension for your game is crucial. Different tensions encourage different kinds of play.
Also squash strings are all different. Some favor power players, some more favor touch players.
What Type Of String To Go For?
There are many factors that influence the decision what type of string should you choose. These include:
Contrary to popular belief, weather can have a significant impact on squash, even though it is an indoor sport. You probably don’t need to do a considerable amount of research on the climate in your community or region – you do live there after all.
However, knowing the local weather can and probably will go a long way to determining the choices that you make on string selection. For example, squash balls generally need to be hit quite hard, to warm them up.
Failure to warm the squash ball up will result in a dull game – sometimes you will have no game at all. In colder climates, you will probably have to hit that ball a lot harder and for much longer. There is absolutely no doubt this will have an impact on your racket strings.
It will have an impact on the type of strings that you use and it will also have an impact on the manner in which you choose to string your racket.
If you live in a hot country, extra power from your string may not be required. The ball will already be bouncy and fast enough. You may want to find a string that is better for accuracy.
On the flip side of this, if yo,u live in a colder country and the courts tend to be colder, then you may want to consider getting a string that generates as much power as possible.
Type Of Ball You Normally Use
Naturally, the kind of ball you choose to play with has an impact on the strings you use.
Ball selection is also heavily dependent on weather and altitude.
All of that information can help you make more informed and more cost effective decisions going forward.
Once again, bouncier balls will generally need less power in the string, and a bigger emphasis on control. However, if you are using double yellows, then maybe using a string that generates extra power may well be the way to go.
What Type Of Player Are You?
This is probably the biggest thing to focus on.
You want a string that is going to maximise the quality of your game. If you have tremendous power anyway, but are looking to develop control, then a string that focusses on accuracy is the way to go.
If you are a touch player, and your game is all about drops and boasts, and deft slights of hand, then a string that puts a lot of spin on the ball makes sense. Often thinner strings are good for this as they ‘bite’ into the ball slightly more.
Got plenty of accuracy, but looking to develop a bit more potency and speed in your shots? Then go for a power string.
What Types Of String Are There?
There are many types of string, and many different brands to consider. To find out our current recommendations on what string to get, please go to our Recommended Strings Page
To give just a general outline of the types of materials and strings generally available, I am just going to give an overview of the strings created by the official partner of the PSA – Salming.
This will give us a glimpse of their contribution to the “squash string theory” debate.
SALMING BLACK DIAMOND STRING
The experts insist the Black Diamond string has a very high energy return. It is also reported to provide huge amounts of spin on the ball, as well as good levels of power.
In an age of technology, the material used to construct the strings is often the most defining feature.
In this case, that material is HyperNylon – which apparently offers improved polymer tension stability.
SALMING LAVA STRING
As the name would suggest, people using this string will likely make their opponents see red. The experts boast about its extreme power and durability. The material that defines this product is Nylon förstärkt med DuPont.
This is for the player who relies more heavily on court craft. Players who value feel, power and spin more than anything else.
The defining material here is Thermony. It is respected for durability.
SALMING INSTINCT RESPONSE
This string has been lauded for its very good durability, allowing the player more freedom to totally unleash. If you have got the power, then this is the string for you.
Made with Ultranyl, this product is reported to be rather revolutionary. It is essentially a major upgrade from your traditional nylon.
SALMING ROUGH DIAMOND
Made with Hypernyl, this transparent string provides good durability. The creators claim this provides for both the power player and the player who relies more heavily on finesse. Power and spin are defining features here.
They are calling this one a game changer
SALMING BLACK DIAMOND
Black Diamond is a product which caters for players with high energy returns, who generate spin and like to unleash the power.
It is your one-stop shop of squash strings. Not much is said about its durability but more is said about the tension stability that it provides. The reviews appear to be glowing.
Racket String Tension
In tennis, a tighter string tension is often advised for beginner players.
The perception is that tighter strings allow for more power and more control. As it so happens, squash doesn’t really work like that.
In squash tighter string tension actually means less power but more control. Reduce the tension and you generate more power but less control. In general a squash racket words like a trampoline. The more give in the string, the more it rebounds back and imparts power.
That makes squash restringing a much more delicate business than other racket sports, which probably should really be handled by a trained hand and eye.
Squash players also need to be aware of when to restring. It will keep your game at its optimum level.
In general, you will probably start to feel when the tension of your racket has changed. The tension will decrease over time. When your shots feel as though the ball is going deeper into the strings, and squashing into your racket more then it is probably time for a restring. The more you leave it, the less control you will have in your shots.
In a game that rests so heavily on feel, having the right feel for when to restring your racket can be a game changer.
What String Tension To Go For
You will find that if you allow the experts to do your restringing, the tension will probably range between 24-30 lbs.
Realistically there is probably not much difference in this range. If you want power over control, then go closer to 24lbs. If you want accuracy over power, then go closer to 30lbs. Go somewhere in the middle if you are looking for a mix of the two.
Trial and error may be the only way to find out which you prefer. Many professionals specify an exact string tension, but that is because they have found one they like the feel of after years of daily practice.
In general, for beginners and intermediate players, anywhere in between the normal string tensions will work fine.
Relationship Between Racket And Strings
There is the popular opinion that the kind of racket you have does not have as significant an impact on your game as the choice of strings that you use on that racket.
However, the strings you ultimately do choose hinge heavily on the kind of frame that you have.
As we have already mentioned, power is reduced by tighter strings. Experts often talk about the trampoline effect on their rackets. So, the sentiment being that the more your strings stretch, the more power they tend to generate.
Longer racket frames will give you more power by default. That means there will be more flexibility for you to choose strings more conducive to generating control.
A similar case could be argued for those who have racket frames more likely to assist with control, allowing for a string selection that promotes more power.
Also many rackets come with a recommended string tension. You can find this on the frame of many rackets.
Can You Restring A Racket Yourself?
There might come a time in your life, when you will consider taking it upon yourself to restring a racket.
As the world negotiates uncertain economic times, it might be prudent to take matters into your own hands. Truth be told a stringing machine does not need to cost that much.
Two of the key elements are securing the right equipment and coming to terms with the fundamentals of restringing.
It is somewhat like a puzzle, really. Once you get the first few pieces in place, the rest of the system tends to sort itself out. It can and probably will be much easier than restringing a tennis racket, for example.
Experts will tell you that about 30 feet of string should be sufficient to carry out this task. Depending on the racket you use, this could turn out to be a little more and perhaps even a little less.
Always operate in excess though. It is just common sense.
In general, as a beginner I would not bother with the investment of restringing rackets yourself. However, as you get more involved in the game you may want to experiment with this. This could of course also become a sideline business for you, as other players will always be looking for a restringing service.
Thin Strings V Thicker Strings
The experts will also tell you that thin strings offer better control. However, they are generally a little more expensive.
Thin strings will ‘cut’ into the ball more, offering more spin and control. However, because they thinner they are also more likely to snap quicker. Naturally, you are going to find yourself forking out more cash to fund your hobby/profession. This is impacted even more if you use double yellow-spot balls, as these will snap strings more quickly than lighter and more bouncy balls.
Granted, professionals are more likely to have that cost taken care of by endorsement packages.
On the other hand thicker strings offer less control but will last a lot longer.
In the end it will come down to either economics, or what feels best for you.
Gut V Synthetics
There is also the perception – well there is also compelling evidence to prove this – that strings made from pure gut allow for more control than synthetic strings.
Going with gut will also cost you a lot more than choosing the synthetic option. Again, it is a classic case of supply vs demand.
Synthetic strings tend to be everywhere and therefore cost less. If not chosen wisely they can also be poor in quality, so put some thought into that before doing a restring.
Some Popular String Choices
To find out our current recommendations for squash strings then please go to our Recommended Gear Page
As a general overview, here are some popular choices for strings. This will give you an approximate idea of cost:
DUNLOP SILK 18G BLACK SQUASH STRING SET
If colour matters to you that much – and it often does – you can get this string set in black. The set is 12m long, which equates to 40ft. The experts say these strings promote power and comfort. The kind that you would experience with gut.
Earlier on in this post, we talked about tension and how quickly it can go in a game or match situation.
These strings will essentially last longer and perform better.
APPROXIMATE COST – $14.99
DUNLOP GREAT WHITE 18G SQUASH STRING SET
If you like the colour white, then these strings are for you. An element of squash often taken for granted is the spin requirement. We seldom see players who go for the Rafael Nadal style topspin – that we have become so accustomed to in tennis.
Those players who dabble with topspin in squash seldom succeed. However, under spin and side spin are very useful tools to have on squash courts. These strings were made for that kind of player.
They promise maximum spin and comfort – also commonly referred to as feel. That allows a player to believe he is in full control of his shots. In any sporting code, self-belief is often everything.
APPROXIMATE COST – $12.99
GREAT WHITE 18G SQUASH STRING REEL
This is no different to the above set of strings, with maximum spin and comfort. Also an 18 Gauge. The only difference is quantity. This reel is 200m long.
However, you just need to be sure these are the strings for you. It will probably be in your best interests to try the 12m set first.
APPROXIMATE COST – $99.00
This string has been created to help create some competition to gut. The intention is to make it more affordable for competitive and advanced players, without sacrificing the control and power that gut gives.
The experts say this set of strings actually provides more bite and more power than your conventional gut.
APPROXIMATE COST – 40′ Set $13.25
This set of strings comes in black. Some of you might remember a time when graphite rackets were still becoming a thing.
The evolution was remarkable. You had a product which weighed less and unleashed more power.
It was an uncanny business. Well, this set of string operates on the same principle. They give you greater feel and provide maximum output. If you are a bomber who likes tighter string tension, these strings are for you.
APPROXIMATE COST – 40′ Set $5.00
SYNTHETIC GUT 17 ULTRA FIBRE
Everything about this set of strings is appealing. They last long, they assist with the quality of your performance and they are affordable. They are most suitable for players who want it all – a combination of power and control.
Ashaway POWERNICK 18 Squash String Set
This set of strings has been suggested for advanced players, who seek power and control. The control of a squash ball is often determined by the level of the bite offered by the strings.
The experts say these strings provide just that.
APPROXIMATE COST – $14.50
Tecnifibre 305 1.20 (17 Gauge) Green Squash String Set
Some say this is the best squash racket string around today.
Apart from power and control, the real success story with these strings is the sentiment that they do not break that easily. They might cost a pretty penny but they are worth it.
APPROXIMATE COST – $14.95
There are, then, multiple options when thinking about restringing a racket. At the end of the day it may well just come down to what feels good. If it works for you, then it is the right choice.
Good luck with the restringing, and get out on court and give the new strings a go.