Racquetball Warehouse: The String's the Thing
“Strings are the soul of the racquet.” Getting a new racquet and opting for the cheapest string is like buying a new Ferrari and putting spare tires on it. Strings can change the feel and power you get from your shots. Ideally, you want a string that’s going to give you the right combination of power, control, and durability. Since racquetball is the fastest racquet sport in the world, you’re going to want a string that can give you the ability to kill the ball and put as much, if not more, speed on the ball as your opponent. Here’s how.
To be sure that your string is performing at an optimum level, you want to re-string your racquet as many times per year as you play in one week. Even if you don’t break your strings, they lose their resiliancy, which will bring down the performance of your racquet. Once the strings “go dead,” you are also putting yourself at risk for injury. When strings “die” they lose their elasticity and you end up having to put more power into your shots than what’s normally required; this can lead to elbow, wrist, or shoulder injuries. With that being said, there’s so many different options out there these days, we wanted to simplify it for you and give a small breakdown of the major string brands out there, and their flagship strings that we carry.
Tecnifibre (505 HPR) – Tecnifibre has a rich tradition for making quality string and have been in the business of string making for over 25 years. Not only that but they’re also the official string of the IRT. They produce their strings in one of France’s oldest factories using top-secretly engineered machines. The Tecnifibre 505 HPR rolls out of the production line at a 3 sets per hour pace, making sure that time is taken to get all the parts right. The 505 was designed specifically for racquetball, giving it better performance characteristics at lower strung tensions. The multifilament design and curing process gives this string excellent power, feel, and durability.
E-Force (Oxygen 17) – E-force is probably most widely known for their innovations in racquet design, with 12 patented technologies, but don’t count them out of the string game. E-Force has two string offerings, with the high end E-Force Oxygen boasting its own technological advancements. The Oxygen is known for its power and elasticity, as it was developed under racquetball specific guidelines, giving it more stretch and rebound at lower tensions. What gives it such unique properties? The over 1,200 composite microfibers gives it the power and elasticity while maintaining good tension. These fibers are bonded using their wet twist technology and sealed with a Nylon sheath and three layers of polyurethane to give it durability and comfort against harmful vibrations.
Ektelon (Premier Power 17) – Ektelon has always been all about racquetball since their founding in 1968. Their most popular string, the Ektelon Premier Power 17, is also one of our best selling strings. The construction of this multifilament gives it dampening effects while the softflex filaments maximize the trampoline effect, giving it an elasticity that loads the string bed with power.
Head (MegaBlast 17) – Offering one of the cheapest multifilaments on the market, Head has made a solid string with their Head Megablast string. Starting as a tennis company, Head already had the resources in place and the know-how to make a good racquetball string; this also gives them the advantage of being able to price it so low. The co-polymer braided wraps gives this string a crisp feel and a “snap-back” that truly delivers power to your shots.
ProKennex (Liquid 17) – ProKennex is known for their ingenuity in the engineering department, creating multiple technologies for their racquets that have given them a cult following among enthusiasts. The ProKennex Pure 1 string didn’t get past the R&D department without a little innovation from the engineers. This string utilizes a thermo-elastic resin formula that makes this string very durable despite the soft feel and response. Micro-composite filaments are bonded together to give this string high-performance playability.
Ashaway (Ultrakill 17) – Ashaway is probably the oldest company in the game, and the first to introduce the KEVLAR material in their string. The company started in 1824 and started producing racquet strings in the 1950’s. In racquetball, Ashaway is most famous for its braided design and innovative materials, utilizing a Zyex multifilament core, giving the string great power, durability, and tension maintenance.
Gearbox (Multi Premium 17) – Gearbox is a relatively new company but in no way new to the sport of racquetball. The founder worked in the industry and was also a pro player, so his designs are specific to the needs of racquetball players. Gearbox’s multifilament core uses over 1000 Nylon 66 fibers that are bonded with a Urethane resin. The high number of filaments give this string it’s feel and power, and by only offering one string to compete in this multifilament market, you can bet Gearbox did something right and stands behind their product.
Wilson (NXT Tour 17) – Wilson is a leader in the sports equipment industry and even though this string isn’t specifically put in their racquetball racquets, it is a high performing, powerful string. The Wilson NXT Tour has an edge over the Hollow core since it’s a multifilament string, using a large number of Xycro microfibers bonded together using a polyurethane resin that give it long-lasting elasticity. This string gets rave reviews from other racquet sports and is known for its comfort and playability.
Written by Jackson Lee. If you have any questions on strings, be sure to visit the online Racquetball Warehouse Learning Center, call, or e-mail us and we will be happy to answer all of your stringing questions! Contact them by phone: (800) 824-1101, online: www.racquetballwarehouse.com, e-mail, [email protected] or Facebook: www.facebook.com/racquetballwarehouse