Ashaway Racket Strings has introduced the first of what will be a new line of high performance, Zyex-based squash strings, UltraNick™18. Geared for both amateur and professional players, UltraNick 18 is designed to provide a thinner, softer playing string with exceptional power and ball control, and minimal tension loss for more consistent performance throughout the life of the string.
Zyex® performance polymers have been used in racquet strings for a number of years, and are known for their resilience and tension holding properties. However, recent advances in material technology have produced Zyex filaments that are even finer and stronger than before. Ashaway has used these to produce new multifilament core packages with increased linear density and more cross-sectional strength. The result is thinner, stronger, lighter-weight strings which provide superior feel, more power, and improved ball control, and still offer the well-known Zyex playing characteristics and tension holding properties. Thus, UltraNick 18—with more Zyex-based UltraNick strings to follow.
In play tests with similar strings developed for other racquet sports, response was uniformly positive, but two types of players seemed to benefit most. One group was top competitive players—typically power players, who found that these thinner strings increased ‘bite’ on the ball and gave them better overall control and an ability to ‘cut’ and spin the ball. For these players, this added control provided a little extra edge to already excellent games.
The other group, interestingly, was the increasingly active senior set; players whose power is not what it was and whose bodies no longer move as quickly or handle the rigors of the game quite as effectively as they once did. These players also liked the additional power and that extra edge, or “English,” the thinner Zyex strings provided, but mostly appreciated the fact that these strings play softer and are more forgiving to aging joints and muscles.
Blue in color, Ashaway’s new UltraNick 18 strings are available in sets of 30 ft (9 m) and reels of 360 ft (110 m). Recommended tension is up to 30 lbs, or 10–20% less tension than players would normally use for standard nylon strings.