Online Feedback Helps High-Tech String Material Gain Respect

June 20, 2007

“Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what we say from a marketing perspective,” said Steve Crandall, Ashaway’s Vice President of Marketing. “What matters is whether a product lives up to its claims. Sites like provide a public forum for customers to voice their opinions. I think it’s a great thing. It helps keep manufacturers honest, and more important, it helps us learn.”

However, the first strings made with early Zyex formulations did not live up to their potential, said Crandall. “It took the resin manufacturers some time to tweak their formulations, and it took us—Ashaway as well as other string manufacturers—a while to optimize the utilization of this incredible material. So when Dynamite was first introduced, it had some resistance to overcome.”

“But the proof is now very much in the pudding,” he added, “and the stream of positive comments from readers on sites like have really helped spread the word.” Comments like, “I never experienced the oxymoron, “controllable power,” until using this string,” from Paul in Sherman, CT, and, “Great ball pocketing and superb power, but easier to string than gut. This is the string I’ve been looking for,” from James in Nashville, TN, have helped make Dynamite one of the strongest selling tennis strings in the Ashaway line.

Designed for top amateur and professional players looking for more power and playability, Ashaway’s Dynamite strings are available in two gauges, 16 gauge Dynamite WB and the lighter gauge, Dynamite 17. Both feature a core of helically wound Zyex fibers overbraided with high tenacity multifilament microfibers for superior wear and easy stringing. In addition, the string’s Zyex fibers provide optimum durability and a resistance to moisture and temperature.

Of course, the news is not all positive. “It never is,” said Crandall. “While some users fault ‘string movement,’ and others see a tendency for the outer coating to wear and the fibers to ‘flatten,’ even critics agree that the string holds tension very well and generates surprising power.”

Comments like these from James in Spring Hill, TN, are typical: “This is a great string. I strung it up in my Prince Original Graphite Mid at 50#. It’s firm and lively with terrific power and minimal shock. It cups the ball very well. My opponent, with whom I play regularly, commented on how deep and fast my shots were, especially my one-handed backhand and serve. I wasn’t expecting much in the way of feel, but was very surprised. Touch shots felt superb. String movement was noticeable but easy to ignore due to the great playability.”

Ashaway Dynamite WB and Dynamite 17 are available in single set packages of 38 feet (11.5M) or reels of 360 feet (110M). Because of the tension holding properties of Zyex, the manufacturer recommends stringing at approximately 10-15% less than normal tension, up to a maximum of 65 lbs.

Ashaway Racket Strings are made by Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co., the only U.S. manufacturer of string for squash, tennis, racquetball, and badminton. Operated by the Crandall family since 1824, Ashaway has been making racquet strings since 1949, and is responsible for several important technical innovations. Ashaway is the Official String of USA Racquetball, the International Racquetball Tour, the Professional Squash Association and the Women’s International Squash Players Association. Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co. also makes braided products for medical and industrial applications.