PowerNick strings have ‘Hard Power’

February 7, 2012

Ashaway, RI — Ashaway’s PowerNick® strings feature a multi-stranded Zyex® monofilament core, and are encapsulated with a high tenacity monofilament nylon wear surface that is textured to provide optimum ball response and spin characteristics. Designed to provide what Ashaway calls “hard power,” the strings are available in two gauges, 18 and 19. PowerNick 18 (1.15 mm) is designed to provide optimum power and resilience. PowerNick 19, at 1.05 mm, is billed as the thinnest squash string ever made, and offers superior power and ball control. Both are rated high for tension holding characteristics, with PowerNick 18 having the edge in power and durability, and the thinner 19 gauge version offering superior feel and control.

“What we mean by “hard power” is crispness, or pop,” said Steve Crandall, Ashaway’s Vice President of Marketing. “It’s that sensation of the ball leaping off the racquet the instant it strikes, which is a function of elasticity or dynamic stiffness. Where Ashaway’s sister brand, UltraNick®, will give and stretch a bit before rebounding—making for a “softer” feel—PowerNick strings are stiffer and rebound faster, driving the ball. Some say the racquet even sounds like a bongo drum!”

These differing effects are partly achieved by the formulation of the Zyex material, Crandall explained, but the key is in the method of core construction. With UltraNick strings, the Zyex core is composed of hundreds of very fine, very strong filaments, or “multifilaments.” With PowerNick, the core is composed of a single large monofilament surrounded by a number of slightly thinner monofilaments, which Ashaway calls, “multi-stranded monofilament.” For PowerNick 19, the manufacturer of Zyex also developed special downsized monofilaments for Ashaway that allow the string to function at such a thin gauge.

“Individual string playing characteristics are very difficult to describe” Crandall said. “Players really have to try a string to see how it works with their game.”

For example, many top touring pros use PowerNick, both for its inherent power and for its tension holding characteristics, Crandall continued. “David Palmer has been using PowerNick 19 since it first came out. Known as a ‘flat hitter or ball striker,’ he says the string gives him the power to play hard and fast, but also provides nice touch and control at the front of the court. On the other hand, Gilly Lane, who is currently ranked #2 in the US, uses PowerNick 18. He also claims the string gives him the best touch and control. But Gilly uses more of a cut stroke, and needs the added durability of PowerNick 18 because he strikes the ball differently than Palmer.”


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 and the Women’s International Squash Players Association. Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co. also makes braided products for medical and industrial applications. For more information visit