Castagnet switches to Ashaway

April 26, 2016

Ashaway, RI – Rising squash star Mathieu Castagnet has been finding things going very much his way of late. Steadily rising through the World Rankings as he reaches his prime, the 29-year-old Frenchman recently won his debut performance at the 2016 Canary Wharf Classic, beating Omar Mosaad and moving up to a career high of World No. 7. He has also changed strings, switching to Ashaway’s new orange SuperNick® ZX from their red PowerNick® 18.


He said he switched initially because of the orange color, which is his favorite. He thought it would be “interesting” to see an orange string in his specially designed, all black Black Knight racquet. But he soon discovered that the new Zyex®-enhanced SuperNick brought more than style to his game. It brought more power.

Which was interesting, because of the two strings, PowerNick, with its Zyex monofilament core, is supposed to be the more powerful. The Zyex wear layer on the 1.25 mm (17 gauge) SuperNick ZX is designed to provide better tension stability and durability compared to current SuperNick XL strings, while maintaining the precise response of SuperNick’s traditional multifilament nylon core. But that’s not how it worked for Mathieu Castagnet. “I can feel more power with the orange than the red string,” he said.

Why this was so, he is not really sure. “I can’t really tell you if the SuperNick ZX helped me improve my counter-drop game or my consistency,” he said. “I’ve always been good on this part of the game even with the PowerNick string. It could be the combination of the string, the racquet, my physical condition, my experience on the tour and the atmosphere…”

Or it could just be different strokes for different folks, which is why, says Ashaway’s Steve Crandall, players should always experiment to find the right string for their game. “The characteristics we try to design into a string and those we print on the labels are based on lab tests and the response of a cadre of playtesters. But you may react very differently. What we see as control you may feel as power. So you owe it to yourself to try a number of strings.”

The switch was gradual for Mathieu as it took a couple months to adapt to the feel of the new string. But based on his play of late, it seems to be working as he inches his way towards his goal of being World No. 1. “To be World No. 1, you have to be consistent,” he said. “At the moment, I am not consistent enough, even though I am playing my best level this season. A world number one is able to win even if he is not at his best. I have to improve my technical game to make that difference.”

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 has been the Official String of USA Racquetball for more than ten years, and is also the Official String of Professional Tennis Registry. Ashaway Line & Twine Mfg. Co. also makes braided products for medical and industrial applications. For more information visit