January 19th, 2010 by Ben
If you are an avid player and fan of racquetball, you may have seen some professional matches last season, and if you really know your sport, you might have noticed the Bright Green string in the racquet of Jack Huczeck. As I write this article, Jack is currently ranked #2 in the world and a force to be reckoned with. This article however, is not about Jack, but about his Bright Green string – the newly released Ashaway UltraKill, to come in both 17 and 18 gauge.
Ashaway is the only United States manufacturer of racquet strings and produces strings for badminton, tennis, squash and racquetball. Why do you care? I will tell you right now. Up until recently, Ashaway produced mainly durability strings for racquetball, consisting of either kevlar, nylon or the patented Zyex material. This Zyex is no ordinary fiber, but provides previously unmatched lows in dynamic stiffness, thin durable gauging, and minimal tension loss. Still, Zyex has been a durability string, and unknown to many soft string users. This is all about to change with the development of Zyex Multifilament the new optimal balance of power, control and durability.
Here is how one of our external playtesters, John Rack, an experienced stringer, rated the new Ashaway UltraKill 18:
“I am so impressed with this string. It has incredible power with great control. Touch shots up front are a breeze and the string has great feel. After 3 weeks, there is no sign of wear whatsoever and I consider myself more of a power player. There is little to no vibration, but I am using the GB 250 170 that minimizes vibration anyway. The string is ultra thin; thinner than other 18G strings I’ve used and I can really feel the ball pull back on the strings. The string really holds its tension well and it was not pre-stretched. I strung it 2 lbs less than the GB multi 18 that I was using and the thinner diameter Ashaway string reduced the racquet weight by 3 grams even though they’re both 18G strings. Needless to say, I highly recommend this string.
I have now concluded my test of the Ashaway 18G string and I wanted to give my final thoughts on this string. This string got better and better over time and after a month of playing 4X a week I saw very little wear. I thought that this string was one of the best strings I’ve ever used but I started to get some arm soreness after the 4th week. Since I’ve had tendonitis before, I had to stop using this string. I’ve never experienced any soreness when I used the GB 18G or the Prince Premier with Softflex. I didn’t think that the Ashaway was particularly stiff, but definitely not as soft as the previous strings I mentioned. If you’re not bothered by arm soreness, I would highly recommend this string and it would be well suited to the majority of players out there.
Finally, here is the Ashaway UltraKill rated side-by-side with my previous favorite strings (out of 10):