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Having the correct badminton equipment is an essential part of a player’s identity. Each piece of equipment changes an aspect of the game and finding what fits your style is important to optimize your own performance and budget. In this post, we will focus on informing you about the tradeoffs between the different Victor and Ashaway strings by comparing their statistics and price.
Before diving into the details, you may be wondering why you should even care about strings. The string is a core part of any badminton player’s experience as it’s the part of the racket that actually makes contact with the shuttle. This means that the strings are highly responsible for the maximum potential of how well you can hit the shuttle – including both control and repulsion power. Hitting the shuttle in the same way with different strings at the same string tension can result in vastly different results. Even the smallest nuances in the properties of a particular string can be the difference between the shuttle landing in or out of bounds. Therefore, it is critical to find the correct string that compliments your play style and maximizes your potential.
Ashaway and Victor
Victor is a well known Taiwanese company founded in 1968 solely dedicated to the creation and distribution of badminton equipment. Victor has partnered with Ashaway for several decades and features Ashaway’s badminton strings in their annual catalog. Ashaway is an American family business founded in 1824 that originally manufactured fishing lines and has grown to also manufacture many types of racket strings – including tennis, squash, racquetball, and badminton strings. In this post, we will give a summary of all the strings seen in the 2018 Victor badminton catalog and give a recommendation as to what type of player would like it. All values shown are taken from the catalog, website, or products themselves. Enjoy!
Ashaway and Victor rates their set of strings on slightly different stringing properties, listed below:
|1. Control||1. Control|
|2. Durability||2. Durability|
|3. Tension Stability||3. Resilience|
|4. Repulsion Power||4. Hitting Sound|
Repulsion Power indicates the degree in which the string assists in pushing the shuttle outwards upon contact. The higher the repulsion power, the greater the force you will be able to generate with the string when you hit the shuttle. This is due to a trampoline effect that occurs when the shuttle contacts the string bed and is subsequently ricocheted forward.
Repulsion power typically holds an inverse correlation to the durability of the string since strings with high repulsion power tend to be thinner and thus easier to break through. Players should be wary that repulsion power is also inversely correlated with string tension. This means that lower string tension results in higher repulsion power.
An Inverse Correlation is a relationship between 2 variables which move in opposite directions. For example, since repulsion power and durability are inversely correlated, an increase in repulsion power will result in a decrease in durability.
Durability indicates the resilience of the strings against wear, pressure, and damage. It is natural for strings to wear down after repeated use from the strings sawing against each other due to hitting the shuttle. The time it takes for the string to break depends on the thickness and material of your strings. Typically, the thinner the string is, the quicker it is to break due to repeated use.
Hitting Sound indicates how much noise is made when a shuttle is hit. This helps players gauge if they hit the shuttle properly in the sweet spot or not. If the sound is clear and pristine, it indicates that a clean shot was hit while a muffled sound indicates a mishit. The higher the hitting sound, the easier it is to tell the difference between clean and mishit shots.
Tension Stability / Resilience indicates how well the string copes with the force of a shuttle hitting your racket. When the shuttle contacts the string bed of a racket, the string and racket will vibrate to absorb the shock of the shuttle. Any remaining vibrations will be absorbed by the player’s arm and body. This phenomenon causes a delay to the player as he/she will need to recover from the shock. The better a string is at absorbing shock, the fewer the vibrations that will be transferred to the player, and subsequently the faster the player will be able to recover from the shock.
Control indicates the degree to which, upon execution of a hit, a player is able to influence the shuttle’s flight. Control is generally inversely correlated to repulsion power, as a reduction in the trampoline effect will allow players to hit with more accuracy and precision.
Here we will introduce each of the Ashaway and Victor badminton string products along with their product specific attributes such as the material used for their core, outer surface, coating and gauge. A summary of all the string products can be found below the string profiles.
You may also be interested in comparing these strings with Yonex badminton strings. Yonex is the leading badminton brand and is constantly refining their technology and technique to produce excellent quality products. They have more than 15 available strings for beginners and advanced players alike. Check them out in The Complete Guide to Yonex Badminton Strings.
If you’re interested in other badminton products, I highly recommend checking out our Badminton Equipment page where we gathered all of our product posts in one easy place for you to access so that you can make an informed decision before any purchase.
ZyMax 68 TX
The ZyMax 68 TX is Ashaway’s newest string (as of December 2018). It has a textured outer surface that allows it to give great grip and control to the user. The strings provide good durability and feel which makes it a good choice for players of any level.
ZyMax 69 Fire
The ZyMax 69 Fire is one of Ashaway’s most durable strings but it forfeits some repulsion power because of its thickness. Great for beginner to intermediate players looking for a cost effective string to play with.
ZyMax 66 Fire Power
The ZyMax 66 Fire Power is designed for maximum repulsion power while maintaining good durability. Good for intermediate to advanced players looking for the extra boost in power.
ZyMax 62 Fire
The ZyMax 62 Fire is Ashaway’s thinnest string. It has great feel, control, and repulsion power but gives up some durability. Great for advanced players.
Rally 21 Fire
The Rally 21 Fire is an all around string with great durability and repulsion power. Great for beginner to intermediate players who like smashing but don’t want their strings breaking very often.
The NS-880Z TI string is similar to the Yonex BG65 string, but with a harder feel. It is a great all around string that has good repulsion power, control and holds string tension well.
The VS-890 string has great repulsion power and a crisp hitting sound. This string is seen as a premium version of the older VS-850 Nano string. This is one of Victor’s most durable strings.
|Brand||String Name||Repulsion Power||Durability||Hitting Sound||Tension Stability||Control||Gauge||Core||Outer||Coating|
|Ashaway||ZyMax 68 TX||9.5||10||N/A||10||9.5||0.68 mm||BETA Polymer|
with Textured Coating
|Ashaway||ZyMax 69 Fire||9||10||N/A||10||9.5||0.69 mm||BETA Polymer|
|Ashaway||ZyMax 66 Fire Power||10||10||N/A||10||9.5||0.66 mm||BETA Polymer|
|Ashaway||ZyMax 62 Fire||10||9.5||N/A||10||10||0.62 mm||BETA Polymer|
|Ashaway||Rally 21 Fire||10||10||N/A||9||9||.70 mm||BETA Polymer|
|Victor||NS-880Z TI||N/A||7||7||9||8||0.68 mm||ZXION super strong durable fiber||High-Strength Flat Fiber,||Nano-Titanium Alloy|
|Victor||VS-890||N/A||8||7||9||7||0.68 mm||Oval-shaped, Double-layer Nylon Monofilament||Special Nylon|
Now that you have developed a basic understanding of the various strings that Ashaway and Victor has to offer, you are ready to choose the string that will best compliment your play style and budget. Keep in mind that although each string’s properties can help you improve your shots, there are external factors that will also influence your shot quality, such as racket type, string tension, and technique. It is important to note that badminton is a sport where your play style will grow, change, and develop. Along your badminton journey, you will need to repeatedly evaluate whether or not your current strings are the best choice for your current game play. If not, no worries! Just refer to the table above whenever you need to identify your next set of strings! Feel free to experiment with different strings to find your best fit.
Author’s note: Players should be aware that string products from other badminton brands may utilize the same or similar string properties as the ones listed above, but the scale in which each brand may not be comparable at a 1:1 scale (e.g. A value of 7 in control for Yonex strings may not equate to a 7 in control for Victor strings and may not equate to a 7 in control for Ashaway strings).
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