Results of the String Quiz Challenge of the Decade
By Steve Crandall
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Ashaway Racket Strings
Well, the results are in from our String Quiz Challenge that appeared in the Fall issue, and I must say, I now have a lot more sympathy for teachers! No, seriously, you all did rather well, actually. In fact - though I wouldn't spread this around - you scored a bit better than those squash folks who took a similar quiz. But you didn't hear that from me.
In all, 51 people took the quiz and the average score was 85, which, if memory serves, is a solid B. All but five scored a passing grade of 70 or above (you others know who you are!), a full 40% scored 90 or better, and 22% scored 100 or better, which I think speaks really well. Best of all, we had three perfect scores of 105. So congratulations go to Garrick Engle of San Angelo, TX, Dan Lonquist of Fruita, CO, and Steve Socha of Corpus Christi, TX.
The only question everyone got right was the bonus question. But, there were some questions that a number of you consistently had trouble with. The second most frequently missed was question #5, "Which property is not monitored by Ashaway's Quality Control Lab and does NOT affect string durability?" The correct answer is "Shear Strength." This might seem like a trick question, but the reason we do not test for shear is that we have not found a good correlation between shear strength and string durability. Tensile strength, which we do test for, has only slightly better correlation. Curiously, the best indicator of string durability we have found is "Loop Strength," which is a measure of a string's bending strength.
By far the most missed question was #17, regarding which is the world's largest racquet sport market based on volume of string sold. Those of you who answered "Tennis" may be guilty of a little cultural myopia. While tennis is very popular in the US and Western Europe, badminton is a national sport in China, India and Indonesia. Think about it. Those three have populations of 1.3 billion, 1.2 billion, and 238 million, respectively. That's nearly nine times the 308 million US population as reported by the 2010 Census. Tennis doesn't even come close.
Here's a complete list of quiz questions with the correct answers:
- If you want the ball to explode off your racquet with greater power, you should string your racquet at a higher tension. False (The rule is, decrease tension for power, increase for control.)
- Many new fibers have been used in racquet strings over the last 10 years. Which of the following fibers has NOT been used in a commercial racquet string? Spectra®
- In general, all racquet strings are pre-stretched before stringing. False
- What is the standard diameter range for an 18 gauge string? 1.10-1.15 mm
- Which property is not monitored by Ashaway's Quality Control Lab and does NOT affect string durability? Shear Strength
- Your choice of racquetball string makes very little difference in how your racquet plays. False (The right string can make a big difference.)
- The fastest growing segment of the racquetball string market is the Zyex-based string segment. True
- Zyex is represented by which of the following chemical acronyms? PEEK
- Which of the following is NOT home to a racquetball string manufacturer? Canada
- Which of the statements in this list is NOT relevant to racquetball string? Solid monofilament strings are very stiff
- Hybrid stringing (two different types or different gauges of string) is growing in popularity in racquetball. True
- The normal breakage point for a racquetball string is a main string in the upper 1/3 of the frame. True
- The trend in racquetball stringing is to string at tensions in the 25 lb. range.
False (32-35 lb. range is most common these days.)
- The most popular tension range for stringing racquetball racquets is: 30 - 40 lbs.
- All racquetball racquets have the exact same stringing pattern. False (But racquetball stringers probably wish this were true!)
- A new Zyex-based racquetball string was introduced last summer. It is 1.30 mm in diameter. What gauge is that? 16 gauge
- The biggest (largest unit volume) string market in the world is associated with which sport? Badminton
- The general rule of thumb is that you string your racquet as many times each year as you play your favorite racquet sport each week. (Unless your string breaks on a mishit, of course!) True
- A thin gauge and textured surface is desirable in a racquetball string since it grips the ball better for control and spin. True
- Jack Huczek has won 10 World Championships playing with Ashaway string in his racquet. True
- Ashaway is the only brand of racquet strings manufactured in the United States. True
Thanks to all who participated. Everyone who scored a passing grade will receive a free package of Ashaway's new UltraKill® 16 string.
This article previously appeared in Racquetball Magazine.