Squash Rackets at Sweatband.com
Squash equipment, just like all the racket sports, has come a long way since the days when the only rackets you could buy were made of wood and the head size of most rackets were more or less the same, the transition to graphite composite frames made a big difference to the power in the game but an absolutely massive revolution came when Prince decided to remove the throat piece from the racket and allow the strings to go right down into the throat of the racket.
Conventional rackets had quite a small head size at that time and the longer strings produced by this design gave a massive power advantage to players who were using these rackets, so, in a very short space of time almost everyone moved to this new design, which is today called a teardrop or open throat design, head shape is one of the main points you should consider when buying a racket and there is more on this further down in this guide.
Most brands have some technologies which offer specific benefits unique to a given range or racket, these benefits are usually there to suit a player’s particular playing style, for example someone who prefers to play with all out power, or someone who has more of a touch and feel game, you will find mention of these technical specifics when you look at individual models.
On a more general level, whether you are new to the game, or you are simply looking for a new racket to help advance your game, here is a basic guide to some of the main features you should consider, which are, head shape, weight, and balance.
We have already mentioned how the teardrop shape changed the game, after the dominance of this type of frame rackets started to appear where the throat was again present, so the strings no longer moved down into the throat, however the head size of these rackets was much bigger than the old rackets which were actually very small.
This bigger head size meant that a racket with the throat could now generate a lot more power due to the bigger head size, so these more modern rackets with the throat piece would generate a lot more power than the old frames and could therefore compete with these very powerful open throated designs, these are generally referred to as classic rackets.
Today, that is the choice you face, should you buy an open throat racket or a classic head shape?
The reason these two designs exist is because some players feel that the open throat is all power but gives very little touch and control, so that shape is not ideal if you want to control the ball at the front of the court and play drop shots.
The classic design is generally accepted to give more feel and control for those players who want that, many of the top selling models today are open throated rackets, so that design is still the dominant one, but the classic shape does have its place and there are some good selling models in that design too.
This is a highly personal choice, if you are an established player, you probably already have an allegiance to one style over the other, but, if you are new to the game, you should try both shapes to get a feel for the difference between the two and see which suits your game best.
Racket Weight and Balance
Racket weights vary from about 110g up to 160g, there are rackets just outside this range but that is where most of them will be, rackets weights are normally quoted unstrung, and also as a bare frame (so without grommets etc).
Having a lightweight racket makes a lot of sense, squash is a very fast paced game and the ability to move the racket very quickly is made a lot easier if your racket is very light, some of the game’s best-selling models are at the 110g weight so this choice is liked by a lot of players.
However, there are very good selling rackets in the market at 125g and 130g in weight, so it’s not all about the lightest weight possible.
The very lightest rackets will enable you to react very quickly and you will also be able to generate a lot of racket head speed which will help the power in your shots, but some players don’t like the racket too light, with a bit more weight in the frame you can feel the racket a lot better and this is a good thing when you need to play shots of a more finesse nature and need to control the ball.
Very similar to the type of frame you use, racket weight is a highly personal choice so be sure to try different weights and see what you feel is best for your game.
The balance of your racket is also an important point to consider, a racket will be head heavy, evenly balanced, or head light, a head heavy racket will be good for power and also give a better degree of feel, so very good for touch and control shots, head light will feel extremely light in your hand so they are perfect for quick reaction shots and fast attacking play, the racket will feel wonderfully easy to manoeuvre.