A newcomer to squash will get more from the game from the outset if they have the right squash racket. As their game evolves, a simple change in string can build longevity into what may at first seem a hefty investment. And, for seasoned players, a replacement racket is an opportunity to review play style in order to make an informed choice.
We’ve broken down the six key characteristics of squash rackets to make it easier for you to choose.
The general range of overall racket weight is typically between 110g up to 190g – so there’s quite a difference between the heaviest and the lightest.
A lighter squash racket is ideal if your style of play is aggressive, fast and involves lots of wrist flick returns and directional changes. A heavier racket will aid those with a slower swing who need the extra weight to add power and are able to use it to make the other person do the lion’s share of the leg work.
Juniors and smaller players often go for lighter weights since they’re in better proportion with their own size and weight.
When you make your own selection, remember that the weight advertised does not normally include accessories like strings and grommets. So when choosing the weight for you, account for additional weight of these extras.
The weight of the racket is not always evenly distributed, in some there is a deliberate uneven distribution of weight resulting from size, shape material and construction in order to work with each person’s style of play.
A head-light racket is fantastic for speedy volleys and rapid flick shots and suits someone with established upper body strength.
A head heavy racket adds power to shots, meaning a relatively light touch can create a strong return.
An even racket, predictably, has a consistent distribution of weight offering the best of both worlds – manoeuvrability and power but at neither extreme.
Historically, pro players used head heavy rackets but the game is getting faster and more aggressive so these days more often they favour the head-light.
There’s a lot of science behind strings and most rackets come pre-strung with a fairly basic string that might not be right for you. Consider a restring of your brand new racket, which may sound like madness but will certainly make an amazing difference to your game.
Squash racket strings vary by material, texture and tension and collectively the variance of these factors result in numerous configurations that only a true expert can fully explain. This is where our racket expert comes in handy, who you will find ready to help you in our London Showroom. See the Final Tips section below for more info. You can also find help at your local club if you’re serious about the game.
There’s a wide variety of materials and textures to strings. Higher prices and better quality strings have more grip and you’ll experience a better feel of the ball with them. But be warned they’re also generally thinner and more prone to snapping so need replacing more often.
The higher the tension of your strings the less power you get as there’s little give, but the more control you can enjoy so it’s really a play off between which you need more of.
Restringing is usually neglected until it’s too late. If you play once a week it should be done at least once a year.
4. Throat Shape
Throat shape falls into two types; open/teardrop and close/bridged.
On an open throat, or a teardrop style of head, the beam splits out to the head. The primary benefit of this throat shape is that the racket offers a larger sweet spot and more power. The downside of an open throat that is enables less control.
A closed throat or bridge racket has shorter strings, which means it gives greater control, a smaller sweet spot and reduced power. A more skilled and stronger player will usually favour a closed racket.
5. Beam and grip
Beams range in thickness from 16mm to 21mm with thinner ones offering more manoeuvrability and so being better suited to the more advanced player.
Grips come in a standard size and are the easiest thing to alter whatever your racket choice. You can buy replacements and add on over grips to suit the size of your hand, how you hold the racket and your style of play.
Like all sports the advances in technology have made for a confusing and sometimes costly marketplace. You can pick up a basic racket for very little but it will most likely prove a false economy in a short space of time. Consider your budget and all the above factors and we’re confident you can get a really great buy that will last you a long time.
Final Squash Racket tips
Now you know a bit more about the different elements of a squash racket and what to keep in mind when selecting your new weapon of choice, click here to check out the range of squash rackets in our online store.
We also have a racket expert in our London Showroom who will happily advise you and answer any questions you may have about rackets. We also provide a world-class stringing service for players of all level, just give our showroom a call or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We stock a wide range of rackets in our showroom, but we can’t display every single one that you’ll see in our online store. So if you wish to see a particular model please do call us or drop us an email before coming into the showroom.
We also sell all the accessories, racket bags, court shoes, balls, strings, grips, eyewear and more, including top squash brands such as Salming, Wilson, Head, Dunlop, Prince, Tecnifibre and others!