There are many variables when considering squash rackets. There are choices in racket materials, choices in racket shapes, sizes, weights, balance and design. Rackets are designed for many levels of skill, from the novice player to the pros. Finding the right racket with the right combination of string will be sure to have you standing in the winner's circle.
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Squash rackets come in many shapes and designs. Open-throat rackets are more aerodynamic and more flexible. Closed-throat rackets are easy to manoeuvre but tend to be stiffer. Some squash racket manufacturers have grommet designs with large holes, which tend to increase the sweet spot and make the racket more aerodynamic. Grommets are the holes where the string is fed through the frame of the racket. The sweet spot of a racket is the location on the string bed where hitting the ball feels perfect, with no jarring or vibration. There are rackets with a more oval head shape and those with a more teardrop design, which can change the location of the sweet spot.
Different materials in squash rackets will result in different racket performance. Some of the materials used in the making of squash rackets are graphite, high modulus graphite, titanium, copper, tungsten and carbon. Materials such as high modulus graphite will produce a firm, stiff racket frame and other materials will produce a more flexible frame. Firmer rackets tend to be more powerful and will do more work for you, while flexible rackets will require you to provide the power behind your shots.
Weight and Balance Considerations
Racket weight is important not only for control and power, but for comfort. When the weight is distributed more toward the head of the racket, it is said to be head heavy. When it is distributed more towards the handle, it is said to be head light. Head heavy rackets feel heavier in the hand and are suited more for the physically stronger player. Head light rackets tend to feel lighter and are more suited for the novice or weaker player. Squash rackets can weigh 120 to 170 grams.
Each squash racket has a certain stringing pattern and string tension. A wide string pattern will tend to "bite" the ball better, but strings may break sooner. With a tight string pattern, you will not break strings as often and you can also use a lower string tension as it tends to play as if it were strung tighter. A softer, multi-filament string is a nice string to use for comfort and playability. A single core string will not be as playable but will last longer.
Style and Level Considerations
Your style of play and your level of play will dictate which racket to use. If you are a novice player, a lightweight racket and a firm racket will be better suited for you. Wristy players tend to like lightweight rackets. If you are a more advanced player and like to hit with power, a heavier racket would be best. If you have a slow swing speed, a firmer frame works best as it will do a lot of the work for you. A player with a fast, whippy swing will enjoy playing with a more flexible racket.
Before You Buy
It is recommended that before you buy a squash racket, try several brands and several styles. What matters most is how the racket feels and performs for you while playing. It is a very individual choice.
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