Squash Racquet Selection
Posted on July 31 2018
Picking out the perfect new squash racquet can be both a fun and a daunting task so here are some things to consider when shopping to up your game:
Head shape is one, if not the most important of all considerations when purchasing a racquet. Squash racquets come in a few different shapes. The traditional shapes are teardrop, elongated teardrop, square head, or oval. From time to time there are "tweener" shapes...a frame that is in between 2 or more of these common head shapes. In general, the tear drop shapes lend themselves to be more power oriented... especially the elongated tear drop frames. The square head shapes are better for control in general. Different head shapes feel very differently going through the air during your swing. They also have a bearing on the balance point of the racquet and they influence the overall swing weight.
New materials have kept the frames stiff and durable but were also lighter. I like to draw a line at the 150 gram weight. I think that give or take 10 grams either way provides with the best durability when playability and price are considered. If you're an expert player, you will know what works best for your game style. If you're a beginner or intermediate, you won't go wrong sticking around 150 grams.
There is head heavy...meaning more of the weight is shifted toward the head of your frame; even balanced and that's obviously even balanced and head light, meaning more of the weight is down toward the handle of your racquet. Power players tend to like head heavy racquets because they generate greater ball speed. Head light racquets are easier to maneuver and may be better for younger players who don't have fully developed wrist strength. When in doubt, I would gravitate towards head light or even balanced because you can easily add weight to the top of the frame to change the balance point....but it's very tough to take weight away.
String / Tension / Length
No matter how much you pay for that racquet frame, it's the strings that do most of the work. All these frames can have their characteristics changed based on installing different string at various tensions. The elongated frames have much longer strings and they pack an additional punch by providing a bigger trampoline effect and thus more power is generated.
The general racquet tension rule is you string tighter for control and lighter for power. Specialty squash strings also come textured to grip and boast the ball easier. String considerations and different tensions are one area where the intermediate player will be able to really see a difference in racquet performance. It's important to match string type / tension to you squash game style to maximize your play results.