Selecting a Squash Racquet
Picking out the perfect new squash racquet can be both a fun and a daunting task. At SquashGalaxy.com you don't have to make this choice alone or be uninformed. Below we've described many of the basic racquet characteristics you should consider when wading through all your racquet choices. In the end, if you have any questions, we're always an e-mail away.
While we hope you go further and explore our squash racquet technology sections and enjoy the detailed information they contain, we suggest you stick with the basics when making your buying choice. Our last word of advice...when all else fails or gets too overwhelming...pick a color you like or Try Our Squash Racquet Demo Program!
The following basic characteristics should be considered when picking out your squash racquet; head shape, overall weight, balance point and string length/tension. Details for each are below.
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. Head shape is one, if not the most important of all considerations when purchasing a racquet.
In recent years we've seen the average weight of squash racquets move downward. This was directly influenced by the new materials available today. These new materials 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. There is even balanced and that's obviously even balanced. There is also 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. We can help you with that.
The Python Atlas Deluxe 17g (Black) string upgrade (+$25) is recommended at the time of purchase because the factory string generally has lesser playability and durability qualities and often strung too tight. After years of play-testing and selling strings in squash and racquetball we feel we can finally recommend a string to our customer base that not only offers great durability, but backs that up with a great feel and play. The Python Atlas Deluxe is a soft, multifilament string that will gradually fray through the life cycle of the string.(This is completely normal, so don’t worry about it. It will fray down to the very last fibers) For players looking for added “feel”, try the Atlas Deluxe in an 18g which is thinner and more responsive and for those who like a little "stiffer" string, try Tecnifibre 305 Green 17g which is still a multifilament or those who like a textured string that does not fray, try the Ashaway PowerNick 18g String.