If you’re reading this, you want to know a little more about squash rackets (or racquets), and may be new to the sport. This article will tell you everything from the names of certain components of squash rackets, what they do, how they affect your gameplay, popular racket brands, and links to some reviews.
First off — what is a squash racket? Well, this one is a no-brainer — just like a tennis racket, this is what you hit the ball with.
The following are some squash racket brands that professionals, intermediate players, beginners, and players new to the game can trust:
- Black Knight
Parts of a Squash Racket
Below are the parts of a squash racket — the name of each component and where it is located.
The Grip — The grip is at the end of the racket and is the taped up area that you hold onto as you swing the racket.
The Head — The head of a racket is the area in which the strings are. When you look at specifications for rackets, they measure the head size in square centimeters (an example is 500 sq. cm.).
Shaft — The shaft is the area that connects the head of the racket to the grip.
Throat — The throat of a racket often starts to form a V shape — it is the area that is integrated with the shaft — it can be open throat or closed throat.
Adult Rackets and Junior Rackets
According to the official specifications published by World Squash, adult rackets are 27 inches long (686 millimeters). Junior rackets can be shorter to meet the needs of children learning the game and competing.
How to Find the Best Squash Racket For You: Learn the Terminology
There is no easy answer as to finding the best racket for your particular gameplay. There are a variety of types of rackets with different weights, balances, throat shapes, string patterns, designs, construction material, durability, and so forth.
You must go through a process of trial and error in finding what type of racket is best suited to your particular swings, gameplay, strategy, and goals. Aside from the price, there are a few factors you can consider to become more knowledgeable about squash rackets before you try them or buy one.
Weight: How much the racket weighs in total. Note that many squash rackets have an advertised weight, but they may indicate that their measurement is the weight of the frame only. The strings and customized grip tape can add some weight to your racket, so be aware of this ahead of time if you have very specific frame weight preferences.
Beginners tend to have heavier rackets while competing players tend to have lighter ones. This isn’t always true, however, as some pros are known for rackets with weights into the 135g to 140g range. Light rackets are typically around 120g and 125g.
As a rule of thumb, lighter rackets tend to be less durable, which is why pros use them and can replace them often. If you want a durable racket, try for a heavier one with a great construction — these are best for beginners and will last you as you learn the game. It will also give you a better and more confident feel in the hand as you begin playing.
Balance: Balance is another personal preference that can make a huge difference on gameplay. Whether the racket is head-heavy, head-light (weighted towards the grip), or evenly balanced, each allows the player to hold and swing their rackets a bit differently.
Some players like the feel of head-heavy rackets as it gives them an idea of where their racket is spatially as they play. Until a player gets used to this, it is best to start off with a head-heavy or evenly balanced racket until you develop a preference and style. However, you should try out all balance types to see which one ultimately suits your style of play the best.
String Pattern: The string pattern of a racket is essentially how many cross and main strings it has. You will see patterns like 14 x 12 and other cross (horizontal) x main (vertical) pattern types. The string pattern differs with different head shapes (teardrop, for example) and depends on a player’s preferences. A string pattern can mean the difference between a taut surface to hit the ball or a more absorbing surface. You must find the best string pattern for you.
Throat Shape: This refers to whether there is a bridge across the throat of the racket. There is a “conventional” head shape and a throat in which the strings go all the way down without a bridge. Open throat and closed throat are the common phrases used to describe the two types.
Graphic Design: Honestly, the graphic design of a racket is simply how cool it looks and how well it compliments you as a player. There are great-looking rackets out there and when made of a great construction material, your racket can function well and look extremely cool.
Durability: Durability is somewhat subjective, because this depends on how often you smack the wall with your racket — but it is still a factor. Especially when it comes to beginners, durability is important to seek out in a racket. You will want something that can withstand the learning process. This includes beginners squash balls (which are not as “squashy” as well as not break when you smack the wall a few times as you learn).
Intermediate and advanced players tend to be able to play with less durable rackets because they are more high-end and have advanced features and lightness to them that make their level of gameplay better (but also contribute to less durability).
It is always best to start off with a durable racket as you learn — then you can try out rackets with different frame materials, different weights, and so forth.