Power and Control: Choosing A Squash Racquet That’s Right For You
Whether you are looking to purchase your first squash racquet or replacing your current one, three racquet properties should factor into your decision – weight, head shape, and stiffness. Knowing more about these racquet properties will help you make your choice.
Weight: Most squash racquets weigh between 140g and 170g, with some being as light as 115g. High level players usually favor a lighter weight racquet which helps with aggressive play, deception, and maneuverability, since lighter racquets allow for a faster swing, better touch, and feel. A lighter racquet requires the player to provide the power instead of the racquet while a heavier racquet allows the player to generate pace (power) with a slower swing speed. Racquet weight can be distributed differently throughout the frame: evenly (a balanced racquet), more weight in the head (head heavy) or more weight in the handle (head light).
If you are someone who prefers a lighter weight racquet but may not yet have the technique to generate power, choosing a slightly head heavy racquet may work for you.
Head Shape- Open Throat (Bridge) or Closed Throat (Tear Drop): Generally, there are two racquet head shapes in squash: Open Throat (also called Bridge) and Closed Throat (also called Teardrop).
An Open Throat or bridge head shape has a shorter, more compact string pattern allowing for better control but sacrificing power. The bridge adds stability and stiffness to the racquet.
A Closed Throat or tear drop head shape allows for more power because of the longer main stringing pattern which tend to “snap back” faster.
Stiffness Old school wooden squash racquets had smaller heads and were stiff and heavy. Innovative materials of fiberglass, graphite and titanium have significantly changed the game due to their strong, light weight, and flexible properties. These materials have allowed for lighter and larger head size racquets, increasing the overall power and speed of player swings.
The more flexible or “whippier” a racquet, the more control a player has since the ball will stay on the strings longer while the frame flexes. A stiff racquet will flex significantly less during a swing and deflect more energy or power, resulting in less control.
Choosing a racquet has a lot to do with personal preference and it’s a good idea to try out a few racquets before you make your decision.
The ORC Pro Shop has a great selection of squash racquets to choose from and demo racquets are available to try. Feel free to ask me for advice. I am always happy to help squash players make a solid choice.
Ontario Racquet Club Squash Director, Level III Certified Coach, Owner ORC Pro Shop
Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org