Squash Racket Buying Guide
At Hit The Nick we aim to set things out as simply as we can for our customers, especially the buying guide for squash rackets.
Looking for a little help and guidance can often be bewildering; we have looked across many other sites, often overloaded in areas which, in the main are irrelevant to the customer. All things considered, we have written the following few paragraphs and included the best information you will receive (in our eyes), when it comes to buying your most important piece of equipment in squash, your racket!
Information when buying a racket from us is divided into 2 sections.
1. Are you new to the game? A beginner’s guide is here for you.
2. Recreational, club/county level and professional players.
Please take some time to read what is applicable to you.
1. When buying a racket from a beginner’s perspective the main things to consider are cost, head shape and weight. A racket for a beginner should cost between £30-60. In terms of weight the average racket nowadays (that won’t feel like a club in your hand) is between 130-150 grams. Rackets display the weight on the frame, but this weight doesn’t take into account the weight of the string, paintwork (occasionally) or bumper strip/grommets. Racket head shape, is particularly important as the larger the surface area of the racket, the more chance the ball will connect with the strings. Over-sized head shaped rackets such as the Dunlop Ultimate or the Harrow Custom Pro Vibe are particular examples to showcase this. You will ultimately get ‘the feel’ for the racket that is right for you.
2. Rackets for the competitive club, county player or pro (if a pro is reading this then the coach hasn’t done his job properly!) are much more of a personal affair. String type, frame profile (thickness), balance, playability are top of the agenda.
Frame Profile is vital, some rackets now have thicker frames than others. These rackets tend to be much stiffer and transfer huge amounts of power in the shot. The Harrow Spark is a great example of a larger frame profile performance racket. In contrast, the Tecnifibre Carboflex 125 Basaltex Multi-axial, as used by Mohamed El Shorbagy, is a razor- sharp, thin profile, that cuts rapidly through the air, allowing for masses of racket head speed to be generated.
Balance is always a particularly personal pre-requisite. Some players like to feel the racket through the shot whereas others will prefer much lighter rackets i.e. county or professional players manoeuvre the racket quickly in tight moments during match play which may require some sort of improvisation. There is often a huge misconception here, that a heavier racket has more power in it and a lighter racket lacks power. This is incorrect; often power is generated by technology incorporated in the racket (not forgetting how large a rackets sweet spot is) and also how technically efficient a player is. Rackets also fall into categories such as head light, head heavy or even. An even racket weight balance is normally preferred by players in general. Changing between different weight distributions is a risky business and leads to miss- timed shots; easily remedied by solo practice!
String Type is more important to some than others, but on the whole,it should not determine your racket purchase choice. It is widely known that factory strings in rackets are less than adequate. We advise that you visit your local stringer for advice on the best strings for your racket and your game. Some rackets are now being sold pre-strung with high end string. Tecnifibre are leading the way with this by stringing all their top end rackets with either 305/305+ or X-One Biphase. The 3 strings are high end performance, which carry plenty of bite on the ball when cutting and of course, allow you to Hit The Nick!
Playability may be your final consideration, however, does the racket you have chosen match your style of play? Nowadays, companies such as Dunlop, Tecnifibre, Wilson, Prince and more are designing their rackets based on a professional’s requirements. This line of rackets is mass produced and then appears on the shelf for the benefit of the rest of us! Our favourite example of this is Mohamed El Shorbagy’s 125 Carboflex by Tecnifibre. This racket is ideal for spins and offers huge dexterity in the hand. Not only is the racket super lightweight, it has a very delicate frame profile and huge power reserves. Shorbagy generates such considerable racket speed, it’s often difficult to focus on the racket; providing a perfect accompaniment to his game!