When playing squash, a racquet is pretty much an extension of the player’s arm.
The right racquet should enhance your swing as well as help you deliver on power shots.
However, every player’s skill set and style of play is different.
So, what one player is looking for in a racquet might not be what another player needs.
This guide here will help you find the best squash racquet that will suit your style and help you improve your squash skills.
Table of Contents
How Do I Choose The Right Squash Racquet For Me?
Expect squash racquets to weight between 110g and 190g. This is quite a vast range, so there is a considerable difference between the heavier racquets and the lighter racquets.
First of all, did you know that the weight advertised on the racquets is not their weight as they come?
This is the unstrung weight, often taken before the paint, grip, grommets, and string are added. As a result, the racquet should actually weight more than what’s marked on the racquet frame.
Lighter racquets weighing 130g or less allow for fast movements and more maneuverability. This offers the player a lot more control and touch, a smooth swing, and an enhanced feel.
These racquets have an advantage with delicate drop shots, quick hits, and flicks.
On the downside, lighter racquets lack in power and have poor follow-through, which can result in mishits. Additionally, these racquets have lower durability.
Lighter racquets are preferred by experienced players who have the proper technique required to use the racquet efficiently.
These are a strong wrist snap for follow-through, and a strong forearm for power.
Medium weight racquets weighing between 130-150g are the go-to for most players.
These racquets provide a good balance of power and maneuverability, and they also have better follow-through compared to lighter racquets.
Heavy racquets weighing 150g or more deliver a very powerful swing, stable shots, and a smooth follow-through.
The trade-off here is that these racquets are not easy to control. Some players will temporarily use a heavier racquet to build their wrist power and forearm strength, then change to lighter racquets.
Squash racquets all come in a standard handle size. The handle shape, however, can change depending on the manufacturer.
Rounded squash racquet handles are comparable to baseball bat handles. This handle shape is comfortable, and the player can readily find an assortment of hand placement positions to get the perfect grip.
The disadvantage is that rounded grip shapes do not provide any hand-to-brain feedback. As a result, the player might need to constantly look down at the racquet to see how the face is aligned.
Additionally, the lack of bevels in rounded handles may result in the racquet twisting during shots, and this would affect the accuracy of the shot.
A rectangular squash racquet handle provides more feedback, and so a player can quickly tell their racquet face alignment without having to look down at the racquet itself.
These also give better hand placement, so you don’t lose your grip easily.
Ultimately, however, it all depends on what feels comfortable in your hands. If you are comfortable, then you can play with confidence and give better performance on the court.
It is possible to modify the grip on a racquet using tape, gauze, and towels. Doing so will allow you to contour the handle shape to your hand better.
Aluminum squash racquets are heavy but very durable. It is almost impossible to damage an aluminum racquet. These racquets are also quite affordable.
The one downside is that because of the highly flexible frame; aluminum racquets generate vibrations when a player hits the ball.
These vibrations reduce a player’s control and could result in unpredictable shots whereby the ball goes in a direction that wasn’t the intended direction.
Graphite composite squash racquets may also be made from materials such as carbon fiber or metal composites, including boron, basalt, graphite, Kevlar, and titanium.
These racquets are much lighter in weight, have a more rigid frame, they are very durable, and they are also quite expensive.
Additionally, vibrations are diffused better in a graphite composite racquet as opposed to in an aluminum racquet.
Wood was the material used in more traditional squash racquets. The disadvantage is that wood was heavy and would be prone to cracking.
Today, wooden racquets are now considered a collector’s item, which you wouldn’t find being used on the court.
Open throat racquets are the more classic design, and they are quite popular among older players. These racquets give enhanced touch and control, but they lack power.
Additionally, open throat racquets have a string bed that’s smaller and denser, thereby resulting in a smaller sweet spot.
Teardrop racquets are also known as closed throat racquets. In this design, the main strings are longer, and the string bed area is larger, which then results in a larger sweet spot.
Closed throat racquets are very forgiving, and they also offer more power and consistency to your shots. The trade-off here is that you would sacrifice some control.
Hybrid racquets have an elongated teardrop design which allows for the most powerful shots, while at the same time having a more prominent sweet spot that’s more forgiving for off-center shots.
You will, however, notice that these racquets offer less control, so a player would need strong, flexible wrists to compensate for this.
The beam width of a squash racquet could fall between 16mm and 21mm. The thicker the beam thickness, the stiffer the racquet, and the harder it is to control.
The converse is also true whereby a thinner beam thickness results in a more flexible racquet that’s easier to control.
A racquet’s weight is not always evenly distributed along the length of the racquet. Some squash racquets weigh heavier at the head, some weigh heavier at the shaft, and others are evenly weighted.
A head-light squash racquet has the majority of its weight placed at the shaft. These racquets offer better control but little power, so they suit players who have established upper body strength.
A head-light racquet would be suitable for flicks and quick volleys.
A head heavy squash racquet has the majority of its weight placed at the head. These racquets offer enhanced power to shots, but the player sacrifices control.
A head-heavy racquet would be suitable for making hard shots with large swings and minimal effort.
An even balance squash racquet has a consistent distributed of weight along the entire length of the racquet.
These racquets offer both power and maneuverability in equal measures, with neither being extreme.
Squash racquet balance is measured in millimeters, indicating the point of balance as measured from the bottom of the racquet.
A head-light racquet feels much lighter while a head heavy racquet feels much heavier. The choice between the two all boils down to a matter of personal preferences though
Type / Material
Natural Gut string is what’s used by most professional players. This string is quite expensive, but it plays the best and gives a superior feel of the ball.
Synthetic Gut string, also known as a multifilament string, is a popular choice, and this is what comes in many factory strung racquets. The string plays well and is more durable than natural gut string.
Monofilament Nylon string is very tough, and it is ideal for the players who tend to break their racquet strings regularly.
Because of its high strength, this string offers less feel and comfort. To enhance its play, you will often find the monofilament string being used as the main string with synthetic gut running across it.
Thinner 18-gauge strings are capable of stretching further. As a result, they give more power, but the trade-off is that they are less durable.
Thicker 17-gauge strings are more durable, but they also have less stretch. As a result, you get a better feel of the ball as well as enhanced control.
The average string tension is about 28 PSI, and most squash racquets come factory strung at about 26-28 PSI.
A higher tension results in more touch and control, while a lower tension gives more power to shots.
These are the holes through which the racquet strings are threaded. Larger holes allow for the string to move more freely, thereby increasing the size of the sweet spot.
More strings translate into more power and a larger sweet spot, therefore, a more forgiving racquet.
Fewer strings give a smaller sweet spot, therefore, increasing the chances of mishits and, likewise, increasing the likelihood of string breakage as well.
14 x 18 is the standard string pattern for most open throat racquets. This close string pattern gives more grip and spin on the ball. Other good string patterns include 16 x 17, 18 x 17, and 16 x 16.
How much are you willing to pay?
Always keep in mind that price does not necessarily mean quality. The price point of a racquet should be guided by the factors mentioned above.
Consider the material and performance of the racquet before looking at its price.
You can find a great durable racquet for very cheap, and you can spend $150 on a racquet only to have it break in a couple of weeks.
A good beginner racquet shouldn’t cost you more than $100. And a good racquet for an intermediate player should cost between $100 and $150. Premium racquets may cost well over $200.