Here are the properties and specifications of a squash racket that you should be looking for:
Usually measured in grams, the weight of the racket should be the first thing you feel when you pick it up and wave it around. Some prefer heavier frames, while others prefer lighter ones. While most high quality squash frames are within the 120 to 160 gram range, the feeling of a heavy racket is quite obvious. For example, Mohammed El Shorbagy’s Airshaft weight 125 grams while Marwan’s weighs 135 grams. 10 grams does not sound like that much of a difference, but it will feel so.
If you like to have more power in your shots, a heavier frame will give you more power with less effort if you can time your shots correctly. However, the extra weight will slow you down a little bit. If you are more about fast reactions and whipping the ball, you can sacrifice some power and use a lighter frame, but get higher racket head speed to cut through the air.
Racket Balance Point
This property is often more important that the frame weight. There are three categories of squash racket frame balances:
- Head Heavy
- Head Light, and
If you kind to feel of the weight of the racket transfer momentum into the shot, you would prefer a head heavy frame like Ali Farag and Nour El Tayeb. For more touch and control in steering the ball, you would prefer a head light squash racket like Gregory Gaultier and Mohammad El Shorbagy. If you are a graceful and balanced player who can play any shot from any position, then a balanced racket would be good for you, just as it is for Karim Abdel Gawad.
There are two kinds of Squash racket head shapes; Closed throat and closed throat. Open throat rackets such as Ali Farag’s racket have longer strings going down the center of the racket, which stretch more and give more power. Open throat rackets are also known as tear drop rackets. Closed throat rackets such as the one used by Raneem El Weleily give more control and pack a good punch if you hit the ball cleanly like her.
This is really a feel thing that depends on the construction of the squash racket. The measure of stiffness written on the racket frame does not tell you much until you play with it. Less stiff rackets feel softer and bendy while playing shots. Some prefer the added comfort while others feel it messes with control. Harder or stiffer frames deform less while playing hard shots and make it feel like you have hit the ball cleanly, even if you haven’t. Its just a comfort thing.
This determines if the frame will break if you smash it into the wall. Some last longer than others. Not more to say about this. Although some squash rackets are indeed more durable than others. The most durable squash rackets are cheaper models targeted towards beginners who tend to smash everything except the ball. The lighter and more expensive a racket gets, the less durable it tends to become. However, some higher end rackets such as the Tecnifibre Suprem 135 and Carboflex 135 models are much more durable than their 125 gram counter parts.
Now that you’re all confused, go find the best squash racket for your type of player and describe them in terms of the above specifications.