David Palmer has been with Black Knight since 2008. He helped develop the ION series of squash racquets. His first signature model was the Black Knight Ion Storm. The Storm is still available but Palmer has moved to one of Black Knight’s new models – the Black Knight Ion X-Force Yellow Squash Racquet.
I have been watching the 2011 Australian Open on www.psasquashtv.com and have been intrigued to see what racquets the players would be using as this is the first event of the new season. I had discussed what Palmer was playing with my contact at Black Knight and had been told it was the Black Knight Ion X-Force Yellow but wanted to see for myself. I watched his matches with Azlan Iskander and then Tom Richards and indeed he was using it.
The Black Knight Ion X-Force Yellow is a very stiff racquet. It is also quite head light. Its weight is measured at 145 grams but its dynamic weight is 135 grams. Black Knight uses the dynamic weight to distinguish if a racquet is head light or head heavy. If the dynamic weight is less than the actual weight it plays head light. The 10 grams difference is fairly significant. This racquet also uses 3 of Black Knight’s latest technologies: Power of 6, Thermal Core and 16K Hyper Tensile.
Power of 6 – The frame is measured at 6 points during processing for optimum density, flex and balance. This process help ensure consistency from one racquet to the next in the manufacturing process.
Thermal Core - The standard manufacturing process of a racquet is done by sandwiching the carbon fibre framework of the racquet in a mold then inserting the mould into an oven to cure the fibres from the outside in. With Thermal core process Black Knight inserts a tube into the handle of the frame which injects superheated air into the racquet at the same time the mold is curing the fibres from the outside. The result is a uniformly cured racquet from both inside the frame and outside – that is why the racquet is more reactive as well there is less chance of uneven curing that could result in premature breakage.
16K Hyper Tensile - This is the latest and highest quality carbon fibre Black Knight uses. It incorporates 16,000 fibre filaments to produce the strongest graphite to date. The benefit is the ability to withstand high tension stringing without sacrificing the structural integrity of the frame.
The Black Knight Ion X-Force Yellow is a great new racquet and it is great to see David Palmer doing so well at the 2011 Australian Open. As of this post he had just beaten Karim Darwish which is an amazing result.