Monthly Archives: August 2017

A Review of the Salming 2017/2018 Indoor Court Shoe Lineup

Salming has a terrific selection of high performance indoor court shoes that are perfect for squash. Salming is very active in sponsoring Professional Squash Association (PSA) players and marketing their brand in association with the PSA itself. As such they are very visible in the squash market. Most of their models are also quite eye catching and flashy so they are hard to miss. Salming’s real strength I believe in their line is providing very light, very comfortable, high performance indoor court shoes. There are 4 series of shoes from Salming: the Kobra, the Viper, the Race and the Adder. Each model has its own strength and those strengths will help determine what the right Salming shoe is for you.

Salming Kobra

Salming Kobra Royal/Yellow Indoor Court ShoesThe Kobra series are Salming’s top of the line shoe in both price point and technology. They provide excellent lateral support, excellent cushioning, and are very light and breath well.

Here is what Salming has to say about the Kobra:

“The Salming Kobra is a fast paced unique combination of lightweight, cushioning and stability. Together with all the unique Salming technologies, Kobra is wrapped up into one agile shoe.

A new Wrap Around System Design (WAS Design)
In order to facilitate agility and stability but still maintain the lightweight characteristics, we have designed the midsole rear end with higher side walls that wrap around the heel area. In combination with the LMS Plus 8° and the new fully integrated ExoSkeleton construction, it ensures an excellent stability and perfect fit.”

The lateral support provided by the Kobra is exceptional. I have found that the LMS+ system in combination with the ExoSkeleton that is incorporated in to the WAS Design really does keep your foot firmly planted in the shoe. This in turn helps keep you firmly planted to the court.

The cushioning system of the Kobra is designed to both provide comfort but also help with performance. Under the heel of the foot the Kobra has cushioning foam which is designed to absorb shock. As squash has a lot of lunging and longer strides most people will strike heel first. The cushioning foam system from Salming does an excellent job of absorbing that shock. In the mid to forefoot area of the shoes Salming has used a rebound foam system. The rebound foam will absorb shock of course but it also transfer energy back in to the foot to add more spring to your movement. It’s a smart design that really is there to provide comfort and aid in performance.

The Kobra are very light and breath extremely well. Salming is a real innovator in the indoor court shoe market in this aspect of the shoe. The shoes are so light and breath so well due to the use of mesh in the upper of the shoe. The mesh is what makes the shoe extremely light weight and also what allows it to breath so well. To provide the necessary stability to the shoe Salming has designed the Wrap Around System Design (WAS Design) in the Kobra. The WAS Design is the Exoskeleton system that comes up between the 2 layers of mesh from under the foot and integrates in to the loop the laces pass through. The Exoskeleton provides excellent strength to the shoe without adding very much weight. Where the Kobra is unique in the Salming line is that the Exoskeleton goes up in to the loop that the laces pass through which really allows the shoe to wrap around the foot.

To view the Salming Kobra in our online store click the “View Salming Kobra” button below.

View the Salming Kobra in our online store

Salming Viper

Salming Viper 4 Yellow/Orange Men's Indoor Court ShoesThe Salming Viper are all about performance. While they have a good cushioning system under your heel they are lower to the court than the Kobra in the mid to forefoot area. They keep you really connected to the court which really helps with movement. As with the Kobra the Viper feature a lot of mesh to keep the shoe light and to help it breath. Strength is provided by the Exoskeleton technology.

Here is what Salming has to say about the Viper:

“The Salming Viper is a fast paced agile shoe with a low profile and excellent stability characteristics. It incorporates the very best of Salming Indoor shoe technologies and then some. If you’re a fan of the Salming Race model you will find the Viper lower and with less cushioning in the fore-foot area, enabling a more close-to-the court feel plus a lighter and more breathable upper.

The construction has its origin in the Salming Running shoe product range, where it has been very well received with its three layer system where the unique Salming ExoSkeleton™ keeps the foot in the right position during lateral movements and high performance activities. Agile, fast paced with a low profile – The Viper.”

Once again lateral support in the Viper is excellent. The provide a wide base under the forefoot area and feature Salming LMS and LMS+ systems to really keep you foot planted on the court and help prevent ankle roll. Being such a low profile shoe helps with lateral support as well.

The Viper are a very comfortable shoe to wear. The cushioning under the heel is the same as in the other Salming models, a cushioning foam. The upper is quite soft as well while still providing the strength and stability needed by way of the Exoskeleton system. As they are lower to the court in the forefoot area you will feel the court more and there is less cushioning there compared to the Kobra or Race. They are designed this way intentionally. They are for the player looking for performance and not as worried about maximum cushioning.

To view the Salming Viper in our online store click the “View Salming Viper” button below.

View the Salming Viper in our online store

Salming Race X

Salming Race X Indoor Court Shoes endorsed by Ramy AshourThe Salming Race X are the latest in the Race series and are the shoes endorsed by Ramy Ashour. The Race X are a good performing pair of indoor court shoes but their claim to fame is comfort. They are a very soft pair of indoor court shoes and feature excellent cushioning in the heel area of the shoe and in the forefoot area.

Here is what Salming has to say about the Race X:

“The Race X is an updated version of the Salming race model powered with a new Exoskeleton™ design that is integrated with the lacing construction. The shoe’s upper is made from the same durable lightweight polyester fabric featured on the race providing virtually zero “break-in” time.”

If you play a lot and are looking to protect your feet from the wear and tear of the hard movements we squash players have to make on court then you should definitely take a look at the Race X. The cushioning foam under the heel of the foot and the rebound foam under the forefoot provide an ultra comfortable ride. The upper of the shoe is incredibly comfortable too and Salming’s claim of requiring virtually zero break-in time is accurate. You can take them out of the box, lace them up and go play!

While designed for comfort, the Race X do also perform well on court. They are used at all levels of the sport including many top level professional squash players. The LMS system provides good lateral support. The Exoskeleton system keeps the foot in place in the shoe even though the upper is incredibly soft and comfortable.

To view the Salming Race X in our online store click the “View Salming Race X” button below.

View the Salming Race X in our online store

Salming Adder

Salming Adder Black/Green Men's Indoor Court ShoesLast up in the line-up this year is the Salming Adder. The Adder are Salming’s more value priced offering. While they do not feature all of Salming’s top technologies they are still a very good pair of indoor court shoes that provide excellent performance on court.

Here is what Salming has to say about the Adder

“The Salming Adder is greatly inspired by the success Salming Viper in many aspects. Salming Adder provides the lowest profile (height from ground surface to your foot sole) of all Salming indoor shoes. This enables a great feel for the ground and great stability characteristics. The material in the midsole is a lightweight EVA compound and in the heel impact zone there’s a C35 compound designed to reduce impact forces.”

The Adder as noted by Salming are the lowest profile shoe they make. They are very low to the court which from a pure performance perspective is a real plus. While they do have Salming’s cushioning foam in the heel overall the player is lower to the court and there is less cushioning provided. The upper is a little more firm than the Kobra, Viper or Race. For the player that likes a very low to the court shoe and likes a shoe that is a little firmer than the other Salming models the Adder is good shoe to take a look at.

To view the Salming Adder in our online store click the “View Salming Adder” button below.

View the Salming Adder Indoor Court shoes in our online store

 

 

So that is the new lineup for the 2017/2018 season. Salming has incredible indoor court shoes that are designed with squash in mind. Their different models all provide some different strengths and there should be a model in their lineup that will work for the vast majority of squash players!

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Help! I’m trapped in the corner and I can’t get out!

Do you struggle to gain control and keep control of the T?
Do you find yourself constantly behind your opponent?
Do you feel as though you are frequently scrambling and under pressure?

If the answer to one or more of these questions is yes, then you are likely finding yourself trapped in the back two corners and struggling to fight your way out.

As complicated as this game may seem at times, it is pretty simple to determine why you are finding yourself behind your opponent.

  • Poor Length
  • Loose Shots
  • Minimal Volleying

Poor Length

You’ve heard it a million times before. “Get the ball deep to gain control of the T”. That said, not all length is created equal. The length required to put yourself in control of the game needs to be quality length. What makes length quality length? There are several things to consider when hitting good length; two elements in particular can aide in adjusting and improving your long game: Weight & Accuracy of shot. These two elements work in tandem with one another. Are you hitting too hard, too soft? Too short or too long? Finding the right mix is magic!

Too hard/too long: You don’t want to crash the ball hard and high into the back where you are essentially “over driving” the ball. In this case your opponent can basically maintain their position on the T and wait for it to bounce off the back wall – yet again jamming you in the back of the court.

Too soft/too short: The opposite of the over drive is hitting the ball too high and too soft. This will provide your enemy with a perfect attacking opportunity, with the ball landing short of the service line and ample time make an aggressive offensive shot. Not only does this shot set your opponent up for a potential winner – it most definitely does not get you out of the corner and onto the T.

The optimal ball to hit from the back to get out of trouble is a lifted drive.
Getting the ball high on the front wall will get you the depth to move your opponent. Hitting the ball with a soft lift will provide you the time needed to get out of the back corner and establish yourself on the T. The softness of the shot should also keep the ball from sitting up for your opponent to pick off of the back wall. The goal is to get the second bounce of the ball just before it reaches the back wall.

Loose Shots

Getting the proper depth of the shot is ideal, but if the majority of the balls you are hitting are loose and coming through the middle, you are still in trouble. You are basically feeding your salivating opponent juicy fruit for them to pick off as they please. For you to move them off the coveted T, the balls not only have to have the right pace, but they also need to be tight to the wall (within 2 floor boards) on rail shots, and cross-courts should have good width (ball hitting side wall just behind the back of the service box). If you have a lob in your repertoire – use it! If you don’t, I highly suggest adding this shot into your game. It is a brilliant defensive shot that gives you time to reset and gain control – and sometimes much needed composure.

Minimal Volleying

You may be reading this and saying to yourself, “I hit good length. I keep the ball tight… Why am I still scrambling in the corners??” The most likely answer is – You are not volleying the ball! If you are in mid court and choose to move back to take a ground stroke instead of up to take a volley – you are relinquishing your T position to your opponent when they are not forcing you out. As the late great Patrick Swayze famously said “Nobody puts Baby in a corner’” so why do you keep putting yourself there? Test yourself the next time you are on court. Get high up on the T and tell yourself that no ball is going to get past you. You might be surprised at how often your tendency is to let a volleying opportunity slip away.
You need to fight to keep the T. Don’t be passive and let the ball lead you into the deep dark woods at the back of the court. Be more aggressive and take the ball early. Not only does this keep your T position. It also puts your adversary under pressure.

If you are yelling, “Help, I’m trapped in the corner and can’t get out”.
Putting these simple tactics into motion are the key to opening your cage.
Good, tight length – VOLLEY, VOLLEY, VOLLEY.

Nicole Garon
Squash Pro & Program Director
Brantford Movati Athletic

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The Benefits of a Heavier Squash Racquet

My last post was on the benefits of a light squash racquet and I thought it would be a good time to review what the benefits of a heavier squash racquet are. There are definitely players that would benefit from playing with a heavier racquet. I find that a heavier squash racquet helps with several parts of the squash game. It makes it easier to generate power, accuracy is improved and you get more feel on drops. A heavier racquet can really improve a player’s fundamental game.

HEAD Graphene XT Xenon 135 AFP Squash Racquet

The HEAD Graphene XT Xenon 135 AFP is listed at 135 grams but weighs around 155 grams fully finished. Its head heavy balance makes it play even heavier than its finished weight.

Power from a squash racquet can be generated by more racquet head speed, by having more mass behind the ball at impact or of course both. The heavier squash racquet helps with having more mass behind the ball. The extra mass of the heavier racquet allows the player to generate pace with a slower swing speed. I also find the heavier racquet promotes a longer more fluid swing. Once you get the racquet back and up and then start the forward part of the swing the weight of the racquet helps it come through to the ball. This more natural fluid motion helps the player hit through the ball on contact which helps with power. Having the racquet come through the ball to the target helps transfer maximum energy to the ball.

Many of the same concepts that help with the generation of power with a heavier racquet, also help with accuracy. The slower more fluid swing helps with being more accurate. You are generating pace without having to generate as much racquet head speed, which improves directional control. When you are hitting the ball, there is a correct spot to hit the ball in the swing path. With a lighter racquet, you are swinging faster to generate pace and you are through that spot much quicker. With the slower swing, you are in the correct spot to hit the ball for a longer time making it easier to control direction. The extra mass of the racquet provides more power, the slower swing provides more accuracy. Your mistakes will also be less drastic and closer to your intended line than if you are swinging faster.

Dropping the ball is another area of the game that I believe a heavier racquet is of benefit. Dropping is very much about feel. The reason I believe that a heavier racquet helps when dropping the ball is that you can feel the racquet in your hand more than you can with a lighter racquet. Having more sense of the racquet and the racquet head, allows you to better control the head which is imperative when playing a drop. Playing a drop is one area of the game where feel is critical. Everyone is different of course but for most people having more sense of the head of the racquet will allow them to better control the racquet and thus be able to drop better.

For a player looking to improve the fundamentals of their game a heavier racquet can be of real benefit. You get easier pace on your drives and you do so while not sacrificing accuracy. Having better length really gives you the opportunity to take the ball short by dropping. Having more feel of the racquet while taking the ball short helps you play better drops. The heavier racquet really helps improve your basic game which will make you much harder to play against.

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