Category Archives: Review

Review of the Salming Viper 2.0 Shoes

About three weeksSalming Viper Gecko Green Squash Shoes ago I picked up a pair of the Salming Viper 2.0 squash shoes and I feel like I am wearing nothing on my feet but with all the good results I expected. They are very light shoes with a lower cut on the ankle, less cushioning on the forefoot for a better closer-to-the-court feel, and increased breathability on the top. Also, you can tell Salming concentrated on lateral support when designing these shoes as there are some technologies and features that work towards that. I feel quicker and more comfortable when I wear them on court which is really nice as shoes are one of the most important squash gear.

It is easier to move on court with the Vipers due to all the different technologies it includes. I will list them, what they do, and how I feel they impacted my movement and comfort on court:

Roll Bar

Roll Bar

The roll bar is located on the inner side of the outer sole of the shoe. Here, the shoe features an increased radius which facilitates toe push off as well as rolling the foot inwards.

This is great for squash since maximized toe push off saves time when starting your movement towards the ball. The roll bar in the vipers will help you launch quicker from a standing position. I noticed that this, with the reduced weight of the shoe, helped me get to shots faster than with my previous shoes. I was able to concentrate more on my balance and footwork once I already reached the ball, since I had more time to do it.

T.G.S 62/75 (Torsion Guide System)

Salming has designed the distance from the heel to the ball of the foot (62% of the shoe) with extra stability, which ends at a 75 degree angle. In front of the 75 degree line the shoe features extra flexibility to help emulate the natural lateral and forwards movements of the foot. This technology takes all of the gait cycle’s phases into play.TGS Viper

I believe this is what makes me feel like I am wearing nothing on my feet when I play. Providing more stability on the heel and a more natural movement at the front, every step I took felt very comfortable and light. If you have the chance to look at one of these shoes in person, try bending the front of it and notice how easy it is to do it; a good thing since it doesn’t restrict your foot’s natural movement at all.

3 Layer Construction

The first layer of the top of the shoe adds breathability and comfort, the second one is the ‘exoskeleton’ which adds stability on lateral movements as it keeps the foot in place, and the third one surrounds the first two adding durability to the shoe.3 Layer Viper

From this I just have to say that breathability is really good. I noticed after playing that my feet were cooler than with my previous shoes which is always a nice thing. Also, the extra lateral support is a great bonus as well as you want your feet to stay in place when applying lateral pressure on them.

LMS (Lateral Movement Stabilizer)

A dual torsion unit that supports the foot during fast and irregular lateral movements.

There are two parts of the LMS in the shoe. One is at the middle of the sole on the inner part of the foot, and the other one is at the outer edge of the shoe from the middle to the front of the foot. I noticed the shoes helped me keep my balance whenever I had to attack shots on the middle of the court, i.e. I had to move sideways from the ‘T’ to the side wall. They provided great support as I lunged for the shot, as well as when I needed to quickly come back to the ‘T’. Furthermore, they prevent the foot from rolling on its side which is great since it provides extra protection against ankle injuries.LMS + LMS

The Salming Viper 2.0 shoes are excellent for speed, comfort, and lateral stability/support. I have used these for not too long and I already love them. Noticing improved speed and stability on court, I would highly recommend these shoes to any type of player.

Salming Viper 2 Squash Shoes

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Review of the new Black Knight Quicksilver MAX and Quicksilver LT

Recently we received the new Black Knight Quicksilver LT and Black Knight Quicksilver MAX. These are Black Knight’s new racquets from the Quicksilver series and, even though they are very different from each other, they are both amazing for different reasons. I took them out for a hit earlier this week and was impressed with what these racquets can do. Also, I got Cameron Seth, the University of Waterloo Squash varsity team’s captain, 2014 OUA champion and MVP, and 2014-2015 Men’s All-Stars, to try them out as well and give me his thoughts since he has been using the previous Quicksilver nXs model for a couple years now. I will give my opinion about each racquet in different categories with some of Cameron’s comments as well.

Power and Sweet Spot

Both racquets where able to generate a good amount of power but in different ways. As for the Quicksilver MAX its power is generated from its weight; weighting 135 grams (5 grams heavier than the Quicksilver nXs) with an even balance, this racquet can generate good enough power. Also, it was easier to get the ball to the back of the court with a slower swing which is a great advantage since it takes some effort off the player when swinging.

Hitting with the Quicksilver LT I noticed a big difference on how I was able to generate power with it since it is only 125 grams (5 grams lighter than the Quicksilver nXs) with a slight head light balance. Featuring the first teardrop design of the Quicksilver series: this is where all its power comes from. At first, just by holding the racquet, I thought I would not be able to generate as much power with it but once I took it on court I was proven wrong. This racquet snaps the ball incredibly fast which allowed me to be more aggressive. Also, my low and hard shots would fly by my opponent giving them a really hard time returning the ball.

Each racquet had its own sweet spot in different places. The MAX felt like the whole head was its sweet spot since every single shot felt so smooth on my hands and I felt little to no vibration through the racquet at all. I absolutely loved hitting the ball with this one. For the LT, Cameron took it for a hit first and told me its sweet spot was harder to find as it is higher up on the racquet. This is due to its long vertical strings that come from the teardrop design. But, once I hit with it and was able to hit the ball on the sweet spot, my shots would fly towards the front wall as the trampoline effect due to the longer strings was maximized.

Control and Stability

As expected, both racquets are very different when it comes to control and stability. This is because of both the weight and design of the racquet. A heavier, bridged racquet with a thicker beam such as the Quicksilver MAX will generally provide better control than the lighter, thinner teardrop Quicksilver LT.

Black Knight Quicksilver MAX Squash Racquet

Black Knight’s Quicksilver MAX

With the MAX, I could feel the racquet going through the ball very solidly thus creating more spin and control on the ball. Also, the bridged design decreases the trampoline effect thus providing less variability in the direction of the ball as it comes off the face of the racquet. As for stability, I will rely on Cameron’s opinion since he uses the previous Quicksilver nXs. The first thing he noticed was how much more stable the MAX was than the nXs; this is due to the MAX being thicker and heavier. He found this feature to be a great improvement from Black Knight as the racquet was much more forgiving while dampening vibrations better.

With the LT it was harder to control the ball which is natural since the trampoline effect is greatly increased by the racquet’s teardrop design. But don’t get me wrong, this racquet was still able to provide good control whenever I needed to hit precision shots. As for stability, being a light racquet with a slightly head light balance, this racquet is a bit less stable; but, an accurate player will find this not to be a problem and will enjoy the racquet’s full potential.

Maneuverability

A racquet’s maneuverability can be greatly exploited by a player if the right type of racquet is chosen; this is a very personal choice and each one of these racquets provide their own type of handling that will benefit different types of players.

The Quicksilver MAX being heavier is harder to maneuver on shorter, quicker swings. With a more solid and fluid swing racquet control is remarkably good though. Having said this, a player with a more controlled and fluid swing will find this racquet very helpful. However, a player with a shorter swing looking for a more stable racquet can also benefit from this racquet if they are able to swing a bit of a heavier racquet fast enough. For example, Cameron has a short swing but since he has enough strength to swing the racquet fast, he ended up wanting this racquet over his Quicksilver nXs.

Black Knight Quicksilver LT Squash Racquet

Black Knight’s Quicksilver LT

With the Quicksilver LT maneuverability is absolutely amazing; this is not surprising due to the fact that it has a head light balance while weighting only 125 grams. Using this racquet I was able to use very short swings to attack my opponent at the front of the court. I was also able to implement deception much better since I could hold my shot for a longer time. Furthermore, my racquet preparation was much faster which allowed me to intercept shots in the form of volleys at the middle of the court. This is greatly favorable for an aggressive player who likes to put constant pressure on their opponent. Also, someone with a shorter, quick swing with profit from this racquet as well.

Conclusion

These racquets are amazing. Whether looking for more control and stability or more power and maneuverability, these are two great racquets to keep in mind. I think these racquets will benefit many players with different play styles at different levels. If you can generate great power but are looking for more control, go for the Quicksilver MAX. If you are very accurate but want to generate more power on short swings, take the Quicksilver LT. For the Quicksilver LT I have to say that I absolutely enjoyed a great deal using all of its power and handling. As for the Quicksilver MAX, I will put it in Cameron’s words: I love this beauty.

To learn more about the Quicksilver MAX click here. To learn more about the Quicksilver LT click here. If you are in our area feel free to come to our Pro Shop and try out these new additions to the Quicksilver series and tell us how you like them!

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New Tecnifibre Carboflex 130 S

The new Tecnifibre Carboflex 130 S has just arrived and I am lucky I got to test it out already. This is the racquet used by Women’s World Number 4 Nour El Sherbini and I have to say that it is incredible. For the past few years I have been playing with the previous models of the Carboflex 130 and I have to say that I like the new one a lot better. It also includes a new removable bumper which gives room to play around with the balance of the racquet.

The new design is a bit thinner giving the racquet more maneuverability. I found that it was easier to volley as I could get the racquet ready quick on the middle of the court, unlike the previous model where this was harder to do. This is all due to the streamlined shaft, which increases power without sacrificing speed. I found too that I could hold my swing longer since I could swing my racquet faster and with a shorter swing. The previous model had a great balance between power and maneuverability but Tecnifibre has managed to improve this even more with the Carboflex 130 S.

Carboflex 130 S The balance on this racquet is 355mm, the same as the previous model. But, a noticeable difference came when I started hitting the ball. I found that the amount of power generated by both racquets is very similar but when hitting the ball on the sweet spot the Carboflex 130 S generates a bit more power. Also, again when hitting the ball on the sweet spot it was easier to carry my swing on and power through the ball easier, allowing me to hit better hard shots. The type of strings affect the amount of power a racquet generates but, luckily enough, I have the factory strings on my racquet so I had a better idea of their differences when comparing them.

One of the biggest differences for me was how much better I could control the ball with the new model. I was able to hit better drop shots as well as return the ball where I wanted with more accuracy. The feel on this racquet was amazing. Anytime I needed to hit a drop shot I could hit with confidence because I knew the racquet would do what I wanted it to do. Even thou both the previous and the new model have the Basaltex Mutliaxial technology, the new model’s flex benefits provide a more powerful, fast, and responsive racquet that suited my game even better.

Nour El SherbiniA neat new feature of the Carboflex 130 S is the new CUSTOM FIT Bumper technology which allows the bumper to be removed when the racquet is being restrung. The result of removing the bumper is a lighter head thus allowing the player to have a faster swing. I myself didn’t get to try it out but I would highly recommend players who own it to give it a try since it is great to have two different balance settings in a single racquet. This new technology has been tested by Men’s World Number 1 Mohamed El Shorbagy which really says a lot.

Not even is this racquet aesthetically pleasing to the eye; it is also an amazing and powerful racquet. Tecnifibre definitely did a great job with this new model as it brings more maneuverability, great power, and enhanced feel. I had an amazing time playing with it and discovering how all the new features helped my game. I would encourage players who use Tecnifibre racquets and any other player to take out this new edition for a hit if you have the chance; you will not regret it

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The Benefits of a Head Light Squash Racquet

I have been playing with Black Knight Ion Element PSX Squash Racquet this season and must say I love it. It is not the normal type of racquet I have played with for the past few years though. I had been playing with tear drop racquets with a more even or head heavy balance. I like the more natural power they create. I originally tried the Element PSX to get my opinion on it and write a review of it. I liked the feel on contact of it. I really like the thin beam and have come to like the smaller head and sweet spot of the racquet. What I have really come to like is the relatively light weight of it and its head light balance. It is very quick to play with. I find that has really benefited my game. It has helped me to volley more, it has helped me be more deception with my shot selection and I am still able to generate good power. Continue reading

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The Salming Viper 2.0 are now in stock

Salming Viper Gecko Green Squash ShoesThe new Salming Viper 2.0 have arrived at Control the ‘T’ Sports! There are 2 new colours. A gecko green colour scheme and a white colour scheme. The 2.0 version features the same technologies at the original Viper version but have been made slightly stronger on the medial side to protect better against the foot drag on the medial side. The original technologies that have made this shoe such a great performing squash shoe are Rollbar, XR110 Rubber, T.G.S. 62/75,  3 Layer Construction, LMS+, ErgoHeelCup, and RunLite. The feature Salming cushioning foam in the rearfoot to help absorb shock. Unlike the Race series they not have the rebound foam in the forefoot area. They are designed to keep the player closer and more connected to the court which helps performance. Continue reading

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Racquet Review – Prince Pro Beast Powerbite 750

Prince Pro Beast Powerbite 750 Squash Racquet Ramy AshourThe Prince Pro Beast Powerbite 750 has been here on the shelves at Control the ‘T’ Sports for about 6 weeks now and I can’t believe I haven’t had a chance to appreciate the engineering that went into its design until now.  The racquet’s name aptly encompasses its distinguishing features that allow it stand apart from other racquets I’ve hit with in the past.  With elements of both touch and power, I’m having a hard time thinking of a type of player who would not make use of what it has to offer.

Let’s begin by taking a look at what sets this racquet apart from some of the others in the Prince family.  The “bite” in the racquet is a function primarily of the string pattern that is extremely widely spaced out. Only 14 main strings and 15 cross strings are used to string the racquet on one of the largest frames Prince has to offer (480 square centimeters). Continue reading

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A Review of the Black Knight Element PSX Squash Racquet

Black Knight Ion Element PSX Squash Racquet 750x750The new Black Knight models for this 2014/2015 squash season have some very common elements. They all have a very thin beam and have a head light balance. The Black Knight Element PSX Squash Racquet is the top end of Black Knight’s product line. It is a 135 gram racquet and has a head light balance with Black Knight giving it a dynamic weight of 130 grams. It has a small head at 475 cm2. It is a fairly stiff frame with Black Knight measuring its rigidity at 93 which while not their stiffest frame it is close. Continue reading

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A review of the Salming Viper Squash Shoes

As I have mentioned here many times in the past I love receiving new squash gear. So as you can imagine I was very excited when the new Salming shoes arrived this month. There are a couple of new colour options of the Race R1 2.0, there is the Race R2 2.0 which we did not carry previously and also the Race R9 Mid. Also in the order was the completely new Salming Viper.
Salming Viper Men's Squash Shoes Continue reading

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Head Graphene Cyano 135 Review

Head Graphene Cyano 135 Squash RacquetAs a creature of habit and player who has become accustomed to certain types of racquets, I was naturally somewhat reluctant to give the Head Graphene Cyano 135 a whirl on the courts.  A recent elbow injury added to my initial reluctance but quickly gave way to the solid first impression I was left with soon after the match began.

To begin, as a player who relies on the racquet to generate the power needed to hit the ball to the deep court, I tend to gravitate toward racquets that either carry more mass through the frame or are balanced head heavy. After my first few hits with the racquet I quickly realized that generating power with the Cyano 135 would be no trouble at all despite the fact that it carries with it a head light balance.  While the mass of the frame (135g) sits in the typical range of the average racquets on the market today, the mass and open throat style renders this racquet a powerful piece of equipment.  This combination of mass and throat style left me with the comfort knowing that I could hit the ball past my opponent using a racquet which turned out to be quite maneuverable. Continue reading

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A Review of the Black Knight Razor TC Squash Racquet

I decided to take the Black Knight Razor TC Squash Racquet out for a hit the other day. I have hit with it before of course but decided now was as good time to really take it through its paces and to post a review of it. Before we get to the review let’s take a look at the specifications of it.

Black Knight Razor TC Squash Racquet

Black Knight Razor TC Squash Racquet

 

 

String : Ashaway PowerNick 19
Recommended Tension : 26 lbs
Avg. Frame Weight : 135 g
String Area : 490 cm2
Dynamic Weight : 135
Rigidity : 88 (medium)
 

 
Continue reading

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