Tag Archives: Black Knight

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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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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We are proud to now be sponsoring Samantha Cornett

It is with great pleasure that we would like to announce that we are now sponsoring Sam Cornett for her court footwear. Sam plays in ASICS. Sam is an incredible squash player and is also a real ambassador for the game. We at Control the ‘T’ Sports are very proud to be associated with such an outstanding individual.

Jessica DiMauro, Sam’s personal coach, former junior women’s national coach, and high performance player had this to say about Sam:

“Sam Cornett is driven, talented and professional. A fierce but fair competitor, Sam will let nothing stand in the way of her goals. Not only one of the best women’s squash players to come out of Canada, she is also highly-regarded as one of the nicest and more promising players on the women’s pro tour. We are lucky to have Sam representing Canada as she is a great ambassador for squash here at home and around the world.”

Samantha Cornett Gold MedalThe opportunity to sponsor Sam came from a chance meeting at the National Squash Academy. I was there to watch an event as was Sam. I introduced myself and brought up the subject of sponsoring her for her footwear. I knew she played in ASICS and I also knew some other shoe companies had looked at sponsoring her. As a retailer, rather than a manufacturer we have a fairly unique opportunity of being able to work with the player to find the correct shoe for them and are not limited by brand. Court shoes are critical in squash, as they are in any sport where movement is important and finding the pair of shoes that best suit the player is imperative. For Sam finding the correct pair meant sticking with what she was already playing in, a pair of ASICS.

Sam’s current stop on the WSA tour is the Granite Open in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Granite Open is a WSA Silver 25 event and as of writing this Sam has just made it through the qualifying draw. Best of luck in the main draw Sam!

To check out our selection of ASICS shoes please click here. We also carry Sam’s signature racquet from Black Knight which you can check out here.

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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 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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Samantha Cornett’s Signature Black Knight Ion X-Force Squash Racquet

Control the ‘T’ Sports is very proud to be one of the few retailers now carrying the Black Knight Ion X-Force Samantha Cornett Signature Edition Squash Racquet.  Sam is Canada’s #1 women’s player and a tremendous talent. The racquet she plays with is a customized version of the Black Knight Ion X-Force Black Squash Racquet.

Sam Cornett signature on her Black Knight Ion X-Force Signature Racquet
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Daryl Selby – Black Knight Magnum Corona 6

@BK_1976 the Twitter Account of Black Knight in the UK has been busy this week asking people who their newest sponsored player was in the video below.

Today it was finally revealed who the player was. Many had been able to guess already but it was confirmed by Black Knight to be Daryl Selby

Daryl Selby

They did not announce the racquet he has selected to play with but it looks like and I have been able to confirm it is the Black Knight Corona6.

Black Knight Magnum Corona6 Squash Racquet

Black Knight Magnum Corona 6 Squash Racquet

Black Knight Magnum Corona 6 as used by Daryl Selby

Signing Daryl Selby is a great choice for Black Knight. The highest profile player they have signed currently other than Daryl is David Palmer but he is no longer playing on the PSA Tour having retired. Having someone that has been a top 10 player and may well return to the top 10 in their lineup gives Black Knight some excellent exposure. Daryl Selby is someone that often goes deep in to the PSA tournaments so he will be seen on PSAsquashtv.com regularly as well as of course in person at the tournaments. We should get to see Daryl in action with his new Black Knight Magnum Corona6 shortly in the upcoming World Team Championships.

We have the Black Knight Magnum Corona 6 for sale here: Black Knight Magnum Corona 6 Squash Racquet

We have previously reviewed it here: Black Knight Magnum Corona6 Squash Racquet Review

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Black Knight Ion X-Force Yellow – The racquet of David Palmer

 

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.

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.




Black Knight Ion X-Force Yellow Squash Racquet




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Squash Racquet Review – Black Knight Magnum Corona6 Squash Racquet

 
Black Knight Magnum Corona6 Squash RacquetThe Black Knight Magnum Corona6 Squash has just been released and it is an excellent edition to Black Knight’s lineup of squash racquets.   Anyone that has played with the original Magnum Corona will feel right at home with this racquet.  The head size, weight, and balance are the same.  The big difference is in the addition of the Thermal Core Technology.

Thermal Core Technology is a new process that heats the racquet core to higher temperature during the curing phase, so that the racquet structure is cured uniformly inside and out. This TCT modification to the carbon fibres makes the frame extremely responsive – stiff yet playing with the reactive properties of a more flexible frame. The resulting hit is the best of both worlds – the control of a very stiff frame with the power of a more flexible frame.

The addition of the Thermal Core Technology does change the feel of the Corona6 from that of the original Corona.  So while the weight, head size and balance are all the same the actual contact feels different.  The Corona6 is a stiff racquet yet because of the Thermal Core Technology does not feel like a board like some overly stiff racquets do.

The head is relatively small at 475cm2.  The smaller head size definitely helps with control. Like the older Corona it is head light.  It is a 140g racquet but Black Knight lists it dynamic weight at 135g meaning it plays lighter than it is.  This makes it great for volleying and quick exchanges at the ‘T’.  While it is head light it is only by a bit which I think is generally good for most players.  Mass in the head is important for most players as it helps you feel the racquet in your hand when playing drops and other touch shots.

Overall the Black Knight Magnum Corona6 is an improvement over the already good design of the original Magnum Corona.  Anyone that is replacing the original Corona should check this racquet out as should anyone that is looking for a good control racquet.

We have it in stock and ready to ship should like pick one up.  You can find it here at our online store.

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Squash Racquet Review – Black Knight ION X-FORCE Black

Black Knight Ion X-FORCE Black Squash Racquet

Having good connections at Black Knight is terrific as we are one of the first retailers to receive the new Black Knight ION X-FORCE squash racquets.  We received them a couple of days ago so naturally the first thing I did was try out one of the demos. I tried out the Black Knight ION X-FORCE Black. I must say that I am quite impressed with these new racquets. I am excited to see the Thermal Core technology make its appearance in these racquets.

Black Knight first used this technology in the Chameleon racquet which is now discontinued. The Thermal Core process heats the racquet core to higher temperature during the curing phase, so that the racquet structure is cured uniformly inside and out. This Thermal Core modification to the carbon fibres makes the frame extremely responsive – stiff yet playing with the reactive properties of a more flexible frame. The resulting hit is the best of both worlds – the control of a very stiff frame with the power of a more flexible frame.

The frame weight of 140g is a very average weight for a squash racquet but its dynamic weight of 130g makes it play a little lighter.  The feel of the racquet on contact is terrific. The previous Ion series of racquets had a little vibration to them when hitting the ball. The new X-FORCE models do not. Black Knight’s rigidity rating on this racquet puts it at one of the stiffest racquets they have ever produced yet because of the Thermal Core technology it does not play as stiff as it is. The strings included, Ashaway’s Supernick XL Micro are a terrific set of strings and compliment this racquet very well. Overall a great racquet and definitely worth trying out.

This is a very new model and we are very excited to have it. If you interested in purchasing one please visit our online store to pick one up today.

The technical specifications are below:

Characteristics of the Black Knight Ion X-FORCE Black Squash Racquet :

String : Ashaway Supernick XL Micro
Recommended Tension : 26 lbs
Rigidity Index : 95
Avg. Frame Weight : 140 g
String Area : 475 cm2
Dynamic Weight : 130

ION

The Ion series has been developed in collaboration with multiple British Open Champion David Palmer.

The Black Knight Ion X-Force series of squash racquets use Thermal Core technology. This heats the racquet core to higher temperature during the curing phase, so that the racquet structure is cured uniformly inside and out. This Thermal Core modification to the carbon fibres makes the frame extremely responsive – stiff yet playing with the reactive properties of a more flexible frame. The resulting hit is the best of both worlds – the control of a very stiff frame with the power of a more flexible frame.

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