It was only a couple of weeks ago that the squash world was discussing David Palmer’s retirement from the PSA and now he has signed to compete on the US based Pro Squash Tour (PST). The PST’s full announcement can be read here.
Joe McManus, the commissioner of the PST stated that “David is the sport’s most recognizable name and one of its great ambassadors,” said McManus. “We have seen this type of signing before in sports. Pele came to America to bolster the game of soccer. Later, it was David Beckham for MLS. David’s addition to PST will benefit every player on the tour because his presence will allow us to attract more sponsorship and increase our tournament purses. It is a seminal moment in the history of the Pro Squash Tour and the game of squash.”
I certainly agree that David Palmer is one of the biggest names in squash. That is because of the success he has achieved on the PSA Tour and because of the longevity of his career. It is amazing that he left the PSA tour ranked #9 in the world in a game that certainly favours youth. He certainly is the biggest name on the PST. Heralding’s Palmer’s signing as comparable to Pele or Beckham coming to the play soccer in the US is certainly a bold statement but there are similarities. Both Pele and Beckham came to the US later in their careers. Palmer is certainly later in his career. Both Pele and Beckham were or are huge names in their sport as is Palmer. Beckham’s signing definitely got people talking about the MLS. I am sure the PST is hoping the signing of David Palmer will have the same outcome for them.
I do agree with Joe McManus’s assertion that having signed Palmer should allow the PST to attract more sponsorship and therefore increase prize money. I would expect that there will definitely be an increased interest in the PST’s events which should lead to larger audiences which should lead to more interest from companies wanting to market to them.
How will Palmer do on the Pro Squash Tour? Is he going to dominate? Following many squash related accounts on Twitter that seems to be the consensus. There is a belief that he is going to completely destroy the competition. When he left the PSA he certainly was playing at an extremely high level. I am definitely interested in seeing how he fares and just how well the PST’s current line-up fare against him.
Will more top international players follow Palmer and join the PST? If the prize money does grow there is a possibility of that of course. This is definitely an exciting time for the Pro Squash Tour and I look forward to following David Palmer on it and seeing if his signing does indeed help the growth of the PST and squash in general in North America.
David Palmer has been a fixture on the PSA tour for years and managed to maintain a top 10 ranking for over 10 straight years. He bridged generations of squash. He entered the top 10 near the end of Jansher Khan’s career when Peter Nicol and Jonathon Power were the dominant players on tour. When he announced his retirement Nick Matthew and Ramy Ashour are now the dominant forces on tour. He finished his career ranked 10th in the world. He achieved nearly every major milestone in his lengthy career. He reached #1 in the world on 2 occasions, he won 2 World Opens and 4 British Opens.
The strength of his game in my opinion was commitment. He committed himself to being the best he could be in every aspect of the game. His physical training was second to none on the tour. He has a huge physical presence on court due to his size and strength. His endurance was equally impressive. His belief in himself was also an amazing attribute. He managed to win both of his World Open titles after having faced match points against. Even his swing showed commitment. The conviction he had when he hit the ball was impressive. He was set, hit through the ball and was very still and balanced while striking the ball.
Congratulations to David Palmer on a very impressive career and all the best in your future endeavours.
Below is a video interview with David Palmer after his last match.
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.
What do Amr Shabana, James Willstrop and David Palmer have in common? The Hi-Tec S701 Indoor Court Shoes. We have just received our initial shipment and have sizes 7-12 and 13 in stock. Be one of the first squash players to use these great shoes and pickup a pair. The Hi-Tec S701 Indoor Court Shoes can be found at our online store.
Black Knight is a great squash company. Not only do they have a great selection of squash racquets they put money back in to the sport.
What I like about Black Knight is where they put their money in to the sport. They sponsor David Palmer one of the hardest working players in history but most of the people that are sponsored are up and coming local players. Black Knight also is very good at supporting the local club.