Tag Archives: Squash Racquets

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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Review of the Dunlop Force Evolution 130 Squash Racquet

Recently I took out the Dunlop Evolution 130 for a hit and I found it to be a very interesting racquet. It features a tear drop design with a small bridge, a dense string pattern (14×18), 130 frame weight, and an even head balance. I played a couple matches with this racquet as I tried to figure out how it played best. A racquet that doesn’t fail to deliver in either control or power and with an even balance, the EVO 130 is great for players who tend to be more patient on court. It also a great feel on contact when hitting the ball as it provides great stability due to its string pattern.

At first, I tried an aggressive approach: volleying on the midcourt, using my wrist more, increasing the pace, and hitting hard and low shots. I found out that this was more challenging to do with this racquet. This is due to its weight of 130 grams and even balance which in reality, in my personal opinion, felt slightly head heavy. Volleying on the midcourt was not an easy task since I was not able to maneuver the racquet very easily and using my wrist put extra stress on my arm. Also, increasing the pace was harder once again due to maneuverability (it was harder to get the racquet ready on time). However, my main focus in squash is speed and accuracy rather than arm strength and power (I get the power from the racquet I normally use) so it is fair to say that this is why the EVO 130 didn’t suit my aggressive play. Having said this, if you are an aggressive player with good arm strength, you won’t find it a problem to maneuver this racquet easily.

Dunlop Force Evolution 130

Dunlop Force Evolution 130

Since aggressive play didn’t work for me using the EVO 130, I tried a more patient approach to the match. I started making more fluid swings and keeping the ball at the back of the court. This worked perfectly since the balance and weight of the racquet allowed me to go through the ball easily without much effort but providing me enough power to get the ball to the back of the court. This was also a more pleasant experience in terms of comfort as I felt great when hitting the ball; the racquet is very forgiving mainly due to its stability but also to its dense string pattern. It also provided me with great feel and control when dropping the ball whether it was from the midcourt or the front court. Another nice thing about this racquet is its head design, which is reminiscent of the Black Knight Quicksilver nXs (tear drop with small bridge), since it helps with power generation. Although I have made it sound like this is a racquet not suitable for aggressive play, this racquet didn’t fail to deliver when I wanted to put the ball away; whether it was a loose shot from my opponent giving me time to hit a hard and low shot or a nice and easy drop shot, the EVO 130 gave me all I needed. The reason for this is the racquet’s stability and string pattern which helped me control the ball much easier than with my usual racquet.

In conclusion, this racquet can be amazing in the right hands. Even though it is hard to use aggressively, it is not an impossible task to do. But, if you plan on using it for long and fluid rallies where you want to create opportunities to put the ball away, this racquet will fit you very well. With an interesting design which allows it to have a bigger sweet spot and better stability, this racquet will feel amazing when hitting any type of shot!

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What makes for a good Doubles Squash Racquet?

We started carrying doubles squash gear a couple of years ago but have been busy increasing our selection this year. Being located now at Northfield Racquet and Fitness in Waterloo which has a beautiful new doubles court having a good selection of doubles squash gear is important for us. Doubles is an incredibly fun game that the members of the club have come to love and it is an incredible game to watch at the professional level.

Harrow Bancroft Players Special Squash Racquet

Harrow Bancroft Players Special Squash Racquet

From a racquet perspective you might wonder what characteristics make a racquet a good choice for a doubles player. There are a few things to consider and most come back to the type of ball that is used in doubles. The hardball that used in doubles travels at an incredibly fast speed, much faster than the standard ball that is used for single. As it is hard and travelling at an incredibly fast pace the impact on the racquet from the ball is much greater and the racquet needs to be capable of withstanding that. As such one of the primary characteristics of a doubles racquet is that it is stronger and more durable so that the frame of the racquet withstands the stress caused by the impact of the ball. The strings also have to withstand the impact of the ball though. Stringing pattern and the gauge of the string are important when selecting a doubles racquet. Stability on contact with the ball is also important. Off centre hits can lead to the frame itself twisting if the racquet is not strong enough. This can lead to breakage but it is also a performance issue as it definitely impacts the control the racquet can provide. 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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What Squash Racquet to Buy? Should I get an open or closed throat?

So what is better for squash an open throat teardrop racquet or a closed throat racquet with a bridge? The answer is it depends on the player! To better understand that answer we need to know what the pro’s and con’s of each type are.

Head Graphene Cyano 115 Squash Racquet

Open Throat or Teardrop Racquet

The racquet to the left, the Head Graphene Cyano 115 has an open throat or a teardrop style of head. The primary benefits of an open throat are a larger sweet spot and more power. The larger sweet spot is provided because of the larger distance between where the string contacts the frame. This is also why a teardrop head will generally provide more power.

The elasticity of the string, its give on contact with the ball and its snapping back in to place is how the string imparts force on the ball.  The more the string can give and then snap back the more velocity the ball will have coming off of the strings. The longer the strings the more they can give and thus the more power can be achieved.

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Biomimetic, Aeroskin, HM6 Carbon and Gecko-Tac Grip – Dunlop’s new technology for squash racquets

Dunlop’s new racquets for the 2011/2012 squash season are almost here.  We expect to have them in our ProShop and online store in July.  With their arrival coming so soon it is time to start looking at the new technologies that Dunlop have added to their line of racquets for this year.  The new series name is Biomimetic – Inspired by nature perfected by Dunlop.  The new technologies added this year to their Biomimetic series are: Aeroskin, HM6 Carbon and Gecko-Tac Grip. 

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New squash racquets coming from Black Knight!

Black Knight has some really great looking new squash racquets coming out very soon.  We received our first product shots of them this week and they really do look amazing.  There are new racquets in the ION series and Magnum series.  I have not had a chance to try these racquets out yet but will be doing so in the next week or two if things go according to plan.  I will be posting more information on them then.  For now here are the pictures!

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