A good friend of mine first introduced me to squash in 2010 while we were both in school. The Arthur Currie Gymnasium at McGill University had recently been renovated to include 7 new international courts, where I spent my early days learning the game. However, tucked away in the older sections of the facility, there were courts which seemed to be narrower and had sidelines which were step-wise rather than angled uniformly. Initially I shrugged off these differences and assumed that these were just old-fashioned, out of date courts which were only to be used when the newer courts were unavailable. However, after a little more exposure, I’ve come to realize that these courts in fact were for Hardball Squash.
The 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).
In dealing with the rigorously physical demands of squash, a shoe must carry a few important qualities be considered suitable for the game. They must be lightweight, supportive, durable and comfortable enough to allow its wearer to perform to the best of their abilities. From the standpoint of player safety and performance, it is beneficial for a shoe to allow the players foot to be as close to the court as possible. This is the case since it facilitates quick and aggressive lateral movements while lowering the likelihood of rolling an ankle.
On a quick comparison of a running shoe to a squash shoe, you would notice that on average running shoes, which are designed exclusively for forward motion, have thicker soles than court shoes. I have to admit, when I first made this observation, questions immediately arose in my mind regarding the quality of the cushioning you’d receive from an indoor court shoe. Especially since they are designed to have a very thin sole and carry no extra material keeping them as lightweight as possible. After burning through a few different pairs of kicks, I’ve come to appreciate the research and engineering which has gone into incorporating adequate cushioning in areas of the foot that need it most. Let’s compare and contrast some of the techniques and materials companies utilized by two of our more popular shoe makers to ensure a properly cushioned court shoe.
While to some it may seem that the summer has only just begun, we at Control the T have our sights set on the turn of the seasons. The point in time where summer turns to autumn marks the beginning of the new squash season which inevitably brings a wave of players back indoors and onto the courts for another year.
This can be an especially exciting time since several players new to the game may be trying their hand at squash for the very first time. In past blog posts we’ve discussed the exceptional fitness, health and enjoyment related aspects of the game which is an attractive component of the game for many folks. It is not uncommon for new players who would love to capture these rewards by incorporating the game it into their regular exercise routine.
For any of you who have already gone through the process of choosing a racquet, you’ll know that it can be a time consuming process requiring a great deal of thought before coming to a final decision. Certain racquet specifications often will enhance one area of a player’s game at the cost of compromising other areas. Striking the ideal balance between for example power and control can be a tricky task especially when faced with a truckload of racquet specs to keep track of. With this in mind, we at Control The T have decided to put a small article together to help guide racquet selection for a player looking to maximize the amount of power they can attain from their racquet.
As 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.