A review of the Salming Kobra Indoor Court Shoes

Salming’s Kobra are designed with performance in mind …

The Salming Kobra Indoor Court shoes are very light, very comfortable, high performance indoor court shoes.

The Kobra are widely used on the PSA Tour as such many people will have seen them or will know someone that plays in them. They are a very popular model at our club.

This post is designed to give you our take on the strengths of the Kobra and the technologies they use. We hope our review will help you decide if they are the right shoe for you.

After the review of the Kobra you will find the a section where we cover the technologies that Salming has incorporated in the Kobra. In that section we cover Salming’s description of each technology and also provide our take on them too.

SALMING KOBRA

Salming Kobra Black/Yellow Indoor Court Shoes

Technologies Included in the Kobra:

Here is what Salming has to say about the Kobra:

“The Salming Kobra is a fast paced unique combination of lightweight, cushioning and stability. Together with all the unique Salming technologies, Kobra is wrapped up into one agile shoe.

A new Wrap Around System Design (WAS Design)
In order to facilitate agility and stability but still maintain the lightweight characteristics, we have designed the midsole rear end with higher side walls that wrap around the heel area. In combination with the LMS Plus 8° and the new fully integrated ExoSkeleton construction, it ensures an excellent stability and perfect fit.”

Our take:

The Salming Kobra are Salming’s top of line shoe in terms of both technology and price point. The Kobra provide excellent lateral support, cushioning that helps with comfort and performance, and are extremely light weight and breathable.

The Kobra provide exceptional lateral support and stability. It is one of the first things I noticed when I played in a pair. They are incredibly stable shoes. Before I play I do a stretch lunge exercise. As I am lunging quite far forward I find this to be a good gauge on how much stability the shoe will provide. The first time I tried them I was impressed with the stability provided.

The technologies that Salming has incorporated in the Kobra to achieve such good stability and lateral support are the EXOSKELETON, LMS, LMS+ and a new Wrap Around Design (WAS) system. These technologies work together to provide optimal stability to this light weight shoe.

The WAS system is an enhancement to the EXOSKELETON and is only found in the Kobra line. The EXOSKELETON on the Kobra integrates right in to the loop for the laces that keeps the foot locked in place and provides excellent strength and stability to the Kobra.

Salming uses RECOIL and RECOIL R foam to provide cushioning to the shoes. The RECOIL foam in the forefoot area not only does a great job of absorbing shock, it also transfers energy back to the player to give some additional spring to your movement.

The Kobra might look like they are a bulky/heavy shoe but they are anything but that. They are actually the lightest model from Salming. I believe that is a pretty incredible accomplishment for Salming given just how supportive they are.

The Kobra are geared towards the player looking for the latest and greatest in technology in an indoor court shoe to really take their game to the next level. They provide incredible performance and good cushioning.

View the Salming Kobra in our online store

SALMING TECHNOLOGIES

 

ROLLBAR

Salming’s description: “An increased radius on the inner side of the outer sole, facilitates rolling the foot inwards and toe push off. Reaching for that stop ball in squash or covering a shot in floorball is made easier with the RollBar™ technology.”

Our take: The key benefit of the Rollbar technology is the aid it provides in pushing off towards the ball. When you dig your foot in to the court to push forwards, Rollbar allows the foot to work inwards towards the toe to provide better push off. Additionally, the shoes are very firm in in the toe area to maximize energy transferred to the court and provide the best possible drive.

Salming T.G.S 62/75

T.G.S. 62/75

Salming’s description: “Torsion Guide System. The distance from heel to the ball of the foot (62% of the shoe) has been designed with extra stability, which ends in the so-called ”ballet” line, a 75° angle. In front of the 75° line, we have equipped the shoe with greater flexibility to stimulate the foot’s natural movements. TGS 62/75 takes all of the gait cycle criteria into consideration. At the same time, it softens the strains caused by friction during lateral movements. The shoe bends in exactly the right places, stimulating the foot’s natural lateral and forward movements.”

Our take: The back portion of the shoe is firmer and designed to improve balance and stability. The forefoot area of the shoe has been designed to allow more freedom of movement to allow your foot to move and perform naturally. The split comes at the ballet line. If you were to drive your heels up off the floor so that your weight is on your forefoot area the “ballet line” is where your foot would leave the floor. It is also where Salming has designed the shoes to flex. The front part of the shoe is more flexible. The back 62% of the shoe is firmer to provide maximum stability.

Salming Exoskeleton

EXOSKELETON

Salming’s description: “The exo skeleton design stabilizes the foot for lateral movements and reduces pressure at the MTP joints (Metatarsophalangeal joints). It is important to keep the foot stable medio-lateral, avoiding friction and side forces in the soft parts of the foot sole, especially underneath the forefoot.”

Our take: This is one of the key components of Salming’s shoes. The shoes that feature the EXOSKELETON design are largely made of mesh. The EXOSKELETON provides the necessary support to the shoe. The EXOSKELETON  is the little bands that come up from under the foot then around the foot and in to the lacing area of the shoe. They are very light but very solid and keep your foot in place inside the shoe. This is a critical component in lateral support as if you foot starts to slip outwards when planting the foot on a lateral movement your weight will start to transfer outwards and this increases the risk of injury. It also decreases performance.

Salming Ergoheel Cup

ERGO HEELCUP

Salming’s description: “To stabilize and fixate the heel, which is key to providing a great fit and comfort, we have developed a new anatomical Ergo Heel Cup that is slightly longer than the average heel cup.”

Our take: Salming’s description is clear and it is also very accurate. The Ergo Heel Cup helps keep your heel locked in place in the back of the shoe to prevent it from slipping upwards. This keeps the back of your foot from rubbing against the shoe and prevents blisters.

Salming Hexagrip

HEXAGRIP

Salming’s description: “A new very durable lightweight rubber compound – HX120 – that features Salmings HexaGrip™ pattern designed for the best possible grip on all indoor surfaces.”

Our take: Hexagrip was first introduced in the Kobra series. It is an update to the rubber that they use on the outsole of the shoe. The rubber is formed in a hexa pattern, a 6 sided pattern to provide the best possible grip to the court. HexaGrip provides incredible traction. To maximize your movement you need your court shoes to have the best grip possible and HexaGrip is exceptional. Good grip on the court is also important from an injury prevention perspective as if you slip on the lunge you risk tearing muscles. Salming XR112 with HexaGrip is their top of the line outsole material.

Salming LMS Unit

LMS

Salming description: “Lateral Movement Stabilizer – an especially designed light weight integrated dual torsion unit that supports the foot during fast and irregular lateral movements.”

Our take: Lateral stability is one of the key performance and safety components in a shoe designed for squash. There is a lot of lateral movement in squash with the need to change directions quickly. Salming’s LMS provides torsional stability to the shoe in its mid section. That helps prevent your foot from rolling outwards when planting your foot to change direction. This reduces the risk of injury (rolling your ankle) and allows you to change directions as quickly as possible.

Salming LMS+ 11

LMS+ 8°

Salming’s description: “Fast lateral stops expose the foot to the risk to roll over outwards, causing injuries. LMS+ (Lateral Movement Stabilizer Plus) is a unique design with a positive angle of 11° that prevents the foot from rolling over outwards.”

Our take: LMS+ compliments the LMS system to provide lateral stability in the shoe. The 8° angle refers to the angle from the lateral (outside) side of the foot to the medial (inside) side of the foot. There is an 8 degree angle with the lateral side being higher than the medial side. That angle keeps your weight inwards and helps to prevent your foot from rolling outwards.

 Salming Recoil + Recoil R

 RECOIL™ + RECOIL R™

Salming’s description: “The material in the midsole is a newly developed compound named RECOIL™ which is a super lightweight cushioning compound that releases a higher rebound energy effect. The Recoil R™ – as in Recoil Reduction – is a cushioning compound featured in the heel impact zone designed to reduce impact forces and increase comfort when lunging.”

Our take: In the mid to forefoot area of the shoe Salming has used a RECOIL foam system. The RECOIL foam will absorb shock but it also transfers energy back in to the foot to add more spring to your movement. It’s a smart design that provides comfort and aids in performance. Under the heel RECOIL R is used to absorb shock. As squash is mostly a heel strike first movement there is a lot of impact under the heel and RECOIL R is designed to protect the foot from that.

 

Racquet Up Up Up!

Does your squash game suffer from the following symptoms?

  • Infrequent and/or poor volleys
  • Sloppy racquet errors
  • Fat shots and/or loose drives
  • Unnecessary and/or excessive boasts

If you feel that you are tormented from the above complications, you may be suffering from “Late or Lazy Racquet Prep”.

It may seem simple and inconsequential, but racquet preparation is far from a trivial or minor thing. Why? To put it simply, the ball is moving with pace and trajectory, it does not stop and wait for you to hit it at the optimal strike zone. If your racquet isn’t ready, then you have lost the opportunity to hit the ball at the prime impact point (at or slightly in front of the hip closest to the front wall). Once the ball is past the ideal impact position, the swing is compromised and shot selection becomes drastically reduced.

Having the racquet ready means your wrist is cocked and the head of the racquet as at your hips or higher. Dangling the racquet head by the floor with a loose wrist does not constitute as “prepared”. As soon as your previous swing is completed you should try to form the habit of immediately re-setting the ready position.

The way I tend to teach this is to connect the racquet head movement to the shoulders. As you are back to the T from your previous shot, your wrist is cocked (yet relaxed). Once you see the ball moving to the left or right side, your shoulders turn to prep the body for hitting the forehand or backhand. As the shoulders turn the racquet head goes up with that movement. Doing this will have your racquet ready for anything that comes its way!

Keep this sequence in mind.

  1. EYE – See the ball so you can turn the body and react accordingly.
  2. RACQUET – What the eye sees the racquet head responds to ( up for forehand prep or up for backhand prep)
  3. FEET – Move the body behind the ball to strike it in the optimal spot.

Yes. The feet move last. The racquet is ready before (or as) you go to the ball! This tiny little thing can make a significant positive impact on your game.

With good racquet preparation you can and will reduce the symptoms outlined above.

First and foremost the racquet head is suddenly available for the VOLLEY. Adding the volley into your game helps in so many ways.

  • Takes time away from your opponent between their shots (putting them under pressure)
  • Takes you out of the back corners where trouble tends to occur
  • Puts pace and variety into the game
  • Helps maintain your T position

Secondly, having the racquet ready REDUCES RACQUET ERRORS / SLOPPY, LOOSE SHOTS and provides shot options other than the BOAST. When the racquet head is ready before the ball hits the optimal strike zone, your swing is smooth and clean. Weight shift is forward and through the ball. When the ball is in front of the swing all shots are accessible. If you are in the process of lifting the racquet to hit the ball when you get to it, then the ball moves behind the front hip meaning the weight shift reverses to the back foot, pulling the ball loose. Letting the ball get behind the body also diminishes shot options. It is very difficult to drop, cross-court, or even get in a tight drive. More often than not you are stuck with a boast to keep the ball in play. Making your game predictable and vulnerable to attack.

Not only does racquet prep help with the above elements, it provides the ability to ADD DECEPTION into your game.  When your racquet is early, then you have time to “hold” your shot instead of swinging quickly before the ball completely passes you by. That slight pause before you stroke the ball muddles up the natural movement and flow of your opponent.  They either become flat footed or lean to one side or the other. Both are difficult to recover from once the ball is struck, especially if they are leaning the wrong way. This kind of recovery to get to the next ball can put a lot of pressure on your opponent and wears them out!

In conclusion, if you are suffering from Late and/or Lazy Racquet Prep, it is highly recommended to alleviate these symptoms with a bit of hard work and practice.
Remember – EYE, RACQUET, FEET.
Small fix – big difference!

Racquet UP UP UP.

Good Luck.

NICOLE GARON
SQUASH PRO & PROGRAM COORDINATOR
BRANTFORD MOVATI ATHLETIC

The S Line from Eye Rackets – Fly like Superman Paul Coll!

What shoes would you use if you were the fastest player on the PSA world tour?

The S Line from Eye Rackets, at least that is what Paul Coll uses and I do believe he is the fastest player on tour today …

Paul is famous for his incredible dives and court coverage. While I find his dives incredible to watch I find his court coverage even more impressive. His dives might have earned him the nickname “Superman” but it is his court coverage that makes him such a great player.

I decided to give a pair of the S Line a try myself to see how they performed, and while I have no intention of diving (at least intentionally) to get balls back, I did find them to be a good performing pair of indoor court shoes.

In this review of the Eye Rackets S Line Indoor Court Shoes we give our take on the following:

  • Performance
  • Comfort
  • Fit
  • Durability
  • Overall Impression

First let’s hear what Eye Rackets Brand Ambassador Joey Barrington has to say about the S Line:

Now on to our take on the Eye Rackets S Line Indoor Court Shoes.

Performance

I find that performance is a function of a few different aspects of an indoor court shoe …

Eye Rackets S Line Purple Indoor Court ShoesLateral stability in an indoor court shoe is one of the key elements for squash due to the demanding movements we squash players make.

The S Line features a torsion control system to provide lateral stability. If you look at the lateral side of the shoe the torsion control system is the silver section of the shoe. It runs from the mid sole of the shoe to the medial side. This is designed to limit twisting, or rotation of the shoe from the medial to the lateral side to keep you stable on the court. I found Eye’s torsion control system to work very well, and I felt very stable on court when lunging to the ball or planting hard to change direction.

Traction on court is clearly one of the most important components in determining how a court shoe will perform.

Eye has used a durable gum rubber to provide excellent grip on the court. The rubber has been coloured to match the look of the shoe but is a non-marking sole and does grip well. I have played a couple of matches in the S Line so far and have found their grip to be excellent. This gives me confidence that when I need to plant my foot hard to stop and change direction, and that the shoe will not let me down.

The weight of the shoe also is a factor in how well they perform.

A heavier shoe might offer excellent lateral stability and excellent comfort, but the extra weight will slow you down a bit on court. The mesh upper of the S Line helps keep the weight of the shoe down. Having a light shoe is good, but the shoe still needs to be well structured to provide the lateral support that is required. The S Line are a good balance between keeping the weight of the shoe down while still providing the stability necessary.

I compared the weight of the S Line to the weight of the Salming Kobra and the ASICS GEL-Blast 7 and they are right in between the two, weight wise.

Comfort

The trade-off to pure performance is often at the expense of comfort …

Eye Rackets S Line White Indoor Court ShoesThe Eye Rackets S Line are well balanced between performance and comfort.

The mesh upper of the shoe is quite soft and contributes to the overall comfort of the shoe. It also helps with allowing the shoe to breathe. The tongue of the shoe is well cushioned and comfortable. The heel counter is also well cushioned and does not feel harsh on the Achilles tendon.

Probably the most important part of comfort in an indoor court shoe is how well cushioned the sole of the shoe is.

The S Line are reasonably well cushioned in the forefoot area. Under the heel there is extra cushioning. As there is so much lunging in squash it is very hard on your heel. It is a very high impact area and the S Line do a very good job of cushioning the foot on impact.

Overall the Eye Rackets S Line Indoor Court Shoes are a pretty comfortable shoe. They are comfortable while still providing excellent performance.

Fit

From a fit perspective we have found that they fit a bit small, although they do loosen up a bit after playing in them.

If you are normally between two sizes, you would mostly like fit best in the half size up. For example, I wear a size 8 normally but in the odd shoe I need an 8.5. In the S Line I am wearing an 8.5.

I would also note up in the forefoot area the rubber protection provided to protect the toe box and medial side from wear from the court is relatively firm and does not give from the inside. As such they are a slightly narrow fit from the metatarsophalangeal (MTP) joint through the toes.

Durability

It is a bit early for us to gauge durability on the S Line as we have only had the the shoes for a month or so now.

From a construction perspective they look to be a very well-constructed shoe. The toe shield that Eye has added to protect against wear from foot drag from the toe through the medial side of the shoe looks to be very solid.

The sole of the shoe is both stitched and glued up in the toe box area.

The eyelets are metal to protect against damage to the upper from tightening of the shoe. On one pair of the shoes we have sold we have seen a bit of wear on the outsole of the shoe right about where it is stitched. Nothing that would affect the performance of the shoe but worth mentioning.

Overall, they look well-built but overall durability will be something we can better comment on in a few months.

Overall Impressions

While I have just started using the S Line from Eye Rackets I am quite happy with them so far. I have found them comfortable and they perform very well. Lateral support was good as was the cushioning. While they have not magically made me as good a mover as Paul Coll (that would take a lot more work in the gym) they are working well for me.

We carry both the ice white and electric purple colour options. Both are the signature versions of Paul Coll. To learn more about the Eye Rackets S Line Indoor Court Shoe click on the image below to view them in our store!

View the S Line from Eye Rackets in our online store

 

 

Keep it simple!

The game of squash is so easy from outside the glass …

Sometimes when I am watching people play I wish I had a joystick (yes I am dating myself – I think they call them “controllers” now). The point is I would like to have the option to press a button to get them to drop it, or drive it, or execute whatever shot is clearly the winning shot from behind the glass. When playing the game some of us tend to get caught up in the adrenaline. Instead of thinking about game strategy and the proper shot, we simply become retrieving and hitting machines. Others tend to over think the strategy and or try to out manoeuvre or trick their opponents by playing irregular shots instead of basic predictable, high percentage shots.

If a player sticks to the basic strategy of the game, there is a much higher rate of victory. It is pretty straightforward. From the back of the court, play high and deep. From the front of the court, attacking and low. Squash isn’t necessarily about “winning shots” as much as it is about setting yourself up for an attack in a low risk situation. Its about working your opponent both mentally and physically so they make the errors and start playing loose. Letting a loose ball go by without attacking is a lost opportunity, and potentially a lost point.

So how do we work our opponents and create the openings for the attack? Stick to the basics. High and deep from the back. Consistent tight shots. Attack from the front. Who cares if it is predictable to drop off of a defensive boast? You are putting the work into your opponents legs.

Is there more to the game of squash than this? Absolutely! Strategy can be built based on your best and favourite shots (what combinations provide you the openings to play those). It can be tailored to offset your opponents best shots and strengths. It can modified in each game to adjust to court play, ball play and environment. So yes, things do get more advanced and complicated as we build skill and confidence. That said, even at the top levels of this game, the basic strategy is what sets up the most effective and successful situations.

My challenge to you is to get out there and try to stick to this game plan. It is harder than you think not to get swept away in the game. In your next match, remind yourself between every serve of the game plan, and seriously focus on: High and deep from the back – Low and attacking from the front. Working for the opening and taking advantage of any loose balls. You will see a difference!

Good luck and Keep it Simple!

Cheers

NICOLE GARON
SQUASH PRO & PROGRAM DIRECTOR
BRANTFORD MOVATI ATHLETIC

Eye Rackets Squash Gear now available at Control the ‘T’ Sports

Control the ‘T’ Sports is very pleased to now be carrying Eye Rackets terrific line of squash racquets. Eye Rackets has a very strong presence on the PSA World Tour with many top players using their racquets.

"Superman" Paul Coll

“Superman” Paul Coll

"Fearless" Fares Dessouky

“Fearless” Fares Dessouky

 

Eye Rackets has 4 series of racquets that they carry. They have their X.Lite series and their V.Lite series. The X.Lite are a more traditional head shape featuring a bridge. The V.Lite series feature a teardrop head shape. In both series they carry CONTROL and POWER versions of their racquets. The difference between the CONTROL and POWER versions is the stringing pattern.

"The Black Falcon" Mazen Hesham

“The Black Falcon” Mazen Hesham

"El Toro" Borja Golan

“El Toro” Borja Golan

The CONTROL stringing pattern is a 14 x 18 string pattern. A 14 x 18 stringing pattern is fairly common in squash and provides a reasonably dense string bed which aids in control while still providing reasonable access to spin and power. The POWER series feature a very open 12 x 17 string pattern. The open string pattern provides extra power and extra spin.

"The Silver Surfer" Oli Tuominen

“The Silver Surfer” Oli Tuominen

"The Iceman" Piedro Schweertman

“The Iceman” Piedro Schweertman

As an example if you are a fan of Amr Shabana and love the weight and balance of his racquet, the X.Lite 120 CONTROL but find that you need a bit more power then the X.Lite 120 POWER is the logical choice. It has the same weight, balance, and feel but with more available power and spin due to the more open stringing pattern.

"Zac Attach" Zac Alexander

“Zac Attach” Zac Alexander

Coline Aumard

Coline Aumard

In both the X.Lite and V.Lite series of racquets there are models that feature a more flexible feel and others that are stiffer and offer a more direct response.

We also carry Eye Rackets exciting “S Line” Indoor Court Shoes. We have a review of them on our blog if you want to learn more about them.

Review of the S Line from Eye Rackets -> https://blog.controlthet.com/blog/the-s-line-from-eye-rackets-fly-like-superman-paul-coll/

"The Maestro" Amr Shabana

“The Maestro” Amr Shabana

"The Legend" Jonah Barrington

“The Legend” Jonah Barrington

About Eye Rackets

Eye was founded by ex squash players in 2010 with headquarters in Oslo (Norway) and distribution centre in Amsterdam (Holland). Eye is unique as the only pure squash brand on the market with a full range of products to suit all players at every level. Eyes fresh new approach to racket and product development has given Eye the edge in creating innovative and exciting new products. Extensive input from the brand ambassadors and top sponsored players on the PSA world tour ensure Eye maintains its position as one of the sports leading brands with rapid international growth. Eye is excited to launch its brand new collection and continue to expand its footprint as the only pure squash brand in the industry.

The One Thing

I am sure you have heard it all before so I will not harp on the fact that in order to improve you need to dedicate some time to training. We, as recreational and amateur players, don’t have the same kind of time to devote to training as the pro’s but there are a few things we can add to our routine that will help advance our games.

Lessons, solo court hitting, ghosting, drills, personal training, yoga, and more match play are all things you can do to elevate your game. If you have time to add all of these in to your weekly routine then you have the gift of time and you will see grand improvements – go for it! If you have limited time and are looking for that one thing to the help take your game to the next level – this is my answer. GET FITTER.

"Superman" Paul CollYes, fitness is the key factor! So many of us play squash to get fit and it is a game that brings great success in that department. This is how many of us started the sport – a fun way to get fit. But now that you are playing at a certain level and are looking for that extra edge, it is now time to “get fit to play squash” instead of playing squash to get fit.

I can’t tell you how many times I have heard players come off court after a loss with the “I ran out of steam” statement. Squash is an extremely physically demanding sport and all players reach a point of fatigue in a match. The person who lasts longer or recovers quicker has the advantage. When fatigue sets in, that is where one’s game falls apart. We get sloppy, slow down and start making rash decisions and mistakes. The goal is to physically outlast our opponent so they are the first to breakdown with fatigue. We can then benefit from their sloppy play and mistakes for the win.

So how do you get fit for squash? Interval workouts are the most helpful for game play. You can do interval workouts on a treadmill, go to HIIT classes (High Intensity Interval Training) /or any class that includes Tabata training. Interval training is set up very much like a squash match. It is all about pushing to your maximum for a short period of time (20 seconds – similar to a rally) with a short recovery period (10 seconds – similar to the service/between rallies) and right back into max effort for a short stint (next rally).

I often get asked, “What do you do to train”. I struggle with the general “workout” as I seem to need a bit of a competitive environment for me to get motivated. I have found that spin classes are perfect in that respect and are exceptionally good at training the body for squash (without the impact). It also strengthens the legs, increases your cardio vascular endurance and with a Tabata structure within the class it trains the body for quick recovery after maximum output. I try to get to spin class 3 times a week, each of which is an hour in duration. These three extra hours a week has provided me with fitness confidence. I know that my fitness will not let me down, and in most situations I have no doubt that I will be able to “out-fit” my opponent.

So if you are looking to add that one thing to your weekly routine that will help take your game to the next level – focus on fitness. If you can get in 2-3 hours of interval training in a week, you will start to notice a difference out there on court. Even if you can dedicate 1 hour a week, your game will benefit from it!

Good luck

Play Squash – Get Fit!
Get Fit – Play Squash!

My New Magic Wand

The last few years I have been playing with the Salming Forza (both the blue and the pink to keep things exciting). Recently Salming has produced a few variations of their racquets to provide even more options to suit every squash player out there from recreational club to professional (or wanna be professional dreamers like me)!

Salming Forza Pro a Control the 'T' SportsI am now playing with the Salming Forza Pro which has a sharp black, yellow and white design (quite snazzy looking – and yes, that is important).
That said, the main difference between the Forza and the new Forza Pro is about 4 grams (doesn’t seem like much, but it does make a difference). With that little extra weight providing additional speed and snap through the ball. It has a crisp, clean hit right off the hop making the swing feel free and smooth.

The teardrop shape style of the racquet provides a “deliciously large” sweet spot generating quite a bit of effortless power. The head of the racquet is slightly heavier, but the balance is still even enough that it doesn’t affect the maneuverability. It is light enough to still be aggressive, volley and attack.

Last but not least is touch. The handle is slightly squared instead of round which fits naturally in the hand . I find this helps me soften my usual “death grip” on the racquet. In other words, it helps me soften up my hands which gives better touch and feel in the short game.

Overall, I feel that the Forza Pro is like a enchanted wand in my hand. All I need now is the magic to wield it with skill.

If you are interested in learning more about squash racquets and most importantly which one might best suit your game please download our guide to buying a squash racquet by filling out the form below.

Nicole Garon
Squash Pro & Program Director
Brantford Movati Athletic

 

Control the ‘T’ Sports is Proud to Announce Our Sponsorship of Nick Sachvie

Control the ‘T’ Sports is excited to announce that we are sponsoring Nick Sachvie who is currently ranked #69 on the PSA World Tour and is Canada’s #1 player. We are sponsoring Nick for his footwear and providing him his choice of string. Nick is a very talented player who made a tremendous move up the PSA rankings last season and is working hard to keep that momentum going this season.

Nick Sachvie Men's Canadian Open Champion 2017

Photo credit to blog.whiteoaksresort.com

Nick has chosen to play in the Salming Race X Indoor Court Shoes. We believe it is important to note that the choice of shoes was Nick’s and not one that we as a sponsor asked of him.

We asked Nick about his choice of the Salming Race X and here is what he had to say:

“Main things in a shoe I look for are comfort, style, and being lightweight. These shoes check off all three so I can feel confident in my look, my movement and speed. I like the mold of the shoe to my foot and it doesn’t need much working in to be match ready.”

Nick uses Tecnifibre 305 1.20mm squash string which we are providing to him as part of his sponsorship. Nick is also sponsored by Harrow Sports, plays with the Harrow Vibe and has a signature edition coming out this year that we will be carrying in our store.

Although we are not sponsoring Nick for his racquet we wanted to know why he chose the Vibe and his response was:

“I’ve been using the Vibe for roughly 6 years now and its been the racquet I have felt most confident with throughout the years. The balance in weight gives it a nice feel and the head shape allows for me to hit with different paces and spins on the ball. All around I love the feel of this racquet in my hands.”

As a company that is dedicated to the sport of squash we are very excited to be working with a player of Nick Sachvie’s standard. Not only is Nick a very talented and hardworking athlete he is also a great ambassador for our sport.

Nick has this to say about joining the Control the ‘T’ Sports team:

“Excited to be working with Control the ‘T’ Sports. Jeff approached me at the end of last season and I am glad to be on board for this season. I have been buying string and shoes over the previous seasons which was quite costly so I am happy to be able to get the top of the line equipment for each from Control the ‘T’ Sports. Looking forward to the 2017/18 seasons using these products and working with Jeff and Control the ‘T’ Sports.”

Below is a bio that Nick provided outlining some of his accomplishments in squash and some of his objectives for this coming season.

“I grew up in St. Catharines playing out of the Club at White Oaks. I am currently residing in Toronto, Ontario. I am training at the Toronto Athletic Club and the Toronto Lawn and Tennis Club. I have been playing on the tour full time since graduating Cornell University in 2014.

Racquet: Harrow Vibe Squash Racquet
Shoe: Salming Race X Indoor Court Shoes

Accomplishments: 2016/17 Season

  • 3 PSA World Tour titles (Lifetime Minneapolis 10k, MAA Montreal 5k, Sudbury Open 10k)
  • Ontario Closed Champion (Nov. 2016)
  • Ontario Open Champion (Feb. 2017)
  • Goodfellow Classic Invitational Champion
  • 2017 Canadian Men’s National Champion

Future Goals:

  • Top 50 by the end of the season
  • Qualify for Super series event”

Welcome to the Control the ‘T’ Sports Team Nick!

Which Salming Indoor Court Shoe Is Right For You?

Salming makes high performance indoor court shoes that are designed for squash …

Salming’s real strength I believe in their line is providing very light, very comfortable, high performance indoor court shoes.

Salming is extremely visible on the PSA Tour. As such most players will have seen their shoes or will know someone that plays in them. They are certainly very popular at our club. What gets tricky though is figuring out which model is for you.

This post is designed to give you our take on the strengths of each model and the technologies they use.

There are 4 series of shoes from Salming: the Kobra, the Viper, the Race and the Adder. Each model has its own strength and those strengths will help determine what the right Salming shoe is for you.

After the section on the shoes we have covered the technologies that Salming has incorporated in the shoes in the Salming Technologies section of the post. Please read that section as well as we cover Salming’s description of each technologies and also provide our take on them too.

SALMING KOBRA

Salming Kobra Royal/Yellow Indoor Court Shoes

Technologies Included in the Kobra:

Here is what Salming has to say about the Kobra:

“The Salming Kobra is a fast paced unique combination of lightweight, cushioning and stability. Together with all the unique Salming technologies, Kobra is wrapped up into one agile shoe.

A new Wrap Around System Design (WAS Design)
In order to facilitate agility and stability but still maintain the lightweight characteristics, we have designed the midsole rear end with higher side walls that wrap around the heel area. In combination with the LMS Plus 8° and the new fully integrated ExoSkeleton construction, it ensures an excellent stability and perfect fit.”

Our take:

The Salming Kobra are Salming’s top of line shoe in terms of both technology and price point. The Kobra provide excellent lateral support, cushioning that helps with comfort and performance, and are extremely light weight and breathable.

The Kobra provide exceptional lateral support and stability. It is one of the first things I noticed when I played in a pair. They are incredibly stable shoes. Before I play I do a stretch lunge exercise. As I am lunging quite far forward I find this to be a good gauge on how much stability the shoe will provide. The Kobra provide the most stable base of any model of court shoe I have played in.

The technologies that Salming has incorporated in the Kobra to achieve such good stability and lateral support are the EXOSKELETON, LMS, LMS+ and a new Wrap Around Design (WAS) system. These technologies work together to provide optimal stability to this light weight shoe.

The WAS system is an enhancement to the EXOSKELETON and is only found in the Kobra line. The EXOSKELETON on the Kobra integrates right in to the loop for the laces that keeps the foot locked in place and provides excellent strength and stability to the Kobra.

Salming uses RECOIL and RECOIL R foam to provide cushioning to the shoes. The RECOIL foam in the forefoot area not only does a great job of absorbing shock, it also transfers energy back to the player to give some additional spring to your movement.

The Kobra might look like they are a bulky/heavy shoe but they are anything but that. They are actually the lightest model from Salming. I believe that is a pretty incredible accomplishment for Salming given just how supportive they are.

The Kobra are geared towards the player looking for the latest and greatest in technology in an indoor court shoe to really take their game to the next level. They provide incredible performance and good cushioning.

View the Salming Kobra in our online store

Salming Viper

Salming Viper 4 Yellow/Orange Men's Indoor Court Shoes

Technologies Included in the Viper:

Here is what Salming has to say about the Viper:

“The Salming Viper is a fast paced agile shoe with a low profile and excellent stability characteristics. It incorporates the very best of Salming Indoor shoe technologies and then some. If you’re a fan of the Salming Race model you will find the Viper lower and with less cushioning in the fore-foot area, enabling a more close-to-the court feel plus a lighter and more breathable upper.

The construction has its origin in the Salming Running shoe product range, where it has been very well received with its three layer system where the unique Salming ExoSkeleton™ keeps the foot in the right position during lateral movements and high performance activities. Agile, fast paced with a low profile – The Viper.”

Our take:

The Viper are designed with a primary focus on performance. They offer excellent stability with Salming’s LMS and LMS+, and EXOSKELETON technologies. The LMS+ 11° provides the largest positive angle that Salming uses with their LMS+ technology. It really keeps your weight inwards and that really helps with lateral support. You are also very low to the court in the Viper which helps with lateral stability.

Salming designed the Viper to be lower to the court with performance in mind. There is much less cushioning than in the Kobra or Race models.

I like to equate it to owning a sports car. Sports cars often have very high-end, low profile tires to provide ultimate performance. If you have driven a car with very low-profile tires you know the performance they provide. You also know they do so though at a cost of comfort. You feel the road more.

In the case of the Viper you feel the court more. From a pure performance perspective, this works extremely well. When you drive down in to the court floor to propel yourself to the ball there is much less cushioning to absorb that energy. This really helps you get to and from the ball as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Being really close to the court also provides a connected to the court feel. It does so at the sacrifice of some of the comfort that you will find in the Kobra or Race. They are not as soft under the forefoot area.

The Viper are designed for the player looking for maximum performance and do not need, or require as much cushioning in their court shoe.

View the Salming Viper in our online store

 SALMING RACE X

Salming Race X Indoor Court Shoes endorsed by Ramy Ashour

Technologies Included in the Race X:

Here is what Salming has to say about the Race X:

“The Race X is an updated version of the Salming race model powered with a new Exoskeleton™ design that is integrated with the lacing construction. The shoe’s upper is made from the same durable lightweight polyester fabric featured on the race providing virtually zero “break-in” time.”

Our take:

The Salming Race X are the latest in the Race series and are the shoes endorsed by Ramy Ashour. The Race X are a good performing pair of indoor court shoes but their claim to fame is comfort. They are a very soft pair of indoor court shoes and feature excellent cushioning in the heel area of the shoe and in the forefoot area.

If you play a lot and are looking to protect your feet from the wear and tear of the hard movements we squash players have to make on court then you should definitely take a look at the Race X.

The cushioning foam under the heel of the foot and the rebound foam under the forefoot provide an ultra comfortable ride. The upper of the shoe is incredibly comfortable too and Salming’s claim of requiring virtually zero break-in time is accurate. You can take them out of the box, lace them up and go play!

While designed for comfort, the Race X do also perform well on court. They are used at all levels of the sport including many top level professional squash players.

We sponsor Nick Sachvie who at time of writing this article is Canada’s top squash player and we gave him the choice of any shoe we carried and he chose the Race X.

The LMS, LMS+ 5°, and EXOSKELETON technologies provide good lateral support. The Exoskeleton system keeps the foot in place in the shoe even though the upper is incredibly soft and comfortable.

The Race X are ideal for the player that is looking for ultimate comfort in an indoor court shoe while still getting top notch performance.

View the Salming Race X in our online store

Salming Adder

Salming Adder Black/Green Men's Indoor Court Shoes

Technologies Included in the Adder:

Here is what Salming has to say about the Adder:

“The Salming Adder is greatly inspired by the success Salming Viper in many aspects. Salming Adder provides the lowest profile (height from ground surface to your foot sole) of all Salming indoor shoes. This enables a great feel for the ground and great stability characteristics. The material in the midsole is a lightweight EVA compound and in the heel impact zone there’s a C35 compound designed to reduce impact forces.”

Our take:

While the Adder are a lower price point shoe and feature less of Salming’s high-end technologies they are still a high performance indoor court shoe. They are the lowest to the court of all of the Salming shoes. Lateral support is excellent in the Adder thanks to their very low profile, EXOSKELETON and LMS+ 11° design.

The C35 cushioning foam under the heel does provides reasonable cushioning to protect against heel strike. As noted there is less cushioning in the forefoot area. The upper of the Adder is not as soft as is found in the Kobra, Viper or Race models.

The Adder are a good performing shoe and will best suit someone that was a light court shoe, and does not require a great deal of cushioning. They are an excellent pair of indoor court shoes at their price point.

View the Salming Adder Indoor Court shoes in our online store

 

 

SALMING TECHNOLOGIES

 

ROLLBAR

Salming’s description: “An increased radius on the inner side of the outer sole, facilitates rolling the foot inwards and toe push off. Reaching for that stop ball in squash or covering a shot in floorball is made easier with the RollBar™ technology.”

Our take: The key benefit of the Rollbar technology is the aid it provides in pushing off towards the ball. When you dig your foot in to the court to push forwards, Rollbar allows the foot to work inwards towards the toe to provide better push off. Additionally, the shoes are very firm in in the toe area to maximize energy transferred to the court and provide the best possible drive.

Salming T.G.S 62/75

T.G.S. 62/75

Salming’s description: “Torsion Guide System. The distance from heel to the ball of the foot (62% of the shoe) has been designed with extra stability, which ends in the so-called ”ballet” line, a 75° angle. In front of the 75° line, we have equipped the shoe with greater flexibility to stimulate the foot’s natural movements. TGS 62/75 takes all of the gait cycle criteria into consideration. At the same time, it softens the strains caused by friction during lateral movements. The shoe bends in exactly the right places, stimulating the foot’s natural lateral and forward movements.”

Our take: The back portion of the shoe is firmer and designed to improve balance and stability. The forefoot area of the shoe has been designed to allow more freedom of movement to allow your foot to move and perform naturally. The split comes at the ballet line. If you were to drive your heels up off the floor so that your weight is on your forefoot area the “ballet line” is where your foot would leave the floor. It is also where Salming has designed the shoes to flex. The front part of the shoe is more flexible. The back 62% of the shoe is firmer to provide maximum stability.

Salming Exoskeleton

EXOSKELETON

Salming’s description: “The exo skeleton design stabilizes the foot for lateral movements and reduces pressure at the MTP joints (Metatarsophalangeal joints). It is important to keep the foot stable medio-lateral, avoiding friction and side forces in the soft parts of the foot sole, especially underneath the forefoot.”

Our take: This is one of the key components of Salming’s shoes. The shoes that feature the EXOSKELETON design are largely made of mesh. The EXOSKELETON provides the necessary support to the shoe. The EXOSKELETON  is the little bands that come up from under the foot then around the foot and in to the lacing area of the shoe. They are very light but very solid and keep your foot in place inside the shoe. This is a critical component in lateral support as if you foot starts to slip outwards when planting the foot on a lateral movement your weight will start to transfer outwards and this increases the risk of injury. It also decreases performance.

Salming Ergoheel Cup

ERGO HEELCUP

Salming’s description: “To stabilize and fixate the heel, which is key to providing a great fit and comfort, we have developed a new anatomical Ergo Heel Cup that is slightly longer than the average heel cup.”

Our take: Salming’s description is clear and it is also very accurate. The Ergo Heel Cup helps keep your heel locked in place in the back of the shoe to prevent it from slipping upwards. This keeps the back of your foot from rubbing against the shoe and prevents blisters.

Salming Hexagrip

HEXAGRIP

Salming’s description: “A new very durable lightweight rubber compound – HX120 – that features Salmings HexaGrip™ pattern designed for the best possible grip on all indoor surfaces.”

Our take: Hexagrip was first introduced in the Kobra series. It is an update to the rubber that they use on the outsole of the shoe. The rubber is formed in a hexa pattern, a 6 sided pattern to provide the best possible grip to the court. HexaGrip provides incredible traction. To maximize your movement you need your court shoes to have the best grip possible and HexaGrip is exceptional. Good grip on the court is also important from an injury prevention perspective as if you slip on the lunge you risk tearing muscles. Salming XR112 with HexaGrip is their top of the line outsole material.

Salming XR110 rubber

XR110

Salming’s description: “In order to help you control all of this cornering performance, our XR110 outer sole has an extra sticky developed compound!”

Our take: XR110 rubber is the compound the outsole of the Viper, Race and Adder are made of. It provides excellent grip on the court. All of Salming shoes grip well which really aids in their performance. Good grip also reduces the risk of the foot slipping out from under you which helps lesson the chance of injury.

Salming LMS Unit

LMS

Salming description: “Lateral Movement Stabilizer – an especially designed light weight integrated dual torsion unit that supports the foot during fast and irregular lateral movements.”

Our take: Lateral stability is one of the key performance and safety components in a shoe designed for squash. There is a lot of lateral movement in squash with the need to change directions quickly. Salming’s LMS provides torsional stability to the shoe in its mid section. That helps prevent your foot from rolling outwards when planting your foot to change direction. This reduces the risk of injury (rolling your ankle) and allows you to change directions as quickly as possible.

Salming LMS+ 11

LMS+ 11°/8°/5°

Salming’s description: “Fast lateral stops expose the foot to the risk to roll over outwards, causing injuries. LMS+ (Lateral Movement Stabilizer Plus) is a unique design with a positive angle of 11° that prevents the foot from rolling over outwards.”

Our take: LMS+ compliments the LMS system to provide lateral stability in the shoe. The 11°/8°/5° angle refers to the angle from the lateral (outside) side of the foot to the medial (inside) side of the foot. There is an 11, 8 of 5 degree angle with the lateral side being higher than the medial side. That angle keeps your weight inwards and helps to prevent your foot from rolling outwards.

 Salming Recoil + Recoil R

 RECOIL™ + RECOIL R™

Salming’s description: “The material in the midsole is a newly developed compound named RECOIL™ which is a super lightweight cushioning compound that releases a higher rebound energy effect. The Recoil R™ – as in Recoil Reduction – is a cushioning compound featured in the heel impact zone designed to reduce impact forces and increase comfort when lunging.”

Our take: In the mid to forefoot area of the shoe Salming has used a RECOIL foam system. The RECOIL foam will absorb shock but it also transfers energy back in to the foot to add more spring to your movement. It’s a smart design that provides comfort and aids in performance. Under the heel RECOIL R is used to absorb shock. As squash is mostly a heel strike first movement there is a lot of impact under the heel and RECOIL R is designed to protect the foot from that.

 Salming Recoil + Recoil R

 RUNLITE

Salming’s description: “The midsole features a special High Abrasion Injection EVA – RunLite™ – designed to create a nice feel for the court. It is light and responds to the surface from the very first step.”

Our take: EVA stands for ethel vinyl acetate and is a type of foam.  The midsole refers to the section of the shoes between the upper and outsole of the shoe. It provides light weight cushioning under the foot while still providing a responsive feel.

 Salming Rebound Foam

 REBOUND FOAM

Salming’s description: “Forefoot rebound energy foam – RE35. 80% better rebound energy than a regular EVA midsole compound.”

Our take: Salming uses rebound foam under the forefoot area in some of their models. It is designed to not only absorb shock but to transfer energy back to the foot. The shock absorption improves comfort and the rebound or transfer of energy back to the foot helps performance.

Salming Cushioning Foam

 CUSHIONING FOAM

Salming’s description: “Heel cushioning foam – C35, positioned at the heel centre, gives you 70% better shock absorption than a regular EVA midsole compound..”

Our take: Salming uses cushioning foam under the heel of the shoe to provide maximum shock absorption. 70% better than a standard EVA midsole is their claim. Salming’s Cushioning Foam is extremely effective at shock absorption and really helps make the shoe ultra comfortable to play in.

 

Help! I’m trapped in the corner and I can’t get out!

Do you struggle to gain control and keep control of the T?
Do you find yourself constantly behind your opponent?
Do you feel as though you are frequently scrambling and under pressure?

If the answer to one or more of these questions is yes, then you are likely finding yourself trapped in the back two corners and struggling to fight your way out.

As complicated as this game may seem at times, it is pretty simple to determine why you are finding yourself behind your opponent.

  • Poor Length
  • Loose Shots
  • Minimal Volleying

Poor Length

You’ve heard it a million times before. “Get the ball deep to gain control of the T”. That said, not all length is created equal. The length required to put yourself in control of the game needs to be quality length. What makes length quality length? There are several things to consider when hitting good length; two elements in particular can aide in adjusting and improving your long game: Weight & Accuracy of shot. These two elements work in tandem with one another. Are you hitting too hard, too soft? Too short or too long? Finding the right mix is magic!

Too hard/too long: You don’t want to crash the ball hard and high into the back where you are essentially “over driving” the ball. In this case your opponent can basically maintain their position on the T and wait for it to bounce off the back wall – yet again jamming you in the back of the court.

Too soft/too short: The opposite of the over drive is hitting the ball too high and too soft. This will provide your enemy with a perfect attacking opportunity, with the ball landing short of the service line and ample time make an aggressive offensive shot. Not only does this shot set your opponent up for a potential winner – it most definitely does not get you out of the corner and onto the T.

The optimal ball to hit from the back to get out of trouble is a lifted drive.
Getting the ball high on the front wall will get you the depth to move your opponent. Hitting the ball with a soft lift will provide you the time needed to get out of the back corner and establish yourself on the T. The softness of the shot should also keep the ball from sitting up for your opponent to pick off of the back wall. The goal is to get the second bounce of the ball just before it reaches the back wall.

Loose Shots

Getting the proper depth of the shot is ideal, but if the majority of the balls you are hitting are loose and coming through the middle, you are still in trouble. You are basically feeding your salivating opponent juicy fruit for them to pick off as they please. For you to move them off the coveted T, the balls not only have to have the right pace, but they also need to be tight to the wall (within 2 floor boards) on rail shots, and cross-courts should have good width (ball hitting side wall just behind the back of the service box). If you have a lob in your repertoire – use it! If you don’t, I highly suggest adding this shot into your game. It is a brilliant defensive shot that gives you time to reset and gain control – and sometimes much needed composure.

Minimal Volleying

You may be reading this and saying to yourself, “I hit good length. I keep the ball tight… Why am I still scrambling in the corners??” The most likely answer is – You are not volleying the ball! If you are in mid court and choose to move back to take a ground stroke instead of up to take a volley – you are relinquishing your T position to your opponent when they are not forcing you out. As the late great Patrick Swayze famously said “Nobody puts Baby in a corner’” so why do you keep putting yourself there? Test yourself the next time you are on court. Get high up on the T and tell yourself that no ball is going to get past you. You might be surprised at how often your tendency is to let a volleying opportunity slip away.
You need to fight to keep the T. Don’t be passive and let the ball lead you into the deep dark woods at the back of the court. Be more aggressive and take the ball early. Not only does this keep your T position. It also puts your adversary under pressure.

If you are yelling, “Help, I’m trapped in the corner and can’t get out”.
Putting these simple tactics into motion are the key to opening your cage.
Good, tight length – VOLLEY, VOLLEY, VOLLEY.

Nicole Garon
Squash Pro & Program Director
Brantford Movati Athletic