Racket Buying Guide
I am regularly asked for recommendations on which racket someone should purchase to help improve their game. The honest response to this is that it all comes down to personal preference and style of play. The below categories are the key defining features of all rackets, and will help to drive your preferred choice of racket. Of course, the best way to select a racket is to ‘try before you buy’ and I’d always recommend trialling a number of different styles to really get a feel for what really suits your style of play. At FluxSports, we stock demos of all rackets in our range (and even a few offline exclusive rackets!), so please do get in touch with us if you would like to demo any of our range.
Squash rackets vary in weight, with the lightest rackets around 110g, and the heavier end over 170g. It is a common misconception that a heavier racket equates to more power. This is not quite the case, as the weight of a racket does not influence the amount of power directly. Instead, a heavier racket gives you more feedback through your swing. Players who have better technique and timing would be able to hit the ball equally powerfully with a lighter racket as they would with a heavier racket, with a lighter racket giving the player a physical edge over the course of a game.
Typically, squash racket head shapes can be put into two categories: open throat, and teardrop. The teardrop style racket head has a larger sweet-spot, and would therefore typically suit less experienced players. Whereas the open throat rackets have a smaller, but more effective sweet spot, suiting players with better technique and timings. The differences and advantages between the two styles have been becoming increasingly negligible as racket technologies advance, and often the choice will simply come down to players preference.
In an ideal world, players would be able to choose whichever racket was most suited to their style regardless of cost. However, if you are driven by a budget, FluxSports has very carefully chosen products to meet your requirements. All rackets offered have been tested, and therefore we can fully endorse the entire range, from the cheapest product through to the most expensive, we can assure you that they all represent excellent value for money.
You will find squash rackets are either described as ‘head-heavy’, ‘balanced’, or ‘head-light’ when it comes to balance, each lending itself to different styles of play. A head-light racket offers greater and easier manoeuvrability, and will therefore suit players that play a lot of quick volleys, flicks, and shots with shorter swings. A head-heavy racket offers greater control, and is therefore likely to suit players that play in a measured manner. Balanced rackets offer a combination of the two.
There are many different ways in which strings affect the way a racket plays, and therefore they should form an important part of your decision process when buying a racket. Firstly, strings generally come synthetic form now, and will either be monofilament, multifilament, or Nylon – ultimately this will come down to player preference, although the nylon strings offer far less grip giving advanced players less control. Next, you have the gauge of the string, usually 1.1mm to 1.3mm, with the thinner string offering more control, but less durability, and vice versa for thicker strings. Finally, you have string tension. The tighter the string the more control you receive, and the less tension will provide more power. It is worth trying out combinations of these to find one that suits your style most. FluxSports make an effort to ensure that all rackets are strung with quality strings. If you want more details about any of the strings, please get in touch.
Whilst the majority of modern rackets fall towards the ‘stiff’ end of the range, there are varying degrees on this and therefore this should still form an influential part of your decision when buying a racket. A stiff frame will provide better control, whilst a flexible frame will provide more power. In addition, the stiffer the racket the more vibration it is likely to suffer from, although again, as technologies advance, more dampening is applied within the frame making this a less noticeable aspect.
The grip is possibly the least important aspect when it comes to buying a racket, as it is relatively inexpensive to replace to a grip of your liking. That said, many of the rackets sold at FluxSports come with excellent grips as standard.
I do hope that you have found this guide useful. It really can’t be stressed enough the benefit of having a play and feel with a racket before purchasing. If you would like further guidance, or have any additional queries, please get in touch with us below and we’d be more than happy to help.