Squash: guide to choosing a racquet

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Racquet shape, weight and balance

There basically two main designs: open throat and closed throat.... and some designs that try to blend the above.

The open throat design with a teardrop shape was pioneered by the Prince Extender racquets. The strings are longer, giving more power. The string bed is also larger, giving a bigger sweetspot.

The closed throat design is basically an oval, having evolved from earlier circle shapes in wooden racquets. Strings are shorter, giving less power; the string bed is smaller, giving a smaller sweetspot. However, advocates argue that these types of racquets offer better ball control due to the shorter strings and tighter spacing of strings.

There’s also designs which blend these two types, eg a closed throat design with a pear shape, for example the Dunlop Force Evolution.

Ultimately, comes down to personal preference...

Racquet weights have come down over the past 20 years as new materials have allowed weight reductions without sacrificing frame stiffness and durability

Racquet weights have stabilised, as there is a trade off between power/stability (heavier racquet) and manoeuvrability/speed (lighter racquet) which tips around 120g to 150g. Most professional squash players use racquets around 130g +/- 15g

No specific rule here, but as a guide:

Weight (grams)             Feel
100-120g                          Ultra-light, fast, good touch – but lacking power
120-130                             Light
130-140                            Medium
140-150                            Medium/Heavy
>150                                   Heavy

Squash racquets are typically 68.6cm in length
If the balance point (measured from handle end) is less than 34.3cm, then the racquet is head light and vice versa. Typically a racquet in the 35cm range is considered balanced.
Adding an over-grip (typically 15g) or protective tape around the frame can have a significant influence on racquet balance, particularly as they are located at the end of the racquet...
Head heavy racquets generally feel powerful as there is a "hammer" pendulum effect when hitting the ball.
Head light racquets generally feel more manoeuvrable and quick.

No specific rule here, but as a guide:

Balance point                Racquet feel
<33 cm                               Head light
33-34 cm                          Slightly head light
34-35 cm                          Even balance
35-36cm                           Slightly head heavy
>36 cm                              Head heavy

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