Often seen as the more refined cousin of tennis, squash is a sport that relies on quick reactions and a high degree of skill. Without the same length and breadth of the tennis court, a squash court necessarily constricts the play and pushes an even higher premium on the skills required to play a racquet sport.
When choosing a best squash racquet, your first consideration should be your skill level. However, regardless your skill level, there will always be a push-pull consideration of power and control. Still, unlike tennis where power is becoming more universally preferred, the constrained court of squash makes a “touch style” more viable.
That is why we have put together a list of the 5 best squash racquets, each suited for a different type of player or different style of play. Further, we have provided a thorough buyer’s guide, so you can feel comfortable making your own decision should you choose a racquet not recommended.
Best Squash Racquets 2017
|HEAD Nano Ti 110|
|500||110||Titanium Graphite Composite|
|Tecnifibre CarboFlex 125|
|500||125||Graphite & Basaltex Multiaxial|
|Head Microgel CT 135 Corrugated||500||135||Graphite Microgel Composite|
|Prince Squash Airstick 130||485||140||Titanium-Copper-Carbon with GraphiteExtreme|
|Dunlop Squash Court Pack||500||175||Graphite Alloy|
HEAD Nano Ti 110 – The Best All-Around-Value Squash Racquet
While not technically the highest performing racquet on our list, the Nano Ti is every bit pro-ready as the modestly superior Tecnifibre CarboFlex 125.
Moreover, this racquet has pumped everything it can into giving you the biggest sweet spot available. As only one of two racquets on our list with a 14 x 18 string pattern, your power and sweet spot are increased to pro levels. However, it is the enlarged grommets which provide an additional bit of string recoil which further widen the sweet spot beyond standard levels.
Still, the Nano Ti is not without its drawbacks. First, the composition is a titanium carbon composite.
While this has not prevented the Nano Ti from maintaining an incredibly light weight, it does make it a bit rigid. When coupled with all of the power focused features, your skill level needs to be exceedingly advanced to maintain proper control.
Tecnifibre CarboFlex 125 – The Best Advanced Player Squash Racquet
The Tecnifibre CarboFlex 125 is our best performing racquet on this list, though you may actually rate this and the previous Head racquet as 1a and 1b depending on your style. If the Nano Ti leaned towards power, the CarboFlex 125 charges in that direction without a second thought.
This being the case, you will need to make absolutely sure that you have the necessarily high skillset for control to get the most out of this racquet. If you do, then this racquet will provide power that is tough to compete against.
In a slight nod towards control, the CarboFlex 125 features the thinnest beam on our list at 18mm. Of course, with all of the other features geared towards power, it would have been nice to see the beam in the 15mm-16mm range.
Head Microgel CT 135 Corrugated – The Best Women’s & Intermediate Male Players Racquet
For women players, we recommend the second Head racquet on our list, the CT 135. This racquet utilizes a number of features to provide power and control in different ways that are more suited to female players.
Of course, this also makes the CT 135 exceptionally well-suited for intermediate male players as well.
Utilizing a corrugated construction, the powerful and light graphite is interwoven with microgel. This allows the racquet to remain stiff during power shots without deforming during the strike. Unfortunately, this also makes the CT 135 rather rigid which may not suit all player styles. Still, advanced female players may come to appreciate the additional information the vibratory recoil provides.
Still, there are a few other features which lean this racquet towards control. The 16 x 17 string pattern is great if you want control, but pulls up a bit short for power. Enlarged grommets would help alleviate this somewhat, but they are nowhere to be found.
Also, the CT 135 is one of the 2 racquets that uses a head light balance, pulling power further away from the design. In this instance, a thicker beam would help compensate, however the CT 135 settles with a medium thickness beam that is more balanced than anything.
Prince Squash Airstick 130 Racquet – The Most Balanced Squash Racquet
If you do not wish to lean too heavy towards either end of the spectrum when choosing between control and power, then the Prince Squash Airstick 130 Racquet is the racquet you are looking for. Keep in mind, this is not necessarily a statement of skill–though this racquet should appeal to many intermediate players who are still learning the finer points of control.
Pretty much every feature of this racquet goes towards balancing power and control. In fact, this is the only racquet on our list to offer a 360mm even balance. All of the other options are either head heavy or head light. Still, the laundry list of balanced features does not end there.
However, for the features on this racquet that do not strive for balance, they generally go for control. The string pattern of 16 x 17 is a prime example where the numerous and relatively tight crosses offer excellent control, but further reduce the power.
Even odder is the slightly smaller than average head size. 500 sq. cm. Is more or less the standard. However, this racquet’s head only measures 480 sq. cm. Which further reduces both the power and the size of the sweet spot.
While the WallGlider Bumpers and PowerScoop Shaft aim to alleviate some of this, they ultimately demand a player of a much higher caliber to do so. Finally, the composition of a titanium alloy and graphite composite is a bit unusual given this racquet’s design towards balance.
Dunlop Squash Court Pack – The Best Beginner Player Racquet
There is no easy way to say it. The Dunlop Squash Court Pack has a short shelf-life. This is not to imply that the Dunlop is shoddily constructed. On the contrary, this racquet provides an entirely adequate composition.
Conversely, if you have even a few months of practice and rudimentary skills, you are better off finding a better racquet. The issue lies in one important, arguably the most important, feature of the racquet: its weight.
In an effort to compensate this, the Dunlop features a head light balance. While this would ordinarily be an acceptable workaround, it simply does not compensate enough for the extreme weight to provide a correlated experience once you move on to a better racquet.
This attempt to use features which have no standard racquets sharing them in common is furthered with the string pattern. A 14 x 20 will provide an adequate number of crosses to give additional control through your swing, but is an incredibly rare pattern. A 16 x 17 would be better as it is found on many intermediate level racquets.
Still, for a beginner, this can be a solid find. First, this is the cheapest product on our list. If you are unsure whether squash is a game you want to play and invest money into, this is a good starter racquet to figure that out. Moreover, this product actually comes with pretty much everything you need to player other than an opponent. With a carrying bag, safety eyewear, and two balls of differing dots, this racquet set can be bought and taken directly to the court.
Best Squash Racquets – Buyer’s Guide
When choosing a squash racquet, there are two primary factors that will require compromise: power and control. The more you have of one, generally the less you have of the other.
Of course, a couple factors will further influence which of those two qualities you [i]should[i] favor when choosing a squash racquet. For instance, beginners would do well picking a racquet that offers more control, so they can focus on learning the fundamental squash skills and refine their technique.
As a player advances, they can choose more powerful racquets once they have mastered the techniques expected for their skill level. Of course, personal style and physical capability of the player will always come into play, and some advanced players may still prefer control over power or a close balance between the two.
Head and Throat: (Open, closed [bridge], and hybrid)
Throat refers to the way the strings connect at the base of the racquets neck. An open throat is strung unimpeded to the neck. A closed, or bridge, throat, is shaped more like a tennis racquet’s throat. There are also a few hybrid throats, though those are fewer and farther between.
The open throats provides a larger sweet spot and more power due to the extension of the strings and a more elastic response. Conversely, the closed throat’s shorter strings provide a bit more control and are found in most doubles matches.
The racquet’s head size will also follow the power or control approach. The larger the head, the longer the strings, the more the recoil. As such, larger heads have larger sweet spots and generate more power.
The three balances of squash racquets are head heavy, head light, and even. You should already see this coming, but the difference between head heavy and head light determines whether the racquet is designed more for power or control.
A head heavy racquet will generate more power, but it will also help develop a fluid swing. A head light racquet will put more weight in the shaft and provides more control at the expense of power.
Evenly balanced racquets are fairly self-explanatory. However, balance is one of the areas where advanced players will generally opt for power, because it affects fewer other factors–like the sweet spot.
There are generally 3 categories of weight for squash racquets: light, medium, and heavy. Light racquets will weigh 130gm or less, while mediums racquets will weigh between 130-150gm.
Heavy racquets will weigh over 150gm but are better suited for the extremes of skill level–either absolute novice or master, though more the former than the latter. The weight of the racket will play to either the power or control, with weight providing power.
Light racquets may not generate as much power, but they offer a premium on control and are generally used by professionals or advanced players. Medium racquets, like evenly balanced racquets provide a good mix of power and control, but are often used by women, who do not generate as much power on their own as men, or intermediate male players.
The primary division in the materials of a squash racquet is between an aluminum and graphite composite. Aluminum is exceedingly heavy and not fit for players beyond the early beginner stage.
Beyond that, the graphite racquets will either contain titanium or carbon in them–though aerogel is an emerging option.
Titanium racquets tend to provide better control while balancing power, but they are also less durable. Carbon fiber racquets are lightweight, allowing solid control, yet firm to provide power.
The rigidity of the racquet will also determine its stiffness, though this is more of a player preference quality. Some players prefer the responsiveness and control of a more supple racquet, while others appreciate the power and vibratory information of stiffer racquets.
Both of these qualities generally refer to the thickness of different parts of the racquet. The beam relates to the general frame of the racquet while the grip obviously focuses on the racquet’s “handle.”
The beam will play a far more important role in the performance of the racquet itself, while the grip will influence how the racquet feels. As such, the grip is a secondary or even tertiary consideration.
Grips also come squared or rounded. Squared grips provide a sense of stability to some players, while others feel rounded grips allow more control while switching stroke positions.
The preferred thickness of the beam will often depend on the skill of the player. More advanced players generally prefer a thinner. Thin beams can be as narrow as 15mm, while thick beams can be as thick as 25mm.
However, like most qualities, beam thickness comes down to power or control. Thinner beams offer more control, whereas thicker beams offer more power. Still, advanced players often prefer to get their boost of power from the head, throat, and balance.
You should almost never use the strings the racquet comes with in a competition setting. These strings are rarely of a high quality and will often be made from nylon.
The string’s important qualities are the gauge and the texture. On the racquet, the string’s qualities are the pattern and the tension.
The thinner the string’s gauge, the more power, spin, and control it provides but the more likely it is to break as well. The texture of string gives the ball something to grip, and the more the better.
The tension of the string will provide more control but risk breaking the strings more. The pattern, or number of crosses, the strings make offer control for a denser pattern or power for a sparser pattern.
As you can see, there is no “best” racquet when it comes to squash. Different players will have different needs based on their skillset and preferred style of play.
If you are a beginner, then the Dunlop Blaze Pro Squash Racquet will give you an adequate racquet to acquaint yourself with the fundamentals of the game without taking too big a bite out of your wallet. However, this racquet quickly sours as you begin to develop even a moderate skill level.
Once you are ready to move up, there are few racquets better for the intermediate level than either the Prince Squash Airstick 130 Racquet or the Head Microgel CT 135 Corrugated Squash Racquet are right for you. The care taken to ensure that most features aim for a balance between power and control make them ideal for both intermediate players and advanced women players.
Still, if you are looking for a racquet you can take anywhere and play against anyone with, the Tecnifibre CarboFlex 125 or HEAD Nano Ti 110 are your best bets. Their focus of providing impressive power with an adequate control make them ideal for players who can control the game well enough with skill alone.