Basic Squash Equipment Explained
Most of the equipment used by squash players is also used by racquetball players. There are a few differences which we'll explain below. The key is understanding why each piece of equipment is important. In this article, we'll describe squash balls and racquets as well as protective eyewear, shoes and gloves. Afterwards, you'll be ready to make an investment in the equipment that is best-suited for you.
Squash balls come with different levels of "bounce." These levels are noted by colored dots on the surface of the ball. For example, a ball with two yellow dots has the lowest level of "bounce" while a ball with one blue dot has the highest level. There are three other levels of bounce in between that are noted by one yellow dot, one green dot, or one red dot. The amount of bounce in the ball is reflected in how active the ball is during play. Typically, veteran players prefer a ball with very little bounce. They can set up corner shots that kill the ball's momentum and make a legal return difficult for their opponents.
Most squash racquets are made from graphite and titanium. They're light to hold and offer players more control of their swing. The racquets come with a variety of head sizes. Beginning players should buy a racquet with a larger head because the sweet spot is bigger. That said, experienced players usually prefer a smaller racquet. Though the sweet spot is smaller, these players' accuracy can compensate. Plus the smaller heads provide more control for skilled players.
Though wearing protective goggles during play isn't mandatory, it's a good idea to do so. If a ball is hit properly (with the racquet's sweet spot), it can travel at speeds up to 130 mph. A ball with a high level of bounce can travel even faster. If such a shot hits a player directly in the eye, it can cause long-lasting nerve damage. Though goggles may feel uncomfortable at first, you'll quickly grow accustomed to wearing them.
Finding The Right Shoes
There are two primary keys to buying the right pair of squash shoes: comfort and traction. First, your shoes should fit comfortably without feeling too snug or loose. You'll be moving quickly on the court. Any discomfort will impact your game. Second, squash shoes are typically designed to provide a high level of traction. During play, you'll change directions moment by moment. Shoes with traction allow you the flexibility to chase difficult shots more easily.
Gloves For A Better Grip
If you're playing for more than a few minutes, your racquet hand will sweat. While the grip of your racquet can absorb some of the wetness, it's not enough to prevent slippage. A squash glove (you only need to wear one on your racquet hand) will prevent you from losing your grip on your racquet from the moisture. Buy a glove that fits snugly, allows plenty of flexibility and is ventilated so your racquet hand can breathe.
Making The Investment
Buying the right equipment can be expensive. The right racquet, shoes, goggles, glove and balls can easily cost $200. But, it's a worthwhile investment. If you purchase cheap equipment in order to save a few dollars, you'll likely find that the equipment hampers your ability to compete. Your shoes may not have enough traction. Your glove may fall apart. Your goggles might obscure your vision. Invest the money to purchase good equipment. It'll last a long time and you'll be able to compete more aggressively.