The sport of racquetball is dramatically different from tennis, pickleball and badminton. It's the walls. All six of them, including the floor and ceiling come into and influence shot making, strategy, and equipment selection.

TIPS FOR BUYING A RACQUETBALL RACQUET

With radical advances in design and technology, racquets have undergone a radical transformation in materials, shape, and even string layouts. The current generation of racquets hits the ball harder with more control than ever before.

SIX FACTORS TO CONSIDER IN BUYING A RACQUET

There are six major factors to consider when purchasing a racquetball racquet: weight, balance, shape, grip, strings, and manufacturer unique features.

Weight

Weight is probably the most important factor in buying a racquet. While there is no universally accepted standard for weight classifications, generally speaking anything at or under 165 grams is considered lightweight. Midweight is 170 to 185 grams. Heavyweight is anything over 185 grams. Manufacturers will often have a series of racquets where the only fundamental difference between the racquets is the weight.

Lightweight racquets are great for maneuverability but are not very good at generating power. Therefore, players who generate their own power by swinging hard can consider these weights. They do have one major disadvantage: stress on the arm and shoulder. Players with a history of issues like tennis elbow would be well advised to avoid this category.

Midweight racquets are the most popular sellers for obvious reasons. They provide a balance of power and control without a tendency to stress arms.

Heavyweight racquets will generate power particularly for those who do not generate a great deal of swing speed. These racquets are often favored by older and novice players.

"Weight is probably the most important factor in buying a racquet."


Balance

Just as with other racquet sports, racquetball racquets can be viewed as head heavy, balanced, or head light. Since all racquets now are 22 inches long, the mid point is 11 inches from the end of the handle. Each one eighth of an inch is a “point.” So a racquet that is two points head heavy has a midpoint 11 and two eighths inches away from the end of the handle.

Head heavy racquets will generate a bit more power. Lightweight racquets are often head-heavy attempting to compensate for the overall lack of power. Heavyweight racquets are usually balanced or slightly head heavy as it would not make sense to destroy the inherent power of a heavy racquet by making it head light. Balanced racquets can be anything from head light to head heavy.

Shape

Racquetball racquets fundamentally are either tear drop shape or squared off shape. Today’s racquets are almost all tear drop shaped as the sweet spot in this design is larger.

Grip

The size of a grip is different than with tennis or other sports’ grips. Nearly all grips are made at size 3 ⅝. This is smaller than tennis or pickleball in general. This is because the typical shot in racquetball requires a very quick wrist action facilitated by the relatively small grip size. There are some smaller and some larger sizes to accommodate players with hand sizes requiring this adjustment.

Grip shape can be either squared off or round. Most players prefer the angles in a squared off configuration. Factory installed grips will wear out and should be replaced annually.

Strings

All of the same principles that apply to tennis strings apply here too. However, racquetball strings are engineered differently. These strings are simply designed to generate power - not spin. In addition, since tennis is played outside and inside, things like UV protection come into the process. Not so with the indoor sport of racquetball.

Racquets come with strings installed. But replacing them relatively quickly is not unusual. Concepts such as string gauge (diameter) and tension (how tight the strings are installed in the frame) are important here. However, in order to generate more power, racquetball strings are installed with a substantially lower tension than tennis racquets.

Manufacturers Unique Features

Different makers have created unique technologies to separate themselves from other companies. Here is a partial list of these features:

  • Carbon fiber frames: While carbon is now found in many applications, it is fairly new to racquetball. It has the effect of stiffening frames and possibly increasing the size of sweet spots.
  • Oversized holes for strings: The theory here is larger holes give the strings more room to give when the ball hits the strings thereby generating more power.
  • Dampening technology: The use of inserts or unique bridges for strings to pass through are thought to reduce vibrations and increase control.


PRICING FOR RACQUETS

As innovation and space age materials and technology have come to racquetball, prices have drifted upward. Quality racquets can start at around $30 but consumers are demanding the features that quickly get the price over $100 and often reaching $250.

Tennisracquets.com maintains a big selection of racquets to give consumers the maximum range of choices. Call us with questions as we are happy to clarify any confusion. Don’t forget to get your balls here and accessories too!


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