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Selecting a racquetball racquet can be an overwhelming and time-consuming process because there are so many options and so many different factors to consider.
It doesn’t have to be this hard, though!
While there is a lot to think about and several things to test out, this can be a positive experience because you are choosing the tool that will help you improve your game and become a better racquetball player.
Read on to learn more about how to choose a racquetball racquet and which factors to pay close attention to as you move forward.
Why choosing a racquet is important
A racquet is the main tool you will use during a game of racquetball.
While practice and drills and experience are all important in helping you become the best player you can be, those things can only get you so far if your tool is a hindrance to you.
There are various types of racquets available on the market that are all catered to different playstyles, skill levels, and preferences.
Obviously not each racquet is going to be a good fit for each player because there is so much variance in the way that people play.
Selecting a racquet is an important decision because if you choose one that is not suited for you, it will give you a significant disadvantage on the court.
As a result, you want to make sure that you choose a racquet that feels comfortable and natural in your hand, almost as if it is an extension of your arm.
This comfort will ultimately help enhance your game.
How to choose a racquetball racquet
When choosing a racquet, there are a lot of factors involved that affect how the racquet feels in your hand.
Let’s discuss the most important factors to consider when selecting a racquet.
The weight of the racquet affects how much power, maneuverability, and control you have in your swing.
There are three different weight categories: light, medium, and heavy.
A racquet in the light category weighs 150-165 grams.
These racquets are best for professionals who have developed power in their own swing without needing to gain power from the racquet itself.
This type of racquet will allow those with more experience to show off their skill and technique and are particularly ideal for someone who has a fast swing.
Light racquets are not recommended for players have previously suffered an arm or shoulder injury because the amount of power needed to swing a light racquet could potentially lead to further injury.
A medium racquet weighs between 170 and 185 grams.
This is the most commonly used because it has great balance and control; it gives players with a moderate swing a little extra power.
Due to the popularity of racquets in this category, this is likely the type you will see sold most often at sporting goods stores.
Heavy weight racquets weigh 185 grams and higher.
Racquets in this weight class are great for slow swingers and help make up for a lack of power in one’s swing.
As a result, this category of racquet is best for beginners or for older players who transition from a powerful game to a more controlled game.
This racquet will also benefit those who have previous injuries from using lighter racquets.
The downside to a heavy weight racquet is that it is not as flexible to use.
Think of balance as the way that the racquet feels in your hand before you ever try to hit the ball.
The balance of the racquet affects the power and maneuverability of the swing.
When referring to balance, a racquet can be head heavy, head light, or evenly balanced.
When a racquet is head heavy, there is more weight at the top of the racquet.
This added weight on top increases the swing weight and speed, which helps a player increase the power behind their swing.
As you would expect, this type of racquet can feel a bit heavy and awkward and takes some getting used to.
When a racquet is head light, there is more weight in the handle than at the top.
This makes the racquet feel lighter overall and makes it easier to maneuver and control.
A head light racquet works well for a front court player and for a player that relies more on control than heavy hitting.
An evenly balanced racquet means that the weight is in the center of the racquet.
This is a combination of the other two because it gives you both power and control all in one. Evenly balanced racquets are the best to use for customization.
The swing weight is defined by a combination of the weight and balance. This is the easiest way to compare two racquets side by side.
A high swing weight produces high power with the least amount of effort.
Players that rely on power generally hit passes, kills, and down the line shots, and usually prefers to play from the backcourt.
Beginners are also usually in tis swing weight category because they have not yet learned proper control.
A low swing weight is better for control. These racquets have less momentum in the swing which makes it easier to make quick adjustments.
A player in this category uses more strategic ball placement, such as lobs, ceiling balls, and pinches.
A medium swing weight provides both power and control. These are easy for most people to use because they are the most balanced.
A player in this category uses both power and control to their advantage.
It’s important to consider the grip on a racquetball racquet. A smaller grip size is about 3 5/8 inches. A smaller grip sizes allows you to snap your wrist more; for experienced players, this can give their swing more power.
A larger grip size is 3 7/8 to 3 15/16. The larger size is better for people with bigger hands, and a larger grip can also help prevent injury.
Using too small of a grip can cause pain in your elbow and wrist from over clenching.
Many players choose to add a new grip to their racquet to make it more comfortable.
A wrap grip is a faux leather strap that players can wrap around the handle of their racquet.
This allows a player to get to the desired thickness since they are wrapping it themselves.
Wrap grip is beneficial because it has added absorption to absorb the moisture from your hands.
It does not usually hold up as well as a rubber grip, though.
A rubber grip looks like a rubber tube that you slide over the racquet handle, and it is kept in place using adhesive.
This type of grip breaks a little more easily than a wrap grip and does not absorb moisture as well.
Racquets come already strung when you buy them at the store, and most people use the strings the way that they come.
As you start to play more, though, you wear the strings in and start to lose the tension that was originally there.
When the strings loosen, you lose some of the control and power that you have when the strings are tight.
As a result, it may become necessary to get your racquet restrung.
More experienced players may opt to do this even before the strings wear out because they prefer a different level of tension.
When it comes to tension, higher tension strings are stiffer and provide more control.
Lower tension strings are looser and can help you get additional power.
You should also consider gauges, which is how thick the strings are.
A lower gauge is a thicker string which is more durable.
A higher gauge is thinner which gives more bounce to the ball but tends to break faster than lower gauge.
Racquets come in a variety of brands with different features, so there can be quite a range when it comes to cost.
Decide what price range you can afford and stick to finding a racquet in that range.
One option for saving money on a racquet is to purchase a model from a previous year instead of buying the newest one.
Advanced players may be able to tell the difference in the technology from year to year, but more inexperienced players likely will not feel the difference.
Also, if you are new to the sport, try to get something durable so that you will not have to replace your racquet very often.
While there is a lot of information in this article, you should hopefully have a better idea of how to go about selecting a racquet.
If you are a beginner, you may still feel overwhelmed by all of the elements you have to look for.
The best strategy to use is simply to go to the store and test them out for yourself.
Reading about how a racquetball racquet should feel in your hand can be confusing, but actually feeling it will make all of these instructions much clearer.
Don’t be afraid to test out several different racquets and ask questions of the employees because the racquet you choose will help lead you to success in future games.