Info for Your Squashgame

head heavy or light

Published: 10 Dec 2007 - 09:24 by aprice1985

Updated: 20 Mar 2009 - 02:55

Subscribers: Log in to subscribe to this post.

Just wondering about people's opinions on what pros and cons there are to head heavy or head lights racquets give you.  I personally have always preferred head heavy but can't explain why, i just feel more in control with them.  Any one else any thoughts?

squash game squash extras How to add images to Members' Forum posts and replies here...


Please Note: The most recent replies are now at the top!

From Eddy01741 - 20 Mar 2009 - 02:55

Um, it's definitely not a gimmick, but do they exadgerate it to make it look like they vary their product lines more than they do, yes. It's like you said, they take a basic mold, and then they use that for one racquet, then they add on some weight in the handle and take some off from the head to make a head light model, vice versa for head heavy. So same racquet, same weight, just different distribution.


However, it's definitely substantial enough to be felt. Head heavy racquets take more force to get em moving, and are worse for those volleys where you rely only on your reaction time and reflexes, head light on the other hand, might feel heavier in your hand when your in the ready position, but it swings through really quick but delivers swing with less momentum (less weight in head, less momentum, which could end up giving you less power).


However, I do agree that it's what you like that counts, and that trying em out first is always a nice thing to do.

Back to top

From JON THE SQUASH A - 19 Mar 2009 - 09:53

ADZ you are very right what you said there,it is all down to how the racket feels as soon as you swing and strike the ball and if it does not feel right then find a racket that does.

To be fair to this debate about head heaviey and head light i do think these big racket companies just use this as advertising glimlick. Its really all down how you play the game weather its power or touch player and how the racket sits in your hand and it is under control in your hand.

I have played many top of the range rackets over the years Prince,Dunlop,Head,Browning you name it,and to be honist they are really all the same.They just spead the weight in defferrent parts of the rackets,and thats all there is to it. The important thing here is, make sure you try it out first and it works for YOU and that's what counts.

Back to top

From Good Length - 03 Feb 2009 - 08:35   -   Updated: 03 Feb 2009 - 08:48

 Okay here's my take on the matter..

There are 3 basic factors. the overall weight, the balance and the swingweight. The latter governs how heavy the racket will feel in your hand to swing and it's a function of the first two. The balance point (and therefore swingweight) makes a very big different to the overall feel of the racket. 

For example my M-fil pro (even 140g feels heavier than my 145g head light Aerogel Tour).

I suspect that the first thing most people judge a racket on (maybe without realising it) is the swingweight. And therefore lets say a 140g even racket feels perfect, then to the same person 150 g racket would need to be more headlight to feel right and a 120 g would need to be more head heavy.

However the balance point doesn't perfectly compensate for weight. For example a light racket with a head heavy balance may feel nice to start off, but for me it upsets my swing. I find that the imbalance of weight makes the head and the handle jockey for position as to which one should be leading. Almost like you use extra force to get the head moving but when you do it goes too fast so the handle lags behind and to have to keep adjusting as the swing goes through.  And also has a king of fly-swat feel that makes me swat the ball rather than play through it smoothly.  With an even or ever so slightly headlight frame, the racket swings in a very smooth arc and the swing feels a lot better balanced and natural and consistency and power are both easier to access.

But if a racket is too headlight it needs to be too heavy overall to feel right. My tennis racket for example is well over 300g but to swing it natural because it's very headlight.

So in summary what (to you) feels, too head heavy, too head light or spot on will vary depending on the weight and your general preference. There are a few other factors but I bet most people have an ideal weight and balance racket that pretty much feel right. Some of you will have found it, others won't (yet).

I also think that because head heavy and head light have become marketing tools, EVEN has started to sound like a compromise rather than an ideal!

Now even if thats all true there is one factor that changes everything... the grip has a major impact on balance for two reasons.

1) Depending on how much grip you put (added weight) on will significantly change the real balance

2) The thickness will change the perceived weight and therefor the balance irrespective of the extra weight because the thicker it is, the more leverage you have on the grip.

So if you tend to have a large grip, then there's a good chance you want a heavier or more headheavy racket as a starting point. (be interested to hear back on that one)

I'll highlight both the above points with my own experience:
I played with the m-fil Pro for a while and the balance and wight has always felt spot on or maybe a tiny bit heavy.
I changed to the Prince O3 Black but I noticed that at first the weight felt good but then it felt a little light yet head heavy (as above). So I tried adding a little bit of extra weight to the handle to balance it out. (just 5g). This was enough to transform the racket and it felt perfect. With the grip on and TF 305 1.2 string the balance point is now just on the P of prince about 1 cm from the powerring and a shade headlight. And inch or two from where it starts of new. Weight feels good, swing is smooth and easy and the head still feels very stable and the control and power are both insane.

However at one point I only had a Duo grip to put on which is thicker. With that on the racket felt so light / headlight it was unplayable. Totally ruined the balance and feel. Put a normal one back on and the balance is great again and it feels solid once more!

Interestingly I just bought a second O3 Black and strung it with TF 225 1.10. This time I used two heat shrink grip enlargers in place of the electrical tape. I measured the grip and it's the same size. And the balance point is identical. But the overall racket feels a surprising amount lighter!! But to start with I just had two grips on, which was thicker overall but not quite as heavy (the balance point was 1cm more head heavy) this felt a lot more headlight.

So I'm guessing that the 225 is a few grams lighter than the 305 and also the grip is too. I need to weigh both really but maybe 4g total difference feels like a lot. i can swap between them and they both swing the same because of the balance but the second feels lighter to swing and less solid when making contact with the ball! It also feel VERY close to the Aerogel Tour (same weight and balance point) which also feel just right.

So from trying some tweaks and by comparing the balance points of other rackets that feel right I now have a pretty good idea of what is perfect for me and can repeat it when i come to need new rackets (hopefully!).


Back to top

From bosartek - 11 Dec 2007 - 17:13   -   Updated: 02 Feb 2009 - 16:48

I agree with Sparty... I'll add two points here, one for Dunlop racquets and one for racquets in general:

1. I've demoed the entire new Dunlop line and agree about the Aerogel Ultimate, but I would add the following clarification... Dunlop always gives racquet balance and weight relative to an unstrung frame. The balance point of the Ultimate is head-light and is exactly the same as the Elite (same frame, but 3 grams heavier at 140g). However, the Ultimate has a stringing pattern (16x19) that is denser than that of the Elite (14x19). Apparently, the string from those two extra mains (esp. on the 17-gauge stock string) adds noticeable weight to the racquet head. Indeed, upon picking up the Ultimate for the first time, I found it head-heavy compared to the Elite (rather strange for a "head-light" racquet). I don't know if this was intentional, but Dunlop would need to tweak the balance to achieve a relative head-light feel (though I'm sure a restringing with higher gauge/ thinner string would make a difference here). For that reason, I actually prefer the Elite. Even though the Elite frame is slightly heavier, it feels better because of the string pattern and the resultant balance. I've always played with the Hotmelt Pro (140g, even balance [though it can feel slightly head-heavy and whippy at times]) and find the Aerogel Pro GT too light (137g, head-light). I'm not quite sure why Dunlop made the new Pro head-light and decreased the weight, but it leaves the racquet lacking in power, especially given the stiffer aerogel construction. It has a nice feel, but getting that extra bit of power for attacking/kill shots really takes its toll on your shoulders. The Tour (145g, extra head-light) generates more effortless power and has a more satisfying "pop" to it, but the added weight is noticeable. The Elite seems to be the best compromise as it is head-light but with a "standard" (i.e. for Dunlop) weight. Any loss of power from the head-light balance is at least made up for by the oversized head, so it works in this case. However, given a choice I would prefer the smaller head and, if the Pro were even-balanced (or heavier), it would likely be my choice.

In any case, that has been my experience with the new Dunlop line. All the more reason why you must try a racquet before buying it! The numbers tell you only so much, more important is how it feels to you and whether it complements your style of play.

2. I always recommend even-balance or head-heavy racquets with a larger head size for beginner/intermediate players. I agree that it ultimately comes down to personal preference and that there is no "wrong" choice, but there are disadvantages of lighter/head-light racquets for beginners. The following is an excerpt from "Squash: Steps to Success" by Philip Yarrow (a very solid resource and seminal read for the beginning squash player). The advice is of course general but quite sound:

"Today, we are seeing moves toward even lighter and stiffer rackets with larger racket-head sizes, but this kind of racket may not be the best type for you. Try out as many rackets as possible before buying one. You can generally swing lighter rackets faster, creating more power. This is only true, however, if you have a good swing. If you're just learning the game and don't consistently swing well, too light a racket could reduce your power. Rackets... can be head heavy, evenly balanced, or head light. A racket with a little flexibility can help increase power in your shots, but the trend today is definitely toward the control offered by stiffer frames. Beginners should definitely look for a racket with a large racket head. Often the same racket will be made in several different head sizes... A racket [with a larger head size] will give the beginner more power and reduce the chances of mis-hitting the ball. The large head size causes a loss in control, and a more experienced player will probably want a midsize head..."

Beyond that, preference all the way. Happy hitting!

Back to top

From nickhitter - 11 Dec 2007 - 06:45   -   Updated: 11 Dec 2007 - 06:46

Head heavy for me. Every time.

Most rackets are actually head heavy once you get the strings and bumper on. If they are genuinely head light I think they feel wierd. My mate has the new aerogel ultimate, that is classed as head light, but the balance point is actually nearer the head so it's not at all really. I don't know what else to say, a racket should feel head heavy! They must think that the word 'light' in the description helps to sell more! who knows they could be right!

Remember aswell that once the racket is in your hand then all rackets are head heavy - because you are holding it at one end! sounds obvious when you think about it. But regardless of that I still like a racket that is rated as head heavy too, so I guess I must like 'extra' head heavy in reality.


Back to top

From Adz - 10 Dec 2007 - 19:07

In theory, a head light racquet will give a faster reaction speed to a player, but less power (as less weight behind the racquet swing) for shots made at speed.

A heavier racquet will be slower to wield, but have a lot more power due to the extra weight. However, speed does play a huge part in both of these areas.

The first thing to look at is the player's reaction speed. Is this speed sufficient even if using a heavier racquet? If it is, then why change for a head light racquet unless looking to increase speed even further. With a fast enough reaction speed and reasonable arm strength, it shouldn't really matter if a racquet is 110g or 210g! But most people find their prefered balance around the 130g - 160g mark.

I for one always prefered an even-balanced racquet which became head light when I added a second grip, but recently I have changed to a more head light frame (Dunlop Aerogel Tour). I find the slightly heavier racquet (145g) mixed with the head light design give a great mix of power and manouverability.

One thing I would stress is that balance in racquets is completely down to the players preference. No body is wrong in their choices, and you should always play with what makes you feel comfortable to get the best out of your game.


Back to top

Sorry, only members can post replies on this and all other Members` Forum items.

Join Here - It`s fast and it`s free!

Check other member benefits here...

Support Squashgame

Support us here at! If you think we helped you, please consider our Squash Shop when purchasing or make a small contribution.

Products Now Available

US Squash Shop



Squash Balls


Squash Rackets

Sport and Leisure

Video Games