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Help me choose the best alternative racquet

Published: 03 Nov 2009 - 07:43 by squashfan

Updated: 19 Nov 2009 - 20:43

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Hi guys I was hoping you could help me..

I have been playing squash for approximately two years now and I have the opportunity of getting a new racquet. I have narrowed the selection down to four possibles.

1. Head Liquidmetal Raptor

2. Wilson nFlash

3. Wilson N145

4. Dunlop Blackstorm 500 graphite.

All are approximately the same price and I just can't decide between them.. I have heard that Head Racquets tend to be rather fragile. Which, in your opinion, is the best racquet in terms of manufacturer and if you've played with any of them performance.

Thanks

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From DaveF - 19 Nov 2009 - 20:43

Squashfa, I am based in Cape Town and at my clubshop (WPCC) you can trial racquets on the courts. Pretty handy service, although prices are average at best. Let me know if you want more details.

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From squashfan - 06 Nov 2009 - 01:48   -   Updated: 06 Nov 2009 - 01:49

Ok I think I have decided on the nFlash.. I hope it is the right choice. Thanks for the advice everyone.

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From rippa rit - 04 Nov 2009 - 13:14   -   Updated: 04 Nov 2009 - 13:16

Hi Adz - you been missing a while.  That new daughter must have stopped you in your stride!! easily. Actually I have just recently discussed this Technical Paper discussion topic with Ray, and previously as well, and yet nothing has really come of it...not only on rackets but other relevant topics from specialised writers...and it is on the list, but that list never seems to be getting finished, and in fact bearly started.  It would need some setting up and not just be something that gets lost in the forum articles either...already there would be at least half a dozen lost into the forum replies.

As soon as I can get hold of Ray, to think the whole concept through, we will be in touch.  Meantime previous forum articles can be retrieved.  Your prompting might now get it under way...there is so much on Ray's plate and so little time to justify.......you know the scoop!

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From Adz - 03 Nov 2009 - 23:17

Ah..... now we're talking!!

 

Racquet composition is rarely 100% of the model quoted. Graphite is a perfect example..... a racquet made of 100% graphite would be so brittle that it would fracture from simply hitting the ball with force! To get around this, every (he says with confidence ) racquet is actually made from a composite blend of materials and manufacturing techniques.

Dunlops are a prime example of this. The Black Max mould has been around for quite a few years. In fact I was using the same mould in a racquet probably about 10 years ago!! The latest model in this mould that seems to be on the market is the Blackstorm, but before this was the c-max and before that one of the black max models. As for the differences in the make-up of the racquets I think it best that you look at the Prince models to help answer the questions.....

The basic power-ring design has been used for many different models, and in certain areas of the frame there are strengthening sections using a blend of different materials (often manufacturers will highlight this in there technical adverts).

There still are cases where extra bits are added to existing designs, but quite often the new models, in the same style as older ones, only consist of minor changes to the manufacture.

Has anyone else noticed that despite massive fluxuations in the price of titanium, racquets caliming to be "titanium" don't change that much in price? If that was the primary material then the racquet prices would alter dramatically. Also titanium is quite a heavy, rigid material meaning 100% titanium would weight much more than graphite and the feedback would be horrendous.

Some classic materials used (and advertised) in manufacture are:

Graphite

Carbon (isn't this virtually the same thing?)

Tungsten

Titanium

Boron

Kevlar

Aerogel (the new "buzz-word" in manufacture!)

 

Hope that helps....... and Rita, I'm wondering whether to start a single thread on general racquet advice? Any objections? Basics on what they're made of, how they differ and the buying/trying process? Ideally to keep things general and easy for people new to the technology side of the game? Thoughts?

 

Cheers

 

Adz

 

 

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From rippa rit - 03 Nov 2009 - 21:01

According to the squashgame shop there are three different models of Dunlop Black Max with three different compositions, ie carbon, graphite, and titanium.  Just to make you more confused!

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From squashfan - 03 Nov 2009 - 20:26

Thanks Adz

However I'm in South Africa and the sellers here do not (as far as I know) have any programs where racquets can be demo'd before buying.. We are far behing when it comes to customer satisfaction and this may be due to lack of competition in the sporting goods industry.

 

Two more questions though, is there a difference between a Dunlop Blackmax and a Blackstorm? They seem identicle but prices do differ.. And what is the playing characteristic difference between titanium and graphite racquets?

 

Thanks a lot for your help

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From Adz - 03 Nov 2009 - 19:36

Hi squashfan,

 

You're right about the reputation of the Head racquets, but all of them will break if you hit them against the wall hard enough! In terms of performance you really need to try the racquets for yourself to know which is best for you, but in terms of manufacture they'll all be of a similar standard as they are all mid-range models from the respective manufacturers.

Hope this helps!

Adz

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