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Racquet head shapes...

Published: 23 Jan 2010 - 10:51 by Treppy

Updated: 07 Dec 2012 - 08:13

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Hi, I'm getting "back" into squash after about 20 years (last played as a kid) and I've noticed that the racquet heads have changed dramatically.  I used to use a wooden racquet with a round/oval head.  The ones from about 10 years ago I occasionally see selling on ebay still sort of have a round head, but one that's been elongated.  And of course the newest ones have the long teardrop shape.

Can anyone tell me why there was such a change in that time?  Did the rules change, allowing more racquet area?  To me they look like elongated racquetball racquets rather than the classic squash racquets I remember from my youth.

I assume the newer ones have a larger sweet spot.  Are the old designs so antiquated that no one in his right mind would use them?  And I don't mean the wood racquets necessarily, because I'm sure they're obsolete, but the roundish head design.

Is there some sort of online "squash museum" that shows the evolution of these racquet shapes?  I think that would be interesting.

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From djmarwan - 07 Dec 2012 - 08:13   -   Updated: 07 Dec 2012 - 08:13

 Wilson was also the main racket makers in squash in the UK.  I played pro about 25 years ago and won a tournemt in Qatar with a Wilson Pro Staff 300 and 320.  Still own those rackets and just getting back into squash and thinking about using those over again till i buy me a newer modern style racket.  What would you suggest i buy for a pro racket?? and where do you recommend i shop, any specific websites you know of?  

 

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From davpen - 10 Mar 2010 - 17:18

The increase in head sizes and the different shapes is purely down to modern materials. The elongated shapes have really come about as new materials have allowed makers to stretch out the frames to the limit the rules allow. These new sizes and shapes are just not possible with wood (or at least not with any reasonable weight).

No one would seriously use an old frame these days. Modern frames are much lighter, more powerful and much more forgiving due to a much larger sweet spot. I started with a wooden frame (complete with toweling grip)  way back when and I would never go back. You would have to prise my modern racket from my cold dead fingers.

If you prefer a more tradition shape the closest you will get these days is something like Dunlop's Pro frames (470cm oval). But they will still look like grossly over size if you last used a wooden racket.

 

 

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From liamnolan - 25 Jan 2010 - 07:26

I started squash in the old wooden racket days and just managed buy a Maxply Fort SG in 1985 as the new graphite racket revolution really took off, so too late for me to enjoy the premier squash racket!

Larger head size means more power and sought after by players who may not have touch but who value the power available to them for little effort.

Good forum may drop in now and then, good luck to all, Liam www.ukrsa.com

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From Adz - 25 Jan 2010 - 05:51

Right now this will show how much attention I paid to this stuff growing up.....

The evolution of the squash racquet.......

I think I started to play just about the time when the first fibreglass and aluminium squash racquets were becoming mainstream in the UK, which was around 23 years ago. Please keep in mind I was 5 going on 6 at the time!!

Most people were using small headed wooden racquets, and the more advanced club members were just begining to change into the first graphite racquets around. Dunlop and Grays were leading the way in the UK at this point, but all that was about to change as along came the prince extender range.....

This was one of the first mainsteam teardrop racquets and at a guess I'd say the head was about 400cm2. This brought Prince mainstream dominance in squash and really paved the way for them to take prime position in the racquet market, a position they still hold alongside Dunlop at the moment. Alongside prince I remember there being lots of Browning branded racquets about, and I was lucky enough to own a S4 Interceptor.

The next big development that I remember was the Head Genesis 440 racquets. The Genesis was an oval shape and as the name suggests it pushed the bounderies up to a 440cm2 headsize!

Somewhere just after this time came Prince with the Oversize range, clocking in arounf the 470cm2 mark in an enlarged teardrop shape. Around the same time Slazenger made the Mystique which I seem to recall being the most purchased model in UK history. I think everyone I knew had one at some point. Except me!!  (But my sister had one!!)

Then came Dunlop with the very first "Pro" racquet. This mould would go on to be the most popular racquet in squash history. Copied over the year by most "tertiary" companies, it uses an oval 470cm2 head and each model variation is reassuringly marketed as "The No.1 Racquet on the PSA tour". To date I've owned 8 different model variations.

 

Now modern day we have racquets up as big as 500cm2 which are quite the norm! Most pro racquets are around the 470cm2 mark as this tends to be the optimum size for power and control, although there are so many variations on head size and stringing pattern that you can get quite a few options.

 

I've often wanted to design my own range of racquets, so I've done my research on models, string patterns, materials (not as much variation on this one as you might think) etc....  Interesting stuff if you're a tech-geek like me!!

 

Maybe you can find something online about the development history?

 

Cheers

 

Adz

 

 

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From rippa rit - 23 Jan 2010 - 13:16

True, the rackets have changed a lot just as tennis rackets have also.  In fact all sporting equipment has now embraced the new technology, eg golf clubs, etc.  The speed of the game has increased due to the equipment/technology.  There is a greater variety of strings also. Rackets have got lighter and stronger with the introduction of titanium, graphite, etc.  Probably the earliest change to squash rackets came when fibreglass was first introduced onto the market and used in manufacture, and from then on it has gone beserk with all types of composite materials used in the extrusion of frames.  Only buy the old type of frame if it is to hang in the rumpus room for old time sake. 

The best place to pick up old fashioned rackets is at Cash Converters, and they seriously market them at $10!!

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