Power, Control, and Balance: Weighty Racquet Questions
Many of the new racquets for 2011-2012 IRT season are making their way into courts near you and this is one of the best years in a while to consider upgrading from that outdated racquet. The big question is which racquet in your favorite brand’s line should you choose? In many sports, fans will look to the pros to determine which equipment is the best, and this is more applicable in racquetball than most sports.
Racquetball is one of the few sports where the pro players use the same equipment as the amateurs, and I’m not talking about using a racquet painted the same, but the exact same racquet. In tennis for example, the ever-popular parallel to racquetball, the pros have their racquets fully customized from handle to head to their exact weight, balance, and tension preference and often the pros are not even using the racquet you think they are (Andre Agassi used to used a Prince painted to look like a Head).
While there are many factors that affect these picky tennis pros like court surface, spin, weather, and stroke style, racquetballers don’t have to worry about the same conditions, which allows you to be thankful for the down to earth pro players and gives you the comfort in knowing you are getting the same racquet your favorite player is using (which you can check up on in our IRT Pro Player Gallery).There are still some things you can do though to fine-tune your racquet to your exact preference. Let’s dive in a little deeper…
Racquet Weight & Balance:
The combination of strung weight and balance will determine the Swing Weight of the racquet, a great indicator of how it will feel and play.
• Higher strung weight + More head weight (head heavy) = higher Swing Weight
• Lower strung weight + less head weight (head light) = lower Swing Weight
In general, a higher swing weight generates more power, while a lower swing weight will be more maneuverable. These values are most commonly customized using lead weight tape, which can placed in various locations in various amounts to fine tune your racquet to an exact swing weight. This is especially important for those who carry back up racquets and need to switch mid match for a seamless switch without the need to adjust your timing or swing.
Ektelon has also added customizing options to many of their O3 and EXO3 racquets, allowing you to adjust the weight and balance of your racquet to your playing style. Check them out on our website to see what the different options are.
String & Tension
Your strings will always wear out before your racquet, so it is important to change them out regularly. Different string gauges can affect your overall weight, but have a much larger effect on your power and control. Here are the basic rules:
• Higher gauge string (thinner) = More pop / More response / More power• Lower gauge string (thicker) = More durable
• Higher tension = More control• Lower tension = More power
The type of string will also greatly affect the feel of your racquet but with all of the options from manufacturers, it can get a little complicated. To read about the different types of string, please visit our Learning Center.
At Racquetball Warehouse we always strive to increase equipment education for all players. By offering the lowest prices available and the most comprehensive information database, we make sure every customer gets the best bang for their buck and the best understanding of their equipment. And for those who could care less and just want to play, well that is just fine with us too.
The Racquetball Warehouse is a partner with the men’s professional International Racquetball Tour.