Nothing boosts the confidence and performance of a racquetball player like showing up to the court with the right tools for the job. You can be the best racquetball player but end up losing games because of the wrong equipment.
Contrary to common belief, buying the right racquetball equipment does not mean going for the most expensive pieces on the market. Instead, it means finding something that enhances your speed, agility, and overall swing. This applies to all racquetball gear including the racquet, shoes, and gloves.
So, how do you choose the right racquetball equipment?
Choosing the Right Racquetball Equipment
1. The Racquet
A racquetball racquet is the most important equipment of all, and should, therefore, be chosen carefully. Here’s what you should consider:
The weight of your racquet dictates the amount of power you generate with your swing and ball control. The three classes of racquet weight are; light (164 grams or lower), medium (165 to 174 grams) and heavy racquets (175 grams and above).
To choose the most suitable weight category, determine your swing speed and let it guide your choice. If your swing is fast, go for a light racquet. If you have a slow swing, a heavy racquet may work better for you.
There are two categories in this regard – the head heavy and head light racquets. Head heavy racquets bear more weight at the top of the racquet and are best suited for players looking to improve their swing weight, power, and speed. In most cases, they are used for practice.
Head light racquets bear most of their weight at the handle or throat. When held, they feel lighter than their head heavy counterparts. If you play at the front court most of the time and need more mobility, this is the racquet for you.
The swing weight of the racquet is crucial to your gameplay. A racquet can have a low, medium, or high swing weight.
Low swing weight racquets are suitable for players who need more finesse and control in their game. High swing weight racquets, on the other hand, allow you to generate a lot of power with little effort. Medium swing weight racquets deliver the perfect balance of power and control and are, therefore, the best choice for most players.
You can choose either a small or medium grip racquet. A small grip racquet offers more wrist snap, which adds more power to your shots. However, if the grip is too small, you predispose yourself to injuries and wrist pain. To be on the safe side, go with a medium sized grip.
All in all, make sure you get the grip size that works best for you.
High string tension racquets offer more ball control, while lower tension racquets deliver more power. The choice here depends on what you need to add to your gameplay.
2. Racquetball Shoes
Due to the intensity of the game, ensure you buy gum-rubber soled shoes. They provide a firm grip on the slick surface of the court, preventing dangerous slips.
The color of your shoes’ sole is also important. Brightly colored shoe soles tend to streak the court and are, therefore, not suitable for the court.
In addition, check the type of traction on your shoe soles to ensure that they won’t carry any debris or dirt to the court – even the smallest particles can cause a dangerous slip.
If you do not have shoes specifically designed for racquetball, you can use basketball or volleyball shoes since both sports are played on a court similar to a racquetball’s court. Do not wear tennis or running shoes, they lack the necessary grip required for the court.
3. Racquetball Gloves
When buying racquetball gloves, consider the following:
- Durability: Racquetball gloves made from sheepskin leather are the most durable pieces for racquetball.
- Breathability: Gloves with a mesh backing are more ventilated but have low absorption, fit, and padding. However, there are a few exceptions like Lycra and neoprene which have good ventilation, fit, and absorption.
- Stickiness: Gloves with maximum grip prevent slipping, but slow you down when switching from forehand to backhand grip. Consider buying synthetic leather gloves. They may not have the stickiness of genuine leather, but they deliver enough grip while allowing adequate racquet control.
- Padding: Highly padded gloves are suitable for players who dive a lot during the game. However, more padding comes at the expense of breathability and lightweight.
In addition to the above considerations, always factor in your budget when buying racquetball equipment. Set your budget and let it guide your choices, and not the other way round.
Also, do enough research before making a purchase. Pay attention to what customers say about a particular product.