Editors Choice

Best Squash Racket [UK Buyers Guide]

Having the best squash racquet around won’t suddenly turn you into the best squash player around.  It will, however, help you to play the best squash game you can possibly play.  In practical terms, this means that, if you’re serious about the game, you want to get the best racquet you can afford for your level of play.

PlAY SQUASH

What you should consider when choosing the best squash racquet for you

The very cheapest squash racquets are really only means for occasional, leisure play.  If that’s all you want, then just head to any mainstream retailer and check which of their budget-level racquets get the best reviews.  Once you get into racquets for serious play, then the quality of the squash racquet itself is only half the story.  The other half is how well its design matches your playing style.  Here are the key points you should consider.

Weight

Squash racquets generally weigh between 110g and 145g.  Generally, their weight will be stated in their name.  For completeness, this is usually the weight of the “bare” racquet, i.e. without the strings, gromets etc.  This means that actual “playing weight” will be a few grams heavier than the stated weight but this will be the same for everyone.

Lighter racquets are best suited to players who base their game on speed.  Shaving off a few grams means the racquet can move more quickly and those little differences add up, especially in a super-fast game like squash.  Heavier racquets are better suited to a more traditional style of play where players have a slower swing.

NB: if you’re buying a racquet for an enthusiastic junior, then a light adult racquet could be a great choice.  The lightest adult racquet we’ve been able to find is the Karakal SN 90 FF.  This is a premium racquet for an adult and far pricier than most junior racquets, but if your child is taking squash really seriously, it could be a great option for them.

Balance

In terms of squash racquets, balance essentially means how the weight of the racquet is divided between the head and the body.  These days, racquets which are weighted in the body are the usual choice of pro players as they can be maneuvered at speed – if you know what you’re doing.  If you don’t they are brutal to (try to) control.

Intermediate players might want to think of getting a racquet which is equally balanced between the head and the body.  These offer a nice balance between maneuverability and speed.  Beginners might want to stick with “head-heavy” racquets as these are much easier to control.

SQUASH RACKET

Throat shape

Open-throat squash are often called “teardrop” squash racquets, which refers to their shape.  They have a larger playing area, meaning a larger sweet spot and are therefore easier to control.  The fact that they have more strings also makes them somewhat more powerful.

Closed-throat squash racquets essentially have an extra bar near where the head meets the body with the result that the head is shortened from a tear shape to an oval, almost a circle.  These closed-throat squash racquets offer a higher degree of control, but only if you have the skill to use it.

Beam width

Beams tend to be in the region of 16mm to 21mm and as you’ve probably guessed by now, thinner beams are lighter and more maneuverable but thicker beams can be more forgiving.

Strings

Beginner racquets tend to come with strings made out of basic synthetic gut.  If you’re on a budget, you could consider buying an entry-level racquet so you can play and then upgrading the strings.  Be aware that higher-quality strings may actually have a shorter lifespan than the cheap ones because they “play” more, in other words, they do a better job of transmitting the feel of the ball.

As a rule of thumb, higher-priced racquets will generally come with better strings, but the strings used may change.  For example the Tecnifibre Carboflex 125 S initially came with 303+ strings and now comes with DNMAX strings.

In addition to deciding on your strings, you also need to decide on your tension.  The standard tension range is usually between 26lbs and 28lbs.  Lower tensions deliver more power, higher tensions deliver more control.

A note on grip

Unlike in some other sports, the grips on squash racquets tend to be fairly standard.  If you have very large or very small hands, however, you may be able to switch out the grips or use overgrips.

Best Squash Racket

Our pick of the best squash racquets

We’ve based this round up on a combination of performance and price and we’ve tried to include options for different skill levels and styles of play.

Black Knight Ion Cannon

Black Knight Ion Cannon
  • Weight 130g
  • Balance 375 (Marginally head heavy)
  • Throat Open

Black Knight make some of the most popular squash racquets around and the Ion Cannon is their flagship model.  Basically this is a nice, workhorse squash racket, it doesn’t have any real negatives, although it’s famous for using very distinctive grips, which you either love or hate.  If you hate them, you can always change them.

Overall, however, this is your classic “nice squash racquet at a nice price”.  It’s durable, comes with decent strings and offers a nice balance between power and control with minimal vibration.  You’re highly unlikely to see this squash racquet being used by the pros (although it was designed with help from one), but you’ll see it a lot in club locker rooms, generally being carried by decent recreational players who love its value for money.

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BLACK KNIGHT Ion Cannon Squash Racket

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Harrow Vapor

Harrow Vapor
  • Weight 140g
  • Balance 380mm (Even)
  • Throat Closed

First of all, let’s deliver the bad news.  This racquet is expensive and has a bit of a reputation for being very easy to break. 

In spite of this, it’s a very popular option because it has a very large sweet spot, which means it’s almost as forgiving as an open-throat squash racquet but offers a lot more control.  It also has nice rigidity with minimal vibrations, both of which improve control even further.

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Harrow Vapor Squash Racquet (Black/Lime/White) [Misc.] by Harrow

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HEAD Extreme 120

HEAD Extreme 120
  • Weight 120g
  • Balance 370mm (Head heavy)
  • Throat Open

From one extreme to the other, Head Extreme 120 is a great value-for-money option for committed beginners and should see them through to intermediate play.

This squash racquet was clearly designed with singles play in mind, which is completely understandable given that it’s by far the more popular form of the game.  It’s a bit too light for doubles where the players have extra time to make their shots and therefore tend to hit a lot harder.

The shape of the handle is also more rectangular than square, which may take some adjustment.  As far as we could tell, this appears to be purely an aesthetic choice.  On the plus side, there is minimal vibration.  It also seems to be very durable (if kept for singles play).

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Head Extreme 120 Squash Racquet

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Last update was in: December 11, 2019 5:48 pm
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Head Graphene XT Radical MP

Head Graphene XT Radical MP
  • Weight 295g
  • Balance 320mm (Slightly body heavy)
  • Throat Closed

The Head Graphene XT Radical MP is absolutely nothing like it’s more famous relative the  Head Graphene Touch Radical (as wielded by Karim Darwish).  In fact, it’s almost its mirror image.  Where the Touch was super-light and all about precision, the XT is one hefty beast and all about belting out shots which are just too much for your opponent to handle.

Interestingly the Touch is actually head heavy whereas the XT is balanced slightly towards the body, which, together with the closed throat means that this squash racquet can actually be used with more precision than you might expect given its heft.  We do, however, suspect, that most of the people who buy this squash racquet will value its sheer, brute force.

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HEAD Graphene XT Radical MP tennis racket L3 Red and blue

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Last update was in: December 11, 2019 5:48 pm

£135.59 £250.00

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Karakal SN 90 FF

Karakal SN 90 FF
  • Weight 90g
  • Balance 365mm (Head heavy)
  • Throat open

From one extreme to the other, you read that weight correctly too.  The negatives of this racquet, therefore, are basically the flip side of the positives.  It’s way too light for doubles and it can be a bit brittle, although, to be fair, it’s more robust that you might expect from something this light.  Basically it’s not going to break if you just look at it the wrong way as the Harrow Vapor occasionally does, but don’t expect it to stay in one piece if you hit the wall”  Do expect to need to use superb control to get the best out of it.

The open throat and head-heavy balance both help to give this squash racquet a bit more power, but really this is a “touch-player’s” squash racquet.  It may also be a good choice for serious juniors, but they will need to be of a very high standard to benefit from a squash racquet like this otherwise it will probably just frustrate them.

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Karakal SN 90 FF Squash Racket

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Last update was in: December 11, 2019 5:48 pm
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Tecnifibre Carboflex 125 S

tecnifibre_carboflex_125_s_black_string
  • Weight 125g
  • Balance 350mm (Head heavy)
  • Throat Open

The Tecnifibre Carboflex 125 now comes in a few different versions.  Top pro Mohamed El Shorbagy famously uses the X-Speed and that is certainly an outstanding squash racquet but we’d suggest that that Tecnifibre Carboflex 125 S was probably the better option for most players. 

Let’s tick off this squash racquet’s minus point, which is that it does vibrate rather more than you’d expect from a racquet at this price point.

Now let’s look at the plus points.  This squash racquet has a large sweet spot and somehow manages to deliver both great power and a high degree of control.  Beginners might find it a bit too hot to handle but players which are intermediate and beyond will find it a very flexible squash racquet which can accommodate just about any playing style, but is particularly suitable for aggressive players who like to make explosive shots and long volleys.

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Tecnifibre Carboflex 125 S Basaltex Multiaxial Squash Racket, Black, One Size

Usually dispatched within 24 hours & Free shipping
Last update was in: December 11, 2019 5:48 pm

£99.69 £170.00

In short

For recreational players, the two top options are clearly the Head Extreme 120 for beginners to intermediate players and the Black Knight Ion Cannon for intermediate to advanced players. 

If you’re a more serious player then there is no “right” or “wrong” choice.  You just have to work out for yourself what your style is and what style of squash racquet best suits your approach to the game.  You may find that it helps to trial a few but if you do, remember to account for any differences in the strings.

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