Squash manufacturers provide rackets to match playing styles, weight preferences and head versus shaft balance, as well as smaller rackets for junior players. “Harrow, Head and Prince make very good frames every year,” says Brandon Sleight, manager of Squash Galaxy in Albany, New York. Adds Sol Schwartz, manager of Holabird Sports in Baltimore, “The reality of it is, not one of these companies makes a bad product; there’s no junk. Everyone's putting out parallel lines to one another, so it comes down to which feels better from a weight and balance point of view.”
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Dunlop Hot Melt Pro
This racket features a head size of 470 square centimeters and a “head light” balance and weighs 135 g. Ben Beylin, general manager of Squash Gear in New Jersey, lists this as a racket for all levels. As of August 2010, it listed for $159, but could be found at retail for about $90. Schwartz also listed the Hot Melt as a recommended racket and top seller.
Dunlop Ice Tour
Beylin tested the 135-g Ice Tour based on pro Lee Beachill's use of it to reach the number 1 spot in the rankings. He noted that drives cling to the wall and pinpoint control enables drops and boasts that win rallies. He recommends this racket for players of level 3.0 and above. The list price is $179, and retail $89.
Prince 03 Speedport
The Prince Speedport features the same weight and head size specs as the Dunlop Hot Melt Pro and also lists at $159. Prince claims that wind tunnel testing found the 03 Speedport moves through the air up to 24 percent faster than a traditional racket and its stabilized frame creates a sweet spot 59 percent larger.
The Vapor, a bit heavier at 140 g than the Hot Melt Pro and the Speedport, is a best seller for Harrow and used by pros, with its slightly “head heavy” balance. It lists for $200.
Prince Triple Threat Tungsten Sovereign
This 135-g graphite racket, used by the Prince tour pros for years, offers a solid feel with a balance of power and control, making it a best seller at a $199 suggested price and available at retail for $89.
Wilson nCode Nrage
This slightly heavier racket weighs 150 g and is made with Wilson’s exclusive nanotechnology process, making the nCode twice as strong and stable and up to 22 percent more powerful than ordinary rackets, Wilson states. Squash Galaxy notes that the nCode is the favored racket of Top 15 tour pro Grahm Ryding. It lists for $129 and can be found for $89.
Head MicroGEL Extreme
This lightweight, 135-g racket, features good control and became the racket of choice for Top 3 players David Palmer and Natalie Grinham. It lists for $189 and can be found for around $120.
Head Liquidmetal 120
This racket features a head-heavy balance and is lightweight at 120 g, as well as having a composition of graphite with proprietary Liquidmetal treatment of four areas of the racket head to avoid energy loss upon striking the ball. It lists for $249, but can be found for $99.
Dunlop Aerogel Ultimate World Open Squash Racket
Recommended for intermediate and advanced players, the Aerogel Ultimate weights 137 g and features a larger head size of 500 square centimeters. It lists for $159 and can be found for $129. It comes with factory stringing or custom stringing for an additional $20 to $30.
Wilson nTour Squash Racket
The nTour, recommended for advanced players, weighs 140 g and features a head size of 470 square centimeters and an even balance. It lists for $139 and retails for $119.