Squash is one of the most popular racket sports with international recognition. It is very fun to play, and quite easy to learn as well. The barrier to entry into squash is comparatively lower than other more demanding racket sports like badminton or tennis and squash gear is readily available.
Even those who are not confident with their physique can try squash because it does not involve playing on a significantly large court, but in a smaller one indoors. The fact that you hit the squash ball against the front & side walls of the squash court means that for a beginner or someone new to a racket sport it’s easier to start off just hitting & chasing after the ball. In a sport such as tennis if you just hit as hard as you can the ball will go out and the point will end.
Great All Weather Sport
The fact that it’s played indoors also means that bad weather such as rain or strong wind doesn’t affect whether you can play, which is great for planning your regular squash games. As a result, the number of aspiring squash players is increasing everyday a If you want to start playing squash, now is the best time to do so.
To help you out, I have prepared the ultimate squash gear & equipment list.
One of the best things about this sport is, it does not need a lot of equipment. Take a look at my tennis equipment list & you’ll see that the list is much longer than my squash equipment list. Also, you don’t need every single equipment that I have included in my list. However, it is better to know about everything that squash players use, and that’s why I wanted to make this list complete. Here it is:
While other pieces of squash gear can be somewhat foregone when you start out playing for the first time, but a squash racket is absolutely essential to get you started on your journey to becoming a squash pro.
Squash rackets are on the lighter side of the spectrum when compared to other racket sports like tennis or racquetball. Weighing in well within the 130 g to 170 g range, a squash racket is the most essential piece of squash gear for playing squash. It’s something you simply cannot start out without.
Squash Racket Weight
While some rackets can be considered comparatively lighter or heavier, each type of racket has its own advantages and thus it is a matter of personal preference. Most new players getting started with squash prefer heavier racquets and transition into lighter racquets as they get more experienced. This is because heavier rackets are easier to get behind and lighter rackets require more finesse to play with.
Squash Racket Construction
There is no direct rule dictating what material a squash racket needs to be made of. Modern day rackets are made of graphite or a mix of graphite with other materials. Traditionally squash rackets were made out of wood, but modern rackets provide significantly more durability and finesse. The World Squash Federation dictates that rackets have to be within the 68.8 cm threshold in length and 21.5 cm in width.
Squash Racket Features
Rackets can be distinguished based on either racket balance, construction, or racket weight. While each type of racket has its distinct advantage, racket preference falls mostly down to playing style and comfort. Based on balance, rackets can either be head heavy; head light or even balanced. Head light rackets are comparatively more maneuverable and give you a lightweight feel, giving you more control over the racket.
While light heads feel lighter, head heavy rackets have concentrated weight towards their heads, meaning it becomes significantly easier to generate power with every swing. This is preferred by players who have a hard hitting style of play and prefer power over finesse.
A head heavy frame is also best suited for hardball doubles to create power and consistency when trying to create pace with a shorter swing or reflex volley. Even balanced rackets are a mix of the two, as they provide decent power while maintaining a certain level of maneuverability.
Squash Racquet Types
Based on construction, squash rackets can either be open throat or closed throat type. Open throated rackets utilize shorter strings and lesser surface area, giving you more control over the direction and spin of the ball when swung at. However, it is very hard to generate power with these due to lesser string length.
That is where closed throat rackets come into play. This variant of rackets utilizes longer strings and have a closed throat, meaning it is more probable for you to generate impact on sweet spots while also simultaneously giving you more power.
Finally, based on weight, rackets can either be light weight (130 grams to 150 grams) or heavy weight (151 grams to 170 grams). Light weight rackets promote quick hand movement and wrist flicks along with increased movement of the head.
This gives you opportunities to make deceptive front court plays. They also allow you to create power and control if a bigger swing is needed, but they have a higher skill ceiling when power generation is of concern. Heavy weight rackets provide you greater access to power with lower effort. Also, a longer impact with the ball means all of your swings will be a lot smoother.
Squash Racket Price
While you could start off with a cheaper racket, it is recommended that you spend a bit more to get a quality squash racket. This is because a good racket is absolutely instrumental to your gameplay and that is something you never want to compromise. Rackets of lower quality start at around 20 USD, but customizable or specialized rackets can put you back over 200 dollars.
Here are a few of my recommendations you can look at to give you a leg up while buying your first or next squash racket:
RACKET STAR RATING
Squash balls are a bit different compared to balls used in other racket sports. This is because these balls aren’t completely composite of one type of material. Squash balls are made by gluing two pieces of rubber over a hollow ball.
The World Squash Federation (WSF) dictates that balls have to be between 39.5 millimeters to 40.5 millimeters in diameter and weigh between 23 to 25 grams. Different balls are based on weather conditions, player preferences and court surfaces. Based on their rubber compositions, squash balls have the property to bounce more in high temperature compared to other balls as it provides more exciting gameplay.
Types of Squash Balls
It is preferred that you buy decent quality balls, as low quality balls will significantly damage your racket integrity. Squash balls come in an array of colors and dots. These markings are given in order for players to differentiate between ball speeds and the amount of bounce it possesses. As players grow more experienced, they transition from faster to slower balls.
Slower balls travel slow and bounce lower, providing more of a challenge and harder to sustain rallies. Faster balls bounce more, meaning it is easier to predict the trajectory of the ball. Balls come in four different colors of dots- yellow, white, red and blue. Yellow dotted balls are the slowest, while blue dotted ones are the fastest. Double yellow dotted balls are the toughest balls to play with and thus are the competition standard.
Squash balls do break from time to time, but that is a rare occurrence. It is much more probable that these balls will slowly lose integrity by constant wear and tear. Balls also lose their playable quality if they are kept out in the open due to constant environmental depreciation and depressurization. To maintain ball integrity, it is suggested that you keep your balls in the container stored away in a cool place for as long as possible. Both extreme heat and extreme cold will hurt the integrity of the ball. This is because the chemical property of rubber balls change with heat.
Squash Ball Tips 1
Balls will skid after 2 to 3 hours of constant use, and so it is suggested to always have a set of balls ready. You can also buy different types of balls to figure out what kind of balls suit you best. This is a tip a squash pro gave me a couple of years ago. He said that if you’re not using a brand new ball, then just before you walk onto the squash court hold your squash ball between your thumb & forefinger & rub your ball over your squash racket strings. What this does is it rubs away dust that has stuck to the squash ball surface from your last squash match or practice session. The dust is what makes the squash ball skid, so rubbing it off with your squash racket strings means the ball bounces more.
Squash Ball Tips 2
It is very important to warm the squash ball up before your squash match begins, particularly when you’re playing with a double yellow dot ball. A double yellow dot ball hardly bounces & the warmer it becomes the more it bounces. The customary warm up prior to a squash match beginning is not only for the players to warm their muscles before a match, it is just as important to warm up the ball prior to the match by hitting the ball as hard as you can against the front wall before hitting it to your opponent to do the same. After a few minutes a seemingly dead ball is bouncing around full of life.
To speed up the warming up process on particularly cold days or night, seasoned squash players often stand on the ball & roll it backwards & forwards under their squash shoe as fast as they can repeatedly. The friction warms the ball enough so that the ball bounces enough to start the official warm up.
Squash Ball Price
Squash balls start for 2 USD a set, but can put you back as much as 60 USD for the best quality. Here are a few of my recommendations. Be sure to check these out before deciding on your set, as it is instrumental that you get the best balls possible within your preferred price point.
Here are my squash ball recommendations:
BALL STAR RATING
Squash shoes need to be non-marking and designed specifically for use on indoor courts. While rackets seem like the most important piece of squash gear to play a good game of squash, a big argument can be made that shoes are just as important. Squash is a game of quick movement and swift footwork. Just as having good footwork and movement on the court is critical to playing winning squash, solid footwear leads to better squash and prevents injuries while playing.
Avoid injury with the right squash shoes
Like any other sport, a good shoe starts with the degree of comfort it can provide you with. Although nimble footwork is prime, you don’t want to compromise your game with uncomfortable shoes. Uncomfortable shoes will probably lead to injuries and an unpleasant playing experience. Because of the sudden & rapid movements as well as quick changes of direction, it means that a comfortable shoe that provides the necessary support is crucial. Many squash players have suffered joint injuries because they have not played with the correct squash shoes or play with a pair of squash shoes for too long.
A common mistake many squash players make is that they look at the outside of their squash shoes & are happy that they look in great shape while in fact the inside of their shoes have taken a toll with the repeated impact of sudden stopping & changes of direction. It’s important to inspect the inside of your shoes for evidence of wear & tear such as collapsed or worn inner soles. You also don’t want shoes that wear out quickly, as that will have an impact on your pocket.
As an additional requirement, even though you want maximum grip; that cannot come at the cost of you leaving marks on the court. This will automatically disqualify you from most games.
Squash Shoe Price
There are squash shoes available for all price ranges. But with more budget, comes better gripping teeth, more cushioning and better durability for your shoes. A very basic pair of squash shoes will start at about 20 dollars. Here are a few of my recommendations for every possible price point:
Mens Squash Shoes
Women’s Squash Shoes
For a game like squash, you don’t essentially need a professional bag to start out. As a matter of fact, any bag with enough bag length will allow you to carry a racket and some balls. However, regular bags do little to protect your equipment. A generic sports bag will chip away both the strings and the material on the racket handle.
A good option is to go for racket bags specifically designed for racket sports. Racket bags are available in every shape and size. Each racket bag can hold up to 12 rackets plus some additional equipment depending on price and bag size. Most players start out with bags that hold about 6 or 7 rackets along with separate compartments for rackets, shoes, squash balls, goggles, gloves, sweatbands & anything else that appeared on our squash gear & equipment list.
Separate squash bag compartments are important
Remember to separate your shoes and your rackets no matter what type of bag you’re using. This is because the damp material from a post session shoe will severely harm the integrity of your racket. This general rule of thumb also applies to clothing, shirts, socks, wristbands and bandanas. Towels are also to be separated along with other damp equipment.
Prices of bags obviously vary since you can choose what kind of bag you want. But if you’re looking for my opinion, here are a few of my recommendations:
Squash Racket Strings
Squash strings are the single most underrated item of squash gear. This is because most rackets come with a pre attached set of strings. However, what most people don’t consider is that the quality of strings depreciate with constant use. This means your performance may get worse with no evident reason. Also, due to the high stress playing style of squash, it is very likely that you’ll tear through your first set of strings in seemingly no time. So, it is never a bad idea to have a set of backup strings ready in your backpack for unforeseen circumstances. Having good quality strings ready to hand over with your racket when you have your racket restrung is a great way of ensuring that you don’t have inferior strings fitted to your racket.
Just like rackets, the type of string also heavily influences your play style. Strings with higher tension means the ball is less bouncy on impact, providing you with more control over the trajectory and spin of your shot. Lower tension strings are bound less tightly to the racket blade, this means you can generate more power with each shot as the ball tends to bounce off your racket. High squash racket string tension can be considered around 29 pounds, while the average is around 27 pounds while low tension strings are 25 pounds or lower.
Thinner strings also provide more ‘bend’, providing you more power and also spin. This is because your ball will bite into your string more, giving you both control and power. However, thin strings break very easily and aren’t really your best option if you’re working with a limited budget. 1.1mm or less are thin strings with more bite and less durability, 1.2mm is considered medium range while 1.3mm or higher is a thick string.
What to consider when choosing Squash Strings
The main things to consider while choosing a set of strings are factors like stringing tension, the available string gauge, probable elasticity and the dimensions of each string. The best string chosen with these factors taken into consideration will offer optimal comfort, power and control over their shots. Thickness can be measured in “gauge”. In case of gauge measurements, higher numbers indicate thinner strings. According to most standards, 18 gauge or higher is a thin string, 17 gauge is medium, and 16 gauge or lower is a thick string. Strings are usually of two types- monofilament and multifilament. Most strings are made out of polyester, polyether or a compound made of these elements.
A decent set of strings should put you back about 10 to 20 dollars depending on quality. Here are a few of my personal favorites within that range:
Squash Racket Grip
One of the best ways to become better at any racket sport is to hold your instrument in the best and most comfortable way possible. However, as you progress with the game, sweat and fatigue will start to build up, making it significantly harder to have a perfect grip on your racket. For you to pull off that powerful smash or a fantastic rally, it is instrumental for you to give yourself every possible advantage possible. A racket slipping out of your hands isn’t just embarrassing, it can also be devastating to your chances of winning a match deciding point. Rackets might come with factory grips based on your choice of brands, but these grips are often not the best quality. So, having a good racket grip is never a bad investment.
Types of Squash Racket Grips
Racket grips come in mainly three types- soft, overgrip and replacement. Soft Grips are by far the most popular grips that players use for squash. Soft grips are an “in-between” type of grip and are used either as thicker versions of overgrips or as thin alternatives for replacement grips. These grips give you maximized comfort because of the extra cushioning. Overgrips are put on top of your factory grips provided with the racket itself. These grips help you avoid moisture buildup on the grip, giving you that extra comfort when you are halfway through a sweaty play session. Replacement grips are just replacements when your original grips wear out.
Squash grips are usually very inexpensive as compared to some other squash gear or accessories you need to play squash. Grips are usually standardized at around 10 dollars for decent ones, but prices go both above and beyond depending on brand value and quality. Buying an extra grip is always a good investment, since you never know when yours might wear out. Here are some of my recommendations within an acceptable price range:
Squash Goggles, Glasses and Eyewear
Compared to other sports, squash requires relatively little protective gear. But having eyewear is essential according to most tournament organizers. This is because squash is a high intensity sport with lots of passionate competitors. You never know when a stray racket or a high speed ball might head in your direction, and having protective gear to protect your eyes is very important. Most professional players use polycarbonate glasses as the material is durable and somewhat inexpensive. Goggles are a relatively simple and cheap piece of squash gear to pick up so there is no excuse not to do so.
Types of Squash Goggles, Glasses & Eyewear
There are mainly two types of eyewear worn by squash players. These are single eye piece lenses and double eye piece lenses. Single eye piece lenses are composed of one continuous lens across both eyes. This means your peripheral vision is not obstructed and the structuring is very well done. Single eyepiece lenses may not look stylish but provide the optimal amount of protection. Two eyepieces lenses are often worn by recreational players. This is because two eye piece lenses look a bit more stylish but don’t provide as much protection.
Important Squash Goggles Features
Anti-fogging is also an important factor to consider, as goggles tend to fog up with constant use. Goggles that don’t have an anti-fogging feature will fog up to cause problems like loss of vision and sometimes even nausea. Also, remember to check if your new pair of goggles come with adjustable straps, as you don’t want them to be loose and slide off of your ears. Goggles with easy replacement lenses are also a great option, since most lenses will get some amount of scratching due to constant use. Prices for goggles are within a very wide range. This is because the valuation of eyewear changes with lens quality, goggle material, brand value and aesthetic adjustments. Some players even use customized goggles for aesthetic personalization and added fashion appeal.
Here are a few of my recommendations:
Even if you play squash for fun on weekends like most other amateur players, you should consider purchasing dedicated squash clothing for this intense sport.
You might not want to become a professional player in future, but wearing the right squash clothing can be the difference between being uncomfortable on the squash court & feeling great. Purchasing squash apparel is necessary even though you don’t have any intention of becoming a professional squash player. Proper squash apparel helps you perform better, and it feels good, right?
Both men and women squash players wear breathable shirts while playing squash. Though squash takes place in a relatively small space compared to tennis or badminton, it doesn’t mean you won’t have to move a lot to score points. That’s why your clothing should be able to support agile and swift movement. Choose shirts made of cotton, nylon, or polyester. I am strongly against wearing any tight fitting clothes, which might limit your movement.
Here go the recommendations I’ve researched for you.
Mens Squash Shirts
Womens Squash Shirts
Squash Shorts or Skorts
While the men squash players wear shorts, the women squash players can go with shorts or skirts. Recently, skorts have become very popular among female athletes who play racket sports, including squash of course.
It is highly recommended not to wear long pants while playing squash. They simply are not very comfortable. You will hardly see any players playing with long pants unless they purposely wear them during the warm up before matches, only to remove them when the squash match begins
Here is the recommendations:
Mens Squash Shorts
Womens Squash Shorts & Skorts
Squash is a sweaty sport & you need the right squash gear to help you manage your sweat while on the squash court. The amount of effort squash players put into each shot means your body will be losing water like a fountain. If you’re just starting out, you might not really understand why wristbands are so important. But the usefulness of a wristband is unparalleled in maintaining optimum health and good grip on your racket. The more you sweat, the more moisture gets between your palm and your handle. This means you will continue to lose control of your shots and may even lead to the racket slipping out of your hand.
What materials are used in wristbands
Both arm sweat and forehead sweat can be kept at bay with a wristband with a bit of wiping. Most sweatbands are based on cotton compounds. This means wristbands are extremely comfortable and can be used during any sport. To add to the durability and elasticity of each wristband, most wristbands or sweatbands are alloyed with nylon and spandex nowadays. Also, a lot of aesthetic factors can be added to each wristband with the colorful material.
Sweatbands are never a bad investment and the price point at which they come at is very low. Moderate or decent quality wristbands start at about 7 USD while you can get high quality ones at around 20 USD.
If you’re looking to buy wristbands, consider a few of my favorites from the list below:
While you can just wipe off hair and forehead sweat with a towel or by wiping your forehead with your wristband, all of that is a luxury you cannot afford while being part of a high stakes rally. For the heavy sweaters out there, a headband is a must buy. Also, if you rock a ponytail or longer hair, a headband helps you keep stray hair out of your eyes.
Headbands are also very light, meaning that they won’t add too much weight to your head. High quality headbands are also very easy to wash, so you can just throw them into a washing machine. Most decent quality headbands will put you back around 16 USD. You can just pick a headband that goes best with your squash clothing. But remember to pick one specifically designed for sports, as fashion headbands don’t have high moisture retaining capabilities. Here are a few of my recommendations:
Well, this is not a compulsory item of squash gear that is needed to play squash. However, a squash glove can definitely make a difference to your performance on the squash court, so I decided to include it in my squash equipment list.
You may consider getting squash gloves for two reasons: for better grip, and to avoid sweat. It is very important to use a squash glove with good cushioning. Gloves with proper cushioning helps you to get a perfect grip on the racket. Just make sure that the gloves are not too tight or suffocating. In that case your hand might start to hurt after playing for a while.
Here are some of the squash glove options I’d recommend :