Basics of squash, i.e equipment and squash balls
Squash balls are unlike any other sports ball. The ball does not bounce
until it is warmed up by hitting it hard 50-100 times. After that the
ball reaches an equilibrium temperature and is quite bouncy.
Unfortunately, you have to continue to hit the ball hard to keep it warm
Since beginners and intermediate players can not hit
hard and have long rallies, Dunlop offer four different type of squash
balls. The difference among them is that they will bounce the same
without having to hit them hard.
These are the four balls offered by Dunlop:
Pro - double yellow dot
Competition -single yellow dot (for club players and/or cool courts)
Progress (for intermediate players)
Beginner - blue color and slightly oversized
So start with the beginner ball since it has an instant bounce and
will be bouncy even if you do not hit it hard. As you start to hit the
ball harder with consistency and accuracy then work on up to the next
level ball. This way you can achieve the same bounce even though you are
hitting the ball harder.
Also make sure you wash your balls after
every match, particularly if you notice it slides a lot. This is because
it picks up fine dust which makes the surface shiny. A quick wash will
restore the surface to its original grippy feel. Always play with the balls till
are dozens of racquets out there. Gone are the days of wooden and
aluminium graphite. Almost any racquet made today is some composite of
graphite and titanium. Therefore racquets are much lighter than ever
before. With lighter racquets you get more control and it's easier to
work on the swing mechanics.
Buy a racquet with an oversize head of 490 cm2 or greater head size. This
will give you a larger sweet spot ( sweet spot is the center of
the racquet head where maximum power and control is generated ) so
that shots that are hit off-center
will still have power to them, though not much control. Smaller head racquets are more suitable for advanced players who are looking for control over power. Any racquet less than 180g would be suitable. Avoid a racquet that is too light (<130g) as it will have little power and make you use your wrist too much. Buy one that is durable and well balanced (not head heavy or head light) since you are likely to bang it against the floor and wall often. As you improve you will be able to control your swing on tight shots.
After you buy your racquet you need to immeadiately put on an over-grip as pictured above. Most squash racquets come with very small grips. If the grip is too small then you have to hold racquet too tightly to control it. As a result you can not play any touch shots properly as your hand and wrist is too stiff. Put on an over-grip that lets your hand comfortably hold the racquet without having to hold it tightly.
Be sure to check out the racquet review database on this website to read user-submitted reviews of various squash racquets.
Eye-protection is neccesary to protect your eyes from the ball and from the racquet.
Wearing eye-guards is mandatory in almost every pro tournament worldwide. Keep in mind that pros have spent their lives developing accurate shots with compact follow throughs. So if these players feel eye-guards are important than you can be certain you should be wearing them too!
Please read through SquashClub.org FAQ #4 for a more detailed discussion on the importance of eye-guards.
For beginners it is best to buy shoes with plenty of shock absorption. Thin-soled shoes or
shoes with worn out soles should be avoided. Also do not wear running shoes as you are
likely to sprain your ankle in them (no lateral stability and high sole increases twisting
forces into your ankle should you sprain it). The Prince NFS shoe is often a highly
recommended squash shoes. Otherwise there are dozens of squash shoe brands from Wilson,
Addidas, Hi-Tec, to name a few
Please read through SquashClub.org FAQ #6 for a more detailed analysis of how to
minimize injuries in squash
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