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Do I need a new racquet?

I firmly believe most rackets are essentially the same once you get used to them. If it ain't broke, why fix it ? Just get a new overgrip and take the money you would have spent on a racquet to get a lesson or two from a local pro. If you are serious about improving your game , the lesson will be invaluable. Unless there is something seriously wrong with your racket, i.e broken or too heavy, there is little benefit from changing to a new racquet.

The problem is once you get used to one racket, it can take months to get used to a different racket . That time you could be spending improving your skills with your current racquet. This is especially true if the new racket has a different style grip , weight or balance. When you are spending a month or two getting used to a new racquet you are not going to be able to improve your game. For this reason I strongly recommend not switching rackets unless you absolutely have to . Often times you will see pros play with the same racquet model for years. One notable example is Brett Martin who plays with an older and heavier Head racquet that is nearly 15 years old. The reasons pros often switch racquets is because their sponsorship contract requires them to do so. But if it were up to them , they would not switch!

If your old racket breaks, buy the exact same model again. Often times manufacturers discontinue models after just two years. To avoid this problem, you should buy at least two of the same racket at one time. These two rackets should last you several years. After a few years you can look into a different racket that may suit your style of game better. Volleyers prefer lighter rackets while heavier rackets suit retrievers. Larger heads are better if you have a strong front court game. Just keep in mind that each time you change racquets, your game will suffer for 1-3 months.

In an intense rally you can not afford to doubt your racquet's abilities. You need to be able to rely on it instinctively as though it were a natural extension of your arm. When you play with a new racquet, you brain immeadietely knows something is different. It takes different muscles to control a racquet that fits and feels different in the hand. Consequently it will take months to develop confidence in your abilities with a new racquet. So do not change racquets unless you are certain the benefits outweight the costs.

Most major squash racquet manufacturers know that 99% of rackets are bought by people who cannot really play the game and just go for the latest racket. Last years racket, no matter how good, is still last years racket and will not sell so well. So have a look around eBay on a regular basis, sometimes last years models come up very cheap. At the end of a squash season the big companies will offload an awful lot of last years unsold rackets to eBay sellers at ridiculous prices, just to make room in the warehouse for new stock.

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