How To Choose A Racquetball Racquet | A Beginners Guide

by | Dec 14, 2017 | Racquet, Sports

Behind every successful player is a good tool. Yes, it’s your way how to choose the finest racquetball racquet that determines your fate in games.

Good things don’t come in a silver spoon. And of course, choosing the best racquetball set for a successful game can be overwhelming.

This extensive research will make it easier for you to choose the right racquet for exemplary performance. Let’s get started!

Read More: Step-by-step guide for choosing-

Why Choosing the Racquetball Racquet is Essential

The answer is not as easy as the question since choosing a racquet is entirely personal. Only you can know what goes well with you while in action.

Generally, a racquetball racquet should give you a comfortable feeling, as if it’s part of your hand. The point here is to get something familiar when playing.

Some racquets boost your power, while others give you more game control. However, all that is required is proper balancing. Neither too stiff nor too flexible.

Racquets vary in functioning, though. The right choice will add more advantages to the court. Plus, it will reduce potential tennis wrist and elbow injuries due to hard hits.

So, it’s worth considering your choice of racquet. Using the right racquet will improve your game and make you a more skilled player. But as I stated earlier, what matters most is proper balancing. 

Let’s go deeper into details on the factors to consider when choosing the right racquet.

players are playing Racquetball Racquet

How to Choose a Racquetball Racquet

Choosing the best racquetball racquet is undoubtedly a challenging task for racquetball players. But worry not! These factors are to guide you in selecting the right tool.

Let’s start with the most important criteria of them all.

Racquet Weight

Your racquet’s weight determines your level of maneuverability, control, and power.

  • Heavy Weight Racquet (185+ grams)- for Slow Swing: Players with this style of game are mostly beginners. The heavier the racquet, the slower the swinging power. It is more stable and has less shock than the low and medium-weight racquet. Some racquetball experts may prefer heavyweight racquets to have more control of the game. 
  • Medium Weight Racquet (170 to 185 grams)- Moderate Swing: This is the most preferred category among racquetball lovers. The weight of the swing goes in hand with the importance of the racquet head. Unlike the heavyweight racquet, this category fits players Racquetball Racquet can balance their power and control.
  • Lightweight Racquet (150 to 165 grams)- Fast Swing: This category fits the racquetball racquet experts. You have to use your power and be capable of maximizing your maneuverability. Since fast swing requires one to apply too much effort, players with shoulder and arm difficulties are not encouraged to use this technique.

Balance- Determined by Head’s Size and Shape

Your maneuverability and power rely on your balancing levels. Before hitting the ball, you must balance the power between your hand and the tool.

  • Head Heavy: Racquets with a heavy head fall into this category. They tend to increase the player’s hitting power due to the high swing speed and weight.
  • Headlight: means racquets with heavy handles. Players prefer their light features for use in the frontcourt and maneuvering more.
  • Even balance: The racquet’s center is its balancing point responsible for the control and power balancing. Players prefer these racquets for customization.

Swing Weight (Determine Swing Weight)

Weight and balance mainly affect the swing weight. It helps distinguish between multiple racquets. 

  • High Swing Weight: Racquets with high swing weight produce high-level power. The important thing about them is that you don’t have to stress too hard when hitting the ball. A player can easily down the shots, kill, and pass the hit in the backcourt play. Beginners can also apply these racquets to gain more experience with court angles and control.
  • Medium Swing Weight: Almost everyone can work on medium swing weight racquets. They are easy to use since their head-heavy or headlight has an even balance of +/-2. A power player who applies these features in every game is guaranteed to score consistently.
  • Low Swing Weight: Racquets in this category have less energy than the high and medium swing weights. Plus, they are easy to touch and adjust. A control player with this racquet can win with strategic ball placement. With good pinches, enough ceiling balls, and lobs, it will get more challenging for the opponent to win the game.

Here is a good racquetball racquet for beginners:

Grip Size

The grip size is either bigger or smaller. Most people prefer the smaller grip size, which is a recommended preference.

  • 3 5/8″: A smaller grip size will maximize your wrist snap, boosting your power level.
  • 3 7/8″: Moderate grip size is preferred chiefly, considering hand sizes are on average.
  • 3 15/16″: A larger grip size applies to larger hands. Some players suffer elbow and wrist pain when the grip gets smaller. But the risks can be avoided with torsional stability and less handle clenching.

If you want to maintain a solid grip, have a look at the best racquetball gloves buyers guide that I recently published.

Head Size

Head shape or size, there are two types of them. There are quadriform and teardrop shapes. The difference is in the sweet spot of the string bed. The quadriform sweet spot is a little bit lower and wider.

A teardrop-shaped racquet has a higher sweet spot. Don’t get too confused about which type you should choose. This is all about personal preference. Try both; you’ll eventually know which one suits you more for your playing style.

String Type

For many years, racquetball rackets mainly had squash strings, which have the same playing features as modern strings. But as the game moved on to get more popular, racquetball racquets now had many lines.

  • High-tension Strings: High-tension strings give the player more control over the ball’s spin. Note that excess tension can break the lines.
  • Lower-tension Strings: Strings with lower tension give a powerful shot. But too low of it will be a loss of both power and control for the player.
  • Lower-gauge Strings: Racquetball racquets with lower-gauge strings stretch further and are bouncier, creating more power. One drawback is that they are less durable.
  • Higher-gauge (17-18) Strings: Most players prefer 17 and 18-gauge racquets for good playability and durability. They allow more control and hold the tension for longer periods. One drawback is that they are stiffer.

Tensions

A racquetball racquet tension ranges from 30 to 40 lbs. Some balls are small and less bouncy, needing 30 to 35 lbs worth of pressure. On that note, the average tension gets to 34 lbs.

  • Higher Tension: Players who use racquetball racquets with lower higher tensions have more control of the ball’s direction.
  • Lower tension: Players with lower tension have less control but have great power.

Grip Type

How your hand and racquet connect is vital for your decision.

  • Wrap grip: Wrap grips entail leather grip wrappings on the racquet handle. It reduces slippage and is excellent in absorption. But its tackiness is limited and is less durable.
  • Rubber Grip: A rubber grip defines racquet handles wrapped with rubber tubes. They have increased tackiness but with limited absorption hence more slippery.

Don’t feel like reading? Check out my top pick for the best racquet for playing racquetball.

Playing Styles

Your racquet’s choice also relies on your playing style. In this case, you will not necessarily have to rely on the shape of the racquet but more on weight and balance.

  • Drive serve: a drive serve aims to create more power. You will need a racquetball racquet with a smaller grip of 3 5/8“ to boost your power level.
  • Lob serve: to succeed in lob serve, you need to master the art of placement and precision. As a server, your target is to bounce your ball near the receiving line. Your opponent will have no choice but to return a defensive shot. For this, a racquetball racquet with 3 5/8“ or 3 7/8″ for good photos.
  • Z serve: Z serve is the best option in a situation where you will need a safe play. You can either do it hard or smoothly; all you will need is to keep up with speed. A good racquet for this service is one of high swing weight. 

Core Materials

Racquetball racquets started as wooden tools. But as innovation continually progressed, other materials began taking over. 

  • Aluminum: Most racquets are made of Aluminum which is cheaper, more challenging, and of high quality.
  • Graphite: Another core material found in modern racquets is graphite. It boosts power, swing speed, and maneuverability.
  • Carbon fiber frames: Carbon is the most recent technology for racquetballs. It quickly stiffens frames and increases your favorite spot’s size.

Budget

When purchasing your most preferred racquets, stick to the budget that works for you. You can choose racquets made from the previous years which are budget-friendly and of high quality. 

Amazon prices range from $29 to $224.Check out the pros and cons before purchasing to determine quality.

We also want to mention some other additional factors, like price, brands, grips, strings, and materials.

How to Play Racquetball As Beginners

As a beginner, you will find racquetball one of the most leisurely hobbies to learn. You will be hitting the balls like a pro in just a few attempts!

To get started, you have to arm yourself with the right equipment. Get the right racquetballs, racket, and safety glasses (glasses become less essential as you get going).

To simplify, racquetball is all about hitting the ball while ensuring it bounces twice before your opponent returns it.

  • The first player bounces the ball against the front wall.
  • The second player waits for one bounce before returning it. The target is hitting the front wall.
  • Both players get to different positions aiming for the ball to hit the front wall before bouncing. Ceiling and borders can add to this.
  • The player returning the ball is on the higher side of winning. If the player loses, the other player serves as the returning opponent.

Racquetball Racket vs. Tennis Racket

Although you can’t use a tennis racquet for racquetball as it’s not suitable, both racquetball rackets and tennis rackets serve the same purpose but are significantly different. If you are interested in venturing into both sports, you must learn the differences in equipment.

  • Racquetball rackets have a flat edge on the top, while tennis rackets are rounded. 
  • With less than 22 inches, racquetball rackets are typically smaller than tennis rackets, whose average size is 28 inches.
  • Tennis rackets lack a wrist strap, a safety feature only found in racquetball rackets.
  • The strings in a racquetball racket are looser for more power and control. Tennis rackets are designed explicitly for control.
  • Heavy tennis rackets boost stability, power, and shock absorption, and the lighter ones provide spin for great shots. Meanwhile, heavy racquetball racquets increase capacity but are pretty slow. The lighter ones lead to faster images due to the quicker swings.

FAQs

What size racquet do I need for racquetball?

The recommended size is 3 5/8 to maximize wrist snap and increase power. 3-15/16 also serves best for the larger hands.

What racquets do pro racquetball players use?

Top racquetball players like Rocky Carson work with Penn racquetballs and high-end equipment. E-Force Chaos and Head I 165 ranked the top racquetball racquets as of 2021.

Where is the sweet spot on a racquetball racquet?

Most players find the head part as the sweet spot. A player constantly grabs shots against the wall using the top of the racquetball.

Final Thoughts

I admit that learning how to choose a racquetball racquet is a skill. The more racquetball gets popular, the more factors to ponder when choosing the right equipment. However, sometimes you might find it necessary to make some adjustments to your racquet, like placing a vibration dampener, adding an overgrip, etc. Whatever you do, make sure the accessories help instead of increasing the racquet’s aesthetics.

When choosing a racquet, ensure its features satisfy your needs. Also, ensure they can endure long enough to avoid regular replacements.