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How To Select A Racquetball Racquet And Strings

Casual spectators of a racquetball game will probably never consider the importance of a player's racquet and string selection. But, experienced players understand that their choice of racquet and the strings they place on it can have a dramatic impact on how well they play on the court. So, how does an inexperienced racquetball player choose the correct racquet and string set? Racquets come with different shapes, weights and grips while strings are available in several gauges. This article will describe how to choose the right racquet and string set for your needs and personal experience level.

Choosing The Proper Racquet Weight

The weight of your racquet can either enhance or hinder your performance. Racquets are available in weights ranging from 150 grams to 245 grams. Typically, experienced players prefer light racquets. If a player has developed the control and power of his swing properly, a lightweight racquet can help him respond quickly while improving the accuracy of his returns and serves. Players who are new to the game should consider beginning with a heavier racquet. Usually, new players haven't developed a strong wrist snap and powerful swing. Heavier racquets can compensate for these limitations.

Racquet Grip Size Matters

The grip of your racquet is more than merely a handle to hold. Like racquet weight, the size of a grip can play a key role in your ability to control and return the ball with force. Grips range in size from 3 5/8" to 3 15/16". Experienced players often use racquets with smaller grips because they allow them more control and a stronger snap of the wrist. Players with larger hands should consider using a larger-sized grip. However, experts suggest starting with a small grip to develop speed, power and control. If necessary, a grip can be made larger by wrapping it with tape.

Skill Determines Head Size

Racquetball racquets have heads that are rectangular in shape. But, the size of the heads can vary, ranging from 96 to 102 square inches. Larger heads have larger sweet spots, making it easier for beginning players to return or serve the ball. Most experienced players use racquets with smaller heads. The smaller heads help them leverage the accuracy and speed of their shots.

Can Strings Affect Performance?

Racquetball strings are available in gauges that range between 15 (1.41 - 1.49 mm) and 18 (1.06 - 1.16 mm) with several choices in between. Of course, the thickness of the strings implies their durability. Thinner strings break more often. Strings break due to either notching or over-stretching. Though notching can happen to both beginning and experienced players, over-stretching is a result of repeated off-center shots. If a player has developed a high level of accuracy and power in their shots, thinner strings should be considered. Newer players who haven't yet developed accuracy should use thicker strings to avoid excess breakage.

Final Thoughts

Racquets and strings play an important role in your ability to return difficult shots with power, control and speed. The key to selecting the right racquet and string set is to identify your level of skill. That will determine the racquet weight, grip and head size as well as the string gauge you should be using. As you develop your playing skill and expertise on the court, your racquet and string selection should change to help leverage those skills.