Ask the Readers: Choosing a Lighter Squash Racket

Canary Wharf 2014 Court
Photo by Steve Line / SquashPics.com

Hey everyone. Sophie is looking for advice on which racket to buy next. If you have any thoughts for Sophie, please add a comment below!

Sophie’s request:

Hello on the market for a new squash racket. I am currently using a HEAD stream microgel 150 gm and 335 balance. I am debating between the tecnifibre carboflex 125 or the Head graphene 135. The racket I have is great for power but a little heavy for me. I want something powerful but with good control too.

My thoughts:

I tried the Head Graphene 135 a couple months ago and really didn’t like it. My thought at the time was “it’s neither here nor there” – meaning I got neither power nor touch from it.

I did try the Carboflex 125 briefly and it felt promising, however I only got a few shots in with it. I’ve been playing with the Carboflex 130 for 6 months now, and I love it.

So I’d say give the Tecnifibre a try, and maybe consider the 130 as well. Good luck!

If you have any further feedback for Sophie, please leave a comment below!

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16 comments… add one

  • Hi Sophie, I would buy one or two more of the carboflex 130 if you like it, or have you considered the prince exo3 rebel I have been using it for about 4 months and that is really good I lots of junior players who use the carboflex 140/130/125 and they really like them.
    hope this helped.
    Ben

    Reply
  • Hey “Sophie’s choice”, should be to try black knight viper2, or black knight electro, both racquets are head light and come with excellent string. The b/k electro is a little stiffer than the b/k viper2, both racquets are well balanced and have loads of power however they require a skilled player to create control. Lycka till Sophie, Skoal jabba the nick.

    Reply
  • Hi Sophie,

    The Head rackets never feel light in the hand so I would not go with that.

    The Prince O3 rackets feel light to play with and I really like them. Loads of power, great touch and very manoeuvrable. The only problem with them is that they break easily. I bought two and broke them both within 3 weeks! :(

    If I was you though, I would go for the Tecnifibre Carboflex 125. It is an awesome racket and has great power and excellent control. One of the best rackets on the market at the moment in my view.

    Reply
  • I do agree with you Snelly about the carboflex. But if you want a lightwight racquet with control I would also look at the Harrow Spark, Mantis Pro 115, and Eye X.Lite 110 Pro Control. Good luck Sophie

    Reply
  • Be careful. Lighter and powerful rarely go together. Just go a little bit lighter, as you need to be a fast and powerful swinger to get as much out of a lighter racket. I would advise a large head and an even balance. A mid weight Carboflex, or perhaps the BK Ion Cannon. Just go for one about 5-10 grams lighter than you currently have.

    Reply
    • I see quite a few county standard juniors with the Carboflex 125 and they generate plenty of power, girls too. I think this is a really good one for Sophie to go for. I just wish they were cheaper. :)

      Another subsequent thought was the Tecnifibre Suprem Calibur. This is a great racket with a large head in a traditional shape. Generates terrific power and is nice and light too.

      Reply
  • Thanks everyone for your feedback! Will give a try to the Tecnifibre 125 and 130 and the Prince O3.

    Reply
  • I played with the Head Graphene 135 for a bit and really liked it. Boatloads of power and head light which made it very responsive for volleying. I didn’t think the control/ability to hit balls close to the wall was as good as the Tecnifibres, though, so I didn’t buy it. But a great racket still.

    I play with the Carboflex 140 and love it. LOTS of power, great control, responsive. The Carboflex 130 is a good racket too, definitely better control, but I really liked the power I got from the 140 more than the slight increase in control from the 130. The Carboflex 125 is a nice racket, surprisingly powerful, but I didn’t think that it was very forgiving. I had a rough time maintaining a good backhand. It’s definitely intended for intermediate/advanced players.

    In short I don’t think you can go wrong with the Carboflex 130 or 140. The Graphene 135 may work for you too. The Carboflex 125 is trickier to hit well with. I would demo them all and see what works.

    Reply
    • Will narrow my choice to the Tecnifibre 130 or 140. Not sure will be able to demo them as my squash partners both play with very light 120g and head heavy rackets that I don’t like at all…. what about the Black Knight Ion Cannon PS. Any thoughts on that one? I have to say I am not familiar with the brand at all. Thanks

      Reply
  • Sophie: If you want to demo them, squashgalaxy.com will ship you demo rackets that you can try for a week. I’ve tried a number of different rackets this way. (Note: I don’t work for that company or anything, I just had a good experience with them in the past. There are probably other companies that will ship you demo rackets too.)

    I don’t know anything about Black Knight, nobody at my club seems to use them. Tecnifibre and Harrow are probably the most popular high end rackets among people I play with plus of course head/prince/dunlop.

    Reply
    • Thanks John but the trouble is that I live in France and most online stores or even regular stores are based in the USA, Canada or the UK and they don’t do demos for people living abroad… that’s the downside of playing squash in France where its not a popular sport.

      Reply
  • Hi Sophie
    I picked up a Black Knight Quicksilver TC earlier this season. It had a fair bit of power for something so light. I wasn’t a huge fan as I found it too light for my style but it certainly was a nice racquet. I believe it comes in, strung, around 125g
    http://www.blackknightusa.com/index.php?accion=squash&cat=8&art=223

    Reply
  • Hey Sophie,
    Bopper gives you excellent advice, bk ion cannon PS is also a good choice if , your not on a budget, even balance, ashaway string, stiff / hi quality frame. Try prince air stick 130, price is right, quality frame, when factory string breaks, put tecnifiber syn/gut or ashaway supernick at lowest possible tension, let the racquet work for you. BTW tell Greg and Thierry that squash is not popular in France. Skoal, Jabba the nick.

    Reply
    • Second for the Air Stick 130. Head light, long strings to generate power and pretty easy to control overall. Plus, quite durable for a light racquet and won’t break the bank. You should be able to get for under US$100 wherever you are, maybe less if you shop around.

      Reply
  • Thanks Jamie and Jabba for your input. I hope my comment about squash not beeing popular in France won’t get me in trouble ;) I hope Greg and Thierry will forgive me…Squash poularity is increasing since I’ve started playing when I was a kid so I am hopeful! I borrowed someone racket today not sure which one it was from Oliver but it was very light 120g too light for my game felt I had no power at all. Looks like Tecnifibre 140 BK Ion Cannon or the HEAD cyano 135 would be good alternatives as not too light compared to my current 150g head light racket.

    Reply
  • In my experience, most modern racquets are very similar and the feature variations that people believe influence performance actually do not make much difference at all. I think that the real benefit of the variations is in marketing and that actual performance depends almost entirely on player abilities.

    With regard to racquet weight, it is set late in the manufacturing process by epoxying a weight into the racquet handle. You can see this for yourself by removing the grip from the handle. The handle includes the two ends of the frame tube and the weight is somewhere in the gap between them.

    The manufacturer can create several different models (say, a 120-gram version, a 130-gram version, a 140-gram version, and a 150-gram version) by putting different weights in the handle. The construction is otherwise exactly the same. The racquets aren’t stronger, weaker, stiffer, softer, with larger sweet spots, etc. They just have different total weights.

    Then the manufacturer can offer a 150-gram “rugged, for beginners” model with purple and green paint at $80, a 130-gram “intermediate” model with orange and white stripes at $120, a 140-gram “advanced, for players who like power” model in silver sparkle paint at $160, and a 120-gram “ultra-light, for advanced players who like control” model with black and yellow fire swirls at $180.

    With one manufacturing process and a selection of paint schemes and handle weights, the manufacturer goes from selling $80 racquets to creating a segmented market of beginners buying $80 racquets, then wanting $120 racquets when they feel they are not beginners anymore, then moving on to $160 racquets because that’s what advanced players use and maybe trying the $180 racquets because there must be some reason the racquets are super-light and at the top of the price range. Plus there’s market segmentation from people not wanting a purple and green racquet and being willing to pay for the cool silver-sparkle or black and yellow fire swirl paint schemes.

    Reply

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