Guide to Squash Balls
Most experienced squash players use the Dunlop Pro brand of squash balls. This ball has two yellow dots on it and is often called the “double yellow dot”. The Dunlop Pro is the official ball of the mens’ and womens’ professional squash circuits, US college squash, and most squash tournaments. You can purchase these anywhere you buy squash equipment.
When to Replace a Worn Squash Ball
When you purchase a new squash ball, look at it closely. You’ll see the manufacturer’s logo is clearly visible. Run your thumb along the outside of the ball, and you’ll feel a slightly gritty texture.
Once you’ve played with the ball a number of times, the logo will wear off completely. Soon thereafter, the surface of the ball will start to become very smooth.
When you reach this point, it’s time to buy a new ball!
Have a look at the photo above — you’ll see a brand new ball on the left and a used ball on the right. On the used ball, the logo is completely worn off and the surface is becoming smooth. It’ll soon be time to replace this ball.
When to Use a Bouncier Ball
Most players use the Dunlop double yellow dot by default, but it’s often not the best choice for everyone. You should consider playing with a bouncier ball if you’re a novice or intermediate player, or if you’re playing in a very cold court.
Squash balls get more lively when they are warmed up. When the pros play, they whack the ball around with tremendous force and this keeps the ball hot. Novice and intermediate players don’t hit as hard on a consistent basis, which means the ball will stay relatively “dead”.
For some reason, most beginners stubbornly try to play with the exact same ball the pros play with. There’s only one problem with this: it’s ridiculous! To use a golfing analogy, it’s like having beginners play from the back tees at all times. It wouldn’t help you improve your game; in fact, the opposite would occur: it would be frustrating and impede your progress.
If you’re a newcomer to the game, or you play on very cold courts, or you just feel like the ball isn’t bouncing enough, don’t be afraid to try out some of the bouncier balls available from Dunlop, or from other manufacturers including Prince, Head and Pointfore. Each manufacturer does things a little differently, but in general the “single yellow dot” balls are a little bouncier, and the “blue dot” or “red dot” balls are the most bouncy. Most pro shops and online stores stock these balls in addition to the double yellow dot.
Here are a few other types of balls you might come across:
- High-altitude balls: these are less lively than double yellow dot balls, for high-altitude locations such as Denver or Mexico City where the ball tends to fly around more quickly than at sea level
- Doubles balls: very hard, very fast balls used in the game of squash doubles
- Kids balls: oversized foam balls that are fun for young kids