best racquetball racquets for beginners

Best Racquetball Racquets In 2019: Beginners Guide

Choosing your racquetball racquet isn’t an easy task. We all have been there and we know how frustrating it is to see that two similar racquets have a price difference of +100 hundred dollars. It’s so confusing to racquetball beginners as well as some even intermediate players.

The whole purpose of this long guide is to make your decision a lot easier and as fast as possible so that you can get back to your normal life with a racquetball racquet that rocks.

I’ll start this guide with some basic information about the things that you need to understand in order to make a well informed decision that you won’t regret later. Then I move to review in details the best racquetball racquets out there that I see are worth your consideration.

Let’s get started then.

Buying Guide: How To Choose The Best Racquetball Racquet For You?

Difference between a Racquetball Racquet and Tennis Racquet?

Both racquetball and tennis involve hitting a ball with a racket, but there are certain differences which give each of the sport a unique experience. Both games have different histories, rules, techniques, and equipment and so one significant difference arises in the type of racquet used.

For racquetball, the racquet should not exceed 22 inches in the entire length spanning from the handle to the top of the racquet, but a tennis racket, on the other hand, can be as long as 29 inches. Racquetball rackets are much shorter because they are designed to give better control during the fast-paced game which requires faster swinging.

Additionally, the players are in close quarters in a racquetball court than they are in a tennis court, so the racket is intentionally shorter so that players do not end up accidentally whacking each other with the racquet.

Another major difference is that with the racquetball racquet, a rubber ring strap is attached to the end of the racquet so that players can wear the strap around their wrists for a stronger grip on the racket. This is particularly important because the racquet is pretty small and so the player needs to get a firm hold on it. This harness is absent on tennis racquets because they are already long enough to give a comfortable grip.

Besides the length of the racquet and the rubber ring strap, there is a difference in the string construction as well. Racquetball racquets are strung looser than tennis rackets, and this design gives the player more ‘pop’ off the face of the racquet so that each stroke packs a lot of power.

Features To Consider When Buying Racquetball Racquets

Weight of the Racquet

The weight of a racquet affects the player’s power, control, and maneuverability and the last thing you’d want is to get stuck with a racquet that tires your hands after a match involving several games.

  • Lightweight racquets weigh between 150-165 grams, and because they maximize maneuverability, they are best suited for players who generate their own power. Medium weight racquets are the most popular, and they weigh between 170-185 grams. These racquets strike a perfect balance between power and control which is why they are so popular with both hobbyists and tournament players.
  • Heavyweight racquets weight above 185 grams and these offer slow swings. Typically, the kind of players that will go for heavyweight racquets would be those who are new to the sport or the older veterans who would like to get a more controlled game.

Head Size

The shape and size of a racquet determine the location and size of the sweet spot. Typically, the main shapes are teardrop/triangular and Quadra-form.

The latter offers a larger sweet spot that’s a bit lower, and this makes it great for beginners, but this racquet shape does not generate as much power.

Teardrop racquets, on the other hand, have a higher but smaller sweet spot that’s packed with a lot of power thus making this racquets ideal for intermediate and advanced players who have swings that are very precise and defined.

Style of Play

The player’s style of play will determine what racquet they go for regarding racquet weight and it’s stringing pattern. Players who swing with less speed should opt for racquets with higher swing weights because they generate the highest amount of power even with minimal effort.

The kind of players that go for high swing weights will often be the ones working with line shots, usually driving from the backcourt. Lower swing weights, on the other hand, result in less momentum and these kinds of shots can be adjusted quickly, thus making it easier for the player to make tough shots.

This is ideal for control players who attack the front wall often and those who defeat their opponents by relying on strategic ball placement such as ceiling balls, lobs, and well-placed pinches, to keep the opponent off-balance.

Any player can pick up and use a medium swing weight racquet with ease because these racquets utilize both passing power and touch placement which is ideally the goal of all competitive players.

Racquetball Racket Balance

How a racket feels in your hands even before hitting a ball with it is referred to as balance and this affects the racquet’s power and maneuverability.

Racquet balancing can come in three main variations: head heavy, head light and even balance.

  • For head heavy racquets, more weight is focused at the head of the racquet, and this results in increased power arising from increased swing weight and swing speed.
  • Head-light racquets have more weight focused towards the handle, and so the racquet has a lighter overall feel. These racquets are better suited for frontcourt players because they have more maneuverability and agility. Racquets with an even balance are perfectly weighted, and the balance point is located right in the middle of the racket, at 11”.

String Type

Racquetball racquets can be strung using thick strings (also known as shaped, textured or sticky strings), or using thin gauge strings. While thin gauge strings offer better grabbing and better embedding as well, rough strings are great for increased friction.

Additionally, thick strings offer better control and durability, but thinner strings have a ‘trampoline effect’ which makes them bouncier and this is what gives shots more power. As much as the string gauge is important, it is not the only factor to take into consideration.

Players also have to look at the string material as well as the stringing tension. Racquets with stiffer stringing give more ball squashing with increased surface area contact and grabbing.

On the other hand, softer stringing results in a bed that allows for a longer sitting time for friction to work and so as the string bed stretches on impact; the ball gets increased power as it is launched.

Racket Grip

It is essential to go for a racquet with the right size grip for you so that you can ½ play comfortably and perform optimally while on the court.

Racquetball racquets come in three grip sizes: 3 5/8 inches, 3 7/8 inches, and 3 15/16 inches, with 3 5/8 inches being the most popular grip amongst players.

Being the smallest grip size available, it readily fits the average hand while maximizing wrist snap and power. Players with larger hands should go for the other two grip size options.

Best Racquetball Racquets For Intermediate Players In 2019

Wilson Drone X Racquetball Racquet

This racquet adeptly combines stylish looks, power, and performance and considering that it is a product of Wilson; we would not expect any less. The frame construction is perhaps the most exciting part about this racquetball racquet because it incorporates Basalt fibers which are very lightweight yet still managing to be impressively stable and strong. As a result, this medium weight racquet feels great to play with.

Wilson Drone X Racquetball Racquet

To further enhance the strength of the frame, X-band carbon fiber reinforcements have been used in the shoulders of the frame, and this ensures that players can use the racquet for quite a while before needing to replace it. The 16 bling Optimus string that has been used, perfectly maintains its tension even after several uses, and this keeps the sweet, relaxed feel of the racquet.

Furthermore, featuring Wilson’s patented power strings technology, the strings stretch to the full length of the racquet to deliver maximum power with every shot. Power is further enhanced by the head- heavy balance which in turn gives a high swing weight of 169. To eliminate unwanted sounds and vibrations upon ball impact, this racquet comes with a spiral shock shields dampener, and this also reduces the chances of an injury thus making the racquet safer to play with.

HEAD GrapheneXT Extreme 155 Racquet

Weighing 155 grams, this racquet is best suited for those players who rely on strategic shots rather than power shots. To that end, it is incredibly lightweight and maneuverable, and it feels quick in the users’ hands. The delta shape makes the racquet impressively sturdy, and the carbon fiber frame construction guarantees strength and durability.

HEAD GrapheneXT Extreme 155 Racquet

However, keep in mind that because of this head shape, the racquet offers a tiny sweet spot, so players have to be very careful to hit balls with a high degree of accuracy and precision. For these reasons, and also because it is quite pricey, perhaps this would be a racquet best suited for intermediate and advanced players who are serious about the game and have mastered the art of making perfect swings.

Making use of Adaptive String Pattern (ASP), the player can choose to customize the string pattern on this racquet head and go for either the traditional 16 main strings pattern or the 12 main strings pattern. While the former strikes a perfect balance between power and control, the 12 main strings pattern delivers maximum power. Ultimately, players will appreciate the excellent weight distribution on this racquet in that it is head-heavy but still offers a super low swing weight for extreme maneuverability.

HEAD Graphene Radical 160/170/180 Racquetball Racquet Series

The HEAD Graphene Radical series comes in three different weights whereby the 160-gram racquet is lightweight and maneuverable, and the 180-gram racquet is packed with power. A player’s decision about which of the three weights to go for will be informed by their playing style as well as by considering whether they get the upper hand over their opponent by using power shots or by using technique and strategy.

IHEAD Graphene Radical 160/170/180 Racquetball Racquet Series

The carbon fiber technology employed in making the frame of this racquet guarantees strength and sturdiness thus giving players a racquet they can use for quite a while before needing to replace it. Besides its strength, the frame material additionally allows for impressive weight redistribution thus giving rise to a perfect head-light balance. Similar to most of HEAD’s other racquets, players can also choose to change the string pattern on this racquet head.

The 16 x 16 is the traditional factory-strung pattern, but players can choose to have the 12 x 16 pattern which opens up the strings a little more thus allowing for more give and just as well, the racquet delivers much more power with this string configuration. Just keep in mind that the 12 x 16 pattern might require more frequent restringing because the strings are more likely to break faster.

E-Force Apocalypse 160/170/175/190 Gram Racquetball Racquet Series

The E-Force Apocalypse is considered the best racquetball racquet ever produced by E- Force, and for a good reason. To begin with, this racquet features G2 Power Boosters which just as the name suggests, give tremendous power to each shot allowing for tough hits but without causing damage to the racquet. The punch and power of shots are further enhanced by the Powerhouse Shaft Technology incorporated within the shaft of the racquet.

E-Force Apocalypse 160/170/175/190 Gram Racquetball Racquet Series

The Bypass Stringing System is another exciting feature whereby the main strings skip every second hole, and this design is so that the strings move more, thus giving more power. It takes a certain degree of experience and technique to be able to control the amount of power this racquet gives and so, perhaps it is better suited for intermediate and advanced players.

Featuring vibration dampening using Zero Richter Technology, this racquets gets to be very safe for playing with, and players play comfortably even after long matches. Additionally, the long string technology employed allows for extra zip and precision so that players would not only get to play comfortably, but they would also get to perform optimally while on the court.

Ektelon O3 White SS Racquetball Racquet

Constructed from premium high modulus TTT with GraphitExtreme material, this racquet delivers strength and stiffness ideal for ultimate power and maneuverability while on the court. Additionally, the super wide body of the racquet further contributes towards its stiffness and stability. Across the cross-sectional, this racquet has a Taper of 23-26, and this is what’s responsible for the torque resistance as well as improved frame vibrations.

Ektelon O3 White SS Racquetball Racquet

Besides being stable, the frame is also very maneuverable and lightweight, and this allows for accelerated swing speeds critical to the fast-paced nature of racquetball. For enhanced speed, the racquet features 4 O-ports meant to reduce aerodynamic drag on the head-light frame. The speed port O-ports additionally allow for free movement of the strings, and this turn delivers greater power with every shot.

For increased power levels, players have the option of inserting Power Plugs into the top of the frame. Power Plugs work  alter the stability and swing weight of the racquet thus resulting in reduced torque and increased overall power potential and this, in turn, gives the player better control of off-center hits. Depending on the amount of power and maneuverability the player is looking for, they could adjust the number of plugs accordingly so that they get a setup that perfectly matches their style of play.

Ektelon PowerRing Freak SS Racquetball Racquet

This racquet features the name PowerRing owing to the inverted ‘ring’ located in the throat of the frame. The purpose of this feature is to create longer main strings which have a uniform length so that there is enhanced power across the entire string bed. The presence of the ring also gives this grommet-less throat increased frame durability as well as reinforced stiffness.

Ektelon PowerRing Freak SS Racquetball Racquet

Besides that, the frame is made from Aerolite Alloy which is a lightweight yet durable material. The strength of the frame is further enhanced by the F3/Power Line which is a reinforced beam that has groves and is located on the inside surface of the racquet’s frame. In addition to providing more power, Power Line also contributes to the lighter weight of the racquet, therefore, making it very maneuverable and agile.

The Ektelon PowerRing Freak SS is a perfect racquet for the players who might be looking for something with a head size that is slightly bigger. At 105, the head size on this racquet gives players plenty of room with which to hit the ball thus making it quite a forgiving racquet. Better yet, the racquet comes with a wrist strap at the handle and these guards against a situation whereby the player accidentally loses their grip, and the racquet comes flying off their hands.

HEAD Royal Flush Racquetball Racquet Strung

This racquet is such a superior product because it features some of HEAD’s best technologies. One such technology is the PowerRAILS Technology which is an advanced beam cross-section located at the throat of the racquet, and its primary purpose is to increase torsional stiffness thus delivering more power.

HEAD Royal Flush Racquetball Racquet Strung

Additionally, PWRAIL also results in pinpoint control and accuracy, and this is particularly useful for the players who rely more on technique rather than on power shots. Featuring DuraZone String Pattern, the grommet holes in the head are reduced by having innovative shared ports. This feature delivers better stiffness and increases the overall durability of the racquet.

Another impressive feature is the Power Channels Technology and this design involves having moulded tubes in the throat of the racquet thus eliminating exterior string holes which are otherwise popular in the traditional grommet system.

Power channels lengthen the main strings, and this results in maximum stiffness thus giving a tremendous increase in the raw power delivered by the racquet.

Additionally, the Power Channels come equipped with Teflon friction-reducing polymer, and this results in the strings sliding through the groves with nearly no friction. Reduced friction, results in optimum energy transfer which in turn intensifies the power of each shot.

E-Force Heatseeker 3.0 175 Racquetball Racquet

The E-Force Heatseeker is one racquet players can always rely on for power, maneuverability and precision shots and quite some technologies have been incorporated into it to make this possible. To begin with, this racket comes with a stable string bed guaranteed to deliver power with every shot even the off-center hits that do not strike the sweet spot.

E-Force Heatseeker 3.0 175 Racquetball Racquet

This is made possible using Hi-Octane Boosters Technology which comprises power boosting tubes which cover a considerable area of the hitting surface strings and thus stabilizing the ‘boosted’ strings. Besides delivering increased power, Hi-Octane Boosters also reduce vibrations thus enhancing the great feel of the racquet. It also gives the player better-shot accuracy and ball control critical for optimal performance and winning shots.

The Powerhouse Shaft combined with the Bypass Stringing System and the Zero Richter Tube Technology allows for longer main strings that are strung to skip every two holes. The result of this is more power delivered by the racquet as well as livelier ball response.

Launchpad Technology further maximized power by eliminating unnecessary cross-strings in the racquet throat which can limit deflection, and so when absent, the setup results in increased string bed deflection which improves precision and accuracy. The Recoil Power Edge feature also increases ball accuracy by having larger stiffer cylinders in the hitting surface which reduce twists and distortion.

HEAD Ares 175 Racquetball Racquet

Featuring HEAD’s Corrugated Technology (CT), the HEAD Ares features corrugated rails incorporated within the throat of the racquet, and this increases its stiffness by as much as 12% compared to conventional racquet designs. CT also gives the racquet explosive power, and this is a particularly important factor for the players who rely on power rather than technique and strategic shots.

HEAD Ares 175 Racquetball Racquet

Besides CT, this racquet also makes use of HEAD’s Innegra. Innegra is a very lightweight yet high performance and hardwearing fiber which extends the performance of the racquet by maintaining its great properties even after prolonged use. Additionally, Innegra vibration on ball impact and this gives the racquet a better feel along with enhanced control and precision.

Because of its great shock absorption, this racquet has excellent stability, and this is among the factors why players enjoy using it and also why it is quite popular with backcourt players. The head-heavy nature might take a while to get used to but once you do, using the racquet would be a breeze. Despite it being head-heavy though, the racquet is quite comfortable to use because it needs very little wrist flex.

Head CPS Demon Racquetball Racquet

Weighing just 9.6 ounces, this racquet is quite lightweight, but it features a surprisingly stiff frame. The rigid frame is achieved using Crystal Power System (CPS) which is a unique molecular structure incorporated within the framework. This crystalline metal alloy has a dramatically smaller grain size, and this results in a stronger, stiffer construction that’s also more powerful for enhanced performance.

Head CPS Demon Racquetball Racquet

At the same time, the racquet features 16 x18 PowerZone String Pattern which comprises a double-hole grommet design. The reason behind this is so that the main strings can be longer so that the sweet spot can be higher up right where the player needs it the most. Unlike traditional grommet designs, the PowerZone grommets are oversized to allow for maximum string elasticity which gives a ‘trampoline effect’ when a ball hits the surface.

The grommets are also cone-shaped to allow for more freedom of string movement and simultaneously this results in a slightly enlarged sweet spot. Freedom of string movement means added string resiliency, and this leads to greater power transferred to the ball for explosive shots every time. PowerZone also incorporates a vibration dampening system which creates ultimate comfortable for players.

Best Racquetball Racquets For Beginners in 2019

HEAD Intelligence i.165 Racquetball Racquet

Beginners will appreciate the lightweight nature of the HEAD i.165 racquet because it makes it maneuverable and easy to handle as they slowly work on their skill and technique. At the same time, it doesn’t make much sense to shell out a lot of cash for a premium racquet if you are only going to use it a few times a year, and so the affordable price point of this racquet makes it ideal for recreational players.

HEAD i.165 Racquetball Racquet

Cheap does not necessarily mean inferior quality though. HEAD is a well-known name in the racquet industry, and their products are always innovative and technology-packed to guarantee every player has fun while out on the court. Utilizing HEAD’s Intelligence Technology, this racquet features intellifiber which is constructed from piezoelectric material.

Upon ball impact, the intellifiber takes the impact- generated mechanical energy and transforms it into an electrical response which stiffens the racquet for increased strength and power. It is using the Intellifiber technology that the racquet manages to be very powerful while remaining very lightweight, weighing a mere 165 grams. Being head-heavy, the balance point is closer to the impact zone, and this delivers an impressive balance of power and control.

Wilson Striker Racquetball Racquet

The core feature of the Wilson Striker racquetball racquet is the V-Matrix frame which allows for extra string bed movement and subsequently, this contributes towards more unpredictable ball trajectories. At the same time, some degree of lateral string movement also enhances the power of the racquet while still creating softer impacts suitable for a beginner level player.

Wilson Striker Racquetball Racquet

The V-Matrix construction also provides a larger sweet spot guaranteeing players can make great strikes even when they are off-center. The sturdy V-Matrix Beam cross-section gives additional racquet stiffness, and when there is almost zero flex, the racquet is stronger and can competently deliver power with each swing. The T6 heat-treated aluminum alloy used to construct the frame of this racquet is strong enough to withstand rigorous heavy play.

Despite its inexpensive price point, this is a great playable racquet ideal for the recreational players who may be looking for something that dishes out quite a good amount of power. Additionally, it is lightweight and has a good weight balance that is comfortable to play with even for prolonged periods of time.

Gearbox GB-50 Racquetball Racket

With a frame made from high quality 7000-grade aluminum, the Gearbox GB-50 racquet is an excellent choice for a beginner level player. It is durable and sturdy and has almost zero flex so that players can make shots with a reasonable degree of accuracy even if they are off-center shots. Still, on the same, this racquet comes in a Quadra/Teardrop Hybrid frame with a massive sweet spot.

GB-50 Racquetball Racket

Racquets meant for beginners should have a relatively large sweet spot because then they would be very forgiving, giving the player a massive learning curve as they master the required skills and techniques. The string used on this racquet is Gearbox 16 grams Monofilament, and it has been strung using Power String Pattern of 14 x 19. Weighing 190 grams, this head-light racquet is a bit on the heavier side.

However, this comes as an advantage to players who have slow swings or those who have less-established wrist snaps and stability. With a heavier racket, such players can take their time to learn proper swing mechanics as their game develops. Besides, the racquet is perfectly balanced, so players do not have to worry about getting arm strain or such related injuries. The 3-5/8” handle is very comfortable, and the Gearbox smooth wrap grip provides excellent traction.

E-Force Chaos Racquetball Racquet

E-Force is popularly known for its patented 22” Longstring® Technology featured in all of its rackets. The eight center mains extend in free space throughout the length of the racquet from the head to the hollow handle, and this design allows for increased stringbed deflection, and this provides more power.

E-Force Chaos Racquetball Racquet

Making use of the Zero Richter Tubes located within the handle, this racquet has a built-in vibration dampening system, and the tubes individually dampen 48” of the main strings. The main strings are strung using the Bypass Stringing System designed such that the strings skip every two holes and this is done so that the ball does not strike two main strings at a go. The Bypass Stringing System, therefore, delivers more power and livelier ball response.

The 10.5” cross strings are anchored to the outside edges of the racquet frame through the Monster String Holes to allow for more power and enhanced string bed deflection owing to the unrestricted movement of the strings in free space. The Monster String Holes obtain their name because they measure 2.54 cm2, and this is 6 times the size of standard cross string slots.

HEAD MX Hurricane Racquetball Pack

This racquet is not only very affordable, but it also comes as a pack comprising the HEAD MX Hurricane racquet, 2 Penn racquetballs and a pair of HEAD protective eyewear. If you are entirely new to the sport and are starting from nothing, then perhaps this is the best racquetball pack to go for.

HEAD MX Hurricane Racquetball Pack

The racquet has a large head size measuring 107 sq. Inches and this gives players an ample area as well as a generous sweet spot with which to hit the ball. Despite the large head size though, this racquet is very lightweight weighing just 6.7 ounces, and this gives a perfect combination for beginner level players.

The ‘MX’ in the name of the racket is obtained from Metallix™ Technology, and this is a specially designed Matrix comprising carbon fibers and a crystalline metal alloy. This composite gives rise to a material that is very strong, stiff and powerful.

The Pro Grip synthetic grip has a naturally tacky feel and offers excellent grip of 3-5/8 inches in size. Furthermore, the racquet comes with a wrist strap to help assure that it will not fly off your hands while playing.

Ektelon Thunder ESP LB Racquetball Racquet

The Thunder ESP is a decent quality racquet that comes in several different weight options so that the player can settle for the ideal weight they are comfortable playing with. Regardless of the weight though, they all feature the same modifies teardrop head shape which allows for an expanded sweet spot located at the top of the head just where the player needs it the most, additionally, this racquet comes in a unique long body design, and this enables players to take hard-to-reach shots with ease.

Thunder ESP LB Racquetball Racquet

The frame is made from 100% graphite, and as a result, it is firm, and sturdy and holds up well to the rigors of a tough game. With a power level of 2900, this racquet features Power Ring String Pattern which creates longer main strings that are uniform in length for enhanced power across the string bed.

The power ring additionally enhances the durability and stiffness of the frame thus giving almost no flex upon impact. Moreover, the strength of the frame also arises from having been constructed using Aerolite Alloy used which is a lightweight yet durable material.

MacGregor Scholastic Racquetball Racquet

This aluminum MacGregor Scholastic racquet has a powder-coated aluminum O-beam finish, and this makes the frame of the racket lightweight yet sturdy enough to provide almost zero flex upon ball impact. A racquet with minimal flex gives excellent ball response and players can make shots with accuracy and precision without worrying that the ball will go where they had not intended it to.

MacGregor Scholastic Racquetball Racquet

The distinct head shape provides a large sweet spot that is very forgiving, and this is especially important if the racquet is designed to be used by beginner level and recreational players. The teardrop head has a built-in bumper which blends in perfectly with the frame to allow for less drag and as a result, increased swing speeds.

With an in-built bumper, players are assured that their racquet is always protected from accidental scrape while on the court. The open throat design of this racquet gives room for some string movement, and this gives shots more power and a great overall feel of the racquet.

Dunlop Biomimetic Sniper (170) Racquetball Racquet

The Dunlop Biomimetic Sniper racquet weighs 170 grams which happen to be the weight preferred by most racquetball players.

In addition to that, it has 106 sq. Inches of playing surface which are quite generous especially keeping in mind that this racquet is to be used by beginner level players who are still learning the techniques and skills involved in the sport.

Dunlop Biomimetic Sniper (170) Racquetball Racquet

The strings are strung in a 14 x 19 string pattern and have a string tension of 30-34 pounds which is suitable to guarantee impactful power-packed strikes.

The low profile and low weight of the racquet make it maneuverable and easy to handle such that players can swing with ease and accuracy. The racquet is also easy to handle because it has an even balance for a perfect feel in the players’ hands.

About the Author: William Anders

Two things take most of my time: writing and racquetball. Recently, I merged both of them since I started this blog about racquetball to talk about what I learned over the years about the sport of racquetball. Hope this content here helps!

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