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Racquetball Racquets

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The USRA (United States Racquetball Association) has precise standards for racquetball racquets: the racquet may not exceed 22 inches in length, the frame must include a cord that must be securely attached to the player's wrist, and the string of the racquet must be gut, monofilament, nylon, graphite, plastic, metal, or a combination thereof, and must not mark or deface the ball. Racquetball acquets are made by several manufacturers, including Wilson, Ektelon, E-Force, and Head.

As with racquets for other sports, there seem to be about as many racquet designs as there are professional players. But this is for good reason: attributes that seem to be an advantage can detract from other attributes, which makes racquet design both player specific and a matter of personal preference. Here are some characteristics to consider when buying a racquet:
  • grip - the most basic design element of a racquet is the grip; do not expect good performance if you are unable to properly grip the handle. Test feel a variety of grips to find the grip size best for your hand.
  • weight - weight takes more energy and reduces nimbleness, but lightness is not always better. Basic physics teaches that force is equal to mass times acceleration. If you reduce the racquet weight, you also reduce its mass, which makes it harder to reverse the direction of the ball. The best racquets move the weight from the head to the handle, which provides the advantages of weight while retaining the nimbleness of lightness.
  • head size - a larger hitting surface can help a player, particularly when you miss the sweet spot. But like everthing else, there is a trade off: usually in weight and nimbleness.
  • strength - even though a tennis ball is light, it is moving at a high speed and can hold a tremendous amount of force. Consequently, a racquet needs to be strong to endure that punishment over time as well as not to deform during each hit. However, if the racquet is too rigid, it does not dampen the vibrations from the hit.

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