My Reviews for the Best Squash Equipment and Gear in 2019
These are my overall recommendations for the best squash equipment for 2019, and I’ll be keeping this guide updated if / when my recommendations change.
It can be overwhelming deciding on which squash equipment to buy, especially if you’re just starting out, or have played with certain brands for a long time. It’s also not easy finding the right squash gear when prices only go up.
Luckily, I’ve tested out almost all the different brands out there, for every type of squash equipment! I struggled for a long time to find the right ones that excelled in performance, durability, and price.
Here is a video showing you some of the highlights from this list:
For Experienced Players
My pick is the Technifibre Carboflex 125 S, which was used by world #1 Mohamed El Shorbagy up until the 2017 season. The latest model (called the X-Speed) is too expensive in my opinion. The Carboflex 125 S is an affordable racket, and the teardrop design makes it suitable for all levels of players, with a large sweet spot. It’s head-light, giving you quicker racket head speed through the ball. It’s a little bit on the light side at 125 grams, so make sure you have enough wrist and forearm strength to generate power.
To sweeten the deal, Technifibre is only the only brand that has good factory strings. Every other brand of racket needs an extra $30-40 right away to replace poor factory strings.
For Casual Club Players
My pick is the Tecnifibre Carboflex 130, which is a slightly heavier version of the Carboflex 125 S. The balance is more even, and the overall weight is heavier, giving more power for players who don't have the wrist and forearm strength. It's a great all-round racket that also has good durability. Once again, you also get great Tecnifibre factory strings with this racket.
For New Players on a Budget
I would go for the Dunlop Aerogel 4D Ultimate, which is an older Dunlop racket model, but was used for years by former world #1 Amr Shabana. Since it's from 2012-2013, you can get these for very cheap compared to newer models. I used the 4D rackets many times and they are very durable with great power.
What I don’t recommend: Prince rackets offer amazing power, but lately they are incredibly easy to break. You’ll spend a fortune on constantly replacing these. Unless you’re a very delicate striker of the squash ball, you can easily break a couple of these every month, playing at 2-3 times per week.
Head squash balls have performed amazing for me lately. They are a bit quick out of the box, but they settle into a medium-fast ball with a good high bounce. They also last a good 6-7 hours of hard play. This is the way Dunlop balls used to play. Head also tend to be priced lower than Dunlop!
I know this sounds crazy, since many people still play with Dunlop. So did I, but the past 2 years, Dunlop balls have worn out quicker, have a different bounce every time I use a fresh ball, and start skidding on the floor after 2-3 hours of use. I’ve confirmed this with many fellow squash players.
What I don’t recommend: As mentioned, Dunlop balls are just too unreliable lately. The inconsistency is the main downside. Every now and then I find a good one, but I like knowing what to expect when I take out a fresh ball. Black Knight squash balls are even worse, and I would never recommend these. They are very fast out of the box, and start skidding after 1-2 hours of hard play. They get shiny on the outside very quickly, and overall they play too fast.
The standard Karakal PU Super grip ranks #1 for me, BUT only certain colors. For some reason, the Red and Yellow grips have the best durability and tackiness. This might be why many of the professionals use Yellow grips. The Karakal PU super grips are also a medium thickness, giving a good grip for players of all hand sizes.
What I don’t recommend: the other Karakal grips offered haven’t performed well, including the Kushy Grip, Kumfy grip, and Duo color ones. These ones all have weird surfaces that never feel quite right. Other brands like Dunlop, Black Knight, and Harrow have all underperformed on durability, and lose their tackiness quickly.
Overgrips are also never a good option, in my opinion. You need a replacement grip underneath so it doesn’t slip, resulting in a grip that’s too thick. Spend the bit of extra cash and stick with replacement grips.
Best Squash Shoes
My pick is Mizuno shoes. I’ve tried several models, and they’ve all performed well, but lately my favorite is the Mizuno Wave Tornado X. They perform AMAZINGLY for squash. They have great grip, fantastic ankle support, and are very durable.
What I don’t recommend: For some reason, many new models of squash shoes are advertised as being super lightweight. You see this a lot with Salming shoes. Very often, this means less support for your feet and ankles, and lower durability. Salming shoes are especially soft shoes and offer much less support than Mizuno. I’m more than happy to add a couple hundred grams to my shoes weight, to prevent injuries. Salming shoes are also really expensive.
You’ll see a lot of professionals with Salming squash shoes, but keep in mind, they’re likely sponsored and can switch out their shoes often. An average club player wants his/her shoes to last a good 6 months, and prevent injuries that whole time.
Best Squash Strings
The Ashaway Ultranick power blue 18g are currently my favorite string. The squash ball comes off these strings with such a crisp hit, and the 18-gauge offers extra touch. They are also very durable and I’ve rarely broken these on a miss-hit.
Coming in close 2nd is the neon green Technifibre 305 17g/18g string (both gauges perform very well). The ball comes off these strings like a rocket, and many of the professionals play with these strings. However, I find they break VERY easily if you don’t hit the racket sweet spot. They tend to always break on miss-hits for me, near the outside of the racket. If it weren’t for this low durability, these would be my #1. If you’re a player who hits the ball very cleanly, these could be perfect for you.
What I don’t recommend: Any other Ashaway string, with the exception of the PowerNick. Many Ashaway strings have a rough texture to them, which I find feels horrible. Ashaway claims it adds more touch, but overall they feel horrible.
Also, any factory string (the strings that any new racket comes pre-strung with) should be replaced right away, with the exception of the Technifibre Syn-Gut. This is a good string, though not ideal. However, brands like Dunlop, Prince, and Head have terrible factory strings, and they’ll severely limit your power and control.
Best Squash Bag
For most players, a 6-pack or 9-pack racket bag is usually big enough. Personally I like the styling of Technifibre racket bags, notably the Technifibre Green Squash 9 racket bag. It really comes down to size and styling.
What I don’t recommend: 3-pack bags are way too small for anyone serious about their squash game. We need to carry at least 2-3 rackets, shoes, extra clothing, and balls, at the least. 12-pack bags are too big in my opinion, and you’ll end up banging into strangers on the street and on public transport with these giant bags.
Best Squash Goggles / Eyewear
I recommend the Wilson nVUE Goggles, which come in Black and Green. These squash goggles look great, have air holes to vent out hot air and prevent condensation, and have a rubberized end to improve comfort behind the ears.
What I don’t recommend: Head goggles have an elastic band that goes around your head, which can make them very uncomfortable, especially is youre already wearing a bandana.
Best Squash Apparel / Clothing
I’m a huge fan of Under Armour clothing. While it’s not a squash-specific brand, they specialize in apparel that vents itself and stays cool. This is very important during a match, as you don’t want a shirt that gets dripping wet and saturated with sweat. You don’t want to have to change into a new shirt every game. A standard breathable shirt like the Under Armour men’s Tech Short Sleeve t-shirt is perfect, even in hot & humid conditions.
What I don’t recommend: Many squash brands like Dunlop, Technifibre, and Black Knight make shirts that I find to be sub-par. They don’t vent properly, are often made too big, and feel itchy on the skin sometimes. I say leave the apparel to the specialists, which is Under Armour.
Best Squash Wristbands
Salming make excellent wristbands in a variety of sizes. They’re very durable and stand up well in the washing machine, and can soak up a lot of sweat. Also, they don’t retain some of the sweat odor like other brands do. I’m a big fan of their mid-size wristbands, but I find their large size is a bit big. That said, wristbands will shrink when you wash them, and the large ones might also be perfect for people with longer arms. I highly recommend a mid-size or large-size wristband for soaking up as much sweat as possible, keeping your hand dry.
What I don’t recommend: I’ve found that generic sporting brands like Nike and Under Armour retain odor more, even after washing. Under Armour wristbands also don’t soak up sweat very well – it tends to accumulate on the surface of the wristband.
I also don’t recommend small size wristbands, normally advertised as 3-inch. These are the ones you see at stores most often. We sweat like crazy in squash, especially in humid conditions, so you want a mid-size or large size (advertised as “wide” or “double”) to soak up the sweat.
Best Squash Headband / Bandana
For the heavy sweaters out there, I recommend the Halo Headband, also known as the Halo V Sweatband. This headband has a small rubber barrier on the inside to prevent sweat from reaching your eyes. It works perfectly, and absorbs a ton of sweat. The Halo Headband is also very lightweight and doesn’t clump up in the washing machine like regular cloth bandanas.
What I don’t recommend: Many squash players still fold up pieces of cloth and wear them as a bandana. This might work for some players, but heavy sweaters will have sweat dripping down the back of it, where the knot is tied. Needless to say, most cloth bandanas drip all over the court.