What Equipment Do You Need To Play Racquetball?

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Racquetball is an extremely fast-paced game full of fun and energy. While anyone can step onto their local racquetball court and join a game, it’s best if they are well prepared to play. The equipment you need for racquetball isn’t extensive, but it is very important.

Racquetball Equipment List:

  • Racquet
  • Shoes
  • Eye Protection
  • Balls
  • Gloves
  • Sweatbands

All these things play vital roles in a game where you always have to pay close attention. You want to be as prepared as possible to play so that you can focus more on having fun. Keep reading to find out what you need to get started playing racquetball.

Racquet Properties for Racquetball

The main piece of equipment you need to play racquetball is a racquet. It’s what a player uses to hit the ball with power and precision. There are a few factors to consider when deciding which racquet would be best for you.

Grip Size

The grip is the part of the racquet that you hold onto while you’re playing. There are two sizes of grip you can choose between – a smaller 3 5/8 inches or a larger 3 7/8 inches. Most players will choose the smaller size, which is the most common.

If you have a larger hand, it may be detrimental to you to use the smaller grip size. Squeezing your hand tighter around the grip could contribute to issues in your joints. If you wear a large or x-large glove, you are probably going to be more comfortable with the larger grip.

Balance

There are three different types of balance associated with racquets that contribute different things to your game. Depending on what you’re looking for, you would choose one of the three. Every 1/8 of an inch from the center point of a racquet is plus or minus 1 balance point.

Types of Racquet Balance:

  • Head-Heavy
  • Even-Balance
  • Head-Light

When a racquet is head-heavy, that means the weight is focused on the head end of the racquet. These racquets are ideal for anyone that wants to incorporate more power, as they increase your swing weight and speed.

Even-balance racquets are perfectly balanced around the exact center point of the racquet, which is 11 inches from either end. These racquets offer benefits in both power and control. They are the easiest to use for players just starting out.

A head-light racquet has the weight focused primarily in the handle. They feel lighter in the hand and give you better control on the court. These racquets are best if you require more ease of movement.

Weight

Before deciding on what weight of racquet to use, you should consider what speed your personal swing is. There are three different weights of racquet you can use, and each corresponds to a different swing speed.

Racquet Weights:

  • Light – Under 165 grams
  • Medium – 165 to 180 grams
  • Heavy – Over 180 grams

If you have a relatively fast swing, you will benefit most from a light-weight racquet. They give greater maneuverability over power. Players with faster swings make all the power they need already without the help of a heavier racquet.

Medium-weight racquets are the most commonly used. They offer the player a balance of benefits between power and control. This weight of racquet is perfect if you have a moderate swinging speed.

For the player with a relatively slow swing, a heavy-weight racquet is the best option. These racquets will give the player more power in their swing that they wouldn’t be able to generate otherwise. If you are just beginning and have a slower swing, this might be the best option for you at first.

Swing Weight

The swing weight of a racquet is all about gaining more power, more control, or having a balance of both. What swing weight you decide to use depends on what you need most on the court while you’re playing.

A high swing weight equates to more power with less effort on the part of the player. It’s harder for the ball to move the racquet when it hits, resulting in a more powerful reaction. This is the category that defines most new players that haven’t been on the court for long.

Low swing weight racquets offer more control. They are much easier to swing about and make quick adjustments a dream. Because of their ease of movement, the ball can also move them more easily, which gives the strike less power.

Right in the middle, medium swing weight racquets balance power and control in the same piece of equipment. These racquets are the easiest for just about any player to use. A good level of balance is the best place to be for players.

With all this in mind you can go check out some Racquets online and get them shipped directly to your door. You can also try to find them in a sports outlet to make a physical test before purchasing.

My Favorite Racquetball Racquet

Wilson Striker Racquetball Racquet

Great option for new starters at a very good price.

Check it on Amazon

The strings

We have written a complete guide with few examples on how much choosing the right string can impact your game. 

Take a look at the article by clicking here and get all the details.

Racquetball Shoes

Investing in the right kind of shoes is essential to the game of racquetball. There are certain aspects of a pair of racquetball shoes that make them perfect for the indoor court environment. If you are a serious player you should already have a good pair of shoes, but even casual, every-once-in-a-while players should own a pair for their safety.

Racquetball shoes feature gum soles that give a player amazing traction on the special indoor court. They give you the ability to stop and change direction on a dime without slipping, falling, or turning an ankle. They also have more support to lessen the hazard of injury to your ankles and knees while playing.

Whatever you do, don’t try to play racquetball in running shoes. The way running shoes are made is perfect for going forward and have a cushioned sole that keeps the impact of running from hurting your feet. However, they don’t protect your ankles sufficiently enough for racquetball and could cause you to slip on the court.

Tennis shoes also aren’t a good idea to wear in a racquetball game. While played in a similar fashion, tennis courts are completely different from racquetball courts and are made differently to suit them. Tennis shoes won’t give you the grip you need to move during a game.

Aside from racquetball shoes, a good pair of basketball or volleyball shoes can work for the casual player that has them on hand. Cross-training shoes are also usable. Neither of these fit the needs of racquetball quite as well as shoes made specifically for the sport, but they will do in a pinch.

In this article, you can find out what to look for on a pair of racquetball shoes and some picks we have personally tried.

Eye Protection

Wearing eye protection during a racquetball game is a must – no questions asked. If you play competitively then some form of eyewear is required, otherwise, you can’t play. Even if you only play casually, it’s essential that you buy a pair of glasses or goggles before you play.

Racquetball is not a particularly tame sport. During play, the ball is flying around at incredible speeds. If you were to get hit in the face with a ball and you didn’t have eye protection on, it would cause significant damage to your eye. This point is non-negotiable.

When you’re looking for eye protection, make sure whatever pair you choose is officially sanctioned for racquetball. A pair of goggles that haven’t been made specifically for the game may not actually protect you as well as you hope. It’s best to go with ones that you know are made for the game you’re playing.

The most important part of choosing eye protection is your comfort. You should choose a pair that fits you well and won’t cause you any annoyance during a game. A proper fit is crucial, considering losing your eyewear during a rally will result in an immediate loss.

Things to Consider About Your Eye Protection:

  • Lens Style
  • Anti-Fogging
  • Adjustability
  • Prescription Needs

Lens Style

Racquetball eyewear can be found in two variations. You can purchase a pair that has a one-piece lens or a pair with a two-piece lens. The kind you decide on depends on your personal preference.

Goggles with a one-piece lens are a full single piece across both eyes and feature a single piece nose pad. This style of eyewear offers more protection overall. Because they typically wrap somewhat around the face, they also give you a better range of peripheral vision.

Two-piece lenses are much like regular glasses with a separate lens on each side and two nose pads. The style of these glasses is generally preferred because they look better and are smaller in size than full-on goggles. However, they provide less coverage and are more likely to fall off during gameplay.

On top of what kind of lens you prefer, there are also options concerning the color of the lens. Different lens colors provide better vision in different kinds of lighting. Some eyewear will come with interchangeable lenses that allow you to switch out the clear ones for the color that best suits your needs at any given time.

Lens Colors:

  • Amber: Best for lightening dark courts or playing outside in low light.
  • Blue: Helps to enhance your visibility of an indoor court and see the ball better.
  • Tinted: Works well when playing outside in a lot of sunlight.

Anti-Fogging

Any eye protection made for racquetball will come equipped with one or more layers of anti-fog coating to keep your vision clear while you’re playing. Even if it works perfectly at first, the coating will eventually wear off due to exposure to sweat, cleaning, and wear and tear. If you start to notice your eyewear fogging up, it’s best to replace them.

You can find goggles that feature vent holes at the top of the lenses to enhance airflow and prevent the chance of them fogging up. This is a great feature to prolong the life of your eye protection. The more airflow you have the less likely condensation is to stick to your lenses.

It’s also best to find a pair of goggles that fit well when not worn right up against the bridge of your nose. The closer they are to your face, the less room there is for airflow. If you’re worried about them falling off while you play, you can always choose a pair with an elastic strap that keeps them attached to your head.

Adjustability

Depending on how much you’re willing to invest in your eye protection, you can find some cool features that might benefit you in the long run. There are pairs of goggles available that have adjustable arms so that you can set them to fit your head shape with ease.

While adjustable pieces may be perfect for those that don’t fall in the standard size of eyewear, they may also need replacing more frequently. Moving parts typically fail at some point, which means they aren’t likely to last quite as long as frames that are a single piece.

Prescription Needs

If you already wear glasses, you still need to wear racquetball specific eye protection. Regular glasses aren’t going to protect you if the ball comes flying at your face at 100 miles an hour. The simplest way to fix this problem is to purchase a pair of goggles designed to fit over your glasses.

For the more dedicated player, it might be worth it to invest in a pair of eyewear with prescription lenses. These will eliminate the need for you to wear your glasses at all, as the goggles will act as your glasses, protecting you and allowing you to see clearly in one single pair of eyewear.

Balls For Racquetball

The balls used in racquetball are unique to the sport. They are made of soft rubber and measure 2.25 inches in diameter, the official required size. You can purchase balls in 5 different colors, each of which indicates a different bounce speed.

Racquetball Colors:

  • Black – Slow Speed; Preferred for Slow Rallies and Senior Players; Longer Lasting
  • Blue – Good Speed; Most Popular Balls; Durable
  • Green – Fast Speed; Indoor Play; More Durable Than Purple Balls
  • Purple – Fastest Indoor Speed; Most Popular for Professionals, Wear out Fast
  • Red – Fastest Overall Speed; Outdoor Play; Better Durability on Concrete

Racquetballs will stay fresh if the container they come in isn’t opened. Once it is, they begin to lose pressure, even when they aren’t being used. Gameplay will wear a ball out over time, making it lose its edge and perform less efficiently. This is referred to as a ball “going dead”.

A good rule of thumb is to replace your racquetball when you can no longer see the logo of the manufacturer. More professional players will generally switch to a new ball every 3 to 5 games to keep them as good as new. While you can continue playing with a dead ball until it breaks, it’s not recommended.

Racquetball Balls

Penn Racquetballs (Pack of 12)

Pack of 12 balls for all levels of play

Check it on Amazon

Gloves

Wearing a glove isn’t required but can improve your game if that’s important to you. Racquetball players only wear a glove on their dominant hand, whichever hand holds the racquet, to provide better grip. A glove will also help absorb sweat that could cause the racquet to slip in your hand and protect your hand if you happen to dive.

There are several materials gloves can be made from. These materials vary in price and are all useful in their own way. You can easily narrow down your choices depending on what kind of grip you’re looking for and if you require more padding or more breathability.

Types of Glove Material:

Back:

  • Mesh – Breathability; No Protection; Less Absorption; Less Durability
  • Neoprene, Lycra, or Spandex – Stretch; Absorption; Less Breathability

Palm:

  • Synthetic Leather – Better Grip; Less Appealing Feel
  • Tackified Leather – Best Grip; Harder to Switch Between Grips
  • Goatskin Leather – Soft; Cheaper Than Sheepskin; Wears out Faster
  • Sheepskin Leather – Softest Leather; Longer Lasting; Expensive

Padding (Optional for Frequent Divers):

  • Foam – Protects Hand; Bad Breathability; Bulky
  • Airprene – Protects Without Added Bulk; Less Padded Than Foam; Bad Breathability

Most Popular Racquetball Gloves

HEAD Leather Racquetball Glove

One of the most sold gloves for racquetball. They are durable, comfortable and have knuckle protection.

Check it on Amazon

When you start to look at gloves, you should always keep your budget in mind. Consistent racquetball players benefit from having multiple gloves to switch between every game or every other game. Changing out your glove and allowing it to dry will prolong its lifespan and save you money in the long run.

Racquetball gloves typically cost between $8 and $20 depending on how they’re made. It’s best to try out gloves with different features, so you may want to start with cheaper gloves until you find what works best for you. Having a bunch of cheap gloves is better than having one more expensive glove.

Glove size depends on how big your hand is. If you are between sizes, it’s best to go for a smaller size. A bigger glove in a racquetball game can hurt your precision and cause the racquet to move around more in your hand. Gloves stretch over time, so even if a smaller glove isn’t as comfortable at first, it will be after a few wears.

Sweatbands

A good sweatband around your head and wrists can help improve your game. It’s totally optional, but it will keep sweat out of your eyes and off your hands. This can help in keeping your eyewear from fogging up and improve your game overall.

My Pick For Racquetball Sweatband

BEACE Sweatbands Sports

It can be used for both your wrist and your forehead. Perfect choice if you don't want that annoying sweat to run down your eyes.

Check it on Amazon

Good Equipment Is Essential for Racquetball

Whether you are just starting out, someone that plays once in a blue moon, or a hardcore racquetball enthusiast, your equipment should be up to the challenge of the game. Playing unprepared or with sub-par equipment could result, at the best, in a lousy game and, at the worst, in serious injury.

Before stepping onto the court, make sure you are equipped with a racquet that feels good in your hand, the proper pair of shoes, some regulation eye protection, and your favorite kind of balls. 

If you’re serious about being your best, a glove and some sweatbands don’t hurt. 

With all the right equipment, your racquetball game will only keep improving. Besides, it’s much more fun to play when you have everything you need to play the right way.

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