Andrew Parker

Best Racquetball Racquet – Buyer’s Guide

Best Racquetball Racquet – Buyer’s GuideA game that has relatively few pieces of equipment, the items required to play racquetball become that much more important., None of these pieces of equipment are more important that the racquet itself.

But, the skill level and style of play makes one racquet more suited to a player than another. Unfortunately, there are litany of different features that each combine to create best racquetball racquets which favor power or finesse. It can be difficult to figuring out.

Best Racquetball Racquet 2018

That is why we have put together a list of the top 5 best racquetball racquets and identified what each is suit for. We provide a helpful buyer’s guide, so you can navigate different features and find the racquet that is right for you.

Product
WeightBalanceHead Shape 
160-190gEvenModified Teardrop/Quadraform
160gEvenModified Teardrop
Ektelon Thunder Longbody
(Editor's Choice)
170gEvenModified Teardrop
165gHead HeavyModified Teardrop
195gEvenModified Teardrop

1. E-Force Apocalypse 160/170/175/190 Gram – Best Racquetball Racquet for Intermediate Player

E-Force Apocalypse reviewE-Force is quickly becoming known as one of the premier manufacturers of top end racquets, and the Apocalypse line is one of their flagships. It is no surprise that we rated this as the best racquet for advanced players. In fact, the Apocalypse is arguably designed for professional players, which might actually make it a little bit hard racquet for less experienced players.

If you choose to go with the Apocalypse, you can rest assured that you will be getting the best of both worlds. Part of this is because this racquet model comes in almost every conceivable form. Whether of head shape, grip, or weight, the Apocalypse can accommodate whatever you may need to have.

Advantages

This allows the player to selectively choose the type of racquet they want to best fit their playing style. Even better, all of the Apocalypse racquets, regardless the styles, come with the numerous technologies that E-Force provides to give an amazing product. For example, this racquet features the largest stringed surface area we saw. At 108 sq. in., the Apocalypse provides that absolute largest sweet spot on the market.

Material reliability

Yet, the biggest advancements have arguably been made to the head frame. For one, it is made out of 100 percent graphite. This ensures that the racquet remains stiff throughout the swing, so you do not have to worry about losing power. Keep in mind though, that a graphite racquet is more sensitive to shifts in temperature, so be sure to warm it up before engaging in highly competitive play.

For other head focused advances, the By-Pass system, tri-carbon frame, G2 Power Boosters, high compression wings, and dual cylinder frame all combine to create a head that was made to eek as much possible power out of your swing as possible. When combined with the 22” longstring main design and the oversized head, you can swing for the fences without having worry too much about off-center strikes.

To be fair, the Apocalypse is definitely a racquet that is geared far more towards power than it is control. Though, at the advanced and professional stages of play, the player’s technique is generally so well refined that power becomes more important factor. The Apocalypse has feature an even balance to ensure that you are not overloaded in a single swing metric.

Pros:
  • Comes in four different weights
  • Bypass string system provides control
  • Both head shapes provide options
  • Graphite frame is stiff
  • Numerous head frame power boosting technologies
  • 108 sq. in. string surface creates large sweet spot
  • Open string pattern generates power
  • Even balance provides both control and power
Cons:
  • Is a fairly expensive racquet
  • Not as durable as titanium or aluminum

2. Ektelon ’12 EXO3 RG Toron Lite – Best Racquetball Racquet Under 100$

Ektelon '12 EXO3 RG Toron Lite reviewIf E-Force is beginning its ascent as a premier brand of racquetball racquets, Ektelon has sat atop that mountain for a long time. Ektelon is one of the few brands at this list that specializes in the sport of racquetball to exclusivity. While other brands may manufacture excellent pieces or racquetball equipment, few have the single-minded dedication to the sport that Ektelon does.

Back in history

In fact, Ektelon can trace its racquetball lineage all the back to the 1960s when the sport was a poor man’s version of tennis in the public eye. Of course, the game of racquetball was played far differently in that time which may go a bit of the way towards informing Ektelon’s philosophy as a manufacturer of racquetball equipment.

Specifically, this brand seems to consistently strike a harder balance between power and control than many other brands might. Even at the higher end of Ektelon products, their racquets rarely stray too far towards power and almost always carry a few qualities geared to provide additional control–harkening back to the days when the game was far more about finesse and less about raw power.

The ’12 EXO3 RG Toron Lite is definitely a control-minded racquet. Though, Ektelon has actually inverted their normally philosophy and instead included some interesting features not often seen to provide a bump in power. For example, this racquet feature is one of the most open string patterns available. The 14×17 pattern may not favor control as well, but it delivers an incredible amount of power.

Lightest racquet at 160g

Of course, you will not miss any of the control lost from the wide-open string pattern, because nearly every other quality is control oriented. For one, this is the lightest racquet we reviewed at 160g. While it is not strictly the lightest racquet available, it is definitely one of the lightest racquets designed for use by advanced players.

The modified teardrop head shape combined with 106 sq. in. of string surface act as a double team to not only ensure that you hit the sweet spot as often as possible, but that you can control even off-center shots better than most other racquets. The even balance further reinforces this control without edging too closely into the underpowered realm.

Pros:
  • The lightest racquet we reviewed
  • Even balance provide power and control
  • 106 sq in string surface provides large sweet spot
  • Open string pattern generates power 12×16
  • Modified teardrop head shape provides control
  • Graphene head is stiff
  • Comes in three grip sizes
Cons:
  • Is a fairly expensive racquet
  • Not as durable as titanium or aluminum

3. Deluxe Racquetball Starter Kit Series – Best Racquetball Racquet For Beginners (Editor’s Choice)

Ektelon Thunder Longbody reviewFor those who may be a bit new to the game of racquetball or are perhaps jumping back in game after an extended hiatus, researching and buying all of the different types of equipment can be time consuming and tedious. Looking for a racquet and poring through the various pieces of relevant information and numerous qualities that distinguishes one from another is already trying.

In this case, it would be nice if there were a complete set of racquetball equipment that was both inexpensive and still high enough quality that you do not kick yourself for not investing more. Thankfully, this deluxe racquetball starter kit has everything you need to begin play and all at an incredibly reasonable price.

For one, everything except provided eyeguards are Ektelon, which providing you a sense of comfort receiving from quality equipment. But, the actual racquet provided in this bundle is a surprisingly good one as well. In fact, the racquet alone is worth more than the bundle if purchased separately from a different distributor.

This kit comes with an Ektelon Thunder Longbody. While the racquet is designed more intermediate players, it can still serve admirably as either an early adopter racquet or as a stepping stone. So long as you are not a full novice and can competently swing the racquet with some control, the Thunder Longbody is an excellent choice.

Advantages

This racquet follow the Ektelon tradition of erring a bit on the side of control for finesse players. However, this racquet is actually in the middleweight category at 170g. This will provide you enough control to refine your skills or get back into the swing of things while still giving a bit more weight for some power. This edge to power is further enhanced by the most open string pattern we saw. At 12 x 16, the Thunder Longbody can more make up any lost power from control-focused features.

Still, the bulk of this racquets features definitely favor control. For one, the head uses the modified teardrop shape. When you combine this with a 106 sq. in. string surface, you get additional control. For second, the even balance seeks to further smooth out any differences between control and power.

Pros:
  • Can handle high string tension
  • Teardrop head shape provides additional control
  • 106 sq. in. offers large sweet spot
  • Even balance provides power and control
  • Open string pattern generates power
  • Medium weight balances control and power
  • Graphite material is stiff
Cons:
  • Only comes in a single grip size
  • Not as durable as titanium or aluminum

4. Head i.165 Racquetball Racquet – Best Racquetball Racquet for Power

Head i.165 reviewAbout brand and company

While Head may not have the same specialization in racquetball that E-Force of Ektelon, the brand has been manufacturing products for more niche sports since the 1950s. While the brand’s original lineup focused on winter sports, the brand would move on to tennis in only a short decade –and other racquet based sports with it.

Recently, Head fully moved into the racquetball market after the acquisition of the Penn Racquet Sports company, responsible for the iconic Penn tennis balls. With that, the company brought the decades of experience they honed manufacturing top of the line tennis racquets to bear fully, positioning them as an immediate contender for a premier manufacturer.

The most power focused racquet

The Head i.165 comes in as the most power focused racquet on our list. That may seem a bit odd considering it is a fairly light racquet in the 165g category, but virtually all other features have been geared towards pumping this racquet with power at the expense of control. The only real control design is the teardrop head shape which can feel too little. If your swing technique is not already as good as required, you may do better seeking for more well-rounded racquet.

If your game is on point and you could do with some additional power, the i.165 has you covered. For one, this racquet features open string pattern, though it is not nearly as open as some of the other racquets we looked at. When you add the significantly head heavy balance into the equation, it is not difficult to see how the i.165 can still generate impressive power. In fact, the 7 point head heavy balance is not only the heaviest one on our list, but it is also one of the heavier available.

Head doubled down on that shift to power with the frame. For example, the string surface area of 103 sq. in. is on the lower end of the spectrum. This shrinks your sweet spot, requiring you to strike the ball truer to maintain control. Instead, this smaller string surface also increases the power of a truly struck ball.

The frame itself is made out of a titanium and graphite alloy. This is done to both provide a lightweight material as well as reinforce the strength of the frame. Eventually, this combination makes the i.165 one of the stiffer frames to play with which translates more power. Also, the frame features Intellifiber technology that uses a reverse piezoelectric effect to stiffen on impact.
Pros:
  • Light weight makes it easier to maneuver
  • Open string pattern increases power
  • Titanium graphite composite materials are stiff
  • Head heavy balance offers more power
  • 103 sq. in. head delivers power at the sweet spot
  • Intellifiber frame stiffens on impact
  • Teardrop drop head shape provide some control
Cons:
  • The grip is not the most durable
  • Does not provide much control
  • Included strings are terrible

5. Ektelon PowerRing Freak SS – Best Budget Racquetball Racquet

When you are as a specialized and storied in the sport of racquetball as Ektelon is, you eventually realize that there is reason to cover every corner of the racquet market. This means that you must cater to beginning players or those who are not interested in spending significant amounts of money just to play a game for fun.

Ektelon has produced the PowerRing Freak. This is not strictly the best or most advanced racquet you can buy, but if you are an absolute novice who is still learning how to properly swing the racquet, the PowerRing Freak is designed to provide features that cater specifically for this.

Racquet’s weight

Everything begins with the racquet’s weight. The PowerRing Freak is a whopping 195g. That is heavy and any manufacturer that makes a racquet will ultimately force you to play a certain way. That additional weight will prevent you from swinging quite as fast as you otherwise and will severely penalize you with poor control if you do.

Advantages

But, that is not suggest that the PowerRing Freak has poor control. On the contrary, if you swing the racquet properly, most of the other features are designed to provide a high degree of control. For example, the 105 sq. in. string surface area is more facile than a smaller framed racquet. Other string-based control elements include its pattern. While 16 x 18 may have been considered an open pattern, these days it is closer to the 18 x 20 than the 12 x 16 in terms of effect.

Disadvantages

The even balance of the racquet is also designed to help instill strong fundamental technique, though the inverted throat ring will goose the power a bit when you are ready. Really, there are only two major issues with this racquet. The first is that it comes in a single grip size, which will limit its usefulness for some players. The other is that it is made out of an aluminum alloy that will flex more than others–though this will actually provide more control as well and is more durable than pure graphite.

Pros:
  • The large head size of 105 sq. in. gives a large sweet spot
  • The even balance offer power and control
  • String pattern balances power and control
  • Inverted throat ring increases power
Cons:
  • The heavy weight will reduce control
  • Only comes in a single grip size
  • The aluminum alloy material is not good enough

Best Racquetball Racquet Reviews – Buyer’s Guide

Weight:

While the weight of the racquet is definitely important, it is often given a little bit outsized importance. If you are not an advanced player, then this is definitely the top priority. But, for those with some skill, their style will inform this choice making it a bit of a push-pull category.

>165g

This is the lightest category and favors finesse players. The lighter the racquet, the quicker you can move it into position. You should not necessarily discount this weight for generating power–especially if you can supply plenty of that on your own. Still, a lighter racquet need significant feature focus on power to be able to generate the same power as heavier racquets.

165-185g

This is the most common weight group for racquets and is also the most used weight group. Few people feel comfortable enough with their own swing strength to trust the lighter racquets. As such, unless they are a finesse style player, they are liable to view the middleweight racquets more favorably. The 170g and 175g are the most used weight categories for their balance between control and power.

185+g

These racquets are generally considered practice racquets or beginner racquets. Their additional weight limits your mobility and reaction time, which is also ultimately limit your control. That being said, some of the best players are fans of heavier racquets, because they are skilled enough to account for the weight as well as use the additional boost to power.

Balance:

Equally it is as important as weight but also just as prone to be dependent more on skill level and style of play. The balance of the racquet should seriously inform your decision. The balance refers to where the weight feels like it is distributed. Eventually, the balance will waver between providing more control or providing additional power. But, professionals generally have a tendency to have head heavy racquets.

Head Heavy

With this balance, the racquet feels like the weight hangs of the end of the racquet’s head. This is given either in points or in mm. Regardless, the a head heavy racquet swings a tad slower but produce a more power than a head light racquet. This racquet balance is ideal for smashing.

Head Light

A head light racquet places the weight not at the tip of the head but at the top of the shaft, generally where the shaft and the head meet. This racquet feels amazing smooth and easy to maneuver and finesse style players favor it. It allows you to position the ball anywhere. Unfortunately, you have to swing significantly harder with a head light racquet to get similar power as from a head heavy.

Even

Evenly balanced racquets function just as their name describes. While each evenly balanced racquet is a bit different from one brand to another, they have a generalized tendency to feel as though the weight is distributed close to the sweet spot. This kind of racquet balance generate decent power and provide solid control, but it does not wow you in either regard. This is the balance favored by most amateur players with an intermediate skill level.

Head Shape:

The head shape is one of the last features that plays a bit of an outsized impact on game. Unlike the prior two qualities, the head size can be broken down into two different categories: the modified teardrop and the quadraform. Each of these categories focus on either control or power, but there is no “middle ground” like with the other features.

Modified Teardrop (Control)

A modified teardrop has an arguably triangular shape. This head shape features a broad end with a sloping frame to the shaft of the racquet. This design increases the size of the racquet’s sweet spot making it easier to hit a true shot and maintain control. But, this head shape is not able to generate quite as much power.

Quadraform (Power)

The quadraform head is a bit more like a square than a triangle. While the frame ultimately bend towards the shaft, it will provide roughly straight lines before angling more sharply than does the modified teardrop. This shape allows a more regular distribution of the strings, which in turn generates more power. Though, this comes at the expense of control and a larger sweet spot.

Conclusion:

In the end, your style of play will likely weigh heavier in your decision for a racquet than anything. For those of you who are not yet skilled enough to have truly honed a style, that level of experience will be more relevant.

For the most experienced players, the combination of power and control provided by the E-Force is likely your best bet. Novices would be wise to stick with a practice racquet like the Ektelon Powerring Freak.

If you are an experienced player that favors power, the HEad i.165 is a solid choice that overcomes its generally light weight with a bevy of power focused features. Finesse players instead favor the EXO3 RG Toron Lite whose lightweight, even balance, and teardrop head are juxtaposed with one of the most available open string patterns.

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