Are you a tennis player or a sports lover who has a tennis racket and want to play squash with it? Below is an explanation of the pros and cons associated with playing squash with a tennis racket.
The good thing for those playing racket sports is often a player good at one sport can pick up and get oneself to a solid level at another too.
Take the example of Ben Johns, who was a tennis player in his younger days but has gone on to become a household name in the world of pickleball.
There are obvious differences between racket sports, especially between squash and most other racket sports given the nature of the court. Unlike in tennis where the players are on the opposite side of the net, squash players play from the same side, making it a distinctly different racket sport.
That said, the aforementioned fact about players switching between racket sports ensures with consummate ease has seen many tennis-first players looking at squash for a variety of reasons.
One major reason is the health benefits associated with squash, and it also brings with a question that’s oft-heard: is it viable to play squash with a tennis racket.
Can one play squash with a tennis racket? The straightforward answer to this is no; if you are looking to regularly play squash then it’s best you buy a squash racket instead of doubling your tennis racket for squash as well.
Why, one might ask. There are a couple of reasons to this. Read on.
Why Should We Not Use a Tennis Racket for Squash?
Two of the biggest reasons to avoid using a tennis racket for the sport of squash are inter-connected and to do with the weight of the rackets.
To give you an idea, a tennis racket is typically anywhere between 8 to 12+ ounces in weight, i.e. 225 to 340 grams depending on the kind of player you are and the kind of racket you have opted for. Squash rackets are a lot lighter than tennis rackets.
A typical squash racket’s weight is around 150 grams, give or take a few grams depending again, on the kind of player you are.
This difference in weight can cause two major issues for a squash player, which are also the reasons why squash shouldn’t be played with a tennis racket.
Easy Tiring Out of Hand Muscles
Pretty obvious, right?
At the start of a match or even practice you might not notice too much of a difference but as the rallies get longer and the match time increases, there’s no doubting the difficulty your hand muscles would have to endure because of that added weight.
Inherently, there are some major differences in how tennis and squash are played, and their stroke-making, the forehand and backhand, isn’t very similar.
The racket swing for tennis is very different from squash, especially because of the weight and bounce of the balls involved. With a heavier racket, your wrists, elbow and shoulders run the risk of a quicker burnout or even serious injury issues.
Making the Switch Difficult
At some point in your career you would have to make the switch to a squash racket, especially as things get more competitive. At that stage, it would become that much more difficult to get used to a squash racket and the learning curve would be that much steeper.
Take the instance of the backhand serve in squash which is an important tool to master but not too many do it early in their careers and that makes it so much tougher later on. Not too different when you play with a piece of equipment not suited for the sport!
Other Issues with Playing Squash with a Tennis Racket
Heavier the racket, more difficult it is to impart precision to your shots – even tennis players who prefer the 250 gram racket as opposed to the 320 gram one do that for similar reasons, i.e preference of control over power.
Precision is of even more importance in squash, not so much power, and hence the lower weighted rackets make more sense.
One other problem is a tennis racket has broader dimensions than a squash one. Imagine two players on the same side of that small squash court with tennis rackets in their hands and you would also be able to imagine the higher probability of injuries for both.
Can You Use a Racquetball Racket for Squash?
There’s often confusion among fans if racquetball and squash are the same sport. More information on this can be found in our exhaustive guide about those two sports here, but the short explanation to this is no, they are different sports.
This isn’t to say that racquetball is as different from squash as tennis or badminton or other racket sports. However, the two have different sets of rules and need different rackets, and so ensure you use only your squash racket while playing squash.
What about Using Pickleball or Badminton Rackets for Squash?
Pickleball needs paddles to play it and again, it weighs even more than a tennis racket. Secondly, it’s a paddle unlike a squash racket.
As far as badminton rackets are concerned, they are made for the light, featherweight shuttlecocks and might not even last a game if used to play squash.
It is not a question a lot of people ask anyway but we thought since we are talking about interchangeability of rackets, it would be good to put down the obvious too!
How to Choose Your Squash Racket as a Beginner?
There are multiple factors one must look at before choosing one’s squash racket, especially if one is just starting out.
As mentioned above, weight becomes one of the most important factors in a squash racket. More aggressive your play, the lighter your racket would be while for those looking at better precision than power, you would go for a heavier one.
The balance of a squash racket is vital too with some going for the weight being evenly distributed while others opting for head-heavy or head-light rackets. Each comes with its own benefit and suits some style.
One of the other factors consist of its string, with higher-tension strings allowing for more control while the lower-tensions ones packing more punch. The throat, beam and grip are other aspects of a squash racket to look at with the squash racket price being a strong consideration at the time of starting out too.
More details on these factors and the best squash rackets for beginners can be found here.
Final Thoughts on Playing Squash with Tennis Rackets
It is not a very good idea to use a tennis racket – or any other racket – while playing squash. There are far too many issues involved with doing that and the benefits, other than saving on the early costs, are next to nothing.
Short and long-term injuries, caused because of using such rackets, could derail your career – and probably of your opponent’s too – which adds a lot of weight to the argument against using a non-squash racket.
Also, beginner squash rackets aren’t the costliest anyway and you should be able to easily afford it if you are even remotely serious about pursuing the sport.