Newest Review: ... from the blue dot for beginners which gives a slower bounce, a black one for a medium level user and then the yellow dots which really are ... more
My balls have different speeds...........
Member Name: pmcds
Advantages: Good range of pace, decent prices, reliable and fun
If you're looking for a great way to exercise, losing weight while improving your dexterity and reactions and really going for it while having fun at the same time, then there's not really very much that can beat a good game of squash. You're under the exact same limitations as your opponent, and you even have the same court space, bar the serve. I find that a good game of squash is excellent for a workout and it makes you feel really good after playing it, giving some of those muscles you wouldn't normally use a workout.
What I love about the game is the fact that the pace of it can be somewhat controlled by choosing what sort of ball you play with. Squash is played in a walled court that is quite small, and the idea is to hit the squash ball against one of the walls in between two horizontal lines. Then, as with tennis, your opponent is allowed a maximum of one bounce before having to do the same, with you being subjected to the same rules. The game can get quite frenetic, especially if you haven't played before. It's therefore useful to be able to start of with a faster ball, meaning you're more likely to be able to get to it before it reaches its second bounce. The slower the ball, the faster YOU have to go to get to it. After all, if it goes behind you, there's always a chance it can bounce off the back wall and you can then hit it, something that faster balls give you more of a chance to do.
So how do you know whether a ball is faster or not? Well, there's a colour coding system in place, using a tiny dot on the surface of the dark and squidgy squash ball. Each colour has a place on the speed chart, and you can get super fast balls as well as super slow ones. Competition balls (official standard competition balls) seem to place nearer the middle of the spectrum, allowing a slow enough pace to provide a challenge while keeping enough pace so that the super skilled and professional don't kill off each point too quickly.These balls have two yellow dots. The colour coding system will then change depending on what sort of speed ball you're looking for. Most brands will conform to the colour coding system, so it's easy to work out exactly what you're looking for. At school, we used to use the fastest balls for training to start with, and then move up the order to play with slower balls to improve our skills a bit more. You'd be surprised just how much difference there is between the slowest and the fastest.
Once you've got your squash balls, though, it's not simply a case of launching straight into playing. The balls are small, maybe a couple of inches in diameter or thereabouts, and are squidgy. Their rubbery bounciness relies a lot on friction, and you have to warm the balls up to make sure that you're getting the full bounce potential out of them. Balls are always warmed up before playing, and this is also a great way of warming up and practising yourself. As the balls warm up, you get a feel for their pace, and this then gets you set for playing.
A quirky little thing that I like doing is having a variety of different paced balls at my disposal, and it's quite fun to have the option of a different paced ball each time you serve. What this does is make your opponent have to be more aware of the pace of the ball they'll face, giving the server a bit more of an advantage. It also adds a different dimension to the game, one of a bit more concentration and cautiousness instead of being confident in the speed of the ball you're playing with. Like any racket sport, the rules and limitations can get somewhat frustrating, so I like to throw in a bit of difference with this.
In terms of which balls to get, I have yet to find a dodgy brand. Some well known sports brands will obviously have the edge, market leaders Wilson and Dunlop having the mostg popular brands. Depending on what sort of quality ball you want, and also what speed of ball you're after, prices can vary from a few pounds for a ball to £5 for a box of three. I think the more you buy, the cheaper they work out per unit. On amazon, you can get a dozen for around the £20 mark at the moment, which seems a good bargain.
rarely will you have a squash ball split on you, but bear in mind that after a while wear and tear on the ball will affect its performance. As long as you're aware of it, then you'll have no problems, and getting new balls luckily doesn't break the bank. Start off on a fast paced ball before then settling in and finding your comfort. And go on, give the multi speed ball option idea a go to add an extra dimension of concentration to the game, and let me know how you get on.............
Summary: Squash balls: what to expect..............
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