For some people, going to the gym and spending an hour on the treadmill constitutes exercise, while others like to add in some weight training. But for some, staring at a TV while engaging in repetitive motion simply won’t cut it. And while there are plenty of aerobic classes offered by gyms, these too can be somewhat boring. Sports can offer a much more satisfying workout in this respect, but joining a local team can mean a schedule of practices and games that are difficult to fit into your already busy lifestyle (not to mention the rigors of getting a whole group together). So if you’re looking for an activity that is dynamic and requires your mind and body to work together, but still fits into your timetable, perhaps squash is just the sport you’ve been seeking. And here are just a few essential items you’ll need to get started.
If you can only afford one item for this sport, it has to be a squash racquet. And they can get pretty pricy (up to a couple hundred dollars, in some cases). But you can find suitable options for less. If you’re just starting out with squash you should probably get yourself a low-end (read: cheap) racquet to start with, just so you can get a feel for the game. Then, if you end up liking it, you can invest in one that is lightweight, strong, and well suited to your body. You’ll be surprised at how much your game can improve when you have the right tools at your disposal, but until you’ve been playing a little while you probably won’t be able to tell the difference.
Okay, so it isn’t exactly essential to get a “squash bag”, per se. Pretty much any gym bag will suffice to tote your gear between home and gym. But if you do get serious about the sport, you’ll find that a squash bag is specially designed with compartments to hold your racquet (with less chance of damage), balls, and other equipment. If you play a lot, this type of bag will prove very handy.
While you can pretty much get away with any type of indoor gym shoe or sneaker, you’ll find that court shoes are preferable because they provide for better grip on the waxed wooden floors that tend to dominate squash courts. However, you don’t necessarily need to spend crazy money on squash-specific shoes. Any type of indoor sneaker will do (basketball sneakers, for example) as long as they’re made for use on a court.
You probably don’t need to spring for pads as you would with other sports; although you may take a tumble on the court, you’re not likely to hurt yourself too badly in this manner. However, it’s not uncommon to get a ball to the fact, so you’ll definitely want to wear protective goggles or glasses. You should also replace the grip on your racquet every so often; if it slips from your hand it can seriously injure your partner (or you).
Nearly any type of sportswear can be worn to play racquetball, from tees and loose shorts to sweat suits or jogging pants. But you should probably opt for sportswear that allows for ease of movement, and you may want to select wick-away fabrics since you can quickly heat up. If you’re really into it you can even make personalised t-shirts or track jackets for you and your practice partners. But one thing you’ll definitely want is a good pair of sports socks that wicks away moisture and provides plenty of cushion for your feet.