There are four different kinds of squash balls: red, blue, single yellow or double yellow, and one or two dots squash balls. Unlike other sports, squash has a different ball for beginners and professionals.
To choose the right squash ball, consider your skill level and the court’s temperature. For instance, beginners should choose red or blue balls while professionals can use single yellow dot balls. Similarly, if you are playing in a colder court, a bouncier squash ball is the right pick.
What is the Difference Between Squash Balls?
Squash balls vary in color, bounce, and speed. Different types are recommended for different skill levels and are distinguished using dots, sizes, and colors. Moreover, squash balls vary across brands.
A single blue dot ball is also known as the “progress” ball. It has the highest bounce and can survive longer rallies. It is preferred when two new squash players are playing against each other.
A single yellow dot ball is considered an intermediate ball, with relatively less bounce than a single blue dot ball. Use this only if you have gained enough experience to hit the ball harder and survive longer rallies.
The double yellow dot ball is considered to be the professional’s ball but at the same time, it is used by regular club-level players. Since it has the lowest bounce, it requires hard-hitting to get sufficiently warm. These balls give players good drop shots and good length.
Squash balls come in various colors, and each color has its own set of attributes.
Orange balls have very little bounce and slow speed. They are recommended for high-altitude players.
The yellow ball with slow bounce and low speed is recommended for advanced players. The double yellow ball is faster than the orange one. However, the speed (hang time) is the same. This type is recommended for highly experienced, professional squash players.
The green ball has medium-low bounce with an average speed and is used by advanced players.
The red ball has a medium bounce with a high speed, and is recommended for beginners.
The last one is the blue ball, which has the fastest bounce and a very high speed. It is recommended for junior-level or young players.
When you are deciding which squash ball to use, the brand is an important factor. Major differences like the ball’s lifespan or playing characteristics depend upon the brand.
Dunlop is the gold standard ball used by professional players in squash leagues, i.e., PSA and WISPA. The ball has a high bounce and even higher price. However, the Dunlop ball has ranked down since 2014, as it was unable to last long in games of hard-hitting and would start shimmering and skidding within 2-3 hours. Dunlop has been the number 1 choice until recently. Now, Dunlop balls are considered to be risky with their highly variable performance.
Head’s ball has a more consistent performance. It has medium bounce and medium speed. The ball is known for its durability as it lasts for at least 6 hours in a good hard-hitting game before it starts to skid away. The price is also lower than Dunlop’s.
The Black Knight ball is medium-fast. It has a low bounce and very low durability. Within 1-2 hours of a hard-hitting game, these balls will start to skid and become shiny. Just like Dunlop’s ball, these balls are highly variable in their performance. You cannot predict what their speed and bounce will turn out to be. Generally, these balls are used for quick solo sessions of 30 minutes by squash players.
Wilson’s ball is considered too fast for most pro players in courts having a warm atmosphere as these balls don’t need much warming up. However, they are suitable for beginner-level players who struggle to hit hard.
The Prince ball is extremely fast, just like Wilson’s. Due to their fast nature, these balls are avoided by professional players. They also have a low bounce.
Squash balls come in various materials and finishes, such as:
- Raw butyl rubber
- Different natural and artificial materials
- Powder-added rubber for an air-filled ball.
Picking the right-sized ball can significantly affect your game if you are a squash player. As indicated by the World Squash Federation (WSF) guidelines, squash balls utilized in rivalries should have a diameter between 39.5 and 40.5 mm, and weigh between 23 and 25 grams.
Which Squash Ball is the Best for Beginners?
Beginners might want to use the blue dot ball to improve the warming up and get it bouncing. A single blue dot ball offers a high bounce and delivers a fast shot, so it is considered ideal for beginners.
How to Warm Up a Squash Ball?
There are several steps you can follow to warm up your squash ball, such as rolling it back and forth with your foot. However, this makes the ball skiddy and is not recommended. An alternative is to hit the ball repeatedly against a wall with your racket. Similarly, you can use your forehand to hit it as hard as possible.
How Long does a Squash Ball Last?
There is no strict rule for this. Squash balls contain air. After a few sessions of the game, air slowly escapes from the ball, causing it to lose bounce. Once the ball stops bouncing enough to let the game continue, it is time to change the ball.
How frequently you need to replace the ball depends upon your playing style and how regularly you play. Players who hit the ball hard need to change to another ball sooner. Regardless, it’s advised to have a couple of new balls in your squash sack at all times.
The size of the squash ball, its material, the brand, and the type can strongly impact your game. Different squash balls have different numbers of dots and colors, and are suitable for different kinds of players. Balls also have different bounces and speeds. Similarly, they are warmed up differently. Owing to all these variations, it is important to know what kind of ball meets your needs the best.