June 19th, 2009 by Ben
Like the majority of racquetball players, I have always played my favorite sport indoors. My eyes have adjusted to the artificial lighting and I have become accustomed to the under appreciated confidence that no matter how hard I hit the ball, it will stay in the concrete box that smells of body heat, sweat and warm rubber. This box has become a comfort zone of sorts as I have explored every inch of wood floor whether it be while running, jumping or laying out for that pass shot just out of reach. Just thinking about it, I feel euphoric for my racquet and eyewear as I reflect on the many bruises, sore muscles and heated moments.
As I reflect on past matches I am looking forward to a new era of sunshine, fresh air and much less forgiving diving conditions. As July approaches so does my first Outdoor Racquetball Tournament. I am of course referring to the Racquetball Warehouse World Outdoor Racquetball National Championships (RWWORNC) in Huntington Beach, CA. I attended this event in 2008 but did not enter the draw, regrettably. Now that the tournament is around the corner, I have to rethink my whole game plan. There are only 3 walls and the side walls only go as far as the service box. There is no ceiling so the defense game is gone. I have to rely on shoulder high pass shots, splats, pinches, lots of new angles, and a slew of things I will soon have to learn very quickly to have any chance in the single elimination tournament.
My goal in this post is to encourage players to branch out and find some outdoor courts near you. If racquetball is to reach the masses, it has to be more accessible and what better way than to play in a public park exposed to the elements. If you don’t know where to start, then start here: www.worldoutdoorracquetball.com . I am a little scared myself, and perhaps my apprehension is unwarranted, but having a tendency to dive a lot, I expect to come back from the WOR Nationals with some fresh natural tattoos on my knees and elbows. It is a different kind of game and a lot of players will say that it is better than indoor so try something new and get some sunshine! The Nationals are going to be an amazing event this year so even if you don’t feel like playing, you will have a great time just being there: http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/worchamp.html
Good luck and see you out there!
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June 4th, 2009 by Ben
Now that we find ourselves in June, we have seen 4 of the 6 new lines of racquets, the most recent additions being ProKennex and Wilson.
I have always been a fan of ProKennex racquets as they are very stable, forgiving racquets, so they cope well with my sometimes sporadic shot selection. This year is no exception. They have added their Kinetic technology to both high end racquets, and are using their top frame as a platform to promote Kane Waselenchuk, now ranked #1 on the IRT. Here are their new frames:
I am of course referring to the Kinetic KM 750 (175 grams) and the Kinetic Quad 500 (165 grams). They are also releasing the HC2 in a 170 with new paint and a super thick beam. We don’t have hitters yet so check back soon for playtest reports.
Moving on…Wilson has lifted the veil on their new line, revealing bold cosmetics and updated engineering on their previous models. Check out the Wilson RX racquets here:
We had a chance to hit with them briefly while visiting Wilson and are looking forward to getting playtest samples soon to provide more feedback. My initials thoughts were positive. They are closer to an even balance over previous years, a trend more manufacturers seem to be taking, which made for an easier adjustment in the short hitting time we had. They updated the frame design at the throat increasing stiffness and power. Look for racquets and demos to be available mid August.
The other two racquet lines have been mentioned in previous posts. Ektelon:
That is all I have to say for now, I hope this is helpful for you. As always, contact us if you have any further questions you want answered!
- Ben – 800 824 1101
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May 18th, 2009 by Ben
We received the new Wilson Hope Glove today, the only racquetball glove on the market designed for a woman’s hand. So I tried it on, obviously I do not have a woman’s hand, but it was very comfortable. The main difference is the sizing – I normally wear Medium in gloves and I would definitely wear a Large, if it was made, in the Hope glove.
It is very comfortable and breathable. It is made from thin materials and feels very light on your hand. It also has some knuckle pads on the pinky and ring finger. My inititial thoughts are that it is a great glove, check it out for yourself:
I also tried out the new Head Tacki Mac Serrated MT grip today. It is quite impressive. I have not used a Tacki Mac grip before but have used both the Python Rubber and Ektelon Vision II Clear rubber grips. The MT feels very tacky without actually sticking to your hand/glove. If you have ever bought a new Ektelon racquet, you know how sticky the Vision grips are when brand new. However, as soon as it wears out or gets wet it can get very slick. Python grips are great and I have used them quite a bit at the lack of something better – the MT. The Serrated MT grip was taken from the golf industry and adapted for racquetball by Head for your enjoyment. You know my thoughts, try one for yourself:
Thats all for now. Check back soon and often!
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May 11th, 2009 by Ben
We just received some shoe shipments that you may be interested in. First, take a look at the new offerings from Adidas:
The Stabil S is going to provide oustanding performance and stability while coming in a full ounce lighter than last year’s Stabil 7. The adiCORE will give superior breathability and comfort without sacrificing support and is one of the lightest shoes available.
We also restocked on Asics shoes:
The Gel Domain is a favorite of mine for fit and comfort. It fits like a glove, breathes great and has fantastic grip on the court. Also, for you ladies out there, we now have 3 women’s shoes available in Asics.
Last, a shoutout to the Lime Green Hi-Tec 4:SYS.
If you want to stand out on the court then your search is over. Not only that but the 4:SYS is an amazing shoe and since switching to it I don’t think I will be able to go back to anything else. Check out the video on the shoe page; you will not be disappointed with these shoes!
Thats all for now, check back soon!
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April 28th, 2009 by Ben
We just got back on Sunday from the WPRO Championships in Stockton, CA. I have a great respect for the women players in the sport of racquetball; first because they are far outnumbered, and second, because they played just as hard if not harder than any men players I have watched. The Pro matches were amazing to watch, I definitely recommend checking them out at racquetballonline.tv
This was my first time in Stockton at the newly remodeled In Shape Sports Club. They have 9 racquetball courts and a great staff. If you are ever in the area I recommend stopping by and getting some court time in with John Ellis and the great players at that club. It was a great weekend and a great experience.
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