IRT Network, not your typical paysite..

November 25th, 2009 by Ben

I will keep this brief. I would like to make sure that all dedicated racquetball players know about a relatively new online service. Have you ever spent hours combing Youtube for racquetball videos? Have you been channel surfing and wondered “why isn’t there racquetball on TV? It would be much better than this Rambo marathon I’ve been watching for 4 hours.” If you answered yes, and even if you didn’t, I have a website you need to check out.

I am of course referring to the IRT Network which provides live streaming of all IRT (International Racquetball Tour) events in high quality video with several camera angles and full time commentators. The IRT tournaments are played on the all lucite court, which allows you, the viewer, to see the top pros play their best matches from all angles. Check out the court below:picture-1Now, through December 20, the IRT Network is offering the chance for any new subscription sign ups to win Rocky Carson’s Motorola Gear, worn at the US Open. Enter the promo code ‘Rocky’ upon subscription signup for the chance to win – I am pretty sure he is going to wash these before giving them away. If you are unsure, do not fret, IRT Network lets you sign up for free and receive limited access so you can decide if it is worth the subscription.

My thoughts? Support the businesses that support racquetball! If you want to keep growing the sport, it’s not going to be free. This is a Win Win – support the sport and get access to some kick-ass racquetball matches all year long. Lastly, this is a great gift idea for any die-hard racquetball fans!!

- Ben – www.IRTnetwork.com

Posted in General | 414 Comments »

Super Shoes with Superfeet

November 16th, 2009 by Ben

My feet have never felt so good, and I have never felt so confident.

When I started playing racquetball, I mean really started playing racquetball, my only concern was putting the racquet on the ball and getting the ball to the front wall (remember your first time on the court before you pass judgment here). As my game progressed, my next concern became eyewear, then racquets, then gloves and so on. My point? Shoes were not a top concern until much later.

I now realize this was backwards thinking as my feet and footwork are the foundation of my game, and you need a strong, stable foundation. Within the last year I have switched shoes several times, from Ektelon to Wilson to Adidas to Asics and finally, to Hi-Tec. While I wasn’t unhappy or disappointed with any of those shoes, my feet have never been happier than they are in Hi-Tec shoes.

Just when I thought I had the perfect shoe, Hi-Tec did it again with the H700.

hth700With improved breathability, a heel locking system and the same incredible support of 4:SYS technology, my shoes have never felt so much like an extension of my body. Though I have suffered from a bit of separation anxiety since switching from my Lime Green 4:SYS shoes, I have found the perfect solution! Lime Green Superfeet Performance Insoles.

sfpiHaving completed the Gait Analysis at our sister company Running Warehouse, I know that I over-pronate (I lean more heavily on the inside of my foot). I have never worn insoles before, but with the Superfeet insoles and 4:SYS shoes combined, I felt more stable than I knew was possible. My feet didn’t hurt and my legs weren’t as sore at the end.

My point to all this? If you are unhappy with your shoes, go Hi-Tec. If you are happy with your shoes but want support, take a look at some insoles, Superfeet are the right fit for me.

- Ben

Posted in Product Reviews | 203 Comments »

Racquetball bags; where style meets function meets $$

August 26th, 2009 by Ben

So, in my opinion, we just received the best racquetball bags ever made into stock. Now, I can’t say for sure that there wasn’t a better bag made 20, or even 10 years ago, but I am going to continue under the assumption that materials, manufacturing processes and style in sports have all improved over time, and are currently at their best.

With that said, I would like to tell a brief story, purely for your entertainment. This story takes place around the time of the WOR Nationals in July of this year. Being a large retailer, we have the privilege of seeing a lot of the product early, and this was the case with Gearbox in early summer. Yes, this post is about Gearbox Bags. The Gearbox crew, a very fun and genuine group of guys,¬† came to do videos and clinics. When they left, they left their new bags with us for website imaging. Excited about a great product, and in need of a new bag, I decided to use their new Club Bag at the WOR Outdoor Nationals. I stuffed as much equipment as humanly possible into it (10 racquets on the sides and still a main compartment for shoes, apparel, balls etc) and freely threw it around as I traveled about the courts watching matches and warming up for my own. I soon found out, however, from none other than #3 IRT Tour player Alvaro Beltran, that I was using 1 of 3 bags in existence. Not even Alvaro had this bag yet but here I was, a C level player, rocking it proudly… Needless to say I didn’t hear the end of it all weekend.

As a result of my misplaced assumption, I have had plenty of time to beat on this impressive bag and test it to the fullest. Gearbox did not hold back with the features on this bag, there is a reason it is higher priced than all the others. The Gearbox Club Bag features extra thick nylon, reinforced zippers and pockets, an abundance of useable space and, in my opinion, is the best looking racquetball bag on the market. gbbagcb-thumbThe Gearbox Back Pack is just as stylish, has lighter weight nylon (though still durable), lots of pockets and extra padding on the back for comfort. Their back pack could easily double as a school pack and still have enough space for your racquetball gear – I’m thinking 2 racquets, 2 books, 1 binder, gloves, eyewear, pens/pencils and so on – you get the picture.gbbagbp-thumb

Basically, if you want the best bag out there, and you’re willing to spend a little more – Go Gearbox! I hope this was helpful as well as entertaining, as always, feel free to call us at Racquetball Warehouse anytime with questions or comments.

- Ben , 800 824 1101

Posted in Product Reviews | 251 Comments »

Don’t go into the light! Actually, on second thought….

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 twor1he 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!

- Ben

Posted in General | 135 Comments »

Wilson RX Racquets

June 12th, 2009 by Ben

wrx175

I started hitting with the new Wilson RX racquets yesterday. I started with the RX 175, which comes in a Royal Purple, and features their new A-Symmetrical throat design as well as the updated Power Channels, allowing the string to go all the way down the handle which maximizes the sweet spot and power. I was having some issues with control, especially on ceiling balls, but this can probably be attributed to my lack of court time recently. My first thought is that I would like this racquet better at a higher tension. With the long strings and wide head shape, it felt a little loose and unwieldy. Hit the sweet spot and the power is definitely there.

wrx170

Today I hit with the RX 170 which does not have the Power Channels, giving it a more traditional and flat string pattern. There was a world of difference between the two racquets. Their weights and balances are very close but the feel you get from each racquet is much different. The RX 170 had less feel than the 175 but I felt more controlled in my shots. With identical headshapes, these two frames differ mainly in the string pattern and it was clear to me in my time on the court.

Don’t take my word for it though! I suppose right now you don’t have a choice but in August we will have these racquets available for demo and you can try them yourself. Until then we will continue to post as we have more time on the court.

Check out the racquets here: http://bit.ly/Adzh

- Ben

Posted in Product Reviews | 361 Comments »

Do you choose door #1 or 2? or 3 or 4?

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:

http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/racspage.html?ccode=PKRBR&cat=rac

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:

http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/racspage.html?ccode=WILSONRBR&cat=rac

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:

http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/racspage.html?ccode=EktelonRBR&cat=rac

and Head:

http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/racspage.html?ccode=HeadRBR&cat=rac

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

Posted in General | 192 Comments »

Some New Things

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:

http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/descpage.html?PCODE=WHOPEG

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:

http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/descpage.html?PCODE=HDTMMT

Thats all for now. Check back soon and often!

- Ben

Posted in General | 184 Comments »

For those in the market for shoes…

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:

http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/appspage.html?ccode=ARBS&cat=shoes

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:

http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/appspage.html?ccode=ARBS&cat=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.

http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/descpage.html?PCODE=HT4SLIM

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!

- Ben

Posted in General, Product Reviews | 133 Comments »

New Head Racquet Specs

May 5th, 2009 by Ben

We updated our specs on the new Head racquets today (Problem Child, Meanstreak, Dirty Deed). Our initial specs were from the playtest samples we received. Now that we got the racquets into stock we took the specs as an average from a 3 racquet sample.

They did not change much. They all came out a little bit less head heavy but overall they were consistent between racquets which is always nice – thank you Head. We made sure to bring in extra demos because we knew these would be a hit so try yours today!!

http://www.racquetballwarehouse.com/racspage.html?ccode=HeadRBR&cat=rac

- Ben

Posted in Product Reviews | 193 Comments »

WPRO Championships in Stockton, CA

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.

- Ben

Posted in General | 855 Comments »

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