Eye are one of the most innovative rackets brands on the market, producing edgy, and sometimes divisive products, for players who want something different. Some people buy into the concept of having a racket without a bumper, or a pair of shoes that are bright pink, others don't. That's fine. Everybody has a choice to make and it's great to have the option to choose equipment which strays from normal convention.
The aim of Eye was, and still is, to produce the type of equipment that pros may use. For example, there are several pro squash players who shave off the bumper strips (and sometimes even the frame) on their rackets to allow rackets to glide off the walls and also to reduc...
I’ve recently returned from Spain, where I spent two and a half weeks with the family, taking a well earned rest!
As with previous trips to Spain, a little bit of squash training was scheduled. This time, we spent some time with Xavi Blasco and Tony Griffin at their base in Santa Cristina, near Girona.
A few weeks ago, I saw a promo vid from fellow Eye Rackets Pro, Paul Coll, where he was using these really cool touch pads on court to train with. Basically, Paul places these touch pads at various points on the court (typically in the corners). When they light up, he moves to them and touches the light to turn it off.
They’re made by A-Champs and they’re call ROXs. The concept was s...
Having chatted with a few players, coaches and fellow stringers over the last few months, there seems to be a growing trend… Racket sales are declining and restringing is increasing. Speaking with head ERSA Squash Stringer, Nick Down, following the ERSA symposium in April, this subject was brought up and discussed at length. There will be a few theories as to why, but I'd suggest the main reason is probably down to education. The ERSA is working hard to equip their stringers with the tools to provide a complete advisory service to their customers.
When a player gives his/her racket to a competent (preferably professionally qualified) stringer, the stringer should b...
During the 5th - 9th April, ERSA International hosted it's annual symposium in Cambridge, UK. I was really hoping to be part of the symposium but unfortunately couldn't attend. I had a very good reason though, as I was with my son in Dublin at the Home International where he was representing Wales (so, a pretty good excuse, not to mention the Guinness!).
Nick Down was kind enough to write a report on the weekend, which gives a great insight into a fantastic event. Schedule permitting, I'll be at next year's event!
The weekend of 5th to 9th of April saw the Annual European Racquet Stringers Association International (ERSA) Symposium take place in The UK for the first time, in Camb...
Big thanks to Declan, who helped me to compile his player profile over the weekend. Declan is currently one of mine, and a lot of people's, favourite players to watch on the tour. Great movement, attacking play and getting better all the time. Last year's win in Nantes was a great result and the squash on display was top quality!
Declan is one of a number of top players to have recently started wearing Eye S-Line Shoes, which are proving a real hit on tour. Like Diego Elias, Declan also uses Dunlop rackets. So Declan is using two of the top brands on the market at present, representing great heritage and innovation in equal measure!
What are ‘factory strings’? You’ve probably heard players, coaches and stringers mention the term before, but I think it’s important to understand the mechanics of a racket coming straight from the factory.
Factory strings are quite literally the strings which are placed in the racket in the factory they were made. Most manufacturers assume (rightly) that advanced players will cut the original strings straight out of their rackets upon receipt, replacing them with their preferred string and tension. As such the factory strings will often have the following characteristics:
Low quality, but durable strings – normally synthetic gut
This month's player profile comes courtesy of Millie Tomlinson, currently ranked No 22 in the world! Millie likes to play at a fast pace and on her day is capable of causing some big upsets, most notably beating, arguably the greatest female squash player of the modern era (and one of my all time favourite players), Nicol David, towards the back end of 2018,
As a professional stringer, its always useful to gain some knowledge on what the pro players are stringing their rackets with and the general setup. It helps us to gauge what works well in certain rackets. Millie, for example, uses Ashaway PowerNick, strung at 27lbs, in her Dunlop squash racket. This may seem fairly high for t...
This month's Player Profile focuses on Cameron Pilley, one of the top players on the PSA world tour for a number of years and 3 time Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist. Having met with Cam on a couple of occasions, I can confirm that he is most definitely a top, top guy. I'm not just saying that because he helped me with this profile!
Although Cam is officially the hardest hitter in the world, there's definitely more to his game than just being able to hit the ball hard. Cam has great hands and is as capable as most at feathering in the odd cross court drop nick. Unlike many non pro players, and especially juniors, who see it as badge of honour to break strings (before rememb...
Having spent a couple of years stringing Eye rackets, I've learnt that there's a quick way, a slow way and the right way to string them. Rather than waiting until the end of the blog to tell you how long it takes to string them, I'll say now. Approx 1 - 2 minutes longer than a comparably patterned racket with a generic bumper/grommet setup.
For anybody who hasn't restrung an Eye racket before, or gets frustrated with them, they need a little extra attention as they don’t have conventional grommet/bumper strips. They have ‘eyelets’ instead, which can fall out and be lost when pulling out the old strings. I string loads of Eye rackets and have also taken notes and instruction fro...
Ok, so I wasn't really stringing with Santa this weekend, I was stringing with Nick Down, the world's most qualified Squash Stringer and stringer to 18 World No 1 squash players - including Ramy, Jahangir Khan , Nicol David, James Willstrop and Mohamed El Shorbagy. Getting to string with the worlds best this weekend was very much like getting an early Christmas present!
Nick and I were stringing at the Sumner Malik charity event in Birmingham, with some of the top Pros in the world giving their time to train and hit with players from around the country who were willing to donate money to charity, in celebration of Sumner's life and love for squash - a hugely worthwhile cause!