Whether you are a newcomer to racquet sports or a seasoned player, Racketlon may have passed on your radar at some point. In the racket sports world, it’s growing wildly in popularity as more people are intrigued and want to be part of the action.
So, you want in too, and you’re wondering how to start. What gear will you need, and how will you practice for all four sports?… Don’t worry, we got you!
To play Racketlon you’ll need a table tennis paddle, a badminton racquet, a squash racquet, and a tennis racquet. Also, you’ll need balls for table tennis, squash, and tennis, plus a shuttlecock for badminton. Finally, you’ll need to have the proper apparel, as well as, shoes.
We have put together a comprehensive answer to help you get started in Racketlon. From finding courts for your practice to the clothes, shoes, accessories, and other equipment that you might need; we got you covered.
If you’re kind of lost and are not sure what Racketlon is about, check this short clip:
If you are ready to become a multi-racket sports player and take part in Racketlon events, this is for you. Here, you’ll find useful information on what you need to prepare before taking part in practices and eventually, competitions.
Finding the facilities and courts
Contact your local Racketlon Federation
You can begin by contacting your national Racketlon federation within your country to inquire on whether they have a club established near you. If not, you can inquire about starting your own. These national federations are resourceful and will help you establish your very own local Racketlon league or club.
One facility, four different courts
This is possible, but it depends on the area in which you live. Many players in countries such as the United States and European countries have recreational centers. These are sports areas that contain several different sports courts; from basketball and swimming to volleyball and racket sports.
If you happen to live in a city that has a recreational center, you should pay a visit and inquire about membership fees. This is your best bet at finding, not only convenient integrated court areas for practice, but also a community of fellow sportsmen and women who will be happy to practice with you.
Commuting between facilities
If you cannot find a recreational center with all courts in the same location, you will likely have to commute between facilities. What you can do is find different Racketlon sports courts (table tennis, badminton, squash, and tennis). Chances are you will be able to find these, but they will be separate, or they may have one other racket sports court, but not all four courts.
To make it easier for you, choose courts that are closely related in terms of distance from each other. This will help in saving fuel for moving between practice areas.
Once you find your practice area, you will need like-minded people to practice with.
Apparel for Racketlon
A word about Racketlon clothing
In Racketlon competitions, you will be playing four different racket sports, one after the other.
You will only have six minutes between sets to change (well, actually only 3 minutes because the other 3 minutes are for warming up). The choice to change your apparel and shoes is up to you; however, you may not have time to do so and warm-up for your next set within those six minutes. This is in competition; however, for practices, you will have the liberty to change your clothes according to the sport which you are playing that day.
Considering this, you can have competition clothing (that you can use for all the sports), as well as, practice clothing. You can choose your competition clothing from your practice gear.
We suggest that you use apparel that is comfortable, breathable, and allows you to move freely on the court. Nowadays, sports brands offer more technologically advanced fabrics, such as Dri-Fit and Climalite, which absorb sweat and keeps athletes cool and fresh. So, you might want to consider those types of apparel for best performance.
Personally, I prefer to wear a shirt/shorts that I can use throughout the entire match. However, I’ll keep a couple of extra shirts in my bag, in case I feel like changing between sets. Also, I’ll use the same pair of shoes for table tennis, badminton, and squash; and I’ll have a specific pair of shoes for tennis.
Playing Racketlon Outdoors?
Although Racketlon matches are usually played indoors, it might be possible that you’ll have the play your tennis set outdoors. If that’s the case, you’ll have to consider the weather. If it is winter and is cold outside, you could use warm-up pants and a jacket.
Shoes for Racketlon
Four different pairs of shoes
If you are just starting out, you may not need to spend so much money on expensive shoes. Instead, you could wear multi-sports footwear with the right support for quick movements and pronation, until you are ready to upgrade.
Two pairs of shoes
Whether you choose to get one pair or four (for each sport), make sure the shoes you’re using are comfortable, cushioning, breathable, and that have good structural support for the ankles.
Wearing the proper shoes
All these four racquets sports require rapid movements, breaks, and a quick change of directions. For this to be possible, without the risk of injury, the right fit of shoes is critical.
Also, your shoes should offer excellent ankle support considering you will be moving around the court often and making quick changes in directions.
Ankle support and shock absorption capabilities are critical in preventing sprains and injuries.
Additionally, a durable sole, toe cap, and arch support are important to consider, and it’s recommended that you get your shoe fitted along to your feet’ unique curves for optimal comfort.
With that said, let’s delve into how to choose different gears for the four different sports in Racketlon.
Equipment for Racketlon
Table Tennis Paddle
When purchasing a table tennis paddle, your level of experience will influence the type of paddle you should get. For beginners, a lower star paddle (two or three starts) will give you just the right amount of support and ease of control as you learn the ropes.
For more seasoned players, higher star paddles (four to six) have been created with technology to enable you with more speed, spin, and precision.
We suggest reading this brief guide on “How to choose a ping pong paddle.”
When choosing a badminton racquet, you should keep in mind four different aspects – weight, balance point, stiffness, and frame. Go for a racquet that you feel comfortable with and suits your playing style.
Keep in mind that choosing a racket that has a balance point at the handle is excellent for more control.
In terms of the frame, you have a choice for steel rackets, known to be affordable, aluminum rackets known for their lightweight, and graphite rackets which are made to be flexible and comfortable.
For more information on how to choose the proper badminton racket, we suggest you check this article from “Master Badminton.”
For beginners, a composite or aluminum frame racket is best, offering lightness in weight for ease of maneuvers. It is also recommended to choose a racquet with a large head for increased accuracy.
If you want to find out more about choosing a squash racket, check the following article “Choosing the Best Squash Racket for Players of all Levels” from Squash Empire.
To begin with, the decision map on which racket to buy, you’ll have to determine how often you plan to play. You will likely be a regular tennis player as you train for Racketlon as opposed to an occasional player.
When choosing a tennis racquet, you should consider the following: weight, balance, string pattern, as well, grip, and head size.
For a regular player, it is recommended to find a racket with a weight between 250 and 300 grams. With that being said, a tennis racquet is something very personal; something that might be comfortable for you, might not be for others. So, the best way to choose a tennis racquet is by trying them out.
Here is a video from Tennis Warehouse on “How to Pick a Tennis Racquet.”
Storage & Accessories
Lastly, you will need a bag to put in all your gear as you move around for practice! Since tennis racquets are the biggest of the four, a tennis bag is your best answer. They have ample practical storage space for multiple rackets, balls, drinks, and additional gear you may have. Choose it in your favorite color, and you’re ready to go.
Some things we recommend you keep in your bag are:
- Extra strings
- Extra overgrips
- Warm up jacket & pants
- Extra clothes
- First-aid kit
- Ankle/Elbow Braces
There you have it! We hope this guide gives you a head start with your Racketlon career. Although it seems like a large amount of information to keep in mind, it gets easier as you become more integrated into the Racketlon community. In meeting seasoned players, you will get extra insider tips on how to better your game by having the right equipment.