Why Do Racquetball Players Wear Gloves? (Should You?)

In any sport, having the right equipment and most up-to-date technology to increase your performance is essential. While you only need a racquet, a ball and court to play racquetball, regular and competitive players take advantage of racquetball gloves to increase their performance. 

A racquetball glove increases precision in grip, control in striking a ball, as well as comfort. Also, it prevents slippage. Using a glove is a simple way to improve your game, as they allow for grip adjustments without compromising on technique. 

Whether you are a beginner or looking to take your racquetball game to the next level, using a glove can be a great addition. It’s an inexpensive way to increase your proficiency in the sport. 

Let this be your guide in how to navigate glove selection and the many benefits they provide!

Main Reasons Why Racquetball Players Wear Gloves 

In this article, we will be going over exactly why racquetball players wear gloves. Some of these reasons are outlined in the list down below.

Benefits of wearing a glove:

  • Strengthen your ability to grip a racquet.
  • Allow you to hit the ball harder.
  • Increase your precision.
  • Prevents blisters.
  • Prevents Slippage.

So, this begs the question: if you were told that wearing a glove would provide you with all of the benefits mentioned above, wouldn’t you get one? These are some of the major reasons why racquetball players wear gloves; let’s go into more detail about them.

Improves your grip

Racquetball requires fast and hard snapping of your wrist in order to return shots quickly and effectively. Snapping your wrist most effectively means having a tight grip. This will allow you to hit harder and with more accuracy.

More power and precision

The material on a racquetball glove makes this gripping significantly easier. As a result, players have more time to focus on strategy, as well as placement.

They do not have to rely on their hand being the reason a shot doesn’t go their way. Additionally, wearing a glove allows to keep control of the racquet and prevents the racquet from slipping when swinging with considerable force

Prevents blister

Gloves are also helpful for more practical reasons! Gloves can prevent blistering on your hands, which are consistently causing friction with the racquet. Continually turning the racquet in your hands and with high-speed contact, it is fairly easy to create irritation.

Prevents slippage

This, with a combination of sweat, can create real problems for players. Gloves also prevent the slippage that may occur from increased perspiration on your hands. It is easier to drop a racquet if it is wet from sweat. From a health standpoint, gloves may eliminate unnecessary injuries.

A Con of Wearing Gloves?

The main reservation about wearing a glove is the lack of “feel” some players have on the racquet, therefore on the ball. Some players prefer not to wear gloves so that they can make every shot with full sensory function in their hands. This argument may apply to some, but given that professional racquetball players wear them in significant numbers, we can assume that they are an essential part of the game!

Attributes of a Good Racquetball Glove

A “good” racquetball glove is fairly subjective depending on your needs and playing style. There are key components one should look for in a glove, but some players may prefer certain attributes more than others.

A good glove centers around:

1. Grip

A key reason to wear a glove, as mentioned before, is to have a strong grip. Gloves vary in their gripping abilities. The firmer the grip, the “stickier” the glove is. Stickiness preference depends on playing style.

More stick means substantial control but less ability to adjust your grip for different shots; while less stick is quite the opposite.

If adjusting your grip or switching hands is important to your game, opt for a less sticky option. Tackified leathers are the stickiest, while synthetic leathers have more flexibility.

2. Absorption

Sweat is a significant factor for many players. Being on an indoor court and moving around quickly, players are likely to get sweaty.

If you tend to perspire a lot during exercise, look for a glove that allows for higher levels of absorption. Neoprene, Lycra, and spandex gloves offer the best absorption.

3. Breathability

Close to absorption is breathability. Some gloves are mesh-backed, allowing for more airflow. This does decrease the surface area for absorption.

It depends if you would rather have more airflow or increased absorption within the glove. Having a spandex backed glove is often preferred to a mesh-backed glove for its efficiency and quality.

4. Fit

It is crucial to find a glove that fits well. You want it to be snug enough to fit your hand firmly, but not too tight to be uncomfortable or cut off circulation.

A loose glove can also cause problems as you will lose “feel” on the racquet, as well as on the ball. Also, it could invite blisters through the friction between the glove sliding across your hand. Gloves will often stretch with use.

5. Material

Almost all gloves are made of some form of leather. There are four main types of leather that are used in racquetball gloves: sheepskin leather, goatskin leather, tackified leather, and synthetic leather.

All have their own advantages and disadvantages. Sheepskin is often the most comfortable as they are characterized as soft, but they are also the most expensive. Goatskin leather comes in a close second to softness but will become hard after continued use.

Tackified leather provides with the firmest grip, but as mentioned makes it challenging to adjust the grip or change hands during play. Finally, synthetic leather is often chosen to achieve strong grip through texture.

The main downside is the lack of natural leather feel that the other gloves have. Most of these material changes have to do with comfort as well as functional ability in the grip. It is important to determine what traits are most essential for you in a glove.

How to Find the Best Glove for Racquetball

There are many online retailers and racquetball websites, offering reviews and suggestions based on particular needs. Because gloves are specific to each player, certain gloves will achieve different goals depending on what you need them for!

Doing a simple internet search will help you to find the best gloves for you! Gloves will be advertised with their benefits and the specific characteristics that define the attributes of the glove. Online retailers are most likely the best option in finding what you are looking for. With the decline of brick and mortar sporting goods stores in general, they will most likely only carry items for more popular sports or a minimal racquetball selection.

Reviews may also be more knowledgeable about each specific glove, especially given that many people are not familiar enough with the sport to provide advice on the products in a store.

In addition to what makes a good glove for playing with, below are some additional factors to consider for finding the best gloves.

Durability

When you are buying a pair of racquetball gloves, you not only want them to help your game, but you want them to last. Material is a critical indicator in the lifespan of your gloves.

The longer lifespan usually means more expensive. Sheepskin leather is a very popular racquetball glove material, as it’s often the longest lasting and the most comfortable over time.

Padding

Some players find themselves on the ground or against the wall to save shots more than others. If this applies to you, the best glove can be found with additional padding, which often comes in foam and airprene variations.

A padded glove will help protect your hand by reducing the impact with the floor or walls; however, one downside to consider is the decrease in breathability. Padding is an important consideration to ensure safety while playing.

Cost

Cost is also a factor in finding the right glove. Gloves typically cost $10-30. While you may opt for a cheaper glove, it is important to know that the quality is, often, what suffers. Greater investment in a glove will mean longer durability and function over time.

The one benefit of a cheap glove comes as you try and find one that works for you best. Starting with an affordable glove with specific attributes you want will help you determine whether it’s appropriate for you at little cost.

Taking Care of Your Glove

Many players also have multiple gloves that they rotate through. This is not only for change in function, but they are also able to keep their gloves in good condition by rotating them.

Regular players not only have multiple gloves, but they often take advantage of glove shapers. These are hand shaped molds that you slide into the gloves in order to decrease drying time, as well as to allow the glove to maintain its shape. Players use these to maximize the lifespan of their gloves. 

In closing

From what you’ve read so far, a glove can be an essential part of one’s racquetball game. Try to identify what kind of player you are and the needs you have.

Once you have identified these, look for a glove in the particular materials that cater to these needs. You will find that your game will only improve with a tool that promotes stronger grip, hitting power, and stability!