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View Full Version : Customizing grips: common problem


ferrari_827
04-25-2005, 12:11 PM
I think that one of the main problems with rackets is that more often than not, the grip doesn't quite feel right in your hand.

This could be because of the shape, the bevels being too sharp or too round, not being quite the right size.

On all of my rackets, I've customized the grip to some degree, even drastically. One thing I've noticed is that the grip shape that feels the best for one racket is different from another, so is related to racket design. So you need to *play* with a racket first to evaluate what needs to be changed in the grip versus just holding it.

I'm totally against heat shrink sleeves because of the substantial weight (0.5oz) will totally throw off the balance of the racket.

If the grip feels a bit too large with the original grip, just substituting with a thinner synthetic grip will often do the trick. If the grip feels too small, the methods to use are a synthetic grip and electrical tape since this will minimize gain in weight.

For bevels that are too sharp, I remove the original grip and round off the bevels with sandpaper. Caution is required that you don't sand off too much of the bevels otherwise the grip can become round in a hurry. I rounded off the bevels on my RDXmid and IPrestige mid because they were too sharp.

Another problem are grips that are too round or rectangular (Head). The way to solve this is to apply horizontal strips of electrical tape along the bevels to make the shape less or more rectangular. This works well and adds very little weight.

I often find grips to be too bulky in the upper portion of the handle so I sandpaper the upper portion uniformly. This also seems to improve improve maneuverability significantly although I'm not sure why (?)

So just about all grip problems can be fixed with nothing more than electrical tape, overgrips, scissors, sandpaper, and a good eye.

Now if you're trying to increase the size from 1/4 to 5/8 or decrease from 5/8 to 1/4, then it's almost impossible to do without seriously affecting the weight and balance of the racket. Also, you're quite likely to botch the job of sandpapering when you're removing that much material.

Gaines Hillix
04-25-2005, 02:34 PM
I think that one of the main problems with rackets is that more often than not, the grip doesn't quite feel right in your hand.

This could be because of the shape, the bevels being too sharp or too round, not being quite the right size.

On all of my rackets, I've customized the grip to some degree, even drastically. One thing I've noticed is that the grip shape that feels the best for one racket is different from another, so is related to racket design. So you need to *play* with a racket first to evaluate what needs to be changed in the grip versus just holding it.

I'm totally against heat shrink sleeves because of the substantial weight (0.5oz) will totally throw off the balance of the racket.

If the grip feels a bit too large with the original grip, just substituting with a thinner synthetic grip will often do the trick. If the grip feels too small, the methods to use are a synthetic grip and electrical tape since this will minimize gain in weight.

For bevels that are too sharp, I remove the original grip and round off the bevels with sandpaper. Caution is required that you don't sand off too much of the bevels otherwise the grip can become round in a hurry. I rounded off the bevels on my RDXmid and IPrestige mid because they were too sharp.

Another problem are grips that are too round or rectangular (Head). The way to solve this is to apply horizontal strips of electrical tape along the bevels to make the shape less or more rectangular. This works well and adds very little weight.

I often find grips to be too bulky in the upper portion of the handle so I sandpaper the upper portion uniformly. This also seems to improve improve maneuverability significantly although I'm not sure why (?)

So just about all grip problems can be fixed with nothing more than electrical tape, overgrips, scissors, sandpaper, and a good eye.

Now if you're trying to increase the size from 1/4 to 5/8 or decrease from 5/8 to 1/4, then it's almost impossible to do without seriously affecting the weight and balance of the racket. Also, you're quite likely to botch the job of sandpapering when you're removing that much material.

Interesting stuff....just curious, have you ever weighed 1/2" electrical tape? I was just wondering what 6" of it weigh, for instance. On Head handles that are very rectangular and have wide flats on the sides do you use two strips side by side to build them out? In other words how do you make them more square/even?

leog
04-25-2005, 02:44 PM
I have this problem with Head handles...why the heck do they make them rectangular!?! It's so un-ergonomic! I've added about 16 strips of electrical tape to my handles (8 on each side) to try to make the shape more of a perfect hexagon. I have no idea how much the tape weighs, but I add head protection tape to the top of the frames also, so it is likely balanced out.

I am now considering going one step further, and sanding down the handle pallets on the sides that are too long. Doing that, combined with the electrical tape on the other sides, should really help. HEAD HAS PRODUCED STOCK HANDLES THAT ARE THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF THE WONDER WEDGE!!! Somebody needs to smack them, grrrrr!

gokou703
04-25-2005, 11:08 PM
i added 8 strips to one bevel on my ti radical today and it made such a difference. it felt more like a prince or wilson handle. i'm going to add 8 more strips tomorrow to the other side of the handle to even it out. i also liked the stability the extra weight added to my light ti radical OS

kv581
04-25-2005, 11:28 PM
I kinda like a more rectangular grip shape. To me, it allows for quicker grip changes because each grip feels very different from the next. After playing with a Head for a while, I tried a Wilson (my previous racquet) again briefly and had a bit of trouble switching grips quickly, such as may be required at net.

Having said that, Head's grip shape has costed me a few extra blisters. I now like Volkl's handle shape, splitting the difference between Head and Wilson.

leog
04-25-2005, 11:49 PM
well...I did it...I sanded down the pallates on my LM Prestige 4 5/8, and added a little more elec tape to the un-sanded sides. I now have an almost perfect hexagon. It feels great with the practice swings I've taken so far, I'll be hitting with it tomorrow and let you guys know how it performs. Basically, this is all for my 1HBH grip to finally feel good.

POGO
04-25-2005, 11:52 PM
Hmmmmm......wrapping electrical tape around handel vs. using heat shrink tubbing..wouldn't both equal to same weight?

Tim Tennis
04-26-2005, 05:25 AM
Hi Guys,

We got the microanalizers here. Great comments. It is the grip.

ferrari_827 Wow, you must be the ultimate perfectionist. I bet you are the same way with your game.

"I think that one of the main problems with rackets is that more often than not, the grip doesn't quite feel right in your hand. This could be because of the shape, the bevels being too sharp or too round, not being quite the right size."

I favor the sharp bevels vs the rounded. I think they provide a much better frame of reference for finding all the grips.


"I'm totally against heat shrink sleeves because of the substantial weight (0.5oz) will totally throw off the balance of the racket."

A lot of you mentioned concerns about adding weight to the racquet handle. I am not to sure this really affects the swing charactoristics that much vs adding the weight further up on the racquet. I like to think of anything added to the racquet handle to modify the shape to fit better in your hand as actually being part of the hand.

KV 581 / leog

"I kinda like a more rectangular grip shape. To me, it allows for quicker grip changes because each grip feels very different from the next. After playing with a Head for a while, I tried a Wilson (my previous racquet) again briefly and had a bit of trouble switching grips quickly, such as may be required at net."

I agree. To me the grip easiest to find with the rectangular grip shape is the Eastern forehand. It fits in the hand well and feels great for the EF. The problem is when you move to other grips, you actually lose surface area to grasp / hold on to, the racquet will not be as secure in your hand. It will tend to twist and turn. The contact points have changed tremendously. The bottom line is, yes you will have a very distinctive feel for each grip but you will lose leverage and traction for the other grips. With the evenly shaped handle / more proportionate handle, you will have better contact with the handle for all the grips but you will lose some of the frame of reference for finding all the grips. So it is kind of a trade off.

Oh baby, it is all in the grip if you really want to rip.

http://www.tennisgeometrics.com

Gaines Hillix
04-26-2005, 11:34 AM
Hmmmmm......wrapping electrical tape around handel vs. using heat shrink tubbing..wouldn't both equal to same weight?

I believe they are suggesting only putting the tape on the 3/9 o'clock faces/bevels(the ones on the sides when you hold the frame edge up), not around the handle. ??