Authenticating Fairway Leather Grips

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by novak.20v, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. novak.20v

    novak.20v Rookie

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    How can I tell if a Fairway is authentic or not?
    A local pro shop are selling some Fairways, but before I buy I want to make sure they are the real deal.
     
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  2. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    They used to come with a little certificate. I'll see if I can dig one out later and take a photo.

    Before you buy any, do make sure you check the length / width to ensure that they'll fit your racquet. A lot of the ones you stumble across nowadays are 'single-handed' grips - an era when handles were shorter and no one hit a two-hander. These usually won't be long enough for a modern racquet. The difference is often in the width rather than the length.
     
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  3. novak.20v

    novak.20v Rookie

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    Thanks, a picture would be great.
     
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  4. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    Here is what I had with mine:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Individual grips used to be sold in boxes, though I've bought in bulk without. Some additional points:

    - the inscription on the grip only appears once.
    - the colouring is very consistent (if it doesn't look like that in the picture, that's because of shadows cast on it). Other leather grips, such as Head Finest Calfskin, often are different colours as they are more natural. All my Fairway's have been identical.
    - there is no adhesive on the back.

    The ones I have are 48" x 15/16". The two offcuts you can see are from a grip 4 and grip 5 installation.

    I seem to recall they did also do some black grips at one point, but the tan were more popular.


    If you wanted to look at larger photos to see more detail, links are below.

    http://www5.picturepush.com/photo/a/10600748/img/10600748.jpg
    http://www5.picturepush.com/photo/a/10600823/img/10600823.jpg
    http://www5.picturepush.com/photo/a/10600863/img/10600863.jpg
    http://www3.picturepush.com/photo/a/10601006/img/10601006.jpg
     
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  5. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    Dags, great info
    do you still use fairways and if yes what´s your source to buy
     
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  6. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    That really brings back some memories...hang tags on grips! Never saw them boxed, however.

    I've still got a couple that have been coiled up in a zip baggie for at least two decades ;) . Not sure what I'll put them on. Those were/are beautiful grips. The black ones were popular when some of the wood rackets had gloss black as part of the finish...Wilson Advantage, Davis Duke and of course the graphite frames like the Aldila Cannon and Trabert C-6.

    The black didn't sell as well for us, partly because it was a bit slicker, IIRC. Also, part of the fun of a new Fairway was 'showing off' that distinctive tan color of the original. Then, the Greenie came out and all bets were off! ;)
     
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  7. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    I do still use them. The family company is still run by Mr Balmforth's great-great nephew, and he sells them via the auction site in the UK. Beware of the cost: prices have escalated quite a bit since I bought my last batch!
     
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  8. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    I thought I remembered black, though never used one. It should be noted that I'm not quite the woodie generation though: my first racquet was made of aluminium!
     
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  9. Roger Wawrinka

    Roger Wawrinka Professional

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    Hey Dags, From what you know using fairways, what is the big difference from regular leather grips playing with them?
     
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  10. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    ^^ To be honest, it was mainly from the days when people didn't use overgrips. There was something about a Fairway grip that made it feel so much better in the hand; level of tack was pretty much perfect, regardless how sweaty your hand became.

    With an overgrip (which is how I use it now), you'd be hard-pressed to find a difference between them and another quality leather grip. I can just about spot the difference between a calfskin grip and 'regular' leather under a Tourna Grip (Head Finest Calfskin is the most supple I've used), but you'd have to be really sensitive to strongly favour one brand over another. The main differential now would probably be thickness, and whether you'd want to make your grip fractionally smaller or thicker.
     
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  11. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    never played with a wood racket?:)
     
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  12. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    You KNEW you were cool if you had the ONE wrap of Gauze Tape at the base of the grip--about 1/2" from the very end. Got the great feel of the leather, but had just that extra bit of security from the gauze. Ah, the good old days!

    'Back then', the Fairway was about the thickest leather grip around(unless you count the 'extra' from the rib on the 'raised' grips); so folks had to take into consideration the thickness of the Fairway. I had more than one customer who dropped down a grip size on a new stick, knowing they would replace the original grip with a Fairway. The most drastic change would be noticed when swapping a perforated Wilson grip or the really skinny Yamaha and Yonex grips of the '70s.
     
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  13. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    did you sell the kind of white gauze tape, that Vitas used. for me that was the coolest:)
     
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  14. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Speaking of Dags' aluminum rackets, I played with the Red Head, 5/8 light, with a Fairway wrapped ON TOP of the factory grip. Played about 5 1/8" until it compressed a bit. Scared the heck out of people when they picked up my racket! :)
     
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  15. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    one of the rackets on my wish list at that time. head professional i think was the official name. peter feigl played with it, fellow countryman of mine
     
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  16. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    Our first color was the 'medical' beige, then the ubiquitous green. Someone started the rumor that the new blue was grabbier and more absorbent and it sold like crazy. The white and pink were later colors for us. I still have an unopened pack of the pink(from SAI, I believe).

    Unfortunately, there were no directions warning against leaving the grips exposed to heat. We had more than one pair of rackets stuck together after folks left the rackets in the bag for long periods of time.
     
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  17. coachrick

    coachrick Hall of Fame

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    My favorite at the time; and likely our #1 seller many months. I had quite a few customers playing the Head Pro with a Fairway grip and Babolat AFV or Victor Superb gut. I still enjoy hitting with mine whenever I go out.
     
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  18. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    there are always some coming up at the auction site. do you know whether they warp easily?
     
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  19. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    since we´re talking about leather grips and there seem to be some knowledgeable people here. can you fill me in on victor leathergrips (still availabe on the auction site) and neumann leather
    where those popular grips or particular high quality?
    here in austria, in the 70´s or ´80´s it was mainly fairway or head finest calfskin
     
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  20. novak.20v

    novak.20v Rookie

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    thanks dags!
     
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  21. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    My Wilson Ultra FPK has a Black Fairway grip. Have a Prince Graphite II with a green Balmforth grip.
     
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  22. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    No... though possibly with a but. My first junior racquet was the same shape as a woodie, and certainly wasn't aluminium. So it could have been wood, largely on the grounds that I don't know what else it might have been made of. My second junior racquet was a yellow Dunlop, and that was aluminium. Everyone else (including my sister) had a blue Jaguar racquet, and I always wanted one of those. I was supposed to inherit my sister's, but she wasn't ready to move up early enough. First adult racquet was a Prince International - similar to the Prince Pro, but a golden colour and with a whopping 110 head size. :)

    I have no experience of victor or neumann leather grips, so can't help you with your question there.
     
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  23. novak.20v

    novak.20v Rookie

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    You should buy some for me (ill give you the money first of course) because I can't find any authentic ones. :/
     
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  24. DownTheLineWith90

    DownTheLineWith90 Rookie

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    I'm sorry if I sound naive, but what is the difference between today's leather grips from major companies and the ones from Balmsforth?
     
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  25. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I've played with Fairway leathers vs lets say the standard Wilson leather, and I find the Fairway is a lot comfier. It feels very "full" compared to a stock Wilson.

    Head Pro Stock leather grips have a very similar feel, which is why they usually sell for around 25 Euro a piece! :razz:

    -Fuji
     
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  26. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Rip the Fairways off those old sticks from the 80s like the Max 200G. Toss those relics and just use the grips.
     
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