Next best thing to Gosen Sorbothane Replacement Grip?

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by yemenmocha, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. yemenmocha

    yemenmocha Professional

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    Which replacement grip is my next best choice since Gosen is no longer produced? Gamma has one with gel in it, should I just go with that?

    Shock absorption is the primary reason. Added weight of the grip is fine. Thanks.
     
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  2. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    You can still find 'em. Just google "Gosen Sorbothane grip".

    I've never heard of the "Zorbicon gel" in the Gamma grips, or of any viscoelastic that acts like Sorbothane. (That stuff must have been salvaged from a crashed flying saucer.) The low price ($5, vs. $20 for new-old stock of Gosen Sorbothane) is of interest. Any reports on how heavy it is or how it feels?

    EDIT: A search reveals some posts on the Gamma grips, and it sounds like a lite version of Sorbothane that adds about half the additional weight and, presumably, offers maybe half the shock absorption.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2009
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  3. Mdubb23

    Mdubb23 Hall of Fame

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    T E N N I S M E N A C E .com

    Sorry to advertise against TW, but you guys do not sell this grip, and I see it only fair to give others an opportunity to purchase it.
     
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  4. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    This place must have stock-piled the sorbothane grips when it was discontinued. They are now charging an arm and a leg for it.

    I have actually tried to make my own sorbothane grip. I purchased the thinnest sheet of sorbothane and wrapped it around the handle.

    The first time I tried, I stretched out the sorbothane as I usually do with my overgrips. Unfortunately, cracks started developing on the sorbothane within the next few minutes. Soon the whole grip tore up quite badly.

    On the next attempt, I applied the Sorbothane without any stretching. Two problems: the thinnest sheet of sorbothane was still too thick. And it added a significant amount of weight to the frame.

    But here's something I did that worked quite well for me: I went down a size on my grip and then added two overgrips on top of the factory-original grip. This way, the grip stays relatively the same size, and the two tightly-wrapped overgrips do a marvelous job of dampening the shock and vibration.
     
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  5. mark999

    mark999 Rookie

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    what size thickness of sorbothane did you use. was it the 1/8 inch gauge. also do you know the durometer of the sorbothane.
     
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  6. drak

    drak Professional

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    Last edited: Nov 25, 2009
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  7. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    Arise, O Thread, from thy moldering grave...

    I know it's been a while, but Drak, did you ever decide whether the Unequal grip is the Second Coming of Gosen Sorbothane?

    Has anyone else tried it?
     
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  8. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    Unequal kevlar grip is pretty good at absorbing shock, but Unequal needs to make some improvements if they want to attract tennis players to buy their stuff.

    Problem #1: Installation. Kevlar has no stretch in it whatsoever, which makes it impossible to wrap it around the butt cap in a neat way. Basically you will have an awkwardly-wrapped replacement grip that you'll need to cover up with a layer or two of overgrips. The other choice is to go with their slip-on version, but you'd have to take the butt cap off and use glue for installation, and the only way to take it off later is to cut it out.

    Problem #2: Weight. Unequal's maximum shock absorption grip will add 1.5 oz and the medium version will add 1.2 oz to your racquet. This is significant, since most replacement grips only weigh 0.4 to 0.6 oz.

    Problem #3: Cost. Anybody want to pay $20 a grip? Their shipping charge is quite significant as well. I believe you need to spend $100 to qualify for free shipping.

    Problem #4: Length. These grips are simply not long enough. You have an extended racquet? Forget about it. The medium versions are barely long enough for standard-length racquets, but the max version is too short. Last time I called, they said their next order from the factory would be longer. But it remains to be seen whether they have corrected that.

    Problem #5: Thickness. These grips will add anywhere from 1/2 to 1 size to your grip, possibly even more.

    Well, one good thing about Kevlar grips is that they do reduce some shock and are completely re-usable (all you need is some double-sided tape) and they seem to last forever. Since they are not cushiony to begin with, they do not become thinner or diminish in their shock-absorbing capacity with age.

    I am currently testing Wilson Shock Shield. Unfortunately, between rain and busy schedule, I have not been able to test it out much. But I will say this much. The installation is easy, and it looks perfect on the handle. It is also very long, long enough for any longbody racquet. Depending on where you trim this, it weighs anywhere from 0.7 to 0.8 oz. As for performance, I will have to report back later.

    If anyone wants to try a Gosen Sorbothane grip or an Unequal Kevlar grip, feel free to contact me. I have spares.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2011
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  9. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    Sorry, I did not notice your post back then. I do not recall. Perhaps 1/8 or 1/16--I ordered from a mail order hardware company, and I ordered the thinnest with the durometer that I felt was appropriate. But I no longer remember.
     
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  10. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the detailed info, Scotus. With both Unequal and Gosen (now, at the only place I've seen it still available) at $20, I hope your testing of the Wilson grip yields good news.
     
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  11. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    Gosen will cost you a lot more than $20, because the only retailer that carries it won't let you install it yourself. You'll have to send your racquet in.

    And have you talked to that guy on the phone? Fairly close to the last person on earth you'd want to give business to.
     
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  12. Don't Let It Bounce

    Don't Let It Bounce Hall of Fame

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    That too? I knew he had similar odd policies on other items, but I didn't know about about the grips.

    My only encounter was a terse email containing an utterly outrageous grommet price quote, but stories I've heard, as well as the defensive tone of parts of the web site, suggest to me that I'm not fierce enough for a phone conversation with the gentleman.
     
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  13. mark999

    mark999 Rookie

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    you can get sorbothane sheets from mc master carr or edmund scientific. apx. $20.00 for 12" X 12" X 1/8" thick. mc master carr also has other sizes and thicknesses.
     
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  14. scotus

    scotus Legend

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    After some testing, my initial findings are that Wilson Shock Shield replacement grip is better than regular grips at absorbing shock, but not as good as Unequal Kevlar (even the medium version).

    But it has easy installation, normal looks, lower price, and lower weight going in its favor.

    So it's really a toss up. Do you want more shock absorption? Go with Kevlar. Do you want moderate shock absorption, a better feel and everything else? Go with Wilson.

    Now I don't have the two grips installed on the same type of frames, so my conclusions are not all that fair.

    If I change my mind, I will be sure to re-visit this thread and make necessary corrections.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2011
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  15. pennc94

    pennc94 Semi-Pro

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    Any updates scotus?
     
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  16. tball

    tball Semi-Pro

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    Wilson Shock Shield dampens the vibrations more than any other grip, but Sorbothane is more effective. I have a sheet of sorbothane 1mm thick (50 duro), and I put it under a pallet. This mutes and dampens the racquet noticeably more than the Shock Shield, and it also does it in a very different manner. I feel that Wilson is great at dispersing tiny vibrations, but not the big ones. Sorbothane on the hairpin is just the opposite: it dampens the big ones, but the little ones pass through. Wilson Shock Shield gives the effect of playing in gloves; sorbothane gives more of a feel of playing with a rubberized frame.

    This setup works best if you start with a racquet which is lighter than your target specs, and is also 1-2 grip sizes smaller than what you need.

    The $20 sheets from Edmunds Scientific are no good. 1/10 is too thick to be of any use. It is about 3-4mm thick. No good for tennis. You cannot do anything with it.
     
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  17. pennc94

    pennc94 Semi-Pro

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    Interesting. How does your pallet fit over the hairpin now that your Sorbothane sheet is wrapped around it? Did you need to trim the inside of your pallet?
     
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  18. tball

    tball Semi-Pro

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    I put Volkl Pallets on Head, which is just about 1 mm bigger than the hairpin.

    But I've put Head pallets on Head, too. The sorbothane went only on the top and bottom bevels. This spreads the pallets apart, correcting the Head grip shape to Prince.
     
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  19. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Looks like Unequal no longer sells kevlar tennis grips. A quick trip to the website shows only golf grips.
     
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  20. corbind

    corbind Professional

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    This sounds like a fun project. :)
     
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