Ultimate Racket Grip Shaping DIY

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by anirut, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    FIRST OFF: IF you need to quote this post, please DO NOT quote the whole post, as the pictures will be big and can be problematic to slower connections. Please quote only the text. If you don't know how to remove the picture quotes, then, please do not quote. Thanks.

    Alright guys, grip shape is one of the most discussed problems on the board. There have been various DIY solutions suggested and they work to a certain extent.

    The reason I call it "ultimate" is because you will be dealing with numbers that affect your grip, and not just "sticking-something-up-there-to-reshape" anymore. No more guess work. This method is a calculated method and guranteed to work (if you know how to do it properly).

    What I have found is that each grip shape has a certain ratio of x:y (see pic below). Each of us have a certain "comfort ratio" -- that's why we prefer a certain grip shape, a certain preferred ratio. This ratio is very important to our playability, as you all know.

    So far, we've usually been increasing height to the "flatter" side to make the shape more square (as in trying to change Head shape to Wilson). This method adds height alright, but it changes the angle of the bevel and this could be problematic to our comfortably gripping the racket ergonomically. Moreover, this method can easily result in "rounded" bevels, could also make the grip roundish and may be easier to twist.

    My solution hits the problem from another side -- underneath. This is through adding height under the pallets.

    This picture shows the concept and cross-section of the work.

    [​IMG]


    And ... How I did it ... Follow the steps carefully ...

    Prepare the equipment

    [​IMG]

    Step 0: Find your preferred ratio
    You may have many rackets, choose the grip shape that you like best. Remove the grip to the bare pallets and, using a vernier caliper, measure the dimensions -- the x, y, m and n. Note the precaution regarding the m side. (m and n can be measured with a ruler).

    Divide x by y to get a ratio of 1:1.ddd (give it 3 decimals). Make a note of these figures. (I happen to like the Puma 4 1/2 grip shape and the ratio is 1:1.137)

    Now that you have your preferred ratio, how much y-height to add to your existing racket's grip?

    Measure you racket grip x & y value (eg. 30 & 25 respectively).
    Then divide x by the ratio that you've found to prefer (let's say 1.145), that would be 30/1.145 = 26.2008 = 26.201

    As your grip's y-height is 25, that means you'll need to add (26.201-25) = 1.201 mm.
    That would mean adding 0.6 mm to each side ...

    You can give it a +/- 0.01 ratio tolerance when your grip is to be reshaped.

    [​IMG]

    Step 1: Prepare your grip & racket for modification (Fig 1 above)
    Now, get the racket that you use (and find the grip shape a bit of a problem). I assume you know how to remove the pallets without breaking them. Best is to have a spare (or just use it for the purpose). Clean the contact surfaces thoroughly. Make sure they are oil-free. I assume you know how to do this.

    Step 2: Applying Duct Tape (Fig 2 above)
    Yes, the simple, cheapo duct tape. One layer of duct tape is 0.25 mm. The picture above shows two layers of duct tape, making it 0.5 mm. in height.

    As I need to increase a total of 1 mm., I add 0.5 mm on each side of the racket handle. You preferred ratio may differ. Adjust accordingly.

    Trim off the overhang as shown.

    Step 3: Wrap a layer of Masking Tape (Fig 3 above)
    Wrap it tight enough and flat. Do not overlap the masking tape. This is to ensure that the duct tape won't move and also to create a good sticking surface for the double-sided tape (branding tape). This wrap may add up to 0.2 mm. in thickness.

    Step 4: Measure the length -- VERY IMPORTANT
    BEFORE you put any glue or tape either to the pallets or to the racket, place both pallets on the racket and close the butt cap so as to measure the racket length. Once you have the right length you want, mark the point where the pallets will be on the handle. Fig. 4 below shows my marker tape (on the racket) where the top of the pallet will touch the marker tape line.

    [​IMG]

    Step 5: Double-sided tape (Fig 5 above)
    Once you know where the pallets will be on the racket, stick the double-sided tape on BOTH the surfaces -- the pallets and the racket.

    A little caution here. DO NOT apply the tape to the whole length. Apply the tape like 2 or 3 inches top and bottom and across at the center. This will make it easier to remove if need be. However, they will be strong enough to last through your playing for a looooong time. Don't worry. (Hey, it it gets loose, you already know how to get it back in play.)

    Step 6: Close the pallets (Fig 6 above)
    Once everything is right (I presume so ...), remove the double-sided tape protection on the pallet and the racket and close the pallet on the racket ONE SIDE AT A TIME. Start with the side that has your length marker. Be very careful when carrying out this step because if you goof you'll have a hard time removing the pallet, as this may tear out the masking tape.

    Assuming everything's fine, then close the other pallet (at the right measured length, of course) on the racket.

    Now, to make sure they stick well ... just put the racket flat on the floor and stand on the grip/pallet part, kneading it with your feet for a while. (Sorry, no pic.)

    Fig 6 also shows the 1.2 mm. gap and the slightly extended pallets to get the racket to the right length.

    Step 7: Finish the butt cap (Fig 7 above)
    Close the butt cap, staple it and the work's done.


    This method may increase the grip size up to 1 or 1.5 size, depending on the increase in the y-height. I have not measured the increase in weight. A rough guess would be around 3-4 grams max. (Hey, duct tape is quite heavy ...)


    REMEMBER: The key is your preferred ratio. Find that and go ahead!! I hope this method will help you guys enjoy your tennis more and more!!!

    NOTE: I'm giving this knowledge free of charge. Please DO NOT CHARGE ANYONE if they ask you to help them with grip reshaping. In the event that the person asking you to help plays tennis to earn money, then charge reasonably for a one or two-hour labor only. The cost of material is much less than the life of a cockroach.

    BTW, I also assume you know how to do calculations using a calculator ... haha
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
    #1
  2. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Here's the finshed work of the grip shape adjustment. You can see the nice sharp bevels. The grip size is now 4 1/2 from originally 4 3/8 (as shown on the butt cap).

    [​IMG]
     
    #2
  3. feyya

    feyya Banned

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    very insightful! Thank you!
     
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  4. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    Hey Anirut...what a great detailed explanation, and I wont charge you a penny for giving you this knowledge free of charge back in 2005. ;)

    Obviously, this will only work on racquets using a handle pallet system.
    I've pasted my version of this below (not nearly as detailed), and also thought a good companion thread might be one I created pertaining to how grip shape influnces stroke production. While it does pertain specifically to me, I think it would likely generally apply to many. hope it helps

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=49311&highlight=grip+shape

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=40089&highlight=grip+shape
     
    #4
  5. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Ed,

    Thanks for your contribution!! I haven't read that before ...
     
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  6. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    yea sure ;) ..lol..i'm just messin' w. you. great minds think alike or whatever it is they say

    BTW I just use layers of masking tape...it doesnt weight nearly as much as duct tape. may need more layers I know, but it doesnt take much to change the grip shape when changing from beneath the pallet..i doubt it changes the swingweight more than a point or two...not even noticeable if you dont radically change the gripshape
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
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  7. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    This is great Anirut.

    It's strange how things always happen at the right time. I just wanted to reshape some Volkl grips when I bumped in to your post. Keep up the good work!
     
    #7
  8. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    I've tried that ... and it wobbled when things get a little high ...

    In fact, you can also punch holes in the duct tape before application. this may help reduce weight by as much as 25-30%.

    Yeah, well, my Redondo's tail-weighted a bit. That little space between the racket and the buttcap holds the weight ...
     
    #8
  9. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    splain' pls?
     
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  10. flash9

    flash9 Semi-Pro

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    Good Job

    anirut - Great Writeup!

    It should be noted that there are a lot of tennis racquets that do not use a pallets, and obviously this technique will not work for those frames. :cry:
     
    #10
  11. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    The thing is when there are too many layers of the masking tape, the height goes up and it loses stability. But, I realized something ... at that time I didn't try wrapping the pallets around with another layer of masking tape ... That might have solved the problem.
     
    #11
  12. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Thanks, Flash ...

    I know ... I was pondering on this ...

    But, hey, I wanted to solved MY problem ... hahahahaha
     
    #12
  13. gonzalocatalino

    gonzalocatalino Hall of Fame

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    Excelent work!!! is a great method to build up the size too
    Question: you have not found any inconvenience using the original buttcap? (i mean, considering that you`ve builded up 1 size the grip)
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
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  14. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Nope, the 1.2 (or upto 1.5 mm.) increase in y-height won't be a problem to "shove" the butt cap in. Actually there wa no problem at all with the butt cap that I use.

    ...


    The pictures you see here are for my second grip shape change. I tried this method three weeks ago on my Black Ace but was reluctant to post because I wanted to test first if all would be well.

    And since everything's well and good, so I did it to the Redondo, taking pictures and all for you to see here ...
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2008
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  15. gonzalocatalino

    gonzalocatalino Hall of Fame

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    great! i will apply your method if i need a bigger grip!
     
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  16. Ton_tennis

    Ton_tennis New User

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    very pretty grip ^^
     
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  17. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Just a little update ...

    Yesterday I redid the "grip spacer system" on my Redondo and Black Ace and found them to be ... 7.3 and 7.4 grams respectively.

    Just to let you have an idea of the weights of the system on the Redondo:
    Duct tape layers -- 4.7 grams
    Double-sided tape -- 0.9 gram
    Wrap around -- 1.7 grams
    Total = 7.3 grams

    Just FYI ...
     
    #17
  18. Safin777

    Safin777 New User

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    Did the buttcap fits the same way even if the grip size is increased and the shape is changed? Or you have to take a different buttcaps
     
    #18
  19. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    No problem at all. At least with PK buttcaps. The cap gets a bit tight when fitting in but you can just shove it in.

    Or you can just soak the buttcap in hot water for a while to soften it up.
     
    #19
  20. crism54

    crism54 Semi-Pro

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    imho the best way is to use a pallet bigger an shave the longest sides.
     
    #20
  21. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    I've done that. And I know it's not a good way.
     
    #21
  22. Blade0324

    Blade0324 Hall of Fame

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    IMHO the best way is to not be too cheap and spend the money to send it to **** and have them do it right. No change in weight, balance, or grip size. Best money I ever spent in tennis was doing this.
     
    #22
  23. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Fortunately for me, the change in weight and balance made the racket felt "just right". I could've even made my grip-mod system lighter if I wanted to.

    And suddenly why this **** thing's being mentioned in a lot of threads ... ?? Being best in the world blah, blah, blah ... ?? Conspiracy ??
     
    #23
  24. Alafter

    Alafter Hall of Fame

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    Your techniques in reshaping grip is so eh teh sexy and makes me cream my pants.

    Please grip my handle and make it feel right in your hand. Then wrap in your teh skin grip.

    Good job on the article. Please reshape my life.

    Say we ever gonna ever play tennis ever again?
     
    #24
  25. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Alafter,

    Either on July 26 or Aug 2 there'll be a Pantip Tennis Party. Fun match and all for laughs and giggles. Wanna join? Let me know. I'll add your name to the list. I'm one of the organizing staffs.
     
    #25
  26. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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  27. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    My one and ONLY concern is that I MIGHT not be obsessive-compulsive enough to pull it off for all my 8-10 frames and keep the specs tight. ;).................Seriously, a great post. Best, CC
     
    #27
  28. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    It certainly was a good investment for me in the sense that when I bought two MG Prestige mids from them there was NO CHARGE for the Wilson shaped pallets. :) The small fee for putting a Wilson handle on my BB 11 mid was also well worth it (to me) b/c it allowed me to do a true A/B comparison. Best, CC
     
    #28
  29. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Thanks CC, for your comments.

    I hope this method can be of help to many members of this board having problems with grip shape.

    One important thing I have noticed after having reshaped my Redondo grip ... my serves came back just like that. No more struggle.

    Best,
     
    #29
  30. jasonchu

    jasonchu Rookie

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    redondo grip///butt cap

    anirut, just ordered 4 more redondo's... making 8 all together --- at least until i donate 6 of them to the teens in a not-for-profit tennis program I work with... yet, still, i cant wait to see 8 red/white/black c93's in my closet....

    i have been playing with the redondo c93 , hitting like a maniac, but noticed, the buttcap keeps breaking off. the butt cap seems to be this gel rubber material that staples just cannot hold. i tear through them after restapling and pretty soon i'll have a swiss cheese grip pallet.... suggestions? solutions? i figure some light weight glue, but i like my pkrc93 the way it is... balance and weight....

    also wondering if you can repost your string/tension set up. having a little wrist flutter with the alpha ultraspin sc 16 I have in at mid range.... thinking of using a softer string at a lower tension to keep my wrist from having numbness after killing the ball for 3-4 sets ... :)

    thanks!

    Jason
     
    #30
  31. nyc

    nyc Hall of Fame

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    With the PB10 Mid being so popular and a lot of people expressing their dismay with the Volkl Grip shape, I thought this excellent thread by Anirut deserves a Sticky, or, at the very least, a BUMP.
     
    #31
  32. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Anyone try this method to modify a Head pallet? I have put some masking tape along the wide bevels OVER the pallet, not under it.
     
    #32
  33. stules

    stules Rookie

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    Hi Anirut
    I have an older Head that has been modded by Pro. Instead of the
    pallet system, it has been fitted with a molded pallet like a lot of other
    production sticks.
    Any ideas on how to dissolve or remove the molded pallet without damaging the racquet or paint? I am sure that there is a solvent that would do it, but which one?
    After removal, I can just put on an original pallet.
    Regards
    Stuart
     
    #33
  34. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Does anyone know what type of "adhesive" is best for reattaching a pallet? also where can I get it? Home Depot?
     
    #34
  35. bcart1991

    bcart1991 Semi-Pro

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    That depends on whether you want it to be permanent or not. Different adhesives for different applications.

    Heck, a medium dose of spray adhesive should keep things nice and tight if/until you decide to change again.
     
    #35
  36. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I guess not 100% irreversable. Just like what the mfg. would use.
     
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  37. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    If you're not in a big hurry, let me try some stuff and see how things go. I have some broken rackets with the molded handle to try on.
     
    #37
  38. stules

    stules Rookie

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    Hi Anirut
    If you could that would be appreciated. Thank you.
    I imagine there is a solvent that will dissolve the pallet, and leave the C/F shaft intact.
    If you know the name of the material in the molded handle, it would help to google the correct solvent.
    Ciao
    Stuart
     
    #38
  39. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Anyone think you can use a thin, sticky backed grip, like the Babolat Skin Feel and cut a strip to match the wide bevel and use that instead of masking or duct tape?
     
    #39
  40. nyc

    nyc Hall of Fame

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    I just did the 2 layers of Duct tape method on the outside of the pallets and it works like a charm. Softening of the bevels is not noticeable, but it does increase the static weight of the racquet.

    What was surprising to me is how thin of a layer will affect hand-feel.

    So JackB1, don't know how thick Skin Feel is but you really don't need much thickness to affect change.
     
    #40
  41. thebuffman

    thebuffman Professional

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    hey OP EXCELLENT writeup! i just used this to mod my volkl pb 10 and it worked perfectly. i added 3 layers of duct tape on both sides and it feels perfect in my hands. i will give it a whirl in actual match play today or tomorrow but so far so good. previously i had placed strips of lead tape on the pallet but this works out a lot better.
     
    #41
  42. craniopath

    craniopath Rookie

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    has anyone measured the rations for wilson and/or yonex?

    also has anyone tried using balsa instead of as the spaces, I bet it helps with vibration to :)
     
    #42
  43. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    I happen to have a 4 1/4 broken Yonex R24 close by and it measures 27.5 mm and 31.1 mm

    So the ratio would be 1:1.131 for THIS Yonex.
     
    #43

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