Volkl Sticks and Standard Volkl Grip Shape

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by TennisMaverick, May 11, 2011.

  1. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Many have difficulty with Volkl standard grips, especially while demoing, since the grip shape has an effect on the angle of the face of the racquet at contact. After purchase, you should customize your grip just as you customize the weight and balance. Every stick I've owned since 1970 has been customized, especially the grip.

    Here is a new edited article from RSI Mag:

    Handling Your Players: Often overlooked by players, the grip and handle are crucial to a racquet’s performance. Educate your customers on how important this area is to their game.
    By Bob Patterson

    The handle of a racquet is the only contact the player has with the racquet during play, yet it is often the most overlooked. Most players seem content to play with a grip or overgrip until it literally disintegrates. Most are totally surprised when they compare their worn-out grip to a fresh one.

    As racquet technicians, we notice a severely worn grip when a racquet comes in for stringing and recommend a replacement for the customer. Often it ends there, but it shouldn’t. The grip and handle are crucial to the performance of the racquet, and both players and technicians should understand this.

    Grips, like strings, should be treated as an integral part of the racquet that must be tuned to players’ specific needs in order to provide optimum performance every time he or she steps out on the court. I encourage technicians to add the grip and handle to their discussion with their customers to determine how that customer can best be served. Just like the strings, most players are using a grip just because it came on their racquet. That may be just fine, but they should at least try others to see if there is something that may work better for them.

    Grips are available in such a wide variety and what works for one player may feel terrible to the next guy. You should stock an assortment of grips and have a display available for customers to grab and feel. Some will like a cushy, soft grip, while others will gravitate to the firmer feel of leather.

    Some will prefer grooves while others will go for ridges. Unless you offer a variety, you may not only miss a sale, you may lose a client. That perfect string job won’t feel so perfect when the client is having trouble holding onto the racquet.

    But don’t stop with the grip. The handle underneath the grip is just as important. Although almost all racquets come with an octagon-shaped handle, each manufacturer has a slightly different shape. Some even have a couple of different shapes within their own lines. Although all 4-3/8-inch grips should have a circumference of 4-3/8 inches, they certainly don’t feel the same. The difference in the bevels and angles of the octagon shape will change the feel in a player’s hand. Some players are more sensitive to this than others. The differences are very subtle, and subtle alterations may make the difference for most players.

    There are other handle customizations that can be done using heat sleeves. Just think outside the box! A bump here, a groove there — no problem!

    Giving your customers full service not only shows you have their enjoyment of the game in mind, but it also sets you apart from your competition and adds to your bottom line.

    Rounding Out a Handle

    Start with a clean handle:

    Apply double-face tape along the face bevel on each side.
    Apply the heat shrink sleeve as normal.
    Trim to length as with a normal build-up.
    Trim away the material along the length of the handle, leaving the face bevel material over the tape.
    Wrap the grip.

    Flaring the Butt Cap

    Start with a clean handle:

    Cut build-up sleeves to length. The quantity and length depends on your application. You will want them longer than desired, then trim to fit.
    Heat shrink the small sleeves over the butt cap and allow each one to cool completely before applying the next one. Wait until all are in place before trimming.
    Trim the sleeves at the top of the butt cap, or lower if you want a more pronounced effect.
    Trim flush with the end of the butt cap.
    Shrink a 1/16” size sleeve over the others and allow to cool.
    Trim just above the top edge of the butt cap. A piece of finishing tape makes a good guide to ensure a smooth, straight cut. This sleeve needs to be longer than the others to lock the entire process in place.
    Trim flush with butt cap.
    Install the grip, making sure to keep the grip taught as you wrap around the butt cap and transition to the handle to ensure there are no wrinkles.


    Bob Patterson , the founder of the RacquetMAXX customization service, is a Master Racquet Technician with more than 20 years of experience. He was RSI's Stringer of the Year in 2005.
     
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  2. Lefty78

    Lefty78 Professional

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    Nice post, and I couldn't agree more. When I had the pleasure to work at Bosworth, the first thing we tested with our clients was handle shape, before entertaining weight and balance specifications.
     
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  3. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    so why is Volkl quoted? doesnt this apply to every manufacturer?
     
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  4. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    You need to read the Volkl threads to find out.
     
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  5. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Because the OP is here to promoting the Voelkl line of racquets. A lot of people don't like the rectangular shape of the Voelkl frames. So this is a guide to rounding them out. Yes it applies to all racquets if that is something you are interested in doing. I have never had a problem with the Voelkl grip shape.
     
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  6. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    TM,from your experience, do many new Volkl users change the grip to a rounder one? Lets say, if you have 10 new users, how many will change it?

    I hope to receive my rackets next week and Ill see to what group Ill be part of.:)
     
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  7. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    From the posters on these threads: Almost Everyone....9/10!

    Younger players don't mess with the grips; they like them. Most Volkl buyers in the USA are older, so they like rounder grips. My grips are 4 9/16, built from a 4 3/8 pallet with a Volkl tan leather grip.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2011
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  8. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Volkle grip handle has Biosensor in the middle ?? so It does not have traditional Pallet system ?? Is it a Mold over the biosensor ?? How is Volkle grip built ?
     
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  9. OldButGame

    OldButGame Hall of Fame

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    I kinda like a more rectangular grip,..more extreme bevel feel to me,which i find preferable,.....but then,...I'm weird,..:neutral:
     
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  10. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    Ill let you know if I like it. I tend to be different or non conventional, so there is a chance Ill like it. :)
     
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  11. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    My 11 year old loves the Volkl grip which he much prefers to the grip on my Dunlops or his brother's Heads.

    I find it doesn't really bother me, but I have only used them in a small size (4 1/4)which kind of skewed the feel anyway
     
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  12. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Yep...the kids like them.
     
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  13. eidolonshinobi

    eidolonshinobi Professional

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    Good stuff TM.

    I'm only 23 and I can't stand the stock grip lol
     
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  14. hoosierbr

    hoosierbr Hall of Fame

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    To be honest I'm not sure why players freak out so much over the grip shape. I've used Dunlop, Wilson, Volkl, Babolat and Prince racquets over the years and they all have different grip shapes. Going from a more traditional shape like a Wilson to a more rounded Prince was quite a change but I got used to it. I never imagined I could get used to a Babolat grip but I did. Never thought I could effectively feel the bevels but somehow with enough practice I managed!

    If the racquet works well for you then you'll get used to the grip shape. If you find yourself blaming the shape of the grip for the racquet not working for you then you've got bigger problems :)
     
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  15. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    When I first tested out the Organix 10 295, I didn't think much of the racquet until I removed the leather grip and put on Wilson Kgrip replacement grip which kinda rounded it out a bit and seems to have made a world of difference for me.
     
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  16. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    I guess I'm the 1/10. From what I understand the standard BB grip is a little less rectangular than Volkl, which would seem to be the case in my experience, between my current London and the C-10 Pro 08 that I hit last summer. I just decided, coming from Dunlop, to get used to the grip, and I'm fine with the Becker grip shape at this point. In fact, I'm hitting some of the best biting topspin shots that I've hit with this grip. On my backhand slice and volleys, I'm finding the continental bevel with ease, and on my slightly extreme grip on serves, it's never been better. Dare I say that this Becker grip shape is forcing me to find the "proper" grip for each shot with no room for compromise/cheating.

    I may try your suggestion of 3 layers of athletic tape on the sides and 1 layer on top/bottom just to compare, but I'm happy as is.

    I have to agree. I hit Dunlops for six years, a Wilson for one year, and now the Boris Becker for a few months, and I'm adjusted and totally satisfied. Maybe, just maybe, the Becker/Volkl grip shape is more suitable for me and my game to begin with---who knows.
     
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  17. rovision

    rovision Rookie

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    Make that 2/10, at least. I don't have any issues with the original grip shape. As a plus, gives me more contact surface with the grip, and helps on some serves where I need less pronation (ad service side) where I simply hold the racket somewhere between continental and semi western and the ridges and grooves on the grip fall exactly right in my hand. Ball lends exactly or very near to the side line.
    On the minus side, yes, the square grip can produce a "preferred" holding side, where the grooves match naturally your fingers. For myself, I can switch sides, without too much difference though.
    And I fit the demographics above (the "majority", as described).
     
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  18. jk816

    jk816 Rookie

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    I like the stock Volkl grip as well. I feel like I get a bit more leverage; I've got big hands with long fingers and play with 4 5/8 grip, which I'll eventually build out a bit with overgrip as needed.

    I had no problem switching over ofmr my previous racquets (Wilsons).

    Jim
     
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  19. Rabbit

    Rabbit G.O.A.T.

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    Negative. The pallets are connected directly to the hairpin. They do have traditional pallets.


    Great thread, Tennis Maverick. I never had a problem with the Volkl shape, I never liked Head's shape, but Volkl was fine. I actually like the stock shape over their rounded one.
     
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  20. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    I'm glad that there are Volkl users who are fine with the grip.

    A short time ago, there was so much beatching, plus emails sent to me beatching that the grip shape was problematic, that I sent out an e-mail on behalf of the beactchers, and the response was not very sympathetic. From the answers above, that answer was correct, and in my opinion, the grip should be temporarily modified while demoing, just as the rest of the frame is frequently modified with lead tape while demoing.
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2011
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  21. TourTenor

    TourTenor Professional

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    Add me to the list who prefers the Volkl grip shape.
     
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  22. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    Hey, interesting quote, Mr. Perfect. Sounds kind of "socriatic".:)
     
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  23. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    I did not have any issued when hitting with a new PB10 mid. in fact i think i might prefer the grip...or maybe it was the racket
     
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  24. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    For anyone who's interested, I took Maverick's advice and tried 3 layers of athletic tape to the side bevels (widest) and one layer to the top and bottom bevels (narrow). I prefer leather, but to keep the weight to a minimum on the handle of my London, I wrapped a Babolat Skin Feel replacement grip tightly over the tape/pallet and covered it with a Wilson Pro overgrip.

    The result is a noticeable difference; it feels like a Wilson. I'll hit my modifed handle side-by-side with my unmodified later today to determine which I prefer; but with minimal effort, and for those who want a more square/round grip shape, you should try this out.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2011
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  25. Hominator

    Hominator Hall of Fame

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    ..........
     
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  26. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Agree, i hate the HEAD shape, can never find the edges and feel way too small. Thanks for the pallet info. so that means, this handle can be re-molded if desired. ?
     
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  27. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    Just an update: the grip played like a Wilson grip with these mods. Strangely enough, although I hit with a SW grip on my forehand and an extreme Eastern, almost Western grip on my backhand, I found myself missing the bevel definition of the Becker pallet. I got used to my new "Wilson" clone by the end of a set, and I could transition to it with a small adjustment period, but I'll likely stick with the Becker/Volkl pallet.

    I'll try out the square grip a little more as I have time in the future, just to make sure, as it's tough to draw definitive conclusions in one set of tennis.
     
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  28. TourTenor

    TourTenor Professional

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    Oh, yeah, Mr. Perfect here (I like the way that sounds) ... You are right, my not-so perfect quote does support another perspective. I think you will find many Volkl users who think the grip shape is very comfortable. I have used Volkl sticks for the past seven years after a long hiatus from tennis.
     
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  29. Agent Orynge

    Agent Orynge Professional

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    I was thinking more Dickinsonian.

    "I'm Nobody! Who are you?
    Are you – Nobody – too?"
     
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  30. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Rarely does anyone who posts here plays with an unmodified racquet, yet almost everyone who posts here uses an unmodified grip???
     
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  31. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    #31
  32. NBM

    NBM Rookie

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    I;d like to disagree.

    i think most older players like the standard volkl shape. many of them have been using that grip shape for years and anything else feels weird to them. in fact, volkl has been fielding queries about making their grips less oblong for years now and didnt want to do it because so many volkl players loved the standard grip shape and they didnt want a rebellion. making the becker pallets less oblong was a good move

    also, the standard volkl gripshape lends itself a lot more to a continental grip and younger players dont use that grip except on the serve and the volley (for the few who actually volley). older players tend to still use milder grips and tend to like the volkl grip shape more. a severe western grip just doesnt feel that great with a very rectangular grip to many

    if you want to modify a volkl grip, by far the best way to do this is by building up beneath the pallet at the locations you need to accomplish what you want. in this manner, the bevels remain sharp..because nothing was put on top of the pallet other than the grip and overgrip just like stock...stick leather on there and you got it made in the shade.

    i also dont think nearly as many people modify their grip shape as purported around here

    mojo
     
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  33. mctennis

    mctennis Hall of Fame

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    Great to see you back again Mojo. I agree with you. I think the older players like the Volkl grip shape. I know I do. I've never had any issues with it and actually any other grip shapes feel odd to me. The Volkl grips feel more natural when I switch from forehand to backhand. I guess I get sort of tired of people complaining about the Volkl grip. Either adapt to it or change it but stop complaining about it. If you really don't like the shape of it don't use a Volkl racquet. Put it back up on the shelf and get yourself another boring Wilson racquet. Yawnnnnnnnnnnn.
     
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  34. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Most of my guys swear by the Volkl grips; it helps with spin, and Volkl isn't changing the shape. But I also believe that every hand, body, etc., is different, so every stick should be built to the player in all aspects.
     
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  35. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Hey! Have a great Fourth!
     
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  36. NBM

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    hi..and thankyou. i agree w. you..way past old. personally, i feel as though a good tennis player can adapt to most any gripshape (including the volkl).
     
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  37. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    Welcome back!

    Until I hit the X-10 295, I never realized how much more square the BB grip shape was compared to the Volkl. It's really not that far removed from the Dunlop that I'm more accustomed to and prefer. After hitting the Dunlop demo that I told you about, I would like to go to work a little on my Becker pallet and make it like that. No doubt.
     
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  38. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    I can't use the Volkl grip shape, might be stubborness of German engineers. My motorcycles have always been BMW and only in the past few years has BMW gotten away from things like using a turn-signal activator different from every other manufacturer. Always claimed their way was better, but now they're bowing to what the market prefers. Perhaps Volkl will eventually realize most people find their grip shap unuseable.
     
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  39. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Which Dunlop did u try? One of the Biomemetics?

    You are right though...the Volkl handle shape is more rectangular than Becker and about the same as Head's. The Becker shape didn't bother me as much as the Volkl / Head's do....they are just too rectangular.

    You can mod it yourself with tape or whatever, but if you don't want to add any more weight to a racquet's handle, you are stuck. The absolute best way to mod a Head or Volkl pallet is to remove the grip and the pallet and then build it up UNDER the pallet and then reattach pallets and grip.
     
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  40. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    What would be even better is of they just gave you a choice of pallets with each racquet.
     
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  41. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    I've had that discussion with them, and they really don't see the issue, especially since there are now three standard regular pallets which are interchangeable for all of the better player's frames. Some people like one or the other; some like them all. Personally, I don't like any grip that isn't my own, nor any stick that isn't adjusted to me. So if you adjust your stick, IMO, you should be consistent and adjust your grip. You can buy the Attiva, BB, and Volkl pallets at will, online, or thru your pro shop.
     
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  42. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    The regular Bio. 300. I hit the 300G for a little over four years, and this model is supposedly from the same mold, with a very similar beam size. It played much better than my old 300G, and I had a fit of nostalgia with the grip shape, the feel, and that old familiar head shape. What I would fear, however, is that while I loved what I was feeling and seeing from my end of the court, I doubt the the quality of my shots could compare to that created by my Londons.
     
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  43. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Anyone know if the pallets on the new Organix sticks are also replaceable? I haven't tried one yet, but am afraid to because of the new vibration system running through the handle. I don't want to mess anything up. Anyone try taking apart an Organix handle yet?
     
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  44. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    Hey TM or Pn-

    Now you have me curious to take a rounded out grip for a test run. I know TM has listed in multiple places how to get the basic Wilson feel from the Volkl pallet and most likely from the BB pallet as well but I'm not finding it in a q&d search.

    Here's my question: With the athletic tape, any differences taking a BB pallet to round it out for the basic wilson shape over the volkl or would you say the 3/1 setup is the same?
     
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  45. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    They are replaceable. They have their own model#s because of the bio sensor in the but cap. You can use regular Attiva pallets on an X frame, without the bio sensor, using the Attiva pallet, or, you can use the Attiva pallet, and possibly force fit the bio sensor butt cap--I am investigating that for you right now.
     
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  46. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    BB pallets are easy: 4 layers of athletic tape from any trainer, on the left and right sides of the pallet. I just did it to my London Tour. Volkl pallets, are another deal, and require more modeling and craftsmanship. But if you ask anyone who has bought one of my sticks, they think that the grips were molded, and not tape modified. It takes a little work, and you have to build from a pallet two sizes smaller, so I order 3/8s, to build to a 5/8s-(my grips are closer to 4 9/16s)
     
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  47. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    Much appreciated TM, thanks for repeating the info for me!
     
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  48. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Jack....the X-Attiva pallets with bio sensor butt caps used on the X6s, are actually regular Attiva pallets with bio sensor butt caps. So if I hook-you-up with Attiva pallets, you just swap the pallets, but use the bio sensor butt cap which came with the frame. It's that easy.

    Also, I received your email with the grip system photo. The yellow stem which goes through the handle is not part of the bio sensor butt. The bio sensor is like a button with a stem, which fits into the rest of the internal grip system, so there are no worries if you swap pallets but use the original bio sensor butt cap.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2011
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  49. Pneumated1

    Pneumated1 Professional

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    Not that Maverick needs validation, but I can attest to the effectiveness of multiple layers on the sides of the Becker pallet. It works.

    Concerning the Volkl, that was the one thing that I couldn't get used to on the X-295----the grip shape. It would seriously take some craftsmanship for me to feel comfortable with it. I felt like the top/bottom would need some widening, somehow, almost as if you'd need to build up/out the top/bottom and contiguous bevels all at once, then work the sides. Or would you deal with the bevels as you built the sides? I know how craftsmen are about revealing their secret formulas, so if you choose to defer, I understand fully.:)
     
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  50. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    I'll put it up later today.....I developed this modeling technique on tour, when only Lendl had Bosworth, and no one else did these things but an handful of old-timers who were real craftsman with balsa wood on wood racquets, or they sanded down larger grips to fit, as all grips were made of molded foam, or made from pieces of molded foam, glued onto the hairpin, so you could combine/add material.

    You can get athletic tape at any event, and trainers were OK chucking you some used rolls, but in the late 70's/early '80s, finding a retail outlet which sold Johnson & Johnson, was almost impossible outside of NY, so at a tourney, without the trainers, you were screwed, and smaller events, had no trainer! I used to go to the local HS or college and walk on the field, intro myself as a tennis player, and ask the trainer for charity. That was the only thing that we could do when on the road when having the racquet company send fresh new sticks to the tourney hotel, whenever yours were broken, stolen by another player--yes, it happens and more so in the juniors--or dead, which was about 3 months per stick BITD!
     
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