Wilson handle shape and Amplifeel 360

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by TNT34, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. TNT34

    TNT34 New User

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2009
    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    IN
    I've been playing tennis for 40+ yrs, and have mostly used Wilson frames over that time. Recently a friend asked me to try his new Steam 99, so I did and immediately noticed two things: 1) the racquet had a more dampened, cushioned feel, and 2) the handle shape felt different.

    I'm not sure whether the cushioned feel was due to the frame stiffness, or the strings, or the Amplifeel 360 technology, or some combination of the three, but it was very noticeable to me.

    Perhaps the more interesting difference was the handle shape though. It felt more "boxy" than the "oval" shape that I'm used to for Wilson. Does anyone know whether Wilson uses the same handle shape for all racquets, or whether different racquets have different handle shapes? Has there been a change recently with any Wilson racquet handle shape? Is there a place I could find handle dimensions for various racquet mfgs, or someone I could contact at Wilson to ask about this? I know I could get some calipers and take some measurements, but that's more work than I'd like to do.

    TIA,

    T.
     
    #1
  2. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,335
    Location:
    On the courts; hard & clay ...
    calipers? measurements?

    just walk into your pro shop and grab a few sticks.
     
    #2
  3. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    504
    The wilson factory makes two different shapes. Even for the same racket which makes it even more worse.
    It is the reason I will never buy wilson anymore.
     
    #3
  4. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2009
    Messages:
    14,041
    Location:
    Atlanta GA
    I find it kind of hard to believe that Wilson or any other racquet manufacturer would use 2 different handle shapes on the same model racket. You have any proof of this?

    Only thing I noticed recently is that the new Wilson lines seem to have a slightly larger grip size than in prior years. I would say approximately 1 half a size larger.
     
    #4
  5. TNT34

    TNT34 New User

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2009
    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    IN
    My question isn't whether the handle feels like a different shape to me - I already told you that it does. My question is whether that difference is based on a real difference in handle shape, or something else such as the grip used on the racquet, etc. Or maybe it was just a one-off thing, and using another Steam 99, or using that one on a different day, and I wouldn't have felt anything different.

    I was mainly interested in knowing whether all Wilson racquets (of a specific size) have the same handle shape, and whether there's a way to find out racquet handle dimensions without doing any actual work. The Bosworth racquet website used to have info about that, but I didn't find it when I looked recently.

    Cheers,

    T.
     
    #5
  6. corners

    corners Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Messages:
    5,441
    I have noticed two distinct handle shapes:

    1. A more square shape that resembles the Prince 4 1/2" grip in shape. I have a bunch of old Wilson wood racquets and they all have this shape.

    I demoed the 99S recently and noticed that it definitely had the square, #1 shape. The black/red 6.1 95 also had this shape.

    2. A more rectangular shape that is not quite as rectangular as the standard Volkl grip shape. This shape was used on the K90. I have heard that Wilson switched to the #1 shape for the BLX90 and then switched back to this rectangular shape for the new PS90. I have also noticed this shape on smaller grip sizes with woodies. For example, I have a Chris Evert Autograph in 4 1/8" and it has the more rectangular shape.



    Now, I have no idea if they really only have two distinct grip shapes. Maybe they change the grip a little bit from time to time and have actually made racquets with dozens of slightly different shaped grips over the years. But I have noticed these two. I also haven't tried lots of contemporary Wilson racquets. I've played the Pro Staff series for years and sampled a couple others over the years but by no means am I Wilson expert.
     
    #6
  7. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2004
    Messages:
    6,024
    It always amazes me how shoddy quality control traditionally has been with tennis racquets. And no, it's got nothing to do with China. As a kid I played with Davis wood racquets with shafts that were not just measurably but visibly different in widths on what were supposed to be identical racquets. I don't believe those were made in China at the time. People report here variations of up to a half ounce in weight on theoretically identical racquets, amounting to about 5% variance of the total weight. None of this deviation from spec is new. Laver was once asked about players who change to a new racquet every time there's a ball change in a match. He said that when he was playing he was so happy when he got a racquet with a grip that felt just right that he'd play with the thing exclusively until it broke.
     
    #7
  8. realplayer

    realplayer Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2007
    Messages:
    504
    I have proof but don't know how to attach pictures. However I could send it to your e-mail if you're interested.
     
    #8
  9. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,625
    Location:
    Sydney
    I'm a rusted-on Prince gripshape kinda guy and I recently bought a 3/8 Amplifeel 6.1 95. Straight outtta the box the Wilson with its stock Pro Hybrid grip felt passably similar to my favoured Prince shape (especially the butt flare - I love the butt flare). But when I fitted a Supergrap OG to it, it blew it out and I decided to swap out the Pro Hybrid and install a Babolat SkinFeel.
    Bizarrely, the SkinFeel plus OG weirdly changed the overall shape to that slightly flatter Babolat shape. Not quite the flatness of HEAD grips though. I'm starting to think I shoulda got a 1/4 size stick instead. :(
     
    #9

Share This Page