Originally Posted by 1980
I use an eastern backhand grip with my hand pretty low on the grip. Maybe a half inch or less of my hand hangs off the bottom of the racquet.
I wasn't referring to "off the handle" as I was referring to behind
^^^ this guy's heelpad is mostly on top of the handle (bevel 1), or at best at the intersection of bevels 1 and 8. Borrowing Luvforty's terminology, this is an "Old Fart" eastern grip.
Instead, do this:
^^^ probably bevel 8
or do this:
^^^ probably on the upper side of bevel 7.
I recommend something in-between Fed and Gasquet, but it depends on the swing style you're going for.
The more you can get your hand behind the handle, the more you can get "behind the ball" on your shot.
Mauresmo is an extreme example:
She's using what appears to be a semi-western backhand and her palm is totally behind the handle. Look how open her chest is and how behind the ball she is. I'm not advocating this stroke, just using it as an illustration.
One last note: I've been assuming (along with everyone else, I think) that Wawrinka uses an Eastern grip. But according to the About.com article, this is not true and he uses a mild
Eastern grip (between Eastern and continental).
Despite this, he manages to get his heel pad slightly behind the handle, almost entirely on bevel 7.
(I'm out of image allotments, so I'll post Stan images in the following post)
So I would say a good rule of thumb is to make sure your heel pad is 1-1.5 bevels behind your index knuckle, wherever it is.