Wilson Sponge vs Leather?

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by serveboy, Jul 3, 2004.

  1. serveboy

    serveboy Rookie

    Apr 2, 2004
    Right now I'm playing with a Wilson leather grip and 1 Tournagrip. I got a blister though. Consider I'm a lefty. Pointing my fingers straight up and staring at my palm, the blister is on the right hand side between the base of my pinkey and the base of my wrist. I got it on my 1h backhand. I use an Eastern grip. The blister is right where one of the bevels on the butt meets my hand.

    Needless to say, it's really bugging me.

    I heard Sampras stopped using leather grips because his hand would blister. Therefore, he switched to the Wilson Cushin-Aire Sponge grip. Anybody ever do the same? I'm considering doing that and playing with Wilson Pro Overgrips for a while. I imagine their extra tack will cut down on the slippage, allowing my blister to heal. Once healed, I would go back to the Tournagrip.

    Thanks for reading and hopefully replying with some input.
  2. Yup, it sounded like Sampras switched due to an increase in blisters from his not playing as frequently as before. But I would wait until your blister heals; chances are fewer that you will get a blister in the same area due to the skin hardening after a blister. I don't know, I would look for any excuse to keep playing with leather. But if you must switch, also check out Gamma Hi-Tech, at first I read here that Sampras was actually switching to this one. Hi-Tech also sounds like its on the heavy side, so your original balance would be more retained. Heard it is the heaviest synthetic grip.

    Also, I'm curious to what grip shape you're playing with. I recently got a blister on my Head racket, I guess it doesn't flow with some of my Eastern strokes. I noticed when I got my blister that the butt cap nicely juts right into my palm.
  3. serveboy

    serveboy Rookie

    Apr 2, 2004
    The thing is I got a blister under a blister so the whole area is really delicate. If I keep playing the way it is now it will take too long to heal.

    Anyways, I took the plunge. Went to the store and picked up 1 Wilson Cushion-Aire Sponge replacement grip and 3 Wilson Pro Overgrips. I bought the Wilson Pro Overgrips because they're far tackier than Tourna Grip, which is my regular grip and of which I have a 30 pack. My hope was that by decreasing the slippage the blisters would stop.

    And that they did! I went to hit with one of my ps85s that had undergone the grip change. NO PAIN! The racquet didn't slip once in my hand. I did loose some feel though as a result of the Sponge grip.

    Hopefully when this blister transforms into a hard calice I can return to my usual Tourna Grip.

    I think I'm gonna keep the Sponge grip though. Though I lost some feel, the racquet felt incredibly comfortable in my hand. I also think it will prevent blisters in the future seeing as how the hand "sinking" into the Sponge grip, unlike the leather grip, increases traction, even with a Tourna Grip rather than a Wilson Pro Overgrip.

    I should note that my racquet weight dropped by 8 grams and my balance point shifted a few millimeters.

    PS85 + Wilson Leather Grip + Overgrip + Wilson W Dampener + Strings = 390g
    Balance point: 30cm
    PS85 + Wilson Sponge Grip + Overgrip + Wilson W Dampener + Strings = 382g
    Balance point: 30.5 or 31 I think

    As you can see, my PS85 at 390g wasn't quite set to Pete's balance, which is 32cm. Now I'm going to add 8 grams to 3-9, rather than compensate for the drop in weight from the grip chance in the buttend. That should take me closer to 32cm.

    I wish Nate Ferguson would've mentioned whether Pete's balance point was 32cm racquet strung or unstrung.

    Leather -> Sponge
    - : Less feel
    + : Better traction, greater comfort
    Conclusion: thumbs up for Sponge grip!
  4. i need help with my blister

    hello, i read your articles and i have a few questions. I play 1 singles at my High School and for the first time in the beginning of this season, i got a fat nasty blister between my palm and my pinky finger. I've tried bandaids and wrapping it up but it just wont go away and it strongly affects my continental grip expecially for serving. I currently use prince microsorb overgrips which didnt seem to cause any problems until i began playing outside. They seem to get dirty really fast and that may affect the friction. Anyways, I really need advice as to how i can get rid of this blister or cover it up so i can play through it because taking time off tennis every day is not an option. Any suggestions would strongly be appreciated.
  5. Kirko

    Kirko Hall of Fame

    Feb 18, 2004
    if you get a blister just tape it. it will become a callous very soon.
  6. tedmeister

    tedmeister Rookie

    Jan 7, 2005
    Where I am at
    I wouldn't really give the sponge grip the credit for curing your blisters. I would say it is more due to the Pro overgrip. Had a similar problem way back, not really blisters but my calluses would just keep on growing that I sometimes have to cut the really dried out bits. Switched to the pro overgrips and it solved my problem. Instead of the cushion air sponge which would allow some internal twisting, use the more firm WilsonTL gel. The first batches that came out were more firm, the latter ones are a bit softer. Still, better feel, not as hard as leather. Just pull it tightly as you wind around the grip. Goodluck!
  7. need2paint

    need2paint Rookie

    Jan 26, 2005
    You already took the plunge, but I would have suggested changing only your overgrip first. Now we'll never know if it was the Sponge that helped you or the Pro overgrip.

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