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Got Grap?

Posted on March 24, 2011 in Miscellaneous

As far as I’m concerned, Yonex Super Grap lives up to its name.

No, not the grap part. I’m not even sure what grap is? I’m talking about the super part. Super Grap is simply a super grip. Not only does it absorb sweat well, it offers some nice tack and is pretty durable for an overgrip.

Plenty of grips have come along to imitate Super Grap, such as Wilson Pro Overgrip, but Super Grap will always be the original, and in my opinion is still the best.

It offers just the right amount of thickness for an overgrip. There’s enough material for some cushioning and comfort, yet not so much that I lose bevel feel. Super Grap over a leather grip is about as good as it gets for racquet feel for me. As tennis players, we feel everything through our hands first, and that feel of a Super Grap over a leather grip immediately improves the feel I get from any racquet.

There’s pretty much only one scenario that has me straying from Super Grap as my first choice. When I’m playing in really hot, humid weather, nothing beats the absorption of a Tournagrip. I used to be a Tournagrip guy through and through, but once I discovered Super Grap, I was converted for all but the hottest and stickiest days.

Super Grap doesn’t just impress on the performance front, it also offers visual appeal with the large variety of colors available. Depending on my mood, I can throw on a bright, contrasting grip, or go darker or more tonal. As I write this we have 9 different color options of Super Grap available. With so many color choices, I’m going to have to buy some more racquets just to keep up!



Tourna Grip, four times the charm

Posted on September 21, 2009 in Miscellaneous

For the longest time, it could be nothing but a Tourna Grip to adorn my racquet handle. Tourna Grip is known for its absorbent properties and even though it didn’t get too hot where I grew up, I still loved it.

Sure, durability would bite with Tourna Grip and after one set I should really have been putting a new one on, but I loved it nonetheless. As a junior player, money was tight but Tourna Grip still worked with some improvisation.

Back in the day I would get four times the use out of one grip. Having a one-handed backhand helped, as I would only use the bottom of the grip. When the bottom wore out I would simply flip it. The part of the grip that used to be up by the racquet shaft would now be down at the butt cap. After that wore out, I would then turn the grip inside out. I know, pure genius right? The cool thing about Tourna Grip is that the side of the grip that is supposed to be up against the handle doesn’t really feel that much different than the correct side to use. Ok, it’s not quite as tacky, but it offers better grip than the regular side once that has become dirty and worn.

So there you go, four uses out of one grip. Not too shabby.

I guess I really came to appreciate the true benefit of Tourna Grip when I moved to Florida to train in my late teens. The heat and humidity had me leaking sweat like a dodgy faucet leaks water. I would usually find myself sweating pretty heavily by the end of the warm up. Shoot, even walking to the court can work up a pretty good sweat in the Florida humidity. In those kind of conditions, nothing works better than Tourna Grip.

Fast forward to the present day and the California heat is doing its best to heat up our indoor playtesting court at Tennis Warehouse. I’m back to sweating like my Florida days.

It’s time again to roll out the Tourna Grip.



I like leather

Posted on July 1, 2009 in Miscellaneous

Leather grips, that is. Nothing else compares to a good leather grip on a racquet.

There was a time when I thought my preference for leather was getting a little old school. Everywhere I looked racquets were coming equipped with soft synthetic grips. However, I’m happy to see racquet manufacturers are again including a leather grip on their flagship player’s racquets.

In the last few years the leather trend has really begun to kick in with lots of new sticks getting the leather treatment at the handle. Take the new HEAD YouTek Speed Pro and YouTek Radical Pro, the Wilson KPro Staff 88 and KSix-One Tour 90 and the Prince EXO3 Graphites as examples. Of course there are those classic sticks that we still carry, such as the Prince Original Graphite, as well as those with just a few seasons under their belts like the Babolat Pure Storm Limited and Wilson KBlade Tour. Just think about all that hitting pleasure for us fans of leather. Ah, these are good times indeed.

Going old school, leather on a Kneissl White Star

Going old school, leather on a Kneissl White Star

Now, I know I’m not alone in my desire for a high quality leather grip on the handle of my racquet. The cry from our customers and Talk Tennis posters rang loud enough for us to source our own grips. The Tennis Warehouse Private Label leather grips are like any really good leather grip, just superb.

What makes a leather grip so special? Well, nothing else allows me to feel the bevels of the handle like a leather grip. There’s just more feel for ball contact when playing with leather. Less feedback is lost compared with a softer synthetic grip. A leather grip can make even the muddiest, most muted of racquet responses feel cleaner and crisper. A leather grip doesn’t just allow me to feel the ball on the strings, it allows me to feel the felt of the ball on the strings. The best analogy I can think of is a surfing one. Playing with a leather grip is like surfing barefoot. When the winter months recede and the water on the Central Coast warms up a to a balmy 55°F, it’s time to peel off the neoprene booties and paddle out barefoot. The connection between foot and surfboard becomes so much closer. I can feel every ripple, every undulation and every turn that much better. Much like leather, it’s a feel thing.

On the tennis court, leather gives me a better gauge of depth. I feel more connected to the amount of spin I’m generating. My touch shots have, well, more touch.

And what about those really hot days when some grip absorbency is needed? Just throw on a favorite overgrip. An overgrip takes the whole leather experience in a different direction. Even with an overgrip I can still feel the bevels of the handle better, I can still feel the ball better and feel more connected than with a synthetic grip alone.

But don’t get me started on overgrips. That’s a whole other blog. Maybe next time?

In the meantime, let me know your take on grips. Are you a leather fan? Perhaps leather with an overgrip? Even if you’re not a fan of leather at all, it’s time to speak up.


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