TENNIS.com gear editor Justin diFeliciantonio and his technical advisers answer your equipment questions each day. Click here to send in a question of your own.
I’ve played the past 8 years or so with Wilson Pro Staff nCode nSix.One 95 racquets, the 18 x 20 version. I really like the sticks, but after so many years they’ve gone dead. So I’ve been looking for replacements. I hit with the new Head Prestige, and I really liked the weight/balance and how the ball responded off the stringbed. I would switch over…if only for the grip. I can’t get over how different the Head handle is. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about my Wilsons that just feel more comfortable in my hand.
So my question is: Is it possible to put a Wilson handle on a Head racquet? If so, do you have any idea of how this works?—Gerald R.
I know how you feel, Gerald. Many times I’ve wished that a certain racquet had another’s handle. Handles—or, more accurately, palettes—come in a variety of shapes, depending on the manufacturer. And every player has her preference. For instance, some enjoy the sensation of a Volkl palette, which has a more rectangular shape, while others covet Babolat’s rounder, fuller feel. So it’s perfectly understandable that you’re having difficulties playing with a foreign grip.
Luckily for you, it is possible to attach a Wilson handle to a Head racquet. But doing so requires special palettes and, for most, professional help. One of the few professional who performs such work is Roman Prokes, owner of RPNY Tennis, in New York City.
“At the core of the racquet,” Prokes explains, “before you put any handle on, every company has a different size and shape. So I cannot take, for example, a Wilson palette and put it on a Head racquet, because it wouldn’t fit on the core of the Head racquet. So if you have a Head racquet, and you say, ‘I want a Wilson handle,’ the easiest thing to do is to send you an RPNY palette. I started making my own, and I make a couple different shapes. So for example, I have a Wilson-shaped palette that can attach to a Head racquet. For $30 I can ship you the whole thing for you to put on yourself, or for $40 I’ll do all the work.”
For more information about RPNY Tennis grip services, visit their website at www.RPNYTennis.com.