I figured it was time to match my Babolat racket up with a Babolat grip and give the Babolat Pro Tour Overgrip a runout. I’ve used these grips a bit in the past and generally found they were a bit like the Wilson Pro Overgrip without being quite as good as the Wilson Pro Overgrip.
Anyway, it’s been a while since I last played with these grips, so I thought I would see if they’d made any improvements. The Wilson grips set a difficult standard to live up to, but if anyone should be able to do in then it’s Babolat.
We often think of grips as just a minor part of our tennis equipment, but picking the wrong overgrip can be a costly mistake. Those people who have seen their precious racket slip from their sweaty hand, bouncing across the court and rendering their racket useless know this all to well.
A tennis racket is a fair investment, so it makes sense to invest in the right grips to make sure you’re keeping your racket safe. If you’ve got the wrong grip and start breaking a racket a month, you’ll soon realize that investing in your grips is the right way to go.
That’s why I take our grip reviews seriously and give each grip as much playtime as I possibly can. Some grips I can only manage a few hours of tennis for fear of what might happen to my racket, but the majority I will get a good 10 hours of tennis out of.
Strangely, where I find with racket reviews I can always find some good qualities in the racket, the grip reviews are much more cut and dry, there are great ones, there are passable ones, and there are terrible ones. There are few feelings that are worse than playing tennis with a terrible grip, so it’s important you find something you are comfortable with.
From my previous experiences with the Babolat Pro Tour Overgrip I knew that it wouldn’t be featuring in the terrible category, but could it push into the great category?
Comfort – 9/10
The Pro Tour does pretty well on comfort. It has a similar feel to the Wilson Pro Overgrip, perhaps with a little extra tac, and this results in a very soft feel for your hands. It’s not so thin that you don’t have any padding, but also, not so thick that you lose feel.
I still slightly prefer the feel of the Wilson, but the Babolat is not far behind. When it’s dry it has very good feel, but perhaps that does wear off a little bit as your hand starts to sweat. The big thing for me with the Wilson is that it stays comfortable even when it gets damp, and I don’t find that with the majority of other grips.
I wouldn’t say the Babolat became particularly uncomfortable as it got damp but it did drop off just that little bit, which caused it to lose a point. That leaves the Babolat Pro Tour Overgrip with a 9 out of 10 for comfort.
Absorbency – 7/10
Here’s where I found the Babolat Pro Tour Overgrip fell well behind the Wilson Pro. It was absolutely fine while the intensity was low, but when the pressure was ramped up and my hands got a bit sweaty, the Pro Tour didn’t seem to keep up.
As the grip got damper, the comfort levels dropped off and the grip started to get much more slippy. I always find this with the slightly more tacky grips. As soon as they get damp, the tac turns very slippy, and suddenly you’re finding it much more difficult to hold onto your racket.
I wouldn’t say the Pro Tour was terribly slippy, I didn’t feel like the racket was going to come out of my hand on the serve, but I did find the racket was twisting in my hand a fair bit on the forehand.
I don’t want to keep going on about the Wilson Pro Overgrip, but the thing that sets it apart is that it does well in every category. The Babolat Pro Tour does well in comfort, but it’s fairly average when it comes to most other categories, absorbency being one of those.
The Babolat Pro Tour does OK at absorbing sweat, but it certainly could do better. I gave it a 7 out of 10.
Thinness – 6/10
At 0.02”, the Pro Tour is very thin, which allows you to get a lot of feel from the racket. The problem here is that due to a combination of the thin nature of the grip and the fact that Babolat give you barely enough length to grip the whole handle, it doesn’t stay in place.
You’ve got to leave virtually no spacing when you grip your racket with this grip and before you know it, the grip is slipping and falling to pieces. Ordinarily I’d give the Pro Tour a good score for thinness but the fact that it often seems to unravel has brought its score down substantially.
I don’t know if this is Babolat trying to bring the price down or what, but it’s a big negative. You can play through it and move it back into place, but really once it’s damp and starts to unravel it’s not very useful.
I have the Babolat Pro Tour a 6 for thinness. It would have got a good score here but for the fact that they don’t give you enough length to grip the racket properly.
Longevity – 6.5/10
This category is once again affected by the fact that the grip has a habit of unraveling. If you’ve done an unbelievable job of gripping it and you can get it to stay in place then it will last a long time. However, if it starts to slip then you’re not going to want to keep it on for too long.
The moral of the story for me is why would I mess around trying to get this grip to last longer when I could just use the Wilson Pro Overgrip which is superior in every way. I often sound like a salesman for the Wilson Pro Overgrip, but I promise I don’t have any affiliation with Wilson!
It would take very small changes to make this grip last much longer, but alas, in its current form, it gets a mediocre 6.5 out of 10 for longevity.
Conclusion – 7/10
The Babolat Pro Tour Overgrip can be put in the passable category. It’s not one of those where you will lose your racket down the court, but it does have plenty of flaws.
The comfort levels are pretty good with this grip, but with absorbency, and longevity, it’s a fair distance behind the competition. Of course, everyone will have their own opinion, but I would certainly be choosing the Wilson Pro Overgrip ahead of this overgrip.
Comfort-wise, there’s nothing wrong with the Pro Tour, but unfortunately, it’s absorption isn’t amazing, and its habit of unraveling is just annoying. I gave it a 7 out of 10.
Review by: Will