This might seem like a strange admission, but I think grip tests are my favorite playtests. Sure, rackets are complicated things with many nuances, but grips either work or they don’t work. They’re a vital part of your racket, but are also very easy to overlook. That is, until your racket slips from your hand on a serve and next thing you know, you’re in the shop buying a $200 replacement racket.
For this reason, I take my grip tests pretty seriously. I don’t want to end my practice half way through with a broken racket, and I certainly wouldn’t want the same for you. There are all kinds of grips out there to suit people with slightly different needs, so if you’re despairing that you can never find the right grip, don’t worry, there’s bound to be something out there for you.
I’d say I’m someone whose hands are middle of the road sweaty. I don’t need a grip that is going to absorb moisture at the cost of everything else, but absorbency is quite high up on my list. I’m not a big fan of tacky grips, as I find they get very slick, so my main concern is comfort, with a secondary emphasis on stickiness and absorbency.
Today’s grip test brought me to the Prince ResiPro Overgrip, which on paper should be perfectly up my ally. It’s a medium-thick grip, with a soft feel that from first impressions seems similar to the Wilson Pro Overgrip.
My normal problem with grips that are similar in feel to the Wilson Pro Overgrip is that they tend to be more tacky, less absorbent and less comfortable than their rival, the only grip that I could say comes close is the Kirschbaum Touch It. The ResiPro does feel like it’s gone for something a little bit different though, with lower levels of tack and much more of an emphasis on the non-slip effect.
The definitions of tacky and “grippy” might seem a bit blurry, but for me, tacky achieves grip through a more sticky feel, whilst “grippy” achieves grip through friction. I much prefer a grippy feel from my grip because I find it stands up much better when your hand gets a little bit sweaty.
However, as I always say, you can’t learn anything about a grip from a warmup, so I put the Prince ResiPro Overgrip through a good practice session and two sets of tennis to see how it would stand up.
I often feel a bit hesitant when I take my Wilson Pro Overgrips off my rackets for a playtest, because you never know how you’re going to get on with a different grip. Based on the initial feel of the Prince Resi Pro though, I didn’t have too many reservations.
Comfort – 7.5/10
The Prince ResiPro has the right ingredients for high levels of comfort. It is soft to the touch and isn’t annoyingly tacky. Its only problem is it is a bit too grippy. If you value grippy above comfortable then that’s a good thing, but I personally prefer something a bit softer with more cushioning.
The first few rallies you have with the ResiPro you do find it to be extremely grippy, but it does settle down a bit once you’ve worn it down. If you are coming from a grip that is very gentle on your hands, then you might have to watch out for the odd blister as there is a lot of friction between the grip and your hand. But again, with time, your hand will get used to playing with this grip.
On a scale of Wilson (very comfortable) to Tourna (cheese grater), I’d say the Prince comes in nearer the Wilson, but still a little way off the feathery feel of the Wilson Pro Overgrip. I gave the ResiPro Overgrip a 7.5 out of 10 for comfort, which is a good score considering how grippy it is.
If you’re someone whose hand doesn’t get super sweaty, but you still find your grip slips a bit in your hands then this grip might be the one for you. It has a good blend of comfort and grip-effect, whilst leaning slightly towards grip-effect.
Absorbency – 7/10
This is the area where I would worry about this grip a little bit. For those players who sweat a lot, this grip might not be absorbent enough, and its grippy qualities will be negated.
Throughout my two sets, I didn’t have much of an issue with slippage but the grip did get very damp by the middle of the second set.
It’s not a grip that would be able to accommodate Tourna users, but, perhaps Pro Overgrip users who want a little bit more grip would be able to get away with this level of absorbency. I found it to be a little bit less absorbent than the Pro Overgrip, but it wasn’t a complete deal breaker.
I wouldn’t say this is a strong point of this grip, but I have played with many grips that perform much worse in this area. I gave the Prince ResiPro Overgrip a 7 out of 10 for absorption. The majority of people won’t have problems with it, but the heavy sweaters shouldn’t go for this one.
Thinness – 8/10
I found the ResiPro to be a perfect thickness. I think if it was any thinner, it would have some serious problems with absorbency, but as it is, it works quite well. There are some players who love super thin grips, and I don’t think this one would be ideal for them, but for the average player this grip is just right.
Personally, I don’t understand why some people prefer one of the uber thin grips. You just pick up a lot more vibrations and lose much of the comfort. However, you won’t have these problems with the Prince ResiPro, as it does a good job of absorbing shock.
Of course, the extra thickness does mean the grip gets a bit more rounded off and you don’t feel the bevels quite as much, but this won’t be a problem for most people. It could be thinner, but really, I think it will suit the majority of players.
I gave the ResiPro an 8 out of 10 for thinness. About perfect for what I would look for, but, again, lovers of super thin grips will want to look at something else.
Longevity – 9/10
This is one area where I felt the Prince performed very well. The grippiness stayed constant for a very long time with this grip, which meant I easily got 12 hours play out of it. I’m not too hard on my grips, but I did find that the Prince lasted a little bit longer than a Wilson Pro Overgrip might.
The only problem was that I discovered the grip couldn’t be too stretched out because it slips of the handle a bit and becomes quite messy. I first gripped it up pretty loose and soon had to do a regrip where I went much thicker. This did the trick though, and once I figured how best to grip it, I got a lot of playing time out of this grip.
This grips longevity and relatively good pricing make it a nice option for the wallet. You can get plenty of playing time out of the Prince ResiPro, which is always a bonus in my books! I gave it a 9 out of 10 for longevity.
Overall – 8/10
I pretty much always start this section with the same thing, but I wouldn’t trade my Wilson for this grip. It wasn’t as comfortable and absorbent as I would have liked, but it did do very well in other categories.
If you’re someone who values grippiness and longevity from a grip, then the Prince ResiPro is something you should certainly look at. This grip gives you a really high level of grip that lasts for long time; something that your hands might not love (calluses) but your racket will (it won’t go flying down the court)!
One thing you will have to consider with this grip is just how sweaty your hands get. It was on the edge for me, where I felt it was getting pretty damp, but it was just about manageable to keep hold of my racket. If you consider yourself to be very sweaty, I would not give this one a try though.
If you’re not too sweaty and comfort isn’t your number one priority, you might be on to a winner with the ResiPro though. Its longevity means you get great grip without having to change your overgrip every other day, resulting in some welcomed savings!
Overall, I thought the Prince ResiPro offered a good option for players seeking gripiness and longevity. It’s not the perfect grip for me, but it still did the job, and there will be players out there who find this to be the perfect grip. I gave the Prince ResiPro an 8 out of 10.
Review by: Will