It’s a running joke among the lads at TheTennisBros.com as to the effects the Tourna Original can have on your hands. The Original might be one of the best grips to keep you holding onto your racket, but, it’s not very soft on your skin!
Thankfully, Tourna offers a couple of other options in their range of grips, and one of those is the Tourna Soft Tac. This grip promises to be much softer than the Original and hopefully will provide for something soft and comfortable to play tennis with.
I do tend to make fun of Tourna grips quite a bit, but the reality is, they are easily the best grips for anyone who has a problem with sweaty hands. I know tons of players who just wouldn’t consider playing with anything other than the Tourna Original.
The question is, are there any other options for the super sweaty tennis players? Surely with today’s technology, there has to be something that is as comfortable as it is non-slip/absorbent? Although I’m not always a fan of tacky grips, I wondered if the Tourna Soft Tac might be the answer.
Unfortunately, I was lumped with a not so soft color of neon green, which I didn’t find particularly fetching, but the grip itself is certainly much softer than the other Tourna Grips. It is much more similar in feel to the Wilson Pro Overgrip, which is pretty much the gold standard for comfortable grips.
So, my Pure Strike certainly didn’t look too classy with the neon green Tourna Soft Tac, but from first impressions, my hand felt pretty happy. This grip is not overly tacky, something that is always a concern for me. I find that the tac is all well and good when your hand is dry, but when you start to sweat, the tac turns very slippy.
I was hopeful that this wouldn’t be the case with the Tourna Soft Tac as my initial impressions were very good and I liked the feel. The thing with the grip tests, however, is you can’t tell too much about the grip until you’ve put it through a match situation. Any grip can perform well in the warm-up, it’s when things start to heat up that the grips performance can start to fall apart.
So, on an uncharacteristically beautiful February day, this devout Wilson Pro Overgrip user (Will) gripped up with the Tourna Soft Tac. The main thing I wanted to know was, how the Soft Tac would hold up against a sweaty hand at 4-5, 30-40 in the third set! The Soft Tac clearly represents a big step up in comfort from the Tourna Original, but it’s not worth much if you can’t hold onto it!
Comfort – 8.5/10
The Soft Tac has the kind of comfort that Original users must dream about. It’s soft, well cushioned and doesn’t tear your hands to pieces. For someone who values comfort as a top priority from his grips, the Tourna Soft Tac is definitely something I can work with.
I played three sets with this grip and it performed consistently throughout, keeping its level of tac and continuing to cushion my hand. I would say it was on a similar level to the Wilson Sensation, but I would probably give the edge to the Tourna. I felt like it was just a bit thicker, giving it that extra padding and a little bit more comfort.
I left this grip on for about a week and I can’t say I have anything negative to say about its levels of comfort. It maintained decent grip throughout, and I certainly didn’t develop any blisters. The big question still remains for Tourna Original users though. How grippy is it?
Well, you probably guessed the answer. More comfort means less grip and it is a noticeable change from the Tourna Original. The level of grip when dry is good for a grip of this style, but if you’re someone for whom grip is the number one priority, I wouldn’t move away from the Original.
Comfort-wise, I think this grip is very good and I gave it an 8.5 out of 10. It’s got good padding, absorbs vibrations well and is gentle on your hand.
Absorbency – 8/10
This is where the Tourna Original users are going to struggle with the Soft Tac. For some reason, the Original has a nack of staying stuck to your hand, even if it’s got a little bit damp. The thing with the Soft Tac is not that it’s bad at absorbing sweat, it’s just that the tac gets a little bit slippy as you sweat.
This is a pretty normal thing and something that you have to sacrifice on if you want extra comfort. I’d say the Soft Tac does a pretty good job of absorbing sweat in reality, and I certainly didn’t have any problems with it.
For the sweatier players among us, this might not be the right grip, but for the majority of players, I think it provides a good all-round option. Its blend of comfort and absorption probably make it Tourna’s most versatile grip!
This grip is a step away from the non-slip superiority of the Tourna Original, but it does open it up to a slightly different group of players. I for one thought it played very nicely and I was impressed with its absorption.
I gave the Tourna Soft Tac an 8 out of 10 for absorption. It certainly didn’t let me down.
Thinness – 8/10
This is always a weird category because different people want different thicknesses from their grips. The Tourna Soft Tac was about perfect for me, as it gave a good amount of cushioning, but didn’t round the grip off too much.
If you’re someone who likes a much thicker grip, then you easily add a couple of these on top of each other which will give you a much more rounded grip. However, if you like a super thin grip then you might prefer the Wilson Sensation.
I think most people like something that is middle of the road on thickness, though, and the Tourna Soft Tac gives you that. It’s thin enough that you can still feel the bevels of the handle but thick enough that it absorbs a good amount of vibrations.
I gave the Soft Tac an 8 out of 10 for thickness. There are certainly thinner grips out there, but for me, it was ideal.
Longevity – 8.5/10
I had no problems at all with the Soft Tac and kept it on for just over two weeks of tennis. That works out as the best part of 10 hours of play, where the Soft Tac kept its high-levels of performance.
I could have kept it on a little bit longer if needed as well but felt like it was time for a freshen up. I found that the level of tac stayed pretty constant through this period, and absorption wise, nothing changed throughout.
I sometimes find with this style of grip that it can start to fall apart a bit when it gets damp. But, again, I didn’t have any problems with this. There’s nothing bad to say about the Soft Tac when it comes to longevity and I found it was good value for money.
The great longevity of the Tourna Soft Tac earns it an 8.5 out of 10 for longevity. Sure, it could last longer, but you’d probably have to sacrifice performance to achieve that.
Overall – 8.5/10
Overall, I really liked this grip. It’s got an ideal level of tac for me, which is not too much or too little, and it’s a much more comfortable grip than most other Tournas. For someone who is used to the Wilson Pro Overgrip, I was always destined to like this one, but for people coming from the Tourna Original, I don’t think it would be the same story.
Generally, Tourna Original users’ main priority is the non-slip effect and I don’t think the Tourna Soft Tac gets anywhere close to the Original in this aspect. If non-slip is not your number one priority, then I think this is a very good grip. It’s also great in terms of comfort and you get good longevity and decent absorption.
Would I switch to the Soft Tac from my Wilson Pro Overgrips? I wouldn’t, but I certainly wouldn’t mind having the Soft Tac on my racket for a couple of weeks (aside from the color I used). The Wilson might be the grip for me, but if you’re looking to try a new grip, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Tourna Soft Tac.
Good comfort levels and a strong all-round performance in the other categories get the Tourna Soft Tac an 8.5 out of 10. If you’re a fan of the softer grips, take a look at this one.
Review by: Will