The clue to the Volkl V-Tac should be in the name! Evidently, it’s supposed to be a very tacky grip, but to be honest, it doesn’t feel that tacky in your hands. It certainly doesn’t feel as tacky as the Yonex Super Grip and possibly not as tacky as the Wilson Pro Overgrip.
I’m not someone who looks for a super tacky grip though, so the real test of the Volkl would be in absorbency and comfort. To my mind, tac is useless if the grip doesn’t absorb sweat well. The tac just turns slick and next thing you know, you’re watching your racket cartwheeling down the court.
I can’t tell you how heart-breaking this is. In fact, I think I had a nightmare about it last night. My grip was slipping in my hand and next thing I knew, my beautiful Babolat Pure Strike racket was gone, smashed to smithereens.
Racket smashing doesn’t have to be the center of your nightmares if you find the grip that suits you though. If you don’t feel confident in your grip, then it is well worth experimenting with a few different ones as it might end up saving you some money. I’m pretty happy with my current grip, but I always enjoy a grip playtest, both for the purposes of this website and just to see what else is out there.
I always take things a little carefully when I’m playing with a new grip because I don’t want any accidents, but I did feel a little bit concerned with the Volkl V-Tac. The fact that it has tac in its name and doesn’t seem to offer a whole lot of tac had me wondering what else might be a little disappointing with this grip.
In terms of feel, the Volkl is more similar to the Wilson Pro Overgrip than the Tourna grip. I tend to use these two grips as my benchmarks because they are probably the most well-known grips. They’re both exceptional grips, so they’re pretty hard to live up to, but if you’re going to trust your racket to a new grip, you want to be sure it’s the best out there.
When it comes to playtesting a grip, I find that the only way to get a true feel for it is to play a full set. You might practice with great intensity, but nothing can replicate the pressures of a proper game of tennis. When you’re serving at 4-5, 30-40, chances are your hand is producing a fair amount of sweat and this is exactly when you want to feel like you’ve got the right grip.
So, I went out with the Volkl V-Tac Overgrip and played a set, part of me hoping I would be serving at 4-5, 30-40 for the thoroughness of the playtest, the other part of me hoping for a convincing victory!
Comfort – 7/10
First impressions of the V-Tac might be that it is not as tacky as the name suggests, but that doesn’t stop it from feeling nice and soft. This grip is fairly thin, somewhere around the Wilson Pro Overgrip, but for me, it doesn’t offer the same kind of spongey vibration absorption that the Wilson does.
Some people love a grip that makes them feel close to the handle of the racket, whereas others, like myself, prefer something that acts as a bit of a buffer between the handle and their hand. I would say the V-Tac leans slightly towards the close to the handle feel, although not excessively so. It does offer quite a nice middle ground for players who love a thin grip but still seek a little bit of padding.
As the playtest continued, the grip proved to be less tacky than I would have expected, but that wasn’t a big problem for me. Comfort wise, you don’t want anything too tacky, because it’s just going to tear your hands to shred. I could have gone for a little bit more tack perhaps, but it’s nothing I would complain about. For those people that want a super tacky grip though, I can imagine they wouldn’t be overly impressed by the V-Tac.
The Volkl V-Tac gets a 7 out of 10 for comfort. It’s not far off what I look for, but I think many people would be wanting more tac. I do prefer the sponginess of the Wilson to this particular grip, but it didn’t do too badly for comfort.
Absorbency – 6/10
This is where the Volkl V-Tac just didn’t cut it for me. I gave everyone the big build up as to why absorbency is so important, and this grip just didn’t meet my requirements. From about 3-3, I felt like my hands started to get a bit sweaty and the V-Tac struggled with absorption.
I don’t think I am the sweatiest guy out there by any means, but the Volkl just didn’t give me the confidence I want. By the latter part of the set, I felt the grip twisting in my hand on the forehand side as the tack that it once had turned slick, and subconsciously, I started to back out of my serve a bit.
Essentially, for anyone who uses a Tourna type grip, the V-Tac is a write-off. You’re just not going to get along with it. It may be more comfortable than the Tourna, and your hand’s might look less like a lumberjack’s, but it’s not worth breaking rackets over.
In case you were wondering, I didn’t end up serving at 4-5, 30-40, so I never got the chance to test the V-Tac in that position. I did manage to serve at 4-5, 0 – 40 though and managed to lose my serve to love to lose the set!
The V-Tac certainly didn’t give me the confidence that I need in a grip. The main reason for this was the absorbency. If you have very low levels of sweat, then this grip is worth looking at as a thin, relatively comfortable overgrip, but it didn’t work for me. I gave it a 6 out of 10 for absorbency.
Thinness – 9/10
The Volkl V-Tac Overgrip is around the perfect level of thickness in my opinion. It’s thin enough that it allows you to feel the contours of the handle but thick enough to absorb some vibrations. For my own personal preference, I would prefer it to be a little bit more spongey, but there are many players who are going to love the feel of the V-Tac.
If you do like a thicker grip, then you always have the option of building the grip out with a few of these grips. It’s always baffled me, but some players enjoy a really round, thick grip. You can achieve this effect by adding two or three overgrips. This can help a bit with the absorption problem, but I don’t think it’s going to make a huge difference.
However you like your grip, the Volkl V-Tac is thin enough to allow you to do it so there is nothing to complain about in this aspect. Unfortunately, the same can be said for most grips, so it’s not a huge selling point, but it deserves a 9 out of 10, nonetheless.
Longevity – 8/10
Obviously, I had a little bit of a problem with the absorbency, and for some people, that would mean they’d only get a couple of uses out of it. I find that once they dry out though, they come back something like their original stickiness. I’m not someone who changes grip too often, so I did find I could get 6 or 7 sessions out of this grip.
I’d say that’s pretty standard for an overgrip. Obviously, it’s not going to be as effective on the 7th session as it was on the 1st, but that’s just normal. The issues with the absorbency might give you problems midway through the second set of a match, but if you let them dry out, it doesn’t mean they’re going to be terrible for the first set of your match the next day.
At the end of the day, I think grips are very tricky things to get right. It’s going to be a very personal thing finding the grip that suits you and the Volkl V-Tac may not have suited me, but there might be some people out there who love it.
Longevity is not an area where I could find too much fault with the V-Tac and it does provide reasonable value for money. It gets a score of 8 out of 10 to reflect its decent longevity.
Overall – 6.5/10
Overall, I have given the V-Tac a score of 6.5 out of 10. The killer here was absorbency. This is the most important issue with a grip in my opinion and the V-Tac didn’t live up to the standard I was looking for.
It does fairly well in all other categories, but a score of 6 out of 10 in absorbency really drags it down. The comfort levels of the grip are pretty good – it’s soft but still gives you a very involved feel, which many players will really enjoy, earning it a 7 out of 10 for comfort. It also did pretty well for thinness, with a 9 out of 10. I would probably prefer a grip that is slightly more padded, but I would say the Volkl is not far off the perfect thickness for me. So, there aren’t too many issues here.
The problem is that the main goal of a grip is to give you grip! When that grip doesn’t absorb moisture well, it can become very slick, and holding on to your racket becomes difficult.
When you’re playing an important point, the last thing you want to be worrying about is whether you’re going to hold on to your racket. Unfortunately, this is where the Volkl V-Tac failed in my eyes, and this reflects in its score of 6.5 out of 10.
Review by: Will