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Karakal - Best Grip?

Published: 19 Aug 2006 - 08:38 by SamBWFC

Updated: 27 Feb 2007 - 02:15

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Don't know if this is the right place to post, but I'm looking to get a new grip put on my racket and I was wondering what everyone's recommendations are. So far, I've only used the following two:

 

-Karakal PU Super grip, which I thought was a pretty good grip, but didn't last too long

-Karakal 'Kumfy' which I thought was awful. It was too thick and felt like I was holding a Pringles tube.

 

I prefer a grip that is as small/thin as possible, but allows softness at the same time if you know what I mean. Any recommendations?

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From ferris69 - 27 Feb 2007 - 02:15   -   Updated: 27 Feb 2007 - 02:15

Well, a mate of mine who has very sweaty hands has started using a spray which is designed for fat people who sweat a lot! Seems to work a treat.

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From Jumper - 26 Feb 2007 - 22:02

over the years i've tried dozens of grips - by far the best is the KaraKal "CONTACT" - it is very comfortable with a raised ridge (for want of a better word) section down the middle - this raised section helps to stop the racket twisting when your hands get sweaty - they cost £5 from my local squash club which stocks Karakal - you'll obviously have to find your own stockist    

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From gregzilla - 23 Feb 2007 - 04:14

I use the Wilson pro overgrip (I think that is what it is called), the white ones.  Tennis overgrip.  Very sticky.   Not too thick.  Only problem is that they don't last too long.  A couple weeks of ~4 matches per week.  Can get them by the roll though, which cuts down on the cost. 
I have just ordered some PU Duo grips.  Are they the same as the PU?  Just more stylish ;-)?

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From BizarreCo - 12 Sep 2006 - 22:49

Ah Ha!

I played my first doubles match with the resin powder last week and it seems to be working fine. My hands stayed resonably dry through the match, but I was using a "top-up" between every game as well as drying my arms and hands with a towel.

 

The resin I used wasn't the one I originally tried, and didn't work as well, but hopefully when I  can get hold of some of the origianl stuff then I can give a better review!

ADZ

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From rippa rit - 06 Sep 2006 - 07:55

BizarreCo - something good has to come out of this as you have really got behind it.
I put a search in "resin for gripping" and got at least 10 pages of replies, and in particular racquetball seems to have got behind the grip stuff - there are as many types of racquetball gloves as there are squash rackets on the market it seems.  
So why could racquetball be more sweaty than squash?
For sure the powder you have got from this fella is resin (from a tree sap), ground up into a fine powder.  I once marketed a product called "Klench" powder which many swore was top stuff. 
I suggest if you have any sort of allergy or dermatitis on your hands you consider trying the gloves.

Keep up the good work with the research.

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From BizarreCo - 05 Sep 2006 - 21:44

Since yesterday's post I decided to do a little bit of research through non-internet channels and phoned every player in my mobile phone contacts list. Most thought I was mad, and my old coaches laughed a bit too much for my liking!

 

Anyhow, all of them recommended different grips from Pointfore to Karakal to Price to Wilson and many more. Also different grip types (Micro-dry holes, overwraps, ripple grips, cushy grips, towelling etc!). In the end I had a huge list and went back online in search of the perfect grip! Here's what I could find out from online reviews, personal experience and friend recommendation:

  1. Overwraps are extremely useful to keep more expensive undergrips (like leather grips in tennis) from wearing out. They can provide a multitude of different feels from tacky to dry, to suit the needs of any individual. Most are designed to be extremely absorbant. BUT they are not designed for long-term use and will often saturate with sweat in a very short time (some as quickly as 15 to 20 minutes if you sweat a lot (like I do!)). These are best changed often and once they have become saturated, quickly become slimy or "like a bar of soap" as it was described to me last night.
  2. "Cushy" Grips. The Karakal version of this grip is Very similar in feel to the Karakel PU Supergrip (see below), with small air holes in the grip to provide a better cooling system. They absorb slightly better than the PU SGrip, and the sweat evaporates better out of the breathing holes quicker between points/games. Sadly this grip can still become saturated when placed under heavy moisture conditions. Also the biggest drawback to these grips is the thickness. One grip is the same thickness as 2 PU SGrips placed one on top of the other. The grip would not be suitable for people with smaller hands.
  3. Mirco-Dry grips. These grips usually have a moisture absorbing core which takes out a lot more moisture than other grip types. The grip can come with a PU type surface to increase durability, but once again they become slimy once saturated.
  4. Towelling grips are very much "old school" and many newer or younger players have never even seen them. A towel type material allows for very good absorbtion, and the rough texture provides a good grip on the racket handle. Grips tend to be quite thick (not as thick as the cushy grip in my experience). Once again the downside here occurs when the racket grip becomes saturated and the oils from your skin cause the grip to become slimy and slippery. The towelling seems to take longer than synthetic grips to dry out.
  5. Tournagrips. Excellent feel and tackiness in the beginning, but these grips don't last very long in terms of durability, and suffer from the same saturation problems as those listed above.
  6. PU Grips. Possibly the most famous of the PU grips is the Karakal PU Supergrip. This grip has spawned many copies but still appears to be the most popular and the best composition of all of the PU type grips. The grip itself provides some cushioning against shock, and the surface provides a tacky feel for extra grip. Absorbtion isn't great with these grips, and if you sweat heavilly then you'll tend to saturate this grip in approximately 1 to 2 hours of play. They can be dried out and used again, but each time they become slightly slimier than before.

Other Alternatives Include:

  1. A small hand towel to dry your hands between each ralley. Please note that as play should be continuous, a small towel should be used and tucked into the top of your shorts for instant use. This is a simple and effective method, until you saturate the towel itself! Keep a spare (or more!) incase you get into this situation! Note that you will still have grip saturation problems occuring from long ralleys, and a wet towel hanging out of your shorts is not the most comfortable thing in the world!
  2. Wrist / Arm bands - usually made from an elasticated towelling material, these bands are placed on the wrist / forearm to stop sweat from running down the arm during rallies. I personally find them to be ineffective when sweating a lot and have opted for tying a bandana around my wrist (it wraps twice after being folded). Saturation can still occur quickly and the towelling material tend to hold water for a long time. Keep a few spares handy to change when needed
  3. Gloves - Used quite often by racketball players, the glove provides a different surface than skin to be in contact with the racket grip. This is a useful way to keep the grips from getting saturated initially, but once the glove is saturated, problems can still occur. Another downside is that the glove can restrict finger movement and limit the "feel" of the shot that you are playing. Definitely not recommended for touch players.

 

And finally we come to my latest find, which I'm embarassed to say, came from a county badminton coach at my club last night. By chance I asked the question of the "dreaded sweatty palm" in passing between games and the coach had just the thing in their bag......

A big knife to cut my arm off....... No just kidding......... It was a bottle of Ashaway Grip Powder (approx £4 GBP). I tried just a tiny amount and my hand went dry as a bone. It was fantastic. I proceeded to play another 2 games without any sweat developing on my palm. In fact it was around another 40 minutes later when I next had problems. I've tried to get hold of some today and will keep you all posted on how well it works.

 

Cheers

Adz

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From raystrach - 05 Sep 2006 - 08:28

welcome back adz

i know that i sweat a lot but seemingly not compared to you!

have you tried a playing glove - i have never used one but some players find the help. you could have a couple of them. i would also wear a extra wide wrist band (about 4" or 10cm wide) and change each game. also some wrist bands contain some synthetic fibres which may not absorb as well as others.

i mentioned gauzetape on a post (may be on this one even) some time ago. that may be a solution changing that regularly would not be as expensive although it may not be effective, but could be worth  try. i am pretty sure it is still  available

no sweat...

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From BizarreCo - 04 Sep 2006 - 21:25

"BizarreCo tried it but he just wrapped the material around the grip without any sticky stuff so of course it will come off in your hand...."

 

It did have sticky stuff on it! It just didn't do the job properly and was pretty useless all round! Not realising this thread was going strong, I've replied to one of my old posts asking for grip help.....

 

Needless to say, I've tried damn near everytype of grip I can think of and after about 40 minutes on court, they're all soaked through. I've tried using towelling wrist bands, so called "super-absorbant" wrist bands, bandanas wrapped round my wrist (best so far!) and all to no avail in stopping my hand from getting super wet during a match.

 

Rotating rackets is the best chance I've got at the moment, but over the course of 8 to 10 days, I'm going through FOUR grips! This is getting ridiculas! Surely someone must have designed something that will prevent sweat from making a grip slippery? I'm on the verge of custom making a rubber grooved grip with drainage chanels for the sweat! I'm already using a custom made string (to tie the racket to my wrist) just in case it slips! This topic is driving my nuts!

ADZ

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From rippa rit - 04 Sep 2006 - 19:08

There was stuff called Gauzwrap which was like a roll of bandage that had been impregnated with resin, and you could just wrap it over the existing grip and change it often. It was quite tacky too.
Resin is ok but it does tend to ruin the grip as it sort of clogs up the grain and then gets a bit shiny (a coat sort of forms over the grip if you get me). 
I've seen people use a wire brush to scruff it up, a file, rub it onto the cement posts, etc.

So the grip has been an ongoing problem for some people for a long time.

No doubt you will just keep working at finding a solution.

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From sjlee - 04 Sep 2006 - 08:32

Thanks Ritta. I meant to say that sweating is the least of my concern. So I'm looking for that tacky feel of the grip i.e.) feels like the grip is being glued to your hands. The Wilson one is mainly for people who sweat a lot I think. Otherwise, it's a horrible grip. I'll give Kurakal a try.

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From rippa rit - 04 Sep 2006 - 08:12   -   Updated: 04 Sep 2006 - 08:16

Don't know how you all think and evaluate, but I guess it is a bit of trial and error.  Firstly it is the durability versus cost versus does it do a good job?
If you perspire a lot how can a dry piece of stuff absorb, eg wipe your hand on a board, and then wipe your hand on the grass?  Yeah?
If the sweat is not absorbed into a wrist band first, the grip is the next catchment area.  Wrist bands are made of absorbent material (not a strip of leather like a watchband, hey?)
I do not perspire a lot whereas others just drip all over the floor, a big problem for slipping around.

If you have time, go into an abrasives shop (in Aust a place like IBC) look at the rolls of double-sided tape (there is cloth tape and paper backed tape), cut a strip of towelling the width of a normal grip and 3/4m long, attach the double sided tape, then you can stick the stuff onto your racket so it does not come off in your hand, and give it a try - cheap, and easy too, once you do it a couple of times....just give it a try. 

Hey, in the days of baby nappies, that was perfect, but the new technology has sort of taken that market away  Let me know if you give this a try.  BizarreCo tried it but he just wrapped the material around the grip without any sticky stuff so of course it will come off in your hand....

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From sjlee - 04 Sep 2006 - 05:49

I don't think the orginal question was well answered here when it was digressed to Palmer's racket discussion. So are we sold on Kurakal PU supergrip as the best grip out there? I bought Wilson's H2Overgrip (in black) and I would like to encourage you to stay away from this product.  It's great for taking away the sweat but there's no "grip" to it at all. It feels like a dry piece of cutton (with NO volume!!!) wrapped around the racket. I'd try Kurakal PU though. Any other recommendation here?

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From rippa rit - 25 Aug 2006 - 11:18   -   Updated: 25 Aug 2006 - 11:20

Hey, don't get too hung up on these rackets and equipment the pros use. " You pay, I use".
A sponsor will tailor-make a racket to promote a product, I know that is definitely right.  That also goes for shoes too.  A personally autographed racket might be a bit different, with photo and all.

Yes, you are right.  The top pros could use any ball, any racket, any strings, any court, any place and look brilliant on court. 

And if you hand out a box of grips, a dozen rackets for free, it becomes a different ball game too.  That's life!

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From raystrach - 24 Aug 2006 - 20:37

now that we are one happy family again...

the color thing started with me with a product called gauzetape - it is still around but was very popular in the days of towelling grip. i was absolutely certain that different colors were more effective.

now with the more modern grips - i am pretty sure that different colors are more effective. the reason i suggested that different batch runs may differ is that over the years, I am not sure that it is the same color all the time.

who knows.  these grips are supposed to be something like 60% water, so that there are a lot of variables which can have an effect on the quality of the grips.

ps none of us are perfect, least of all me. slavic has been one of our best contributors since we started the forum and  stevep promises to reach the same dizzy heights. i do appreciate each of you coming back into this post  and moving on!!!

pps although you guys probably already know, by creating a profile, you can contact members offline (ie those that also have a profile - no email addresses are visible) you can also see a record of all posts that that member has contributed to. just click on the username to take you to the users profile summary. i have some more features connected to this in development at the moment.

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From drop-shot - 24 Aug 2006 - 18:09   -   Updated: 24 Aug 2006 - 18:14

Yes I did. I can repat myself with my apologies. I am sorry if I did offend anybody. I hated to read gossip thread here. Sorry if I overreacted. I do not want to spoil the good atmosphere here. I simply think that it would be so silly and naive from David palmer to "cheat" with the painted racket.

You should understand, pro player can change his racket into a frying pan and he's still a pro. So I do not think it's a problem for David palmer (nowadays top 5 in PSA) to play with slightly heavier racket than he played six months ago. Nevertheless, he is the only player from top 20 or even 50 playing with Head, so I assume it is contractual obligation to promote the newest model.

That's all.

I think I will come back to my previous nick :)

P.S. Watching at PSALIVE.TV does not help to recognize details on the racket. I did check his racket million times - once it looks like ol'good ix 160 painted, once it looks like new Flexpoint. On the match with Nicol he uses Flexpoint for sure...

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From stevo - 23 Aug 2006 - 23:19

Point taken on users first language Ray, and apologies to Slavy for that (if he ever reads this thread again).

Yes Slavy apologised twice although you would hardly notice it amongst the rest of the rant.

I saw Palmer playing in Sydney recently and also watched him play Peter Nicol at the English Open on PSA Live. Each time I thought he was using his signature racket, the flexpoint 160. Then I saw the thread on another forum and it presented a compelling argument. At the same time I saw the question on this thread so decided to mention it. I didn't realise it would cause Slavy so much of a problem.

I still not sure what racket is being used, the pictures of him playing at the English Open do look like the racket head is a different shape, but it could just be the angle they were taken at. But I am happy to admit I was wrong.

PS. On to the original subject of the thread ...
I also use Karakal grips, the PU super. I do find some grips last longer but I am not sure it is colour related, perhaps it is more to do with the batch they were created in, but I will try and buy a yellow one next time to check it out. Using a purple one just now and it has lasted pretty well.

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From raystrach - 23 Aug 2006 - 19:41   -   Updated: 23 Aug 2006 - 19:45

whooooooaaah

on my count, slavy apologised twice . i think that is enough to admit you were wrong!!


ps.  not every one in this forum has english as a first language. a little latitude please.

pps. changed this post to squashinfo from gear review.

thanks

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From stevo - 23 Aug 2006 - 16:29

Slavy

So, please find the pictures of David Palmer playing squash. You will see he used to play with Intelligence 160 in the past, then he used Liquidmetal 140 and now he plays with 160 g racket again.

Did you look at the other forums thread? There are pictures there to support the posted assertion.

Yes, I put "it seems" because having looked at the posters evidence I agree that it does not look like Palmer is using the flexpoint 160. Therefore I did "analyse". You can disagree, refuse to discuss further or just plain ignore the evidence, but to simply dismiss it as "childish playground smartie threads" is rude and obnoxious (not to mention terrible grammer). I though this forum was above all that.

Do not share silly gossips here

Who made you forum moderator?

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From drop-shot - 23 Aug 2006 - 16:02   -   Updated: 23 Aug 2006 - 16:02

Yes I did read what you wrote and that is why I was laughing/ commenting. I was hoping this forum is far from those childish playground smartie threads. I was wrong. ANother lesson on freedom of speech. I am sorry then.

"It seems he has been using the same model for years but with the racket painted to reflect the latest model". And if I am not wrong, saying "it seems" you tend to agree/ share the opinions from the other forum/ discussion without any analyse. So, please find the pictures of David Palmer playing squash. You will see he used to play with Intelligence 160 in the past, then he used Liquidmetal 140 and now he plays with 160 g racket again.

I am not going to discuss it more. End of topic.

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From stevo - 23 Aug 2006 - 09:55

From stevo - 23 Aug 2006 - 09:45

Dear Slavy

Did you even read what I posted. I was only pointing out that a similar discussion was taking place on another forum and passing on the gist of the thread.

Have a look at the other forum, its on squash site, you probably know it, before replying in your rude tone.

Idiot.

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From drop-shot - 23 Aug 2006 - 05:55   -   Updated: 23 Aug 2006 - 05:55

Yes you rite, but I could not stand it for some reason. I felt like I am in the kindergarden. Maybe you are rite and I should keep my keyboard shut. Sorry

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From vitty - 23 Aug 2006 - 04:47

Hi slavi(y), welcome back.....Yes I agree with you that "repainting" of racket is nonsense, but I think that you really didn´t need to write it down in a such offensive way...calm down, man

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From drop-shot - 23 Aug 2006 - 01:55   -   Updated: 23 Aug 2006 - 01:56

Hey,

I can't stop laughing on that "Palmers racket. It seems he has been using the same model for years but with the racket painted to reflect the latest model"... Man, you are selling BS here. Did you watch his matches recently??? Do you know that the head size and shape is different in Liquidmetal and Flexpoint? Man, please...

Do not share silly gossips here. He has to play this Flexpoint due to his contract with Head®

Palmer may change racket whenever he wants. What makes the difference is that keeps the same string type and tension.

Look at the other players... Lee Beachill promotes now the newer model of Dunlop and he plays with that racket, but last season he played the other Dunlop. Look at Nicol. 03 racket in his hands, isn't it? Or you think that it is the racket from 2001 but repainted?

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From stevo - 22 Aug 2006 - 21:26   -   Updated: 22 Aug 2006 - 21:26

Vitty, there is a discussion on another squash sites forum about Palmers racket. It seems he has been using the same model for years but with the racket painted to reflect the latest model

For some reason I can't post a link to it

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From vitty - 22 Aug 2006 - 08:04

Regarding yellow Karakal PU - I noticed that majority of pros were playing with this colour (Palmer, Nicol...).Hmm, it may be true, but personally I do not see any difference among other colours.

Btw, Palmer is now playing with new Head Flexpoint 160g. In the last season he played with Liquidmetal 140g. I think that it is strange to play with a heavier racket - it must affect your technique, especially dropshots....

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From raystrach - 22 Aug 2006 - 07:25

I use a local brand - Baron -which i am pretty sure is manufactured by te same company that makes asha way grips. although i have not tried karakal, I have tried others and they are all great when dry, lik a bar of soap when wet.

i think you are right about the colours as well. the other possible explaination is that different batch runs turn out better than others - they may make huge numbers of one colour then another and some turn out better than others, although this is pure speculation.

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From JJSOOTY - 21 Aug 2006 - 23:11

Karakal PU Super Grip is definitely the best in my opinion.  I'm glad someone else says that the yellow seems to keep its grip power longer then the others because I thought i was going a bit crazy to be honest :-). I tried some of the other colours and then kept on going back to the yellow and it definitely seems better somehow.

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From Daren - 20 Aug 2006 - 15:53

Karakal PU super grip is the best I've used.

 

Here's a tip -Get the yellow coloured one. A lot of people say that the yellow one is the best and I tend to agree with them. For some reason the yellow one seems to keep its gripyness longer than the other colours. strange.

 

Anyway, thats my 2 cents - yellow karakal grip

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