Feb

13

 The bent handle racquetball racquet of the early 80’s reminds me of a one month experiment with every type of adhesive on the market, about thirty in all from Elmer’s to Superglue, using various styles of gloves and racquet grips to stop grip slippage. I recognized with the onslaught of the fast ball and tightly strung racquets of the early 80's that the primary problem of most players in their entire games was ball deflection on contact due to grip slip.

It started moments after the coin toss in tournaments when the glove, hand and handle got sweaty. Everything in the strokes and strategies of millions of advanced players across the nation was right except the angle the ball came off the strings. Given a good eye or fast camera, the handle rolled about two degrees within the strongest palm. Even power racquetball’s inventor Marty Hogan screamed at the injustice. I needed a glue to stop it. Over the course of a month in my secret 'laboratory' of a Michigan garage via tedious daily hours of applying adhesives to gloves, my palm and handle, I gripped and formed opinions of the best glues… and went to the courts to test them. The best was Barge Cement and to this day I keep a quart on my desert property for all purpose contact.

The result of the glue experiment was conclusive for cement type, but over a period of ten minutes of hard play though the grip didn't slip twixt the glove and handle, it started to rotate between the hand and glove for the same misdirection. Gluing the hand to the racquet was the logical next step which I did for a new one grip system for forehand and backhand. Yet I couldn't let go during timeouts, plus the heating glue felt unhealthy climbing my circulation from palm to armpit, so I abandoned the idea of gluing the hand to handle.

The nationwide grip slippage of the early 80's due to the advent of superballs, tight strings, Tarzans hands, and double ball speeds I believe to this day is the prime reason for the concurrent historic introduction of the one-grip system that previously was all but unknown in racquetball.


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