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Replicating My Racquet Handle on a Paddle

I’ve been playing a good bit of pickleball lately, in addition to tennis, and the paddle handles I’ve used aren’t really to my liking. My main tennis racquets are customized Head Gravity Lites with 3D-printed pallets, and I wanted to try replicating that handle on a paddle. I bought a cheap, raw carbon fiber faced paddle (Hisk Rav Pro) to tear apart.

The paddle handle is simply cut from the laminate of face and core materials. Foam pieces are stapled on either side, and there are a couple thin steel sheets under the foam for added weight (9 g for both). A flared butt cap is stapled onto the end. There is foam tape applied all along the edge of the paddle. The resulting handle is pretty squishy, and it lacks the well-defined, octagonal bevels that I’m used to from tennis racquets.

The handle is 31 mm wide, which is just under the corresponding 32.1 mm width of my target. The depth of this surface, at 16.24 mm due to the 16 mm core, is considerably larger though, so the corners exceed the outline of my target. I printed a handle like this.

I used the handle as a guide to file down the corners of the paddle that stuck out.

I added double-sided tape to the handle faces and wrapped the handle tightly with more double-sided tape.

Here’s the result next to one of my racquets. They feel very similar in the hand. And yes, I know my racquet needs a new overgrip.

The printed handle is ~6 grams heavier than everything it replaced, though it could have been lighter. I opted for thicker walls for durability, as I didn’t think I’d mind the extra weight in the handle. Final specs with overgrip and ~13 g of lead just above the bottom shoulders (4 and 8 o’clock):

  • Weight: 252.5 g (8.9 oz)
  • Balance: 22.6 cm
  • Swingweight (5 cm): 115.7 kg·cm²
  • Twistweight: 6.93 kg·cm²
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Trying a Hard Case for the SW1

I recently purchased an inexpensive hard case to try with the SW1. It seems good enough to hand carry the SW1 with BBs installed, but I’d still remove the BBs for shipping or in checked luggage. It’s easy enough to dump them into a large zip-lock bag and re-fill from the bag.

The case is branded Mayouko and was available on Amazon for $25.17. There were several others that looked to be identical. The listing shows internal dimensions of 9.3 x 7.1 x 6.3 inches. Those dimensions are accurate at the top, but it gets a bit smaller at the bottom.

There are three pieces of foam included. The middle foam block has columns that can be easily removed. Here’s how I configured it for the SW1.

Here’s the SW1 loaded. There’s room for the extendable calibration rod just sitting on top of the foam.

There is good padding on the sides of the SW1, but it’s lacking on top and bottom. Here are the top and bottom pieces of foam.

The leveling feet of the SW1 compress the bottom foam, and there’s little support for the bottom of the SW1. For transport, it’s important to make sure the leveling feet are screwed in until they contact the base. Also, be sure to install the cradle support and cradle stop as they were in shipping.

It’s easiest to load the SW1 by placing the middle foam around the SW1 and the placing that into the case. Similarly, it’s easiest to unload the SW1 and foam together and then remove the foam.

Please leave a comment if you’ve found a better solution or have other ideas.