Why are Tennis Grips Important?
Tennis grips are the area you hold on to on the tennis racquet. As such, grips are very important to the comfort of your hand during long matches and practice sessions. To ensure that you have the grip best suited to your play style, Do IT Tennis carries a wide variety that you can browse at your leisure.
Customizing Tennis Grips
Although tennis racquets come with a grip on them, many players like to customize their racquets or prolong their racquet's life by replacing the grip when it wears out. Hence, a wide variety of Replacement Grips and Over Grips for tennis racquets are available and are generally distinguished by their main feature, be it tackyness, comfort, or perspiration absorption. Replacement grips are used exactly for what it sounds like – replacing a worn out racquet grip. Over Grips go on top of the racquet’s grip to provide a better hold on the racquet when your hand perspires, or simply as a statement of individuality.
The 5 Basic Types of Tennis Grips
Here is a basic rundown of the main types of grips. These apply to both Replacement and Over Grips.
Absorbent Grips: Improve your hold during play when your hand becomes sweaty. Absorbent Grips have water-absorbing properties.
Contoured Grips: Ridged grips give your hand and fingers points of resistance that prevent them from moving around, especially as your hand sweats during play.
Cushioned Grips: The emphasis is on comfort with these grips, as they provide an extra layer of padding to help ease arm, hand and wrist strain.
Tacky Grips: These grips have a slight tack to them so your hand sticks to the grip. The effect is that your hand is less prone to move during play.
Leather Grips: Only Replacement Grips are available in leather, which is what tennis racquet grips have been traditionally made of prior to the introduction of newer, more hi-tech materials.
Tennis Grip Size
Measuring Your Tennis Grip Size
Here is an old trick among tennis pros: determine grip size using height (works for both men and women):
Under 5’ 2” .....4 1/8
5’ 3” to 5’ 5”.....4 1/4
5’ 6” to 5’ 8”.....4 3/8
5’ 9” to 5’ 11”...4 1/2
6’ & taller..........4 5/8
Manufactured tennis racquet grip sizes range from less than 4" for juniors to 4 7/8" for the largest adult hands. This might not seem like much of a range, but the difference even an eighth of an inch makes is surprising. Too large a grip can strain your hand, and prolonged use of too small a grip can injure your hand, wrist and elbow.
Alternative Measurement for Tennis Grips
The most commonly used method for finding your exact grip size is as follows: On your dominant hand, note that your palm has three main creases. Hold your hand flat, with the fingers alongside one another. Measure from the middle crease of your palm, up the line between your middle and ring fingers, to a point equal to the height of the tip of your ring finger.
If you don’t have a ruler handy, Wilson has a printable grip-sizer that you can pull-up or print out that will also help.
Click on the link below:
www.wilsonsports.com/media/wilson/pdf/gripsize_9861.pdf (Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to view and print out.)
Generally, if you're between eighths when you measure, you'll be better off going with the larger grip. A grip 1/16" too large will be comfortable, while a slightly small one might not be. However, a slightly smaller grip can be easily fattened up with an over grip, whereas a too-large grip would have to be shaved down – something not so easy to do. Over grips can't fatten a grip effectively more than 1/8", though, because each layer of over grip adds to the rounding-off of the bevel edges on your handle.
Grip sizes between 4-1/8" and 4-5/8" are easy to find in adult racquets. Larger and smaller grips are made for some racquets, but not all. Players with unusually small or large hands often have their racquet handles custom-sized, which costs between $5 and $15.
Junior Grip Sizes
Juniors will usually measure less than 4". For junior racquets, exact size matching can be difficult. Most junior racquets are quite inexpensive, and the manufacturers don't find it economical to produce a wide range of grip sizes. Junior rackets 26” in length will have a 4” grip size. Junior rackets shorter than 26” will have a 3-7/8” grip size.
If the grip is not a perfect fit for the child, often the best you can do is to get a racquet that's fairly close and then use over grip to adjust thickness. For juniors, a grip slightly large is preferable to slightly small both for the reasons stated above and because, as we all know, kids will eventually grow into things that are too big for them at the start.