Grips and Overgrips
Choosing the Right Grip Size
The grip size is a measurement of the circumference of the handle in inches, and the size is usually printed on the butt of the handle. They range from 4 to 4 5/8 inches and come in increments of 1/8 of an inch, and some companies use a numbering system according to the chart below. While the grip size doesn't directly affect how a racquet performs, choosing the wrong grip size can negatively affect your game and result in tennis elbow.
There are two ways to determine which grip size is right for you. The first is to hold the grip with your palm on the same bevel as the racquet face (eastern grip). Try to fit the index finger from your non-hitting hand in the space left between the tip of your ring finger and palm. If there's not enough room, the grip is too small. If there's too much room, the grip is too big.
The second method doesn't require a racquet. Lay your hitting hand out with fingers fully extended and adjacent, and measure from the tip of your ring finger to the lower diagonal crease in your palm. Take this measurement and round down to the nearest 1/8th of an inch, and you'll have your grip size.
If you're in between sizes or are not quite sure of which size you are, choose a smaller size to be safe, because you can always add an overgrip to increase the size by 1/16th of an inch.
Choosing a Grip
There are a variety of replacement grips available, usually with a combination of one or more of the following attributes:
- Absorption- For players who sweat a lot, these types of grips stay dry by absorbing moisture.
- Tacky- Unlike absorption grips, these get stickier as the player sweats, allowing the player to maintain a firm grip on the racquet.
- Cushioning- These provide comfort and a softer feel to the racquet.
- Traction- Some grips have textured patterns or ribbing to increase traction, allowing the player to maintain a steady grip.
Overgrips are thin strips of material that are meant to be wrapped over the existing grip and used for one or two matches. As mentioned earlier, they can be used to increase the grip size by 1/16th of an inch, should you discover that the grip size is too small. But they are primarily used for providing extra traction, absorption, and padding.