Get Hip with Your Grip
It can be a real bummer playing with a racquet that has the wrong grip size or a grip that’s way too old and worn down. In this section, we’ll show you how to select the right grip size, how to replace a grip, and how to choose a grip that’s right for you.
Choosing a Grip Size
Grip sizes come in increments of an eighth of an inch, running all the way from 4 inches even to 4 5/8. Most of the time this number is written on the butt of the handle. Some European manufactures, most notably Babolat grips, simply give the number of eighths it is beyond four inches. For instance, a 3 on a Babolat means 4 3/8, and a 4 means 4 1/2.
The most important thing to remember when choosing a grip size is that it’s going to be your tennis racquet. In general the following rules will get you about where you need to be, but some people like a little bigger grip then the size of their hand would suggest and visa versa, so do what feels best to you. The most common way of measuring grip size is the one finger rule. When you put your hand around the handle you should be able to fit one finger from your other hand between your ring finger and your palm. If you can’t fit your finger in that space, the grip is too small. If there is too much room, the grip is too large.
Not every hand has a grip size that’s perfect for it, so it’s good to remember that generally it’s better to go with the smaller grip size if you are not sure, because they can be increased in size with overgrips and even kits. You cannot generally decrease the size of a grip. An overgrip will typically increase the size of a grip by 1/16 of an inch.
Replacing a Grip
Overgrips will go on right over the existing and are very easy to put on. Simply start at the bottom, pulling the grip firm, and then twist it around the handle until you make your way to the top. When you run out of grip, use the tape included in the package to secure the top of the grip to the handle.
Replacement grips can be a tad bit trickier, but it’s essentially the same concept. First take off the existing grip and remove the staple. With the tennis racquet upside-down, unroll a reasonable amount to start with and remove the tape backing. Then take the tapered end of the tape and attach it the butt cap. You may want to staple it there, but it’s not necessary.
If you are right-handed tennis player pull the tape to the right with the racquet head down. Go left if you are left-handed. Make sure to pull the grip taught and wrap it slowly around the handling, overlapping slightly on the previous layer. Once you reach the top of your handle, you will need to trim the grip with scissors. Draw a straight line across the grip where you want the top to be. Then unravel slightly and cut the grip along the line. Then wrap the grip back up and secure the top with the rubber collar. Congrats, you’ve got a comfy new grip!
Choosing a Grip
Basically, there are three things to look for with replacement grips. Those are:
Go with whatever feels best to you!