By Richard Lucas
After months of demoing, you have finally found the perfect racquet. You purchase it and have it freshly strung with your favorite string and head to the courts to break in the new frame. All is going well until, at a critical point in the match, you go for your biggest serve of the day, only to have the racquet slip out of your hand and crack as it hits the court. Now, not only is your brand new racquet ruined, but you are left knowing that the situation could have been avoided with a little attention to your grip choice.
While there is nothing wrong with continuing to play with your racquet’s original factory grip, it’s not necessarily going to be the optimum choice. Welcome to the advantages of overgrips. They are relatively inexpensive, can be replaced quickly and easily, and most importantly, they can provide a confident connection with your racquet. When it comes to grips, there are generally three main types. There are outliers that are focused more on things like texture or softness, but it is safe to say that overgrips tend to fall into one of three categories: dry, all-around, and tacky.
The first thought is that a tacky grip helps your hand feel in complete control of holding onto the racquet, so they must be the best, right? If only equipment choices were that easy. Let’s talk dry grips first. A few examples are Gamma RZR Dri, Prince ResiPro, and by far the most well-known, Tourna Grip. These grips are typically excellent at absorbing and wicking away moisture from the hands, making them an ideal choice for players competing in hot, humid conditions, and those who tend to sweat a lot. As a result, sometimes these grips can feel a little slick until you get warmed up and they start to get wet. Many of the dry grips also tend to wear out fairly quickly, so be ready to change them every few times out.
The second group is the all-around overgrip. Some well-known examples are Yonex Super Grap, Wilson Pro Overgrip, and Babolat VS Original. As the name, not so subtly, states, these overgrips are solid performers in all aspects. They tend to start off with a bit of a tacky feel, only to give way to a dry feel after a few uses. Absorption is generally good, but they do get slick as they get wet, so be sure to have a few racquets and rotate them in the heat if possible. The grips mentioned above have helped this category soar in popularity, especially in drier and cooler climates.
Finally, we come upon the stickiest of the grips: the tacky category. Overgrips like Tourna Tac and Babolat Pro Team Tacky have always performed well in this aspect. But Tourna recently came out with the king of all tacky grips – Mega Tac. It’s been touted as the tackiest grip ever made, retaining its feel for 10 to 14 hours of play. It might be a shock to the system if you’re used to the feel of a dry grip, but it will be the perfect purchase for tacky grip lovers.
A package of three overgrips will only set you back a few dollars, but they should be chosen with care. The wrong type of grip can leave you squeezing excessively to hold the racquet with stability, placing unneeded stress on the wrist and arm, leading to injury. So next time you take your racquet out of your bag or into the shop to get it strung, try not to neglect your grip. It’s more important than you think.
See all of our grip options by clicking here.