When playing tennis, getting the right equipment is crucial. While the tennis racquet id the most important parts of a tennis player’s arsenal is his or her tennis racquet, people make mistakes with picking the best racquet for their needs. One mistake is buying a racquet that does not have the right grip. Here are some things to considering when deciding on the proper sized grip for your racquet.
What is a Grip?
While Webster’s Dictionary is trust worthy for most words, clearly understanding what a grip is for tennis is a bit more complicated. A grip can refer to two things in tennis. It could be how you hold your racket, or a crucial part of the racket. When considering the type of racquet you need, the grip which serves as a cover for your handle is what you are focusing on.
In playing tennis, players understand that the tennis racket is almost an extension of the arm. Control of the handle means control of the rest of the racket. While it may look like just some tape wrapping, a grip is more than that. Racquet grips are designed to absorb sweat, cushion hands and prevent too much slippage. Grips also help players have better hand placement on the racket. A grip that is too small can cause a player to have too tight a hold on the racket handle, and a grip that is too large can make it harder for a player to pace strokes and generate spin.
Manufactured tennis racquet grip sizes can range from less than 4″ for juniors to 4 7/8″ for the largest adult hands. The adult standard sizes are 4 1/8″ (L1), 4 1/4″ (L2), 4 3/8″ (L3), 4 1/2″ (L4), and 4 5/8″ (L5). The difference even 1/8″ can cause differences in racquet control and play.
How to Determine and Deciding Grip Size
To determine the perfect grip for a player, simply use a ruler and take the measurement using your dominant hand. Take the measurement from the middle palm crease to the tip of the ring finger. For most women, the measurement can range from the smaller grip sizes L1 to L3 and for men the range can be from L3 to L5. For juniors, the measurement can be in the standard range, depending on age, or even less than 4 inches. If your measurement is between the standards, generally pick a size larger or modify a smaller sized grip by adding an “overwrap.”
While the grip sizes are standard nomenclature varies between the United States and Europe. European measurements range from 1 to 6. Most men typically use European sizes 4 to 6, while women use sizes 1 to 4. Most racquets come in the standard sizes and those folks needing larger or smaller grip sizes need to shop carefully or modify or customize their racquet grips.
Deciding the best racquet grip for a player depends on more than just anatomy. Hand measurements, hand strength, and other factors are key in determining size of a player’s grip. While some more advanced players might take risks playing with smaller or larger grips, beginner and intermediate should consider that the point of a racquet grip is to help you improve handling and control of your racquet. With this said, picking the right grip can be the sure way to improve your play.