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PostHeaderIcon Ask Marla #10 – Get a Grip On Your Racquet Grips!


Whenever I post a racquet demo video, I get questions about the grips shown on the demos. After asking Marla about the grips on the last set of demos I tried, we ended up having a larger conversation on grips that was pretty enlightening, and well worth sharing.

Question: What kind of grips do you use on your demo racquets?

Answer: Some have overgrips, and some have the actual grip of the racquet.

askmarla-gripsQuestion: Which do you recommend: actual grip or overgrip?

Answer: I suggest that people try using the actual grip before going to an overgrip. Many grips nowadays are very good and have the qualities that the overgrips used to provide (tackiness and “feel”). But some people sweat so much during a match that they need to change their grip quickly during a match. Overgrips are good for those types of situations.

Question: How often should you replace your grip?

Answer: Overgrips can be replaced at any time. As for the actual grip, I’d recommend replacing it at least twice a year for maximum comfort and cushion. Otherwise, the grip loses cushion and hardens, making it tougher for your wrist and arm to handle the vibration. The loss of cushion also causes the grip to flatten, which can affect the racquet’s grip size.

Question: If someone is interested in using an overgrip, what would you recommend?

Answer: I can tell you what’s popular. The Wilson Pro overgrip does well because it’s tacky, and is also very thin. This keeps it from adding size to your grip. But generally, they’re all pretty similar. The one exception is a more cloth-like grip such as Tourna Grip. It’s not as tacky, but is more absorbent for people who sweat a lot. There are also many “old skool” recreational players who simply prefer the cloth feel to the newer types of grips.

No matter what kind of overgrip you try though, remember to give your racquet’s actual grip a try before adding on an overgrip. And change it twice a year for best results.

(SFTF Note: Beyond the issues of tackiness and absorption, brightly-colored overgrips are also a way to express your mood/personality. And remember that once you use an overgrip, you’re pretty much stuck. Removing an overgrip will strip away the top layer of your actual grip, rendering it useless.)

Got a tennis question? Send it via email or tweet for “Ask Marla”, a (hopefully) weekly (or biweekly) question-and-answer with Marla Reid of San Francisco’s City Racquet Shop.

About Marla

Marla Reid is a respected tennis pro/coach in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s coached nationally-ranked teams and players, and has over 15 years of experience at the NCAA Division I, II, and III levels. Marla owns and operates City Racquet Shop in San Francisco CA.

About City Racquet Shop

City Racquet Shop offers, superior products/services, outstanding customer service, and a community-oriented destination for tennis players to shop, hang out and talk about tennis.

City Racquet Shop online: www.cityracquetshop.com
City Racquet Shop on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/city-racquet-shop-san-francisco
City Racquet Shop on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cityracquetshop

One Response to “Ask Marla #10 – Get a Grip On Your Racquet Grips!”

  • TC says:

    Make sure if you’re a lefty, you wrap the grip the opposite direction (grip should go against the grain of your fingers / up to the right instead of up to the left). Some grips are offered in lefty versions so that the lettering isn’t upside down (Wilson pro overgrips come in lefty varieties).

    My top 3 overgrips:
    Wilson Pro Overgrip, TournaGrip, Babolat VS Overgrip.

    Also, for replacement grips (the base grip) I highly recommend the Babolat Skin Feel grip. It’s a relatively thin grip, so that even with an overgrip on top of it, your grip doesn’t get too big.
    Or, if you’re stuck with a racquet whose grip is slightly too big (say, a 3/8 when your ideal size is a 1/4) the Skin Feel grip is a good way to be able to slightly downsize the racquet’s grip.

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