Having a good overgrip is a small thing that is easy to forget about. But an overgrip can have a big impact on how you play. The stickiness can be a personal preference that adds feel to the ball or keeps the grip too tight in someone’s grasp.
There are a lot of grips on the market that offer a lot of different things. Understanding the difference between a perforated grip and a grap type of grip is extremely important. Overgrips can be paired in combination with some other tools and cool gadgets that will really reap the benefits of using an overgrip in the first place.
Some people may not feel like it’s really important to replace an overgrip at the frequency that it should be, and that’s why this article really breaks down the best grips and the nitty-gritty of overgrips.
Let’s go into some of the important factors of an overgrip and qualities you can look for in a grip and then talk about the top grips out there on the market for you to choose from.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Regrip Your Racket?
- 2 Qualities of An Overgrip
- 3 Top Grips To Choose From
- 4 How Do I Grip-It?
- 5 Here Are Some Mistakes To Look Out For?
- 6 What Are The Grip Handle Sizes and How Do I Choose?
- 7 Are There Other Tools You Can Use?
- 8 Conclusion
Why Regrip Your Racket?
Regripping your overgrip is meant to serve three main functions.
- Get a better grip
- Absorb the sweat
- Reduce blisters
These three functions are incredibly important when it comes to not only choosing an overgrip but changing it at the right time for you.
Get Some Traction
Grips, after a while, will get sweaty and dirty. Overgrips will only last a certain amount of time before you start to see where they get dirty. This is especially true with white overgrips as they start to get black and great over the grips.
The original tackiness will slowly wither away, and some grips will do this faster than others. Tackiness provides a feel to the racket and allows it to be a little more stable upon contact while hitting.
A lot of tennis players can relate to having a racket fly out of their hands on a serve because the grip is too wet.
Absorb The Sweat
To our last point, a good grip will absorb sweat in the right way. A good grip will be able to deflect sweat for greater periods of time and keep the overgrip tacky and dry. Eventually, no matter what grip you choose, the grips eventually get waterlogged and take too much sweat, which can be felt in the grip.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to change the grip. These grips can dry and have tackiness the next day. But if you need to keep going, it’s a great idea to change the grip. However, this will leave us to the next point.
If you constantly change to a new tacky grip when your hands are sweaty and become soft, this can lead to blisters and injuries.
Ok, this was not mentioned on the list above, and there is a reason for that. This isn’t for everyone, but sometimes there is a mental component to switching out a grip. We can easily become frustrated with tennis, and we often need to find the reset button at different times. This can be during practice or in the middle of a match.
You will often see pros change their grip out before playing a match or even between sets. This can be for any of the practical reasons that we listed above, or this can be for the mental aspect of resetting. Changing a grip means leaving all the hitting with that grip behind and starting fresh and new. This is why some people prefer to have a fresh, clean white grip. This reminds them of a fresh start.
Reduce Blisters And Injuries
When our hands become sweaty and softy, we open them up to blisters. If we immediately switch out the wet grip for a new super tacky one, there is a good chance that the new overgrip will pull on the skin and possibly rip it open.
Some grips are made with this in mind, like a grip that has holes in it to allow for breathability. This grip will not offer as much tackiness as other grips, with the idea it is more to protect softer hands.
Qualities of An Overgrip
The functions of an overgrip come from the qualities and characteristics that will help decide one person’s preference over another. The qualities to choose from go as following.
Different grips will offer different levels of thickness. This is important because sometimes, we feel like our grip is too small or too large. This directly impacts how we feel we can move the racket, and an overgrip can provide the millimeter difference that we have been looking for.
Smooth or rough plays a role in how the grip feels in hand. Sometimes grips will have little lines or divots in them to provide a different feel or create traction for the user. A smooth grip will have just a classic feel.
Some grips have better durability than others because of the other features they may have. For instance, a thinner grip is going to have a lot less durability than something thicker. Another quality that lacks durability will be sweat absorption. If a racket gets waterlogged really easily, then chances are it may not have great durability long run.
How the grip sticks to your hand is a major factor. This can be really irritating for some people and really necessary for others. The tackiness of a grip is great in more humid conditions, so if you are playing in Florida, you may need something a little more extreme than an all-around grip.
Sometimes players may go back and forth to what kind of grips they need for different occasions when it comes to tackiness.
Absorption plays on the cards of thickness. Sometimes the thicker the grip and combined with what kind of texture it has will determine how great it is at deflecting and absorbing sweat. A grip that absorbs sweat properly will resist getting waterlogged too early.
Some grips may have a perforated feel where there are tiny holes into the grip that allows more breathability and moisture-wicking content.
Top Grips To Choose From
So how do we choose? There are several great grips out there on the market, and they seem to offer much different feels and qualities. We know when a grip doesn’t feel good because we put the racket in our hands, start hitting and immediately feel bad.
Most of us aren’t entirely sure why but we can feel it. Going through these grips and really understanding what they are meant to do will make us better informed and allow us to make better choices.
1. Wilson Pro Overgrip:
The Wilson Pro Overgrip has been a fan favorite for quite some time. It scores high in all-around categories but is really notable for its comfort and softness that can be immediately felt when you hold it. You will notice that your hand made sync a little because of its softness, but it also will bounce back and not mold too much any which way.
Its absorbency rates high, but it can be noted that if you are prone to sweating after a while, it is worth changing because you will notice it can start to get damp. However, if you are towards the end of your match, it will dry out pretty well and be worth a few more uses.
The thickness level is something that you can customize more or less with this grip which is awesome. It has the ability to stretch without breaking. Something to really keep in mind is that the thinner you stretch it and the more you use it, you may see some of the layers shed here and there and indicate that you need a new grip.
2. Tourna Grip:
Tourna Grip has been endorsed by many pros like Dominic Thiem, The Bryan Brothers, Genie Bouchard, and many more. It’s hard to miss the grip because its classic blue/purple color is a natural standout on the court. It’s notable for a lot of great qualities but let’s just get it out of the way that softness is not one of them.
What the grip really is known for is its incredible durability and ability to absorb sweat. The grip can feel dry in your hands at first and lack comfort if you compare it to some of the other grips. But where the magic really happens is when the grip starts to absorb wet. It magically starts to perform better and become a little softer in one’s hand. Don’t ask me how but it surprises everyone.
Something that is a little different about the Tournagrip that not all companies offer is the different sizes you can purchase in grip length. This means that for those who may have extended rackets, you will be covered as well.
3. HEAD XtremeSoft Overgrip
The HEAD XtremeSoft overgrip is a great alternative to those that need something a little more thin but like some of the other features that the previous grips offer. This grip is 0.5 millimeter thick and will offer a much more connected feel to the racket. This means you won’t get the same sort of padding feel that you would from a Wilson Pro Overgrip. In a sense, this grip is a little closer to the Tournagrip.
Despite it being thin, it lives up to its name and provides a comfortable and soft feel. Something that also goes along with feel is how tacky the grip can be. It offers a good level of stick but doesn’t take on too much grip like you can’t rotate the racket around comfortably.
Because of its thinness, you may want to consider this grip if you are less of a sweater or are playing in less humid areas. While its absorbancy is not nonexistent, it is less absorbent than some of the other grips offered on the market. It absorbs and then became a little slippery and a little soggy when wet.
As a final bonus to this grip and a surprising fact, again, even though the grip may be quite thin (some people love this and prefer it this way), the durability is quite surprising. The grip was able to hold up through conditions and a lot of play, making the investment well worth it.
4. Yonex Super Grap Grip:
Many tennis players really struggle with the racket grip getting too wet over time. That’s why the Yonex Super Grap Grip is a perfect solution for those who need something a little more tacky than the Wilson Overgrip. Super is a word that does not even describe how comfortable the racket will feel in your hand.
Some people, however, will note that if you are someone who doesn’t need that extra tackiness and has soft hands, you should be mindful that this grip can create almost a rugburn feel in your hand. This is in extreme cases of hand sensitivity but good to note.
The absorbancy for this grip does a great just, but after several hours of playing in a humid environment, it can feel a little more weighed down and wet than some of the other grips on the market. Once dried, however the grip seemed to bounce back to a good condition and had a lot more use left out of it.
5. Gamma Supreme Power Grip
It’s easy to forget that Gamma can produce some of the best sporting goods on the market to offer. Their Gamma Supreme Power Grip is a hidden gem that deserves some love. This grip is meant to offer something a little different on the market because it has what Gamma refers to as power ridges that allow a player to find their ultimate grip state. If their grip is too weak, they will be able to rely on the ridges to keep the racket more stable in their hand.
On the other hand, if they have too strong of the grip, they can relax and allow the ridges to do their job. A relaxed grip will allow better contact and, ultimately, a better shot. Just because the main focus is on the power ridges doesn’t mean the grip doesn’t have some other great qualities that are worth noting.
The grip has a great mixture of tackiness and absorbency. For those players that sweat a lot, this is not a bad option as the power ridges, and the tackiness will work together as the grip tries to absorb the sweat appropriately without becoming too waterlogged. Since the grip is made from foam, it offers a lot of comfort and overall is a great choice that some may miss out on.
6. Yonex Dry Grap Grip:
This grip is slightly different than the Yonex Super Grap grip as the Yonex Dry Grap Grip is more known for its thickness and only comes in the colors of yellow and green. But let’s get into the nitty-gritty details of the grip.
Dry grips, in general, are different than tacky grips, which is the first difference between the two groups. The Yonex Dry Grap Grip can be more compared to something similar to the Tourna Grip. The dry grip here won’t stick to your hands like the other one will but will offer you a great sweat absorbency, just like the Tourna grip.
This grip is 0.65 millimeters thick, making it a slightly thicker and more comfortable grip than some of the others offered on the market. This can be particularly great for those who experience blisters and rug burn from tacky grips or who don’t like to feel the handle too closely. This doesn’t mean you lose a little connection to the racket, but for some, this is unnoticeable.
7. Tecnifibre Pro Dry Overgrip:
If you are looking to go in the opposite direction of the last grip and need something ultra-thin, then look no further than the Tecnifibre Pro Dry Overgrip. The grip comes in at 0.4 millimeters in thickness which will provide the ultimate feel to the racket’s handle. It also eliminates the worry that a thick grip will be watered down with a lot of sweat.
This is where the adjective dry comes in. This becomes a fan favorite grip because of its ability to stay dry in the most humid conditions. Something to consider here is there definitely is an increase in feel but a lack of softness and comfort that comes with this grip that you may find in some of the other grips.
Ultimately this is the choice for you if you need an extreme feel. It stays dry because of its level of thinness, not really any additional factors or features we have seen in other grips. A lot of people can appreciate this simplicity.
How Do I Grip-It?
Wait, so you got the new overgrip, and now we realize we aren’t sure how to do it. What happens if we need that reset and we don’t have anyone to help us out at that moment? Have no fear learning to regrip your racket is super easy, and if you follow this step-by-step guide, you’ll be a pro in no time.
- Regripping one of your newly purchased overgrips will be a lot easier than regripping what is referred to as the original grip. The original grip should stay on underneath your overgrip to maximize the benefits of the one you chose.
The original grip will not have any of the above features we mentioned. It is merely to provide a finishing on the racket so that we are not grabbing the actual material underneath. An overgrip can be regripped as soon as playing a few hours with it in the most humid conditions as we know, or it can be after a bunch of hitting sessions depending on how often you are using the racket and how much wear and tear the grip is getting.
- Note that some people like to increase the grip size of the racket and will even apply and overgrip over an overgrip for extra comfort and padding. However, if you are not doing this for those reasons, it’s good to note that you should take the dirty overgrip off by removing the tape covering at the top of the racket.
- Now, you can take your newly purchased overgrip and remove any plastic covering that the overgrip will have. All overgrips have this, and it is a thin layer of plastic wrap that goes directly over the overgrip to protect it from getting dirty before use. ALSO, the overgrip will come with a small piece of paper that likely has the brand’s name on it. KEEP THIS. It is the sticker to secure the grip. This is the same small sticker that you removed the old grip with.
- Now, place the racket in your non-dominant hand. The racket should be upside down in your hand so that the loop or frame is at the bottom and your hand is placed on the handle midway through the racket. This will offer you some stability.
- You will start with the end of the grip that has a small sticker placed on the inside. This sticker is also protecting a sticky end to the grip so that you can place this part directly on the handle of the racket and secure the beginning of the grip.
- Remove the sticker and place the thinner, sticky part of the grip on the end of the racket handle on one of the flat edges of the racket. The grip should move to the right while the racket handle turns to the left, so the end of the grip will go from left to right instead of right to left.
- Now that you have stuck on the sticky part with your right (dominant) hand, you will move your left hand up the racket and place your left thumb over the sticker part. So that you can keep the last part you gripped in place. Make sure to press this part down firmly or else it will keep coming off and prevent you from starting the process.
- Now, with your right hand, take the grip between your thumb and pointer finger while keeping your left thumb pressed down on the beginning of the grip. Now you will rotate the racket with your left hand, keeping your thumb down on the part of the grip that starts to fall onto the handle. Make sure to pat down any creases or smooth out any bubbles, as this can change the feel of the grip and make it eventually unravel.
- Go slow because it is easier to correct errors this way. You will want to keep tight tension with your right hand on the grip as your press the grip down on the handle with your left thumb and hand. You will move the grip down slightly with each turn creating a diagonal slope so that the grip only overlaps slightly with the previous wrap around the racket.
- You will continue this pattern all the way till you have reached the top (or, in this case, the bottom) of the handle, and all the handle is covered. Do not go over into the throat of the racket, as this will be difficult to tape. The sticker is long enough to wrap around the top of the handle at least one and a half times.
- If you have leftover grip, don’t worry, you can rip this part off with your teeth or some scissors. Make sure to keep that left hand still on the grip, so it doesn’t unravel. Now when it is secure, and there is no grip left, use the sticker piece of paper we had in the beginning and wrap it over the top of the racket to secure the grip.
This is how you grip a racket however, there are some things you should note to ensure you did it correctly.
Here Are Some Mistakes To Look Out For?
- It is definitely possible to grip the racket too thin or too thick. How thin or thick you want to racket to feel will be up to you. When it is too thin, you will have not just a little of the grip leftover at the top but a lot. A too-thin grip will wear down fast and even possibly develop tears early on. As we noted from the grips above, most of them can be bought with a level of thickness in mind. This means that you can apply a middle-ground or middle amount of pressure in gripping the racket.
- A too thick grip will have not enough grip to cover the whole handle. A thick grip can be too hard for a player to grasp. If you want a thicker grip and even an overgrip is not enough for the player, they can simply just add an additional overgrip to the racket. Sometimes players do this for comfort reasons as well. You can play around with grips that offer a thicker or thinner grip and layer it in the way you need so that you have enough feel and enough comfort at the same time.
- Bumps and creases in the grip are no good. You want it to be flat and smooth. This is because when there is a bump or crease in the grip, eventually, your hand, while making contact with the ball, will provide friction in the opposite direction. This will pull the grip apart and can lead to a layer sliding down or up, exposing the inner grip. When the grip starts to move like this, it can begin to unravel and become uncomfortable or distracting. It’s better to take care of this earlier on in the process than try to correct it once the grip is already set in place at the end.
What Are The Grip Handle Sizes and How Do I Choose?
Racket handles come in sizes 0-6 but most commonly 1-4 or 4 ¼, 4 ⅜, 4 ½, and 4 ⅝. The best way to really know is to play with a few different sizes first. When your hand gets tired easily from holding the handle, then this means the grip is too big. If it’s too small, you can always add another overgrip to make it a bit bigger if you already made the choice.
However, this is such a thing as the ruler test for those who have never held a racket before or don’t know where the best place to start is.
Step 1: Place all fingers tightly together like you are telling someone to stop.
Step 2: Place a ruler to the horizontal crease all the way up to the tip of your ring finger.
Step 3: This is the size that you should play with.
Or you can use the finger test. Hold the racket like you would for hitting a forehand. A finger from your opposite hand should be able to squeeze in and fit snuggly from the tips of your fingers on the racket to your palm.
You can always customize the racket size by playing around with the level of thickness of an overgrip, as mentioned above. However, it is ideal to take the time to follow the above steps because it can be a little bit of a process to play with the overgrip and its level of stretch.
Are There Other Tools You Can Use?
Sometimes we need more than a grip. Some of the best players will use different tools and techniques to manage sweat and comfort to make their experience better. You can use some of these tips and tricks in combination with the right grip to really maximize the benefits of the grip and better preserve your hands.
Here are some things to consider.
A towel is a great idea overall to preserve your grip because you can wipe down your hands and arms with a towel to help absorb serious amounts of sweat. All pros use it, and so should you. This will preserve your grip life by an infinite amount and just make things a lot easier in general.
Some towels are made with tennis players in mind. They may offer a moisture-wicking material or have a little tack themselves. Some towels can be used with chalk as a duo-combo to kill two birds with one stone.
You see weightlifters and baseball players chalk up all the time. This is because the chalk and powder take away some of the sweat and offer that dry feel we are looking for. What’s great bout this is that it can also help with blisters that develop from an overly tacky grip. This is a wonderful thing to use in combination or in substitution with a tacky grip.
There are several great powders on the market, and a personal favorite of tennis players and baseball players are the ones that come in sacks and can be hit on their hands and the left at the baseline for in-between points. This is easier than reaching into a jar or something of the sort.
Some of the chalk and powder options first can come in a liquid bottle and turn chalky or remain sticky to offer extra tackiness to a grip. You can use this combined with a dry grip or add on extra tack by pairing it with already quite a sticky grip. This would be ideal for most extreme conditions with high humidity.
For those who need more comfort or already suffer from blisters, there are many bandaids and hand padding options that fit comfortably with racket handles. Finger socks, in particular, are great for those who develop blisters on their fingers. Some players like to use a soft tape, and this is a solution as well.
Somewhere as simple as a sporting goods store or even a CVS, Walgreens, etc., will offer these kinds of bandaids and tapes that are meant to stay on even with a lot of sweat.
Keep in mind that any of these options should be applied before sweat as it won’t stay or work quite as well if being applied to a wet surface.
The racket’s handle is an important part of the racket because it is where you control things. The overgrip seems silly, but it actually can play quite a big role in the big scheme of things. Each individual will spend time picking out a racket’s specs that fit their unique and individual style. Picking an overgrip really is no different.
The overgrip can have several different variables like thickness, durability, tackiness, and more that will determine the feel a player will get from holding the racket. As mentioned, the thinner a grip, the less worried you can be about a soggy grip and the more feel you will get from this. You will also have to worry about it causing blisters or other issues because of how thin it is.
This is just one of many examples of how important the right grip is. And with our list of seven grips, we are sure you will be able to find one that works for you. Now give it a try, grip it up, and start hitting some balls!