|Playing with the
proper grip size is important to your enjoyment of the game, and
to your physical well-being. The quality of the fit between your
hand size and your grip has a lot to do with how well your
racquet handles for you. The goal is to get the most hand
surface against the grip when holding the handle. Greater hand
surface allows you the grip the racquet with less effort.
What’s the down side? Without
the right grip size, your tennis racquets will under perform.
Worse yet, it could also leave you with arm or wrist problems
that are slow to heal. With a too small grip, you will try to
compensate for less contact area by squeezing harder than you
- The right size is the best
size. To see how to measure your hand for the proper grip
size, look at the illustration and picture that appears on
this page. On the court, the right grip size will allow you
to hold the racquet comfortably without over-squeezing.
- If you must guess or
compromise, lean towards a larger size. Going small
increases your risk of tennis elbow. You want to avoid the
muscle fatigue that results from having to hang on to the
racquet with a death grip. This is a common source of
tennis-related muscle ailments in the wrist, forearm and
- The grip should feel
- If you plan to use an
overgrip or wrap, you may need to get a small racquet grip
size. Overwraps and overgrips can increase the overall size
of the racquet handle – sometimes by as much as a
full grip size.
- Grip sizes can be made
bigger after you buy a racquet. Usually, it is difficult or
impossible to make a grip smaller than it’s original size.
Grip Size Lingo
The five most common grip sizes
today are: 4 5/8, 4 ½, 4 3/8, 4 ¼, and 4 1/8. Alternatively,
you may also see these same sizes referred to as L5, L4, L3, L2,
and L1 instead. L5 and 4 5/8 are the same size, and so on…
Taking Your Measurements
Measure your grip starting at
the tip of the ring finger (third finger) down to the lateral
crease of the thumb in the palm of the hand. See our
illustration below of a measurement of a hand that would have a
4 ½ grip size.
As the picture above shows, a
proper fit will allow a “one finger” spread between the palm
and fingertips curling around the handle.
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