What is the best grip for your racket? Does the quality of racket grip matters when it comes to sports like Badminton or Tennis? More importantly, whether or not the grip affects your game?
Every sport has various aspects and equipment associated with it, so do the games of Badminton and Tennis, and it is of the utmost importance to be familiar with every important factor. For instance, when it comes to Badminton, the quality of your shoes or your Badminton racket is just as important as your physical health, and the same is true for Tennis. Moreover, rackets used in those games alone have several essential facets that can be the defining factor in the quality of your performance, like strings, grips, shape, and more.
You might find it surprising, but the grip is one of the critical parts of the racket. After all, the right grip works wonders to maximize your performance and also helps to absorb the sweat and ensures that you are feeling comfortable throughout your game.
Hence, it essential that you are using the right grip. However, it is worth noting that there is no best grip; you should choose the grip that best suits you.
In this piece, we have brought you various things that will help you choose the best grip for your racket. Let's get started.
Best Grip for your Racket
There are usually three types of grips used for rackets:
1. Replacement Grip
The name Replacement Grip is self-explanatory; this grip is used as a replacement grip for the original grip, which comes attached with the Badminton racket.
The replacement grips are slightly thicker. They are usually made up of PU or polyurethane as PU is good at absorbing shock and sweat. Plus, it delivers comfort by acting as a cushion between the fingers and the racket handle.
Overgrips are somewhat similar to Replacement grips, but these grips are thinner and cheaper than the latter. They are wrapped over a replacement grip or an original grip to provide a thicker grip handle. Similar to Replacement grips, these are made up of PU.
3. Towel Grip
Tower Grips are made up of cotton, which again is a good sweat absorber, but they can be very thick and heavy and need to change often if you have a sweaty hands.
Nevertheless, before buying a grip, make sure you are familiar with your style of play, particularly in the case of Badminton, as it is essential to find the best grip for your racket. Hence, the next section will help you find your style of Badminton play.
Different styles of play
1. Control play
Control play is more about getting the opponent involved in long rallies by using drops and clears instead of smashes. The people involved in this style of play requires to have excellent wrist action. Plus, they shouldn't hold the racket too tightly as holding it too tight might lead to too much power in the shot.
Thus, a thinner grip is best for these kinds of players since a thin grip offers better control over the racket.
2. Power Play
Power Play is about using powerful consecutive smashes and waiting for a weak return from the opponent. The power players need to hold their racket handles tightly to generate enough power for strong smashes. Hence, a thicker grip is perfect for people involved in the power play.
Now, let's talk about the ways that will help you find the best grip.
Tips for finding the best racket grip
a) Power Players
As mentioned before, the power players wait for a weak return from the opponent to score points. Hence, the skills involved in this style of play are strong smashes as well as jump smashes and drives, which means players need to generate enough power.
Players need to hold their rackets tight, which suggests that they should use thicker grips as thicker grips make it easier to hold the racket tightly when doing smashes. If you not getting a G3/G4/G5 grip as per your preference then external grip is the only option. All-in-all, power players should use thicker grips.
As for weight, power players should ensure that their racket head is heavier than the racket handle since it offers fluid momentum. In short, head heavy rackets having a balance point 295mm or more.
Here are some grip recommendations that you can put to use if you are a power player:
- Replacement Grip on top of original grip
- Remove Original Grip, apply Cushion wrap and then apply a grip.
- When the palm is too big, such players can use both an overgrip and replacement grip on top of the original grip if they feel the grip is thinner.
b) Control Players
Control play is all about using the proper technique rather than only focusing on power to win the game. The players that prefer this style of play are called Stroke players, and they make use of various plays like clears, drop shots, net shots, and deceptions.
Generally, stroke players need to hold the racket less tightly than power players. Hence they should opt for a thinner grip. Because thinner grip ensures that fingers are flexible to move as well as the players have a better grip technique.
As for weight, the handle weight should be heavier than the head weight, for better control. In short, head light or even balance rackets.
Here are some recommendations for stroke players:
- Overgrip on top of the original grip
- Just the towel grip
- In the case of bigger palms, go for a replacement grip on top of the original grip.
Here are some of the best grips, overgrips and towel grips that you can put to use right away:
There is not much difference between selecting the grip for a Badminton racket and a Tennis racket. Even the types of grip are the same: towel, overgrip, and replacement grip. The similarities don't end there; both the games require split-step footwork, shuffling.
More importantly, both the games are heavy on technique and consistency. Hence, it is evident that the selection of the right type of grip is just as crucial in Tennis as it is in Badminton.
However, unlike Badminton, the size of the racket grip matters a lot in Tennis. Thus, finding the right size is more important than anything before buying a grip for your Tennis racket.
Here is how you can do it.
How to Find the Right grip size?
The best way to find the size involves holding your racket generally as you do while playing a shot and noticing the gap between fingers and the heel of your hand.
After that, use the index finger of your other hand and insert it into the gap. If your index finger fits perfectly and you feel confident, then the grip size is correct. However, if there is a lot of space or no space in between, then the chances are that your handle is too small or too large.
Another way to find the correct grip size through measurement ruler.Align a ruler's edge with the the bottom horizontal crease of your palm. Next, measure to the tip of your ring finger, this measurement is your grip size.The test will work the same way whether you are left or right-handed.
|Size in Inches (mentioned on Tennis rackets)||Sizes in Millimeters|
|4 inches||100-103 mm|
|4 - 1/8 inches||103 - 106 mm|
|4 - 1/4 inches||106 - 110 mm|
|4 - 3/8 inches||110 - 113 mm|
|4 - 1/2 inches||113 - 118 mm|
|4 - 5/8 inches||118 - 120 mm|
|4 - 3/4 inches||120 - 123 mm|
Once you know the right size, you can try several grips and how each one of them feels in your hand. When you are trying different grips, make sure you feel confident while holding the racket. You can also try different shorts. That's not all, you should also consider several other factors. The next section is dedicated to those factors.
Tips for finding the best grip
Just like Badminton, there is a wide variety of Tennis racket grips present in the market to accommodate every playing style. The choice are so many that people often get confused. But the tips mentioned below will help you find the best grip for your racket.
- Advance level players like to have a firmer feel of natural grips, so they should go for leather grips.
- Players with arm problems should go for a cushioned grips like Pro DSC cushioned grips or Yonex Aerocush 9900 as these grips can increase the handle size
- If you sweat profusely, you should try absorbent towel grips or dry grips like Alien Pros X-Tac Badminton overgrips.
- If you don't sweat much, you can go for tacky replacement grips.
- You can go for a ribbed replacement grip if you have a weak hand as it can give you pre-made finger holds, which will contribute to improved gripping strength.
Besides, if you don't want to increase your grip size, many companies now offer thin replacement grips that you can put to use.
Below are some of the grips that you can use for your tennis racket:
These were some of the tips that will help you to find the right grip for your racket.
Bonus tip: Previously mentioned tips will help you to find the best grip for your racket, but you must be enjoying your game sessions. Hence, you can always change the grip, according to your preference.
Racket grips are just as important as any other aspect of the games of Badminton and Tennis. Not only the perfect grip will enhance your game tenfold, but it will also help in avoiding injuries.
Hence, manufacturers provide a wide variety of grips to accommodate every playing style and players' preferences. For example, some players like to hold the racket tighter, so they like having thicker grips, while others don't hold it too tightly, so they want a relatively thinner grip. Some players sweat a lot, so they prefer absorbent PU grips while those who don't want tacky grips.
Overall, the importance of the best grip for your racket is unprecedented. At the same time, there is no best grip. It all depends on your style of play and your preference.
Please tell us in the below comment box which grip you prefer to use and why?