Are you a tennis novice and just got yourself into such a sports field? Do you think you have got the favor right, but did not get a racquet yet. Then we welcome you here because we have got you covered.
Going for the best racquet model can be a bit tough job, but the tougher one can be choosing the right grip size. Before you grab one randomly, we would tell you to hold on.
You will need to do some homework if you really want to get an ideal racquet. Proper grip size will not only improve you as a player but also can help make you more skillful.
Hence, we thought to guide you on how you would measure your tennis grip size so you can enjoy holding the racquet and playing the sport.
Testing with Your Index Finger
Flipping the Racquet:
Estimate your grip by holding a racquet to test the index finger. Position the racquet just like how you’d grip it while playing. Keeping the strings on the sides, face the frame side towards you.
Placing Your Palm on the Handle:
Imagine that you’re holding a hammer. Now around the bottom end of the handle, wrap your hand like you are about to put the racquet into action.
Performing the Test:
If you’re right-handed, hold the right side of the racquet. If you’re left-handed, hold the left side of it.
Wrapping your Fingers Around the Handle:
On the handle, rest the knuckle of your index finger. After that, bring the fingers as far around as you can reach. Have the thumb positioned under the tip of your index finger? Then, rest the other fingers beneath the index finger and thumb closer to the bottom of the racquet. Now have your grip adjusted until you feel comfortable holding the racquet.
- This grip is known as Eastern forehand grip. Here, the heel of your palm and the first knuckle on your index finger rest on the external edge of the handle.
- You may know that there are a variety of other tennis grips as well that are used to complete such test. However, the majority of the players opt for Eastern or Continental grip.
If the racquet isn’t small, then you’ll see some space between your thumb and other fingers. Now put your free index finger, it should fit between your palm and ring finger. Then, slide the index finger up the grip as well as between other fingers. Make sure the index finger fits snugly in the gap.
- If the racket is too small, your ring finger may not fit,. In such case, test a bigger sized racquet.
- If the racquet is too big, you will still have some gaps around the ring finger after putting your index finger. In this case, you will need a smaller racquet.
Testing Other Grips:
Unless you get the correct size, it is suggested to test other grips, if necessary. Testing the first racquet will provide you with a general idea of your grip size. However, you might need to try out a variety of racquets before finding a grip size that would feel comfy on your hand. You will find the size printed typically on the butt-cap of the handle for your help. Hence, make sure to use the numbers so that you get help to find the proper one.
American grip size is measured by 1⁄8-inch (3.2mm). The European one is although identical to the US but numbered 0 to 5.
- 4-inch (100mm) in the US is the same as the European size 0.
- US size 4 1⁄8 inch (100mm) is European size 1.
- US size 4 1⁄4 inch (110mm) equals European size 2.
- 4 3⁄8 inch (110mm) in the US is the same as the European size 3.
- US size 4 1⁄2 inch (110mm) is equivalent to European size 4.
- And finally, US size 4 5⁄8 inch (120mm) is the same as European size 5.
Measuring with a Ruler
Opening Your Hand with Fingers Fully Extended:
You can even perform a grip size test without having racquet. You will just need a ruler instead. For this, you need to hold the hand out with the palm facing upward. Bring your 4 main fingers together and straighten them all. You don’t need to include your thumb, so leave it off to the side.
- The method will give you an appropriate numerical measurement for your grip size. Although, you won’t be needing racquet for the test, but you may need it for ensuring comfort.
Ruler Aligning with Lower Crease:
Have a ruler lined up with the lower crease in the mid-section of your hand. Take a closer look at the creases on your palm. You should notice two horizontal creases near the middle running all the way across. Now, have the ruler placed right in the mid part of your hand.
- Make sure to perform the test with the hand you would use to test the racquet. No matter what you are, be it left or right-handed, it will work the same way.
Ruler Aligning with Ring Finger:
With your free hand, move the ruler into position. Ensure the ruler reaches your ring finger’s tip. As you take the measurement, keep the ruler flat with the bottom edge on the crease of your hand.
Measuring from Palm to Ring Fingertip:
Once the ruler is in position, detect where the tip of the ring finger falls on it. For adult players, it will generally be in between 4inch to 4 5⁄8-inch. You can later use the measurement in finding the racquet as well for proper fitment.
- If you measure in inches, make sure to round to the closes 1⁄8 inch. It’ll help you get an appropriate grip size.
Finding Racquet Size:
As it has already been mentioned, you will find grip size printed on the butt-cap of the handle. Once you get a racquet that will match your grip size, it’s suggested to give it a couple of swings. An ideal one should give you a full range of motion. You can switch to a different sized racquet, if it feels off, to avoid injury.
Adjusting Your Racket
Choosing Small Racquet for in-between Sizes:
Sadly, racquet comes in limited size ranges. So, it’s okay if you don’t find one for your specific grip. You can still have the grip size measured. If you think, the measurement isn’t very close to the next size up, it will be better to go with a size down. Since, you have the option to make the grip a bit bigger, going with smaller size will be a wise thing to do.
Let’s say if your grip size is 4 7⁄16 inches, a 4 3⁄8 inches racquet can be your best fit.
Over-grip is a tape-like wrapping that you can place on the handle of the racquet. It will add around 1⁄16 inch to the size of the handle. Moreover, it also helps make the handle more sweat-absorbent, stickier and softer.
- Over-grips are available in different online and physical stores where tennis supplies are sold. You will find them coming in different patterns so you can customize the racquet different ways.
- To maintain the grip size, it is recommended to occasionally replace your over-grip.
Using a Heat Shrink Sleeve:
Such cover is going to be a more permanent solution than an over-grip. Slide the sleeve on the handle of your racquet, then heat it with any heat source such as a heat gun until it shrinks. This will add around 1⁄8 inch to the size of the handle. After you are done with using it, you can cut it off the racquet.
- A heat shrink sleeve may be a bit tricky to put in or take out. Hence, it is recommended to go with an over-grip initially unless you know your grip size.
Some Extra Tips:
- Make sure you don’t go with a much smaller grip size. Otherwise, it’ll end up forcing you to squeeze the handle while playing. And this will not only increase the chances of elbow related complications but will affect your wrist and forearm as well.
- Always keep in mind that a bigger grip sized racquet can trigger you to use more strength at the time of play. So, changing grip can be challenging.
- If you think that the grip size is not provided on the bottom end of the handle, then check the throat of the frame.
- Comfort is extremely essential. Ensure that your racquet feels easier to move. If it doesn’t, then possibly you have got the wrong grip size.
- Adding shrink sleeves or over-grip will increase the weight of the racquet. However, it’s worth it if the racquet fits your hand better.
Hopefully, now you will be able to get a tennis racquet that is just made for your hand. All you need to do is follow the instruction carefully. We have tried to make it much simpler to motivate all the greenhorns.