How to choose the right tennis racket size and grip
Selecting the appropriate tennis racket size and grip is crucial for players of all levels, as it directly impacts your performance, comfort, and injury prevention. Let’s take a look at the considerations and steps to help you choose the right tennis racket size and grip that suits your playing style and physical attributes.
Tennis Racket Size
Racket head sizes vary, typically categorised as midsize (85-94 square inches), mid-plus (95-105 square inches), and oversized (106 square inches and larger).
- Larger head sizes offer a larger sweet spot, providing more forgiveness for off-centre hits. This is beneficial for beginners and players seeking power and comfort.
- Smaller head sizes offer more control but require precise shot placement. They are preferred by advanced players.
- Standard tennis rackets are 27 inches in length, but there are also longer options (27.5 inches and longer).
- Longer rackets can provide additional reach and power, but they may be more challenging to manoeuvre.
- Stick with a standard length racket if you're a beginner or have no specific reason to switch.
- Racket weight affects power, control, and manoeuvrability.
- Lighter rackets (9-10 ounces) are easier to manoeuvre and are ideal for beginners and players who prefer a more defensive style.
- Heavier rackets (11-13 ounces) offer more power and stability, suitable for advanced players.
Tennis Racket Grip Size
1. Measure Your Hand:
- To measure your grip size accurately, you'll need a ruler or a grip-sizing tool specifically designed for tennis rackets.
- Stand up straight with your dominant hand (the hand you hold the racket with) hanging loosely by your side.
- Extend your fingers, and with your non-dominant hand, measure the distance from the middle crease of your palm to the tip of your ring finger (the third finger). This measurement will give you an idea of your grip size.
2. Convert the Measurement:
- The measurement you've obtained will be in inches. Grip sizes typically range from 4 inches to 4 7/8 inches.
- Use the following general guidelines to determine your recommended grip size based on your measurement:
- 4 inches: Extra Small (XS)
- 4 1/8 inches: Small (S)
- 4 1/4 inches: Medium (M)
- 4 3/8 inches: Large (L)
- 4 1/2 inches: Extra Large (XL)
Comfort and Feel
- Your grip size should allow for a comfortable and secure hold on the racket.
- A grip that is too small can lead to wrist and elbow issues, as you'll overcompensate by gripping tightly.
- A grip that is too large can reduce control and manoeuvrability.
Try Different Grips
- If you're unsure about your grip size, or find yourself between two grip sizes, try different sizes or to fine tune the size, use over-grips to adjust the size slightly. Overgrips are thin, cushioned grips that you wrap over the existing grip. Adding one or more overgrips can effectively increase the grip size slightly.
Consider Playing Style
- Your playing style can influence grip size. Players who hit with a lot of topspin might prefer a slightly smaller grip for better wrist action, while power hitters might opt for a larger grip for added stability.
Choosing the right tennis racket size and grip is essential for maximising your performance and comfort on the court. Carefully consider factors like head size, length, and weight when selecting a racket size, and measure your hand and consider playing style when determining grip size. Trying out different rackets and seeking advice from knowledgeable tennis professionals can also help you make an informed decision that enhances your overall tennis experience.