Ask anyone which part of their tennis racquet is the most important and you’ll be told the strings. While it’s not necessarily incorrect there is another part we consider to be equally important – the grip.
Yes, that small little bit at the end of the handle that’s often overlooked and neglected has a huge effect on your game. It influences you being able to hold the racquet and strike the ball correctly at the ideal contact height. Even the best tennis racquets need their grip replacing regularly.
Not only does it improve your game, replacing the grip is a quick and inexpensive way to give your racquet a new look and a new lease on life.
For years tennis players would only get their racquets re-gripped when they were replacing the strings, which was once or twice a year, or if they broke it unexpectedly. Today, however, watch a tennis match on TV and you’ll see the players regripping their racquets between sets. They do it under two minutes, and once you follow our step-by-step guide and you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to do it as quickly too.
We suggest, for example, if you play tennis six hours a week then you should re-grip you racquet six times a year. Of course, this isn’t a one-size-grips-all situation, and you can replace it more often, or less, depending on your personal preference.
Sports equipment doesn’t come cheap and looking after your tennis racquet correctly, including stringing it and having it re-gripped will prolong its life, provide the support you need and affect your game in a positive way. Make sure you purchase the best possible strings for your racquet when you are replacing them.
Types of Grips
There are two types of grips, namely the replacement grip and the overgrip.
The Replacement Grip
A replacement grip literally replaces any grip that is already on your tennis racquet. If this isn’t done correctly it’s going to feel bulky and be the wrong size for your hand. When you re-grip you might find staples at the bottom, which make it hard to replace.
If you don’t want to carry on with the staples on the grip it’s okay. Often they lead to more frustration, as does the sticky tape on the outside of the grip. If you don’t remove this you’ll feel nothing but stickiness on your handle and hands.
Removing overgrips is much easier than replacement grips because they don’t have the sticky tape or staples. It’s simply a case of removing the sticker and pulling off the overgrip.
Get a Grip
There are professionals that can re-grip your tennis racquet for you, but we think it’s a good idea to get used to doing it yourself. It’s quite a personal thing and only you’ll be able to decide if it’s comfortable enough and if it’s the right size for your hand.
Here are the steps to regrip your racquet:
- You can buy grips in packs of three and each has grip tape wrapped around it. Make sure you measure up first.
- Carefully take the tape off and put it somewhere safe. You’re going to be using it later. Now unroll the grip.
- If you look carefully there’s clear plastic on the grip; peel it off.
- One end will have a sticky piece that you can peel off. This is the bit you start with and remove it all.
- Begin at the bottom of the grip. There is a small sticky bit that will indicate which side to place on the racquet.
- Start wrapping the grip around the handle, leaving some overlap each time. This ensures the grip itself won’t be able to unwind or unwrap.
- Keep wrapping it all the way to the top, making sure it’s nice and tight.
- At any time you can cut off the extra bit or wrap it around once more at the top. It’s completely up to you. Over time we’ve realized we like it cut at an angle because we prefer the way it feels.
- Now you can remove the backing from the tape, using that bit to secure the top.
- The final result – a grip that’s nice and tight and a racquet that looks clean and new.
This video can also walk you through the process:
There you have it. It’s really as easy as that, and not only will you have a grip that works for you, you’ll also save a small fortune on doing it yourself.