There’s nothing better than the feeling of a freshly gripped racket!
Holding a racket with a fresh, tacky grip gives you a sense of confidence when striking the ball that just can’t be matched.
Overgrips are a very important but often overlooked piece of tennis equipment.
They are a great addition to your tennis bag and choosing the best grip for you is a key part of optimising your equipment.
Now, like a lot of other areas of tennis equipment such as rackets, shoes, strings and balls, there are a wide range of different brands to choose from.
Whilst this is great for having a lot of choice, it can cause confusion if you are new to using overgrips and aren’t sure which brand, material or grip type to go for.
That’s why we have put together this guide to help you understand why tennis players use overgrips, what you should be looking for when choosing your overgrips and which ones are best suited to your needs.
Why Use an Overgrip?
Tennis players the world over will complain of calluses, sore hands or even a lack of grip on their tennis racket all from not using the right grip.
This is often caused through just using the underlying replacement grip that all new tennis rackets are fitted with and not using an overgrip.
Whilst some players like just feeling the bare grip on the racket, there are a few issues that can arise from doing this.
First of all, many players will actually use a grip that is not the correct size for their hand.
They will just pick up the racket as it is sold to them and start playing with it, unaware that using the correct grip size is very important.
Of course, the exact grip size a player uses is a personal thing to them, however the general rule of thumb is that you should be able to fit your index finger between the pad of the hand and the pinky finger as you grip the racket naturally.
Using a grip that is too small can place additional stress on your forearm or even lead to tennis elbow.
Whereas, using a grip that is too big can make the racket feel unstable in your hand and lead to other muscles overcompensating.
With all that being said, you may still be in between grip sizes. This is where a properly fitted overgrip can be a life saver.
You should remember that you can always increase the thickness of the racket’s grip, but it is very difficult to decrease it.
So, you are always better to go for a grip size that you feel may be slightly too small for your hand and you can always use thicker replacement grips or overgrips to fine tune the grip size to your hand.
Another key reason why tennis players will use an overgrip is comfort.
Again, whilst some players actually like the feel of a bare replacement grip, the majority of players prefer a more cushioned feel.
This is because it provides additional padding and sponginess that makes the racket feel softer in the hand.
This helps you to relax and swing the racket freely, since you don’t need to grip the racket tightly to keep hold of it, or avoid overworn areas of the grip.
What’s more, using a fresh overgrip will almost certainly add more tack to your racket handle, which helps the grip effectively stick to your hand as you hold it.
Of course, you don’t want a grip that is too tacky or you’ll feel like the racket is super glued to your hand!
But, fitting a fresh overgrip is likely to improve the tactility of your racket, helping you to feel more confident as you strike the ball.
Finally, adding an overgrip to your racket is also a great way to customise the look and feel.
Since there are so many different types of overgrips, you can really make your racket your own!
Now, there are a few key overgrip types to be aware of, dry, cushioned, perforated and tacky.
Which one you choose will depend on what you are looking for from your grip.
A dry overgrip such as a Tourna grip will be great for players that sweat a lot as they repel liquid so you can hold the racket firmly in your hand.
A cushioned overgrip offers additional padding and support, ideal for players looking to maximise comfort.
Perforated overgrips tend to be thinner than cushioned grips, but also offer more breathability and keeps moisture away from your hand.
Finally, tacky overgrips make the racket feel extremely well connected to your hand, so much so that they almost stick!
Another key benefit to using an overgrip is the additional durability they offer.
Naturally, using an overgrip will protect the underlying replacement grip that the racket will come with originally.
This helps improve the feel of the racket in the hand, whilst keeping the grip wear consistent.
Overgrips are also a lot cheaper per unit than replacement grips, so even though you will wear through more overgrips, using them will likely save you some money!
Best Tennis Overgrips
Given that there are so many different overgrips on the market today, picking one ‘best’ grip would be impossible.
We believe that choosing any piece of tennis equipment should be a personal process that enables you to play better tennis your way.
That’s why you won’t often see us giving a ranked list, as one grip that may be perfect for one player for example may not be the best choice for another.
That’s why we created our custom fitting service, to give you personalised guidance on which rackets and strings to go for if you are not sure which would suit you best.
With that being said, these are our top picks of high quality tennis overgrips. There’s something for everyone in here, so make sure to try a few of them out!
Wilson Pro Overgrip
One of the most popular choices amongst some of the world’s best professional players, the Wilson Pro Overgrip is a legend!
It comes in a wide range of colours so you can really express your personality on court when using this grip.
It is a very soft and comfort oriented grip that offers a good amount of tack, so you can have confidence as you swing through the ball.
The main reason that so many players use the Wilson Pro Overgrip is its sponginess.
It offers unrivalled comfort so you can relax your hand and not worry about blisters or calluses forming.
The grip is also slightly tacky, so you can be confident that the racket won’t fall out of your hand, whilst being dry enough that you can move the racket in your hand nice and easily.
This overgrip is also very durable and is often only changed because of it being dirty rather than actually wearing out!
The Wilson Pro Overgrip is one of the most iconic out there for good reason!
Another very popular grip used by professional players is the Tourna Grip. It is famous for its dry texture that is great for players that sweat a lot when they play!
The grip almost feels like a paper towel, owing to its absorbent and moisture repellent qualities.
The tagline of Tourna grips is “the light blue grip that does not slip”, and it certainly lives up to that billing!
Whilst Tourna grips are not the most durable out there, they are definitely high performing and feel like no other.
So, if you are playing in hot or humid conditions or simply are a natural sweater, Tourna grips could well be the ideal choice for you!
Yonex Super Grip Overgrip
The Yonex Super Grap Overgrip is another grip that is well liked by the pros. It is similar to the Wilson Pro Overgrip in terms of its spongy feel, but is actually slightly thicker.
This means it offers a more robust feel on the racket and will be even more durable.
It is also quite shock absorbent so you will feel extremely comfortable playing with this overgrip on your racket.
However, this could lose you some feel on the ball due to the additional material between your hand and the racket, so it is well worth giving both grips a try to see what’s what!
Babolat VS Original Overgrip
Babolat offers some of the most feelsome overgrips on the market, and none are more feelsome than the VS Original overgrip.
This is one of the thinnest grips you can buy, offering unmatched connection to the ball.
Where its rivals are a lot more spongy and comfort oriented, the VS original is for the purist looking to maximise feel and doesn’t want any feedback from the racket dialled out of the grip.
There is a good balance of absorption, tack and comfort with the VS original overgrip.
It is not the most spongy grip out there by any means, but it offers a unique thin feel that allows you to feel the bevels of the underlying grip.
Gamma Supreme Pro Overgrip
The Supreme Pro Overgrip from Gamma is a great choice for those looking for additional tack and security from their grips.
This is a very durable overgrip that offers extreme levels of tack, to the point that the grip can even feel sticky to touch.
This is ideal if you are a player that does not sweat much or has a very loose grip of the racket, as you can gain additional confidence as you use the Gamma supreme.
You’ll have no fear of the racket leaving your hands when using this grip!
Dunlop Viper Dry Grip
Another dry grip option is the Dunlop Viper Dry overgrip.
This is a jack of all trades, as it is also slightly spongy and perforated, meaning it offers dryness for humid conditions, breathability and comfort all in one package!
This overgrip is more on the dry than tacky side of the equation, but it still feels solid in the hand and you can be sure that it will remain sweat free thanks to the dry material paired with the perforations!
There are a wide range of overgrips to choose from today. Picking the right one for you is an important, but not always easy task.
You have to understand what you are looking for in the grip itself, so you can make the best decision for you.
As we have outlined, there are a few different types of overgrips to try, along with multiple high end brands.
So, the overgrip you go for will ultimately depend on the conditions you are playing in, how much you sweat and your personal preferences when it comes to the feel of your racket.
Therefore, you should go out and try a few of the overgrips mentioned and see which is the best match for your game!