You’ve done all the hard work, done the research, picked out your ideal racket, got the ideal string at the perfect string tension, and then out of nowhere, you’re asked one last question that you weren’t prepared for. “What grip size would you like for your racket?”
There’s no need to panic though, this is a pretty simple question to answer, and you needn’t worry about it because we’re going to show you exactly how to figure out what your ideal grip size is.
There are two ways to measure your hand to find the perfect grip size, and they’re both very simple. Once you’ve measured your hand to find the right grip size, you can relax, happy in the knowledge that you’re not going to pick up any needless injuries due to having the wrong grip size.
When you’re measuring for your grip size remember – you can always make a grip thicker, but you can’t make it thinner. So if you’re in between grip sizes we would always recommend going with the smaller grip size and adding an extra overgrip to make up the difference.
Once you’ve selected a grip size there are plenty of things you can do to change the feel of it, and you will find overgrips of all sizes to get the perfect fit for your hand. Whether you’re Googling this from the racket shop ready to run your credit card, or from the comfort of your home, you can easily measure your tennis grip size.
The Index Finger Test
This is the easiest way to measure your tennis grip size if you have a racket on hand. Simply pick up the racket with an Eastern forehand grip (check out our forehand grip explanations) and hold the racket in a natural grip.
With your non-dominant hand, take your index finger and place it between the fingers and palm of your playing hand. Your index finger should fit snugly between the fingers and palm of your playing hand.
If there is a lot of space between your palm and fingers then the grip is too big. However, if you can’t fit your index finger between the fingers and palm of your playing hand then the grip is too small.
This might seem like a tiny detail, but getting the wrong grip size can cause you injury problems. If you’re gripping too hard because your grip is too large or too small, then you can find you get pain in your wrist, arm, and elbow.
If you’ve got a racket handy this is a quick and easy way to measure your tennis grip size. If you don’t have a racket available then check out our second way of measuring your tennis grip size.
The Ruler Test
If you don’t have a racket with you then you can easily use a ruler to measure your grip size. This may not give you the feeling of the racket in your hand, but it can give you a pretty accurate idea of which grip size you should be looking at.
Simply take your playing hand and extend the fingers whilst keeping them together. Put the ruler in line with your middle finger and measure from the top of your index finger to the bottom lateral crease on your palm.
Since US grip sizes are measured in Inches and Europe uses an arbitrary number, it’s best if you use inches and you can then convert the measurement into the European measurement. You’ll notice that the majority of rackets will show you the grip size on the bottom of the handle in both the American and European format.
Grip Size Chart
|US Grip Size (Inches)||European Grip Size|
If You’re In Between Sizes
Lots of people will find they don’t precisely fit one particular size. If this is the case with you then we recommend going for the smaller grip size as opposed to the larger one. This is because you can easily add thickness to a handle by using a thicker grip, but you can’t make a handle thinner.
Even if you buy a 4 ⅜ grip you always have the option of adding overgrips to make it into a 4 ⅝, however, you’re not going to be able to get it back down to a 4 ⅛. Of course, adding overgrips will change the shape of the handle a little bit, but it’s best not to risk getting a handle that’s too thick.
Choosing the right grip size is yet another tiny detail in tennis that can make quite a difference. If you get the right measurement you probably won’t even notice a benefit, but when you get the wrong grip size you’ll certainly know about it!
Article by: Will