How To Put An Overgrip On Your Racket
Getting your playing equipment right is a key part of feeling comfortable on the tennis court.
If you are playing with the wrong type or racket for your game, badly fitting shoes or a grip that slips out of your hand, you will struggle to play your best ball.
With this in mind, using an overgrip on your racket can help you fine tune the size, weight and feel of your grip to perfectly suit your needs.
This can improve your confidence on court and reduce the risk of the racke flying out of your hand!
What is an Overgrip?
An overgrip does exactly what is says on the tin! It is a thin grip that is wrapped over the main grip fitted to your racket handle.
They are used to improve the playability of your racket, allowing you to customise the fit and finish of your racket’s grip.
At the end of the day, your grip is the part of the racket you are always holding and is the only part of the racket you actually have direct contact with.
So playing with a worn down, dirty grip is only doing yourself a disservice!
Applying an overgrip to your racket is a great way to feel looser and have a more relaxed grip when you strike the ball.
This is because the increased tactility, you will not have to grasp the grip as tightly.
Having that extra layer also helps reduce the wear and tear of your replacement grip. That’s the more spongy, thicker grip that all tennis rackets come with already installed.
Using an overgrip therefore reduces the amount of wear or build up of sweat and dust on your replacement grip, increasing its durability.
Overgrips come in a range of different materials, colours, textures and thicknesses, so picking the best one for you can be a struggle at times.
So, let’s take a closer look at the different overgrips you can buy to make the process easier!
The Different Types of Overgrips
Dry overgrips such as Tourna grips are great for players that sweat a lot or play in high levels of humidity.
These grips help keep the perspiration off of your hand and allow you to grip the racket in a relaxed way.
Dry grips are used by a lot of tennis professionals, since the intense conditions they play under means they need a crisp, dry feeling grip to play their best.
Overgrips with extra cushioning are great for players that want to prioritise a comfortable, plush feel when they play.
These overgrips tend to be slightly thicker and more padded, which increases the circumference of the grip ever so slightly.
Perforated overgrips strike a nice balance between dry and cushioned grips; these are generally based on a soft, cushioned grip but have small holes in them to increase their breathability.
This again helps sweat run off the grip’s surface more easily, making the grip feel drier.
A tacky feeling overgrip will be almost sticky to the touch. These are great if you are after a solid and secure feel that will definitely not slip out of your hand.
The only downside is that they do attract dust and sweat more easily so can lose their tack, but when they are fresh they are very reassuring grips to play with!
Thin feel grips are ideal for a player that is looking to apply an overgrip with the minimum change to the thickness of their original replacement grip.
These grips suit ‘feel’ players best as they still let you sense the bevels of the handle, whilst offering that extra layer of protection and durability.
The Step by Step Guide for Installing an Overgrip
Step 1: Prepare the Overgrip
Before you start applying your fresh new overgrip, there is a bit of preparation work required if you want the best results.
First, you will need to unravel the grip and take off the plastic covering that is on the majority of over grips.
This plastic is on the overgrip in the first palace to help keep it fresh and tacky whilst it is not being used, as it stops the air from getting to the grip’s surface.
Provided you have removed any existing overgrips from your racket’s handle, you will now be ready to get started.
Step 2: Starting Off
A lot of placers will go wrong when first applying the overgrip to the racket.
If this is not done correctly it can lead to the overgrip unravelling or being uncomfortable to play with.
Now, there are actually a couple of ways in which you can start the regripping process.
Traditionally, the racket will come with a shorter, angled end with a sticky tab that you can remove and use to apply the overgrip.
With this method, you simply remove the sticky tab and apply the overgrip with the angled side facing down towards the butt cap.
This is the tried and tested way to apply an overgrip.
However, if you would like to add a bit more cushioning and width to the very end of your handle, you can use the squared off end of the overgrip at the start.
Simply fold this in half up to around 3 inches down and apply the grip to the handle tightly.
Then, with the folds facing down towards the butt cap you can wrap this around the bottom of the grip until it overlaps on itself.
This will give you an extra bit of thickness and a softer feel at the very end of the handle.
Using this second method also means you can use the sticky tab at the end to finish applying the grip if you are in a rush, don’t have any scissors or do not have the finishing tape to hand.
There isn’t really a right or wrong approach here, it is simply personal preference. We suggest you try both methods on your racket and see which works best for you!
Step 3: Wrapping
Once you have wrapped the grip around the very end of the racket, covering the bevels on the butt cap, you can start wrapping the overgrip.
You will want to wrap the grip pretty rightly to avoid it unravelling, but make sure to take your time so you get an even distribution of grip on each wrap.
The aim here is to get the grip as uniform as possible, whilst keeping it in line with the overlapping points of the replacement grip.
You could aim for around a centimeter or two of overlap per wrap, depending on how pronounced you want the grip to feel in your hand.
Again, the aim here is to get a surface that feels comfortable and consistent right the way up the handle.
Step 4: Finishing
Once you have wrapped the grip all the way up the handle, you can finish off the grip.
If you are using the more traditional method, you will have already used the sticky tab end of the overgrip to get the regripping process started.
In this case, you will need a pair of scissors to cut a similarly tapered end to the overgrip so it will wrap around neatly.
As you look at the racket with the head facing up, you will want to cut the grip at the end diagonally from the bottom to the top, about 3 inches along.
This will give you a nice angled end that you can pull tight and finish off the grip with the finishing tape.
Alternatively, if you used the folding method, you can simply pull the sticky tab off of the grip and wrap it round the top of the handle in as neat a fashion as possible.
You can then apply the finishing tape or rubber grip holder (if your racket has one) as you so wish.
Adding an overgrip to your racket is a great way to increase the durability of your original replacement grip, customise the feel of your racket and increase your confidence on court.
Applying your new overgrip is a straightforward process, but should be done with time and care in order to get the best results.
Make sure to aim for a uniform looking grip, so you will get the most consistent and playable feel possible!
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