How Can Racket Grip Size Affect Your Game?

by Nicole Schmoll
Racket grip size affects your comfort and performance.

Racket grip size affects your comfort and performance.

Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Tennis is a game of concentration, athleticism and precision. Players use tennis rackets to hit tennis balls back and forth over a net against opponents. There is a limited range of racket grip sizes available for tennis rackets. Using the wrong grip size can cause discomfort and decrease your enjoyment of the sport and performance during matches.

Grip Sizes

Rackets are made in a narrow range of grip sizes. Adult grip sizes start at 4 inches and max out at 4 3/4 inches. Standard sizes include 4 inches, 4 1/8 inches, 4 1/4 inches, 4 3/8 inches, 4 1/2 inches, 4 5/8 inches and 4 3/4 inches. Youth racket sizes range from 3 5/8 inches to 4 inches.

Finding Your Grip Size

Find your grip size by using a ruler to measure your hand from the tip of your ring finger to the base of the longest vertical skin line on your palm. Use this measurement as a guide when trying out different grip sizes. Test the fit of a racket by holding the racket in one hand. Slide the index finger of your other hand in between the tips of your fingers and the base of your palm where it meets your wrist. If there’s not enough room for your index finger to fit in this space, then you need a larger grip. If you have extra space between your index fingers and other hand while wrapped around the racket handle, try a smaller racket grip size.

Small Grips

Using a racket grip that’s too small for your hand may result in injuries to your wrist and elbow. A grip that’s not large enough affects your tennis game by causing the racket to slip slightly within your hand. You will overcompensate for the slippage by tweaking your wrist. That movement puts your elbow into an awkward position. The resulting discomfort hinders you from performing at a high level for the duration of a match. As you focus more of your attention on how uncomfortable the racket feels in your hand, you’ll have less mental energy available to respond to shots from your opponent and strategize quickly as to where you’ll place your shot to score points.

Large Grips

Trying to play tennis with a racket that’s too large for your hand may result in you gripping the racket handle harder than you should. This affects your game by putting increased stress on your forearm. That tension affects your swing and prevents it from being relaxed. A tight, tense swing wears on your arm muscles and prevents you from performing at a peak level for the duration of a match.

Photo Credits

  • Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images