Selecting The Appropriate Grip Size
There are two common methods used to help identify the ideal grip size for a player. I typically recommend using both to help get the best fit.
First, if you have one handy, grab a ruler or measuring tape. Next, take a look at one of your hands, and you’ll notice you have a bunch of lines and creases running through your palm. In the middle of your palm, you’ll see two pronounced lines, one on top and one on the bottom, running horizontally from one side of your hand to the other.
Grab your ruler or measuring tape and line it up vertically with your middle finger so that the bottom of the ruler (the part hitting your palm) lines up with the bottom horizontal line in your palm – once you have it lined up, measure to the top of your ring finger.
You should find that the measurement falls somewhere between 4 inches and 4 ⅝ inches. Once you have that measurement, you’ll want to head over to your local tennis shop and find a racquet with that measurement. I’d also recommend finding a racquet that is one grip size above and below your measurement (assuming you don’t fall on the highest or lowest grip size) so you can compare a few different sizes to help determine the right fit.
Start with the racquet grip size that is closest to what you measured and hold the racquet handle with a continental grip.
A continental grip is one where you hold the racquet in your hand as if you were going to use it as a hammer. If the racquet is strung, the strings should be perpendicular to the floor.
At this point, you should be able to stick your index finger of the hand not holding the racquet in between the tip of your middle finger and your palm. If it fits, then you’re likely on the mark.
However, it’s not an exact science, so hold the racquet grip size that’s bigger and then the one that’s smaller to get a feel for whether the grip you’ve identified feels right. For many players, you’ll know by holding each racquet. It should feel comfortable yet secure.
Some players may feel like they are in between sizes. If that’s you, go for the smaller size. There are ways to build up a grip to make it feel perfect, including the addition of an inexpensive overgrip. However, apart from swapping out the base grip that came with the racquet, it is more difficult and, in some cases, not possible to drop the size of a grip.
Many players also like to use a new overgrip every few times they play to keep that nice tacky feel in their hands. If that’s you and you’re on the fence about a larger size, definitely go smaller. Overgrips will usually add about 1/16 of an inch to a grip, so if you go a bit smaller, you freely add that overgrip without it starting to feel too bulky.