The Best Tennis Overgrips
Full Guide + How to with Photos
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When the grip of your racquet becomes worn, it becomes harder to maintain a solid hold of your racquet without your hand slipping. Adding an overgrip, otherwise referred to as grip tape, is an inexpensive way to make sure you always have a firm and consistent grasp.
In this guide, we’re going to break down the basics of tennis overgrips and explain how they can improve your game and optimize your performance. We’ll also review the best tennis overgrips on the market to help you find the one that’s best suited for your needs.
You can find our picks for the best overgrips below.
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What is a Tennis Overgrip?
A tennis overgrip is a simple wrap that you can apply to your racquet handle to increase traction, absorb sweat, and reduce blisters. Grip tape is another term often used to refer to overgrips.
Players of all levels can benefit from using overgrips to ensure their racquet stays secure in their hand, while also preventing wear of their main grip that came with their racquet.
On the pro tour, many players will use a new overgrip every time they pick up their racquet to ensure they have the most secure grip possible. However, even if you can’t afford to replace yours as frequently, you can still benefit from doing so periodically.
Overgrips come in a variety of colors, texture, and thickness, and some are better than others at improving traction or absorbing sweat.
Overgrips vs. Replacement Grips
A replacement grip is a thick and durable cover applied to a racquet’s handle to provide players with a comfortable surface for holding it.
An overgrip, on the other hand, is a thinner, less durable wrap that is applied over the top of a replacement grip and changed more regularly.
Overgrips are quick and easy to change, and you’ll find many players will swap them out on a changeover during a match.
You can also use an overgrip to make minor adjustments to the size of your racquet’s handle. When choosing a grip size, you may fall between sizes. If that’s the case, we recommend you purchase the smaller size because you can easily build up a grip if necessary.
Why Replace Overgrips
Let’s review some of the most common reasons players will regularly replace their overgrips.
The primary reason players use overgrips is to increase traction and prevent the racquet from slipping or twisting in their hands.
As the grip on your racquet ages, it loses its tackiness and becomes slipperier and less effective. However, if you use an overgrip, you can apply a cheap replacement as soon as you notice it wearing out.
Typically, overgrips increase traction in one of two ways:
- Texture: Some overgrips have a unique texture or ridged surface to secure your hand.
- Tack: Others have a somewhat sticky feel to prevent your hand from slipping.
In many cases, overgrips feature texture combined with a tacky finish.
As you’ve probably experienced yourself, when you start sweating, it can become challenging to maintain a firm grip on your racquet. Some overgrips don’t handle sweat as well as others and can become less effective more quickly in hot conditions.
Overgrips with increased sweat absorption are popular among players who play indoors or in hotter climates. However, keep in mind that you don’t have to use the same overgrip all the time. If you play in a variety of conditions, you may want to have a few different grips in your bag.
Reduce Blisters and Injuries
Using a soft overgrip on your tennis racquet can help prevent blisters. If you’re a new player who’s just started learning how to play tennis, you may be more susceptible to getting blisters because your hands haven’t adapted to the friction your hand experiences as you play.
As far as injuries go, a blister might not sound serious. However, multiple blisters or one on the wrong part of your hand can be incredibly painful and, in the worst scenario, cause you to adjust your swing, which can lead to elbow and shoulder injuries.
Small Mental Boost
Tennis is as much a mental game as it is physical. Sometimes emotions, fear, and doubt can creep in and send us spiraling.
One trick to help give yourself a mental boost is to take a minute during a change over to replace your overgrip. Doing so can help you feel like it’s a fresh start and be the mental boost you need to help turn things around.
When to Replace Overgrips
Overgrips are relatively inexpensive, so it’s worth changing them regularly to ensure you have a solid grip on your racquet. However, the frequency at which you replace your grip is a personal preference.
Here are a few factors to keep in mind that will influence how long an overgrip will last:
- Weather Conditions: Hot or humid conditions can cause an overgrip to lose it’s efficacy quickly. The more you sweat, the faster you’ll need to replace an overgrip.
- Court Surface: Clay courts tend to make a mess of an overgrip. Even if the grip doesn’t hit the ground, you’ll be handling tennis balls that have, which will transfer to your grip.
- Racquet Storage: if you don’t store your racquets in a bag, they’ll likely attract dirt and debris that will decrease their lifespan.
- Racquet Abuse: If you drop or throw your racquet, your grip is going to take a beating as well, which means you’re going to need to replace it more frequently.
Under normal conditions, most players will find an overgrip will begin to lose its tackiness after playing tennis on three or four separate occasions, at which time it may become more challenging to maintain a solid grip. When that happens, it’s likely time to replace your overgrip.
At the bare minimum, we’d recommend players replace their overgrip whenever they have their racquet restrung. However, if you don’t string your racquet regularly, you may want to replace your overgrip more often.
If your grip begins to fray or tear, you’ve likely waited too long, and you should look to replace your overgrip as soon as possible.
Ultimately, the frequency at which you change your overgrip will depend on how important the tacky and sweat absorbing properties are to you.
How to Put a Tennis Overgrip On
In this section, we’ll show you how to replace a racquet’s overgrip with step-by-step instructions. Once you get the hang of wrapping an overgrip, it should only take you one to three minutes from start to finish.
Before you get started, make sure you have your new overgrip handy as well the included tape to secure the grip after replacing it. Some racquet’s come with a small rubber band-like collar that you can use to secure the grip without needing tape.
The first few times you try it, you may find it easier to regrip your racquet in a seated position. If your standing, you can place the racquet on top of a table to make it easier.
Here are the steps to install your overgrip.
Remove your old overgrip if you have one.
Unravel your new overgrip, and if it has one, peel off the layer of plastic protecting the grip’s surface.
If you’re using the included piece of tape, remove the sticker from the adhesive backing and set aside on a chair or table.
Place your racquet upside down with the head on the ground and the butt facing upward.
Hold your new overgrip from the tapered end. If your grip has adhesive at the tip, remove the sticker.
Place the tapered end of the grip along the top edge of your racquet’s handle. You can begin from any side as long as you start at the top edge.
Note the angled portion of the overgrip is facing upward.
Hold the tapered end with your non-dominant hand and begin to carefully rotate the racquet clockwise, so the grip starts to wrap around the top edge of the racquet’s handle.
As you wrap, apply light tension to the overgrip so that it lays flat. You may find it easier to pick up the racquet as you continue from this point forward.
Once you’ve completed a full rotation, allow the grip to overlap itself and begin to follow the angle created by the first wrap of overgrip.
For the best result, the grip should overlap itself by roughly one-fifth of its width. If you overlap too much, you won’t have enough length to wrap the entire handle, which is important to cover the handle of an extended length racquet fully.
Continue to rotate the racquet and wrap the entire handle while following the natural angle of the overgrip until you reach the top end of the racquet’s handle.
Again, you’ll want to keep light tension on the grip as you wrap, so you end up with a snug fit without any wrinkles. Maintain a consistent size overlap for a uniform look and feel.
Tuck the top edge of the overgrip under itself, creating a new taper to finish the wrap.
Rip or cut any excess overgrip.
If using the included tape, apply it to the new tapered edge of the grip to secure it and wrap it all the way around until it overlaps itself. Apply tension to the tape to avoid wrinkles.
If using the small rubber band-like device, simply pull it over the top of your overgrip to secure it.
There you have it! You should now have a freshly gripped tennis racquet.
It may take a few attempts to get the hang of it, but before you know it, you’ll be gripping your racquet in under a minute.
How Many Overgrips Should You Use
It only takes a single overgrip to wrap an entire racquet handle.
However, some players will apply multiple overgrips to increase the thickness of their handle for the perfect fit.
When using more than one overgrip, keep in mind that the racquet’s bevels or eight sides are part of what helps you maintain solid traction and prevents the racquet from twisting in your hand.
As you apply additional overgrips, the handle will become rounder and lose its edges, which can make it difficult to hit without the racquet twisting. With this in mind, we recommend you apply no more than two overgrips to your racquet’s handle.
If you’re looking to increase the size of your racquet handle further, then we recommend doing so with a heat shrink sleeve, which is installed by a professional removing all grips from your racquet.
Doing so will allow you to increase the size of your racquet’s grip while maintaining the beveled edges.
How to Choose an Overgrip
There’s no shortage of overgrips on the market, but the one that you use will depend on your specific needs and preferences.
Four factors to consider when choosing an overgrip are:
- Sweat absorption
Finding the best grip be a matter of trial and error. Plus, you may find that it’s helpful to use different overgrips for different conditions. For example, you may prefer a sweat absorbing grip in hot, humid conditions, but use a tackier grip when it’s cold or dryer out.
Overgrips range in thickness from about 0.4 mm to 2.6 mm, with overgrips on the higher end of the range typically featuring a ribbed insert to help increase control. Most overgrips will range from 0.4 mm to 0.6 mm.
A thinner grip won’t change your handle size as much but will tend to have a limit on how well it absorbs sweat.
The Best Tennis Overgrips
In this section, we’ll dive into our pick for the best overall tennis overgrip. We’ll also cover our top picks in each of the following categories:
- Sweat absorption
Best Overall: Wilson Pro Overgrip
The Wilson Pro is the preferred overgrip of players like Roger Federer and the Williams sisters and one of the most popular overgrips on the market.
We give it our pick for the best overall because, in our opinion, it provides the best balance between sweat absorption and tackiness without falling too far to either side of the spectrum.
Plus, at 0.6 mm thick, it won’t drastically change the feel of your racquet. All in all, it’s well-rounded and our favorite grip on the market.
Sweat Absorption: Tourna Grip
If you’re looking for the ultimate overgrip for sweaty hands, then look no further than the original Tourna Grip, which is another we love and runner up for best overall.
Beyond the legions of players that use it, what makes Tourna Grip unique is that it gets tackier as your hand’s sweat. For years it’s been a top pick, and whether you prefer it over Wilson Pro or not is a personal preference that you’ll have to discover for yourself.
If you’re using an extended length racquet that features a longer handle, be sure to grab the Tourna Grip XL for the fit.
If you’re looking for an alternative, then be sure to check out Luxilon’s Elite Dry overgrip that features a different makeup but functions the same way as Tourna Grip in that it gets tackier as you sweat.
Thinnest: Tecnifibre Pro Dry Overgrip
If you’re looking for an extremely thin overgrip, the Tecnifibre Pro DRY is a great option to check out and our favorite in this category.
At only 0.4 mm, the Tecnifibre Pro DRY overgrip is one of the thinnest on the market to help provide you with exceptional feel.
A few other options you may want to check out are the Babolat VS Original at 0.44 mm and the Wilson Pro Sensation, which is a thinner version of the Wilson Pro overgrip but 25% thinner.
Thickest: Yonex’s Dry Grap
On the other end of the spectrum, the Yonex Dry Grap is our favorite pick for the thickest (non-ribbed) overgrip on the market.
At 0.65 mm thick, it does a great job at absorbing sweat and keeping your hands dry, but it’s worth noting it’s not a super tacky grip.
If you’re looking for a thicker overgrip with some tack, check out the Wilson Pro, Yonex Super Grap, or Head Prestige Pro overgrip, all of which measure 0.6 mm.
Tackiest: Tourna Mega Tac
Tourna’s Mega Tac is by far the tackiest grip that we’ve ever played tried. If you’re looking for a grip that sticks, then this is an excellent option – some players may even find it too tacky.
If tacky is what you’re looking for, another option worth taking note of is the Dunlop Gecko-Tac, which does a great job of providing traction without feeling too sticky.
Most Comfortable: Head Prime
If you suffer from blisters or you’re not a big fan of some of the ultra-tacky overgrips on our list, then Head Prime might be the perfect fit to increase the comfort of your racquet’s handle. It does have some tack to it, but it’s not nearly as grippy as some of the others on our list.
If you’re looking for a grip that’s soft and doesn’t have any tack to it, then the Yonex Dry Grap, our pick for the thickest overgrip, is another excellent option that is dry to the touch and thick to provide extra comfort.
Control: Gamma Supreme Power
If you’re struggling to maintain a grip on your racquet, then you might want to consider a grip that features a raised mid-section to help provide you with more traction. Our favorite is the Gamma Supreme Power grip, which features a ridge down the middle to help increase traction.
The Yonex Wave Grab features a similar design, but the ridge isn’t quite as dramatic, which makes it a great alternative. Keep in mind that both grips will increase the size of your handle more than a typical overgrip.
Although these grips didn’t meet our criteria for the best in any specific category, their sheer popularity makes them worth mentioning.
- Gamma Supreme
- Head Xtreme Soft
- Head Super Comp
- Head Prestige Pro
- Wilson Advantage
- Wilson Ultra Wrap
- Wilson Profile
Overgrips for Sweaty Hands and Blisters
In tennis, sweaty hands and blisters are part of the package, but there are overgrips tactics you can use to ward them off. Let’s take a look at both of these nuisances and how to deal with them.
Regardless of the sport, sweat is a natural side effect of being active. However, with tennis, it presents a unique challenge for players who sweat more than others because it can be difficult to maintain a solid hold of their racquet.
Our pick for the best overgrip for sweat absorption is the Tourna Grip, but recognizing this is a common challenge among players, we wanted to provide a few extra tips beyond your overgrip to help deal with it.
Replace Your Grip Often
As simple as it sounds, one of the best ways to deal with sweaty hands and loss of traction is to replace your overgrip more frequently.
As you begin to play tennis with your grip, it will gradually lose its ability to absorb sweat effectively, so replacing it often will help you keep things dry to maintain a solid grip.
Bring a Towel to The Court
If you’ve ever watched a pro tennis match, you probably saw the pros walk to the back of the court after every point to wipe sweat with a towel, which is a practical way to maintain drier hands throughout a match.
If you don’t already use one, it can be tremendously helpful. Of course, don’t keep it in your bag. Instead, bring it to the back of the court so you can wipe down between points.
Wear Wrist Bands
One of the main reasons our hands get sweaty is because sweat makes its way down our arms to our palms. An easy way to prevent this from happening is to wear a wrist band on your dominant hand.
Keep in mind that once they absorb sweat, it’s not going to evaporate quickly, so be sure to purchase extra to swap out during a match.
Try a Grip Enhancer
Regularly swapping out your overgrip is a great way to minimize the slippery effect of sweat on your hands, but sometimes it’s not enough.
For those situations, you might consider trying a grip enhancer such as Wilson Pro Grip Max lotion or Tourna Rosin Powder. Both are popular options that many players swear by.
If you’re suffering from blisters, you may want to give a softer, more comfortable grip like the Head Prime or Yonex Dry Grap.
Often, tacky grips can be the culprit (especially for beginners), but you have options, so if you’re prone to blisters, it’s worth exploring a few different grips to help prevent them.
For a relatively small cost, you can regularly swap out an overgrip to ensure you maintain a solid hold on your racquet.
Choosing the right grip tape will likely take some trial and error, but once you find your favorite, they can help you perform at your best.
If you’re not sure which grip to start with, then we’d recommend trying the Wilson Pro Overgrip and Tourna Grip as a starting point. Both are popular options that approach traction and sweat absorption differently and will provide a good point of reference for evaluating others.
Have questions or want to share your favorite overgrip? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below.
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