View Full Version : 4 1/8 That's Right! What's it to ya?!
01-08-2005, 08:47 AM
Ok I'm 5'5" and have very small hands. I'm 20 so I'm gonna grow anymore. I use a 4 1/8 grip size and even going up to 4 1/4 causes problems for me (against hard hitting league players I just can't get the spin I need). Right now I'm using the Diablo MP since Prince is pretty much the only company to offer 4 1/8 grips on their player's racquets. The thing is, I grew up playing with the Wilson 6.1 line and I just love the feel of a Wilson so much more. Why doesnt Wilson offer ANY of it's player's racquets in 4 1/8 grip sizes anymore? I know that for a brief time they made the HPS 6.1 in 1/8 and some can still be found online. But other than that, nada. What's a short guy to do? Anyone happen to know something I don't? Like maybe that Wilson does make racquets in 4 1/8 (other than tweeners of course) and I just don't know where to look... Oh and getting my grips professionally reduced in size costs way more than I wanna spend.
01-08-2005, 08:51 AM
The Wilson ROK comes in 4-1/8, if you consider that as a player's racket.
01-08-2005, 08:56 AM
venetian, you might check into some of the frames made for advanced junior players. I believe more of these are available in smaller grip sizes. I know some of these are shorter, but it's much easier to add length to a frame than it is to reduce its size. You also might want to give TW a call and see what they have available.
01-08-2005, 09:15 AM
or try playing bare handled on a 4 1/4 w. just an overgrip or two (which i dont suggest with a very stiff frame)..talk about feeling the bevels......
01-08-2005, 09:24 AM
Wow. I can't believe you use 4 1/8". I'm only medium-framed, 5 ft. 8" with medium sized hands, but I use 4 5/8 plus overgrip. 4 3/8 feels too small to me and I can't imagine what 1/8" would feel like.
What shocked me was that alot of these male pro players use 4 3/8" or 4 1/2", and these guys are over 6ft. with hands about the size of my face.
01-08-2005, 09:36 AM
You must have pretty small hands, or I have potato-picker hands! I'm only 5'3" and I found it difficult playing with a 4 1/4. I actually still have a finger injury from that death grip I used just to keep the racquet from leaving my hand (even when I hit the sweet spot). Right now I use a 4 1/2 with just an overgrip and the remains of its original grip underneath, with a 4 3/8 racquet as a spare.
I also developed symptoms of mild tennis elbow during the time I used the small grip, although I think this might have been a combination of the racquet's head-heavy balance and the grip size.
01-08-2005, 09:54 AM
Yeah I just went out and hit some with a friend today. First I tried my HPS 6.1 with a 4 1/4 grip. I was hitting first serves at about 30%. I just can't keep the racquet in my hand. When I switch to the Diablo at 1/8 after a while I was hitting 1st serves at about 80%. I have like half a reel of lead on that stupid Diablo and it still feels like a feather. I'll try emailing or calling TW and see what they say. Anyone know how I could find out directly from Wilson?
A few months ago I demoed the N-Code Tour 90 and LM Prestige. The demos came in 4 3/4 grips and the racquets would litteraly come out of my hand on serves and hit the ground.
01-08-2005, 10:00 AM
Have you tried actually measuring your hand to see what the "correct" size for you is? The method is on the TW Learning Center site:
Some will disagree that you should go with what feels right, but this could at least give you a good starting point, or confirm what you already know. Using a grip size too small can lead to real wrist problems--I've been affected by such. Yes you may be able to get incredible wrist snap, but that's not worth it if it wrecks your wrist. Just an idea.
01-08-2005, 10:03 AM
Yes heh. I've used the grip sizer and my correct grip size is in between 4 1/8 and 4 1/4. My hands really are that small:)
01-08-2005, 10:49 AM
Venetian, I am 5ft6 & I too have very small hands. Originally when I started playing, until college, I had been using a 4 1/2 grip & couldn't figure out why my arm would hurt & I wouldn't get enough spin on my serves. I had measured my grip size & it was no more than a 4 3/8. So I decided to change, & now, I've worked my way down to a 4 1/8 grip w/an overgrip. I can get much better spin on the serves & my arm, wrist & hand never hurt. Moving to a much smaller grip was the best decision I could have made. Go with whatever feels right, not necessarily what some book tells you.
01-08-2005, 10:51 AM
What I do to reduce the grip size is to take the original grip off, and rip the foamy padding off the bottom and then regrip, it dramatically reduces the size and feels better, much better than a bare handle with an overgrip.
01-08-2005, 11:01 AM
I might try taking off the foam. tennisj what racquet do you use now I wonder? Do you also find it hard to come across racquets with 4 1/8 grips?
01-08-2005, 11:37 AM
I've been surfing around, ************.com , Hola****sports.com, *******sports.com, nobody seems to sell Wilson racquets in 4 1/8. They must just not make them anymore. :(
Wow that's some weird filtering on those site names lol!
I would contact Wislon directly...they have many Asian versions of their frames available in smaller grip sizes...
"Listen Jack, you're a CERTIFIED (what's it to ya?) 4-3/8th grip size, possibly even a 4-1/2th," according to the macho, macho man towering over me like Tom Sellick post Magnum P.I. glory days at the local French Fries of Tennis pro shop.
Well, I'm not Jack...nor Joe, Johnson and Johnson. I'm just like to flutter my racket around in my hand like my little own magical, ferry princess wand. It's an enchanting feeling...after a lifetime of filling up the status quo...my unoriginal hands...with the par of the course, get in line 'cause we got it, 4-3/8th and 4-1/2th grip sizes; I decided to go a little...make that mo-better, not little...smaller in the grip size department. So far, in fact that I now think 4-1/8th grips are the ONLY way to fly. Truly, they make me feel like I can fly with the racket head speed. You should try my services out one day. Come watch me play on a hot day, you won't believe the breeze I provide.
Like you, serving is easier, fly by the night gestures of wrist-wrangling even easier. Using a big grip begins to feel just a WEE bit uncouthe once you put in the time necessary to STICK-IT with the itzy, bitzy spider like grip. But once you get used to it? I think there's a reason why so many male pros advertise carrying little sticks when in some cases, really they are really rather large sticks...like Stich, sincerely a 6'4"...AT LEAST...twig of spiraling Fischer delight. Reason being? His L2, 4-1/4 in laymen's terms, grip.
Now, this leads me to a no-frills point. If you're looking to FEEL a smaller grip in your hands, a grip that feels smaller the standard target...look no further than Fischer. On the whole, they *sometimes* make a more qualitative product than Prince. What cannot be disputed, however, is that their grips feel one size smaller than their listed measurement. The reason stems from that funky, don't even exist butt cap. Try it, you'll be amazed as your hand repeatedly slips off the knob.
If that fails to amaze you, then I suggest buying some play-AH!-h-h-Head player's rackets and just order some 4-1/8th Head pallets to replace the existing pallets. Can it be done? Sure, if you've got a heat gun and can dodge a wrench, you can replace a pallet. I've done it many times. But be forewarned, the 4-1/8th on Head rackets feels small, REALLY small...even to me, which is really saying something since I used to use Yonex rackets with 4-1/8th grips bare handled with just one overgrip on...which made volleying impossible, so now I actually use leather underneath that sheath overgrip...gotta give a little to get a little.
ALSO, a more easily obtainable solution than my stockpile of 4-1/8th Head pallets, is VOLKL. This is a trip, but head over to you local internet access point, and type in Tennis Warehouse Rocks.com. Here in this very glittering storefront before your eyes you will be able to order Volkl butt caps in ANY size you wish, Charlie of Charlie's Tennis Factory fame.
The SIGNIFICANT catch and ensuing deal of the century is that you don't get just the luxuriously soft butt cap in the mail, you get a surprise in EVERY bag! Yup, that's right you'd could hardly imagine the child's delight in my eyes when I opened the LONG and transparent butt cap bag to find a full-length, long-board, let's go surfing now pallet. The whole L1, she-bang, replacement grip pallet PLUS the matching butt cap.
What this means now is that you can buy any used Volkls that use their pallet handle system, and swap pallets for about $3 each racket. $3 for the butt cap from Tennis Warehouse, but WITH the pallet as well...NO extra charge. Like I said, deal of the century...provided you can find the matching deal of the century on some used but pristine condition, price is NOT at a premium, Volkls in the classifieds boards.
But, unfortunately, other than this option; you're right Prince...and not to mention again...Volkl AND Yonex, do offer the loco-mo-wrist-motion, 4-1/8th grip options on ALL of their marque player's frames. Everyone else, it really IS slim pickings, unfortunately.
The only other reason to stray otherwise would be to try those Austrian color-blast sensations, known as Fischer rackets, always pretty in pastel. Their grips feel dainty small, but in a good way for you, I, and anyone who cannot possibly prove otherwise that Michael Stich with his overpoweringly beautiful, looks like a million bucks, wife (because, that's what she is...her RICH, me in the sub-million dollar range factoring in my windex-cleaned credit cards) is not man enough for us all.
Long live the L1, toothpick magicians (NOT "fairies" I tell you!) of the court, anyone who wants to try smaller should. You only live once. *IF* you ever get used to it, you *never* go back...which is why I too am so frustrated that ALL companies do not offer TRUE L1 grip options. But then again, I can't blame them when you're talking about favoring two or three people in a world of millions...long live the status quo, L3 and L4!
To be honest, you're the first L1 gripper I've seen on these boards besides me who has actually spoken up for yourself (i.e. "CHURN OUT more L1s for the masses, even if I sound dillusional because there are no masses who use L1."). Glad to hear, I'm not alone. With that said, don't forget that the most towering and goliath man I've regularly sparred with used a TINY for him Wilson L2 grip on his PS 6.0 originals. He didn't even use a lot of wrist, but he still preffered the small grip size, because he said he felt like he could get around on the ball better. I mean if you thought L1 might look a little small in Brenda Schultz McCarthy's hands, then you havn't seen anything that compares to this MAN'S MAN regularly *crushing* that wee, little toothpick in his hands. Surprisingly, his DEATH grip regularly withstood the abuse.
01-08-2005, 09:05 PM
I think that people think too much. I am 6'2 and have large hands. I used a 4 3/4 grip with two overgrips during the summer and fall because it was the proper size according to the wilson hand chart. Recently I made a huge switch to a 4 3/8. I think the smaller grip aids in the amount of spin I create. And to having problems with big hitters...it is in your heads. A smaller grip does not allow the racquet to twist more in your hand, where you make contact does. Just watch the ball and hit the sweetspot..I guaruntee all of you could play with a smaller handle.
01-08-2005, 09:29 PM
small grips only lead to wrist problems no matter how small your hands are, and i bet you are not very good at the net, because a small grip does not allow a firm feel at the net, so i would switch to at least a 3/8, i am 6'1 185, and i use a 3/4, so ya small grips SUCK!!!!!
01-08-2005, 09:45 PM
i've gradually gone to smaller grips over the years....from 5, to 4, and now 3. i do think they offer advantages for some. the caveat is that if you arent a good ball striker, or otherwise have a frame w. too small of a sweetspot for you, you are asking for possible hand/wrist injuries stemming from the racquet being more likely to torque on you from mis-hits. a grip too large can also be bad. a grip the 'right' size for you does feel more solid on volleys i think, but this advantage is outweighed by the advantges of a smaller gripsize i think. the general rule of thumb 'used to be' larger grips for better baseline play and more control and smaller grips for all courters and to enhance your serve..not so sure that baseliners are using larger grips much either these days. i would be careful w. smaller gripsizes if you frequently mis-hit and can swing hard enough to cause damage. a pd+ strung w. alu and a too small leather grip = ouch big time.
01-08-2005, 10:07 PM
In addition to those companies already mentioned, Babolat makes some of their frames in 4 1/8. I just picked up some Pure Control Zylons for my son in that grip size. Hope this helps and good luck!
01-09-2005, 04:31 PM
Venetian, I use a Volkl Quantum V1 OS, & since those racquets have been discontinued for awhile, & are very difficult to find new or used, I will take whatever I can find & modify from there. Most of the Volkls I have are 1/8 or 1/4 grips.
01-09-2005, 04:40 PM
Looks like the new Volkl Tour 10 MP Gen 2 will be available in 4 1/8"
01-09-2005, 05:23 PM
you know what that say about guys with small hands.......... small grip sizes.
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