View Full Version : Smaller grip for western / semi-western?

07-01-2005, 07:10 AM
I've been hitting semi western forehand for about 3 years and am about to buy a new racquet. The local shop guy told me that alot of player who use a western grip are buying smaller grip sizes. I have been using 5/8 for years, and of course the demo I liked was a 3/8, which was a little small. But I'm wondering if anyone has gone down a grip size because they think they can hit a better western or semi western forehand?

Gaines Hillix
07-01-2005, 07:21 AM
The shop guy is right. Some players who use these grips for topspin are using handle sizes as small as 4 1/4." I believe Carlos Moya is one of them. Some people also believe this can lead to wrist and elbow problems.

07-01-2005, 08:03 AM
I use an L4 and hit with a semi. Any bigger is uncomfortable.

07-01-2005, 01:36 PM
Thanks for your relpies. I'll probably stick with a 5/8, but loose the overgrip.

07-01-2005, 05:21 PM
I hit full western and prefer 4-3/8 without overgrip or 4-1/4 with an overgrip. I have tried replacing the replacement grip on my 4-1/2 grip racket with another overgrip, but it felt to hard, so I added another overgrip (now having 3 total) and that made it almost exactly the same size as it started out.

Felix DeSouza
07-01-2005, 05:54 PM
When I first started playing in mid 80's (~14 yrs old) & thru high school I always
used 5/8 & played classic style. Through the years as I improved, I evolved to
western forehand. Also thru this time I reduced my grip size. At one point last year
I even used 1/4 with 1 overgrip. Great for western FH but not so good (for me) was
other shots. Seemed to settle now on 3/8 with 1 overgrip. If I pick up a 5/8 today
it seems so big. Larger grip size does improve stability for me, better flat serve as
well. Like most things equipment related, you have to find the right personal balance.

07-01-2005, 06:05 PM
I use a 4 3/8ths, but it really does a number on your wrist. I'm not much of a wristy person when it comes to my forehands, but when it comes to volleying... Man, does it feel like you're wrist is getting hit by a hammer. It doesn't bother me too much on backhands, but the problem I find with it.

I'm a one-handed backhands person. When I do a top-spin backhand I find that my grip is a bit to loose so my knuckles start at level 8, and then they do this \ from |. So they're flat, and then they go \ when I look down. It doesn't bother my wrist or hurt it, but it's really destroying my precision and power when it does that. I lose a lot of power.

I tried using my friends Prince which was like a 1/2 but had over-grip and all this stuff to it. I didn't get as much top-spin, and I felt my swing was really slow. But volleys felt really good on my wrist.

07-01-2005, 06:27 PM
In the days of wood you had to use the biggest grip you could manage; to avoid the frame twisting hitting ground strokes. Like Gaines said or actually he corroborated a smaller grip combined with a large hitting platform give the most spin. Its true I use a 4 1/2 my grip from wood days was 4 3/4 at 14 yrs. no less. With a smaller grip I get so much more action topspin and easier serving. its the way to go.

07-01-2005, 06:36 PM
the trend is def to smaller grips having little to do with western or semi western grips. it's no secret that a smaller grip gives you better (faster) pronation on the serve. michael stich who is about 6'4 i believe used a 4 1/4 grip. a smaller grip is harder to volley with. caution to those who dont posess well developed strokes as a grip to small..or too large can easily lead to injury because of torque on mishits. the old <basic> rule was that serve/volleyers and all courters used smaller grips and baseliners larger, but that has changed over the years.

07-28-2009, 04:22 PM
Certainly agree that smaller grips are better for SW forehand users. For me, it helps with spin and allows me to hit a heavier ball then when im using a bigger grip size.

Nadal uses a L2 with 2 overgrips, Guga also used a small grip with two or three tournagrips.

07-28-2009, 04:32 PM
When you posted, you did know how old this thread was? What's with people bringing threads back from the dead?

07-28-2009, 09:14 PM
My true grip size is probably a 5/8 based on the rules followed to mesure your grip size but I preffer the 4 3/8ths, I tried a 4 1/4th on a head racquet and I got some nasty bilsters that started bleeding so I decided to stick with 4 3/8ths it feels good on my semi-western grip, and that is correct if you use spin it's better to get a smaller grip because it gives more wrist action for the spin and it's also a lot better for volleys, good luck.