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View Full Version : Beginner questions - Grip size and racquet choice


maxwolfie
02-16-2012, 04:42 PM
Hi,

I'm looking for a beginner racquet - I am a tall guy, 26 years old, 188cm or 6'2", with big hands. I've done the hand measurement from my ring finger and I work out to be about 5 1/8". Now, problem is that here in Australia, grip sizes generally only go up to 4 1/2" for some reason. Rarely do any stores have a 4 5/8" in stock to hold, but I managed to find one today. It felt OK, I'm not 100% sure on the correct grip for a tennis racquet so it may not be accurate. So grip size is my first question - One store recommended a 4 1/2 and then build it up with spacers and/or an overgrip. I think I'd rather just buy online and get the right size to begin with. A 4 1/2" grip on it's own is definitely too small I think, I certainly cannot fit my index finger in, regardless of how I hold it.

The second choice is obviously the racquet itself, my budget was originally $50-$80 but many stores have basically told me that I won't be able to get anything for under $100. Retail in Australia is a joke - So expensive (twice the price as online, even though Aussie dollar is buying 1.07 US dollars). Pro Tennis shops seem to charge a lot more but I guess that's the cost of good advice (or so you would hope). As mentioned I am a tall guy, I am pretty lanky but I have been going to the gym for a few years so I have a fair amount of power in my arms and shoulders etc. I did take lessons once a week for a few months a long, long time ago (when I was 13 or so), but it would be best to assume that I am a complete newbie, because I am. I plan on playing once a week with my girlfriend at the local court for fitness, may or may not turn into lessons or something more serious.

Happy and almost prefer to buy online in this case.

Any suggestions?

Andyroo10567
02-16-2012, 05:07 PM
Well, you can buy a Heat Shrink Sleeve that increases the grip size by 1/8. Use it on a 4 5/8 racquet with 2 overgrips. You dont necessarily need 5 1/8's, its okay to have a bit smaller grip as long as it feels good to you. Link provided for Heat Shrink Sleeve below.
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpage-SLEEV.html
Hope this helped!

eldub20
02-16-2012, 06:05 PM
At your price range, you could try to find a used Head Microgel Radical Oversize...a forgiving racquet that you could use for quite a while. If you don't find a 5/8" grip, you can still buy it and replace the handle pallet with a 5/8" and build it up to your proper size.

maxwolfie
02-16-2012, 07:22 PM
Well, you can buy a Heat Shrink Sleeve that increases the grip size by 1/8. Use it on a 4 5/8 racquet with 2 overgrips. You dont necessarily need 5 1/8's, its okay to have a bit smaller grip as long as it feels good to you. Link provided for Heat Shrink Sleeve below.
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/descpage-SLEEV.html
Hope this helped!

Cheers, I'll be sure to buy a couple as I will probably stuff it up at least once :)

At your price range, you could try to find a used Head Microgel Radical Oversize...a forgiving racquet that you could use for quite a while. If you don't find a 5/8" grip, you can still buy it and replace the handle pallet with a 5/8" and build it up to your proper size.

Thanks, I might do that. Any others suggestions for racquets? I would consider myself a fairly strong guy, do I need a heavier racquet?

Also, I'm looking for a racquet for my girlfriend, who is probably as tall as an average man, but not as strong. Could I buy the same racquet for the both of us (just with a small grip for her?), or is it better to get myself a heavier racquet and her a lighter one?

maxwolfie
02-16-2012, 09:49 PM
Any other suggestions?

jonestim
02-16-2012, 10:19 PM
I measure out to a 5 1/16" by that method but use either a 5/8 grip or a 1/2 with overgrip. I would think that a 5/8 with an overgrip would be fine for you.

robbo1970
02-17-2012, 04:04 AM
To the OP,

The rule I follow is to go smaller with the grip and build up with an overgrip or two. So if your budget only offers 4 1/2, you can always build it up.

I only started playing again last year so I have only got a beginners racquet, but I went for one of the lower end Prince models and to be honest, Its really good. Better than I expected and until my game improves, I can't justify getting a so called better racquet. I went for the Prince TT Propel. It weighs in a 290g strung, so is light and easy to manoeavre and it has a forgiving 105 inch head. If you need to go heavier, a few lead strips would do that.

Just a thought for you, based upon what I did.

maxwolfie
02-17-2012, 04:13 PM
Cheers, at this stage we might just get 2 x MicroGel OS's. One with her grip size and the other probably 4 5/8".

eldub20
02-17-2012, 04:34 PM
Cheers, at this stage we might just get 2 x MicroGel OS's. One with her grip size and the other probably 4 5/8".

The MG Radical OS would probably be fine for your girlfriend as well strung with a syn. gut around 55lbs. You would probably need to go 5-7 lbs higher with the same type of string.

I use a 5/8" grip + an overgrip and am just shy of fitting my index finger between my finger tips and the lower part of my thumb when gripping it and it works for me...try it with an overgrip & if you feel it's still too small add a 2nd OG and see how it feels.

Personally, I prefer a handle with a grip & overgrip...if I would need a bigger size, I would build up the handle with duct tape (never on the diagonal bevel to feel more the bevels) and add an overgrip.

Hope it helps!

tata
02-17-2012, 06:55 PM
Maxwolfie - I feel your pain. The aussie stores here hardly stock any 5/8 grips. Fortunately for me my ideal grip size is 5/8 + overgrip to be perfect and comfortable.

At your price range you should look at the sale racquets from the head or prince range on tennis warehouse in a 5/8. But the shipping price will probably just push it over budget. I rekon that if you get a decent racquet that has weight on it, stability shouldn't be an issue. For people with big hands its the twisting probably so if you get a frame with a decent swingweight on it then it should be fine.

I have tried using heat shrink sleeves before on an older frame i used but it really jacked up the weight of my frame. Around 360 grams but it made it very headlight. In the end i resorted to buying a straight 5/8 in a new racquet from TW that i felt i suited me more.

A lot of stores so suggest building the grip up but they dont talk so much about what happens after in terms of weight and balance, and ultimately changing the racquet specs.

Captain Tezuka
02-18-2012, 02:55 AM
Maxwolfie - I feel your pain. The aussie stores here hardly stock any 5/8 grips. Fortunately for me my ideal grip size is 5/8 + overgrip to be perfect and comfortable.

At your price range you should look at the sale racquets from the head or prince range on tennis warehouse in a 5/8. But the shipping price will probably just push it over budget. I rekon that if you get a decent racquet that has weight on it, stability shouldn't be an issue. For people with big hands its the twisting probably so if you get a frame with a decent swingweight on it then it should be fine.

I have tried using heat shrink sleeves before on an older frame i used but it really jacked up the weight of my frame. Around 360 grams but it made it very headlight. In the end i resorted to buying a straight 5/8 in a new racquet from TW that i felt i suited me more.

A lot of stores so suggest building the grip up but they dont talk so much about what happens after in terms of weight and balance, and ultimately changing the racquet specs.

So what would you recommend go smaller grip and bild it up or go what grip fits you best and then do the same thing because most racquets need the extra weight to make it more HL and add weight so that it is generally more stable. Oh btw where in aus are you from?

maxwolfie
02-19-2012, 02:25 AM
Are there any cheaper options under $50?

Al1978
02-19-2012, 06:34 AM
Max,

My advice is to pick a racquet appropriate for your skill level and buy online so you can be assured of getting a proper grip. I have about the same size hands as you, and I use a 4 5/8 with an overgrip. It's not ideal, but adequate. But a 4 1/2 grip is unusable for me, and I think it would be for you too. Heat shrink sleeves dramatically alter feel, weight and balance, so I wouldn't recommend them.

maxwolfie
02-19-2012, 12:12 PM
Thanks, so cheaper options at the TW store? I was original hoping to spend $50-$60, and I know my partner wants to spend no more than that.

qwanta
02-19-2012, 12:30 PM
A 4 1/2" grip on it's own is definitely too small I think, I certainly cannot fit my index finger in, regardless of how I hold it.

I wouldn't worry about fitting the index in. I'm assuming you mean there should be space left over to fit your finger in once you've wrapped your hand around the grip, but I don't think this rule of thumb is valid anymore. Many players with a heavy topspin game tend to favor smaller grips - Nadal has a 4.25 (L2) and Federer a 4.5 (L4) even though he has relatively large hands.

I have just changed to a 4.25 grip after playing for a year with 4.5 (which is my "official finger measurement), and what a difference it makes - I find it so much easier to whip the racquet around and especially volley, even though the racquet is identical to what I used to use except for the grip.

So don't be afraid to at least try a smaller size grip, and let your game decide what you need - you may have to go through a few racquets before you get there. Myself, I regret not having experimented more with grip size to begin with, instead of doing a measurement on my hand and just sticking with that grip size.

maxwolfie
02-19-2012, 02:40 PM
Cheers, so any other cheaper suggestions?

maxwolfie
02-22-2012, 09:56 PM
Well, I ended up buying a Head Microgel Extreme Team (http://www.prellitennis.com.au/Specials/All-Specials/Head-Microgel-Extreme-Team/0/265/productview.aspx) (not sure of year?) for me, and a Wilson N Hope Hybrid (http://www.racquetworks.com.au/index.php?page=shop.product_details&category_id=16&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=247&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=86&vmcchk=1&Itemid=86) (current model) for her.