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View Full Version : Big grip vs small grip, did you ever change?


Top Jimmy
10-16-2012, 08:58 AM
So all those years when i was a kid I got brainwashed to use the biggest grip size possible that wasn't TOO big. 4 1/2's, 4 5/8's, etc. Then the small grip fad seemed to become popular in the last decade and finally I tried a 4 1/4 and fell in love (I was in my 30's after not playing for many years.)

Did anyone else make the change later in their tennis life?

I can't believe i used those larger grip sizes all those years, almost makes me mad.

sepidoel
10-16-2012, 09:04 AM
TW has a good article about how to determine your grip size: http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/LC/Gripsize.html

After I read that I moved from 4 1/4 to 4 3/8 and happy with it. with 4 1/4 my racquet twisted more often and hurt my elbow.

Top Jimmy
10-16-2012, 09:06 AM
TW has a good article about how to determine your grip size: http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/LC/Gripsize.html

After I read that I moved from 4 1/4 to 4 3/8 and happy with it. with 4 1/4 my racquet twisted more often and hurt my elbow.

I use a thin overgrip so I guess I'm probably close to a 3/8's finished product.

sepidoel
10-16-2012, 09:25 AM
Well, people say that the article is for guidance, but as long as you're happy with your grip now it should be fine.

Nostradamus
10-16-2012, 09:51 AM
So all those years when i was a kid I got brainwashed to use the biggest grip size possible that wasn't TOO big. 4 1/2's, 4 5/8's, etc. Then the small grip fad seemed to become popular in the last decade and finally I tried a 4 1/4 and fell in love (I was in my 30's after not playing for many years.)

Did anyone else make the change later in their tennis life?

I can't believe i used those larger grip sizes all those years, almost makes me mad.

You say you are mad. what is it that you loved about smaller grip size and what is it about bigger grip size that you regret using it for all those years ?

mykoh
10-16-2012, 09:54 AM
small grip -> big grip for me.

the small grip caused the racquet to twist in my hand and i ended up gripping it too hard.

Top Jimmy
10-16-2012, 09:58 AM
You say you are mad. what is it that you loved about smaller grip size and what is it about bigger grip size that you regret using it for all those years ?

My stokes feel more fluid and natural now, forehand grip feels better using a smaller grip.

Mad for example how coaches in little league baseball tell kids to "keep that elbow up" when it's like the worst thing for kids to do. Idiots repeating the same mantra about grip sizes when they probably didn't know what they are talking about, even teaching professionals.

eleventeenth street
10-16-2012, 10:03 AM
i went from 1/4 to 3/8 and now play with 1/2

LeeD
10-16-2012, 11:53 AM
I've stuck with 5/8th since 1974.
Most of my current friends play with tiny grips, play much more often than me, are usually bigger and stronger. I hit the fastest serve, the most spin second serves, usually the hardest forehands, and one of the better volleys.
Even friends from the '70's, who switched to smaller grips, no change in their games.

veloduffer
10-16-2012, 12:15 PM
I've used a 4 1/2 for a long time but got a 4 3/8 racket in a forum classified buy. I like the feel of the smaller grip - it feels like you can swing faster because you can hold the racquet a bit more loosely (less arm tension). My pro said you should err on the smaller side and told me that many of the pros use small grips.

lstewart
10-16-2012, 12:16 PM
I toned down some over the years, primarily due to market issues. I used a 5/8 in the old days, but had a period where i was getting 3/4's and building them up! Eventually weaned myself to 1/2's since i was getting free rackets, and that was what they were sending me. Now I buy 3/8 because they is what is available, and what is easier to sell if I want to get rid of them. I usually put 3 wraps of tournagrip on, so they are probably still about a 5/8. This works, although none of my frames feel the same size the grips are all a little different. I think the main reason for the change is the change in the game... all the spin, change in grips (western, 2-hand BH, poly strings, etc). I have fairly classic strokes, eastern forehand, one hand BH, so I don't get much from smaller grips. I also have a chronically bad wrist, so hitting with alot of wrist action is not healthy for me. I read that using a western grip makes the smaller grip feel more natural, so I guess it is all what feels right and works for you.

ArliHawk
10-16-2012, 12:17 PM
4 3/8s here. I tried 4 1/4, but the racquet just seemed to twist in my hand too much.

Broly4
10-16-2012, 12:50 PM
Depends on your forehand grip, if western, your grip size should be smaller than the one suggested by those useless grip charts.
Tour pros are bigger than 15 years ago, but the average of their grip size is 1 size smaller.

LeeD
10-16-2012, 02:26 PM
I thought it was established here a while ago that grip size is dependent on hand size, personal preference, grip used, and the STYLE of play we employ, whether net or baseline?
A heavy racket with a small grip just plows thru the ball, no twist. But try volleying off a hard hit ball, and it's a different story. All that weight helps to counteract the incoming ball, but some quickness is lost, quickness you might not afford to lose if you're a normal rec player.

pkshooter
10-16-2012, 03:10 PM
You know what they say about a big grip.

PBODY99
10-16-2012, 03:16 PM
I have used a 3/8 for over 30 years.

LeeD
10-16-2012, 03:22 PM
The reason I never changed.
I play S/V, favor net play over baseline.
I can hit a big enough serve. I hate my racket twisting in my hand when I return big serves. For me, a bigger grip promotes a looser grip.
I"m blind as a bat, and I mishit constantly.

OHBH
10-16-2012, 04:19 PM
I have actually gone up in gripsize recently, the final product with overgrip included is about 4 7/8ths. Since making the change I have noticed some definite improvement with my return of serve, second serve, and netgame. Also made it a little easier to flatten the ball out but a little tougher to really crank the topspin. Something more folks should try imo. I feel the tiny grip is something that should be reversed for the pros as they are so precise already that they do not need the added stability.

mctennis
10-16-2012, 10:06 PM
You know what they say about a big grip.

Yeah, it makes it a b1tch to find used racquets. I am sure that is what you meant.

I use a 5/8" grip now and I use to use a 1/2" for 15+ years. I started having TE issues. I rested my arm for a few months. Picked up the 1/2" grip racquet for a few games and felt that "ache" again. I switched to a 5/8" grip racquet I had in my bag to finish the match. Same racquet and string set up just in a 5/8" size and the TE went away. I haven't had any more TE issues since then.

tata
10-16-2012, 11:11 PM
Currently use 5/8. Used to use 1/2 but the frame twisted so much in my hand. I can relax my grip more and hit more fluidly using 5/8.

Don't Let It Bounce
10-16-2012, 11:52 PM
The reason I never changed.
I play S/V, favor net play over baseline.
I can hit a big enough serve. I hate my racket twisting in my hand when I return big serves. For me, a bigger grip promotes a looser grip.
I"m blind as a bat, and I mishit constantly.I always thought my mother was joking when she said I had a twin brother that she gave up for adoption...

0d1n
10-17-2012, 03:46 AM
Currently use 5/8. Used to use 1/2 but the frame twisted so much in my hand. I can relax my grip more and hit more fluidly using 5/8.

Same here, but I moved from 3/8 to 1/2. The "measurement" says I'm a 1/2 as well.

The reason I never changed.
I play S/V, favor net play over baseline.
I can hit a big enough serve. I hate my racket twisting in my hand when I return big serves. For me, a bigger grip promotes a looser grip.
I"m blind as a bat, and I mishit constantly.

Couldn't agree more. To me it is tough to understand people who say that a SMALLER grip than their measured grip size promotes holding the racquet loosely and hence hitting more relaxed strokes.
Like you, I've experienced the contrary. Smaller grips tend to feel less secure and the feeling of the racquet twisting in my hand makes me try to grip harder...not looser.

To me a 3/8 wilson/dunlop grip feels great initially with a medium/thick overgrip on top, but as soon as compression appears on the base grip...and if I use the overgrip for a couple of hits...it starts feeling too small.
4 1/2 feels a bit big the first time out after I change the base grip and overgrip, but feels great after it's "settled".
Since I'm not like the pros who switch their overgrips every 5-6 games...and their base grip is probably fresh all time + they have custom sized molded handles...I prefer to use 4 1/2 which feels great a bigger percentage of the time I play.
If I would be a pro and/or had unlimited resources I would probably custom mold something in between 3/8 and 1/2, but I'm not ...and 1/2 will do great in this lifetime.

Irvin
10-17-2012, 03:51 AM
Some pros use a smaller grip and some have an special made angled grip wider at the butt end to make it easier to hold.

Sreeram
10-17-2012, 06:47 AM
There are 2 kinds of people here, those with oldern style stokes with less spin prefer Bigger grip and those with more Topspin game prefer smaller grip. It is proven that smaller grip will give you more wrist movement. I am a wristy player and I moved down from 4 1/2 (which is my perfect size) to 4 3/8.

treblings
10-17-2012, 10:51 AM
There are 2 kinds of people here, those with oldern style stokes with less spin prefer Bigger grip and those with more Topspin game prefer smaller grip. It is proven that smaller grip will give you more wrist movement. I am a wristy player and I moved down from 4 1/2 (which is my perfect size) to 4 3/8.

than there is the third kind, like myself, who change grip sizes regularly.
my main racquets are 3/8 at the moment, but i also play a 5/8
reason for this odd behavior: i buy a lot of used rackets and they come in different grip sizes. i agree with LeeD though. the 5/8 plays better in doubles, serving and volleying just feels better. also i made that one a bit more head light

officerdibble
10-17-2012, 11:26 AM
Over the years from when I started playing tennis (as an adult) I have had grip sizes ranging from an 8 (!) to a 3.

In some cases this was on the same frame by changing grip pallets. Here's what I learned:

Changing the grip size messes with the balance of the racket (obvious I know, but worth thinking about).
I found big grips good for serving - I suspect because you don't overgrip the racket and your arm stays looser as a result.
Going too small will cause injury: for me a size four with a thin overgrip is as small as I can go. The period I played with a size three gave me major elbow problems.
Different manufacturers' shapes translate into a different feel of size for the same nominal grip size.
Getting the right grip size and shape is, for me at least, hugely important and one of the reasons I like Angell custom rackets - I can get the spec I want with the grip I need!


Experiment with caution!

db10s
10-17-2012, 11:37 AM
Small to giant to medium to small medium. I'm back to buying small grips because I can always make it bigger. If you have a racket with a small grip and you want a bigger grip, but with the bevels still well defined, put duct tape on each one of the flat sides to keep the bevels.

LeeD
10-17-2012, 11:44 AM
Sreeram, I use a strong SW, WW finish, mostly open stance forehands, and use a 5/8 grip, some of my rackets with an overgrip. And really long strokes, but also a 1hbh, which favors bigger grips.
My bud, who's 2" taller than my 5'11", and 75lbs heavier, using Aussie grip forehands and ebh one handed, uses 4 1/2's. He's so old school he looks awkward hitting head high groundies! And he can't volley worth beans, using a grip just barely off continental for most of his shots, except his topspin 1hbh.
Nothing is set in stone, your grip, your play tendencies, or our ideas.

0d1n
10-17-2012, 11:25 PM
There are 2 kinds of people here, those with oldern style stokes with less spin prefer Bigger grip and those with more Topspin game prefer smaller grip. It is proven that smaller grip will give you more wrist movement. I am a wristy player and I moved down from 4 1/2 (which is my perfect size) to 4 3/8.

I play exclusively on clay during the summer and spin is my friend. I don't have an extreme grip for the "modern" game...something semi-western-ish...because I like the flexibility of it, but I do like and need to hit with topspin given the surface I mostly play on.
Even among the pros there are plenty who hit huge spin but use a bigger grip. Somebody like Gaudio is shorter than me and he used a 4 1/2.
The only reason people associate big spin hitting with small grips, is Nadal...just like people thinking "the aeropro drive is the most spin friendly racquet on the market", when I've hit at least five racquets that have given me more spin. Admittedly, this is a personal thing, but I'm convinced it's personal for everybody (i.e. a racquet with the most suitable specs for a player will give him "the most" spin) and the Aeropro is not really my cup of tea.
The racquet that provided me with most loop and "dip" in my shots was a vantage 100 strung with full poly. I have since moved on to the 95, because I much prefer serving with it, and the spin is plenty anyway.

WhereIsMacMac
10-18-2012, 12:30 AM
Big grip, small grip. I say whatever's comfortable.

Sreeram
10-18-2012, 02:51 AM
There are 2 kinds of people here, those with oldern style stokes with less spin prefer Bigger grip and those with more Topspin game prefer smaller grip. It is proven that smaller grip will give you more wrist movement. I am a wristy player and I moved down from 4 1/2 (which is my perfect size) to 4 3/8.


By Bigger grip I mean the grip that is prescribed for your palm size or bigger than that. If you hand is big then 5/8 even will be small to you.

Smaller grip I mean the grip that is smaller than the one prescribed for you. In my post I did not mean 4 3/8 is always small, no it could be big for a guy with smaller hands.
In short if you use a grip size that is smaller than the one prescribed for you by traditional methods then your wrist movement will be enhanced and there by increasing topspin. It does not mean that those who play with bigger than recommended size will not get topspin, more wrist action is an enhancement and not the only factor.

ShiroRm
10-18-2012, 07:33 AM
I went from 4 1/2 to 4 1/4 + a leather grip and an overgrip, recently
I'm quicker to adjust the racquet position in my hand during play now and I haven't any problem with racquet's stability thanks to the typical "rectangular" Head grip shape

Rabbit
10-18-2012, 07:46 AM
I don't know about old strokes versus new strokes, but I've moved from a 4 1/2 to a 4 1/4 as well. I haven't found anything but more spin. I am old enough to have grown up playing with wood.

GenesisTurbo
10-18-2012, 07:56 AM
imo in all depends on the racket, some brands run bigger then others and your preference.
my main grip is #3, 4 3/8 HEAD leather + Wilson Pro Overgrip
but i can also play as good with a #4, 4 1/2 leather and og.