Grip size of 4 5/8 vs. 4 1/2 or 4 3/8-Smaller Better?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Japanese Maple, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. Japanese Maple

    Japanese Maple Semi-Pro

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    Normally play with a 4 5/8 grip with tourna grip. I've been reading that I might want to experiment going with a smaller grip-I think Federer and Nadal play with a 4 3/8 grip with an overgrip. Is going to a smaller grip all about generating racquet speed and wrist snap for extra velocity? Should I go first to 4 1/2 or drop down to 4 3/8 using tourna grip for both. Thanks for your input.
     
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  2. HoVa

    HoVa Rookie

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    Federer and Nadal would tell you to play with what works best for you.

    Federer would also tell your family to "keep quiet".

    I have played with 4 5/8 and 4 3/8 and I can say that smaller grip lets whip the ball a little easier.
     
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  3. Matt21

    Matt21 Semi-Pro

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    If you like to hit the ball flat, I think the bigger grip is better. Also, bigger grips (for me) tend to make volleying easier. If you're purely a baseliner, try for the smaller grip. If you're an S&V'er, I'd say go for the larger grip size.
     
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  4. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    I've got an odd collection of racquets and my typical grip size has been 4 5/8" plus an overgrip, but a few of the frames that I've accumulated came with smaller grips through trades, etc. Can't say that any of the 4 1/2" grips have bugged me and that's usually the case with the 4 3/8" grips, too, but here and there the small ones can be lacking. The bevels can be a bit harder to feel well and I'll occasionally use too much grip pressure with those smaller ones. It hasn't occurred to me though, that I could swing faster with the smaller grip size.

    If you want to experiment, I'd say to try out a 4 1/2" grip and see what happens - if it's no good for you, you could just put one of those heat shrink sleeves on it to build it up to your size (I've tried them and I think they work great).
     
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  5. m1stuhxsp4rk5

    m1stuhxsp4rk5 Professional

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    also a smaller grip is less stable if you use your right grip size the racket twists alot less from my experience
     
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  6. Japanese Maple

    Japanese Maple Semi-Pro

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    Good advice-I will go with a 4 1/2 size with an over grip. I think with a bigger grip your wrist is not as flexible to really snap the racquet particularly on serves and fh. A smaller grip gives you more wrist action I think to really accelerate the racquet. I can always increase grip size if my racquet is twisting, especially on volleys!
     
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  7. iplaybetter

    iplaybetter Hall of Fame

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    the best size is the size that feels right for you, most say ass small as you can go, but the right size will be the most comfortable and yield the fewest problems
     
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  8. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    A factor to consider (or not, depending on the sensitivity of your arm) is that you can resist the twisting of a mishit better with a larger grip (torque = force * radius); there is less twisting force on your arm. Larger grip is better for preventing tennis elbow and other ailments.
     
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  9. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    #9
  10. DonBot

    DonBot Semi-Pro

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    ^^^^^^^^^^^^
    By that system I am way beyond a 4 5/8, but I usually use a 4 3/8 with overgrip. My fingers hit my palm, but I never had a problem with it. I have never seen a tennis racquet that would allow me to get an index finger between the fingers of the right hand and the palm. My hands are not particularly large either, they are slighly stubby but I am 6'4 so they are a little bit longer than the average Joe but no where near as long as some of my friends who are 6'1+
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2008
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  11. Japanese Maple

    Japanese Maple Semi-Pro

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    DonBot-with a smaller grip size what do you feel are the advantages for your game vs. the bigger 4 5/8-why do you prefer 4 3/8 with an overgrip?
     
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  12. 2handsbothsides

    2handsbothsides Semi-Pro

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    My hand measures out to over 4 7/8” and I am 6' 0'' tall. When I heard years ago that Sampras slowly started to increase grip size a little at a time and eventually ending up at 4 7/8, I tried the same thing.

    If you try to build up too quickly, you loose racquet head speed. After a few hitting sessions you get use to it, speed comes back but with improved stability. It definitely improved my game. I can never go back to smaller grip sizes.

    Each week I added one layer of masking tape which adds about 1/32 for each layer. I cut the tape length wise on each bevel to preserve the nice sharp bevel feel. Once you add over 5 or 6 tape layers or about 1.5 grip sizes its best to pull off the tape and use thin balsa wood to keep the weight down and preserve a solid and sharp feel.

    I also remove equal amounts of lead from the handle when adding to the grip or the added weight and more head light balance can really throw off your stroke. That’s why it’s always a good idea to start out with a racquet that requires weight in both the handle and head to give you room to customize.
     
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  13. jjordache

    jjordache Rookie

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    Here's my story about the proper grip size.
    For a long while I went with this measurement and used only a 4 5/8 grip size.
    With the ruler method I measure precisely 4 5/8 and there's a slightly smaller gap between my fingers and palm than what's shown in this picture.
    So I never doubted that my best grip size is L5.

    But after recently demoing some 4 1/2 racquets I realized that in many instances I'm more comfortable with one size smaller. My fingers almost touch the palm with this grip size and at first it was very awkward because it felt a lot smaller that what I was used to, event though it's only one size down.

    This is what I found:
    - forehands and volleys are slightly better with the larger grip before my arm/wrist gets tired; that said, I find it easier with the smaller size to have a proper laid back wrist during the forehand windup;
    - backhands (1h) are way better with the smaller grip;
    - on serve is a tie but most probably because I'm an awful server and I'm messing around a lot with the form trying to get it right.
    - with the smaller size sometimes I grip too tight in order to avoid twisting... a really tacky overgrip helps with this.
    - with the larger grip after I get tired the wrist movement and mobility seem somehow affected, like my wrist is getting lazy.

    So in my case, I think I'm somewhere between L4 and L5. The two i.Prestiges I recently acquired are 4 1/2 and I'm trying to build it up a bit by using a leather grip and overgrip.
    Anything smaller than 4 1/2 feels really bad for me and it's noticeable at every stroke.

    ... one more thing... I think ideally one should try 2, maybe even 3, different grip sizes for a significant period of time before committing to one size for the long run.
    The grip size guidelines, are just that, guidelines, and shouldn't be taken ad litteram IMHO.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2008
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  14. Tennisguy777

    Tennisguy777 Professional

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    ^^^^^Excellent you read my mind and transcribed its contents.
     
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  15. vwfye

    vwfye Semi-Pro

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    thus my rackets... 4 5/8 for my singles racket where i have t o stay back a bit more and 5.0 for my double racket where i live at the net.
     
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