has anyone gone from 4 1/2 to 4 3/8?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by rincode, Mar 10, 2012.

  1. rincode

    rincode New User

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Messages:
    50
    Hey guys, I'm a 4.5 player and I've been playing tennis for about 8 years now. I'm currently using the Wilson six-one tour 90 in 4 1/2 and have been for the past 5 years or so. I'm considering moving down to 4 3/8 and was wondering if anyone else has done this and can offer some insight. Did you like it more? What were the effects on your balls from going down to a smaller grip? Do you like it better? Did you go back to 4 1/2? If you could also include your ntrp that'd be great! Thanks guys!
     
    #1
  2. scotus

    scotus Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2005
    Messages:
    7,706
    I am a 4.5 as well.

    I started out with L5 grip and played with L4 for many years. Moving down to L3 was a very easy transition.

    It can help you enhance your racket head speed and spin if you have a relaxed grip, since the smaller handle will help you loosen up the grip even more.

    But if you tend to grip it tight (in an effort to keep stability or whatever), then a smaller grip would fatigue your arm much quicker.

    L3 is the new L4. You will have a much easier time buying/selling used racquets with L3 grip.
     
    #2
  3. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2004
    Messages:
    1,592
    Location:
    Kona, Hawaii
    Aloha rincode,

    I have a pair of Prince Tour Diablo Mids with 4 1/2 grips.

    I recently cracked the frame on one of them.

    When I bought the replacement, I opted to go with the 4 3/8 since that is the only size my pro shop could get for me. Interestingly though, I actually like it more than the 4 1/2.

    The smaller grip, albeit not that much smaller than the 4 1/2, tends to help me whip the racquet easier and impart more spin on the ball.

    Mahalo,
    eagle

    Tennis in Hawaii: http://www.tennisinhawaii.com
    Gonna Love It Tennis: http://www.gonnalove-it.com/tennis
    Keohi Tennis: http://www.keohi.com/tennis
     
    #3
  4. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    35,755
    I did. My correct size is a half according to the finger method, the measurement method, and the cutout method, and was confirmed by two stringing shops.

    But I switched to a 3/8 because it gave me more control over the swing of the racket and for touch.
     
    #4
  5. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2010
    Messages:
    2,259
    Location:
    UK
    Not sure, I'll check......theyre fine.

    I went from a 4 3/8 to a 4 1/4, so same direction and found I felt I had more control and manouvrability.

    But I have just tried an older heavier, smaller headed racket and I found going up to a 4 1/2 felt much better. Gave me more stability and made my strokes less 'wristy'.

    I think its what feels best for you. What suits one doesnt always suit another. At least by going down a grip size you always have that option to build it up if you need to.
     
    #5
  6. dnj30

    dnj30 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    432
    i also went down a size, 1/2 to 3/8 about 6 months ago. My corect size is 4 1/2 by the usual measuring method. I like it better. i have a fw grip and use a lot of spin. Smaller grip seems to make it easier to whip the racket. i think the biggest improvement i noticed was in serving. Feels easier to pronate on a flat serve, or really snap it on a kicker.
     
    #6
  7. sargeinaz

    sargeinaz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,541
    I did and tried it for a while. I use an eastern grip and like to come to net so I really didn't like it. I didn't as comfortable on volleys, like the racket would twist more. In general I just feel like my grip is not as stable and solid. I went back to 4 1/2 and haven't considered anything else since. My advice would be to demo a 4 3/8 grip before you buy it.
     
    #7
  8. OldFedIsOld

    OldFedIsOld Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2011
    Messages:
    856
    Location:
    2D plane of existence
    I went from 4 1/2 to 3/8 and saw that my serves and volleys weren't as good as before, but I did improve my baseline shots.
     
    #8
  9. shissncg

    shissncg Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2004
    Messages:
    137
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    Also a 4.5. Went from a 4 to a 3 about 11 years ago when the n6.1 debuted. It was an easy transition for me. I noticed a bit of a difference on off center hits, the racquet would spin a bit more in my hand. As for benefits, I think that I have slightly better feel with the smaller grip.
     
    #9
  10. alidisperanza

    alidisperanza Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,892
    Location:
    The fishy looking thing that sticks off the East C
    You'll find that you'll have a little more access to spin but at the same time more instability on heavy shots. It's not terribly noticeable but the most direct evidence you'll find is that your overgrips will rip up faster as well as your hands because the racquet grip spins easier in your hand. Otherwise, it's not a tough transition-- the two grips are very close and since you're comfortable with the 1/2, it's no problem.
     
    #10
  11. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,222
    As I moved from a wood to a mid graphite then to an oversize, my grip size went from a 9/16 to a 3/8. The reduction allowed me to keep the feel as I moved up in size and change of material.
     
    #11
  12. forthegame

    forthegame Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Messages:
    3,495
    Location:
    Intercontinental
    TBH, I switch between them all the time. Some of my raqs are 4 1/2, others are 4 3/8.
     
    #12
  13. dmcb101

    dmcb101 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2009
    Messages:
    578
    I will second what most are saying about going down in grip size. I prefer it much more than the 1/2's
     
    #13
  14. prjacobs

    prjacobs Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,344
    I used to play with a 1/2 grip and I noticed I always enjoyed playing with demo frames, which came with 3/8 grips from my local shop. And given the trend to downsize grips for additional spin, I bought a 3/8 frame and I've never gone back to 1/2. Hey, life is short, give it a shot :).
     
    #14
  15. Bmr

    Bmr Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Messages:
    304
    I'm a 4.5 also and have been playing with a 4 1/2 for most of my life. I have used 3/8 racquets also. I like both for different reasons. The 1/2 seems to have better stability when hitting serves and groundstrokes, but the 3/8 gives better feel and you can produce more spin. I'm a big fan of the Gamma hi-tech grips, which are fairly thick..so I think from now on i'll be buying 4 3/8 racquets and they will be in between 3/8 and 1/2, which is ideal for me. I was playing a bit yesterday with a 1/2 that had a small grip and I noticed that the racquet was definitely a little more unstable in my hand when hitting groundstrokes, but that could have been from the difference in the type of grip.
     
    #15
  16. dnj30

    dnj30 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    Messages:
    432
    It seems to me that the conventional way of measuring grip size is becoming obsolete. Most players you see now are using grips at least a size smaller than what would be considered correct based on the way size is measured by most people.
     
    #16
  17. lstewart

    lstewart Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    346
    Timely topic for me. I'm a 4.5 and played college tennis from 1976-1980. Back then the larger grips were the norm. Believe it or not, I used to buy a 4 3/4 and put an extra leather grip on it! My hands are not large, just got used to big grips. Moved back down to 5/8 for years. Eventally switched to 1/2 when I was receiving free rackets and that was what they sent. Last few years I have been getting 3/8 and then using 3 sets of tournagrip. Just yesterday stripped all 4 frames down to just one wrap of tournagrip. As others have said, your shots will be more wristy with the smaller grips. I think the main issue though is whatever you are used to. I think a little time with any size and you will generally start feeling like that is the "normal" size and feel for you.
     
    #17
  18. Jack Romeo

    Jack Romeo Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2004
    Messages:
    992
    i went down from my head lm and fxp instincts with grip size 4 to my current yonex sfit1 grip size 3. maybe because yonex has a different grip shape, i didn't feel such a difference in size between the two. i only felt the difference in shape. this past weekend, i demoed the head youtek ig speed 300, youtek ig instinct and youtek ig radical mp, all in grip size 3. somehow, the more rectangular head grip shape feels better for me when the grip size is 4. the head grip size 3 feels great for topspin groundstrokes but not so much for volleys, imho. but a head grip size 4 feels good no matter what stroke i'm playing, at least for me.
     
    #18
  19. 0d1n

    0d1n Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    3,728
    Location:
    Cluj-Napoca, Romania
    Same here. I went back to #4 (4 1/2).
    To the OP, if in doubt and if you use a leather grip, buy 4 1/2 and use TW thin leather.
    If you like synthetics buy 4 1/2 and use Babolat Skin Feel grip.
    If you like more cushion instead of feel...buy 4 3/8 and a thick synthetic grip (not into those so others can advise there). Be aware that thick synthetic grips shrink more with usage so you might feel differences between freshly installed grips and "old and used" ones.
    Regardless, those options will put you "in between" 3/8 and 1/2...which might suit you best.
     
    #19
  20. rincode

    rincode New User

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Messages:
    50
    Thanks for all the replies guys! I've always known that my hand size requires a 4 1/2 grip and it feels fine cuz its what I've played with all this time, but I've noticed that everyone's using a smaller than suitable grip. Even in pros cases, it seems like a lot of them go for 3/8. I can't imagine their hands are smaller than mine so. I'm gonna be ordering a couple new racquets from Wilson and was just considering a grip change. I think I'll try out the 3/8. Even if I don't like it, I have 8 other racquets and can always sell the 3/8 to buy 1/2. I've been trying to change my swing style a bit. I tend to grip tightly to get more stability, but am trying to loosen up to get more racquet head speed. Also trying out lower tensions under 50 as well. I keep wanting to go back to my original setup and style, but I think I need to take the risk, give it more time, and see. Anywho, thanks for the replies!
     
    #20
  21. 0d1n

    0d1n Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    3,728
    Location:
    Cluj-Napoca, Romania
    IMO if you grip too tightly "to get more stability" then going smaller is a bad option.
    I grip too tightly if my grip size is too small (i.e. I grip too tightly with 3/8 but relax more with 1/2 because the bigger grip feels inherently more stable).
     
    #21
  22. ericsson

    ericsson Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    3,681
    Location:
    Land of beer and chocolate
    I agree, i'm in the same league.
    Too small grip causes blisters for me...
     
    #22
  23. lstewart

    lstewart Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    346
    Another factor to consider for the smaller grip is wrist problems if someone has any issues. I've had a broken wrist and it now is always bothersome. I tried taking my built up 4 3/8 back down to the actual size. Lasted one workout, wrist was hurting due to the extra wrist action in the shots. Went home last night and built them all back up. Just have to live with less spin to create less stress on the joint.
     
    #23
  24. bc-05

    bc-05 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Messages:
    648
    weird.. i started with 4 1/4.. when i was in my kids days.. then switched to 4 3/8's.. then for some reason these days i stick with 4 3/8s with 2 overgrips.. it kind of feels like a 4 1/2 with an overgrip.. but for some reason my brain keeps telling me to just buy 4 3/8s gripped racquet and add 2 overgrips just in case i wanted to go down a size..

    but for 5 yrs now i can't play with 4 3/8s with 1 overgrip.. just feels too small :(..

    i guess i just have big hands.. u know what they say :p
     
    #24
  25. rincode

    rincode New User

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    Messages:
    50
    Hmm didn't think about it like that... Interesting point you bring up. Well, I guess I'll just order one and see how it is.
     
    #25
  26. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2004
    Messages:
    3,327
    Location:
    Syd, Oz
    +1

    Head handle shape I am a 4 (4 1/2)
    Other (eg. Wilson) I am a 3 (4 3/8)
     
    #26
  27. canadad

    canadad Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Messages:
    461
    I used 4 1/2 for years and years. I switched to 4 3/8 a couple of years ago and it was great. My hands used to cramp a little and I had problems with twisting, but no more. I may even make a permanent switch to 4 1/4 as I am experimenting currently with this size. I suspect there are a lot of people that are using grips too large for their hands, but perhaps that's what is comfortable for them. I will never go up past 4 3/8.
     
    #27
  28. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    8,971
    I used 4 5/8s for decades and went down to 4 1/2 last summer (the racquets I wanted were available in 4 1/2) and then went down to 4 3/8 last month. I used the 4 1/2 with two overgrips as opposed to the 4 5/8s with one overgrip. I use the 4 3/8 with two overgrips too. So these are a bit bigger than the indicated size but the change in grip size for me was almost two full grip sizes. I feel perfectly comfortable with 4 3/8 now. The changes were driven by the availability of racquets - I didn't ever think that I would be playing with a 4 3/8.
     
    #28
  29. Praetorian

    Praetorian Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
    Messages:
    1,208
    By traditional measuring means, I'd being a 4 3/4, however, finding a racket in that size is pretty much impossible, so for most of my life I've used 4 5/8. One day I tried a 4 1/2, and found it to be a little less stable in my hand, but I could whip the racket a whole lot more, so that little bit of instability was a more than fair trade-off. When I tried a 4 3/8, it all went down hill. For me, no increase in "whippiness", and stability was no where to be found. I use a SW forehand and a one-handed backhand if that helps.
     
    #29
  30. movdqa

    movdqa Legend

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    8,971
    The downside for me on going down in grip sizes was a little more instability on the backhand side. But my swingweights went up to overcome that instability.
     
    #30
  31. Chanto

    Chanto Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    188
    Location:
    Methuen, MA
    For one year, I played with 4 1/4. Then I switched to 4 1/2 for another year. This year, I'm playing with 4 3/8. I adjusted after the first shot with each set of racquets, didn't notice a thing.
     
    #31

Share This Page