Junior racquet grip sizes

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by tennisdad65, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    I think that the grip sizes on the junior racquets are too big for kids. My 8 yr old son uses Prokennex 65 (25.6 inch) and 67 (26.35), which only come with 4 inch grips. They do not provide an option for 3-1/2, 3-5/8, 3-3/4, 3-7/8 etc..

    Based on his feedback, I have to shave the grips down to 3.75 for him to be comfortable. We spend ~80% of practice time on serve/volleys/half volleys/overheads/approaches etc.. i.e net game. On the baseline he seems OK with a 4 inch grip.

    What are your experiences with your kids racquets? Do the babolats, wilson's etc.. provide smaller grips on 26 inch racquets?
     
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  2. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    I haven't seen any "real" junior (25"/26") or adult rackets in anything less than a 4. Only thing I've seen smaller are "toys". Unless your son has extremely small hands, he should be OK with a 4, no? If not, try this: take the stock grip off of the Pro Kennex and use two Tourna grips. This will shave about a half size off of the 4. The Pro Kennex rackets are quite flexible and if you are using a soft string at a low tension, doing this should not effect the comfort/shock of the racket much at all. In fact, I did this with my son when he was 7 on a Prince Ozone Tour 26" and feeling the bevels a little more helped him in learning/finding correct grips for shots.
     
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  3. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    He is fairly tall for his age, but I have not compared his hands with other kids. He is OK with a 4 from the baseline, but for hard volleys and sometimes serves, I notice he has a problem with the stock grip.

    I actually take out the stock grip, shave the grip down a bit, and re-grip with one over grip only. I have him using full natural gut at 40-45 lbs on the flexible PK racquet (RA ~ 55), so shock is not an issue, especially with the green balls.
     
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  4. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    Dad, just let him play with the 4 inch and play through it. You don't want to get it into his head that this has to feel just right and that has to be just right. That can manifest itself down the line in blaming the equipment, the weather, etc. That "feedback" at that young an age can come back in other forms when they get older. Let him struggle a little and tough it out.

    Nadal's uncle used to make sure he had balls of varying bounces, odd racquets, and other hardships. In the end the ability to adjust and get through it will be more important than you shaving the grip down so its perfect.

    Kids adapt fast. My 6.5 year old used a full size since age 5. She did great with ground strokes but I noticed she struggled when we went to lots of volley work. So we went down to a 26 inch frame. Sure the grip is a tad large and her hand gets tired after a while. She takes a little break and toughs it out. Her feedback is that she just wrings her hand out a little and goes back to having fun doing volley drills.

    If your boy becomes a top notched 18, then you can cater more to his equipment. But at this point you want to teach him to adjust and adapt.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2011
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  5. klu375

    klu375 Semi-Pro

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  6. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    thanks for the replies! I have started moving him to a 4" grip. I have one of the 67s where the grip is not shaved down and I made him play with it last night. No complaints from him :)
     
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  7. seminoleG

    seminoleG Semi-Pro

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    Daughter uses Babolat Drize Z Lite, 4" with Skin Feel, and Gamma 2 Overgrip (thinnest) Works Great
    Srings = Kirschbaum Pro line II, 19G, 52#'s Super Thin Strings but easy on the arm, great spin and control. When the Stringer switched her to this setup and took her out to serve I would have never believed how equipment can allow a kids natrual swing to flow.

    All of our 6-7-8yo's use this raquet. Coach has a Prince deal but none of the kids like it.

    I paid retail for 1, the other 2 were grip size 1 they replaced the grip with Skin Feel and overgrip ended up a tiny bit smaller than the grip size 0. Got 40% the raquets.

    Drize Z Lite's can be found at great prices.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011
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  8. AlfaAce

    AlfaAce Rookie

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    Sorry to bring up and old post, but I thought it would be better than creating a new one.

    I don't agree with "Nick Bollettierri" ;) above. There's more than just the USMC or "Nadal" method of training a great future tennis player. I believe that proper, quality equipment (and technique) is the foundation for any and every beginner regardless of age. I've seen it in tennis, golf, guitar, etc. Good equipment makes a positive difference.

    But I digress... My 5 1/2 year old son is 45" tall and is really enjoying tennis as well as advancing rather quickly. I want to move him up from a 21" to a 23" racquet, but currently his 21" racquet has a 3 5/8" grip (the smallest grip on the market in a 21" racquet). The smallest grip on a 23" racquet is 3 7/8".

    When I look at his hand on the 3 5/8" grip of his 21" racquet, it is OBVIOUS that the grip is WAY too large. His fingers are practically 2 bevels away from the heel pad of his thumb.

    Method #1... Not "gospel" but... Most adults are told "you should have one finger width between your fingers and heel pad". Why would this advice be any different for a child? Method #2... When I measure his hand (second crease of palm to tip of ring finger) I get 3" exactly... and I wouldn't say he has small hands at all.

    So at a minimum, with his 21" racquet, he is roughly playing a grip size that is 1/2" - 5/8" too large. To put in in another light, that would be like me using a 5" - 5 1/8" grip instead of my 4 1/2" grip. So to move him to a 23" racquet with a minimum sized 3 7/8" grip makes no sense at all.

    So my question is this: Why would EVERY racquet manufacturer neglect such a rudimentary and critical factor?

    I'm not suggesting that the manufacturers start making 21" - 25" racquets each with multiple grip sizes (obviously the economics wouldn't pan out), but I am suggesting that they do a better job researching what sized hands children actually have. Wouldn't be that difficult and it seems quite obvious, basic, and important. After all, children are potential future customers and what better way to get them hooked than by providing them with proper, quality equipment.
     
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