OHB grip size.

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by tigertim, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. tigertim

    tigertim Guest

    I have read on other threads that you need a big grip for a ohb. This is because the thumb is the only part of the hand left on the racket, when you play the shot. Is this a known truth?

    I have of read so many benefits of using a smaller grip size, I don't want to go back up a grip size just to accommodate my ohb and, perhaps, volleys.
     
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  2. Live Wire VS

    Live Wire VS New User

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    What you're describing is an incorrect technique. The left thumb should not be on top of the handle, but rather wrapped around the handle. I personally use the extreme-eastern grip and if the grip is too big, I usually sore my thumb especially if I shank the ball. Grip size is solely up to your preferences of feel.
     
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  3. Rogael Naderer

    Rogael Naderer Semi-Pro

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    #3
  4. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    While the smaller size may furnish you with some benefits, you'd be wise to decide that for yourself. Grip size is very much about the subjective issue of feel - you need to find what feels and works best for your needs.
     
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  5. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    Basically, the more you use your wrist, the smaller the grip, and visa versa. OHBHs are usually not hit with wrist, if you want any consistency.
     
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  6. tigertim

    tigertim Guest

    I have read on here that the thumb is the only part of the hand on the racket, when you play the stroke. So, it is necessary to use a larger grip for a ohb Can anyone confirm this?
     
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  7. Winners or Errors

    Winners or Errors Hall of Fame

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    What you've read is incorrect. You are still gripping the racquet when hitting a OHBH. How on earth could you hit the shot without your fingers holding on to the racquet?

    I do hit a OHBH, and I do tend to find larger grips more useful, but mostly because I get too wristy with smaller grips. I find the grip size important for forehand and volleys; my backhand has nothing to do with my choice of grip size.
     
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  8. tigertim

    tigertim Guest

    To qoute something I found searching on here: "It's easier to hit a one-handed backhand with a larger grip because it gives your thumb more real estate on the grip which is the only part of your hand that's behind the grip when you hit one-handed backhands"

    Do you opt for smaller or larger grip, Winners or Errors?
     
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  9. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Well that issue of the thumb being "behind the grip" is sort of correct in technical terms, but that's only useful if the player is physically using his/her hand to leverage the racquet around through the ball. That's absolutely something to avoid if you're building a good one-hander.

    The racquet should "release" or swing past the gripping hand due to momentum, not from hand or wrist leverage. I like my grip to be the "right size" for me so that I can naturally feel the bevels and get a correct grip position. Even if I'm using something smaller than a 4 1/2" grip, I can still hit a one-hander okay as long as I can get decent feel of the bevels.

    Instead of thinking about the thumb being "behind the racquet" for a one-hander, think of your entire hand as being ahead of the racquet. As you accelerate it through that swing radius, the trailing racquet should mechanically want to swing past your hand with your wrist acting as not much more than a hinge (except that your forearm has to rotate to allow for that "hinging" action - no biggie). The trick to all that is getting the backhand swing setup and going early enough so that you don't need to try and muscle it with your shoulder or your wrist.
     
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  10. VGP

    VGP Legend

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  11. Winners or Errors

    Winners or Errors Hall of Fame

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    Nicely explained, as usual.
     
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  12. Winners or Errors

    Winners or Errors Hall of Fame

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    Right size, which for me is 4 5/8", no overgrip. I use leather grips because I like to find the bevels when changing from forehand to backhand quickly. If I played with an overgrip, I'd go down to 4 1/2" because I've found a grip that is too large is as much as a hinderance as one that is too small.

    And I never use my thumb as the pressure point hitting a backhand, unless I am very late and being overpowered.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
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  13. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Of course you are or else you're not hitting a proper one-handed backhand. You can hit a forehand with your thumb not wrapped around the grip but sticking straight up not touching the grip but try hitting a one-handed backhand like that. With an eastern forehand, your palm is what's behind the handle keeping the racquet from being pushed back, while with an eastern backhand, your thumb is what's behind the handle keeping the racquet from being pushed back. The smaller the grip the less surface area there is for your thumb to rest on and be behind the grip to stabilize the racquet during impact so the racquet will more likely twist in your hand.
     
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  14. jorel

    jorel Hall of Fame

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    ask kuerten
     
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  15. Winners or Errors

    Winners or Errors Hall of Fame

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    Well, given that we are humans, we use our thumbs to grip things. That is obviously not what I meant. There's more grip pressure from my bottom three fingers than my thumb on the backhand side, and that becomes even more the case as the grip shrinks in diameter.

    Qualifier, OK - "a" should be replaced with the word "the" in my statement about my thumb. I corrected it just for you. ;-)
     
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  16. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    Wow, I can't believe all the crap I'm reading in this thread. You absolutely do NOT use your thumb to support the racquet for a one hander.

    By that, I mean that an extended thumb provides little or no support. It's the BASE of the thumb at the inner palm that supports the racquet through its solid base into the wrist. A proper one hander should be hit with the WRIST supporting the handle from behind during the stroke, not the thumb. The thumb is incredibly weak and cannot provide any lateral support. The thumb needs to wrap around the grip from underneath so that the base of the thumb/palm is covering roughly one-half of the back side of the grip (or more). The wrist should be virtually LOCKED in place upon contact so that its strength is transferred to the racquet during the stroke. I believe there was a website called "Hi Tech Tennis" that advocated the use of the "Little L", where the wrist is locked into an "L" shape while hitting the one hander. This is very important, and it cannot be accomplished with the thumb straddling the back side of the grip.

    Look no further than Gasquet or Almagro to see how this technique is put into practice. They both hit the ball with this style of grip. And yes, I hit the ball this way as well. I treat my backhand as a "second forehand", as I can hit it with equal power and spin. The key is to get your wrist behind the grip for support, and keep it firm throughout the stroke. And in this regard, it is a SMALLER grip that helps you get the base of the thumb and palm into position to properly support the handle. Larger grips cause you to have to grip the handle too far to the western side (in order to get your thumb/palm into position), forcing you to hit the ball too far out in front of your body to be effective.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
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  17. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    You're right. I can't believe what I just read. :shock:

    I'd like to see you hit one-handed backhands with your thumb sticking straight up and not touching the grip since you claim the thumb provides no support. When the ball strikes your racquet, it'll knock the racquet out of your hand since your thumb isn't there to support the racquet and keep it from getting pushed back by the ball impact. The thumb (including the base) is the major part of your hand that's behind the racquet with an eastern backhand grip.

    BTW, I have one of the best one-handed backhands around so I think I know what I'm talking about.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
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  18. Winners or Errors

    Winners or Errors Hall of Fame

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    Nicely explained, TonyB. That is an accurate description of the normal backhand grip, bad form on certain emergency shots notwithstanding. Thanks for explaining it better than I did.

    ...and BreakPoint, how much wrist do you use on your backhand? I just can't see a situation in which the thumb (beyond the pad at the base of it), would be the main component of the grip. Obviously, you couldn't grip the racquet without your thumb, but that doesn't mean it needs a bunch of real estate.

    I think this is a silly argument. Humans have opposable thumbs for a reason. We couldn't hold a tennis racquet at all without them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2011
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  19. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    Try as you might, you cannot discredit my post through hyperbole. It's clearly obvious to anyone with a brain that I did not recommend hitting the ball with your thumb sticking straight up. I clearly stated that the BASE of the thumb and palm joint, in conjunction with a firm wrist, is responsible for support of the racquet during the stroke. And this position can only be reached if the thumb wraps underneath the grip significantly; the thumb does NOT rest along the backside of the grip. "Live Wire VS" was the only poster who had it correct, by implying that a grip that's too large will simply hurt the thumb and not allow the correct stroke technique.


    But I have to thank Breakpoint for at least one thing: he reminded me why I stopped posting advice on this forum years ago. Way too many detractors casting out personal attacks and not enough people willing to listen to advice on proper technique. I may just save myself the hassle and stop posting altogether.
     
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  20. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    You can hit a forehand without your thumb since it's your palm that's behind the grip on an eastern forehand. You can't hit a backhand without your thumb because it's your thumb that's behind the grip on an eastern backhand. This is one reason why some people find their backhands to be less stable than their forehands because most people's thumbs are smaller than their palms.

    My wrist is locked at ball impact but then I roll up and flick my wrist at the end of my stroke which adds more pace and topspin. :)
     
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  21. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    If your thumb isn't on the bevel behind the grip, then you are either not using an eastern backhand grip or you're using too small of a grip size.
     
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  22. tigertim

    tigertim Guest

    How much smaller then actual? I still find this whole smaller grip thing confusing. Especially for ohb players.
     
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  23. vincent_tennis

    vincent_tennis Professional

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    What TonyB is saying is correct, the thumb wraps "around" the grip like so:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    BP, Unless you're playing badminton the thumb is not ON the grip
    Badminton
    [​IMG]

    THE INCORRECT WAY
    [​IMG]

    @Tim:
    You usual grip size when holding the FH grip will work just as well, just make sure you dont stick your thumb out purposely as that will put a additional stress on your joints
    (I know this because I had to fix my BH grip...)
    and make SURE you lock your wrist on Impact
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
    #23
  24. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    When your hand is wrapped around the grip, isn't your thumb "on" the grip? Not being "on" the grip means that the thumb is not touching the grip. On a 1HBH, the thumb is the part of your hand that is "behind" the grip, meaning behind the ball as you hit it, unlike a forehand where your palm is "behind" the grip. BTW, I never said that you stick your thumb straight up the side of the grip towards the head.

    With a 1HBH, your thumb rests on the bevel of the handle that is on the opposite side of the face of the racquet that hits the ball.


    Like this:

    [​IMG]
     
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  25. vincent_tennis

    vincent_tennis Professional

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    Then why the heck have you been thrashing TonyB? -_-
     
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  26. tigertim

    tigertim Guest

    I'm confused. Are you suggesting that it makes no difference what grip size you use?
     
    #26
  27. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Because he claimed that - "You absolutely do NOT use your thumb to support the racquet for a one hander", and that - "the thumb provides little or no support". Is he kidding? The thumb provides almost all of the support on a 1HBH. It's the main part of the hand that's behind the grip. And you need to have a part of your hand behind the grip in order to drive the ball!
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
    #27
  28. TonyB

    TonyB Hall of Fame

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    The thumb doesn't provide support. The PALM/thumb joint provides the support.

    If you try to lay your thumb laterally (pointing downward) behind the large flat area of the handle, you will gain zero strength from your thumb. You need to wrap your thumb around and underneath the grip so that the BASE of your thumb joint at the palm provides the support.

    THIS is the picture that shows it correctly:

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, the thumb itself isn't doing much of anything by way of lateral support. It is not laying against the handle at all, but is instead wrapped underneath the grip. The strength comes from the base of the thumb joint at the palm.

    Recommending that people use their thumb for support (not like the badminton grip, but rather laying the thumb flat against the bevel pointing downwards) is just asking for a dislocation. It needs to WRAP UNDER the grip so that the WRIST and PALM provide support, which is what I've been saying since the beginning.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2011
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  29. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Nobody said anything about pressing the face of your thumb against the grip like you were pressing a button. It's the side of your thumb that rests on the large flat bevel of the grip (the bevel opposite to the side of the face of the racquet that hits the ball).

    If you can wrap your thumb all the way around the grip, the grip size is too small for your hand. In that pic above, the grip looks too small. You'd be better served with a bigger grip size so that more of your thumb can rest on that large flat bevel of the grip. This will add stability and allow you to drive the ball better as you will have more thumb behind the ball.
     
    #29
  30. 0d1n

    0d1n Hall of Fame

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    Yeh...thanks for the detailed pictures and explanations...
    Just wanted to point out that one of the better backhand players not a long time ago ... Felix Mantilla from Spain gripped the racquet with the thumb in the "incorrect" way you're showing...and still managed quite ok (got to the top 10 and managed to win a few titles).
    You are right...the "other way around" si far more commonly seen and taught...but it just goes to show that COMFORT and results are the main things when choosing a grip size AND a "proper grip".

     
    #30
  31. vincent_tennis

    vincent_tennis Professional

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    if you measure your grip size like so:
    http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/LC/Gripsize.html

    The grip size according to TW is based on your FH grip, I found my grip size with a similar method @ a pro shop (4 3/8) and I can hit an average BH. imo any grip that "feels good" in your forehand will work fine for you backhand~
     
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  32. tigertim

    tigertim Guest

    there are numerous threads on here that state a smaller grip size is the way to go, though.
     
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  33. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    So is a smaller shoe size. Makes you more nimble and less clumsy. LOL

    Seriously though, you should go with your correct grip and shoe size and with what's most comfortable in your hand and on your foot. :)
     
    #33
  34. FedExpress 333

    FedExpress 333 Professional

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    Oh my, people. Just wrap the damn thumb around he gri!
     
    #34
  35. vincent_tennis

    vincent_tennis Professional

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    this is only because most of the racquets these days come with synthetic grip which are pretty thin and most OHBHers tend to replace the the original grip with a leather grip so they order a grip size smaller to compensate for the grip increase from the leather~
     
    #35
  36. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Personally, I haven't found replacement leather grips to increase the grip size any more than the original synthetic grips did.
     
    #36
  37. vincent_tennis

    vincent_tennis Professional

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    depends on how much you stretch it, and the leather thickness ranges from 1.7(the wilson/head) to 1.3mm (TW Leather)..
     
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