Racquet and grip size question from newbie

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by Josh Lyman, Jul 9, 2013.

  1. Josh Lyman

    Josh Lyman Professional

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    I'm an avid tennis fan but I've only played a handful of times since high school gym class. My coworker is a decent player, and he's been pestering me to start playing regularly. Last week, a local store closing provided the perfect opening, so I picked up a 2012 Pure Drive for 50% off and a Pure Drive Roddick GT and Wilson BLX Blade 98 for 75% off. All 3 racquets feel alright in terms of static weight and swingweight. Should I keep all 3? Should I return any of them? I'm the equivalent of a 6.0 in golf and a fairly big guy but reasonably athletic, so I imagine I can transfer some of my hand-eye coordination and body awareness, though I expect to be pretty terrible for a while.

    Along with the racquet question, I have a corresponding grip size question. I've always been of the opinion that I have moderately-sized hands, but according to this, should I be using a 4 1/2 with 1 overgrip? I guess I have large palms and smaller fingers.
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  2. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    For most people, gripping the racquet with your right hand, your left index finger should fit between your ring finger and palm. Some racquet grips just plain feel different and I have always liked a slightly larger grip than recommended for me. It comes down to feel. Measurements are just a guideline. When I switched from Prince to Head, it took a little getting used to since the Head grip is shaped a little differently. For example, the Pure Drive I used to play with was really octagonal. The Head I play with now feels more rectangular, if that makes sense.

    Sounds like you got a great deal on those racquets. I don't think I would have bought all of them at once, but that's cheap!

    I played with a 2012 Pure Drive for a while and it was just too stiff for me. At your level, the worst thing you can do is keep trying different frames thinking that is the problem with your game. See which one you like to hit with, stick with it and develop your strokes. The frame itself has very little impact on your game at this stage unless you totally choose the wrong one, like a Pure Storm GT LTD strung at 65 pounds. Your biggest gains come from improving your skills right now. Just my novice opinions. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
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  3. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Both of those methods mentioned seem to have gone out the window lately. By the first method I should be using a 5" grip. By the 2nd method I should use a 4-3/4" or slightly larger. I'm not a big guy either, but I do have long fingers.

    Back when racquet handles were bigger, I was using 4-3/4" with an over grip. Now, there's nothing available beyond 4-5/8", and even that is hard to find. I've worked my way down to 4-1/2" with an over grip, and I'm comfortable with it now.

    For some reason, racquet handles have shrunk in recent years. The average male tennis player now uses a 4-3/8". The pros have gone in that direction, too. I'm guessing that's because the modern game involves more wrist action. With today's racquets, a flick of the wrist is sometimes all you need to return an off-balance shot with pace.
     
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  4. Josh Lyman

    Josh Lyman Professional

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    Seems like 4 3/8 with an overgrip might be the way to go then. I'm about the same height as Federer and wear the same size 12 shoe (though his fingers and toes are longer) so that's probably as good a starting point as any. The $20 Walmart racquet I've been using in recent years is the Wilson Titanium 3 Soft Shock at 4 3/8:
    [​IMG]
     
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  5. DustinW

    DustinW Semi-Pro

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    Agree with this. If I use the ruler method, I am way over 5". But I use either a 4-1/2 or 4-3/8 plus overgrip. The tips of my fingers just touch my palm when I grip a racket.

    If you are a "normal" sized person, start at 4-3/8 and add an overgrip if you want it a bit bigger.
     
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  6. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
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  7. Josh Lyman

    Josh Lyman Professional

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    I think I might try to exchange the Pure Drive for a Pure Drive Roddick, return the PDR GT, and keep the BLX Blade 98 as a change of pace. I have a sneaking suspicion I'll like the Blade the most since, if my tennis game develops anything like my golf game, I won't need any help generating power.
     
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  8. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    FWIW I have probably average hands. But I build up my grip to measure 5 1/4. I also mod it to be more rectangular.

    I think by both methods I probably should have a smaller grip. Though there isnt much space between the left index finger and heel pad/ fingers of the right hand.

    Its all what feels comfy.

    3 rackets at once is kind of crazy if you dont know exactly what works best for your game or what kind of feel you like. However it is smart to have a mix so you can see how there is a different kind of feel amongst rackets.
     
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I used Shroud's racket and it feels fine to me.
    Maybe on serves, a smaller grip is nicer.
    Works great for groundies and I assume, for volleys.
     
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  10. CHOcobo

    CHOcobo Professional

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    Try measuring from the first (most top) crease on your palm instead of the middle one. It's right on 4 2/8 (4 1/4) for me which is what I use; or else it measures 4 6/8 and Im having a hard time with 4 3/8.
     
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  11. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Hi lee. Glad it was fine for you. Your racket was fine too, and given how different they are it just goes to show how unimportant the equipment really is. Said anotherway the racket and strings etc. only really account for maybe 10-15% or so of our performance.

    Anyhow i still have an unmodified aerogel 4d strung at 30 lbs if you want to try it. I think in another thread you mentioned lowering the Tension. It has a 4 1/4 grip i think and is strung with problend.

    I think the added weight of my racket and hl balance is great for volleys. Not sure if you hit with the more rectangular grip but that certainly helps volleys
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2013
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