Why do so few use 4 1/2" gripsize?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by JackB1, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I use a 4 1/2 grip because I go by the old rule that says while gripping the racquet, you should be able to fit 1 finger in the remaining space between your thumb pad and finger tips. I wear a "large" size Men's glove, but I don't think I have unusually large hands. I just wonder why I seem to be in the minority of people that use anything larger than 3/8?

    Is there a benefit to going down to a 3/8 when your proper gripsize shows 4 1/2? Does it allow you to hold the racquet looser? Maybe get more wrist action on serves? I just never understood why 4 1/2 is such a rarely seen gripsize when I know there are many guys with hands at least as big as mine?
     
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  2. DustinW

    DustinW Semi-Pro

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    I use a 4-1/2 but the measurement rule says I should be using a 5+ grip. With a 4-1/2, my finger tips just barely touch my thumb pad. I used to use a 4-5/8 but I find a 4-1/2 more comfortable now for some reason.
     
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  3. etd

    etd Rookie

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    Yes, a smaller grip size allows for more wrist action on all shots. Also, it is easier to use a smaller grip size with today's lighter racquets. Back in the 80s, when racquets were heavier, bigger grip sizes were the norm.

    I used a 4 5/8 grip when I played with a 12 oz racquet. Now that I play with a 11 oz racquet, I've gone down to a 4 1/2. I find that going down to a 4 3/8 is too much for me, but I am old school (or just plain old).
     
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  4. sargeinaz

    sargeinaz Hall of Fame

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    Long live the 4 1/2 grip!
     
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  5. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I've used 4 1/2 for almost my entire playing days. I'm not sure my hands have changed in size over the years, but it's what I'm most comfortable with.

    That being said, I did try 4 1/4 the other day and I really liked the way the racket whipped through the hitting zone. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable using it full time however.

    -Fuji
     
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  6. mbm0912

    mbm0912 Professional

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    I've wondered the same. I'd say my hands are average. I'm currently going off the same rule with the finger you are referring to. If anything, I've considered going larger, to help minimize racquet turn in my hand.
     
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  7. prjacobs

    prjacobs Professional

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    Jack, I can't believe that you've tried a zillion racquets and haven't tried a smaller grip :) . Where have you been? It's been a trend for quite a while :) .
    etd is right about the increased wrist action.
     
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  8. Headshotterer

    Headshotterer Professional

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    i remember getting a 4 1/2 head microgel. the grip felt way too big for my hand, uncomfortable, unmaneuverable. 4 3'8 is a good compromise. i am also 6'5 so my hands arent small.
     
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  9. Winners or Errors

    Winners or Errors Hall of Fame

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    I've gone as small as 4 1/4, but have had much more success with larger grip sizes. I really think it's what you're used to, because so many people start out now with smaller grips. 4 5/8 with an overgrip feels most natural to me, though I can go down to bare 4 1/2. I think it's a matter of taste, but I feel like I'm in more control of the racquet at that size - probably because I'm trying to over-muscle the racquet. Still, when I use a smaller grip, I find it even harder to relax my grip.
     
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  10. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I always stuck with what I thought was "correct". Of course I have used 3/8 many times...most demos are only in 3/8. I just got used to 1/2 so 3/8 felt "too small". I think I will try 3/8 for the time being and see how it goes. I also started with 4 1/2 because I had some TE when I started 3-4 years ago and heard bigger was better than too small for TE.
     
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  11. Passion4Tennis

    Passion4Tennis Rookie

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    Yes, Jack, I've followed the same "rule" as you do. It does surprise me when I see guys with hands larger than mine using grips as small as 4 1/4. I've used a 4 1/2 grip for the majority of my playing days. I feel like I have much better control over the racquet with a larger grip.
     
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  12. prjacobs

    prjacobs Professional

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    Jack, I also started using 3/8 on demo sticks. I found I liked the smaller grip so much, I now use it.
     
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  13. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    Whenever I play with anything smaller than 3/8, I tend to squeeze tighter which causes forearm and finger fatigue.
     
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  14. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    I used to play with 4 1/2 because according to "finger rule" that's the size I should play with, but eventually found that 4 3/8 gives me more wrist motion range, so I can whip the racket better
     
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  15. rafafan20

    rafafan20 Professional

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    1/2 all the way, although I've thought about starting w/ 3/8 and go from there.
     
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  16. MikeHitsHard93

    MikeHitsHard93 Hall of Fame

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    I generally like 3/8 for this reason as well. I like over grips unless its a head hydro sorb grip. That's fine on its own at 1/2
     
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  17. vegasgt3

    vegasgt3 Rookie

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    Grip tape. I play with a 4 1/2, but like to use grip tape, so I order 4 3/8
     
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  18. Litespeeds

    Litespeeds New User

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    From what I've heard, if you hit with a lot of spin or with fast racquet speed, smaller grips are better. If you are a flatter hitter or swing slower, then you will prefer a larger grip. Please correct me if I am wrong. Thanks.
     
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  19. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Hard to believe that anyone other than children and smaller women use 4 3/8 grips. It seems to be pretty common now, though.
    Just so much extra stress on the wrist and arm with the smaller grip. It does allow a more wristy stroke, though.
     
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  20. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

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    I'm with etd. Have long preferred playing with smaller grip sizes.
     
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  21. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Hard to imagine that Nadal uses a 4 1/4 eh?

    -Fuji
     
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  22. Dreamcastin

    Dreamcastin Rookie

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    3/8 has just always felt more comfortable to me. That's with leather and an og though.
     
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  23. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    I'm average size (5' 11"), but started with a 4 5/8" grip in the early 70s, and I've basically kept with that. I have an old Wilson Advantage with a 4 3/4" grip, and it feels comfortable, but it also weighs around 13.5 ounces. I've tried 4 3/8" grips, and they just don't feel right to me.

    Edit: and I don't use an overgrip, just leather. Again, it is what I started with, and it just feels right to me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2012
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  24. svarthofde

    svarthofde New User

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    i used a 4 1/2 because i measured my hands on one of those hand measurement charts ( i don't know what they are called) but now i changed to L3 (4 3/8) because i feel much more connected to the racquet and the ball.
     
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  25. TimothyO

    TimothyO Hall of Fame

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    4-5/8 here.

    I measured my hand using both methods and technically I'm 4-3/4 according to the "finger top to crease line" method but I'm only 6' tall.

    I did buy 4-1/2 PSGTs recently since that's all TW had left and the Shock Shield grip is thick enough to bump up a size.

    When I demo using a 4-3/8 grip it feels way to small to me.
     
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  26. Alex78

    Alex78 Semi-Pro

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    I am 6.1 (185 cm), but I have small hands - used a 4 3/ 8 as kid (on a Prince Graphtech DB 90), but switched to 4 1/4 for my next racket(s). When I was no longer playing regularly, I used a Head Prestige Tour Team with a 4 1/2 grip with an overgrip. Now I buy all my rackets at 4 1/4, and I put on an overgrip (Solinco Wondergrip). I especially like the oval Head grips, definitely more than Prince grips (my current main rackets are a MG Radical Pro and a Prince EXO3 Tour 100 18/20).
    To me, 4 1/4 feels more comfortable because I can change from forehand to backhand faster. Never had any wrist issues.
     
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  27. McLovin

    McLovin Hall of Fame

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    The only rule I follow is 'use what feels comfortable'. That being said, I use a 4 1/2, and so do 90% of the people I play with. There are a few who use 4 3/8, but they are younger.

    Oh, and how do I know what others use? Because I string their racquets & have on file what grip size the frame is.
     
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  28. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    I have fairly large hands, and used to use a 4-5/8. Then I went to a 4-1/2, then 4-3/8, and now 4-1/4. I don't really notice any difference at all. Zippo.
     
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  29. Rock Strongo

    Rock Strongo Legend

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    I use a blend between 4 3/4 and 4 7/8. Basically it involves a leather grip and about 3 overgrips on a 3/8 grip.
     
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  30. prjacobs

    prjacobs Professional

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    I think it's also notable that when the measurements for grip size were determined, people were playing with wooden racquets, hitting with their bodies facing sideways, often with a continental grip on all strokes :) .

    Back when all strings were gut...
     
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  31. bugeyed

    bugeyed Semi-Pro

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    I think that quite a few people use 4 1/2" grips!
    k
     
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  32. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    #32
  33. Giannis

    Giannis Rookie

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    Exactly my case too.
     
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  34. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    I use a 4 1/2 so my strokes dont have the bad wristy motion, fits the finger rule as well.
     
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  35. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    I may be wrong, but 4.5 has for years been pretty much the basic size grip for an adult.

    I use a 4 5/8 grip; I'm 6'2", 185 lbs., usual size. I have a 4 1/2 grip on one frame, which makes it a little nicer for serving. But the larger grip makes, for me, more stable and firm groundstrokes from the back of the court.
     
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  36. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I'm just 5'11" and use a 5/8 with an overgrip.
    Anything smaller doesn't volley worth beans for me, twisting and mishitting.
    Groundies and serves can be hit with any small or big grip, but volleys need some size in the handle, especially with superlightweight 10 oz rackets.
     
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  37. Top Jimmy

    Top Jimmy Semi-Pro

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    Grips sizes are leftover rules from wood rackets, Eastern grips, and low bouncing balls.

    Forget all that you were told.
     
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  38. maverick1981

    maverick1981 New User

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    smaller grip allows, of course, a firmer hold on the stick and possibly more manuevering. If your hand can wrap around the entire grip, it really torques your tendons, be careful, if you are gripping the crap out of the racket due to too small of grip, you may get wrist & elbow problems, sometimes noticing immediate pain.
     
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  39. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    If you have a smaller grip frame and a really hard shot comes to you while at the net, the ball hits the strings and twists the frame around. . . so I'm reluctant to agree that it's better to have a small grip at the net or that it makes for a firmer hold.

    Actually there are tennis pros who like the idea of a loose grip on shots rather than a hard clench on the racquet. Makes for a nicer swing.
     
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  40. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Think about this scenario....
    Grab a baseball bat.
    Allow your friend to grab the other end, whichever....
    Now twist it out of your friend's hand.
    Who wins?
    EVERY SINGLE TIME, the guy who grabs the barrel rips the bat out of the hands of the guy holding the handle.
     
    #40
  41. prjacobs

    prjacobs Professional

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    Now try to bunt holding the end of the bat :) .
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
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  42. retrograde

    retrograde Rookie

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    Same here. I can play with either 3/8 or 1/2 but use 1/2 because I can relax my grip more plus it doesn't bother my elbow as much. I also find 1/2 a lot easier to volley with.
     
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  43. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Yeah, pretty crazy.

    If I tried that, my elbow tendon would shred in about 5 minutes.
     
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  44. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

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    I started with a 41/2 but when I started getting better and was able to feel the ball more, I went down to a 3/8.
    Since the switch, I feel like I can get better spin almost as if I'm able to get more torque from my ground strokes.
    Does anybody else feel something like that?
     
    #44
  45. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    I have always used a Grip 2. I have small hands. I've tried larger so that I have that finger space, but I never feel I have a decent hold on the racket.

    i've never had arm/elbow issues, but all these threads telling me I'm wrong do make me paranoid.

    Here's mine.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    #45
  46. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    It's fine if it works for you and your game, and your preference.
    My 4 5/8 with overgrip gives me a pinky clearance, which I need because volleying ability is much more important than groundstroke power.
     
    #46
  47. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    Cheers Lee. I just get paranoid after reading so many threads that I'm going wrong and will give myself injuries.
     
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  48. Top Jimmy

    Top Jimmy Semi-Pro

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    Bad example.

    And why do baseball players and golfers use small/thin grips? Wrist pronation.

    4 1/4th grip with an over wrap is the best thing i ever did to my game. Serve pronation is much easier, stability has never suffered (though if you look at my racket after playing, all my shots hit the same spot, north of center).
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
    #48
  49. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I beg to differ....
    We pronate for serves and forehands, and do so with a twist of the forearm, NOT a bending of the wrist. "Layback" of the wrist is a result of a relaxed grip and forearms, NOT a conscious effort on any muscle.
    Differerent sport and equipement.
    Golf, ball don't move.
    Baseball, don't matter so much which face of the bat is pointing where....yes, I know, a bat is stronger along the grain, but that is a wide sweetspot, compared to the face angle of a tennis racket.
     
    #49
  50. Alex78

    Alex78 Semi-Pro

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    I get a simple advantage from using a smaller grip: No blisters on my thumb...
     
    #50

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