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

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

  1. retrograde

    retrograde Rookie

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    One of the guys I play doubles against has an unusual grip ... he built up some tape under the grip in one spot only such that there's a *bulge* right under his palm.

    His handle looks like a snake that swallowed something!
     
    #51
  2. Bobs tennis

    Bobs tennis Rookie

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    Very good subject.I just joined your board because I noticed so many interesting debates.I was using a 3/8 for quite a while and about 18 months ago dropped to 1/4.As time went on I got Tennis elbow which wasn't getting better.Had the opportunity to use a demo which was a 1/2 (very unusual):???: and after hitting three times my elbow really felt better.That was about four months ago.Never going small again.
     
    #52
  3. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    Top Jimmy and Alex, does my grip size look ok to you, or similar when you grip yours?
     
    #53
  4. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Ok I'm now even more confused than before I started this thread :)

    I don't know if I should stick with what I've been using (4 1/2) or try going down to 3/8 as an experiment.
     
    #54
  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Nobody ever really knows.
    You use what you chose, make it work, practice more, and obsess about other things.
    If you could play tennis nearly as well as BrianGottfried did in 1977, with his Kramer racket and 4 3/4 grip and "Heavy" weight, you'd be at least two levels above what you are today.
     
    #55
  6. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

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    I was just in NYC, I stopped by **** and bought one of their pallets to change the shape of a IG Rad Pro (original L3).
    Swapped out original and put in a Wilson shape L2.5 going to hit tonight and see if I like it. Feels pretty sweet with a leather grip and 1 Gamma Supreme OG.
     
    #56
  7. phishbiscuits

    phishbiscuits Rookie

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    I religiously use 4 1/2

    I alway use a 4 1/2 and am big (6' 3"; 245). I add a thin Tourna Grip, but that's it.
     
    #57
  8. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    If you aren't hurting yourself, you aren't hurting yourself. Don't change if there isn't a problem.


    I can't play with less than a 5/8 because I've got a tear in my elbow tendon and smaller grip sizes bother it.
    Just like some people can play fine with poly strings and some people get sore arms, some people can play with smaller grips and some can't.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
    #58
  9. goosala

    goosala Hall of Fame

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    Over 25 years ago I was 13 and used a 4 5/8 all the way until a couple of years ago when I switched to a 4 1/2. I guess my hands have gotten meatier since I play more now so the circumference has gone down one size. I have always used a 4 5/8 even though my hands measure 4 1/2 from the upper palm crease line to the edge of my ring finger. The old school belief was to use the largest grip with the heaviest racket possible.
     
    #59
  10. Alex78

    Alex78 Semi-Pro

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    Hi Robbo,

    to me, your grip looks very much ok - but of course, it's all about personal preferences. I'll try and take some pictures of my own grip(s) tonight.
     
    #60
  11. Top Jimmy

    Top Jimmy Semi-Pro

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    Grip is preference and my whole point is the leftover mantra of larger grips sizes from the old days is bogus. There is no right answer, 5/8's works for you, awesome. 1/4 feels better, fantastic.

    For me i feel hindered in regards to wrist/forearm rotation and movement with larger grips.

    Semi to full western forehand and full eastern one handed backhand. No elbow issues with a 1/4 with an overwrap.
     
    #61
  12. Alex78

    Alex78 Semi-Pro

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    Here's some pics of me holding a Head MG Radical Pro. I use a Solinco Wondergrip on top of a Head Hydrosorb on this one.

    Forehand grip:

    [​IMG]

    Backhand grip (OHB), also used for slice and kick serves:

    [​IMG]

    Straight serve grip, also used for volleying:

    [​IMG]
     
    #62
  13. cluckcluck

    cluckcluck Hall of Fame

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    ^^^ Now I feel like I hold the racquet too far at the end of the handle. o_O
     
    #63
  14. Alex78

    Alex78 Semi-Pro

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    I've noticed that most people hold their racket at the end - I switched as a kid because I sometimes hurt my hand on first serves due to racket twisting. This grip feels rock-solid and I get all the power and control I can ask for.
     
    #64
  15. Alex78

    Alex78 Semi-Pro

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    Oh, and it's a 4 1/4 grip size on the pics!
     
    #65
  16. superdave3

    superdave3 Rookie

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    I always used a 4 and 5/8 grip, but then found the 4 and 1/2 more comfortable and maneuverable, now that I am in my 60's and had a shoulder injury, I find the 4 and 3/8 better as it seems to make the racquet easier to swing, especially on serves, at least for me.
     
    #66
  17. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    I used to use a 4 1/2 because that is what I measured but now prefer a 4 3/8. Have tried a 4 1/4 and could play with it but it felt a little to small.

    Remember that if you use a over wrap it gains one size, so a 4 1/2 with over grip is a 4 5/8.
     
    #67
  18. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    Is that true? I thought it added 1/2 size. This is one of the reasons I went to 4-1/4
     
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  19. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    It depends on what over wrap you use but all you have to do is measure it to find out. You need a soft seamstress tape measure to see how much it gains, But most I have measured gain a full size or very close to it.
     
    #69
  20. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
    #70
  21. tlm

    tlm Legend

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    #71
  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Wouldn't that depend HOW you applied the overgrip?
    Pulled tight as a drum, no overlap but butting the joints, the diameter increase would be small.
    Loosely wrapped, overlapped, using the stickiness to hold the OG in place, the diameter gain would be much bigger.
     
    #72
  23. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Thinking about this - flat shots vs spin shots.

    For a flat shot, if it is hit on the frame, you are hitting a fast moving ball (horizontally) with a moment arm (distance from centerline of the racket) of maybe 5 inches. That is a lot of torque which must be resisted. A wider radius grip with more surface area being held will help resist the torque and put less stress on the elbow.
    For a topspin shot, the racket is moving across the path of the ball. If a ball is hit on the frame moving perfectly vertically (on the side of the rackethead) there is zero torque on the racket. Though it is unlikely to happen exactly like this - though I have done this on several occasions - it is the limiting case. With a more vertical swingpath versus a more horizontal swingpath, the relative forward velocity of the racket and ball will be much lower and the moment arm of the impact point will be much less. There should be much less torque to resist in most cases of a mishit, and so less stress on the elbow and the rest of the arm.
    Therefore, for a spin player, there should be less stress on the elbow on mishits and less reason for a larger grip size.


    Also, volleys are hit basically with a flat racket face coming almost straight at the ball (unless you are hitting a drop volley with a ton of backspin). Volleyers should get more control on off-center hits with a larger grip.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012
    #73
  24. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Interesting.
    Today I'd hit myself dizzy, and went over to talk to a player hitting the wall, at SanPablo courts in Berkeley.
    He had some red Babs racket, and his trusty red and white pro staff...or something like blade.
    I got to hit with him maybe 30 shots.
    Both his demo and his own Wilson were 3/8th, no OG.
    My two rackets, MicroGelOS and Aero500's, were 5/8ths WITH OG.
    We switched.
    I couldn't hit anything strong, with spin, or solid.
    HE crushed every ball with both rackets, especially the Aero500, said he never ever hit as hard with as little effort. Even when I hit one deep and solid, he casually crushed it hard and heavy spin back to me. He was startled.
    He's going to buy 3 of the red Babs.
    I'll stick with my big grip rackets, any of them.
     
    #74
  25. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    That seems like too much of a squeeze (white around the nail tips)
     
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  26. Alex78

    Alex78 Semi-Pro

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    Maybe the white around the nail tips showed because I just got in from the cold... - When swinging the racket, it's all good, and I only get problems with my hand (blisters) with larger grips.
     
    #76
  27. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    (Alex, your grip sizing looks very similar to mine.)

    I just find that with the smaller grip I have a lot more control and speed in manouvring the racket head and just feel that I am in total control of any movement in the racket, especially on serves and (surprisingly) on volleys. I can understand that hitting block returns is probably fine with a larger grip, but I just find that I can move my racket and re-direct the ball so much easier with the smaller grip.

    All personal preferences though.
     
    #77
  28. TennisCoachIN

    TennisCoachIN Rookie

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    I use grip size 4 1/4. You can always build up with overgrip. I use a Semi-Western grip so for me feels easier to get more topspin. This is just my experience.
     
    #78
  29. Mick3391

    Mick3391 Professional

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    I use a 4 1/2 grip, gives my hands much more ability to move and adjust to different shots, and my hands are HUGE.
     
    #79
  30. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    Always preferred 3/8s. Just recently though, I've gotten a bit picky about grip size and type. Now I'm enjoying a 4-1/2 with a 3/8s buttcap attached and a leather grip with one og.

    I don't like too much flare on the bottom, hence the 3/8s buttcap but do prefer a larger grip (4-1/2) with the thinner leather.
     
    #80
  31. oragne lovre

    oragne lovre New User

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    I'm fan of Rod Cross's Technical Tennis book. I couldn't agree with you more.
     
    #81
  32. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    Well I tried playing with a slighter larger grip at the weekend and it was not good at all.

    It was borderline ok for very basic flat shots and block returns, but if I actually wanted to try and dictate the play and start redirecting the angles then it was not easy at all. I felt like I was really having to grip the racket tightly to feel like I had any control at all. And this wasnt with a grip that was too large. It measured exactly so I could fit my pinky finger in the gap.

    So, it was a good exercise to see what felt best and I will return to the smaller grip. I guess its all about what you are used too, but I just feel I have a lot better control over every shot with the smaller grip and I can relax my hand a lot more as I don't feel like its going to fall out of my hand.

    Horses for courses....as ever.
     
    #82
  33. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    That was my problem. I don't have big hands at all (size M glove) but I still use a 4 1/2 grip size. It just feels better to me.
     
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  34. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    Just noticed this pic.....definately a smaller grip being used than the charts would prescribe.
    [​IMG]
     
    #84
  35. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    Just thought I would bump this thread. It would be good to see pics of members grips and how much finger spacing you have when you grip, just out of curiosity.
     
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  36. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    also remember the finger spacing should be measure with a relaxed eastern grip.
     
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  37. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    I'm rusted onto Prince's blocky 3/8 grips + overgrip and have found their 3/8 to be reasonably consistent over the years no matter what stock grip is fitted to the Prince racket. I can also upsize to 1/2 w/o OG.
    Recently I acquired a PS 6.0 Original 95 with original Fairway still in great condition. Frame label said 3/8. Without measuring it, I put on an OG only to discover it felt one size too small than my usual Prince setup. I then measured it and it actually came to 5/8 WTF?! I swear on a stack of proverbial bibles this Wilson handle felt way smaller than my Princes. I thought Wilson and Prince gripshapes were fairly similar?
     
    #87
  38. 10nisne1

    10nisne1 New User

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    I started playing tennis in the 80’s and was taught to go with the biggest grip you felt comfortable with. Seems like today, you are taught to use the smallest grip you are comfortable with.

    Also, at that time when I started playing tennis, I believe without stating as a fact that the more popular grip for a forehand was an eastern forehand grip. That is the forehand grip I started out with and still use today (maybe slightly modified). Again in comparison, it seems like today’s age, the more popular grip might be a full western grip for the forehand.

    I mention this because I personally feel more comfortable using a 4 ½ grip size with an eastern forehand. However, I would feel more comfortable using a 4 3/8 grip size if I were to use a full western forehand. Even more scientifically, due to the way I hold the racket, the 1 finger gap slightly widens when I change from an eastern to a western forehand group.

    Just for reference, I don’t have large hands. I normally use a cadet small or a medium sized glove when I’m playing golf. I have wide palms in proportion to the overall length of my fingers.

    I’m curious to see what type of forehand grip everyone is using when referencing the grip size they use.

    10
     
    #88
  39. TroutSc

    TroutSc Semi-Pro

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    I just bought a pair of used speeds, didnt pay attention to grip size. Turned out they are 1/4. Didnt notice initially when I looked at them because they had 3 og's on. I had been using 3/8 but tried the 1/4 plus 1 og last night and didnt notice much difference.
     
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  40. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    I calculated that if you add a 0.5mm OG it will add about 1 whole size. I went onto a couple of websites to convert mm to inches and calculate the increased circumference.

    I know its all personal preference, but this coaching website seems to indicate a smaller grip and no pinky room being acceptable.

    http://www.protennissolutions.com/tennis-techniques/forehand-groundstroke.php
     
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  41. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    I can see a definite difference after playing with a 4 1/4 and a 4 1/2 grip size. I always felt that the racquet was unstable in my hand with a smaller grip, especially on hard volleys. I don't have particularly strong hands, so maybe that is part of it. The 4 1/2 feels a lot more stable and the racquet doesn't get knocked around as much. I am sure I am trading off wrist movement because 4 1/2 is big for my hands. Oh well.
     
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  42. TroutSc

    TroutSc Semi-Pro

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    Thinking about this, the small diff in grip size may not have stood out since I was coming from a completely different racquet - different head size , head shape, flex, etc coming from a volkl pb7 with 3/8 into a head with 1/4. Many factors, changes all at once.
     
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  43. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    I have always used a grip 2 and although I do have small hands, I know I have only just less than a cm gap between finger tips and palm, it has always felt a lot more manouvrable and stable in my hand. In fact when I tried a bigger grip it has felt quite unstable and that I never had enough of my hand around the grip to really control the racket head on all shots, including volleys. I mostly play doubles and do play a SV style of game and the smaller grip has always felt a lot easier to use particularly if I need to move the racket quickly for reaction volleys. My grip size when using the 'recommended' method is only a 3 anyway, so dropping to a 2 is not so drastic.

    Personally I would have thought that stability is more down to shot technique and arm strength rather than grip size.
     
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  44. Anton

    Anton Hall of Fame

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    there is a size in between the two that is maybe just right for you ;)
     
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  45. IA-SteveB

    IA-SteveB Professional

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    Heh. One of the purchases was a mistake on my part. :)
     
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  46. ultradr

    ultradr Hall of Fame

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    This is interesting point. The favorable grip size definitely got smaller.
    The modern forehand is a whipping motion, kinda like side-way serving/throwing.

    Federer/Nadal both use very small grips, for whipping top spin shots?
    Not much need to hit firm, placement volleys?
     
    #96
  47. goosala

    goosala Hall of Fame

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    I used 4 5/8 growing up but my hand measures 4 1/2. I like the smaller grip because my fingertips don't feel straind anymore.
     
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  48. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Wow, MJ was 6' 6" and his racquet grip size was 5 1/4. Surprised you use a swizzle stick, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpOlZ9Z6q30
     
    #98
  49. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I use my MicrogelOS 4 1/2 with two overgrips. I get less than a ring finger of space. I did order a 5/8 sizing, but TW didn't send it to me.
    I might pronate and supinate, but I don't flick my wrists.
     
    #99
  50. OHBH

    OHBH Semi-Pro

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    It is all personal preference in the modern game. I am 6' 0" and 170 pounds and I like a L6 grip. It feels to wristy or I feel the need to grip too tightly with anything less than a L5. Kind of sucks as it is difficult to get a good assessment of demo rackets
     

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