Best way to increase racquet grip size

HitItHarder

Semi-Pro
New poster here, although I have lurked and read the posts on this forum for a few months now. I believe my racquet grip is undersized, and contributing to some pain I am having in my forearm. I am wondering what the best way is to build up the grip without losing the feel of the beveled handle.

A little background on me. I started playing tennis for the first time about one year ago at the age of 34. I played several other sports, but I never tried tennis. My wife started playing a couple years ago and finally bought me a racquet because she wanted me to play with her. I am now addicted. I play a couple times a week and even take lessons a couple times a month. I have gotten on a USTA team and played combo, 3.0 men's league, and now mixed this summer.

Now to my problem. My wife bought my first real racquet (other than the $20 Wilson I tried) from her pro, who is also the local Head dealer. It was a Flexpoint Radical OS, which he said would be a good beginner racquet for me and it was cheap because of the Microgels coming out.

It had a 4 1/4 grip size. I am 6'3" and while I'm not running around palming basketballs, I have longer fingers and a normal size hand for my size. I played with it for a while and it was fine. Then I demoed the MG Radical OS and liked it a little better. Seemed like it had a little more weight in the head and was a little more stable on mishits and ground strokes. So I bought one and not knowing much about racquets or grips, I just got the 4 1/4 grip like my Flexpoint. I even recently picked up a second MG Radical OS that was a demo for practically nothing. It also has the same 4 1/4 grip size. So I now have three racquets all with that size grip.

I think that the small grip size may be contributing to some forearm pain I started having about two months ago, which seems like classic tennis elbow. As I have gotten better, I have started hitting the ball much harder. As I hit harder (especially serves), I find myself gripping my racquet really tight at times to keep the racquet from twisting in my hand. Flat serves are the worst. Forehand volleys are also bad. And of course any time I frame a shot on my forehand or serve it hurts.
The pain started from practicing my hard flat serve (probably too much) and I can't seem to shake it despite doing all the classic TE treatments. So I am now seeing if my equipment is part of the problem.

I tried one overgrip and it seemed to help some. I then tried two overgrips and that was even better. However, the racquest grip is rounder now and I miss being able to really feel the bevels of the racquest because that always helped me make sure my grip was right switching between my forehand, 2hbh, and volleys.

Is there a way to build up the racquet grip to a bigger size that maintains the defintion of the bevels or am I stuck rounding my grip off with overgrips? Also, what are the advantages of a smaller verses bigger grip? Maybe I just have to tell myself to relax more and stop griping so tight regardless of the grip size.

And I string my racquet with a hybrid of Head PPS synthetic gut and Head FXP Power at 57 lbs.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
The best approach is to replace the pallets if this can be done on the racquet. You'd buy new pallet sets, take off the grip and then take off the old pallet and then just put the new ones on.

There are approaches which don't round the bevels as much such as putting strips of something on the flat parts vertically but I've always found that anything short of replacing the pallets has the rounding effect which I, as do you, dislike.

Perhaps someone that knows the Head line of racquets could tell you if you can replace the pallets and if these are easily available. You might also just shoot TW an email to see if they sell pallets for yours.
 

PimpMyGame

Hall of Fame
In all honesty I'd get the pro who tucked a 6'3" guy up with a 4 1/4 grip size to "contribute" to changing the pallet, he could do a proper measurement at the same time, like he should have done in the first instance.

I think you're probably going to be a 4 1/2 or 4 5/8 given your height and there is no way on earth that you're going to achieve upping your grip to this without a pallet change.
 

HitItHarder

Semi-Pro
New pallets it is then

I was hoping to find some solution other than a new racquet. Sounds like new pallets is the way to go. Anyone with any tips on changing pallets on a MG Radical OS would be appreciated.

I also think I will have a talk with the pro that sold me the racquet. Seems like this should have been something he thought about before hand. I realize most of his custumers are ladies so he keeps the smaller grip sizes in stock, but the first MG that I bought from him was ordered from Head so I could have gotten any grip size I wanted.

I just didn't know enough at the time to ask the question, I guess, or know enough to tell him what I wanted. I was still in the "yep that is a tennis racquet, I'll take it" stage.

Thanks.
 

neverstopplaying

Professional
If it's only 1 grip size there are various ways to do this, but you're a big guy and probably need 5/8 pallets.

I think that I have 2 x 4-5/8 pallets that I can sell you as I recently reduced some Head racquets from 4-5/8 to 4-3/8. If you're interested e-mail me: bbqray330 at yahoo.ca.
 

HitItHarder

Semi-Pro
Thanks for the offer

The pro that sold me the racquets has agreed to change out the pallets. Turns out the I either need a 4 1/2 with an overgrip or a 4 5/8 with just the grip.

Now maybe I can get this dang TE to finally go away. Of course I have to stop trying to choke the life out of my racquet on serves too.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Good solution - also glad that he stands by the products that he sells. I'd suggest changing one racquet to one of the other sizes to see if you like it instead of changing all three at once.

Also decide whether you prefer an overgrip to leather or synthetic. I far prefer an overgrip as they are easier and cheaper to replace.
 

Exile

Professional
I never thought to ever ask this but, are rackets "full tang" like knives are? Like say I had a racket with a handle for 2 hands. Could I just cut and wear away the top of the handle so that it fits for one hand and still have a "fine, usable racket"?
 

kalic

Professional
In my experience, best "do it yourself" way to increase grip size, without too much weight, without loosing bevels, is to use wood veneer. Just cut slices of wood to fit every side of grip, and fix it with duct tape or something similar. You will need probably 3 or 4 layers of veneer.
I try heat shrink sleve, 2 replacement grips, 4 overgrips, and all of this this "standard" metods are bad for bevels and weight.
 

HitItHarder

Semi-Pro
Thanks for the suggestions. I currently prefer an overgrip because I can burn through grips in the summer here because it is so hot and my hands sweat so much.

However, I haven't ever tried a leather grip. How well do leather grips hold up in hot humid conditions where you have to deal with a lot of sweat on your hands?
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Leather grips last a lot longer but the dirt and sweat eventually makes them quite grimy and slippery. I used to use Fairway leather grips and loved them but switched over to overgrips when I discovered them. They are nice over a leather grip because application and removal are so easy. With leather over the pallet, I usually used double-stick tape + glue + staples. That's a pain to do - even if you don't have to do it often.

Leather is typically harder - some like that and some don't.
 

Ljubicic for number1

Hall of Fame
I would be very wary of going to 5/8 unless you have huge hands, I would stick to a 1/2. Once you go to 5/8 its very hard to find a consistent serve, and too large a grip also causes arm pain.

You can always build up a 1/2 with a leather or thicker replacement grip, its much easier than going down in size.
 

Bud

Bionic Poster
I would be very wary of going to 5/8 unless you have huge hands, I would stick to a 1/2. Once you go to 5/8 its very hard to find a consistent serve, and too large a grip also causes arm pain.

You can always build up a 1/2 with a leather or thicker replacement grip, its much easier than going down in size.
1st time I've heard this.

I use a #4 or #5 grip (currently using a 5) and I don't notice any difference with serve consistency or arm pain going from one to the other.
 

Ljubicic for number1

Hall of Fame
1st time I've heard this.

I use a #4 or #5 grip (currently using a 5) and I don't notice any difference with serve consistency or arm pain going from one to the other.
Its not a issue if the 5/8 is your correct size, but this guy says his hands are not large for his size 6'3 and he is coming from using a 1/4.
 
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