Grip Size Dilemma

NS4HAND6060

New User
Hi All,

Currently play with the Head Microgel Prestige, grip size 4 5/8. Was initially going to switch rackets due to heaviness, shoulder pain, small sweet spot, etc., but am now experimenting with strings, string tension, and grip size.

I modified two sticks with a 4 3/8 grip and a 4 4/8. Definitely have decided to downsize from 4 5/8, but now not sure to which size.

4 3/8 Pros: racket feels lighter, easy to take racket back sooner on both sides, more "feel"
4 3/8 Cons: vibration on some shots, don't seem to generate as much power on the forehand, slight racket slippage, generally feels small in the hand.

4 4/8 Pros: seem to generate more power, more stable feeling, better forehand
4 4/8 Cons: seems like not much of a difference from the 4 5/8, racket for some reason doesn't feel lighter as the 4 3/8 did (which i want, because I was looking to switch to a lighter racket)

In case its relevant: Im 6'1, aggressive baseline player, USTA 5.0/5.5

Anyone have any thoughts/suggestions or had to choose between these grip sizes? Thanks for the help!
 

amc1787

New User
I was always told to go with the smaller grip size if you're in between two sizes. As I'm sure you already know, it's much easier to build up a grip size than to make one smaller.

That said, if you're trying to get rid of arm pain, using a grip that's too small might just create different issues. For example, after shrinking your grip size, you might have forearm and wrist pain instead of shoulder pain. I personally prefer stability and power to lightness and feel, but you seem like you're the opposite. Racket slippage with the 4 and 3/8 size strikes me as less than ideal for someone with arm problems. I'd go with the 4 and 1/2.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
I can't really weigh in objectively because I've always liked a larger grip size and I've never really bought into the idea that it's generally easier to swing faster with a smaller grip. I know that some of our pals prefer them smaller and that's fine - as long as a smaller grip doesn't force somebody to use too much grip pressure, it seems to boil down to what feels normal or familiar for that player.

The one thing to keep in mind is that if you're undecided and figure that it's okay to get the smaller grip option because you can build it up if you need to, that will affect more than just the size of the grip. Adding perhaps a heat-shrink sleeve to your grip will add some weight to the racquet's handle and will likely shift the racquet's balance into a more head-light (HL) layout. That could mean that the racquet simply handles a little more easily with a little extra HL balance. Not a big deal compared with making an alteration that will render your racquet a bit less HL - that can make it behave more sluggishly when you want to maneuver it.

My leaning is to recommend the 4 1/2" option (4 4/8"), but not because it's the bigger grip. It's only one size away from what you've been using, so although it's a change, it's not a big leap like dropping two sizes.
 

esgee48

Legend
Determine the specs (mass, balance, SW) of both frames. You may prefer the 3/8 because it is differs significantly from the 1/2. Due to QC issues, the more popular makers have relatively large variances.
 

wangs78

Hall of Fame
I have "struggled" with going with 4 3/8 vs 4 1/2 and I can say with conviction go with the bigger grip. There is nothing more annoying than having a grip that feels too small where you have to clench the handle tightly resulting in discomfort and a tight forearm that is not conducive to a relaxed and fluid follow through.

Also, most grips condense over time from moisture and pressure so what may feel right when new may feel too small in 3-6 months, whereas the bigger grip will feel just right after 3-6 months and stay that way forever. I use a leather grip and an overgrip and the leather noticeably shrinks over time so I definitely prefer the 4 1/2 where I can have a solid hold on the racquet without exerting much pressure.

Also not a fan of using a heat sleeve on a smaller grip. It rounds out the bevels which are important for finding the right grip (Western, semi-western, etc.) in a split second when preparing for a shot.
 
I always played with 3/8.

Recently found out that I prefer 1/4 even though I have large hands. I’m probably sized for a 1/2 but the small handle gives me a lot of menuverability.
 

MajesticMoose

Hall of Fame
I'm not sure how y'all play with a 3/8 or smaller. Feels like a freaking pencil grip. I use 1/2 and it seems to be perfect. 5/8 was too fat. My hands aren't overly large and probably smaller than the avg male despite being tall. Idk. I feel like 3/8 and smaller are for children.
 

Toby14

Semi-Pro
I always played with 3/8.

Recently found out that I prefer 1/4 even though I have large hands. I’m probably sized for a 1/2 but the small handle gives me a lot of menuverability.
I went from 4 1/2 direct to 4 1/4 and never looked back.
 

Snaab

Rookie
I've tried to embrace a smaller grip size (4 1/2 vs 4 5/8) but inevitably always go back to the G5. The G4 is more tolerable in extended length frames, especially on serve, but everything else is better with the larger size. (For me.) Your results may vary - past performance is no guarantee of future results...…….
 
When I decided to ditch the leather grip on my RF97 and PS Classic 95's to save 10-15 grams weight, and go from a balance of about 31,5 cm's to about 32,5 cm's, it gave a nice unintended consequence. I have ended up using overgrips instead. Currently 2 layers of Tournagrip, and then one layer of Wilson Pro "Sensation" overgrip on top (a thinner overgrip than the regular Wilson Pro overgrip). The thing is, that with an inventory of Tournagrip and Wilson Pro and Pro Sensation overgrip, I can fintune my gripsize. If I should decide for a slightly larger grip, I could change from the Sensation, to the regular Wilson overgrip. Should I decide to go a step down in size, I could for instance use one Tournagrip, with one regular Wilson overgrip on top. Perhaps you could do this on top of a 4 4/8 grip (or 3/8, if you decide for a markedly smaller grip).
 

teekaywhy

Professional
remember, 3/8 is not universal across brands. Different bevel to bevel length ratios play a part as do a person's hand size (to include palm size and finger lengths).
 
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