Grip size question

giantschwinn

Semi-Pro
My current grip is 4 5/8. I'm willing to try the new trend of going down in grip size. Should I go down to 4 1/2 or 4 3/8? What should I be expecting with smaller grip sizes? More spin, but higher risk of hurting wrist?
 

Pete Player

Hall of Fame
I think risk of hurting wrist will deminish. But only, if your grip pressure goes down as well.

Release will become more effective and quicker likely, if you can hold the racket easy. Squeezing the thinner grip hard will do the opposite And may result elbow symptomes.

My 5 c is, that take the smaller and put one wrap of tape more underneath, if it feels too skinny in the beginning.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
My current grip is 4 5/8. I'm willing to try the new trend of going down in grip size. Should I go down to 4 1/2 or 4 3/8? What should I be expecting with smaller grip sizes? More spin, but higher risk of hurting wrist?
I don't see any evidence of more spin....outside of anecdotal and there is rarely an adjustment with weight made to adjust for the smaller handle size. Usulaly people just remove grips...

Certainly nothing scientific. Is there anything that shows from a physics point of view that the 1/8" or 1/2" smaller size produces more spin?
 

MasterTS

Professional
If you are 4 5/8 but want to try something lower, instead of going straight to 4 3/8, I would do 4 1/2, remove the grip and add on a thin grip like the Babolat Syntec Team replacement grip. This would take your grip slightly less than 4 1/2 but bigger than 4 3/8.

If you use an overgrip, get a thin one as well. THat will make the change less dramatic than going straight to 4 3/8.

Check out this thread on grip and overgrip sizes: https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...pecs-weight-thickness-into-one-thread.465717/
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Certainly nothing scientific. Is there anything that shows from a physics point of view that the 1/8" or 1/2" smaller size produces more spin?
From a biomechanical point of view, the more flexed your fingers are (smaller grip) the less you can flex and extend at the wrist. Whether that affects spin production, I have no clue.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
From a biomechanical point of view, the more flexed your fingers are (smaller grip) the less you can flex and extend at the wrist. Whether that affects spin production, I have no clue.
I certainly haven't seen any explanation myself, or had any increase in spin when going lower. Given the sizes I do use, there should be zero spin.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Pretty sure the argument goes like this:
1) Nadal gets the most spin on the ATP tour
2) Nadal uses a small grip
3) Ergo, a small grip gets more spin.
yes that is it pretty much. Except that number 1 and 2 are in question.

1. I think Sampras has been clocked with the most spin...which blows the idea out of the water.

2. Nadal is using a bigger grip than reported and duh he has a ton of tape, which IMHO is the same as having a larger grip...
 

nochuola

Rookie
Like others mentioned, there are only anecdotal evidences, and I wouldn't be so arrogant to claim my experience as hard facts, but this is what I experienced. I started with a 4 1/2 grip because that was what my local tennis shop recommended. I went down to 4 3/8 because I like using overgrips. I then went down another size and now use 4 1/4 (+ overgrip). I've measured the actual grip size after overgrip added, and I seem to be most comfortable playing with 4 5/16 or grip 2.5. What I've found is, going down in grip size allowed me better wrist movement in the deviation plane, while not really affecting wrist flexion and extension (sorry if im butchering anatomics terms). It allowed me to "roll" my wrist more fluidly, and be more relaxed with my grip tension. This did allow me to hit with more spin, or more accurately, I felt more comfortable when trying to hit with spin friendly stroke style.

I should add that I don't think this is an effect of going down in grip size specifically, but rather going from a grip too large for me, to a more suitable size. I will expect running into similar issues with grip tension and wrist mobility if I went down more grip sizes. I think the goal should be to find the suitable grip size for you, and not just "play with smaller grip".
 
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Shroud

G.O.A.T.
What is more likely to contribute to TE....Big or small grip?
Look at my signature. My arm should be dead. But I have zero fear of tennis elbow or golfers elbow from playing tennis. When I got TE I did 2 things racquetwise. I made the handle bigger and then added a bunch of weight with lots in the handle from increasing the size. My 2 cents is that the small handle makes you squeeze tighter which tires the muscles in the forearm which pulls on the tendons. Often you can't really feel the tight muscles unless you run your finger down the arm pressing hard.

I don't have to squeeze that much at all with a huge handle. Some have said a small grip accomplishes the same thing but I don't get that.

That said play with the size that requires the least grip pressure.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@giantschwinn

There's a trend?? Thought that was a trend in the 90s to early 00s. (Had to double check the posting date of the OP to make sure that this was not an ancient thread from the early days of TT).

Back in there day I had used a 5 grip (4 5/8) for quite some time. Switched to a 4 grip (in the mid 90s, I think). A 3 grip has never felt very comfortable for me -- even though I use a much smaller grip for badminton. However for badminton, the racket grip lies more across my fingers whereas, for tennis, it lies more across the palm of the hand.
 
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sureshs

Bionic Poster
I don't see any evidence of more spin....outside of anecdotal and there is rarely an adjustment with weight made to adjust for the smaller handle size. Usulaly people just remove grips...

Certainly nothing scientific. Is there anything that shows from a physics point of view that the 1/8" or 1/2" smaller size produces more spin?
Nadal uses a 1/4th
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
A practical reason to go to L4 grip first is if you don't like it you can build it up to L5 without affecting the weight too much (build it up and use a lighter base grip). If you go to L3 and want to go back to L5, it might not be possible to build it up so much and keep the specs of the stock L5 racket.
 

Fintft

Legend
Sampras had more spin and a bigger handle. Plus the stuff above.
Sampras had more RPMs than Nadal?!!! Get out of here! lol

Pete Sampras: 1,800 rpm
Andre Agassi: 1,800 rpm
Roger Federer: 2,500 rpm
Rafael Nadal: 3,200 rpm - peaked at 5000 rpm

Rafael Nadal hits the heaviest topspin forehand in the game. This shot works to his advantage when he is full of confidence and is a detriment when confidence is lost.

 

Fintft

Legend
samps kicker had more rpms than rafas fh. Totally blows the smsll grip idea out of the water.
Lol again:

Pete Sampras: 1,800 rpm
Andre Agassi: 1,800 rpm
Roger Federer: 2,500 rpm
Rafael Nadal: 3,200 rpm - peaked at 5000 rpm

Rafael Nadal hits the heaviest topspin forehand in the game.

Your argument about the kicker is a falacy as Nadal's serve is weak him being born a rightie.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Lol again:

Pete Sampras: 1,800 rpm
Andre Agassi: 1,800 rpm
Roger Federer: 2,500 rpm
Rafael Nadal: 3,200 rpm - peaked at 5000 rpm

Rafael Nadal hits the heaviest topspin forehand in the game.

Your argument about the kicker is a falacy as Nadal's serve is weak him being born a rightie.
We are talking spin. The idea is a small grip creates more spin.
The spinniest Shot is the slice. And fed hits more spin on his slice than nadal does on his fh with a peak of 5300 rpm. Which is the same as sampras kicker. 5300 rpm with a 5/8 or larger grip

we are not comparing forehand to forehands or serves, but grip sizes and spin.
Also Nadal uses a larger handle than 1/4 and factor in his tape and the overall size is not smaller than most other pros.

i bet you will miss it but here is a link that shows the spinniest shotsmeasured were Samps serve and Rogers slice

 

Fintft

Legend
We are talking spin. The idea is a small grip creates more spin.
The spinniest Shot is the slice. And fed hits more spin on his slice than nadal does on his fh with a peak of 5300 rpm. Which is the same as sampras kicker. 5300 rpm with a 5/8 or larger grip

we are not comparing forehand to forehands or serves, but grip sizes and spin.
Also Nadal uses a larger handle than 1/4 and factor in his tape and the overall size is not smaller than most other pros.

i bet you will miss it but here is a link that shows the spinniest shotsmeasured were Samps serve and Rogers slice

TopSpin is what pros use, not slice on their groundies, the ones we were talking about, including the OP.

I bow out you can have the field lol
 

Pete Player

Hall of Fame
From a biomechanical point of view, the more flexed your fingers are (smaller grip) the less you can flex and extend at the wrist. Whether that affects spin production, I have no clue.
If you hold the thinner more loose, it’ll flick faster than a big block. It is a matter of grip pressure. A thick grip may require more pressure, ie. More tense forearm and therefore the wrist will stiffen. If you can hold the thinner more loosely, then it is only matter of which way you flick it.
 

Pete Player

Hall of Fame
We are talking spin. The idea is a small grip creates more spin.
The spinniest Shot is the slice. And fed hits more spin on his slice than nadal does on his fh with a peak of 5300 rpm. Which is the same as sampras kicker. 5300 rpm with a 5/8 or larger grip

we are not comparing forehand to forehands or serves, but grip sizes and spin.
Also Nadal uses a larger handle than 1/4 and factor in his tape and the overall size is not smaller than most other pros.

i bet you will miss it but here is a link that shows the spinniest shotsmeasured were Samps serve and Rogers slice

How long fingers does Fede have?

I’d be comfortable and given a 5+ by the old recommendation, but now play 4 1/2 Comfortably, yet my fingers and palm pad overlaps.
 

Pete Player

Hall of Fame
@giantschwinn

There's a trend?? Thought that was a trend in the 90s to early 00s. (Had to double check the posting date of the OP to make sure that this was not an ancient thread from the early days of TT).

Back in there day I had used a 5 grip (4 5/8) for quite some time. Switched to a 4 grip (in the mid 90s, I think). A 3 grip has never felt very comfortable for me -- even though I use a much smaller grip for badminton. However for badminton, the racket grip lies more across my fingers whereas, for tennis, it lies more across the palm of the hand.
+1!

In badmington the racket weighs about 95 grams... But that said, there is a trend towards more lightweighted rackets in tennis too, hence the impact is a lot heavier than in badmington. In badmington speed is the key, since other than the net roller is allways hit flat. In tennis you need to have some control over the stringbed, yet you want to have high rhs.

The old school measurement for gripsize was due the fact, you wanted or had to hit it more flat with wooden sticks due tiny sweet spot. Now, the sturdiest rackets weigh around 360 - 380 stringed. And the idea have changed more towards having more spin to hit faster bouncing balls and keeping the ball on the court tennis is also trending towards racket head speed rather than controlling the face.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
+1!

In badmington the racket weighs about 95 grams... But that said, there is a trend towards more lightweighted rackets in tennis too, hence the impact is a lot heavier than in badmington. In badmington speed is the key, since other than the net roller is allways hit flat. In tennis you need to have some control over the stringbed, yet you want to have high rhs.

The old school measurement for gripsize was due the fact, you wanted or had to hit it more flat with wooden sticks due tiny sweet spot. Now, the sturdiest rackets weigh around 360 - 380 stringed. And the idea have changed more towards having more spin to hit faster bouncing balls and keeping the ball on the court tennis is also trending towards racket head speed rather than controlling the face.
I think the common range for current badminton rackets is about 85-95 grams (3.0-3.4 oz). Some are as heavy as 100g. A 2U badminton racket is one that weighs 90 grams (or more). I may be wrong but, I believe, that many pro players use rackets in the 90-95g range. Most will use a 2U or 3U racket

A 3U racket is one that weighs in upper 80s and 4U weighs in the mid 80s. I think that competitive rec players use something in the range from 4U to 2U. I believe that 5U (low 80s) and 6U (below 80g) were popular for a while with adults. But many found them to be too light. Remember finding that they had a lack of feel and it was difficult to time my swings with these ultra-light rackets

A badminton shuttle only weighs about 5 grams. So a 90g racket would be 18x the weight of the shuttle. Contrast this with tennis. I tennis ball weighs about 2 oz (57 grams or so). So a very light (10 oz) racket would weigh about 5x the weight of the ball whereas a 12 oz racket is 6x the weight of the ball.

Yes badminton racket head speeds are quite fast. Shuttle speeds typically have a wider range than tennis ball speeds. The softest badminton shots are typically quite a bit slower than the slowest tennis shots. But at the other end of the spectrum, the exit speed of a badminton shuttle can be quite a bit faster than a tennis ball. Badminton smashes can easily exceed 180 mph. Some have been measured in excess of 200 mph in competition. (In the lab, smashes have been recorded over 300 mph from what I've heard).

Badminton rackets are often gripped with the fingers rather than resting in the palm of hand. Hence the much smaller grip size. This facilitates something called "finger power". Finger power is possible in tennis as well but not quite as commonly used as it is in badminton.

Holding a badminton racket in the fingers also facilitates rapid grip changes. While I do use multiple grips for tennis, I use even more grip variations for badminton. Some badminton players employ only two or three grip variations. (Some rec players only use 1 grip). However, I employ 8 or more grip variations. These include: a neutral grip, bevel grip, thumb grip, panhandle grip and, sometimes, a modified neutral grip for smashing. These grip variations are used for the "long grip" in the rear (or mid) court. Some / most of the grip variations are also employed or a choked-up "short grip" for quicker racket manipulations at the net.

Many tennis players also use a slightly choked up grip at the net (1-3 cm diff). However, a change from long grip to short grip in badminton is much more dramatic -- easily a 7 to 8 cm difference.
 
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Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
If you hold the thinner more loose, it’ll flick faster than a big block. It is a matter of grip pressure. A thick grip may require more pressure, ie. More tense forearm and therefore the wrist will stiffen. If you can hold the thinner more loosely, then it is only matter of which way you flick it.
Spin isn't generated by flicking the wrist in tennis. Nor is spin a part of badminton.

Spin is generated by RHS, low to high path and neutral or closed racket face. A thinner grip will limit wrist extension which may provide those players to control their racket face more at impact offering them better ball control and the ability to swing even faster. Not saying that's the explanation for Nadal using a thinner grip but its a possibility. I doubt it's because he can flick his wrist faster.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
And why can't you hold a thicker grip looser, since you have more circumfrence to keep the racket from twisting?
I still use 4 1/2, but have hit with Shroud's racket, and they hit well.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
... Nor is spin a part of badminton
That not true. Spin is important and is used a variety of ways in badminton. True, there is no topspin and no left/right bending sidespin.

However, high intermediate and elite players will often hit tumbling net drops or spinning netshots. If quickly brushed in a certain manner, the shuttle takes on an action as if it had underspin. These type of shots make it more difficult for the opponent to hit cleanly. Opponent must wait for the tumbling action to subside before they can cleanly hit the shuttle.

A badminton shuttle has an inherent (natural) spiral spin associated with it. This type of spin occurs because of the way the feathers overlap each other. Nylon shuttles are constructed in a manner that duplicates this natural spiral spin. If the shuttle is a hit squarely, it will take on its normal spiral spin. However, the cork or cork and feathers can be cut in such a manner to accentuate this type of spin or, in some cases reverse the natural spin for the initial part of its flight. Shots that use this idea are often referred to as (fast) cut smashes, half smashes, cut or slice drops, fast drops or reverse slice drops.

Some of these types are fast spin shots are achieved by lining the racket face up with the side of the shuttle so that the side of the cork is contacted rather than the tip of the cork. If executed masterfully, the stringbed can rush and grab some of the feathers as well as brushing the side of the cork. The spin effect is often dramatic. Some lefty spin drops can be even more pronounced than the corresponding right-handed version.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I think tape on fingers are for friction and avoiding blisters, not to thicken the skinny grip.
One of the many plusses of a big handle is that you don't ever get blisters or callouses. Since going up several several sizes I have lost all my callouses that every tennis player gets. Said another way, if Nadal would have a larger grip the blisters wouldn't be an issue.
 
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