Increase Grip Size Heat Shrink Sleeve or Overgrip?

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by untetheredKite, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. untetheredKite

    untetheredKite New User

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    I want to increase the size the of my grip while keeping the weight increase to a minimum.
    Should I use a 1/2 size TW heat shrink sleeve or an Overgrip or Replacement Grip like Babolat Symantec Lite or Wilson FeatherThin?
    I also want to preserve the bevel feel.
    I want to increase the grip size from 1/4 to 3/8
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
    #1
  2. Stretchy Man

    Stretchy Man Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    Messages:
    752
    Just add an overgrip. You won't have to mess around with the heat shrink sleeve or buy a new replacement grip.
     
    untetheredKite likes this.
    #2
  3. AndI

    AndI Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Messages:
    202
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    1. Heat shrink sleeve. You remove and throw away your existing grip, possibly remove the staple, clean up the handle, slide on the black heat shrink sleeve, take a heat gun, gradually heat it up fwhile rotating, let it cool, cut it with knife at the butt cap and where the grip should end, install new grip. You can leave the staple out. About $15 in materials, about half an hour of work if you are not a pro, and you need a couple of basic tools, notably heat gun.
    If you have not done it before, there are videos on youtube which show how to do it. It is very easy.

    2. Overgrip. Just install it on top of the grip, about $3 and about 5 mins, the only required tools are pen and scissors. It may change your grip size somewhat, but less than a size (1/8). Maybe by about 1/16 - which is half size.


    3. New grip. To the best of my understanding, it will not change your grip size at all unless you find something totally unusual and nonstandard, like very thick. They are all padded (i.e., quite a bit thicker than overgrip) and all of similar thickness, take or give a small +/-. Replacing it will refresh your racquet at a cost of $8 - $15, but will not do anything for the grip size.

    Hence, you can meet your goal of increasing grip size to the next size ONLY with heat shrink sleeve. Note that heat shrink sleeves come in two difference sizes, 1/8 (full size, black) and 1/16 (half size, white).

    Bevel feel will remain after grip enlargement, but will get slightly muted, i.e., transitions from bevel to bevel will get slightly more rounded.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
    untetheredKite likes this.
    #3
  4. untetheredKite

    untetheredKite New User

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Thanks @Andl.
    Would applying a replacement grip (like Wilson Featherthin or Babolat Syntec Lite) over my existing grip increase the grip size by 1?
     
    #4
  5. AndI

    AndI Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2014
    Messages:
    202
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Installation of grip on top of a grip is not a recommended or approved by USRSA method for increasing grip size. This is because grips have fairly thick padding, and are quite a bit thicker than overgrips. Application of the second grip could increase the grip size perhaps even more than by 1 size and would round the handle quite a bit.

    I see where you are going with the idea of very thin grip, but unfortunately I have no knowledge about those specific grips. Perhaps someone who has experience with the specific grips that you mentioned, Wilson Featherthin or Babolat Syntec Lite, would be able to comment how much they are thinner than average.

    I have my doubts that it will work as well as you hope, long term. There was time when I had a 4 1/2" inch grip racquet and was wondering if 4 5/8" grip would be more comfortable for me, but could not find a racquet with that grip size to borrow or demo for a few days. I did not want to make significant alterations to my existing racquet until I know it feels good (heat shrink sleeve is a reversible alteration, you can remove it, but I wanted an easier and cheaper path to try) and ended up installing two overgrips on top of each other, since it was an easy way to get the feel of increased grip size. So, it was grip, then overgrip, and then another overgrip on top of it. This gave me a good idea of the comfort level due to a larger size, but the bevel feel loss was significant. Very significant. With heat sleeve, when it shrinks, the shape of the bevels is much better retained.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
    untetheredKite likes this.
    #5
  6. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,971
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    A heat shrink sleeve is fine if you KNOW it’s what you want. For simple purposes, just apply a thicker overgrip over the existing grip. You could even replace the existing grip and put old used overgrips on the pallet and then place the original grip back on top of those to get an idea too.

    While the sleeve is not permanent, it is the most permanent solution of your options and allows less wiggle room for experimenting. I suggest experimenting with combinations of grips first.
     
    untetheredKite likes this.
    #6
  7. Geoff

    Geoff Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2004
    Messages:
    1,672
    Location:
    In the now
    In my opinion when going up a full grip size you would want to use a heat shrink sleeve for best results. The upside is you can maintain the bevels. The downside is the added weight changing the specs. I believe that a full size heat shrink sleeve adds 18g.
     
    untetheredKite and NuBas like this.
    #7
  8. bigserving

    bigserving Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2004
    Messages:
    1,749
    I think that you should try a heat shrink sleeve. They are cheap, easy to install, and very easy to remove if you don't like the feel.

    It is pretty easy to melt through the first time that you do it. I would suggest buying several whole and half sizes. That way you can do some experimenting now and later. Good luck, and have fun.
     
    untetheredKite and NuBas like this.
    #8
  9. ba4x

    ba4x New User

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    If your racket has a pallet system, that's your answer. Order new 3/8ths pallets, install them, done. No weight change, bevels are kept in tact.

    I'm not sure which racket brands use this system. Head rackets use pallets, generally. Yonex do not.

    Here's an example:
    https://www.racquetdepot.co.uk/head-tennis-grip-pallet-tk82/
     
    #9
  10. untetheredKite

    untetheredKite New User

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    I have a Babolat, which does not have pallets.
     
    #10
  11. richardc-s

    richardc-s Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2015
    Messages:
    491
    Location:
    England
    If you're happy with an extra 15-20 grams weight then the heat sleeve is the best option as it will keep the bevel shape.

    If you want to keep weight gain to a minimum I would add an extra overgrip (5-7 grams) and see how it feels.
     
    #11
  12. mhkeuns

    mhkeuns Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    Messages:
    2,010
    Location:
    Buena Park, CA
    Use the leather grip. It will add weight but not as much as using the heat shrink sleeve.
     
    #12
  13. ba4x

    ba4x New User

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    If you have the time and patience, sell your racket, buy it again with the correct grip size on craigslist or used online.
     
    #13
  14. MisterP

    MisterP Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,623
    You could try adding a sleeve to just the bottom half of the grip if you have a one hander. Then use the WIlson Feather Thin grip and maybe a very light overgrip.
     
    #14
  15. dak95_00

    dak95_00 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    1,971
    Location:
    Columbus, OH
    I’m still scratching my head on the bevel conversation. The sharpest bevels come from taking off the grip and replacing with only an overgrip. After that, no matter what you do you’ll be “rounding” the bevels. There’s simply no way this doesn’t happen. It makes no difference whether it’s a new grip, heat sleeve, etc. The grip will lose some bevel sharpness.

    Out of curiosity, how many have actually done grip changes who’ve commented? I’ve done it with sleeves and overgrips. I see no difference. If you know you want to definitely go up a grip size, use a sleeve or trade the racquet for the correct size. If you’re uncertain, just add a new overgrip over the old one. The tighter you wrap them? The better your bevels will feel.
     
    #15
  16. ba4x

    ba4x New User

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    The idea is to approach the perfect grip size with minimal rounding of bevels and minimal weight change. It's an optimization problem. Using a heat shrink wrap tube or overgrips to get there will inevitably result in rounding of bevels, but maybe there's some combination which is slightly better. The best solution is to buy the racket with the correct damn size... should be end of discussion right there.

    Maybe I'm a bit bitter since my correct grip size is L6 / L7, and I can't find any rackets or pallets with this size, so I'm forced to live with weight and balance changes (and rounded bevels). Each new racket needs customization, and it's hard to get the spec I'm looking for, especially if the racket comes significantly head-light to begin with.
     
    #16
  17. MisterP

    MisterP Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,623
    The change in bevel definition from adding 1 sleeve is almost nil. I've done 4 in the last several months and the change is negligible. Weight and balance is shifted quite a bit, however.
     
    #17
  18. untetheredKite

    untetheredKite New User

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Have you added 4 sleeves to one racquet?
    Is the change in balance and weight significant after adding 1 sleeve?
     
    #18
  19. untetheredKite

    untetheredKite New User

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Spoken like a Programmer!
     
    ba4x likes this.
    #19
  20. MisterP

    MisterP Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,623
    Dear god no. Just did four different racquets. But I want to say it added maybe 7 or 8 grams to the frame. Balance would depend on your individual racquet setup.
     
    #20
  21. ba4x

    ba4x New User

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    Haha yep, is it that obvious...

    My "1 grip size" sleeve from TW added 16 grams, that's after applying and trimming the extra. I could see how the 1/2 size would be 7 or 8.
     
    #21
  22. MisterP

    MisterP Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    Messages:
    1,623
    I just measured. You’re right. It’s not just 7-8g. The whole thing was 22g and I cut maybe 1/4 of it off so somewhere in the high teens.
     
    #22
  23. untetheredKite

    untetheredKite New User

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Takes one to know one.
    "optimization problem" gave it away.
     
    #23
  24. Big Bagel

    Big Bagel Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2018
    Messages:
    154
    Here's my two cents since I've seen a lot of back and forth:

    1) Heat shrink sleeve: Adds significant weight but keeps the bevels as sharp as possible while increasing size

    2) Add an overgrip: Adds less weight, but rounds the bevels more.

    3) Add an extra replacement grip: Absolutely not a good idea. Weight gain will be significant and bevels won't hardly exist.

    Obviously getting the racquet with the correct grip is best, but that's not always practical. Heat shrink sleeves and adding overgrips are both decent options depending on what you want to do. Overgrips are quick, easy, and can be bought anywhere. Heat shrink sleeves are still pretty quick and easy, but not quite as quick and easy as the overgrips, and will probably have to be ordered from TW. I personally recommend the heat shrink sleeve because I love feeling the bevels on a racquet. In high school I just added overgrips, and it was fine then, but going back and picking up the racquets I used they feel awful compared to what I use now with heat shrink sleeves when needed. The weight is increased, but it's in the handle so the swingweight won't be increased all that much. Bevel rounding with heat shrink sleeves is not bad if you only use one. In fact, on one of my racquets, I added the heat shrink sleeve and replaced the synthetic grip with a leather grip and I could actually feel the bevels better than before. The leather grip also added more weight to it though, which for me was not a problem because I wanted to add weight anyway.
     
    ba4x likes this.
    #24
  25. ba4x

    ba4x New User

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    Blessed are those who want to add weight anyway. If the racket is heavy with a strong HL balance already, then you're boxed in a corner. I'm realizing it makes sense to buy lighter frames and customize your way up.
     
    #25
  26. Big Bagel

    Big Bagel Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2018
    Messages:
    154
    Yes, it is much easier to customize if you buy a lighter racquet.

    Granted, with me it doesn't really matter, as no new racquets these days are sold up to my specs. I even added weight to my RF97 racquets. I have a few frames sitting at right around 13 ounces strung, some a little over I think.
     
    #26
  27. Erlang

    Erlang New User

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2016
    Messages:
    80
    Everyone else discussed the easy options: overgrips and heat shrink sleeves. In my opinion those both have significant disadvantages: the bevels will be rounded and the balance of the racquet will be changed because they are heavy

    The best option if you want to put some effort into it is to use some balsa wood. Here is a thread with pictures:
    https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...p-size-using-balsa-wood-with-pictures.482746/

    Using 0.8mm-1mm thick (1/32 of an inch) balsa wood should be enough to increase a 1/4 grip to 3/8
     
    #27
  28. Big Bagel

    Big Bagel Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2018
    Messages:
    154
    My first thought was that the balsa wood would be rather soft and would deform or break. Reading through the thread, I did see that they noticed deformation throughout a match. Neat idea and sounds like a fun project, but I don't think that it would be a very good long-term solution for a somewhat serious player. It might work for someone who is just a casual player though.

    Also, since there are 8 sides on a handle, wouldn't adding 1/32 of an inch increase the size by 1/4 of an inch, aka 2 grip sizes? This is just a brief thought, haven't actually done the math.
     
    #28
  29. Erlang

    Erlang New User

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2016
    Messages:
    80
    You'd have to apply varnish to help with the deformation. I am planning on doing this and I can report after I've played with it for some time

    No, the size increase should be just one size
     
    Big Bagel likes this.
    #29

Share This Page