Is the 4 1/2 grip size slowly dying out?

ryushen21

Legend
I remember when 4 1/2 was still a fairly common grip but it seems to be losing ground to 3/8 and smaller. Retailers seems to stock fewer 1/2 frames and there's definitely fewer of them coming up in the FS forum. It reminds in a way of when 4 5/8 disappeared or became a special order situation.

I can make a 3/8 work but I've found that extreme happy spot with a 1/2, thin base grip, and OG to be absolute perfection. But I'm wondering if it's time to embrace the change and go for 3/8.
 

SinneGOAT

Hall of Fame
I haven’t seen it in a long time. Only people who use it are the elderly or those who have very large hands. The smaller grips let people use their wrist to spin it more, so they teach kids to use the smaller grips.
 

McGradey

Professional
It’s on the way out you’d have to think

last new racquet I tried to buy in 4 1/2 I had to get the shop to order one in, and that was a best selling model

I measure up as a 4 1/2 using that old diagram of a hand that you’ll find on the wall in some tennis shops, or the ‘finger width apart’ method. So that’s what I bought for about 8 years.

But eventually I tried some 3/8s because that’s what 75% of racquets on the resale market are. If you’re looking to buy something second hand in 4 1/2 (at least here in Aus), good luck to ya

And I found that 3/8 is actually easier to use for me—not to mention more readily available—and there’s no concern about gripping too tight on a smaller handle unless you make it so. You control how loose or tight you grip the racquet handle.

I could still use a 4 1/2 but it would definitely feel weird now
 

Yamin

Professional
I hold the racket very low and used to play with a 1/2. Resale was difficult. I think many people are playing with too small of grip size these days (on the forums) and I'm not sure why. I have child hands and a 3/8 with OG is perfect.

For most normal people with a 1/4th and overgrip their fingers will overlap/touch at some point....

I also think grips are getting secretly bigger, or the replacement grips are thicker across this generation. Women and children also exist and probably represent a good portion of the market lol
 
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Leen

New User
It's all about being able to get more wrist snap for the more modern forehand. I'm personally thinking of going down to 4 1/4 on my next racket for this reason. Used my friends racket which was a grip size smaller and it definitely felt whippier.
 

ryushen21

Legend
I hold the racket very low and used to play with a 1/2. Resale was difficult. I think many people are playing with too small of grip size these days (on the forums) and I'm not sure why. I have child hands and a 3/8 with OG is perfect.

For most normal people with a 1/4th and overgrip their fingers will overlap/touch at some point....

I also think grips are getting secretly bigger, or the replacement grips are thicker across this generation. Women and children also exist and probably represent a good portion of the market lol
My issue is that I have big meaty man hands. I know I cannot get comfortable with a 1/4 at all. 3/8 is doable. With the correct base grip and OG combination.

But the impression I get is that 3/8 is where I will inevitably have to go.

Think he sums up your questions nicely
He isn't wrong, but I still dislike his channel.
 

Leen

New User
Question, what racket are you trying to get that doesn't come in 4 1/2?
Maybe online has more options if local stores keep low stock.
 

ngoster

Rookie
I haven’t seen it in a long time. Only people who use it are the elderly or those who have very large hands. The smaller grips let people use their wrist to spin it more, so they teach kids to use the smaller grips.
Add me to that elderly list. I think I have medium to small hands but, according to the guideline at the shop, 1/2 fits me just fine. I've had the same model racquet (multiple times) in both 1/2 and 3/8. I just couldn't get couldn't get used to the 3/8, especially when I try to switch in between rallies.
 

ryushen21

Legend
Question, what racket are you trying to get that doesn't come in 4 1/2?
Maybe online has more options if local stores keep low stock.
It's more of an issue in resale. Practically no used 4 1/2 frames out there. So I'm having to buy new to get the grip size I want. I just have an aversion to paying retail for frames.
 

kingcheetah

Hall of Fame
Yeah, they're definitely less common- I can only find larger grip sizes on the web or special ordered, a lot of players are defaulting to 3/8 or 1/4 nowadays.
 

StringGuruMRT

Semi-Pro
The better question is... Is the 5/8th grip dead? As someone who strings for the general playing population (not pros, not on the message boards) I still see some 1/2 grips, but unless its an older model racquet, I rarely see 5/8.
 

Rozroz

G.O.A.T.
can't understand why 4 1/2 is not more common, or people's hands getting smaller? i measured in any way possible and it's always 4 1/2 minimum.
4 3/8 start to feel like a stick in my hands, and less secure feel on the bevels.. not to mention they tend to slip in my grip.
what are the pro's sizes? all of them have 4 3/8??
 
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smboogie

Semi-Pro
As more and more players are hitting heavier spin with semi-western grips they have gone down in grip size. I have done the same as I do have large hands and used to use a size 5 with an overgrip and played just fine but upon trying a 3/8 (3) and realizing I can get more 'whip' on the ball b/c of hand/wrist position I have made the switch to 3/8 w/overgrip, which is close(er) to 1/2.

Most if not all pro's are using 3/8 or smaller. They might go small and bulk up with sleeves to get the 'in between' sizing they want and still feel bevels.
 

Curtennis

Semi-Pro
I’d be a grip size L7 if one existed. I’m happy with my 4 1/2 L4. I can see why people are moving down, cause I’m essentially moved down too. I could probably go even lower, but then the bevels are smaller too and i dislike that
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I’d be a grip size L7 if one existed. I’m happy with my 4 1/2 L4. I can see why people are moving down, cause I’m essentially moved down too. I could probably go even lower, but then the bevels are smaller too and i dislike that
Its easy to build up your grip to the right size. I use like a 5 1/2 or bigger these days and buy 3/8 frames
 

McLovin

Legend
I haven’t seen it in a long time. Only people who use it are the elderly or those who have very large hands. The smaller grips let people use their wrist to spin it more, so they teach kids to use the smaller grips.
Hey now! Who you calling elderly?
 

Notorious_Junkballer

Professional
The better question is... Is the 5/8th grip dead? As someone who strings for the general playing population (not pros, not on the message boards) I still see some 1/2 grips, but unless its an older model racquet, I rarely see 5/8.
A current Yonex 1/2 equals many 5/8s. I've also gone down from 1/2 with og to 3/8 with og. I still prefer a bit thicker when playing with 1hb.
 

Lorenn

Professional
Think he sums up your questions nicely
Tall...
Large Hands...
Mature player...

All check boxes checked. Currently playing with 4 1/2. I don't mind visiting smaller sizes to test a racquet. Trend is towards smaller grip sizes...I have not had trouble playing for three hours with any of the sizes 4 1/4, 4 3/8 or 4 1/2. Prefer half. Basically in wooden/old days 4 1/2+ was the right size to start a new player.
 

Lorenn

Professional
It's crazy to me because I don't have big hands and 3/8 feels way too small and unstable.
Really depends on how you grip the racquet and who you are playing with...I think the main difference is younger players should use smaller sizes.
 
First - the pros. Not all play with small grips. Serena and Venus - 5/8. ND- 5/8 ( he builds up). Second - I doubt I ever would buy a used racquet. Third - IMO if one uses a semi western or a western, smaller works. Fourth - I use a 5/8 plus thin og. No problem finding 5/8 Volkl and PK. Fifth - small grips are orthopods dream - lots of tennis and golf elbows
 

!<-_->!

Hall of Fame
I'd argue even 3/8 is not as popular as it once was. Seeing way more used frames in 1/4 than 3/8.
 

n80aoag

Rookie
Humans are now holding cellphones so much more than larger hunting tools that we are evolving to have smaller, more nimble hands for fine motor skills. Moreover, I just made that up and have no scientific basis for it. Someone will validate it scientifically though, someday!
 

rader023

Rookie
I have a 4 5/8 Vcore 89. I have sized down over the years so everything i have is 4 1/2. For my Vcore Tour i almost bought a 4 3/8 and would double overgrip it to make it more headlight.
 

basil J

Hall of Fame
I still use a 5/8 grip on all my frames. I find that if I go smaller than a 1/2 my elbow gets tender . I have no issues with spin and i find a larger grip is better for volleys
 

Crocodile

Legend
I am concerned about the lack of larger grips available especially 5/8,s but if 1/2’s are going as well then that is a problem. While I can understand that many players these days use a loose wrist and can benefit from smaller grips and sizeable proportion of people need stability and that occurs when you use a larger grip. Having stability can protect you from getting injury to your wrist and elbow.
 

Strayfire

Rookie
I'd argue even 3/8 is not as popular as it once was. Seeing way more used frames in 1/4 than 3/8.
You should see the used market in Asia. Hard to find a 4 3/8 anywhere.

4 1/2 is almost as rare as a good pizza in Asia.

4 5/8 is the equivalent of the 7UP cake. Tourists take photos of it to show their friends back home how weird this new land they visited is.
 

speedysteve

Legend
Think he sums up your questions nicely

He is wrong, in as much as in the wooden racquet 70's, coaches this side of the pond were teaching grip change for BH!
Serve and FH using chopper yes. BH def not!
Maybe he's thinking of the 1890s or 1930s:-D
Why should a 4 1/2 in the right side hand not be moved during play?! Plain wrong.

I sometimes play woodie for fun, and chopper for serve, semi Western for FH with top spin (think Björn Borg) and flat or slice BH needing the opposite way.
 
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