How to regrip a tennis racket?

Tennis replacement grips (also called base grips, foundation grips, or simply grips) and overgrips are an overlooked aspect in tennis rackets, particularly by beginner and intermediate players.

Tennis grips are wrapped around the racket’s handle, from the butt cap to just below its throat, and are used to maintain adherence of the racket to the hand of the player.

If a grip is used more than it should, it will lose its adherence to the hand, especially on those tricky, hard shots. This will cause the racket to drift in your hand, lose the point, and cause painful blisters on your fingers. Nobody wants that, right?

That is why it is crucial to keep an eye on the grip on your racket and replace it right away when you feel it has passed its due date.

But, how to regrip a tennis racket?

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Content

The types of tennis grips

types of tennis grips

There are two types of tennis grips: replacement grips and overgrips.

Replacement grips are the ones that wrap directly around your racket’s handle. Think of when you buy a new tennis racket. Tennis replacement grips are the ones that already come attached to your racket.

99% of the players do not hold the replacement grip directly – instead, they wrap an overgrip around the grip.

This happens because replacement grips are often sturdier, tackier and offer less adherence than overgrips. And the firsts are also more expensive. So, what a tennis player typically does when he buys a new racket is to:

  1. replace the “stock” grip with a replacement grip of their choosing
  2. Wrap an overgrip on top of the replacement grip
  3. Replace the overgrip when it is too used, without replacing the base grip.

 

Both grips and overgrips come in many different colors, textures, and materials, so it is useful to understand what kind of grips you are most suited to.

For example, people who tend to sweat from their hands generally like different overgrip materials than those who don’t.

We cover below what kind of materials there are in the market and those you should choose for your needs.

Replacement grips

When you talk about replacement grips, and since they will not be in direct contact with your hands, you’re looking for cushioning.

Two materials dominate the market for replacement grips – leather and synthetic.

Synthetic grips are usually cheaper and offer more comfort to the player than leather ones. However, these generally come at the cost of the feeling of the racket. Old-school players prefer to choose leather replacement grips since they report feeling more feedback with, and ultimately, feeling and controlling the racket more.

Leather grips used to be the staple in the old days.

In recent years, and because of the evolution of the technology of synthetic grips, synthetic grips are the way to go. They are cheaper and provide better sweat absorption and more comfort.

Consider it from this angle – 50 years ago, people used to play with wood rackets. You don’t see it nowadays, do you? It is the same with leather grips.

Overgrips

There are three main types of overgrips to consider absorbent, tacky, and textured overgrips.

Absorbent overgrips are the ones focused on absorbing the sweat from your hands. They are generally thinner and not as durable as the other two types.

These are the types of grips used by Richard Gasquet – often called “the master of the overgrip replacement” – he reached the 7th place in ATP rankings and was famous for regripping his rackets mid-match – and he would take no more than 10 seconds doing so! A master indeed.

Tacky-oriented overgrips are the ones that provide that “glued” feeling. They provide a sticky feeling and are very durable and stable.

At last, textured overgrips – they are a kind of intermediate overgrip in-between the other two. They have little groves in their texture, designed to provide a better grip to players.

They are also thicker than the other two kinds of overgrips. In terms of durability, they last longer than absorbent overgrips, but less than tacky ones.

How to wrap / re-grip a tennis racket?

how to re-grip a tennis racket

The process for regripping a tennis racket is the same for overgrips and replacement grips.

Make sure that any surface on which you’re applying the grip is clean – whether it is on the grip or directly on the racket’s handle – since grips and overgrips have glue-like materials, there could be residues that stick to the surface. This will ensure an even and clean grip.

  1. Remove the old grip – Peel the old grip from the throat of the racket downwards. As stated above, make sure the surface is clean from any residue. If some kind of adhesive material is stuck to the surface, clean it with any tissue, water, or, if needed, a little alcohol. However, we find that 95% of the time, the surface will be clean. Just make sure.
  2. If there’s one, remove the staple – some players like to staple their grips. Also, some rackets come with the factory grip stapled to the racket. If this is the case, gently pull it using a screwdriver, pliers, or another similar instrument. You will not need to staple your grips – we find this completely unnecessary. If the grip is properly fit, no staple is needed.
  3. Place the sticky, thin part of the grip to the bevel of the racket handle. If there’s no sticky part, just place the thin part on the bevel.
  4. Wrap it tightly – your objective is to wrap the grip tightly until you reach the throat of the racket. Make sure that, at each spin around the racket, the grip overlaps a little bit. There’s no ideal overlapping measure – personally, I like to overlap a little, some people like to overlap a lot. It is a matter of personal preference. As a rule of thumb, consider 0.5 to 1.5 centimeters of overlapping.
  5. Finishing the wrapping – Replacement grips and overgrips alike come with a finishing tape. Apply it around the last bit of grip, near the throat, to make sure it is tightly in its place
  6. Destroy your opponents with your fresh, new grip – nothing can stop you!

To Wrap Up

Grips and overgrips are one of the most overlooked aspects of tennis gear, but they can cause major damage to your hands and game if not properly fit and replaced when needed.

We recommend you try different types of grips each time you have to replace one – this way, you will find the one that suits you best.

For how to regrip a tennis racket, just make sure you keep it tight when wrapping and keep the overlap constant. With practice, you will become a pro in regripping tennis rackets in no time!