Warmer days are heading our way and you may start to notice your paddle slipping more during games. One quick, inexpensive, and easy way to help is by adding an overgrip. Did you know that overgrips are not just for sweat absorption, though? There are actually several reasons for using an overgrip and it is a great idea for both the comfort and the quality of your pickleball game.
You may hear experienced pickleball players talking about “building up” their handles. One of the most common reasons players will add an overgrip (or even two) is for added comfort. If your paddle doesn’t fit your hand correctly, you will have a hard time maintaining control during the game. Having a larger grip can really help in allowing for a more relaxed hold on the handle. This results in more control and improves touch while dinking. Also, if you’re not gripping the paddle as tight, it will relax your muscles and allows your arm to swing faster to allow for better drives.
Grips add cushion to the paddle. Not only does that increase comfort, but the overgrip can help absorb the shock when the ball is hit. It will lessen the impact from hitting the ball. Even if you are not a “banger”, the repetitive motion of swinging the paddle and making contact with the ball can start to take a toll on your arm and may even lead to longer lasting effects like pickleball elbow.
As mentioned before, the overgrip can also be a great tool in warmer weather or in stressful matches. It is the first line of defense against hand sweat! The overgrip is designed to have a tacky texture to counteract any slippery hands. Once you add your overgrip, you may almost feel as though the handle is sticking to you- this is exactly what you want! The overgrip can help channel sweat away from your hand. You’ll remain in control and keep partners and opponents safe from any flyaway paddles.
How do you know what grip is right for you? Some people choose grips as a fashion statement; possibly a bright color or design that really stands out in a crowd. However, there are actual guidelines that could help you find the best grip for YOU. If you measure from the tip of your paddle hand ring finger to the middle crease of your palm, that is the best grip length for you. Another useful tool is by height: If you’re between 5’3” and 5’8” you’ll want to try a 4 ¼ inch grip and if you’re taller than 5’8” you’ll typically need a 4 ½ inch grip.
We offer two excellent overgrip options. The Wilson Comfort Pro Overgrip is a thinly crafted grip perfect for applying over your existing paddle grip. The high stretch material is easy to manipulate as you add it to your handle. For a more cushiony feel, the PROLITE SofTac Cushion Grip may be more to your liking. This grip is made from an exclusive takified material to help keep your paddle secure as you play. The added cushion helps to prevent overgripping and the side effects that come with holding the paddle too tight.
Now that you’ve found the perfect grip for you and you see the results in not only how you are playing and feeling; your work is not quite over. Overgrips are not one and done. You’ll start to notice a difference in the tackiness of your grip as time goes on. You’ll feel the stickiness start to fade away and the paddle will start to slip more. Also, if you opted for the white overgrip that looks really sharp; it can also provide a visual clue that when the grip is getting dirty, it should be replaced. Good news is that you now know a simple, quick fix to improving the comfort and effectiveness of your game- add that overgrip and reap the benefits!