Like every game involving a racket, pickleball is where your grip matters. Your gameplay will be affected if you grip your pickleball paddle incorrectly. Likewise, using the proper grip will enhance your play. Your pickleball paddle will only be comfortable if you use the correct grip.
When your paddle feels uncomfortable, it is most likely because your grip is wrong. Selecting the correct grip size in pickleball plays a massive role in your performance. You will have better results if you use the correct grip size to play. There are various ways to measure your grip size for pickleball paddles.
The ruler test is the most popular way to measure paddle grip size. It is a test that helps you measure the right paddle grip size. Another popular method is the index finger method. Do you need clarification on what pickleball paddle grip size to pick? Here’s how you can measure grip size for pickleball paddles.
What Is Grip Size In Pickleball?
Grip size is an essential aspect of pickleball. Your grip size determines how easy it will be for you to swing the pickleball racquet. If you choose a suitable grip size, your performance will be maximized. However, if you select a small or large grip size, your play will be clumsy, and the paddle will be uncomfortable to hold.
Playing with a big or small grip size will require you to make unnecessary movements. This will make you get tired quickly and affect the way you play. However, some pickleball players intentionally use a smaller or larger grip size to support their playing style. This is perfectly normal.
People do this because that particular grip size gives them an advantage over others. It might be uncomfortable to hold the paddle with the wrong grip size. However, they can ignore all that in the face of advantages. Different grip sizes in pickleball produce different effects when playing.
You get more stability when you use an oversized grip. If you’re a defensive player, this will be very helpful when blocking balls. Typically, there is always a little pushback from the pickleball paddle anytime it blocks the ball. Using an oversized grip will help reduce the pushback effect on the paddle.
Attacking players can also use oversized grips. Oversized grips help attackers have a more stable shot. Undersized grips are the opposite of oversized ones because it ignores stability and enhances wrist movement. If your style of play is focused on control, an undersized grip will benefit you.
The better your wrist control, the easier it will be for you to make shots at unusual angles. It also helps you to generate more spin every time you hit the ball. However, you might not be able to achieve this level unless you’re an expert. Nowadays, most pickleball paddles come with ergonomic grips.
Ergonomic grips are very comfortable and help to shape the hand into the perfect grip. They provide better control when using pickleball paddles. In addition, ergonomic grips help to increase wrist mobility. It is a perfect modern solution for people with grip problems.
Why Does Grip Size Matter?
Grip size goes beyond just comfort and better control. Using a grip that is too small or large consistently can lead to injury. What’s the point of using a grip size that might hurt you? If you want to avoid sustaining injuries due to using the wrong grip, it is best to use the appropriate grip size often.
When you utilize a small grip size, your wrist and arm use more energy than they should. This is because you will have to spend more effort uncomfortably holding the paddle. Using a small grip size can lead to various injuries, such as tennis elbow. Your pickleball paddle can also slip from your hands if you use a smaller grip size.
A grip size that is too large is also a problem. It usually takes more work to hold paddles with larger grip sizes. This is because it feels very uncomfortable and involves unnecessary motions. Using a larger grip also makes changing grips quickly during play more complex. The best thing to do is find the grip size that suits you perfectly. Don’t go for smaller or larger grip sizes.
A pickleball paddle with the appropriate grip size will enhance your performance significantly. The right grip size can help you exert great control when hitting the ball. This is an invaluable advantage for professional players. Playing with the proper grip size on your paddle strengthens your shots and supports techniques.
Selecting The Best Grip Size For You
There are various ways to measure the best grip size for your pickleball gear. Picking the best grip size, especially for beginner pickleball players, can be significant. The reason is that your grip size determines how the pickleball paddle will feel in your hands. If you choose the wrong grip, you might not enjoy the experience.
The most common grip sizes are usually between four and five inches. However, there are some players with more extensive or tiny hands. If your grip size is smaller than four inches, it is almost impossible to find a perfect grip size so that you can settle with four inches. Four inches is the smallest grip size produced by most companies.
If your hand is too big, you can hold the bat in an overgrip to compensate. You can use some tests to determine the correct grip size for your hand. Some are more accurate than others. When performing any of these tests, it is crucial to do so on the dominant hand you use to play. The tests to check your grip size include.
The Index Finger Test
One of the popular methods to check your pickleball grip size is the index finger test. The index finger test involves you gripping the pickleball paddle in the conventional grip style. The conventional grip style, or eastern grip, involves holding the paddle so that you see the sides of the bat while looking down at it instead of the face.
Once you have achieved the grip, insert the index finger of your free hand into the space between your ring finger and your palm. If there is no space for the finger, the grip size is too small, and if the space is too much, you should reduce the grip size. The best situation is if the index finger fits snugly in the space.
If you stick with a pickleball paddle grip size that is too small or big, it will be detrimental to your muscles and gameplay over time. The index finger test is widespread among pickleball players. However, more accurate ways exist to test for the best grip size.
The Ruler Test
The ruler test is the most effective way to determine the best pickleball grip size for you. Out of all the tests, this method is the best to know your pickleball paddle grip size. As the name implies, a ruler is required for this test. It involves measuring your hands to determine the proper grip for you.
The first step is to spread out your dominant hand with your fingers placed together. Your palm and fingers should be on the same level when you do this. After that, carry your ruler and place the starting point on the second lateral crease on your palm.
Align the ruler with your hand until it parallels your ring finger. Once the ruler is aligned correctly, measure the length between the starting point on the ruler and the tip of the ring finger. The number you get is the most appropriate grip size for your pickleball rackets.
Most of the time, the length falls between four and five inches. However, children and some special adults may need to be up to that. People in this category will likely have to use a four-inch grip size until they catch up.
The Height Test
The height test is another method some individuals employ to check their ideal grip size. However, it could be more reliable and is the least accurate method to check your pickleball paddle grip size. It only gives a close estimation of what your ideal grip size is supposed to be.
The height test is pretty simple. All you have to do is compare your height to know your grip size range. According to the method, if your height is not up to 5’2”, your pickleball paddle grip size will be around four inches. If your height falls between 5’3” and 5’8”, then your ideal grip size will be around 4⅛ and 4¼ inches.
Anyone taller than 5’8” will have a grip size of around four and a half inches. This method does not require your hand or any particular measurement, just your height. The height test is inaccurate; relying on this method to determine your best pickleball grip size is not advisable.
The Natural Grip Test
This last test is more reliable than the height test but less accurate than the first two. The natural grip test is similar to the index finger test, which involves gripping pickleball rackets with your dominant hand. It might not be as accurate as the index finger test, but it gives you an immediate answer.
For this test, you must grip the pickleball racquet as naturally as possible. Make sure your grip is a perfect fit and not too tight. If your fingers contact your palm when you grip the pickleball gear, the paddle grip size is too small to use comfortably.
Also, if there is too much space between your palm and your fingers, it means the grip size is too big. Usually, the distance between your palm and fingers should not pass an inch. If it is more than an inch, consider getting a slightly smaller grip size that will be your perfect fit. Click here to learn more on the natural grip test.
How To Measure Handle Grip Sizes
The circumference of the handle measures the size of pickleball racket handles. Players measure their grip size by wrapping their hands around the paddle handle. Likewise, if you want to measure the size of the handle, you need to measure around its circumference. Make sure you measure around the middle, not the base or top.
Some pickleball rackets come with grip tape and other accessories to help you hold the handle better. All these attachments must also be considered when measuring grip handle sizes. It would be best if you focused on the circumference of the handle alone. It is vital to include overgrips and grip tapes in the measurement.
The final grip size written by pickleball gear manufacturers is the measurement taken after everything has been added to the handle. Taking the measurements before grip tape is applied can lead to a slight deviation in the grip size. Hence, most companies only take measures after the paddle is ready.
It is easy to increase the grip size of your pickleball paddle. All you need to do is to add more tape around the handle so the circumference of the handle increases. The higher the circumference of the grip handle, the bigger the grip size. Hence, it is advisable not to go for a bigger grip size since you can quickly increase it later.
The smallest pickleball paddle grip size produced by companies is four inches. Every size increment after that raises by ⅛. Hence, after 4 inches, you have 4⅛ inches, 4¼ inches, and so on, until it reaches 4¾ inches. Pickleball paddle grip sizes are measured in inches to make it easier for people to identify their ideal size.
Grip wraps play a massive role in pickleball grip sizes. A tighter wrap ensures that the tape overlaps on each other smoothly at a shallow angle. Wrapping your grip in a friendly way will increase the grip size significantly due to the overlap. Loosely wrapping the handle adds a small amount to the grip size. This is because the tape doesn’t overlap too many times.
What Happens If Pickleball Players Use The Wrong Grip Size?
There is more to choosing the right pickleball paddle grip size than comfort. Using the correct grip size provides you with better balance and wrist mobility. This allows you to play with more stability and confidence. What happens if you don’t use the proper grip while playing?
One of the significant problems associated with using the wrong grip is injury. Using a small or large grip size consistently can lead to muscle strain or tennis elbow. Nobody wants to develop an injury simply because of the wrong grip size. If you play with often the wrong grip size often, your shoulders will be strained.
When your muscles are strained, you will exert more energy when playing. Hence, you will get tired quickly. Sometimes, playing under the strain that comes with the wrong grip size can cause pain and muscle fatigue. Muscle fatigue will make you unable to play for some time.
A more prominent grip size can significantly affect your wrist movement when playing. It also adds a lot of strain to your wrist and elbow. If your wrist motion is limited, you cannot use technique shots that you will typically. What is the point of using the wrong grip size if your performance is reduced?
Tips When Choosing Pickleball Paddle Grip Size
Choosing the right pickleball paddle grip size is easy if you know the proper steps. You can easily do any tests to determine your ideal grip size. However, if you still need help, here are few tips when selecting the best pickleball paddle grip size.
- If you must pick between two sizes, choose the smaller one. You can quickly increase the grip size later. However, you can’t reduce the grip size of pickleball paddles.
- Don’t select pickleball equipment with larger grips; they are uncomfortable and hinder wrist movement. You will also burn energy faster, and it will be challenging to change your grip.
- Avoid smaller pickleball paddle grip sizes. Smaller grip sizes cause a lot of strain on your hand and can lead to injury.
- The ideal grip size allows you to comfortably achieve a full range of motion. Make sure your grip size is not too small or big.
Grip size is crucial in pickleball. If you want a pleasant pickleball game experience, it is best to use the appropriate grip size for your pickleball paddle. Using the correct grip size when you play will ensure comfort and allow you to achieve a complete range of wrist motion. If you use a smaller or larger grip, it can lead to muscle strain and injury.
There are four ways to measure the best pickleball paddle grip size for you. However, not all of them are very accurate. The ruler test is the most precise method to check your ideal grip size, followed by the index finger, natural grip, and height tests. To get the best pickleball experience, use the correct grip size for you.