Guide for Padel Grips and Overgrips
Finding the best grip for your padel racket is of great importance. If you don't have a good grip on the racket, you risk it slipping in your hand and you lose precision in your stroke. A good overgrip costs €4-7, so for a small outlay you'll get a big return. But which grip should you choose for padel? And how long does an overgrip actually last? We've gathered the answers to these questions and many more in this article, your ultimate guide to finding the perfect padel grip.
The Different Types of Grips for a Padel Racket
There are 2 main types of grips in padel: Overgrips and undergrips. And then there are replacement grips, which can be categorized as a special type of undergrip. In the following we will go through the different grip types.
The most common in padel is to leave the grip that is initially attached to the racket in place and add an overgrip on top of it. If you have just bought a new padel racket, we therefore recommend that you fit an overgrip on top of the original grip of the racket.
How Thick Should an Overgrip Be?
As the word implies, the overgrip is on top of another grip, and it's important that the thickness of the grip fits your hand. A good overgrip should prevent the racket from sliding in your hand. As padel rackets are usually born with a one-size grip from the factory, it is important to assess the size of the grip in relation to your playing hand. As a general rule, the size of the grip should fit with being able to put a pinky finger between your fingertips and the pad under your thumb when holding a standard original grip and not squeezing hard.
A key point is that individual preference has a lot to say in the choice of grip thickness, as e.g. former badminton players may prefer a thinner grip, while former tennis players may prefer a somewhat thicker grip. We recommend keeping in mind that you must not over-tighten your hand and arm during play, which can cause injuries such as a padel elbow. Our best tip is therefore to experiment a little with the thickness of the grip.
The replacement grip that the racket is born with, we recommend that you do not replace unless you have worn it down through play or the original grip has been on so long that it affects the overgrip that is fitted on top of it.
As the name suggests, a replacement grip can be replaced by another grip. This becomes relevant in cases where you want a special pattern in the grip or a harder feel. Here you have the option to replace the original grip of the racket with a new replacement grip that has exactly the characteristics you want.
For example, there are leather grips that are not as soft as the regular replacement grips, which are made of PU foam. The leather grip can provide a stiffer/harder feel, making the edges of the grip surface more distinct.
An undergrip should be on the inside of the racket shaft. Therefore, it is also in the nature of the undergrip that you remove the racket's original grip and replace it with your preferred undergrip. A good undergrip helps to reduce vibrations when hitting the ball and thus prevent injuries.
Undergrips come in different thicknesses, patterns and hardnesses. A popular undergrip is the Bullpadel Hesacore, which is a rubber cover that can take the vibrations of the stroke as well as change the ergonomics of the grip.
The most common solution is to put your Hesacore grip inside and an overgrip on top. However, some prefer to mount their Hesacore on the outside of an original or standard replacement grip to prevent the rubber cover itself from slipping.
Another solution is a so-called "Apacita", which again changes the ergonomics and feel of the grip.
What the above solutions have in common is that they strive to provide you with a grip solution that suits your exact needs. For example, Hesacore and X-grip market themselves, among other things, by being able to neutralise part of the vibrations from your racket and thus have a good effect for people with overuse injuries in the arm and shoulder (e.g. padel elbow). With the leather grip, many find the advantage that the edges are easier to feel when adjusting the grip for the different strokes in padel between forehand, backhand, volley, smash, bandeja etc.
For the vast majority, however, we recommend that you start by fitting an overgrip on top of your original grip. This should be done without the replacement grip having been used.
Fitting an Overgrip to Your Padel Racket
When you put a new overgrip on your racket, always start at the bottom of the shaft and wind upwards. Start with the narrow end of the grip that is already cut from the start. Once you have fitted the overgrip, cut off the excess grip.
First of all, the grip should be put on to suit right- or left-handed players. For right-handed players, you should wrap the right hand, while for left-handed players you should wrap the opposite. With Hesacore and X-grip this does not matter as the rubber cover is symmetrical.
Another important consideration is in relation to overlap, where you can adjust in proportion to how thick you want the grip. As a starting point, you can choose minimal or 50/50 overlap. Among former tennis players you often see minimal overlap while 50/50 overlap is something seen more among badminton players. However, the most important thing is to choose the option that gives the right overall thickness of your overgrip.
What Thickness Should the Padel Grip Have?
It is individual which grip size is best for each padel player, but our general recommendation for the thickness of your padel grip is the following:
Junior/Lady hand: 1 overgrip fitted with as thin an overlap as possible on top of the original grip. Alternatively, just an original grip, or if it needs to be completely thin, remove the replacement grip and fit an overgrip instead.
Men's hand: 1 overgrip fitted with a minimum to 50/50 overlap on top of the original grip.
Large men's hand: 2 overgrips fitted with overlap adjusted as required on top of the original grip.
The above recommendations are indicative and we fully recognise that many people have individual preferences which may differ. Fitting hesacore, x-grip and apacita will affect the size of the grip and we therefore recommend that you try it out to find your own preferences.
If you need advice on choosing a padel overgrip or undergrip, please feel free to contact us.
Recommendations for Selecting an Overgrip
The padel market is packed with different types of overgrips with different characteristics. Below we briefly review some of the most popular overgrips and our own recommendations.
Sweat Absorbent and Tacky Overgrips
When choosing an overgrip for padel, first and foremost is the grip's ability to absorb sweat and the grip's ability to be "sticky" (tacky). In general, these two properties counteract each other, as the most sticky grips can often become slippery on the surface from sweat, whereas the more absorbent grips can feel slippery if used by a completely dry playing hand. Our bestsellers are generally somewhere in between on the scale, and here it's very individual what works for people.
Tourna is the only brand to have developed a dedicated range, designed to suit the playing conditions. Tourna has for many years been at the forefront of the development of overgrips, as they are among the largest players in the tennis world. For very humid and hot conditions, they have developed Tourna Grip Dry Feel, which is made to provide maximum sweat absorption, but also very little sticky feeling. At the other end of the scale they have their Tourna Grip Mega Tac, which is made for cold conditions where you need maximum stickiness. Right in between is the Tourna Grip Tac, which is the one we recommend you to try out first, as it offers a good mix of absorbency and stickiness.
Wilson Pro overgrips are another very popular option, which also have their R&D from the tennis world, where they have always been among the biggest brands. Their Pro overgrips are a classic for racket sports in general, and they have a good absorbency while sticking very well. Another great feature of this grip is that the durability is relatively good compared to many of the other overgrips.
YouPadel has developed an overgrip especially for padel, which distinguishes itself by a super stickiness and at the same time a fine absorbency. YouPadel overgrip is something most people can play with, as the playing characteristics are top notch. Uniquely, YouPadel offers their overgrips in many different designs, so you have the opportunity to personalise your look as much as possible. For example, WPT star Pablo Lima has had his own version made with a signature Brazilian flag.
Gallant overgrips are of the highest premium quality and have a top class product that both absorbs and sticks well. As one of the first, they have developed a "Gallant Golden" overgrip with small holes in the overgrip that transports sweat away from the surface of the grip faster. If you are more into the classic, uniform surface, you should choose "Gallant Original". Both Gallant Golden and Original are available in black and white.
Get Advice to Choose the Best Padel Overgrip
In general, the choice of overgrip is very individual and we recommend that you try out and test the different types of grip. You are always welcome to ask our opinion on a grip solution. At Padellife, we have played through a variety of padel grips ourselves and various products such as gels and sprays to make the grip even better, and we are happy to share our experiences. Find your new padel overgrip in our large selection here.
When Should I Change Grip on My Padel Racket?
As a rule, you should not compromise on grip in terms of stroke selection. The clearest sign that you should consider changing your grip is when the racket "slips" or slides in your hand during a rally. When this happens, your overgrip is also often discolored from sweat and wear.
For most players, a grip should last at least 10 hours of play. If this is not the case, it suggests that you should consider looking at alternative solutions. You may need to change the type of overgrip - or you may benefit from one of the many products that can improve the performance of your overgrip (see next section). Of course, the above 10-hour rule is not without exceptions, as there are numerous examples of professional players changing overgrips before every match, and indeed sometimes before every set if conditions are exceptionally hot.
Add-Ons such as Gels and Sprays for Your Overgrip
Besides the overgrip itself, you can find a number of solutions to help you get an even better grip on the racket.
Grippy Gripz has developed a gel that can be applied to the hand to counteract hand sweat, based on the same principle as liquid lime. The product is also antibacterial. Grippy Gripz has produced this short video about the product:
Gorilla Grip is one of the most popular solutions among professionals. It is a mini towel or cloth that goes by the name Gorilla Gold Grip Enhancer. The cloth contains a kind of resin which is applied in small doses to the playing hand and the grip. Ideally, the cloth is used in small amounts at each side exchange during a match. It works best on grips with medium stickiness and medium absorbency. We recommend Tourna Tac and YouPadel overgrips when using Gorilla Grip Enhancer for the best possible effect.
4ON Total Grip / Total Grip
4ON Total Grip / Total Grip spray is an adhesive product that makes sure you don't lose your grip in the crucial moments. The Total Grip wax is gently applied to the playing hand, where a dose should be approximately equivalent to a pinky fingernail. With the spray, the product is a bit easier to dose in the playing hand, where we recommend starting with very gentle dosing and possibly increasing use as needed. Ideally, apply a little at a time at each side exchange during a padel match. The product works best on 4on's own overgrip, but can also be used on the most common overgrips such as Wilson. The following instructional video on 4ON TotalGrip is from 4ON's own website: