The grip of a padel racket is very important part of our padel equipment collection for obvious reasons. Having a bad grip can cause us to lose the feel of the racket or have it move around too much in our hands while hitting shots.
A good grip has the following characteristics:
- Comfortable fit according to the size of your hand and personal preference.
- Absorbs shocks when hitting the ball.
- Absorbs sweat well.
The best grips are the white ones. Many people prefer the colored ones as they might match the racket’s color scheme better, however you should know that since the non-white grips are injected with ink, they lose some of their porosity and hence they don’t absorb sweat that well. The end result will be more slipping of the grip causing a lack of confidence with your racket and more mistaken shots.
There are two types of grips: the grip and the overgrip. The undergrip has a sticky side and every racket comes with one installed. Most players just add overgrips over the undergrips to suit their palm size. Some players prefer to change the undergrip itself and install one they like better. A famous example is Paquito Navarro who only uses the undergrip on his racket, without any overgrip.
Other players can add up to 5 overgrips, especially if they are battling injuries such as tennis elbow. Each overgrip reduces vibrations a bit more, so it will help players that have this issue. However each overgrip also lessens the feeling that you have with the racket, so you need to balance the pros and cons and see what you like best. I can tell you from experience that even having one extra grip can alter your play negatively in a significant way as you won’t feel as confident hitting the ball, resulting in many more mistakes. I tend to use a grip with two thin overgrips or one thin and one thick overgrip. I have quite a big hand. The general rule is that when you wrap your fingers around the handle there should be extra space to fit a finger between the top fingers and the bottom of your palm. Of course, this is just a general rule; use whatever you feel most comfortable with.
Let’s take a look at some videos on how to install grips.
First up is this video from Paddelea showing the most common way of installing overgrips:
Second up is Mati Diaz, who installs his grip in a peculiar way. He installs it the other way round to the most common way of installing it:
Next up is Paquito Navarro, who, as mentioned earlier, removes his undergrip and replaces it with one of his preference. He does not add any overgrip as he prefers having maximum feel of the racket’s handle.
Grips typically cost between one and four euro, and the professionals tend to change grips every game. Amateurs can change it every few games, depending on how much their palms sweat. You can also buy gels or powders to reduce sweating in your hands and does prolong the life of your grips.