In this article, I’ll show you how to measure your hand to find the perfect grip size. You’ll also learn why you should pay attention and what issues and tips are related to grip size so you can go home with a thorough understanding.
Table of Contents
Why is grip size important?
A suitable grip size provides you with optimal comfort and a good feeling, while helping to prevent injuries.
Disadvantages of a grip that is too small
- A grip that is too small tends to rotate within your hand when you hit the ball, which can lead to blisters.
- Because you grip the racket too tightly, which puts unnecessary strain on your arm, it can lead to injuries such as a tennis elbow over time.
- Furthermore, with a grip that is too small, there is an increased chance that it will slip out of your hand during heavy sweating.
Disadvantages of a grip that is too large
- A grip that is too large is more difficult to hold and therefore also puts unnecessary stress on your hand, wrist, and arm.
- In addition, grip changes are more difficult with too large grip sizes. If you need to switch quickly between different grips, for example from the continental grip (serve grip) to the forehand grip (semi-western), you should be able to move your wrist quickly. However, a grip that is too large restricts the freedom of movement of your wrist.
The key is to find a grip size that feels comfortable and prevents unnecessary stress on your arm and hand.
What’s grip size?
The grip size of a racket is defined by the circumference of the handle end. Tennis rackets come in 6 different grip sizes ranging from L0 – L5.
Average and most common grip size
As a rule of thumb, if you know that you have average-sized hands, you can be very confident that as a man you will do well with grip size L3 and as a woman with grip size L2. However, there are three reasons why I would NOT recommend buying a new tennis racket based on this very general rule of thumb.
- The first reason is that you may have simply misjudged your hand size.
- The second reason is that even if you have correctly estimated your hand size, the appropriate grip size may simply not feel right for you. For example, some players prefer larger grips even though they are technically assigned grip size 3 and then choose grip size L4 or L2.
- The third reason is that manufacturers of tennis rackets have different definitions of grip sizes. When purchasing a Head racket with grip size 3, it may feel very different from a Yonex racket with the same grip size.
This means that the absolute best way to find your perfect grip size can only be achieved by trying out different sizes. So, if you have the chance, jump straight to the next point “Testing grip sizes on-site” so that you can be 100% sure that your new racket also has the ideal grip size for you.
How to find your grip size
There are two ways to determine your perfect grip size:
- Measure hand size: Measure your hand and match it to the grip size in the table below.
- Finger test: Alternatively, you can try out different racquets and do the “finger test.”
While I definitely recommend option 2, you may not always have the opportunity to test multiple racquets with different grip sizes.
Measuring hand size
If you’re ordering a racquet online and don’t have the chance to test different grip sizes, you can measure your hand to determine your most likely correct grip size.To find the correct grip size, measure from the tip of your ring finger to the bottom crease that’s located between your index finger and thumb.Using this measurement and the table below, you can determine your grip size.
|Hand Measurement (inches)
|Hand Measurement (mm)
|4.0 – 4.125
|102 – 105mm
|4.125 – 4.25
|105 – 108mm
|4.25 – 4.375
|108 – 111mm
|4.375 – 4.5
|111 – 114mm
The Finger Test
If you’re lucky enough to have access to rackets with different grip sizes, take a racket (preferably with the continental/serving/frying pan grip) in your playing arm hand.Now, place the index finger of your other hand between the gap of the heel pad and fingers of the hand holding the racket.You have found a theoretically perfect grip size when the gap between the heel pad and fingers (usually the middle finger) is roughly the size of your index finger.
Once you have found a grip size where the index finger fits exactly in the gap, you should try one grip size larger and one smaller. Then you can feel the difference and quickly notice which size you like better.
How to test different grip sizes?
Measuring your hand or using the “finger test” are certainly good methods to find a grip size that fits you well. However, to be 100% sure, there is no way around actually having and feeling the respective grip size in your hand. Therefore, I strongly recommend that you get hold of different tennis rackets with different grip sizes before you buy your new racket.
Order test rackets online via demo programs
For this, you can easily take advantage of the test racket demo programs offered by online shops. For example, Tennis-Warhouse allows you to test a racket for 7 days for only $15 – $25.
This racket is already strung and has a new overgrip. In addition, you can test 3 rackets at the same time via the test racket program of Tennis-Warhouse.
So, if you have found out (e.g., with the help of the size chart above) that you technically have grip size L3, you should order the HEAD Wilson Clash 108L V2 in grip sizes L2, L3, and L4 and test them extensively for 7 days.
Make sure to order the same racket model multiple times as different racket manufacturers have slightly different definitions of grip sizes.
What if my grip size falls between two sizes?
In case your grip size falls between two sizes in the table or if the “finger test” is not clear enough, I definitely recommend going for a smaller grip size!
You can simply increase the grip size using a super inexpensive grip tape, while reducing the grip size is significantly more difficult and expensive.
Differences between grip sizes for men and women
The grip sizes of tennis rackets are universal and not gender-specific.
Although women’s hands are often smaller than men’s, the sizes or measurements do not vary based on gender.
Changing the Grip Size of a Tennis Racket
Increasing Grip Size
In general, it is easier to increase the size of a grip, which is why I recommend choosing a grip size smaller if you are between two sizes or unsure.
The fastest and easiest way to increase a grip is by adding an overgrip. This increases the grip size by half a grip size. Two overgrips/grip tapes make a grip size L2, L3.
But be careful!
A tennis racket grip consists of eight sides that prevent it from rotating and slipping in your hand. With every grip tape you add, you flatten these sides. Therefore, I recommend using a maximum of two grip tapes.
You can also take your tennis racket to a specialty store and have the grip completely replaced to have the desired grip size without using overgrips.
Reducing Grip Size
If you accidentally bought a racket with a grip size that is too big and you want to reduce the grip size, you have three options:
- Thinner Base Tape
Most tennis rackets come with a thicker base tape for extra comfort. However, significantly thinner base tapes can be purchased separately to reduce the grip size by quite a bit.
- Handle Replacement
If replacing the base tape is not enough because you want to reduce the size further, a specialist at your local tennis shop can help. There, the grip of your racket will be completely replaced with a new grip of your desired size.
Attention: Check the cost of replacement beforehand. Similar to broken phone displays, it is often more worthwhile to buy a new racket rather than bear the cost of a handle replacement.
- Buy a New Racket
Certainly not what you want to hear, but often the best choice.
Grip sizes of ATP and WTA pros
The most well-known player with a very small grip is Rafael Nadal with grip size L1, Federer plays (yes, he still plays for me and that won’t change either) with L3 and John Isner with L5!
Iga Swiatek plays with grip size L1, Sharapova with L3 and Serena Williams with grip size L5!
Grip Size for Kids
For children, there are usually no different grip sizes per model. The grip size simply depends on the size of the racket (e.g. 19 inches / 48 cm for 4-year-olds or 26 inches / 66 cm for 10-year-olds).
Instead of focusing on the correct grip size, you should focus on the length of the tennis racket, which usually corresponds to the child’s size.
Even if the grip is slightly too big, you should not be too worried. The child will quickly grow into it and won’t play with this grip size long enough to seriously injure their hand or arm.
Although it requires a little trial and error to find the right grip size, it’s worth taking a closer look. Fortunately, you only need to find your grip size once and are unlikely to change it again.
Now that you know how to select the right grip size, take a look at my list of the 9 best tennis rackets for beginners.
Of course, you can also ask me questions about the topic of grip size in the comments below. I’m happy to help you.