Choosing the correct tennis racket can be somewhat of a daunting task.
With so many different rackets on the market, it is no wonder that many aspiring tennis players find it difficult to choose the right one for their needs.
One of the ways you can narrow down your search is by determining your correct grip size.
Essentially, the grip size is the circumference of the handle of a tennis racket. The size you will need will depend on the size of your hand and the length of your fingers.
Not only can choosing the correct grip size help to prevent forearm muscle fatigue and injury, but it can also improve your performance on the tennis court.
To help you make the right choice, we will explain everything you need to know about tennis racquet grip size and how you can choose the correct option.
What are the Different Tennis Grip Sizes?
The first step in selecting the correct grip size is understanding the different options. For adult tennis rackets, grips are typically available in six sizes.
As mentioned above, the grip size refers to the circumference of the handle. In most cases, the circumference is measured in inches.
However, there are two main ways to label grip size – the European ‘L’ ranking system and the American circumference system.
Most racket manufacturers will label the grip size using both ranking systems, so you do not have to worry about memorizing both.
One thing that is worth noting before you start shopping for a new racket is the fact that some rackets are only available in certain grip sizes.
If a particular racket you have your eye on does not come in your specific grip size, it could be worth considering another option, as grip size will play a role in how well you can use your new racket.
The Tennis Racket Grip Size Chart
The following table outlines the six main grip sizes according to both the European and American measurement systems:
As you can see, the European and American grip sizes directly correlate to one another, so it does not matter which measurement you use.
For example, if you use a European L1 grip size, you could also select a racket with an American 4 1/8 inch grip.
How Do You Choose the Correct Grip Size?
Since the grip size is a measurement of the circumference of the handle of the racket, the size you will need is entirely dependent upon the size of your hand.
There are two basic ways that most tennis players measure their hands to determine the correct grip size:
Measurement Method #1 – Pinky Finger Trick
Grip a tennis racket with an Eastern forehand grip, which resembles how you would hold a hammer.
Once you are holding the racket correctly, place the pinky finger of your other hand in the space between your ring finger and the palm of your hand.
The pinky finger should fit snugly into this space. If your grip is too tight to accommodate your pinky finger, the grip size of that racket is too small for your hand.
If your pinky finger fits between this space, but there is also excess room, the grip size is too large. You need a smaller grip.
Once you have found a racket that allows you to snuggly position your pinky finger between the gap without having to force it, you have found the correct grip size for your hand. Note the grip size of that racket.
While this method is not the most precise, it does work surprisingly well. It works best if you have access to a variety of rackets with different grip sizes, so it may be best to try it while you are visiting a tennis shop or sporting goods store.
Measurement Method #2 – Use a Ruler
A ruler or tape measure will allow you to get a more accurate measurement of your hand so you can choose the exact grip size you need.
Start by opening your dominant hand, or the hand you usually use to hold a tennis racket.
Extend the fingers while not spreading them completely apart. Align the base of the ruler with the bottom-horizontal crease in the palm of your hand.
Measure from this palm crease to the tip of your extended ring finger. In most cases, this measurement will correspond to your American grip size measurement.
Since the sizes increase by 1/8 of an inch, round this measurement down to the nearest 1/8 of an inch.
If you fall somewhere between two grip sizes, you should go with the smaller of the two sizes, as you can always increase the circumference of the handle with an overgrip.
Why is it so Important to Choose the Correct Grip Size?
You might be wondering why it is even necessary to choose the correct tennis racket grip size.
This is because using a grip size that is too small for your hands can negatively impact your performance.
A grip that is too small will require more strength and a tighter squeeze to prevent the racket from twisting when you hit the ball. You’ll be more likely to develop forearm and elbow fatigue when you play.
Using a grip size that is too large makes it more difficult to hold the racket firmly. It also makes it more difficult to switch hands or grip styles mid-point.
A grip size that is too large will also cause forearm and wrist fatigue.
Given how common tennis elbow is among tennis players, try to reduce excess strain on your forearm muscles and tendons.