You may have heard of pickleball as a popular racquet sport that combines elements of tennis, ping pong, and badminton. Well, being a racquet sport, having the right grip on your racquet or paddle is crucial when playing the game.
Pickleball paddle grips are used to adjust and augment your hold on your paddle to make your pickleball racquet feel more comfortable in your hand.
Why You Should Get Pickleball Paddle Grips
Different manufacturers offer different variations of pickleball racquets that are either long or short, thin or thick. This makes it challenging to find the perfect pickleball racquet for you, even if you do make your own.
This is where pickleball paddle grips come in. These materials help give our pickleball racquets a better, more personal grip for a better game. So, instead of spending more time and money searching for that perfect pickleball racquet, you might do better to either change the grip or adjust it instead.
Now there are two types of grips you can use—the replacement grip and the overgrip. Here’s how they differ.
- Replacement grips are better for smaller grip sizes. You don’t need to add another layer to your grip since you’ll be replacing the built-in grip entirely.
- Overgrips add another layer to increase the grip circumference for bigger grip size preferences.
What You Should Look for in Pickleball Paddle Grips
Before we talk about the various paddle grips and grip tapes available in the market, let’s talk about what you need to watch out for in pickleball paddle grips.
Even in other sports like tennis and badminton, grip size matters. It’s not a question of what size fits your hand, but a question of what grip circumference you are more comfortable with when hitting the ball.
Pickleball grip circumferences can vary from 4” to 5”. Grip circumference in relation to your hand size will affect how you swing and hit the ball.
To fully understand what this means, take a look at this comparison table comparing a larger grip to a smaller grip.
|Smaller Grip||Larger Grip|
|Adds extra power to your serves since it allows you to rely on your wrist more rather than the paddle itself.||Strokes are more stable and require less movement.|
|With the added wrist action, you can better manipulate your swings to put more spin on the ball.||If the grip is too big, it will get harder to swing, thus leading to elbow strain.|
|Relies on and strains the wrist too much, which can cause injuries without proper stretching and training.||Larger grip sizes improve shots that require more force.|
|A smaller grip allows better control and more freedom of movement.||Less movement will bring about less fatigue in longer games.|
The length of the grip depends on whether you are adept at using just one hand or both hands to hold your pickleball racquet. Short handles are better for players who play one-handed. The standard length for a short handle is 4.5”, while a longer handle for two-handed players measures 6”.
Racquet grips can be designed in different textures to help improve grip strength. Various patterns and textures not only give you a more solid grip on your paddle but are also able to redirect sweat from the palms of your hands.
The material of your grip dictates its durability. Here are some examples along with their characteristics:
These are the most durable pickleball racquet grips that can last throughout a paddle’s lifetime. Most paddles do not come with rubber grips, so you’ll have to replace them yourself.
Synthetic Wrap Grips
This is the default material for grips, specially designed for sports. They are good but wear easily and need to be replaced from time to time.
Cloth Overwrap Grips
These are made out of thin cloth-like material that is applied over wrap grips to provide a new texture and feel to the grip overall. However, these are easily worn out and must be replaced regularly, which is why they are usually bought in multiple pieces.
Best Pickleball Paddle Grips Options Out There
There are various replacement grips and overgrips with different feels and textures that are designed for all types of pickleball players. Here are some of the best pickleball grips you can buy.
Comfortable Paddle Grips
If you prefer comfort over everything else, there are tons of available grips that you can avail of, like the HEAD Xtreme Soft Pickleball Over Grip. This top-rated pickleball grip tape is a great product that offers a super thin design for a soft and comfortable grip all around.
Don’t worry about accidentally letting go of your racquet when you swing, because HEAD added extra texture on the grip tape to ensure that the grip is in contact with your hands at all times.
Non-Slip Paddle Grips
When it comes to non-slip pickleball grip options, PROLITE has your back with a wide selection of products. One of the best that we can recommend is the PROLITE Phantom Ultra Grip, which has a somewhat “sticky” texture. This ensures that the pickleball paddle won’t ever slip away from your grasp!
If sticky isn’t your cup of tea, then opt for a more rugged texture with Gamma Contour Pickleball Grip. It has a red stitch lining throughout the center ribbing of the grip that helps add to your grip control. And the extra padding means you have a firmer grip on your racquet.
With non-slip grips, you are given the freedom to swing as you please without having to worry about your racquet flying off toward the next court!
Moisture-Resistant Paddle Grips
Got sweaty hands? The moisture from sweat usually causes your grip on your pickleball paddle handle to become slippery. Not only that, but water damage, especially coming from constantly sweating palms, is one of a paddle’s worst enemies.
Luckily, there are pickleball paddle grips that address this problem. The best example of this is the PROLITE No-Sweat Diamond Grip.
This replacement grip has a comfortable rubberized feel and a patterned surface that allows a firm yet comfortable grip on your paddle. The pattern is designed to redirect sweat away from your grip to avoid slippages.
If you are looking for an overgrip equivalent to this, you can opt for the ALIEN PROS Tennis Racquet Grip Tape. Although it is originally designed for tennis racquets, you can also apply them to your pickleball paddles!
The ALIEN PROS grip tapes are moisture-absorbing pickleball grips designed to keep the grip dry by absorbing the sweat generated from the palms of your hands. You’ll be able to avoid bad smells and damage to your grip.
The Height Test For Grip Circumference
In determining the right circumference of your grip, there is a general rule of thumb to follow. It is not super accurate, as there are people with larger- or smaller-than-average hands, but it is still a handy guide to base upon.
For heights 5’3” and below, a 4” grip circumference is suggested for you. For those between 5’3” to 5’8”, 4.25” is the proper sizing for your grip. Finally, for players 5’8” and above, you should have a 4.5” grip circumference.
Pros and Cons of Different Paddle Grips
While each product has its own unique characteristic and advantage, it is also important to take note of their disadvantages. Here is a quick summary of the pros and cons of the different products mentioned above:
|HEAD Xtreme Soft Pickleball Over Grip||Great comfort and tackiness allow comfort and certainty in every swing.||The super thin design will require the use of more tape for users with a larger grip circumference.|
|PROLITE Phantom Ultra Grip||Extra traction and perforated design provide a good grip and prevent slippage.||Its sticky texture might not be preferred especially since it can linger after a game.|
|Gamma Contour Pickleball Grip||The rugged yet comfortable grip due to added padding ensures excellent grip and comfortable handling.||It could be too bulky, especially for those with smaller grip sizes.|
|PROLITE No-Sweat Diamond Grip||Specially designed to redirect sweat from your palms away from your grip.||Lacks traction for that extra grip.|
|ALIEN PROS Tennis Racquet Grip Tape||Moisture-absorbent characteristic prevents sweat build-up on your handle.||Easily wears off and requires regular replacing.|
There are a lot of options to choose from when looking for the best pickleball racquet grips. It is important to note that there is no such thing as the “best” option out of the rest. From the comfortable pickleball handle wraps to the rugged pickleball overgrips that add control, it all boils down to your preference.
To truly know what you want, head to sports stores and try out the different products yourself. Pickleball racquet grips are a good investment if you play regularly. They truly are a game-changer.