Free Grip Sizing Guide

 How Tennis Racket Grip Sizes Are Measured

Tennis racquet grip sizes are determined by measuring the circumference around the edge of the handle. This circumference is measured in the middle of the racquet handle and the sizes range from 4 inches to 4 3/4 inches.

The chart below lists the different tennis racquet grip sizes that are offered in the United States and the corresponding European grip sizes.

US Sizes

European Sizes

Sizes in Millimeters

4 inches

0

100-103 mm

4-1/8 inches

1

103-106 mm

4-1/4 inches

2

106-110 mm

4-3/8 inches

3

110-113 mm

4-1/2 inches

4

113-118 mm

4-5/8 inches

5

118-120 mm

4-3/4 inches

6

120-123 mm

 

How To Measure Your Grip Size

Two methods used to identify your tennis racket grip size----- are the ruler test and the index finger test. It is recommended to use a combination of these two methods to find the ideal grip size for you.

Ruler Test: To measure grip size using the ruler test, first place the fingers of your racket hand together, then align a ruler's edge with the the bottom horizontal crease of your palm. Next, measure to the tip of your ring finger, this measurement is your grip size. In the diagram below, the measured grip size is 4.5". In general, the measured length should fall between 4 inches and 4 5/8 inches. This measurement gives you a starting point in determining the perfect grip size for you. To be certain of your ideal grip size, actually hold a racket with a grip size closest to what you measured, and employ the index finger test (see a description of index finger test below).

 

Index Finger Test: Hold the racket in your hitting hand using an eastern forehand grip (where the palm is placed on the same grip bevel as the string face). Place the index finger of your non-hitting hand in the space between your ring finger and palm (see diagram below). If there is not enough room to fit your finger in this space, the grip is too small. A grip that is too small would require more hand strength to prevent the racket from twisting in your hand, which could result in tennis elbow problems. Conversly, if there is a large gap between your index finger and the ring finger and palm of your hitting hand, the grip is too big. A grip that is too big will prevent you from properly snapping your wrist on serves, and can also lead to tennis elbow problems. Ultimately, you want the index finger to fit snugly between the ring finger and palm of your hitting hand, with little or no space between. This will give you the most comfortable and secure grip.

 Choose a normal, 27-inch long racquet unless you want the added power of extended length racquets. The traditional length of racquet is about 27 to 28 inches (68.6 to 71.1 cm), but you can get longer racquets of up to 29 inches (73.7 cm). The longer the length of the racquet, the greater the leverage on a swing, therefore giving more power to a shot.

  • The trade-off, however, is that longer racquets are a little less maneuverable and difficult to aim.
  • Beginners should start with a normal, 27" racquet.

       Know the three major styles of tennis racquets. Depending on your needs, skill level, and style of play, you'll need a different racquet to reach your full potential. The three most common styles are:

  • Power/Game Improvement Racquets: Characterized by large heads, longer style, and light weight, these are mostly for beginners-intermediate players or anyone who wants a little more power on their shot.
  •  Tweener Racquets: This well-balanced racquet is designed for all levels of skill and offer a good balance of power, control, and maneuverability.
  • Control/Player's Racquets: The professional design, these racquets have small heads designed for maximum control. The player adds in their own power to the shot. They can be long or short, and are generally heavier than other racquets.

 Buy a large, head-balanced racquet if you are a beginner. If you're starting to play tennis you want a forgiving racquet that allows for plenty of power without over-swinging. Choose a grip that fits you well and aim for a racquet near the following specs:

  • Head Size: 106-118 square inches.
  • Length: 27"
  • Weight: Lightweight, 9-10oz
  • Balance: Head-heavy, balanced towards the top.[

Purchase a less powerful racquet if you are big, athletic, or already a powerful hitter. Even some beginners find the big, head-heavy rackets too much for them, especially if they are naturally athletic and powerful. The best way to adjust is to shrink the head size you purchase, leaving the other specs the same. A light, head-heavy racquet might still be desirable for control purposes when you're starting out. 

Know that a larger head size transfers more power to the ball. The bigger the head, the more power you put on the ball (if everything else -- racket length, swing, etc.-- stays consistent). This is one of the biggest choices you'll make when picking a racquet, as more power frequently leads to less control. Do  you typically over hit the ball, or do you want a little more power without altering your swing? Check your current head size and adjust accordingly.

  • Oversized and large heads are usually 106-118 square inches, but they can get as big as 120-30 square inches for power racquets.
  • Smaller control racquets usually have a head size around 85-94 square inches.
  • For beginners, shoot for something closer to 100 square inches or above.[

 

Choose head-heavy racquets for added power and stability. Head heavy racquets are best for baseline play and beginners and are usually found on power racquets. They are slightly weighted up near the top, and this makes them slightly less maneuverable. Intermediate and advanced players usually prefer a head-light or balanced racquet.

  • If you go for a lot of net play, try out a head-light racquet for its increased maneuverability.
  • If you're unsure what to get, or play a varied style of tennis, get a balanced acquet, which evenly distributes its weight.
  •     Tips
  • You can opt for natural gut string (instead of synthetic) if you need something more forgiving on the elbow and shoulder.
  • You can always make your grip bigger, but it is hard to make it smaller. Opt for a size lower than what you think you need if you are in between sizes.
  • Dampers can be used to absorb vibration and reduce shock to the wrist and elbow.
  • Many racquets are rated/recommended by "swing speed", so it's important to assess your swing before you choose. It's assumed that beginners and people with less physical speed and power are going to have a "slower, shorter" swing profile, and therefore need a racquet with more power (basically, "rebound".) While more advanced, stronger players have a "long, fast" swing, and, therefore, need a "control" racquet (one that is essentially "dead-er", less of a trampoline effect.)