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My tennis couch said that I should test as many overgrips as possible to find a grip which does not get slippery so fast and maintain the condition for a longer period. I tested Gamma overgrip that got slippery very fast and I had to change it after four training periods. Before that I had Wilson but in different racket so I am unsure about their differences. I am not sure whether finding the overgrip is the key here, it may be that a poor undergrip makes the grip go worse faster. I use overgrip because of the larger handle and it helps to keep the racket not sliding easily out of my hand.

How should I choose my overgrip? And which kind of criterias should I consider?

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Choosing an overgrip typically depends on a few different factors:

  1. Moisture (sweat) absorption - how well the overgrip stays dry when your hands are sweating.
  2. Tackiness - how "grippy" the overgrip feels in your hand when you first put it on your handle.
  3. Durability - how long the overgrip stays good and doesn't start wearing out or tearing after a certain amount of use.
  4. Thickness - how thick the overgrip is and therefore how much size it adds to the handle of your racquet when it's put on.

I've tried many different brands of overgrips over the years from various brands and to me, there are only really 3 different brands that stand out to me as really great overgrips:

  1. Yonex Supergrap: The most tacky overgrip there is. Slightly more tacky than Wilson Overgrip. You don't want to wrap it too tight though, or it won't stay tacky as well or absorb moisture as well. Durability is decent - I usually put a new one on after about 5+ hitting sessions (and I would be considered a frequent overgrip changer - I love the feeling of hitting with a new fresh overgrip).
  2. Wilson Overgrip: Everything I said about Yonex Supergrap applies to Wilson Overgrip too - just that I find Wilson overgrip to be a little less tacky after it's first put on.
  3. Tournagrip: Very popular among higher level players and players with sweaty hands. Has the best absorption of any grip I've ever played with. Unfortunately it's lower on the tackiness scale IMO - and the tackiness is really important to me.

So anyway, I play with Yonex Supergrap myself, and buy it in the bag of 2 rolls, which is 30 total overgrips.

You can also read reviews of various overgrips on sites where they are sold, such as Tennis Warehouse.

  • A comment on Tournagrip: the grip gets more tacky if you get wet enough. You notice its tackiness after some playing and getting wet. There are different versions of it and my friend Sasu suggested "Tourna Tennis Over Grip-30 XL Overgrips-Absorbent Dry Feel Tournagrip-Blue" for me because he thinks my grip can get very wetty. Is this how it works? – hhh Apr 19 '14 at 23:13
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    It has certainly never done that for me when I've used it. When I used to use Tournagrip (it's been several years now), when it started getting wet it would start to slip in my hand so I would have to put a new grip on. I've seen the same thing happen to people I play with now that use Tournagrip. I would suggest just buying the overgrip packs that have about 3 grips in them just to try out different types before you buy a big 30-pack of any brand. The 3 I mentioned are the ones I've used and liked the best myself. – jamauss Apr 20 '14 at 1:32
  • The thing is that there are many different kinds of Tournagrip: one Tournagrip for less wetty hands and one Tournagrip for more wetty hands. The Gamma in the picture had to be changed after 3 times of training due to sliding in serving and changed to Tournagrip version meant for less wetty hands, working well so far but soon getting also the Tournagrip for wetty hands, let's see how it acts :) – hhh Apr 20 '14 at 20:46
  • As with most things - experiment and see what works best for you. – jamauss Apr 20 '14 at 21:39
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Here is a somewhat different idea.

I used this road bike bar tape for a pair tennis racquets, with fantastic results on all fronts: appearance, durability, comfort, control, thickness and vibration/shock absorption.

This tape will not lose grip even in the rain; that would be dangerous (worse than useless) to serious year-round, all-weather cyclists.

It turns out that the two pieces of bar tape, adding up to 215 cm of length according to the package, are quite exactly sufficient to do four racquet handles. I used just one roll for the two, with very little leftover waste: just small trimmings.

Bar tape doesn't, of course, come with a pre-cut tapered end to begin the wrap for a racquet handle; you have to cut that yourself.

I used a staple gun on one racquet to tack down the start of the tape. On the other, I had trouble with the staples not penetrating; I used a dab of rubber cement glue to help hold the tape in place instead. For finishing, I used 3M Super 33+ vinyl electrical tape.

It makes little sense to put anything over top of this durable grip. It is not adhesive, so it just unwraps, and the cost is in the overgrip ballpark.

From the pictures you can see just how thick this is:

Yonex racquet Detail of handle butt Detail of finish tape

Stay tuned for the next installment, in which we mount a Shimano Ultegra road lever with 9 speed indexed shifting, to dynamically select among string tensions.

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