If you are new to pickleball, you may realize that it’s time to change your grip, and wonder how to do so. Your grip wears over time, which can affect your performance. The process can seem intimidating.
However, it’s relatively easy once you know how to change your grip.
Why Change the Pickleball Paddle Grip?
There are a few reasons you may want to change your grip. Before we get into how to change the grip, let’s take a look at why you may want to change it. Your pickleball paddle can last for a few years, but your grip doesn’t have the same longevity.
Grips typically need to be replaced every few months due to normal wear and tear. Signs it’s time to change your grip include visible dirt or wear. You’ll also want to change it if its becoming loose.
Lastly, the grip will lose its tacky feel over time, and needs to be replaced. Another reason to change your grip is to adjust the size. The size of your grip has an impact on how you play.
If your current grip isn’t working well for you, you may need a different sized grip. Essentially, if you aren’t happy with your grip for any reason, it’s time to change it.
How to Change Your Pickleball Paddle Grip?
Changing your grip gets easier with time. The first time can be a bit challenging, and even frustrating. However, you’ll soon have the process down.
The good news is that if you get it wrong, you can usually just remove the grip and start over. Nothing lost but a bit of time.
Preparing to Change the Grip
Before you begin the process, you’ll need to prepare. Gather everything you need, and a workspace to change the grip. First, you’ll need a grip.
It’s a great idea to pick up two grips instead of only one. This way you have a spare in case things go horribly wrong, and you damage the grip. If it goes well, hold onto the spare.
Keep it as a spare, or use it if you need to change your grip on short notice. You’ll also need scissors. You can use a flathead screwdriver or staple remover, and a stapler, but these materials are optional.
Removing the Old Grip
The first step to replacing your grip is to remove the old one. This can actually be cathartic or fun. Start with the electrical style tape piece, which should be at the top of the grip.
This normally has a brand name or logo on it as well. After you remove the tape piece, you can begin removing the grip itself. It should pull off like a sticker or tape.
Don’t worry if there’s some residue left. You should be able to peel that off as well. Once you have the grip completely removed, it’s time to put the new grip on.
Applying the Grip
The first step is to open your grip. You’ll notice a piece of electrical style tape with the brand logo. Lay this aside for now.
Now, find the narrow end of the tape. Check the logo which should be on the tape to be sure you don’t have it upside down. OK.
Now you are ready to actually apply the tape. Peel the backing off the small end. Apply the narrow end of the tape to the bottom of the handle.
It should be flush with the end of the handle. Make one revolution, bringing the tape around the handle. Be sure to pull it tight while doing so.
Now, you are ready to finish applying the grip. The first revolution was level. Now you’ll need to change direction.
You’ll bring the grip upward while bringing it around the handle. If your grip has holes, you can use these as a guide. Don’t cover up the holes when wrapping.
You can also use the lines from the previous grip as a guide. If you aren’t comfortable with the angle, you can go back to the bottom and try again. Leave the first revolution, and begin again from there.
Be sure to pull the grip tightly when wrapping. You don’t want to stretch the grip, but you do want it to fit the paddle tightly.
Finishing the Grip
When you reach the top of the paddle, you’ll need to cut the tape. Be sure to leave yourself enough tape when cutting. Cut it at an angle, starting from the bottom and widening it as it goes up.
This will allow you to bring the tape up to the top of the grip. Once you’ve cut the tape, wrap it around the grip. Then, you’ll need the piece of tape you laid aside earlier.
Wrap it around the top of the grip and paddle itself. This secures the grip in place easily. If your grip doesn’t come with tape, you can use electrical tape instead.
Grips and overgrips share lots of similarities, and a few differences. Overgrips are designed to go over your regular grip. They typically offer extra benefits as well.
If you want to replace your grip and add an overgrip, you’ll need to add a new grip first, and then apply the overgrip. In many cases, you’ll find that you simply need to replace the overgrip, and not the main grip. Overgrips can add tackiness, padding, or sweat absorption to your grip.
The process for applying them is the same as it is for regular grips, with one exception. You won’t remove the original grip. You simply apply the overgrip over the existing grip.
Applying an Overgrip
You can apply an overgrip using the same method you do for a standard grip. Just follow the directions above. Overgrips typically don’t have adhesive throughout.
This makes them a bit easier to work with than standard grips. You will need to pull an overgrip very tight. They are designed to be tighter than a standard grip, so be sure you are using some force when applying it.
Standard Grip as Overgrip
If you want to change the thickness of your handle, you may want to add another grip to your paddle. Placing one grip over another grip will provide you with a larger and heavier handle. This can be a welcome change.
If you don’t want extra bulk or weight, stick with a standard grip and potentially an overgrip. Overgrips are designed to be very thin, so they don’t affect the size or weight of the paddle. Grips are designed to be thicker, and provide bulk, padding, and weight.
Determining Your Grip Size
Determining your grip size is important. If the grip is too small or large, it will affect your play. Over time, it can even cause injury.
The easiest way to determine your grip size is with a ruler. The ruler should start at the bottom crease of your playing hand. This should be below your thumb.
Line the ruler up with your ring finger. The measurement from the crease in your hand to the top of your ring finger is your grip size. This measurement will be between 4 and 5 inches. Grip sizes also fall into this range.
If you are between grip sizes, choose the smaller size. You can add bulk with an overgrip, but you can’t make the grip smaller.
Small vs Large Grip Size
Your grip size measurement will give you a general idea of the size you need. However, you can choose a slightly different size based on your preference and playing style. A smaller grip allows extra wrist movement.
This gives you better ball control, and makes it easier to put spin on the ball. The smaller size also provides more power for serves. Larger grips have their advantages as well.
You’ll have more stability, which reduces your risk of fatigue and injury.
How to Regrip a Pickleball Paddle Grip FAQs
How can I make a pickleball paddle grip thicker?
If you need a thicker grip, you can apply an overgrip. One overgrip provides about 1/16th of an inch of bulk. If you add two overgrips, you’ll get an extra 1/8th of an inch in bulk.
This is the same as going up a grip size. If you need that much bulk, you can also buy a new paddle with a larger grip.
Can you use a tennis grip on a pickleball paddle?
Yes, you can use a tennis grip for your pickleball paddle. They are typically longer, so you’ll need to trim the excess length off the grip.
Can I add weight to my pickleball paddle?
Yes. You can use lead tape, also known as weight tape, to your paddle. This will provide a slight increase in weight. The increase in weight can give you more power and bigger sweet spot.