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5 Different Types of Pickleball Paddle Grips

A pickleball paddle with different color.

Did you know that the name pickleball has nothing to do with pickles? According to congressman Joel Pritchard’s wife, the name reminded her of the pickle boat where rowers were chosen from the remnants of the boat.

However, Barry McCallum, one of the founders, does not share the same sentiments. According to him, the trio named the game after Joel Pritchard’s Cocker Spaniel, who enjoyed chasing after the ball when the owners played the game.

Whatever theory you believe, Pickleball is a fun paddle game for all ages. It’s one of the fastest-growing sports in Canada that combines badminton, ping pong, and tennis. In addition, it’s easy to play and doesn’t require much equipment. You only need a ball, net, and paddle. This article will explore the different pickleball paddle grips to spice the game.

Related To: Types of Pickleball Paddle Brands | Where to Buy Pickleball Paddles, Balls and Nets Online

1. Base Grip

A person holding a pickleball paddle board.

A pickleball paddle base grip is the manufacturer’s grip that comes directly on the handle to provide comfort and a better grip. It makes the paddle more grippy, preventing it from falling off your hands when playing. Additionally, the base grip protects the hands from developing blisters when playing long tournaments.

The base grip provides cushioning and absorbs shock when you hit the ball. It also maintains the paddle’s incline to allow players to find volley, backhand, and forehand positions. Base grips come in different materials, including synthetic and leather.

Leather Base Grips

Leather base grips are firm and heavy. They offer excellent feedback from the opponent’s strike or spin and allow faster and more precise grip changes. In addition, they are durable. However, they are expensive, uncomfortable, and less forgiving because of their firmness. In addition, leather base grips do not have any sweat-absorbing properties and may be slippery.

Synthetic Base Grips

Synthetic base grips can be made of rubber or polyurethane. They offer cushioning, sweat, and shock absorption and are lighter and cheaper than leather base grips. However, they are softer and do not guarantee feedback from an opponent’s strike or spin.

2. Overgrip

An overgrip is a soft cloth-like material that comes over the base grip to provide more cushioning and shock absorption. Unlike base grips, overgrips are thin and provide less cushioning. Thus, they are mainly applied to enhance the cushioning and performance of the base grip.

These grips are available in two main overgrips: tacky and absorbent.

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Tacky Overgrip

A black pickleball paddle board on the court.

Also known as an overwrap, a tacky overgrip is a soft wrap applied to the base grip to increase its size and improve its tackiness. As a result, it prevents the paddle from falling from the player’s hands.

Absorbent Overgrip

An absorbent overgrip provides extra sweat absorption to players with extra sweaty hands. It’s made from moisture-wicking material to keep a player’s hand dry despite the humidity conditions.

Are There Any Benefits of Overgrips?

Overgrips have various benefits. For instance, tacky overgrips increase sweat absorption and prevent game interruption when a paddle falls from a player’s hands. In addition, tacky overgrips increase a pickleball paddle’s overall size and tackiness. Besides, overgrips improve base grip cushioning and shock absorption.

Base grips are prone to wear and tear when used frequently. Thus, applying an overgrip prolongs the life of a base grip and reduces the repair costs because it’s cheaper to replace it than to replace a base grip. Besides, you can use an overgrip to customize your pickleball paddle to your style and taste.

What About The Downsides?

Overgrips are soft, light, and less durable. Therefore, they need frequent replacement. However, they are inexpensive, and this shouldn’t be a problem.

When To Use An Overgrip?

You can apply an overgrip to your pickleball paddle at any time. For instance, when your paddle’s base grip becomes uncomfortable, you can apply an overgrip to increase cushioning and avoid developing blisters.

If your pickleball paddle has a leather base grip, you will need to add an overgrip to it. Although leather is firm, it’s less forgiving and slippery. Thus, adding an overgrip enhances its cushioning and sweat absorption.

You can also apply an overgrip on your new pickleball paddle to preserve the base paddle and avoid the replacement cost. Besides, an overgrip is handy when you want to add a personal touch to your pickleball paddle.

3. Replacement Grips

A person preparing to hit the ball on air.

A replacement grip is a durable material applied to a pickleball paddle handle to replace the original grip. In simple terms, it’s a grip to replace the original base grip.

Replacement grips can be made from leather or synthetic materials like rubber or polyurethane. Leather is firm, durable, and expensive. In addition, it’s better at feedback. However, it’s less shock and sweat-absorbing. On the other hand, synthetic replacement grips are affordable and comfortable, shock and sweat-absorbing.

They are thicker and more durable than overgrips. In addition, they are cost-effective because they avoid the cost of replacing the entire pickleball paddle when the base grip is worn out.

A standard replacement grip has a top layer to provide tackiness and sweat absorption, a middle layer to cushion and absorb shock, and an adhesive layer to adhere to the pickle paddle handle.  In addition, It is more expensive than an overgrip.

Are There Any Benefits To Using Replacement Grips?

Replacement grips have one major benefit. They save on the cost of replacing a pickleball paddle when the original grip is torn, slippery, or less comfortable. In addition, they are available in different textures and thicknesses. Therefore, you can choose one that suits your preference. Replacement grips are more durable than overgrips, thus do not need to be changed often.

What About The Downsides?

Although replacement grips are durable, they will still wear out, especially if you play frequently. In this case, you may need to replace them after some time.

When To Use Replacement Grips?

Pickleball paddle grips wear and tear due to constant use and become less effective. Thus, you need to replace the grip in the following instances.

When The Paddle Becomes Uncomfortable

As you play pickleball, the grip may lose its cushioning and shock-absorbing properties and become firm. As a result, it may cause strain on your elbows and shoulders. In this case, using a replacement grip may be necessary.

When It Loses Traction

When a pickleball paddle grip loses traction, it becomes slippery. This can happen when it loses its moisture-wicking properties, making it difficult to control. It may keep falling out of your hands and interfering with your game. In this case, a replacement grip is inevitable.

When The Paddle Grip Is Physically Worn Out

When your pickleball paddle is worn out, it won’t be effective when playing the game. Thus, you will need to replace it.

When You Need to Customize Your Pickleball Paddle

An old couple celebrating a pickleball match.

Suppose you don’t like your current pickleball paddle grip or want to customize it. In this case, you can replace it with a replacement grip of your choice.

When You Need Something Different

If you no longer feel confident with your current pickleball paddle grip, you can replace it with a replacement grip. After all, your performance depends on your confidence. Likewise, if you no longer like your current pickleball paddle and you are not in a financial position to replace it, you can start with replacing the grip.

4. Base Grip +Overgrip Combo

Applying an overgrip on a base grip makes it more comfortable and convenient.  It’s also cost-effective; It’s easier and cheaper to replace an overgrip than a base grip. In addition, you can use an overgrip to increase the size of a pickleball paddle to improve its stability.

While some players prefer one layer of overgrip with a base grip, others prefer two layers, while others prefer three. Your choice, in this case, depends on your preference. You can play without an overgrip, but it increases the risk of developing blisters and injuries to the shoulders and elbows. In addition, the paddle constantly falling off your hands can interrupt your game.

5. Replacement Grip Overgrip Combo

A black pickleball paddle board with new grip handle.

You can use a replacement grip with an overgrip to prolong its life and enhance its cushioning. In addition, if you choose a leather replacement grip, you will need to use an overgrip to enhance its sweat absorption properties, cushioning, and tackiness.


Can I use an overgrip as a replacement grip?

Yes, you can, but it’s not recommended. An overgrip is made of soft materials and thus may not provide adequate cushioning and shock absorption. Thus, it may strain your elbows and shoulders. Additionally, the overgrip is way thinner than the base grips.

Therefore, using it may significantly reduce the grip size, requiring you to apply more effort to prevent the paddle from twisting in your hand. As a result, it increases the risk of developing elbow injuries. Besides, an overgrip is lighter than the original grip and may make the paddle unstable.

How often should you change an overgrip?

It depends on the frequency of use and the intensity and length of play. It also depends on your perspiration rate. For instance, the overgrip will become soggy and slippery if you have extra sweaty palms. Thus, you will need to change it hourly. Additionally, if you play pickleball five hours a week for recreation, you may need to change an overgrip once a week. But if you are a pro player, you must change the overgrip after every session.

How Long does a pickleball paddle replacement grip last?

It depends on its quality, frequency of use, and sweat rate. A replacement grip can last three months to a year, depending on how much you use it. Leather replacement grips are more durable than synthetic ones. Thus, they will not need frequent replacement. However, they are less forgiving and may need lining with an overgrip.

What is the difference between a replacement grip and overgrip?

Replacement grips and overgrips differ in material, thickness, purpose and cost. For instance, replacement grips are made of leather or synthetic materials, while overgrips are made from cloth-like materials. Additionally, replacement grips are thicker and more expensive than over-grips.

The main purpose of a replacement grip is to replace a torn, less tacky, and uncomfortable base grip. On the other hand, the purpose of an overgrip is to enhance the cushioning, sweat absorption, or shock absorption of an existing base grip.