Pickleball is a fun game, but maximizing the enjoyment relies a lot on the equipment you have.
Everything counts, including the kit you wear and the paddle you use, but you should take extra-special care to choose your paddle grip correctly.
Choosing a suitable Pickleball paddle grip size is akin to selecting the correct tennis racquet grip size if you’re playing that sport – using the ideal grip size will afford you better control of your paddle and enhance your enjoyment and play style while on the Pickleball court.
Have you checked you’re using the best paddle grip size for the size of your hand?
Does grip size really even matter?
This article will help you utilize your paddle to its full potential for your game.
In Pickleball, Why is a Paddle Grip Size Important?
It’s imperative to select the best grip size for your hand, as playing with a comfortable grip makes gameplay that much easier.
If it is too large or too small, the paddle will be awkward to use or become increasingly uncomfortable as time progresses.
Using the incorrect grip size isn’t comfortable, but some players find either playing style or strength advantages outweigh the need for comfort while on the Pickleball court.
As you become more involved in the sport, you’ll discover what paddles suit you and the appropriate grip size to get the best out of your paddle.
Pickleball paddles increase in price, and with experience, you’ll want to move on from an entry-level one to a better paddle.
At this stage of your Pickleball journey, premium and ergonomic grips will start to mean something to you.
Ergonomic grips, for example, are shaped to fit comfortably into your hand, with designs that afford better wrist mobility for enhanced control, giving players better control.
Suppose you’re not ready to afford an ergonomic grip.
In that case, you could always wrap a standard grip with an inexpensive overgrip to shape it ergonomically, but this isn’t always easy to do correctly.
Identifying the Correct Pickleball Paddle Grip for You
It would be best if you chose a paddle grip with a circumference that suits the size of your hand.
Choosing the correct grip size is much like finding the best hole in a belt to use.
If the hole you use is too tight or loose, the result will either see you battling stomach discomfort or picking up your pants from around your ankles; neither is a suitable result.
The same applies when selecting a paddle.
You want the paddle to be a snug fit in your hand, even though some players prefer a significantly larger grip while others prefer a significantly smaller grip.
The grip size depends on the individual player entirely.
A larger grip affords better stability, minimizing pressure on your shoulder, elbow and wrist while playing.
A smaller grip will give you more options to use spin in your shots as you’ll be able to use your wrists more, and hence you’ll also have more control in your shots.
Tips for Choosing the Right Pickleball Paddle Grip Sizes
- It’s not an exact science, but when you can’t decide which of two grip sizes to choose, go for the smaller one, as you can increase a grip size with an overgrip, but you can’t decrease the size of the one that’s too big.
- The appropriate grip size is the one that allows you enough room to play with comfort, allowing your dominant hand the freedom of a full range of movement. The wrong size of grip restricts movement and hence optimal gameplay.
- It would be best if you didn’t use a paddle with a grip that’s too small as you’ll need to force your shots more, and it causes undue stress on your arm. Overusing a paddle with too small a grip can increase fatigue and the chance of tendonitis.
- Using a paddle with a grip far too big will limit your wrist’s motion and require a lot of strength. Whether or not the grip is too large will also make changing the position of the paddle in your hand more difficult during a game.
Measuring Your Paddle Grip Size
You can use a few tests to measure the size of potential Pickleball paddle grips.
We’re going to explain the index finger test and the ruler test.
Index finger test
Grip your paddle with the Continental grip style.
This style is when you grip your paddle and look down, you’ll see its side instead of its face.
Right-handers, then slightly turn your wrist counterclockwise around the handle and left-handers, turn your wrist slightly clockwise.
Then slide your other hand’s index finger along the paddle handle between your palm and the tips of your fingers.
If your index finger fits snugly between your palm and your ring finger, your grip is the correct size.
If your index finger moves easily past your ring finger, your grip is too large, and if it cramps trying to pass your ring finger, the grip is not large enough.
All you need for the ruler test is a ruler and your predominant hand.
Open your hand with your fingers extended and together.
Line up the ruler until it’s adjacent to your third finger, with the bottom end lined up with the end of your bottom lateral palm crease.
Your paddle grip size should be the measured length from the tip of your third finger and the end of your palm’s middle crease and should work out to between four and five inches.
What three types of grips can you use when playing Pickleball?
The three basic Pickleball paddle grips are the continental Pickleball grip, the eastern Pickleball grip and the western Pickleball grip.
Why does my arm hurt after I play Pickleball?
You may have pickleball elbow, which is like tennis elbow and is medically called Lateral Epicondylitis.
It results from overusing your forearm muscles and can lead to micro-tearing, weakness and inflammation.
You should consider using a larger grip size to remedy an ongoing problem.
What is the most important shot in Pickleball?
Learn to dink, as this should be your primary skill in Pickleball.
Correctly playing it requires a paddle grip that isn’t too big.