How to Regrip a Tennis Racket
When your old grip tape has gotten too dirty, torn, or lost its tackiness, anti-slip, or absorbent qualities, it may be time for a replacement. Additionally, if your grip size is too thin and the handle twists in your hand, you may want to thicken it up. Changing your tennis overgrip—or regripping your racket—is simple to do, and essential for every tennis player to learn:
- Remove your old overgrip. Unwrap your old overgrip by sliding off the tight rubber collar at the top of the handle (the collar helps keep your overgrip from unwrapping). Use scissors or your nails to peel off the finishing tape (the little piece of tape securing the overgrip to itself), then unwrap the grip.
- Find the tapered side. Remove the plastic from your new grip tape and unfurl it. One end of the overgrip should have a tapered side. The tapered side usually comes with a small, sticky backing (depending on the brand). Remove the backing.
- Follow the handle. Many racket handles have diagonal etchings that show which direction to wrap the overgrip. However, the type of overgrip you need for your playing style should ultimately determine how you wrap it. For instance, if you want to increase the width of your handle slightly, avoid pulling it too tightly and wrapping it around too many times. The tighter you wrap, the thinner your grip. Choose the best overgrip for your playing style.
- Start at the butt. Start wrapping from the bottom of your racket, with the tapered side of the overgrip angled up on a short bevel. Avoid laying the overgrip over the butt cap of your racket.
- Secure the tape. Wrap the overgrip to your comfort level. Once you get to the top of the handle, snip off any excess, and use the finishing tape to stick the grip around the handle. Pull the rubber collar back down around the top of the handle.
How to Replace a Grip on a Tennis Racket
Sometimes replacing your overgrip is not enough, and you need to replace the entire factory grip that came with your racket. The stock grip is usually much thicker and more durable than a standard overgrip, made from synthetic materials or leather, and requires a slightly different application process. For a step-by-step guide on changing your racket grip, see below:
- Remove your old grip. Peel off the grip, starting from the top of the handle. Your default grip will have adhesive along the back of it to stick it to the handle. Unwrap the grip carefully, making sure all the pieces are lifted from the handle. Remove any excess adhesive remaining on the handle with a safe household cleaner or specialized product.
- Remove the staple. When you reach the end of the handle, your factory grip will be stapled to the butt. Use a pair of needle-nose pliers or a narrow screwdriver to lift the staple from the handle, fully releasing your grip.
- Slide on the rubber band. If you’re using a rubber grip collar, slide it on after removing your old grip, as it can be harder to slide on once the new grip is in place.
- Secure your racket. Turn the racket upside down and wedge the racket head between your legs to keep the handle firmly up and in place.
- Wrap in the right direction. Line up the new grip’s tapered end to the same bevel the previous grip was on before. If you’re a right-hander, you’re going to pull the tape to the right and wrap. If you’re a left-hander, you’re going to pull the tape to the left. If you have a staple gun handy, you can restaple the tapered end of the grip to the butt of your racket.
- Wrap the right amount. Pull just tightly enough that the replacement grip lays flat on the handle, covering about one-sixteenth of an inch each time you wrap the grip around. When you reach the top of the handle, keep wrapping the grip over it.
- Snip the excess. Draw a line across the tape on the top of your handle. Peel back the tape. Use scissors to cut along where you drew the line.
- Tape it up. Wrap the piece of finishing tape around the grip until it overlaps itself. Slide down the rubber collar if you have one to secure the new grip in place.
Want to become a better athlete? The MasterClass All-Access Pass provides exclusive video lessons from master athletes, including Serena Williams, Stephen Curry, Tony Hawk, Misty Copeland, and more.