When you have finally found the time to hit the tennis court with your favorite partner, the last thing you want interfering with your game is a bad grip. It can be hard to make the decision to get a new racquet.
Tennis players bond with our favorite racquets and the thought of tossing them because of a bad grip just seems wasteful.
Most seasoned players know that you don’t throw away a $300 racquet because your grip is starting to wear out, or isn’t working the way you want it to. There are two options that you can use to make sure your favorite racquet works like new again and again.
Overgrip tape and replacement grips have the amazing ability to bring new life to an old racquet. The tapes can add new grip to a racquet under different weather conditions.
Replacement grips can take over for beat up grips that have seen better days. These two options are much cheaper than buying a whole new racquet and often have better results when customizing how your racquet performs.
Tennis Grip Buying Guide
There are a few basics things that you should know before you start to buy a new grip or an overgrip tape.
Most of the options available either come as a replacement grip which requires that you take the original grip off of your racquet or as an overgrip tape which is a tape that is placed over your current grip.
Why choose an Over Grip?
If you can replace the grip entirely, you may be wondering why you would want to choose something like an overgrip tape. There are many reasons that tennis players choose overgrip tape over replacement grips.
Thickness, cushioning, shock absorption and style are all factors in choosing overgrip tape instead of a replacement grip.
Another reason you may need to choose overgrip tape is if you have problems with tennis elbow. Tennis elbow may mean you need a larger than normal grip size to prevent the problem from occurring.
There is a really great article here about lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) and sizing grips to help prevent further injury.
If an over grip tape is still not enough to give you the grip size difference in your racquet some of the more cushioned replacement grips featured below will definitely give you what you need as far as the girth of your grip.
Preventing injury with the right grip should be as easy as finding the one that works for you and your racquet.
Aside from the differences in over grip tape and replacement grips, there are four main features featured in both that you will want to consider.
Very important if you have sweaty hands. There are both over grip tapes and replacement grips that offer increased moisture wicking and increased tack with moisture exposure.
You may have to try out a few tapes to find the right style for you.
Some people prefer that their grip get extra tacky when their hands get sweaty while others just want the moisture to go away,
A lot of tennis players have an acceptable level of tack on their grip. The tackiness of the grip is something that should be considered. If you prefer a low-tack grip, make sure you are getting the grip or grip tape that is going to provide you with the level of tackiness you expect.
Tennis is a jarring sport. Returning serves and hitting the ball with force causes a lot of impact on the joints within the arm. The amount of cushioning on the grip can help absorb some of that shock from the impact of the racquet with the ball.
Each tennis player has their own sweet spot for the amount of cushion that they think is acceptable on a grip. Make sure that you are getting something that is going to suit your needs on the court.
There are two groups of people when it comes to beveling on their racquet grips: those who love the added grip beveling can provide and those who think that the beveling interferes with their ability to handle their racquet properly.
The only way to tell which one you are is to try out several types of grips and see which one suits your style of play better. You may find that you are able to serve much better with a beveled grip because of your grasp on your racquet.
Best Tennis Grips and Over Grips Reviews
Sometimes you are going to need a grip replaced. Other times you may just need some overgrip tape. Then there is the rare occasion where you are going to have to replace the entire bottom part of your racquet.
So, which grip and overgrip tape should you buy? Don’t worry we’ve got you covered. Check out the best grip replacements and overgrip tapes below.
1. Wilson Cushion Aire
Wilson did a great job when they named this replacement grip. It truly is like putting a giant cushion on your racket.
The replacement grip is so spongy and has so much cushioning that it will likely increase the overall size of your grip. This is great if you have something like tennis elbow and need a larger grip, but if you like your grip size, you will want to choose a different product.
The Cushion Aire features a perforated surface that is designed to increase the moisture absorbency of the grip. The perforation and the absorbency are great for those that have sweaty hands.
This grip has a tacky surface to help you secure your grip and make sure that you don’t lose your handle on your racket.
The grip does feature some light beveling so that you will have something extra to grab onto with the Wilson Cushion-Aire. Altogether this replacement grip is going to have just about everything that you can get in a tennis racket grip. It really is a great product and well made.
- Very spongy
- Will increase the grip size of your racket
2. Tourna Grip XL
Tourna Grip is perfect for those with extra sweaty hands. This overgrip tape is designed to get tackier the more you sweat. So there is no worry that you are going to have any slippage when using this grip tape.
This grip tape is a thinner grip tape. If you don’t like the bulky feel of a cushioned grip-tape then this is going to be a better option for you.
This grip tape will add all the extra dryness that you need without taking away from the handling of the ball with too much padding.
The grips take a little practice to get on correctly for those with larger gripped rackets. If you have a larger grip on your racket and find that you are coming up short when using this grip tape, you aren’t alone.
There is a little finesse required to get the grip tape to apply all the way to the butt of the grip.
- More Sweat =More tacky
- Keeps hands very dry
- Can be too short for larger grip rackets
- Not the most durable
The Senston anti-slip overgrip comes in a five-pack and a variety of colors, which is good for those with multiple rackets or those who want to have extra grip tape on hand.
This grip tape is a little different than traditional grip tapes because it has no tacky surface, and the surface of the tape doesn’t change when it gets wet.
Where you would expect the racket to get a little sticky under the sweat and use this one doesn’t. This feature can create a problem with slippage of the racket in the hand if you are excessively sweaty.
The perforated outer lining gives way to an absorbent inner lining that should wick away most of the sweat that you produce. The thickness of the inner lining can create a beveling effect when applied as an outer grip which adds to the appeal of this grip tape.
- Super Absorbent
- Raised Bevels
- Extra Cushion
- Can Make Handle Too Big
- Can get slippery
- Not a lot of “tack”
4. Wilson Ultra Wrap
Wilson Ultra Wrap is a very basic overgrip tape. There is no perforation on the wrap so it is not designed to be as moisture-wicking as other overwraps are designed to be.
This wrap is ideal for someone who needs a smoother grip surface than what is typically provided by the moisture-wicking perforated types of wraps.
The basic design of these over grip wraps by Wilson doesn’t affect the performance. The surface doesn’t get sticky or slippery with use and it also doesn’t show any dirt or grime like lightly colored wraps can do.
- Comfort grip
- No Cushioning
5. Head Prestige Pro
Head makes great tennis products and their overgrip wrap is no different. The wrap has maximum tackiness to make sure that you don’t lose your grip on your racquet when playing.
There is a lack of cushioning on these wraps so if you are looking for something that will soften the hardness of your tennis grip this overwrap won’t do that for you.
The lack of cushioning can be annoying for some, but for those who prefer a firm grip on their racquet, this overwrap is perfect.
The nice thing about the Head Prestige Pro over wraps is that they are long-lasting. They are not going to wear out on you after just a few uses. If you are looking for more durability in your overgrip tape, then look no further.
- Can be hard
- Lack of cushioning
6. Alien Pros Comfortable Tacky-Feel
The Alien Pros look really fun and funky. It was refreshing to see a grip tape that was not the standard black, white, or blue. The tape itself features a small amount of cushioning but not a lot (it’s 0.75mm thick).
The cushioning is designed to be “vibration dampening” but it didn’t seem to interfere with ball handling.
The tape is tacky and doesn’t have a lot of slippage even when used with really sweaty hands. There is no beveling on the tape so if you prefer that to help with your grip on your racquet then you may want to look elsewhere for grip wrap tape.
The Alien Pros brand is not the most durable tape available.
Most daily players will probably get about 2 weeks before they begin to see some lifting of the material, which is sad because this tape is really fun to look at and use.
If you are only an occasional player then there shouldn’t be too much of an issue with the durability of this grip tape.
- Fun Design
- Not Durable
7. Gamma Replacement Grip
Gamma makes an excellent replacement grip. This grip has everything that you would need in a grip. It has a large amount of cushioning, it is textured to help with your grip, and it is perforated to allow for moisture-wicking.
There is a slight beveling on the grip so you will have the added grip because of that as well.
As far as the cushioning is concerned, there is quite a bit of it. This is only problematic if your grip cannot be any larger than it originally was. This replacement grip may size-up you grip.
If you are at your biggest grip already on your racquet, do not get this grip because it will compromise your ability to hold the racquet.
The Gamma replacement grip has a moderate amount of tackiness which makes it perfect for those who do not like too much tack but hate to go without that extra grip feature.
The grip doesn’t get slippery when wet, but after some use (a few months) some of the outer lining may start to flake off. If you play every you may want to get a more durable replacement.
- Moisture absorbing
- Can make your grip bigger
- Breaks down easily
8. Yonex Super Grap
The Yonex Super Grap is a budget-friendly grip tape designed to go over the grip of your tennis racquet. This grip tape comes in one long piece which allows you to cut to the length that you need.
While the box says that there are 3 strips inside (there is only one), if not applied correctly you may only have enough tape for 2 and a half racquets.
The performance of the tape is good. It is absorbent and tacky while remaining soft. It doesn’t get slippery even in high humidity or under sweaty hands.
The only performance issues that were encountered was that the bright coloring had a tendency to flake off under rough use. There isn’t any beveling or texture so if you prefer those texture features you may be happier with another type of grip tape.
When replacing this tape, it can leave a very unpleasant residue on your original grip. This is different than other grip tapes that have been used, so if you do purchase this be prepared for some additional cleaning once you are ready to replace the grip tape.
- Hard to replace
- Can Flake Off
9. Gamma Leather Grip
The natural leather grip by Gamma comes with an adhesive backing that makes it easy to apply. This grip is durable and has a moderate amount of cushioning. This allows you to maintain your grip size of the original grip on the racquet.
The leather is naturally textured and does absorb sweat. It provides moderate tack and can handle better than some synthetic variations of similar grips.
The problem with leather is that because it is a natural material it absorbs sweat and can be prone to staining—especially if you sweat a lot.
The leather can also acquire a unique smell for those who sweat a lot. If you do not like the way well-used leather smells this grip may not be suited for you.
- Maintains Grip Size
- Moderate Tack
- Can Stain
10. Prince ResiSoft
The Prince ResiSoft replacement grip is designed to with comfort in mind. It provides a good amount of cushioning which provides some added shock absorption, especially if you were playing with a worn-out grip.
This grip is a lot tack grip which provides minimal slip for those who get sweaty when they play. If it gets humid you may find that you need to use an overgrip with this replacement grip.
The application of the replacement grip was very easy with the self-adhesive found on the back of the strip. You were able to feel the beveling through the cushioning which added to the grip of the racquet.
The only downside to this replacement grip by Prince was that it came in white. While white looks nice on the first time you take it out, it tarnishes easily and tends to look rather grimy after a few times on the court.
If this was available in other colors it would be a higher rating simply for the fact that it wouldn’t look so gross after only a few uses.
- Low Tack
- Added Cushioning
- Dirties easily
How Do I Properly Install the Grip Tape?
You may end up replacing both before your racquet sees the end of its days, and many tennis players do just that. If you do have to replace both here are our top recommendations for the replacement grip and the grip tape.
By far the best replacement grip that is available is the Wilson Cushion Aire. This grip has the best overall performance in all areas that we looked at.
The cushioning on this replacement grip was borderline decadent. The grip it provided was excellent. The only reason you wouldn’t want to get the Wilson Cushion Aire as your replacement grip is if you have something against highly cushioned grips.
Some players prefer a much firmer grip on their racquet.
The Wilson would leave them wishing they had spent their money elsewhere.
The grip tapes all had similar performances. The best of the best was the Tourna Grip XL. This provided almost no added cushioning to grip which meant that our grip size didn’t change when we put the grip tape on.
The best part was that it was ultra-tacky. It really seemed to respond to the conditions that it was put under.
Some grip tapes say they get tackier the sweatier you get, but Tourna Grip XL really does.
If you are in the market for both a grip tape and a replacement grip, combining the Wilson Cushion Aire and the Tourna Grip XL is going to give you the best combination.
The Wilson replacement grip is going to give you all of the cushioning and shock absorption while the Tourna Grip XL will make sure that your grip isn’t going anywhere.
All of the products that are in this guide are great. It really is a matter of preference. If you don’t like ultra-tacky tape or extra cushioning replacement grips, try one of the others listed. They will all revive the life of your tennis racquet and give your game new energy.