Increase Racquet Grip Size

Increase Racquet Grip Size

About four months ago in July 2020, I started to find that I could not grip my racquet as tightly as I used to. Whenever a fast and heavy spin ball came my way and I tried to direct the shot back, it always went wide to the right (I'm a right hander). Often with my racquet handle moving in my palm like it was dislodging from my grip. Then I started to develop pain in my wrist with the pain shooting up to the base of my thumb. The middle finger, ring finger and pinkie were hurting too. My serve was badly affected.

It was only in October that I decided to see a doctor about it and was referred to an Arthritis and Rheumatologist Specialist. The diagnosis is I have Tendonitis and mild Arthritis. Explaining to a layman like me, I learnt that Tendonitis is the inflammation of the tendons that join up each individual finger to your arm, which controls your finger movements, like gripping the racquet handle. Arthritis is the inflammation, and often accompanied by swelling, of the finger joints' soft tissue. I have both. 

Hmm...are those the reasons why my racquet was slipping in my hands when receiving a heavy shot?
How did I get these conditions? I thought hard about whether I have been applying the wrong grip all along, or whether the grip size (size L2 - 4 1/4 inch) which I have always used is the wrong size for my hand.

But whether it was because I was using the wrong grip size, or whether it was because my condition caused the inability to grip tighter, maybe I should now increase the handle size on my racquet.  In addition to following the doctor's instructions on the medical treatment, I decided to do something with my racquets.

I stocked some Heat Shrink Sleeves and bought a Heat Gun.  Heat Shrink Sleeves are made from synthetic rubber. See pic at top of this article.

To install them, you would simply insert the racquet handle into them - they are like a cylindrical tube.

Use a heat gun to apply heat, and they will shrink and fit snugly onto the handle.

Incidentally, I found many of my customers use multiple layers of overgrips to increase their racquet handle size.  In Singapore, most Tennis shops sell majority of their racquets with the L2 grip size.  One retailer told me it is because it fits the average local person's hand and the other grip sizes are not popular.  This leads to the situation where a person with large hands is forced to buy an L2 because of stock availability and attempting to do what I just described above.  The issue I have with that approach is, if you apply more than one layer of overgrip on top of the original (a.k.a replacement) grip, you start to lose the feel of the bevels.  Apply more than two layers, your handle start to feel like a cylindrical rod.  Bevels are there to assist you in holding your racquet properly to deliver the stroke you want to.  Losing that sense of the bevels will have a big impact on your game.

I went off back to the main topic.

I now retail sleeves inclusive of the installation service (see my store Catalog).  Check out my 3-part installation videos series below.