When you purchase a new tennis racket, it comes with a perfectly fine grip, so you might be wondering why you would cover it with an overgrip. Everyone seems to be using them these days but are they necessary.
Overgrips are not necessary, however, I recommend using an overgrip because they offer a few advantages over using just a regular grip.
In the rest of this article, we’ll look at the purpose of tennis overgrips, whether most players use overgrips, and playing without an overgrip.
What’s the Purpose of a Tennis Overgrip?
There are three main purposes of tennis overgrips:
- You can regularly replace them – This allows you to always be playing with a newish overgrip which gives you both better control and more consistency. The reason you can replace overgrips more regularly is due to their much lower cost and the fact that they are far easier to replace.
- They are available in more materials – Regular grips always have a more tacky feeling to them. This is fine if you like that type of grip, but if you have sweaty hands, a dry cloth-like overgrip such as Tourna Grips (link to Amazon) will prevent the racket from slipping in your hands. Overgrips are available both tacky and dry so you have more options.
- They increase grip size – If you’re racket’s grip size is slightly too small for you, adding an overgrip can give your grip a slight increase in thickness.
Do Most Tennis Players Use an Overgrip?
At a recreational level, I would say it’s a fairly even split. Better players will likely use overgrips, but more casual and newer players often won’t replace their grip, strings, or racket for years.
If you’re one of those people that play tennis a couple of times a week but never replace your grip, I’d recommend getting into the habit of doing so. Whether you stick to regular grips and replace them every couple of months, or try using overgrips and replace them every week or so, you will notice a difference playing with fresh grips.
At the pro level, overgrips are the standard. I’m not aware of any pro that plays without an overgrip.
Can You Play Tennis Without an Overgrip?
Yes, you absolutely can play tennis without an overgrip. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of regularly replacing them, you can stick with standard grips, but know that they are a bit more tricky to replace when you do get round to changing them.
In fact, some people prefer playing without an overgrip. Regular grips have a different feel to overgrips, and overgrips can round the handle a little bit and reduce how pronounced the bevels are. If you’ve tried a few overgrips and don’t like how they feel there’s nothing wrong with not using them.
Overall, I think most tennis players would benefit from overgrips so I recommend at least giving them a go, but when it comes to your racket’s grip, it’s all about personal preference. Try out a few different grips (overgrips and regular), and find what works for you.
To wrap it up, you don’t need an overgrip on a tennis racket but I would recommend using one. They are cheaper and easier to replace than regular grips so you can always have a fresh grip. However, if you don’t like them, it certainly isn’t necessary to use them. It’s all about finding what works for you.