How Do I Know My Pickleball Grip Size
When it comes to your pickleball grip, size matters. Finding the correct size of grip for your hand is essential to ensure that you’re performing at your best on the pickleball court.
Think of it like a shoe. In order to be comfortable and stable on your feet, the shoe must fit just right. The same goes for your paddle grip.
Pickleball paddles, as we know, have pretty strict parameters when it comes to size. The combined length and width of a paddle can measure a maximum of 24”, so most paddles are around 8” wide and 16” long. Any length that’s added to the handle of the paddle takes away from the paddle face size, so handles are usually around 4.5” long, with a maximum of 6” for those who like to play some shots two-handed.
When it comes to picking grips for those handles, the two factors to consider are thickness (circumference) and texture. The thickness of the grip depends wholly on your hand size, as your fingers need to comfortably wrap around the circumference.
You can always ADD an over-grip (or two) to your paddle to increase the circumference:
The Index Finger Test
There are many misconceptions around pickleball grip sizing, not least the “index finger test”. This myth states that when you’re holding your grip tightly with your playing hand, you should be able to fit your index finger from the other hand snugly in the gap between your fingertips and palm. Don’t believe it.
This idea comes from tennis, where it may work very well, but it’s not a suitable method for pickleball grip sizing. Read on to find out how to properly determine which pickleball grip size is right for you.
How Pickleball Grip Size Affects Pickleball Performance
Choosing the right grip size can significantly improve your performance on the pickleball court, while helping you to avoid injury.
A pickleball paddle that fits snugly in your hand gives you the best possible control over the direction and weight of your shots. Good grip also allows you to generate more power and achieve finer techniques like spin on the ball.
Playing pickleball with a mis-sized grip causes unnecessary strain on the hand and arms over time. If the grip is too small, you tend to hold the paddle more tightly than necessary, whereas if the grip is too big, you have to strain more to get the control you need over your shots.
All of that causes muscle fatigue and can eventually lead to ‘pickleball’ elbow, something that’s always best avoided.
Factors To Consider When Selecting Pickleball Grip Size
When choosing a pickleball grip, there are a few important factors to take into account.
Pickleball grip sizes are measured by their circumference. There is only a small range in which this circumference varies, about an inch, in fact. It may seem small, but that inch makes a huge difference when you’re holding the paddle.
Pickleball paddle grips start at 4” and go up to 5” in circumference. They can be various different materials and textures and they vary very slightly in weight. The best grips are approved by the governing body of pickleball, the USA Pickleball Association.
Pickleball grips are designed to absorb sweat, add tackiness, and provide cushioning. Therefore the material used is usually synthetic leather with an absorbent padding. The texture of the grip is often a pattern designed to stop your hand from slipping off the grip.
Next, onto the important question; how to zero in on the grip size which gives you the best comfort and allows for correct hand placement on the paddle. There are three methods that you can try.
The Ruler Test
The first thing to do is measure your hand. Open your paddle hand face up with your fingers extended. You’ll notice two lateral creases on your hand, and one that runs in an arc down towards your wrist.
Measure the distance from the bottom lateral crease (the middle of the three), up to the tip of your ring finger. This measurement will be somewhere between 4 and 5 inches, and should be the perfect circumference for your pickleball grip. Simple as that.
The Height Test
You can use your height to determine grip size, but it’s less accurate than the ruler test.
Pickleball Grip Size
Below 5’ 3” (160cm)
4” circumference (10.2cm)
5’ 3” to 5’ 8” (160-173cm)
4.25” circumference (10.8cm)
Above 5’ 8” (173cm)
4.5” circumference (11.4cm)
Tips for Finding the Right Grip Size
Of course, the only way to truly know if the grip size is just right is to actually hold and use the paddle. Try out demo paddles in store, or try using grip tape or grip sleeves to customize the size of the grip on your own paddle until you find the right fit.
Grips can change size over time as they wear away or swell up with moisture, so it’s crucial to keep checking and adjusting your grip to ensure optimal performance. Selkirk provides several different types of grips for different preferences!
Wrist mobility is key to fine tuning your pickleball shots. The best grip size is one that is just large enough to play comfortably with and allows for a full range of motion.
Getting a Grip on Your Game
Having a correct grip on your paddle genuinely affects your pickleball game. Losing control of your paddle is disastrous, and even minute discomfort or strain in your paddle hand will lead to reduced performance.
The best way to make sure a grip size is right for you is through actual court time. Try out different grip sizes until you find the perfect match.Check out our pickleball grip guide here, to make sure you’ve got a firm grip on your game.