Imagine a pickleball player in the middle of a match, gripping his paddle with all his might; his palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy. As his shots begin to falter and points slip away, he can't help but wish for a solution to his slipping grip.
This scenario is all too common among beginners, but it's a different story for the pros. They know the value of accessories, especially pickleball overgrips. With a solid grip, these players can dominate the court, win the match and avoid the embarrassing fumbles and losses that come with sweaty hands.
You may have noticed other players with their brightly coloured pickleball overgrip tape and wondered - do I need a pickleball overgrip?
Well, let me tell you, these little strips of magic can make a world of difference in your game! It doesn't matter if you're a beginner or an experienced player; using overgrip can help you maintain better control of your paddle and improve your accuracy. Moreover, if you tend to sweat a lot during play, overgrips become an absolute must-have. However, with so many available options, it can be challenging to pick the right one.
The good news is that by the time you finish reading this blog, you'll have a complete understanding of everything there is to know about pickleball paddle overgrips. We'll cover everything from the various materials and textures used to the steps on how to overgrip your paddle like a pro to the best pickleball overgrip you can buy (and if you really want to perfect your grip, read up on grip styles and techniques in our how to hold a pickleball paddle blog).
What are pickleball paddle overgrips?
Overgrip for pickleball paddles is thin strips of material that players wrap around the handle of their paddle to improve their grip and comfort. This overgrip tape is designed to absorb sweat and provide a non-slip surface that helps players maintain control even when their hands are sweaty. This helps prevent your hands from slipping and sliding on the paddle's handle, which can cause you to mishit the ball or miss shots altogether. In addition to providing a better grip, overgrips can reduce hand fatigue and make your overall playing experience more comfortable.
Today, you will find a range of overgrips distinguished by their material, thickness, and texture. Synthetic materials such as polyurethane or polyester make up some overgrips, while others use natural materials such as cork or leather. Different thicknesses and textures are also available, allowing for various levels of comfort and a better grasp.
How can pickleball paddle overgrip improve grip?
Using an overgrip on your pickleball paddle can significantly impact your game. Here are some of the main benefits:
- Absorbs sweat
One of the biggest challenges of playing pickleball is sweaty hands. Overgrip for pickleball paddles provides a non-slip surface and absorbs sweat, effectively combating this issue. This helps you maintain control of your paddle, even when your hands are damp, making it easier to keep a consistent grip during play.
- Increases traction
Overgrips can increase the traction between your hand and the paddle, giving you a more secure grasp. This can help you make more precise shots and reduce slippage, which can be especially important in fast-paced games where split-second decisions can make all the difference.
- Provides comfort
Another benefit of pickleball overgrip tape is it can make your overall playing experience more comfortable. Overgrips provide extra cushioning, reducing hand fatigue and making it easier to play for extended periods.
Overgrips can significantly improve your grip by absorbing sweat and increasing traction and comfort. This enhanced grasp on your paddle will help you maintain control and accuracy, ultimately leading to better performance on the court!
What is the best overgrip for pickleball?
There are a few factors you need to consider when looking for the best pickleball overgrip.
To choose the right overgrip, you must first consider your playing style. Are you someone who prefers a more aggressive shot or a lighter approach? If you tend to hit hard shots and play aggressively, an overgrip with a rough texture that provides extra traction can be beneficial. On the other hand, if you are a finesse player who values precision over power, a smoother overgrip may be more suitable.
The next factor you need to consider is how much you sweat. If you sweat a lot while you play, you want an overgrip that prioritizes moisture absorption. Look for overgrips made with cotton or microfiber that can soak up sweat and keep your hands dry.
When it comes down to it, the best overgrip for you is the one that feels the most comfortable and provides the best grip. This is why you also need to factor in your personal preferences. Some players prefer overgrips with a thicker or thinner profile, depending on their preferences where others may prefer overgrips with a colour or design that matches their style.
Once you have determined what you want to achieve from your overgrip tape, you’ll need to consider thickness and texture. These two factors can have a big impact on your grip and performance. Thicker overgrips provide more cushioning and comfort, while thinner overgrips can give you a better feel for the paddle. Regarding texture, some players prefer a rougher surface for extra traction, while others like a smoother surface for better control.
Check out some of the top brands and models for the best overgrip for pickleball. There is a wide variety available, each with unique features and benefits. Some top brands include Gamma, Head, and Prolite, while popular models include the Gamma Supreme Pickleball Overgrip, Head Xtreme Pickleball Grip, and Pickleball Tourna Grip Original. Last year the New York Post curated a list of the best pickleball accessories and equipment and when it came to overgrip, they recommended the AUCH absorb moisture and anti-slip overgrip pickleball tape.
How to Overgrip a Pickleball Paddle?
Once you've chosen the right pickleball paddle overgrip, you must install and maintain it to ensure maximum performance and longevity. Here are some tips to help you do just that:
Installing pickleball overgrip tape:
- Remove the old grip (if applicable): Use a knife or scissors to carefully remove the old grip from your paddle. Be sure to remove all the adhesive tape as well.
- Prepare the new grip: Unroll the new overgrip and remove the protective backing. Make sure the adhesive side is facing up.
- Apply the overgrip: Starting at the butt of the paddle, slowly wrap the tapered end of the overgrip around the handle, keeping it tight and smooth as you go. It should be angled downward, and you should have some overlap. When you reach the top, cut off any excess.
- Finish it off: Use finishing tape to secure the top of the overgrip in place. Make sure to wrap the tape tightly around the paddle to keep the overgrip in place.
If you are more of a visual learner, there are plenty of videos on YouTube like this Beginners Guide to Pickleball Overgrip that covers install and maintenance.
Maintaining your overgrip:
To ensure your overgrip lasts as long as possible and does what it should, you need to take care of it. Here are some tips for maintaining your overgrip:
- Keep it clean: Use a damp cloth to wipe down your overgrip after each game or practice session. This will help remove any sweat or dirt that may have accumulated on it.
- Avoid overuse: Overgrips can wear out over time, so it's crucial to replace them when they feel worn or lose their grip.
- Store it properly: When you're not using your paddle, store it in a cool, dry place to prevent the overgrip from becoming damaged or worn.
Customizing your pickleball overgrip:
Some players like to customize their overgrip to make them more comfortable or to add an extra layer of grip. Here are some ways you can customize your overgrip:
- Double up: For extra cushioning, wrap two overgrips around the handle of your paddle.
- Add grip: If your overgrip isn't providing enough traction, add a layer of tape on top of it.
- Change it up: Try different thicknesses and textures of overgrips to find the one that best suits your playing style and preferences.
The importance of using the right equipment and accessories to improve your game cannot be overstated. Overgrips may seem like a small detail, but they can make a big difference in your performance. By absorbing sweat, increasing traction, and providing comfort, pickleball overgrips will improve your grip and reduce slippage, resulting in greater control and accuracy in your shots. So, if you're serious about improving your game, don't overlook pickleball overgrip. Give it a try and experience the difference they can make on the court.