If you are wondering when you should change the overgrip on your tennis racket... the answer is probably right now.
Despite the fact that most people love the feeling of a brand new grip, this is the part of the racket that we use the most but care about the least. Missing a shot because your racket slipped is not the only consequence of not taking care of your grip. It can affect whether or not you get calluses, injuries, or even illness (especially now). Rackets are usually stored in cooled, dark places without great ventilation. After a few sessions of absorbing moisture, that old, worn grip can be a breeding ground for bacteria (gross, right?).
So, how do you take care of your grip? Here are our recommendations.
- Change your overgrips earlier than you think you need to. Remember - a lot of factors determine how quickly a grip needs to be changed - humidity, the intensity of play, perspiration. A general rule you can follow is to replace your overgrip every 6-8 hours of play, and your replacement grip 1-3 times per year.
- Air out your rackets. Don't just leave them in your bag, or in your trunk. Get them some fresh are in between playing time so the moisture can evaporate quickly.
- Rotate your rackets when playing for an extended time, especially in the heat and humidity. You might not want to do this in a match, so you may want to change grips in between sets, which brings us to point number 3.
- Practice changing your grip. Your goal to change your grip should be under 2 minutes, and you should time yourself to see how long it takes. 2 minutes is the time allotted between sets, but being fast in important for another reason. If you have a court reserved for an hour and forgot to change your grip, you may be willing to say "I'll do it next time." If you are confident in your ability, however, you are more likely to change your grip and have a better playing session.
Here is a quick video on the proper way to change your grip: