How to place an overgrip on a padel racquet

If you're going to be playing a lot of padel, putting an overgrip on your racquet is one of those skills you're going to have to learn. A fresh overgrip doesn't just add comfort; it will also help to improve your performance. Fortunately, this is a simple process and you will quickly get the hang of it.

Why do you even need an overgrip? 

If you've never applied an overgrip before, you might be wondering whether it's a luxury item. After all, you already have a grip on the handle of racquet, so why would you need another?

The reason is that the original padel grip, which was on the handle when you bought the racquet, is going to degrade over time, worn down by sweat and friction, if you don't protect it. And when that material starts to go, you'll notice that you can't grip the handle as well, which means it slips in your hand, and you have less feel and control.

To compensate, you might find yourself holding the handle harder, which won't allow you to play your natural game and risks injury. The solution? A padel overgrip. Far from being a luxury item, an overgrip is essential for a padel player. 

There's another reason why an overgrip will enhance your comfort and performance; you can personalize the size. Padel racquets tend to come in one standard size and are quite often too small for your hand. Adding an overgrip can allow you to 'build up' the handle so it's the ideal size for your hand.

You can make the same overgrip thicker or thinner - if there's more overlap as you wind it around the handle, it will be thicker and will suit someone with a larger hand, while if it barely overlaps, it will be thinner, ideal for a smaller hand. Play around with an overgrip, going thicker or thinner until you find the optimal size and comfort.

What's the difference between a grip and an overgrip? 

A grip is thicker, heavier and more cushioned, while an overgrip is made of lighter, thinner material. 

What's the best overgrip for sweaty hands? 

If your racquet hand becomes very sweaty on court, you'll need an absorbent overgrip that can handle that perspiration. You'll also want a tacky material that stops any sliding, and gives you the grip, feel and control you're looking for. 

Anything else you should consider when choosing an overgrip?

You should also think about whether you want a smooth or a perforated overgrip. While a perforated overgrip seems to offer more grip, it probably won't last as long as a smooth one. As overgrips come in a range of colors, putting on a new one is an opportunity to freshen up your racquet's look. But some players prefer the black and white overgrips to the brightly colored ones as they don't have pigments in them, which tends to make them more breathable and they can last for longer. 

What's the difference between tennis overgrips and paddle overgrips? 

There's not much difference, though tennis overgrips tend to be longer, so if you use one on a paddle racquet you'll probably have more excess material. 

Do you need any tools for putting on an overgrip? 

You might want to use a pair of scissors to cut off any excess material, though with the softer materials you can usually break if off with your hands. 

How do you apply the overgrip?

If putting on an overgrip is new to you, you’ll soon feel very comfortable doing it, as it’s a pretty straightforward process. You'll notice that the overgrip comes with a sticker. Take that off and stick it to another part of the padel racket (so not on the handle).

Start at the bottom of the handle, with the thinnest part of the overgrip, with another sticker that attaches it to the grip. And then carefully wind the overgrip around until you reach the top, with the amount of overlap that’s going to give you the thickness you require.

You'll probably find you have some excess material, which you can cut with the scissors or break off gently with your hands. Now put the sticker on to keep everything in place. There, you’ve done it.

What can you do if you're not happy? 

Don’t worry, it's easy to have another go. Simply remove the sticker, unwrap the overgrip and start the process again. 

How often should you change your overgrip? 

That depends on how much padel you're playing, how much you sweat and the type of overgrip you have chosen. You'll notice when the overgrip starts to feel a bit tired. But you should probably be putting on a fresh overgrip at least once every two months. Some more advanced players will put on a fresh overgrip before every match, and sometimes, if it’s a warm day, even several times during a match.