TENNIS.com gear editor Justin diFeliciantonio and his technical advisers answer your equipment questions each day. Click here to send in a question of your own.
What’s the trick to wrapping an overgrip? Yesterday I tried putting a Wilson Pro Overgrip on my Head Prestige MP, but during play it totally unraveled. I would take it to my stringer to wrap, but he lives a ways away, and I want to start changing my grips out more regularly. Bottom line is, I need to learn how to do this. Any tips would be helpful.—Gary S.
I’ve always been of the opinion, Gary, that all players should know how to wrap their own grips. How a grip is wrapped—thin with little overlap, for example, or built up round and thick—can have a large bearing on how the racquet feels. And if there’s one commonality among good players, it’s that they’ve experimented enough to discover what feels best to them.
That said, the main “grip tip,” in my mind, has always been to apply constant pressure. Start wrapping at the bottom edge of the handle. Then carefully—without letting the grip slack—wind the material gradually toward the racquet’s shaft. (Pull hard enough that you begin stretching the grip, but not so hard that you stretch the material out of shape.) How much the wrap overlaps is up to you and your preferences. But make sure not to leave any gaps between the material; if you do, the grip is liable to scrunch up during play—or, worse, fall off.
As for cadence, some players prefer to wrap at a constant speed, while others move more quickly when turning the palette over in their hand. The best piece of advice I could give you, Gary, is to find an experienced gripper near you. (A teaching pro or racquet technician are two people to consult.) Watch their technique and have them critique yours. In no time, you should be gripping with the best of them.