Tennis Overgrip vs Grip – Understanding the Key Differences of 2023

Last Updated on October 19, 2023 by Robert A. Foreman

Are you confused about the difference between tennis overgrip vs grip? You’re not alone in this common conundrum faced by many tennis players. In fact, the proper understanding of these terms is vital for enhancing your racket control and overall game performance.

This article unravels what sets an overgrip apart from a standard tennis grip, its essential uses, material variationsdurability considerations, and how to choose the best option based on personal preference and playing style.

Keep reading to get a firm handle on your racquet grip selection

Key Takeaways

  • Tennis overgrips are thin grips that can be applied on top of the existing base grip to enhance sweat absorption and provide a softer feel.
  • Base grips, which are part of the tennis racquet handle, offer better control and stability due to their thicker and spongier texture.
  • Overgrips need frequent replacement as they wear out faster compared to base grips, while base grips are longer lasting.
  • When choosing between a replacement grip or an overgrip, factors such as personal preference, playing style, climate, budget, frequency of use, and grip comfort should be considered.

Understanding Tennis Grip Types

There are two main types of tennis grips: the base grip and the overgrip.

Base Grip

A base grip is part of your tennis racquet. It helps you hold on tight during a game. Base grips are thicker and more spongy than other types of grips. They offer you better control and stability when you hit the ball.

These grips last longer because they do not wear out quickly. Many players like base grips since they feel firm in the hand.


Overgrip is a type of tennis grip that you can put over your existing grip on the handle of your racquet. There are two main types of overgrips: tacky and absorbent. Tacky overgrips are sticky and provide better control for players who don’t sweat much.

On the other hand, absorbent overgrips are great for players who sweat a lot because they help to absorb moisture and keep the grip dry. Overgrips are thinner than base grips and provide less cushioning, usually being between 1/4 and 1/2 the thickness.

They can give you a softer feel and a more cushioned touch when hitting the ball. However, it’s important to note that using an overgrip alone without a replacement grip is not recommended for optimal performance.

The Difference Between Tennis Overgrip Vs Grip

Purpose of Grip

The purpose of grip types in tennis is to provide players with stability and control (base grip) or sweat absorption (overgrip).

Grip for Stability and Control

The grip on a tennis racket is essential for stability and control during gameplay. It helps you hold the racket securely and make precise shots. The base grip, which is the main layer of grip directly on the handle, provides the necessary traction to prevent slipping.

It gives you a solid hold on the racket so that you can swing with confidence. A good base grip will have a tacky texture to enhance your grasp. Additionally, it should provide cushioning to absorb shock and reduce vibrations when hitting the ball.

Remember, a stable and controlled grip is crucial for improving your performance on the court.

Overgrip for Sweat Absorption

An overgrip is a type of tennis grip that is designed specifically to absorb sweat. When playing tennis, it’s natural for your hands to get sweaty, which can make the racket handle slippery and difficult to hold onto.

That’s where an overgrip comes in handy. It has a special material that absorbs sweat and provides a better grip. This allows you to maintain control of the racket during intense rallies and prevents it from slipping out of your hands.

Overgrips are ideal for players who tend to sweat a lot or play in hot and humid conditions. They provide extra cushioning as well, making your grip more comfortable throughout the game.

Material Differences

The base grip is typically made of leather or synthetic materials, while the overgrip can be tacky or dry in texture.

Base Grip: Leather or Synthetic

Base grips for tennis rackets come in two main materials: leather and synthetic. Leather grips provide a more traditional and natural feel, while synthetic grips offer durability and resistance to moisture.

Leather base grips are often thicker and spongier, providing better cushioning and shock absorption. Synthetic base grips are smoother and can be easier to maintain, as they don’t absorb sweat like leather does.

Both options have their pros and cons, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference when choosing between a leather or synthetic base grip for your tennis racket.

Overgrip: Tacky or Dry

There are two main types of overgrips to choose from: tacky and dry. Tacky overgrips have a sticky feel, providing more grip for players who don’t sweat much. However, they can become slippery when wet.

On the other hand, dry overgrips are more absorbent and suitable for those who sweat a lot during gameplay. They help keep your hands dry and prevent the racquet from slipping out of your grasp.

When deciding between tacky or dry overgrips, consider your sweating tendencies and how secure you want your grip to be during matches.

Durability of Base Grip vs Overgrip

The base grip is longer lasting, while the overgrip requires frequent replacement.

Base Grip: Longer Lasting

A base grip is a type of tennis grip that lasts longer compared to an overgrip. It is made of durable materials such as leather or synthetic materials. The thicker and more spongy texture of the base grip provides cushioning and comfort during gameplay.

Overgrip: Frequent Replacement Required

Overgrips for tennis rackets need to be replaced frequently. They wear out faster compared to base grips and thus require more regular replacements. This is because overgrips are thinner and provide less cushioning than base grips, making them more prone to damage with regular use.

Choosing Between a Replacement Grip vs Overgrip

Playing style

Your playing style is an important factor to consider when choosing between a replacement grip and an overgrip. If you have a more aggressive playing style and tend to hit the ball harder, a replacement grip may be more suitable as it provides firmer control and stability.

On the other hand, if you prefer a softer feel and cushioned touch, especially for shots that require finesse or touch, an overgrip would be better suited for your playing style.

So think about how you play and what kind of grip will help enhance your performance on the court.


The climate you play tennis in can impact your choice between a base grip and an overgrip. In hot and humid climates, where sweating is common, an absorbent overgrip may be more suitable to keep your hands dry and prevent slipping.

On the other hand, if you play in drier or cooler climates, a base grip may provide better stability and control without the need for excessive sweat absorption. Consider your local weather conditions when deciding which type of grip to use on your tennis racquet.


One important factor to consider when choosing between a replacement grip and an overgrip is your budget. Replacement grips tend to be more expensive than overgrips because they are thicker and made from higher-quality materials.

If you’re on a tight budget, using an overgrip can be a more cost-effective option as they are cheaper and require less frequent replacement. However, it’s worth noting that investing in a good quality replacement grip might offer better durability and performance in the long run.

Ultimately, your budget will play a role in deciding which option is best for you.

Frequency of use

How often you play tennis is an important factor to consider when choosing between a replacement grip or an overgrip. If you play tennis frequently, it’s recommended to use a replacement grip as they are more durable and longer-lasting compared to overgrips.

Replacement grips can withstand the wear and tear of frequent use better and provide a firmer feel for players who prefer that. On the other hand, if you only play occasionally or don’t want to invest in replacing your grip frequently, an overgrip could be a suitable option since they are cheaper and easier to replace.

However, keep in mind that overgrips might require more frequent replacements due to their absorbent nature and thinner composition.

Grip comfort

Grip comfort is an important factor to consider when choosing between a base grip and an overgrip. A base grip tends to be more cushioned, providing a softer feel and better shock absorption.

This can help reduce hand fatigue during long matches or practice sessions. On the other hand, overgrips are thinner and provide less cushioning compared to base grips. While some players prefer the firmer feel of a replacement gripothers may find the additional cushioning of an overgrip more comfortable.

Can I Use an Overgrip as a Replacement Grip?

Yes, you can use an overgrip as a replacement grip for your tennis racket. Overgrips are thinner and less durable than base grips, but they provide additional tackiness and moisture absorption.

Some players even choose to use two overgrips instead of a replacement grip for a slightly different feel and weight distribution.

So if you prefer the feel of an overgrip or need to increase the size of your grip, using an overgrip as a replacement is definitely an option to consider.

Do Tennis Pros Use Overgrip?

Professional tennis players often use overgrips on their racquets. Overgrips provide them with a fresh and tacky surface, helping to enhance their grip on the handle. This is especially important during intense matches where sweat can make the grip slippery.

Overgrips also absorb moisture, keeping the player’s hands dry and comfortable throughout the game. While some pros may prefer not to use an overgrip and rely solely on their base grip, many choose to add an overgrip for added performance benefits.

Brands like Babolat, Dunlop, Head, Wilson, and Yonex offer high-quality overgrips that are popular among professional players.

How to Apply Tennis Overgrip and Grip to Your Racket

When applying an overgrip or grip to your racket, follow these steps:

  1. Start with a clean and dry handle.
  2. Peel off the backing from the adhesive part of the grip.
  3. Align one end of the grip with the bottom of the handle.
  4. Wrap it tightly around the handle, overlapping each layer slightly.
  5. Smooth out any wrinkles or bubbles as you go.
  6. Continue wrapping until you reach the top of the handle.
  7. Secure the grip by pressing down on it firmly.
  8. Trim off any excess grip at the top if needed.
  9. Optional: Use finishing tape or adhesive backing to secure the end of the grip.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How often do you need to replace overgrip?

Overgrips typically need to be replaced every one to two weeks. Because, over time, the grip can become worn out and lose its stickiness and absorbency.

How many overgrips can I put on my racket?

Typically, recommended to use one overgrip on a racket. If you find that one overgrip is not enough to provide the grip you need, then you should not use more than two overgrip options you can consider. Using multiple overgrips can make the handle of the racket too thick, which can affect your grip and make it harder to control the racket.

How often should I change my tennis grip?

You should replace your grip when it gets old or worn out to ensure proper racquet weight distribution and avoid arm injuries. The timing depends on how much you play; if there is skin-to-grip contact, then consider changing it more frequently.

Can I use regular tape to install a new grip on my tennis racket?

While we’d recommend using double-sided tape made for this purpose during grip installation, simple uses of items like a staple gun may come in handy when dealing with emergency fixes at hand!

What about different sizes of tennis grips?

Tennis grip size means how big the handle is. It needs to fit well in your hand for comfortable play and effective shots.


In conclusion, understanding the key differences between tennis overgrips vs grips is essential for players looking to enhance their game. While a base grip provides stability and control, an overgrip offers sweat absorption and cushioning.

Ultimately, the choice between a replacement grip or overgrip depends on personal preference, playing style, climate, budget, frequency of use, and grip comfort. By considering these factors, players can make an informed decision that suits their needs best.

Don’t waste your time looking at thousands of options. Just choose these two without any hesitation.