Ever wonder what the colorful wrap at the bottom of the badminton racket is? It’s a badminton grip! If you have played badminton for some time, you may have also noticed that each player may use a slightly different grip, be it texture, shape, or color. With so many types of badminton grips out there, you may be unsure of which choice to make. Or, you may even be asking yourself – does it really make a difference? Why should I care what grip I get? Well, you’ve come to the right location, as we will be discussing which badminton grip you should choose.
Note: When we refer to badminton grips throughout this post, we are talking about the grip material that is applied to the handle of the racket and not the style of grip a player should apply to execute a shot (i.e. backhand, forehand).
Badminton grips are generally classified into 3 categories: original/replacement grips, overgrips, and towel grips. Breaking these down further, badminton players are then faced with choosing between dry, wet, tacky, soft, hard, smooth, or ribbed textures.
As with any other piece of equipment, badminton grips should serve the player by boosting his or her performance and complementing his or hey play style. Choosing the right grip can mean the difference between being able to properly execute a shot or losing control of the racket. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that the grip that comes with the racket is good enough. Instead, be intentional when choosing a badminton grip.
In this post, we will be covering key grip considerations that players should pay attention to when choosing the right badminton grip to amplify their game. However, if you want to look deeper into the comprehensive catalog of Yonex badminton grips within each of the three categories – original/replacement grips, overgrips, and towel grips.
Which Grip Should I Buy for Sweaty Hands?
Contrary to popular belief, badminton is actually a very intense sport. Don’t believe us? Badminton is actually the fastest racket sport and gets your heart pumping as it can more easily raise a player’s heart rate to a higher percentage of their maximum heart rate than tennis. Discover for yourself just how surprisingly intense badminton is and how fast you can reduce weight by playing the sport.
With greater intensity and increased heart rate comes a higher chance of perspiration. Whether players naturally have sweaty hands, or perspiration runs from their head/arms down to their hand, our recommendation is to find a grip that boasts the highest sweat or water absorbency. Absorbency refers to the ability of the material to take in liquid.
Grips with high sweat absorbency are better equipped to take in a player’s sweat, lengthening the time a grip is playable before becoming too slippery to use. Grips that reach its absorbency capacity will no longer be able to take in liquid, which results in sweat staying on the surface of a player’s hand. The grip material will become too slippery and will either lead to the players mishitting a shot as they have less control over the racket or in the worst case scenario fly out of the player’s hand all together.
Recommendation: Yonex Towel Grip
The Yonex Towel Grip reigns supreme when it comes to absorbency. Towel grips will offer players who sweat a comfortable playing experience through its soft towel-like texture, while also offering peace of mind that the racket won’t slip out of a player’s grasp. While towel grips may be generally pricier than overgrips, it’s truly unparalleled when considering absorbency.
Alternative Accessories for Sweaty Hands:
For players who may not enjoy the thickness that comes with a towel grip, they look at purchasing the following alternative accessories to deal with sweaty hands:
1. Grip Powder. Grip powder is applied directly to a player’s hand and then rubbed directly into the grip. The grip powder is a substance that helps prevent the hand from sweating as much and provides the player a cool and dry feeling.
2. Sports Wristband. Wristbands are used to catch the sweat that may drip down from your head or arm before reaching your hand and ultimately onto the racket grip. Players can deliberately use the wristband to wipe sweat from their face or allow it to naturally act as a safeguard for sweat that trickles down the arm.
What Grip Should I Buy for My Style of Play?
Style of play refers to how a player prefers to play on court. Typically, this is split between two categories:
- Power: players in this category live for the thrill of explosive shots such as jump smashes that will overwhelm their opponents and win them the point. Aggressive, attacking shots are the name of their game.
- Technique/Control: players in this category pride themselves in dictating the pace of the rally, moving their opponents to their beck and call, and masterfully outmaneuvering their opponents to clinch the rally.
Best Grip for Power:
For players who gravitate towards power play, they should put their attention towards a thicker grip. To hit a powerful shot, beyond the needed technique and physique, a player will need to grip the racket tightly when executing their shot. As such, a thicker grip will allow the fingers to clench around the grip quicker as there is less distance required than if the grip were thinner. You can picture this as grasping the handlebars on a bicycle, motorcycle, or dumbbell. The thinner the bar, the more your fingers will have to curl around to grab onto it securely.
Note: to play a powerful game, players need NOT be constantly gripping their racket tightly all the time. Rather, the grip should be loose and relaxed up until the moment right before contact with the shuttle. Applying a constant iron grip on your racket will apply unnecessary tension to your arm and can lead to muscle fatigue and/or injury such as inflammation.
Additionally, power players need to keep in mind that a head-heavy balance is ideal for power. Mass concentrated at the top of the racket will add momentum to the player’s swing, which then translates into more power behind a shot! Ideally, you want a thick, yet light grip, to ensure that the additional weight added by the weight to the racket handle will not surpass the weight of the racket head.
Recommendation: Yonex Towel Grip
Surprised to see the Yonex Towel Grip recommended again? The Towel Grip is thicker than all of the overgrips that Yonex sells in its catalog. Yet, being made of cotton material results in a light weight. Together, this makes the Towel Grip the perfect grip for power hungry players.
Best Grip for Control/Technique:
Players who prefer a control/technique oriented play style should consider a thinner grip. For maximum flexibility of the fingers, which transfers the slightest movements from the player to the racket to execute precise and calculated shots, the grip should be as thin as possible so as not to impede the finger’s movements.
Control/Technique players do not want too much power behind their shots, as their game revolves around delicately executing shots of calculated precision. These players tend not to hold their rackets too tightly, as the nimbleness of the fingers to change grips, such as a fast switch between forehand and backhand grips can make the difference in out maneuvering the opponent.
Opposite to that of a power player. technical players will aim for head-light balance in their rackets. Mass concentrated at the handle of the racket will offer a higher degree of control for the player. As such, control players should aim at selecting grips that are thinner yet aren’t particularly light in weight.
Recommendation: Yonex Ultra Thin Grap
The Yonex Ultra Thin Grap is thinner than all other overgrips, replacement grips, and towel grips. Comparatively, it is thinner by 1/3 compared to the closest grip in terms of thickness. The Yonex Ultra Thin Grap will provide the thinnest gripping experience for technical players to maximize their racket handling to deliver exceptional control.
Additional Consideration: Player’s Palm Size
Each and every player will have different palm sizes, which refers to the widest part of your palm, or the inside of your hand. While the recommendations above for style of play holds generally true for all players, you will want to consider your palm size to determine if any additional alterations need to be applied to your grip.
Style of Play: Power
Palm Size: Small
Recommendation: Use the Yonex Nano Towel Grip, the alternative to the Towel Grip. While similar in its light weight, the Nano Towel Grip is about 30% thinner than the Towel Grip. While this sacrifices a bit of power, it’s not as big of a drawback for players with smaller palm sizes.
Style of Play: Power
Palm Size: Large
Recommendation: Underneath the Yonex Towel Grip, apply additional layers of the Yonex Cushion Wrap. The Cushion Wrap is an extremely light grip accessory that is meant primarily to modify the thickness of the racket grip. Apply the necessary layers to fit the size of your palm.
Style of Play: Control/Technique
Palm Size: Small
Recommendation: Remove the original/replacement grip layer of your racket and replace with two overgrips. Overgrips are thinner than replacement grips but will serve the purpose of adding weight to tip the balance of the racket towards the handle.
Style of Play: Control/Technique
Palm Size: Large
Recommendation: Underneath the Yonex Thin Grip, apply additional layers of the Yonex Cushion Wrap. As described above, the Cushion Wrap is light weight and designed to modify the thickness of the racket grip. Players should apply the necessary layers to fit the size of their palms.
What Grip Should I Buy if I Like My Grip Dry?
Dry grips prioritize offering the player optimal feel of their racket. Feel refers to the degree for which a player is able to have subtle hand and finger motions register immediately in the racket. Higher feel means a faster response in the racket, whereas lower feel means a more delayed response.
Characteristically, dry grips are relatively smooth in comparison to other grips such as textured or tacky grips. While dry grips are able to absorb moisture fairly well, although not as well as a towel grip, it is not recommended for players who have especially sweaty hands. This reason being, the dry grips can become slick when absorbing too much water, which would defeat the purpose of offering a player the heightened feel of their racket.
Recommendation: Yonex Dry Grap
The Yonex Dry Grap gives players a dry and smooth playing experience. While the dry grap optimizes feel for the player, the grip material is not as durable as other overgrips such as Yonex’s flagship Super Grap.
What Grip Should I Buy if I Like My Grip Tacky?
Tacky grips focus on providing players improved contact or adhesion between their hands and the grip handle. This is especially useful to maintain better control over the racket and prevent slippage. Tacky grips can be perceived as giving off a “wet” or “sticky” feeling when gripped. While a tacky grip still has water absorbency qualities, the wet feeling is not an indication that the grip is storing accumulated liquid. Rather, this feeling is a tacky grip’s quality of adding friction between hand and racket grip.
Grips that emphasize tack need not have special surface texture such as the ribbed strip that runs through the underbelly of a Yonex Wave Grap or the perforated (or tiny holes) texture of a Yonex Mesh Grap. These grips can display a smooth surface with tacky features through the material used in its manufacturing.
Recommendation: Yonex Moist Super Grap
The Yonex Moist Super Grap is the ultimate grip when it comes to providing the wettest gripping feel for players who seek a zero-slip playing experience. The Moist Super Grap continues to absorb moisture from a player’s hand while preserving their control of the racket.
Alternative product: Yonex Wet Tacky Grap
The Yonex Wet Tacky Grap tones down the watery feel of the Moist Super Grap, while maintaining a high degree of tackiness for players.
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