As one of the most important parts of the whole paddle, it is common to replace grips and overgrips throughout your pickleball journey.

There are several reasons to do this:

  • Your pickleball paddle has seen a little too much love.
  • You want to give your grip a new life.
  • Your grip is starting to feel less tacky and more silky.
  • You accidentally flung the paddle across the court because you easily lost your grip on the handle.
  • You notice that a grip twists in your hand after you drive or smash the ball, even if it is just the right size for your hand.
  • You want to add a bit of thickness to the handle.
  • You want to increase the circumference of the grip.

Because the grip will make or break your game, pay attention to how it feels in your hand.

  • How easily can you hold your paddle?
  • What do you think of the weight of the entire paddle?
  • How does the bulk and comfort affect your game?
  • Does it feel right in your hand?

Grips versus Overgrips

These terms are often used interchangeably but should not be the case.

Grips cover the very core of your paddle and can be made of wood, molded foam base, plastic, and other materials. Overgrips go on top of the grip to provide absorption, comfort, and extra tackiness. It is made of a very thin material so as not to add a lot of weight or change the grip’s shape.

It is up to you to stick with a regular grip or use an overgrip to change the pickleball paddle’s overall feel or bulk/weight.

How to Replace a Pickleball Paddle Grip

1) Get the wrapping tools you need

All you really need is a grip tape or a modern grip with self-adhesive tabs at the end. You have several options available.

Super Soft Grip

Tackiness: 1

Moisture absorption: N/A

Cushioning: 3

Despite being the least tacky grip, the Super Soft Grip provides great padding for shock absorption and cushioning. It is recommended for players who want solid protection for joints without the stickier feel.

Contour Grip

Tackiness: 4

Moisture absorption: N/A

Cushioning: 4

This is a popular grip used across many brands such as Onyx and Pro-Lite because it provides a thick base for control and a high-level of tack.

Lite Grip

Tackiness: 4

Moisture absorption: N/A

Cushioning: 3

It is similar to the Contour except that it is comparatively thinner and does not have stitching. Because of its sleeker and smoother design, it’s a better choice for players who want the tackiness of a full-size grip from Contour but without the bulk.

Hi-Tech Gel Grip

Tackiness: 4

Moisture absorption: N/A

Cushioning: 4

Featuring a Zorbicon gel strip, this pickleball paddle grip provides additional shock absorption and a similar feel as the Contour. It is highly recommended for players who want to avoid tired wrists or pickleball elbow.

Hi-Tech Grip

Tackiness: 5

Moisture absorption: N/A

Cushioning: 1

The tackiest grip available, it has a super smooth surface with no bump or ridge. Because it is the least cushy, it is recommended for players who want more control while keeping the size of the grip slender.

As you may have noticed, moisture absorption is not applicable for all grips, even with the most popular brand. This is because moisture absorption is provided by the overgrip.

For this reason, you either replace the grip or add an overgrip. If you choose to take the first route, get the right grip tape and a pair of scissors to remove the old grip and cut to size the new one.

2) Remove the old grip

Take the half-inch electrical tape off at the top of the handle and start peeling the grip off. Use a scissor if needed. Peel the way down the handle, until all the tape is removed. Peel off what you can from some of the residue or sticky material leftover on the handle.

3) Replace the paddle grip

Depending on the type of grip you have, one end may be tapered. This part should go at the bottom of the handle.

Check that the brand name of the tape is not upside down when fastened. It should be located somewhere in the center as well. It is best to do a trial before removing the backing of the tape.

Remove the adhesive strip from the back of the tape. Do this carefully to avoid a curled grip that may stick on itself. Then, stick the right end at the bottom of the handle of the pickleball paddle. Make sure that the tape is flush with the very bottom of the handle.

You should also make sure that your positioning is correct while maintaining tightness. Pull on the tape tightly every time you make a revolution. And don’t worry if you run out of tape because you have plenty of room to work with, courtesy of grip providers.

Stability is crucial when replacing a pickleball paddle grip. Remember positioning? Make sure that the paddle is against your hip or thigh as you hold the grip tape with one hand while rotating the handle with the other.

4) Apply the grip all the way up the handle the right way

When applying the tape at the bottom of the handle, you are following a straight horizontal direction. But once you go up the handle, you need to do so diagonally and at an upward angle.

If the grip has perforated holes, use them as a line guide. That is, in the next turn, the end of the tape should follow the angle of the holes. Make sure not to cover the holes as they help with moisture absorption.

Remember to pull tight, stretching the grip with every revolution.

5) Cut the grip and tape it off

Once you reach the top of the handle, cut the excess tape at a shallow angle. Make sure there is enough tape to wrap around at a straight line.

Using a finishing tape, wrap it all around the top of the grip handle to hold everything in place. Finishing tape is usually included in the packaging.

Care to Give It a Try?

Following this step-by-step guide, you can replace the grip of a pickleball handle like a pro. You might need a few tries to get it right, but it gets easier every time.

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