If you’re looking to improve your badminton game, one of the most important things you can do is to make sure your racket has a good grip. A bad grip can cause the racket to slip out of your hand, leading to poor shots and missed opportunities whereas a firm grip is crucial for generating power and maintaining control.
In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide on how to put grip on a badminton racket using different tools and products. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, following these instructions will help you achieve the ideal level of grip and comfort on any racket!
Choose Your Preferred Grip Type
Arguably the most important decision you need to make when applying new grip to your badminton racket is choosing your preferred grip type. There are a variety of grips available on the market, so it’s important to select one that suits your playing style and needs best.
The three most commonly used grip types include:
- Rubber/PU grip
- Overgrip (with or without sponge wrap)
- Towel grip
Each of these options has its one pros and cons for you to weigh heavily before deciding which one to acquire and apply. In all honesty, if you are new to badminton racket grips, this will likely be a period of trial and error where you test various grip types and products before you find that perfect fit.
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One of the most common badminton racket grips are those made of rubber or polyurethane (PU). These are a reliable option that is typically seen on most badminton rackets when purchased off the shelf.
The benefit of using a rubber or PU grip is that they are a fairly comfortable option for individuals who prefer their grip to have a bit more cushion or springiness to it without applying several overlapping layers. They are also made with a sticky side for easy application that lasts numerous matches.
Another pro of this grip type is that it is more difficult for rubber or PU to trap bacteria and other contaminants compared to the alternative options listed here. As a result, they tend to stay cleaner and odor-free longer.
The overarching disadvantage of using a rubber or PU grip is that these materials can become slippery and slick if your hand tends to sweat a lot and/or you frequently play in humid conditions, effectively reducing their tactility.
If there’s any grip type you’ll see more than a rubber or PU grip, it’s an overgrip. Comparatively, these are a much thinner, rubber or almost cloth-like tape that are often applied over a badminton racket’s base grip.
However, if you prefer as little cushion on your racket as possible, you can remove the base grip and apply an overgrip on its own.
An advantage of overgrips is that they have maximum customization options due to their extreme thinness and various color options. With this, you can build your grip incrementally, layer by layer, until you find the perfect feel, whereas the alternatives would yield a significant thickness after just one overlap.
If you want more cushion but don’t want to waste roll after roll of overgrip to achieve it, you can apply a layer of sponge wrap underneath for results similar to a rubber or PU grip.
Those of you who are searching for the most absorbent grip type will want to invest in a decent roll of towel grip. This cushiony, soft, synthetic cloth is ideal for keeping your hands dry so you can maintain control on your racket at all times.
- For some, this is a grip they will only apply on a specific racket while others will apply it on occasion when they anticipate sweaty hands and then remove from the racket later.
- Regardless, of when and how often you use it, this grip type is the most absorbent and cushioned option, making it ideal for anyone who prioritizes these aspects.
In terms of disadvantages, some find the thickness and texture of this grip difficult to handle. Because the material is highly absorbent, it can also get dirty and smelly fast when left uncleaned for extended periods. To avoid heavy racket odors, you’d most likely need to replace this grip frequently.
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Prepare Your Racket
Once you’ve made the big decision of which grip type you intend to apply, you can prepare your racket by either applying a base grip or removing all old grip completely.
How you prepare your racket for applying your new grip will largely depend on the grip type you have chosen and your grip preferences. For instance, if you opted for an overgrip, you can either:
- Leave whatever base grip came with the racket
- Remove all pre-existing grip and then apply a layer of sponge wrap or rubber/PU grip
- Remove all pre-existing grip and apply the overgrip directly
If you don’t want any other grip but the one you are about to apply, then you should cut and tear away what is currently on your racket. Additionally, if the grip you currently have is old and worn-down, this would be an ideal time to remove it and start fresh.
Once the old grip is removed, clean the surface of the handle with a cloth or alcohol wipe to remove any dirt or residue.
Here’s a good video showing four ways to apply grip, with written steps below:
Apply Your Grip
With your desired grip, any chosen cushion (ex. sponge wrap), and a pair of scissors, you’re ready to start applying a new layer of grip to your badminton racket.
Make sure that an grip and underlying materials are flat, so you have a smooth application along the entire racket handle.
Start by aligning your grip with the bottom of your racket handle. Most grips with have a thinner, tapered end that slowly widens. This is thinner end is what you’ll want to apply first to the end of the racket. If you are applying a cushion underneath your grip, you’ll want to do this first.
Slowly begin wrapping your grip or cushion around the handle, making sure to wrap it evenly and constantly apply pressure as you wind up the racket towards the handle end (racket cone that leads into the thinner end of the shaft).
If you are using a rubber or PU grip, you’ll want to overlap your layers slightly for a tight application with moderate thickness. Comparatively, most people overlap and overgrip almost entirely since this material is so thin, whereas towel grip is almost never overlapped because:
- It is already a very thick grip material
- You’ll likely run out of grip prematurely
The more overlapping your allow, the thicker your grip will be, so keep this in mind as you apply.
Remove Excess and Tape The End
After you’ve applied your grip and are certain it meets your standards for feel and thickness, you can cut off the excess.
Try to cut the excess grip diagonally so it will wrap more easily and cleanly around your badminton racket’s cone. The only step that’s left is to tape it down.
Most grips will come with a separate tape that is meant specifically for tape down the grip end. However, if one is not provided, you could use the grip itself, if you have extra and it is sticky enough, or you could opt for basic duct tape. For a tight seal, you’ll want to tape around this end several times.
When you’re finished applying the grip, give it a few practice swings to make sure it feels good in your hand. If it doesn’t, you can always adjust it until it’s just right. Now that you know how to put grip on a badminton racket, you’ll be able to replace your old grip and get back out on the court in no time.