Pickleball Paddle Grips: Customize for Comfort and Performance

As one of the fastest-growing sports in America, pickleball is taking the nation by storm. This fun and exciting game is played with paddles and a Wiffle ball, and is enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. When it comes to playing pickleball, the right equipment can make all the difference. And while many players focus on choosing the right paddle, the grip on that paddle is often overlooked.

The grip on your pickleball paddle can significantly impact your ability to play the game effectively. A comfortable and secure grip allows you to maintain control of your paddle

Pickleball Paddle Grips: Customize for Comfort and Performance

Choosing the right grip for your pickleball paddle can impact your overall performance on the court. A comfortable grip that fits your hand size and playing style can increase your control and accuracy, while minimizing the risk of injury. Customizing your paddle grip, through materials, thickness or contour, allows for optimal comfort and maximizes performance on the court.

Pickleball Paddle Grips: Customize for Comfort and Performance

Pickleball has become an immensely popular sport in recent years, and one of the main reasons for its popularity is its accessibility. Anyone, regardless of age or athletic ability, can play. However, those new to the game, or even seasoned veterans, often overlook the importance of the grip on their pickleball paddle. Customizing your grip to suit your needs can make a significant difference in your gameplay. In this article, we will explore the different types of grips and how they can help you customize your paddle for comfort and performance.

Why grip matters in pickleball

One of the key elements of pickleball is control, and the grip on your paddle plays a significant role in achieving that. The right grip allows you to hold the paddle firmly, without cutting off blood flow to your hand or creating unnecessary tension. A comfortable grip will give you more control over your shots and allow for a smoother playing experience.

Additionally, a proper grip can reduce the risk of hand and wrist injuries. When the paddle is too big or too small for your hand, you are more likely to experience discomfort or pain. Similarly, gripping a paddle too hard can lead to tendinitis or other repetitive strain injuries.

Types of paddle grips

There are several different types of grips available on the market, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.

Cushion Grip

The cushion grip is a popular choice among pickleball players due to its soft texture and shock-absorbing properties. Made from materials such as foam or silicone, cushion grips provide a comfortable and secure grip on the paddle, even during extended gameplay. They also absorb sweat, preventing it from accumulating on the paddle and causing it to slip out of your hand.

One potential disadvantage of a cushion grip is that it can feel bulky or slippery, which can affect your ability to play shots accurately. Additionally, cushion grips have a shorter lifespan than other types of grips and may need to be replaced more frequently.

Wrap Grip

The wrap grip is a popular choice among tennis and racquetball players and has gradually made its way into the pickleball community. In essence, it’s a high-quality rubber compound wrapped around the handle of the paddle. Wrap grips are often tacky, which provides excellent traction and helps prevent the paddle from slipping out of your hand.

One major advantage of wrap grips is that they have excellent shock absorption capabilities. The wrap grip’s wraparound design also provides a comfortable grip for players with weaker or smaller hands. The wrap grip produces an outstanding feel for players that want to maintain their grip without having to exert too much pressure to keep their paddle under control.

A potential disadvantage of the wrap grip is that it can feel bulky, and because the grip is a wraparound design, it can move around or become uneven after extended play.

Contour Grip

The contour grip is a popular choice among pickleball players seeking a balance between comfort and performance. As the name suggests, contour grips come with a unique surface design that effectively molds to your hand’s natural shape. They are engineered to have a very snug fit to your hands, providing a solid and comfortable grip.

Another advantage of contour grips is that they help reduce vibrations felt in the hands after hitting the ball, and by doing so, they increase your ball control. They also have longer durability than cushion grips, making them a good value for your money.

However, the contour grip may not be the best fit for players who prefer a slicker grip surface. The surface texture might not work for players who like to adjust their grip during play.

Factors to consider before customizing your grip

Before customizing your pickleball paddle grip, here are some critical factors to consider.

Hand size

The size of your hand is one of the most important factors to consider when customizing your grip. A grip that is too small will force you to grip the paddle too tightly, leading to fatigue and potentially even injury. A grip that is too large can make it challenging to control the paddle’s motion and can also cause discomfort in your wrist joint, leading to strain injuries like tendinitis or carpal tunnel syndrome.

Playing style

The style of play you adopt can influence the type of grip that works best for you. Players who prefer a more offensive style, for example, may benefit from a cushion grip that absorbs shock and reduces impact on their wrists. Players that prefer a defensive playing style may benefit from a contour grip that allows for more precise control over your paddle.


The type of material used to construct your grip can affect how they feel and perform. The most common materials used for grips are foam, silicone, rubber, and leather. Foam and silicone grips offer superior cushioning, while rubber grips are more durable and offer better traction. Leather grips are less common but offer superior tactility and a comfortable grip, although they require maintenance to maintain their flexibility.

Tips for customizing your grip

Customizing your grip is an easy and cost-effective way to enhance your playing experience. Here are some tips to consider when customizing your paddle’s grip:

Consider your budget

Grips come in different price ranges; some are more expensive than others. Ultimately, it comes down to the unique needs of the individual player, so consider how much money you are willing to spend. Cushion and wrap grips are usually more affordable than contour grips, but contour grips may offer longer-lasting durability and superior performance in the long run.

Try before you buy

The best way to know which grip feels right is by trying them out in person. Some sporting goods stores have a sample wall where you can test different grips before purchasing them. Not all players may like the same grip, so testing and comparing will help you find the perfect fit.

Consider the thickness of the grip

The thickness of your grip can make a significant difference in how it feels in your hand. A thick grip reduces your ability to grip the paddle tightly and increases the possibility of hand fatigue. Conversely, a thin grip may not provide enough cushioning to reduce shock and vibrations.

Examine the grip contour

Contoured grips can help you maintain a healthy wrist position and reduce the likelihood of injury. Make sure the contours match the natural curvature of your hand, especially when the paddle is held in the ready position.


In conclusion, customizing your grip is an essential aspect of pickleball gameplay. You should take the time to evaluate your hand size, playing style, and grip preferences to identify the best grip for you. The right grip can help you maintain control over your paddle, improve accuracy, and prevent injury. Whether you choose a cushion grip, wrap grip or contour grip, remember to choose the model that suits your goals and budget. Remember, customizing your grip can contribute to a more comfortable and enjoyable experience on the court.

So what are you waiting for? Improve your gameplay and take your pickleball performance to the next level by customizing your grip today.

Caring for your paddle grip

Once you’ve found the perfect grip for your paddle, it’s important to take care of it properly. To prolong its durability, you should clean it regularly with a soft cloth and water, and avoid using harsh chemicals that could damage the material. You may also want to invest in a grip enhancer to prevent slipping and extend your grip’s lifespan. Additionally, storing your paddle in a dry and cool place can help prevent moisture build-up and prolong your grip’s lifespan.

Is it legal to customize my paddle grip?

Some players may be worried about the legality of customizing their paddle grips. The sports’ governing bodies do not have any restrictions on customizing grips, as long as the paddle’s dimensions and materials comply with the regulations established by the governing body. These regulations ensure that the paddle’s playing characteristics remain consistent and fair for all players.

The grip on your pickleball paddle may seem like a small detail, but it can make a big difference in your game. Choosing the right grip for your hand size, playing style, and material preferences can maximize your control and accuracy while reducing the risk of injury. There are many different types of grips to choose from, so be sure to try out different models and thicknesses to determine the perfect fit for you. Finally, always take good care of your grip to prolong its lifespan and maintain its performance.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to customize your pickleball paddle grip to ensure maximum comfort and performance on the court.


Here are some commonly asked questions related to customizing your pickleball paddle grip:

1. Can I reuse my old grip, or should I always buy a new one?

It’s usually best to replace your grip when it starts to wear out, as this can affect your paddle’s performance. However, if the grip is still in good condition, you may be able to reuse it. Keep in mind that secondary adhesives, such as double-sided tape, may be necessary to remove the old grip without causing damage to the paddle.

2. How often do I need to replace my pickleball paddle grip?

This can vary based on how frequently you play, the type of grip, and the manufacturer’s recommended lifespan. Typically, you should replace your grip when it begins to show signs of wear and tear or when it feels uncomfortable in your hand. You should also consider replacing your grip if it’s becoming too slippery, which can affect your control over the paddle.

3. I have small hands; which grip is best for me?

If you have small hands, it’s usually best to choose a grip that is thinner and has a smaller circumference. A cushion or contour grip may work well for you, as they offer a more snug fit and can help prevent your hand from slipping. Alternatively, you may want to try a smaller grip like the one that comes with junior paddles.

4. What is the best grip for sweaty hands?

If you tend to get sweaty hands during play, a cushion grip may be the best option. These grips tend to absorb moisture and prevent your hand from slipping off the paddle. Wrap grips can also be an excellent option as they wick away moisture, keeping your hand dry and preventing slippage

5. Can I adjust the thickness of my grip?

Some grips come in different thicknesses, so you may be able to find one that suits your needs. However, if you find that your grip is too thin, you may want to consider investing in a padded glove or a secondary grip to help cushion your hand.

6. How do I clean my paddle grip?

Cleaning your paddle grip is relatively straightforward. You can use a soft cloth and water to wipe down the grip after use. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could damage the grip. Allow your paddle to air dry before using it again.

7. Can I replace the grip myself, or do I need to take it to a professional?

Replacing a grip is a relatively simple process and should not require professional assistance. Most grips come with instructions on how to remove your old grip and install your new one. Secondary adhesive, such as double-sided tape, may be necessary to apply the grip properly.

8. How can I prevent my grip from slipping during play?

If you find that your grip is slipping during play, you may want to invest in a grip enhancer, which can help improve traction and grip. Alternatively, you can use a towel to wipe down your grip, which can help remove excess moisture and improve your grip. Finally, ensuring your grip is the correct size for your hand and that you are holding it properly can help prevent slipping.

9. How do I know if the grip is the right size for me?

Your grip size will depend on your hand size. To determine your grip size, measure the distance from the tip of your ring finger to the second line on your wrist, then check the manufacturer’s sizing chart to see which size grip is best for you.