How to Measure Your Pickleball Paddle Grip Size: 3 Easy Ways

Est. Reading: 4 minutes

To play pickleball effectively, you must hold your paddle correctly and comfortably. Knowing the size of your grip is an essential factor in being comfortable with your paddle. It's like finding the right shoe that fits your feet perfectly. In this article, you will learn the three ways to measure your pickleball paddle grip size, so keep reading.

Why is Pickleball Paddle Grip Size Important?

Many players overlook the importance of finding the right pickleball paddle grip size. The truth is that it can make or break your gameplay. If you choose a grip that is too small, you must provide extra force to squeeze the paddle handle. Your paddle might also slip from your hand, and you cannot control it. If it is too large, you may not be able to hold your paddle correctly, and changing grips will be slower.

Without your knowledge, the prolonged use of the wrong grip size can also lead to hand injuries, such as tennis elbow. Aside from bringing comfort, using the correct grip size enhances your control and stability. Therefore, it allows you to execute shots better with a full range of motion and even improve your playing techniques.

Three Ways to Measure Pickleball Paddle Grip Size

There are three known ways to measure your pickleball paddle grip size - the ruler test, the index finger test, and the height test. Although all of them are easy to perform, they provide different results and accuracy levels.

How to Do the Pickleball Grip Size Index Finger Test

As the name suggests, the grip index finger test involves using your index finger. With this method, you must hold your paddle with your dominant hand, like doing a handshake. This grip is called the Eastern grip or the "shake hands" grip. To know more about the Eastern Grip and other pickleball grips, check out our post on How to Hold Your Pickleball Paddle Correctly.

Then, place the index finger of your other hand between the palm and the fingers of your dominant hand. If it comfortably fits into this space, this may be your best grip size. If it doesn't fit, the grip is too small for you; if the space is too wide, the grip is too big.

How to Perform the Pickleball Grip Size Ruler Test

With the paddle grip ruler test, you will need a ruler instead of your paddle. Here, you should fully extend the fingers of your dominant hand and close them together. 

Then, measure the distance between the end of your index finger and your palm's bottom crease. See the image below. 

The distance should fall somewhere between 4 and 5 inches. If you are outside the United States, you may use the centimeter unit.

How to Use the Pickleball Grip Size Rule Height Test

Unlike the other test, you don't have to do anything other than know your height. However, this height test may not be that accurate since the hand size does not always correlate to how tall a person is. 

Nevertheless, it's still worth knowing how it works, especially for beginners looking for their first test pickleball paddle. So, here is the paddle grip-height table.

  • If your height is 5'2" or less, your grip size could be 4 inches.
  • If your height is 5'3" to 5'8", your grip size can be between 4.125 and 4.25 inches.
  • If you are 5'9" and taller, your grip size is likely 4.5 inches.

Is the Grip Size Index Finger Test Accurate?

Unfortunately, the grip size index finger test is not as accurate as expected. If you use this test, you might get a grip that is too large for you. As mentioned earlier, a larger grip makes it difficult to hold a paddle and can cause hand injury.

On the other hand, this finger test is most appropriate for tennis players because of the heavier paddle. A larger grip size may work for you if you have played tennis before. But if this is your first time to hold a paddle or racket, don't rely on this alone.

What is the Best Pickleball Paddle Grip Size?

The best pickleball grip size is the most comfortable for you. If you doubt the result after doing the tests above, you better choose a smaller size than a bigger one. If you choose a larger one, you cannot reduce it. But if the grip size is small for you, you can still increase it. However, ensure that you still follow the rules USA Pickleball sets. For complete details, read our post about Pickleball Paddle Specifications.

How to Increase Paddle Grip Size

There are several ways to increase the size of your paddle grip, including adding an overgrip. Overgrips are available in different materials and textures, and a layer can add about 1/16 of an inch to your grip. They are inexpensive, too. According to the USA Pickleball Official Rulebook, players can increase the paddle grip size by up to 1.0 inches (2.54 cm).

Final Thoughts

The ruler test is the best among the three grip size tests mentioned above. However, there's no exact science, so I recommend doing all of them and comparing all the results. Yet, the most reliable test is to choose a size and check how you feel. If you are comfortable with it and your plays improve, you make the right choice. Otherwise, don't hesitate to use an overgrip.

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