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What is the Correct Grip on a Padel Racket?

When embarking on the exciting journey of padel – a rapidly growing sport observed on the world padel tour – one of the most foundational questions that often arises is, “What is the correct grip on a padel racket?”

The answer isn’t merely about choosing between the eastern forehand grip or the essential continental grip.

It’s about understanding how your index finger and varying padel grips can affect racket head control, influence ball spin for forehand and backhand shots, and prevent injuries.

Choosing the right grip for your padel racket is fundamental to your game. Your grip determines racket head control and ball spin and can be the difference between powerful forehand and backhand shots.

The base grip, known as the continental grip, is a foundational method many professionals use on the world padel tour. To identify this grip, slide your hand from the center triangle of the racket towards its end.

Remember always to use your left hand for accuracy when exploring the world of padel grips. It’s crucial to guide your right hand to the ideal grip position between shots.

However, several players often need to pay more attention to this, leading to mistakes like mishandling transitions between the forehand and backhand.

The Art of the Continental Grip in Padel

Imagine you’re extending a hand for a friendly handshake. Translate that familiar action to holding a padel racket, and voilà! You’ve got yourself the much-talked-about continental grip. Often hailed as the backbone of padel grips, it’s no wonder that both amateur enthusiasts and top-tier professional players swear by it.

Think of the continental grip as your ticket to mastering padel. Whether you’re launching a fierce forehand shot, executing a delicate backhand, or preparing for an impending volley, this grip’s got your back.

To get a feel for it, follow these steps:

  1. With your racket in hand, glide your palm down the handle.

  2. As you’re doing this, take note of the ‘V’ shape formed by your thumb and index finger.

  3. Your mission? Align this ‘V’ with the edge of your racket. It’s almost like piecing together a jigsaw puzzle!

  4. Once in place, assess how your hand feels—cramped or awkward? Adjust accordingly. You’re aiming for a blend of comfort and naturalness.

One glance at a world padel tour match, and you’ll spot a recurring theme: the dominance of the continental grip. From high-ranking men to leading women players, they all have a common trait – their unwavering trust in this grip.

It’s more than just a grip; it’s an art form. It lends them impeccable racket face control and ensures that their shots are powerful and precise.

The continental grip is more than just a technique; it’s a tradition in the Padel world. And much like a trusted friend, it offers consistency, reliability, and optimal performance.

So, the next time you’re on the court, remember to shake hands with your racket, continental style!

 

Understanding Padel Grips

There are three primary types of grips in padel:

  • Overgrips: These are commonly added on top of the racket’s original grip. If you’ve recently bought a padel racket, enhancing the factory-fitted grip with an overgrip is advisable.

    The thickness should be comfortable enough to prevent the racket from slipping but thin enough to allow a pinky finger’s distance between your fingertips and the pad beneath your thumb.

    Notably, badminton players might lean towards a thinner grip, while tennis enthusiasts could favor a thicker one. Remember not to grip too tightly; it could lead to padel elbow injuries.

  • Replacement Grips: While these come as a standard with new rackets, they should only be replaced if worn out or affecting the overgrip. You can opt for specific patterns or materials like leather for a stiffer feel.

  • Undergrips: These grips are situated inside the racket shaft, replacing the original grip. They’re designed to minimize vibrations, aiding in injury prevention. The Bullpadel Hesacore, an undergrip, has gained popularity for its vibration-dampening properties.

    While most players combine an undergrip and overgrip, some prefer unique solutions like the ergonomic grips from Shox.

Advanced Techniques: Other Grips to Know

Eastern Forehand Tennis Grip

Eminent tennis players, like Rafa Nadal, use this grip to produce topspin winners. In padel:

  • How to Get the Grip: Place the racket flat on the ground and pick it up by the handle. This action instinctively gives you the Eastern forehand grip.

  • When to Use: This grip is particularly effective for serves when you want more control and topspin. It helps the ball dip and bounce unpredictably on the receiver’s racket.

    But, ensure you have enough room for the required swing, especially when you’re near the back wall or aiming for a volley.

The Squash Finger Grip

Primarily used in squash, this grip can be effective for padel, especially when playing off the back wall.

  • Grip Dynamics: Here, the racket is controlled chiefly by your thumb and index finger (often termed the squash finger grip). The remaining fingers merely support the racket grip. Holding the racket correctly using this method forms a ‘V’ between your thumb and index finger.

  • Benefits: This grip offers more racket head control and is especially useful for backhand shots. With this grip, players can achieve a 45-degree open face on the forehand side and a closed face on the backhand side.

    The distinct finger positioning, especially the slightly raised index finger, enhances the racket head’s connecting ability, enabling effective shots even from cramped positions.

Holding the Padel Racket

For newcomers, the continental grip is the most straightforward and effective. The “V” between your thumb and index finger should align with the edge of the racket for a neutral grip. Two methods can help you achieve this:

  1. Shaking Hands with Your Racket: In this method, simulate shaking hands with a partner. Instead of their hand, grasp the racket’s grip. If held vertically, you’ll naturally adopt the continental grip.

  2. Use the Racket Face: Hold the padel racket halfway up its head. Slide your hand downwards while keeping your thumb on one face and fingers on the opposite. This motion sets you up for the perfect continental grip.

Common Mistakes and Expert Tips

The world of padel presents numerous techniques to players, but few are as foundational as mastering the transition between grips. A rampant pitfall seen among novices is the oversight of using the left hand (or right hand for left-handed players) when adjusting between grips.

This omission must often be corrected, especially when shuttling between forehand and backhand shots.

The recommendation is clear: always keep a soft, guiding hold with your non-dominant hand to streamline and solidify your grip transition.

While the allure of more advanced grips like the Eastern forehand grip and squash finger grip can be tempting, it’s crucial to remember the significance of the continental grip. This grip is the linchpin for most padel players, setting the foundation for advanced techniques. To master it:

  1. Wall Practice: A classic, effective method involves playing against a wall. Not only does this help in retaining the continental grip, but it also aids in understanding grip shifts.

  2. Play with a Partner: Engaging in practice sessions with a partner can assist in refining your grip, as real-time feedback is invaluable.

Delving into the accessory world of padel, one cannot ignore the pivotal role of overgrips. For players with sweaty palms, an overgrip, particularly sweat-absorbent ones, can be a game-changer.

Integrating the right overgrip into your game ensures a sturdier hold and elevates the comfort level.

Additionally, it can act as a preventative measure against potential injuries by minimizing the chances of the racket slipping mid-play.

Mastering the grip on a padel racket, recognizing common pitfalls, and integrating expert tips can drastically uplift your game.

Whether solidifying the continental grip, ensuring proper transition with the non-dominant hand, or using grip accessories, every detail contributes to your prowess on the padel court.

The Bottom Line

Understanding the ideal padel grip is the cornerstone of enhancing gameplay for aspiring padel players. The basic continental grip is often touted as the best grip, especially when a player is starting.

This grip ensures that the hand sits slightly along the racket’s neck, avoiding cramps. It provides forward velocity for forehand shots and stability when the racket head connects with low balls.

Ensuring the grip size is correct is also pivotal; a grip that’s too large or small can affect playing padel effectively and comfortably.

Moreover, while other fancy grip methods may entice advanced players, the continental remains a staple.

However, more than a good grip on padel rackets is required. A player’s hand shouldn’t be cramped on the racket handle. An excellent grip provides more power, topspin, and better control over the inside line of the ball.

For those with sweaty hands, absorbent overgrips, which differ slightly from tennis overgrips, can be employed on the racket handle. They absorb sweat, often made of thinner material, offering a better grip even during intense sessions.

The best overgrip is usually a matter of individual preference, though many players prefer ones that maximize comfort without compromising grip.

So, whether you’re just beginning to play padel or are refining your skills, remember that while there are multiple grip types and enhancements like absorbent overgrip, the bottom point is to find what allows you to harness forward velocity, manage low balls, and apply top spin effectively.

This ensures you’re not just holding the racket but truly mastering it.

FAQs

The proper grip on a padel racket is called the “basic continental grip.” This grip allows the player to transition between forehand shots and other playing styles seamlessly. It is essential for maintaining control over the racket head connecting with the ball.

To hold a paddle grip, your hand sits slightly along the racket’s neck, ensuring you are not cramped. The base knuckle of your index finger should align with the bottom point of the racket handle. This grip provides more forward velocity and is one of the basic ways of gripping the racket. It’s important to remember that individual preference can affect the exact positioning.

Using an absorbent overgrip on the racket handle is recommended for players with sweaty hands. This overgrip helps absorb sweat and provides a better grip, ensuring the player’s hand remains stable while playing padel, even during intense sessions. Various brands and types are available, with some being thinner material than others so that players can choose based on individual preference.

A padel racket’s surface can be rough or smooth, depending on a player’s preference and playing style. Advanced players favor a rough surface as it can impart more topspin on the ball. On the other hand, a smooth surface can provide more power and is often preferred by beginners. Both types have their advantages, and the choice usually depends on the padel player’s individual preference and play style.

The basic ways of gripping the racket include the continental, eastern, and western grip. Each grip type offers a different angle and level of control over the racket head connecting with the ball. Players might also explore other fancy grip methods as they progress in their skills, but these three are foundational for anyone looking to master their play in padel.

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