Do your hands sweat a lot when playing pickleball and your grip slips from your paddle making you miss your shots?
I hate it when that happens!
“Sorry, my grip slipped,” I said with remorse to my doubles partner. 🙁
Here are sweaty grip slip solutions:
- Tacky Towel (lately my favorite)
- Rosin Bag
- Wrist Bands
- Towel (not really much of a solution and an inconvenience)
Tacky towel features:
- Embedded with odorless, all-natural beeswax and/or resins
- Absorbs and repels moisture to increase grip traction, reducing slippage
- Beeswax and resins dissipate quickly without leaving a residue and lingering sticky feel
- You can decide how much or how little you want by squeezing the towel lightly for minimal coverage or harder for maximum grip control
- Lasts 3-6 weeks depending on play frequency
I currently use the Gamma Tacky Towel and have tried some other similar tacky towels but like Gamma’s the best because of the better feel and it lasts longer.
I have used Ben John’s recommendation for overgrip (discussed later in the post) which I liked on a previous paddle I had.
Then I got an Electrum E which came with a really nice grip that I liked.
I didn’t want to put overgrip on it so at first all I used were wrist bands.
They helped some, but still weren’t enough.
I tried wearing a glove but I felt like I was losing some connection with the feel of the ball on my paddle.
So I tried a tacky towel and have been using one ever since.
At first I thought it was too tacky, but I realized you can control the amount that is applied by squeezing the towel lighter or harder for less or more tackiness, respectively.
Sometimes I may change my grip depending on a shot to get better topspin, backspin, a better roll, or an overhead, etc.. and I thought the tackiness would inhibit that ability.
But I learned after applying to just grab onto the grip a few times and rotate it in my hand to get rid of the initial tackiness and then it’s perfect for when I start a game.
You can also just apply the towel to your hands instead of the grip which will prevent the grip from getting overly tacky and allow for grip changes more easily.
For me, the tacky grip lasts for 2-3 hours in warm weather or when playing indoors.
With the tacky grip, I don’t have to worry about constantly wiping my hands on my shirt or shorts after every point and can just focus on the next point.
As mentioned earlier, I was using an overgrip recommended by Ben Johns (Yonex Super Grap) to help absorb sweat. Here’s his video where he explains how he tapes his paddle grip:
How Ben Johns Wraps His Paddle with Under and Overgrip
Dry vs Tacky Overgrips
There are dry and tacky overgrips.
- Dry overgrips give you better feel when the ball hits your paddle.
- Tacky overgrips will provide some more padding and cushion for comfort.
Tacky overgrips can change your grip size, especially if you don’t get a slim or thin or don’t remove your original grip and apply your own undergrip to your grip circumference preference (as Ben does in the video above).
Dry overgrips can be better in very humid climates where the tacky overgrips may be less effective (not last as long) since it is not only having to absorb the sweat of your hands, but also the added humidity in the air.
But if you live in an arid climate, such as Arizona, then a tacky overgrip should work just fine.
This also depends on how sweaty your palms get.
But if you tend to get very sweaty palms, then a dry overgrip may be the best choice if you play in a place such as Florida, for example.
I realize in the below video he is talking about tennis overgrips, but all the same principles apply to pickleball and he gives good explanations for choosing one over the other.
Tourna Pickleball Mega Tac Overgrip:
Most racquetball players I know are used to wearing gloves and so also prefer to wear gloves for pickleball as a way to provide a better grip.
If a tacky towel or overgrip is not working for you, then a pickleball glove may be your best choice to control sweat and decrease grip slippage.
Some players also like the fact that a glove also absorbs some of the paddle vibration which can be an added benefit for those who suffer or have a tendency to get tennis elbow (best paddles and devices to help with pickleball elbow).
The Franklin Pickleball Glove with a moisture-wicking one-piece leather palm is a favorite for its comfort and secure fit.
Rosin Bags work similarly as tacky towels but instead of applying directly to your paddle grip, you squeeze a bag to apply a rosin powder to your hands.
Some of the tacky towels use a beeswax which is more of a tacky feel, hence the name ;-), instead of the more sticky, adhesive feel of rosin so the choice between the two comes down to personal preference.
The rosin bags are small enough to leave in your pocket to reapply often as needed or you can just leave in your bag to apply between games depending on how sweaty your palms get.
We all know about wrist bands.
By themselves they work great if you have a mild case of sweaty palms.
Otherwise they work great in combination with tacky towels, rosin bags, and/or gloves for those with sweatier palms.
And lastly, and maybe leastly, there is the all mighty towel.
Kind of a pain to grab after every point.
Better if you have a towel boy or girl to present to you like you are royalty.
Djokovic will play pickleball when this happens.
Let’s Play Pickleball!
Question: What have you tried to combat sweaty pickleball hands? Share in the comments below.