Leather tennis grips – old school tennis obsession but is it worth it?
There are some players that prefer leather replacement grips. It’s a very unique feeling as leather is a much harder material so you can really feel the bevels of your handle much better.
Leather is definitely much more heavier so the balance and static weight of the framechanges. You might get the sensation of more power, more stability but also possible easier acceleration. Many doubles players are using a more headlight setup for faster reaction time at the net. Leather is a way to make your frame more headlight (but it’s not necessary- as alternative you can put lead under your handle or put foam inside the handle if it’s possiblebut keep it mind injecting foam is a permanent change !)
Last thing to consider is comfort – leather grips are definitely less comfortable. Leather replacement grip is pretty popular on the tour (for example Djokovic and Federer are using it) but recently we see that next gen players choose comfort over feel more often (Zverev, Medvedev, Alcaraz, Tsitsipas, Aliassime).
This is very personal and being a next-gen player doesn’t cross out the option of using leather. One example that come to mind is Kyrgios – the leader of modern tennis (or maybe it’s Alcaraz now?). Maybe he decided to try leather because he is a huge fan of Federer? Or maybe he was just curious? Or maybe someone from his team recommended this setup?
Either way don’t think about setup as something technical. At the end you are the one playing tennis and you should be there to enjoy it. Try different strings, different racquets, different grips, different specs. Try to find your preference and just stick to it as long as possible (atleast 1 full season to really learn the setup).
Leather grips and strings – is there a connection?
Of course ! Strings play huge part in what you are feeling on the hand. Stiffer strings or higher tensions might transalte into more vibrations and harsher feeling. Many „leather users” are also using natural gut which is the softest option on serious level.
Some might say at this point that natural gut can be mushy and there comes leather that can bring back somefeedback and feel. If you want softest feel under your hand from Mayami strings then we would recommend Mayami Hepta Power.
It’s also a pretty good hybrid string for other shapedstrings like Mayami Big Spin (which i salso quite comfortable and been picked a string of the month many times already at some popular strings related websites)