One of the most disgusting aspects of being a professional stringer is having to deal with filthy overgrips that come attached to racquets for restringing. I’m not talking about a little bit of wear, I am talking about full bore disgusting sweat-riddled, bacteria infested, stinking rotten overgrips.
In the past we have blogged about the importance of regularly changing grips, but we have failed to address the issue of overgrips. We know from direct experience that many players do not change these frequently enough.
Overgrips are designed to be used over the regular grip. People use them for a variety of reasons. Some use them to increase grip size, some use them to alter the feel of the handle. Still others use them to help wick away moisture and absorb sweat while others use them for extra tackiness. The bottom line is these overgrips are inexpensive and easy to replace. They are designed for SHORT TERM use. By “short term” we mean perhaps 2 – 3 matches, not 2 – 3 seasons or worse yet, 2 – 3 years!
We have seen it all. Unfortunately it is not uncommon to see overgrips that are literally fused to the grip by a toxic concoction of perspiration, dirt and various microbes that are living, breathing and festering while waiting for someone to grab them and give them life sustaining human flesh so they can grow, multiply and ultimately take over the world.
We simply can not understand how players can ignore the grodiness and continue feeding the fungus infested grips with gatorade infused perspiration. While not a germophobe, (I regularly practice the 5 second rule!), I have to admit to sometimes taking a gander at an opponents overgrip and having to surpress the gag reflex when thinking about the various spores and microorganisms that he has surely transferred to the balls after caressing his parasite ridden, sweat mongering overgrip.
Worse yet, is when a customer gives me a racquet with one of these cesspools of septic waste fully in tact. I have to handle this thing. Disgusting.
Attention people…giving your stringer a racquet in full grody splendor is beyond inconsiderate, it is flat-out rude. In order not to bring any air-borne diseases into my shop, I spray them with Lysol and wrap them in Saran wrap, but those are practices I should not have to follow.
Dear overgrip users of the world, please hear this plea. I implore you…PLEASE change your overgrips out frequently. Do not let it get to the point of something that needs to be stored in the bowels of the CDC and threatens to destroy the human race. We all want to enjoy the sport and our jobs. By an act as simple as regularly changing your overgrip you can make the tennis courts, my shop, and ultimately the world a better place for yourself and generations to follow.