Last week I wrote about my search for an overgrip that can stand up to sweaty palms. Although I did manage to find a better overgrip, I thought it might be worthwhile to share some ideas about how to prevent your hands from becoming an oil slick in the first place.
Here are some methods I’ve tried, in no particular order:
Keeping my palms sunscreen-free. After applying sunscreen to my face and body, I wash my hands thoroughly, scrubbing the palms to remove all traces of sunscreen. But I still need sunscreen on the back of my hands. To cover this area, I do one of three things: 1) apply it with a paper towel, 2) apply it by rubbing the backs of my hands together, or 3) use a sunscreen stick, like this one from Neutrogena:
Wearing wristbands. Not only do wristbands make you look like a real pro, they keep arm sweat from migrating down to your hand. These days I often wear a wrist brace, which can also help staunch the sweat stream. But take it from me: All that absorbed sweat quickly starts to reek, so buy several pairs and wash them often!
Using a rosin bag. I’ve carried around a rosin bag for years. I store it in a Ziploc baggie to keep the powder from getting all over the inside of my tennis bag. When my hand starts feeling a little slick, I reach in and squeeze the rosin bag a couple of times.
The soft powder helps keep my grip dry, without it getting tacky. The rosin works well in the winter, but in the summer I find myself reapplying at every changeover.
Regardless of the season, by the end of the match, my skirt is usually a powdery mess. If you pride yourself on your grooming, this may not be the fix for you.
Swiping on Tourna Grip Rx. I’ve only recently discovered this nifty product. You shake the bottle and squeeze out a dab on your palm. Rub your palms together and let dry to a powdery finish.
On humid days, I do need to reapply, but not nearly as often as I do with the rosin bag. Unlike rosin, Grip Rx sticks to your hands, which translates into less on your outfit. (I still manage to make a bit of a mess of myself, but that may have more to do with me than with the product.)
I have to be careful not to use more than a pea-sized amount, or my grip ends up too tacky. Grip Rx is a good choice for summer, but I predict it’ll be too dry for me the rest of the year.
Wiping my hands on a towel. This bare-bones method works well but for me needs to be repeated almost every point. And unlike the pros, I don’t have ball kids standing at the back of the court ready to hand me my towel. I have to wait until the changeovers to grab my towel, which is why I resort to…
Wiping my hands on my clothes. I often use this method in addition to the others, hence the powdery mess. But with all the time I’ve spent on Fashion Face-offs lately, I’m feeling a little pressure to clean up my act. So how am I going to keep my hands dry and my clothes neat? After a bit of brainstorming, I may have hit upon the ideal solution.
For this coming fall season, I’ll try wiping my hands on my partner’s clothes, disguising it as a congratulatory pat on the back. I’ll be drying my hands and supporting my partner at the same time, making us a perfectly symbiotic doubles team! 😊🎾
Do you have any other tips for keeping your hands dry? Any tricks for keeping your palms sunscreen-free?