Putting on a new grip is one an important but daunting task for many players. Old grips can make batting uncomfortable and be hugely detrimental to your game. So, learning how to put on a new grip is an essential skill for players of any level.
A grip can be put on a cricket bat by either using a special piece of equipment called a ‘cone’ or even by using a simple shopping bag! A cone is used by professional cricketers and cricket shop owner. Nevertheless, both the method are quick and quite easy to follow.
Both methods can be carries out in just 2 minutes, you just need to know these basic tricks to make this process as straight-forward as possible.
When Should you Change the Cricket Bat Grip?
There are a number of reasons to change the grip on your bat handle. As mentioned above, batting with an old, worn out grip can cause you difficulties by making it uncomfortable, and even painful, to hold your bat – let alone play good shots with it.
In some cases, a batsman might want to change their grip, however, simply for aesthetic reasons. You might have bought a new bat and love the piece of willow with regards to how it feels in your hands.
However, it might have come with a color of grip you don’t like. You can buy grips with all sorts of designs, from bright colors to national flags, and through to a simple black or white grip.
Some people even like to have several grips on at one time, in order to make the handle thicker. In some cases, this can make the bat feel lighter and more comfortable to hold. This is especially the case for heavier bats, with a large sweet spot that centers a lot of weight towards the toe of the bat. Adding another grip provides more weight to the top end of the bat and leaves the batsman with greater control of his blade.
Essentially, changing your grip is a great way to give you a new sense of confidence out in the middle. Whether because the different colors express something about your personality, or because the different texture makes holding your bat feel more comfortable.
Changing your grip is a simple but effective way to make you feel both mentally and physically more comfortable at the crease – which every batsman knows is essential to finding your form and making some big scores
How to Put a Grip on Your Cricket Bat?
As we mentioned, putting a grip on your cricket bat is quite a simple and straight forward process. Let’s learn how to put the grip in a step by step method!
Step 1 – Buy a Grip to Put on your Cricket Bat
So, this is quite an obvious step to take.
However, one should be aware that there are largely 3 types of cricket bat grips that are available in the market. These grips not only vary in texture but also in the thickness of the rubber used for it which also can impact the durability
Grip Type 1 – Chevron Grips (Thin Grips)
The first type is the Chevron Grips. The Chevrons grips are simple yet effective grips. These are made mostly of thin rubber, yet provide a good grip to the bat. Chevron type grips are great if the handle of your bat is a tad too thick, as the thin grips don’t make the handle feel thicker!
An important thing to remember if you are using a Chevron Grip is to make sure you buy a grip from a reputable brand. Otherwise, the thin rubber grips tend to wear out quickly, and you will find yourself buying new grips all the time. The Gunn & Moore Matrix Cricket Bat Grip [on Amazon] is a great option for a good Chevron grip as it is highly durable!
Grip Type 2 – Dynamic Grips (Medium Thickness)
So there are multiple options in the medium thickness category of the cricket bat grips. There are some obvious advantages of going with a moderate thickness of the grip in that it sometimes also makes the bat feel lighter.
A great option in the medium thickness of bat grips are the dynamic grips. The Dynamic grips often provide half and half combination (as indicated in the image on the right) where usually one half of the grip is made of chevron type grip while the other half is made of ring-type slightly more thick grip.
The dynamic grips extra cushion to your bottom hand as it is bit thicker at the bottom. The Gunn & Moore Dynamic Cricket Bat Grip [on Amazon] is a great option if you want to go with the half and half combination.
If you don’t want to go with the dynamic type of grip, however, you want to get something in the medium thickness category, then the Pro Impact Cricket Grip [on Amazon] is a great option. This grip uses a medium thickness rubber material and is highly durable!
Grip Type 3 – Octopus Grips (Thick Grips)
The third and the final type of grips are the thick rubber grips. The most common variety in this category is the Octopus Grip.
These type of Octopus style grips are made of fairly thick rubber, and are quite durable. These grip types are also a great option to go for if your bat handle size is on the thinner side of the spectrum.
While purchasing a thick grip, make sure that the grip material is not too rigid as this can lead to repetitive strain injury due to prolonged training and playing. A good octopus grip should retain a fair amount of flexibility like This Cricket Bat Rubber Grip with Octopus Spiral Design [on Amazon].
In each case, the aim of the grip is to make them as grippy as possible. One could also choose to go with a combination of thin and thick grips to get a good result. It all depends on your comfort!
Step 2 – Remove the Old Grip on Your Cricket Bat
This bit is much easier than putting a new grip on. You can try and keep the rubber intact, although this probably isn’t necessary, and roll it up from the base to slide it off. Or you can simply tear or cut it off. This is often very easy as old grips become worn down over time, so the rubber can quickly be torn apart.
You’ll be left with the handle, still wrapped in twine, ready to move on and begin the process of putting on your new grip.
Step 3 – Putting the Cricket Grip on the Bat Handle
Now this is the most important part of the whole process.
Cricket bat grips are by their very nature, designed to be very… grippy. As a result, for anyone who doesn’t know the following simple tricks, it can seem very difficult to slide the new grip down the handle and into place.
However, it’s not as difficult as it might first appear and if you get good at it, you’ll suddenly have plenty of new friends in the clubhouse, looking for your help when they need a new grip putting on!
I will share two ways you can add a grip to your cricket bat. So, let’s get on with it!
Method 1 – Using a Cricket Grip Cone
One of the easiest ways to change your grip requires the use of a simple piece of kit called a cone or grip applicator. These are often made of wood with a metal base at the bottom end. Purchasing a bat grip cone is a great investment
Step 1 – Firstly, you must place your grip over the pointed end of the cone and roll the grip up from the fat end towards the pointed end. This will roll the grip into a sort of donut shape, although you must stop rolling when reach half-way down the grip.
Step 2 – Once you have reached this point, remove the grip from the cone and turn it the other way around, putting the un-rolled end over the top of the point. Then roll the grip all the way down to the bottom of the cone, towards the metal base, where you will be left with the whole grip wrapped around itself in a donut shape.
Step 3 – Now, you will need to get your bat and place the open end of the cone, where the grip is sitting, over the end of the handle. Then you must roll the grip from the cone, onto the bat handle and all the way down towards the bottom, where it meets the face of the bat. It should remain in a donut shape through this whole process.
Step 4 – Finally, you should unroll the grip upwards, until it is completely unfolded. You may find that there is then an excessive amount of the grip hanging over the top end of the handle, or not enough at the bottom.
In the case that the grip is not far enough down the handle to cover its base, you can hit the top of the grip with the palm of your hand, which forces it to move down the handle.
Alternatively, you can re-roll the grip upwards towards the middle of the handle. When you then unroll it, it will have stretched and moved slightly towards the base. Meanwhile, for the excess rubber at the top, simply use a pair of sharp scissors to cut this off.
If you are picky about having your grip ‘the right way up’ or if your grip has one type of grip where the top hand should rest and one for the bottom, then you need to consider the geometry of rolling and unrolling the grip.
Method 2 – Changing Your Grip without a Cone
Not everyone has a grip cone to hand when they need to put a new grip onto their bat. And the truth is that while they are very useful tools that make things slightly easier – it is entirely possible to change your grip without one.
There are a number of ways in which you can do this, and although they might take a bit of practice, you’ll soon be able to do it just as quickly as if you were using a cone.
You can try to put your grip on much as you would with the cone, without it. However, this requires a lot of brute strength and there is a much more straightforward and efficient way to do it. You can, however, use another method which is much less work and requires no special equipment.
The Shopping Bag Method
This method uses something that even if you don’t have one lying around your home, or tucked away in a kitchen cupboard, you can quickly pop to any corner shop to get your hands on one – a polythene shopping bag. And while they might be falling out of favour because of their ecological impact, they will always be useful for this.
It’s actually a very straight forward way of putting a new grip on your bat and can be done incredibly quickly once you have the hang of it.
Step 1 – First of all, insert the plastic bag into the grip. You should have the open end of the bag at the bottom of the grip, as this method doesn’t require you to roll or unroll your grip like previously mentioned.
Step 2 – With the bag inside the grip, you should place the open end of the bag over the top of the handle. Then you need to firmly slide the bag, and as a result, the grip, down the shaft of the handle, as far down as it will go. You’ll be surprised at just how easy this bit actually is.
Step 3 – Now things get a bit fiddlier. You’ll notice that the plastic bag is now stuck inside the grip, so you need to take it out. To do this, you must first cut open the very top of the bag, above the tip of the handle. Then you need to roll the grip from the top down towards the middle of the handle. When it has gone as far as it is easy to do so, you can then cut the top half of the bag off and pull it away.
Step 4 – Then you simply roll the grip back up to the top and repeat the same process for the remaining half of the bag which is still inside the bottom half of the grip.
Step 4 – Taping Your Grip
Regardless of how you chose to put your grip onto your bat, it’s a good idea to tape the base of the grip to the bat around the splice. This keeps your bat looking clean and tidy and prevents the grip rolling back up the handle as you use it over time.
You can use specially designed bat grip tape such as the Grip Grip Pro [on Amazon], or simply use electrical wire tape. So long as the grip is held securely in place and you are happy with how it looks, it ultimately doesn’t matter too much how you do it.
Whichever method you chose to put on your new grip, you’ll be ready to take to the middle with new-found confidence and comfort, ready to play some sumptuous shots and make plenty of runs while you’re at it.
Changing a Cricket Bat Grip can seem a daunting task at first. However, as we have learned, it is not that difficult to change a bat grip even without any special equipment.
You can easily recover your investment in a grip cone if you charge your fellow teammates a very small amount every time you change their grip! 🙂
If you do plan to play a lot of cricket even at a semi-professional level, purchasing a bat grip cone is probably one of the best investments you can make towards bat maintenance! Trust me, you will find it worth the investment in the long run.