For many years, I have urged players to have their grips installed only by Certified Stringers or CRTs. I have seen too many sloppy grips, installed by players who never learned how to properly wrap a grip, resulting in lumpy, uneven grips.
While I still support having your racquet strung and serviced by a qualified technician, I've come to realize the necessity of many players wrapping their own grips. So, here is a tutorial on how to properly install a grip and overgrip.
First, you'll need a few simple tools.
Needle-nose pliers and/or a narrow screwdriver - to remove existing staple Scissors - to trim grip and finishing tape Staple gun (optional) - to secure grip to handle when starting.
1. Remove old grip and staple. Make sure handle is relatively clean and free of old grip material and/or adhesive.
2. If using a grip with a collar, slide the rubber collar on BEFORE wrapping the grip and push it up out of the way. This is much easier than trying to slide it over the wrapped grip.
3. Remove about 12 inches of the tape backing and attach the tapered end of the grip (staple optional) to the butt-cap*. If wrapping for a right-hander, attach the grip so that you're pulling it to the right with the racquet upside-down (see photo). If wrapping for a left-hander, attach and pull the grip to the left.
4. When wrapping the grip, keep the racquet head stable against your leg or hip (PHOTO). Holding the grip firmly with one hand, rotate the the racquet slowly with the other, overlapping about 1/16 inch. Unwrap the tape backing as you go to avoid the grip curling up and sticking to itself.
5. Once you've reached the top of the handle, draw a line straight around the grip with a pen or pencil, following the handle end (PHOTO). Unwrap the grip to reveal this line and trim the grip with scissors.
6. Secure the grip end with finishing tape (no staple necessary) and slide collar down.
* Be sure to secure the grip end to the same bevel as your old grip to reproduce the same feel.
Installing an overgrip is almost identical, except no staple is required when starting. Otherwise, follow all the same steps as installing a replacement grip.