How to Use a Tennis Wristband

Former pro Justin Gimelstob used wristbands to help keep his grip.
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In the world of tennis, sweat happens. While wristbands are categorized as accessories rather than apparel, many players might not perform at their best without those little sweat-soakers working hard to keep moisture out of their palms. Former pro Justin Gimelstob recalls, "I would have to pack like I was going away for the summer when I would go to the U.S. Open. In a five-set match, I'd go through 15 shirts, 12 wristbands, three shoes, three socks.” Put tennis wristbands to work for your game -- a sweaty palm could mean the difference between pounding a killer slam and shooting the ball off into never never land.

    Choose pairs of absorbent tennis wristbands appropriate for your perspiration type. If you aren’t a heavy sweater, a smaller, narrower band will work. If you sweat profusely, pick sweatbands with more generous proportions. Opt for terrycloth products, which offer the highest level of absorbency. Purchase multiple pairs to use as replacement parts during play.

    Pull a sweatband over your hand and above your wrist. Adjust the bottom edge to rest right above your wrist bones to allow maximum joint flexibility. Repeat for the other wrist. This will prevent sweat from trickling down your arms and into your palms, keeping your grip and the racket handle dry.

    Add a second wristband directly above the first if you sweat excessively, or if you just prefer more width in your band. Position another directly above your elbow for even more drip protection. Some players use extras on the mid-forearm areas.

    Wipe forehead sweat away with your wristbands as often as necessary during play. Many athletes don’t care for traditional headbands. Wristbands are good substitutes, and they beat carrying towels around for forehead wiping.

    Pack multiple pairs of wristbands in your bag so you can change them as they become soggy and loosen up during play. They’ll lose their absorbency and effectiveness as they fill with sweat.

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