Grips. What's your preference?

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DD (9YO L3) has asked Santa for Grips for her Bar routine.

She's been using tape for the last 2 months and I think it's getting old. I don't know what to tell Santa. There seems to be quite the variety or styles, and sizes to choose from.

How do I determine grip size without her trying them on? Also... what brand/type is preferred? Velcro straps, buckles, etc?

Dad and Santa need some guidance.



Check the manufacturer's websites for how to measure. I believe most have you measure her hand from the tip of her longest finger (usually the middle) to the base of the palm/top of the wrist. Then compare that measurement to the manufacturer's sizing chart.

DD had a big problem with her first pair of grips. They were way to big and caused her lots of trouble holding onto the bar. I bought her Hot Shots grips, which are designed for smaller hands and she's never had a problem since. Also, she likes the buckle style better. She says the velcro always felt like it was getting looser and looser and she kept having to tighten them up. The buckles, while a little harder to get on, stay put.

Here's a link:
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Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
North Carolina
I would check w/ the coaches first - our girls are not allowed to wear grips until they have their kip and are L5 or higher. I have heard of others w/ same rules. It has something to do with wanting them to get the feel of the bar and the swings etc prior to grips.

If the coaches give the go ahead you can check out Ten.0 I think they have a sizing section that might help


Gold Membership
Feb 26, 2007
I agree ask her coaches what they would recommend, every club certainly has it's own way. My oldest went through 4 styles before she found a pair she could tolerate. Also getting the fit checked by the coach is very important safety wise.

Better to investigate upfront than to spend a lot of money needlessly.

Bigger Bog Baby uses Reisport now. Little Bog has a pair of US glove and Reisport and cannot stand either!! So she is bare hand girl.
Ahh... good points. Thanks for the heads up about gym rules. I'll have to ask tonight.

Again, the girls all seem to use tape now, making makeshift grips with the coaches help. But I can't recall if I've ever seen any use real grips.

This used to be easier. Anything "American Girl" was all I needed to know.'s getting harder. Any "Stocking Stuffers" suggestions?
Jul 21, 2007
I am not sure that she needs grips yet, but that is up to her coaches. I didn't start using grips until I believe level 5, and I was working giants at that point. For now the tape grip is probably fine but like I said, get the coaches opinions on that one.

When I was in compulsories I used the Ten-o grips that were velcro but by level 7 I hated having to keep tighting them every turn. So I tried buckle and I really like the single buckle reisport ones and also bailies. I like the buckle better because only putting on my grips once and not retighting the whole time means more time on the bars :).


Gold Membership
Feb 26, 2007
Gym Treasures is a great website with lots of little gymnastics things. Prices are decent.

To Add, just went to the site they have some great deals in the sale section.
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gym law mom

Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
Don't know that a L3/L4 gymnast will benefit yet from grips. There are quite a few threads on here about that issue. My gymmie didn't start with grips until she finished her L6 season and started working giants full time. Remember grips don't prevent rips. As others have said talk with her coaches. Sometimes the girls just want them so they can look like the "big" girls. If the coaches say its ok, make sure you know if they want her in dowels or not.

Ok, so what brand? My gymmie has worn Ten-0s since she got started with grips. She likes the velcro and I believe the pair she has is the 501---a little softer and have a wrist insert to add some cushioning.

A leo can always be rolled up and stuffed in a stocking!


L3 don't need grips. I've seen rec 3's and 4's try to use palm grips and those always had problems.

Premake about 10 tape grips ( simply cut a piece of tape, fold it to seal the stickiness and make a loop in the middle ). They will then tape these on their wrists.

ImageShack - Image Hosting :: tapegripop9.png

Great torn callus tip from Aimee - Catalyst Athletics Forums

I've heard some coaches say wait till they have their kip. I wouldn't bother until they were in L6 and working on a good baby giant or giant. And honestly, they aren't needed for those if they are itty bitty's.


Proud Parent
Oct 13, 2008
Tim -

I have to agree with the folks here that say talk to the coach. In fact, I would even go so far as to say wait. My daughter, 11 yo, level 6, didn't start using grips until this past summer when they started working the free hip and baby giants. All through pre-team and level 5 it was either nothing or the tape grips. The coaches wanted the girls to build up the toughness of their hands. Yes, she got rips (more than I can count) and got used to dealing with rips. She can now treat her own rips and has a super feel for the bar. We became very close with the Preparation H treatment for rips - it does work wonders. Bottomline, don't rush it with the grips as I think it will only cause problems later.

Good luck to your gymmie!

Aug 8, 2007
West Coast
At my gym we get grips when we start competing level 4. Then you don't have to relearn skills when you get grips, and most of out L4s either have kips or are close. Hot shots are nice for the young ones because they can "feel" the bars more. If she wants them but doesn't really need them, you can go with palm guards. They are kinda useless, but she will get used to having a piece of leather between her hand and the bar, and she will look like the big girls. :) It will also hurt less to do bars when she has a rip if there is a piece of tape beneath her grip and her hands.
We became very close with the Preparation H.

Now there's a statement I bet you never thought you'd ever say! :D

Kind of like, I never imagined I'd ever utter the phrase: "My Urologist says...".

Thanks for the input, and Welcome by the way. I'm honored to be your first post. We need more dad's in the fringe.

I'm guessing her want is most likely what y'all are saying it is. "wanting to be like the big girls" rather then need. But...I'll ask anyway. No harm in that.

She does get rips, although she's much less excited about them then her coach is. "Why is Ms. Stephanie saying congrats?!! It hurts!!! Why is she always so happy about them?! I just tell her that most Gymnastic coaches are mentally unstable.... and leave it at that.

(I'm joking btw.) ;)


Proud Parent
Oct 13, 2008
Tim -

Yeah, never though I would even find myself buying the stuff. But (no pun intended), it does work wonders AFTER the wound has started the healing process about a day after the rip. When I look at her hands now, it looks like she has been wielding a shovel for years. The calluses upon calluses upon calluses seem like a badge of honor to her.

Take care and good luck.



Our girls start with palm guards from preteam kind of level up from about 6 to 7 years. I don't see the need to get rips. Better to get used to them young. They move into dowels at about 8. I have known girls take 6 months to relearn kips when they have started wearing them older. I have seen girls perform way way below par at competitions because they have ripped the day before a meet. At least if you wear handguards you can protect the rip better to get you through. But lots of countries don't wear them at all. So each to their own. I don't buy the 'expense' thing. They cost less than a leotard. Most kids have drawer fulls of leotards.
Jul 12, 2007
DD's coaches insist on grips from pre-team on up. Our L4's currently use them as well.

They are all required to wear the same 10.0 buckle, dowel grips. :D In our case, it is required - no choice or preference.


Proud Parent
Mar 9, 2008
Coach actually recommended palm guards to our girls as level 4's, when they started getting a lot rips. They worked well...too well....DD actually LOVED her palm guards so much, it became a problem. When it was time to switch to dowel grips(per her coach level 6), DD refused. She was too emotionally attached to the palm guards(was level 5 state bar champ in them!). She knew she'd lose skills & have to relearn bars while transtioning to dowels & there was just never a good time for that to happen(per DD). This summer, training 7, she realized she was falling behind her teammates in her bar work. So she finally started wearing the dowel grips in Sept. as a level 7. It was a difficult transition for her. But just since Sept. she broke in the dowel grips, had to basically relearn how to do bars(in dowels) & got her giant! Now she loves her dowel grips(Just Right by Gibson, velcro straps). So really talking with your DD's coach about this is a can end up being a really big deal...who knew???:)
After a short conversation with DD's coach, grips arent allowed until at least L5, and even then they are discouraged. They want the girls to start with dowel grips, and only when the skills require them.

The idea is, instead of protecting against rips, condition the hands to prevent them. I guess this makes sense in a sadistic sort of way.

I asked LOML about a new leo, since Nastia had been begging to get the pink U.S. team replica leo. Wifey was pretty firm about me NOT buying leos, or any clothes for that matter. To her credit, she knows how to shop...whereas, I only know how to buy. No argument there. :shy:

Thanks for all ther replies. Once again CB has proven itself authoritative.
Jul 26, 2008
I asked LOML about a new leo, since Nastia had been begging to get the pink U.S. team replica leo. Wifey was pretty firm about me NOT buying leos, or any clothes for that matter. To her credit, she knows how to shop...whereas, I only know how to buy. No argument there. :shy:

Thanks for all ther replies. Once again CB has proven itself authoritative.

LOL! Your wife and my husband would probably get along! Mine rolls his eyes and says "ANOTHER leo??". I keep telling him it's advertising!!

Don't know if your dd has a Nintendo DS, but Ubisoft has "Ener-G Gym Rockets" available for the DS. My 7yo has been begging for it (well... that an a DS to go along with it!)


I personally use 10.0 501 blues.. I love em. They're easy to break in and they're comfortable. The only downsides are 1.) the finger holes kill my fingers still. 2.) You have to replace them more frequently than conventional, harder leather. I started wearing them as a L5 and that was back in the day when L4 had to have a kip.. so it was not too bad of a transition, glad I didn't wait till L6 though.
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