You may have seen that we have a FREE eBook on the website (here), I thought I'd also share that useful information within our blogs.
Chapter Three is called: "Which Size Should I Choose?"
(You can read the previous Chapter here).
Handguard sizing is absolutely critical. If a gymnast is wearing the incorrect size guards it will at best be performance damaging and at worst dangerous. Handguards that are too large for a gymnast can get in the way, making it difficult for them to catch the bar when performing their skills. Grips that are too small won’t allow the gymnast to perform correctly and will prevent them from being able to safely train and compete.
It is important to note that different brands have their own sizing systems; there is no common structure for the sizing of grips between brands. Coaches will be experienced with sizing grips for gymnasts and a conversation between gymnast and coach is always a good starting place.
Firstly, before we look at sizing generally, at Gymnastics Express we take the safety and performance of gymnasts very seriously indeed. Every product we stock has a Sizing Guide image on that product page, and we even send out “Hand and Finger Sizers” for free (you can find them on our site here).
The Sizing Guides and “Hand and Finger Sizers” are good tools, but both are vastly inferior to your club’s own “Manique Sizing Set”. We are proud to help clubs by offering them subsidized Sizing Sets for Manique products. These sets (there’s a Handguard Sizing Set and a Bar Loop Sizing Set) offer coaches a full range of different sized templates that can be worn by the gymnast to determine which size they should be wearing. Many clubs are finding these to be a real game-changer that allows gymnasts to have the correct gear, coaches to spend less time sizing and parents to know they’re ordering the correct gear, first time! This eliminates the need for gymnasts to be wearing wrong sizes and for parents to be sending the wrong sized items back and forth.
In general, to correctly size for advanced handguards you measure from the bracelet line on the wrist, to the tip of the fingers, in inches. You then read this figure against a sizing chart and choose the correct size. If there is not an exact match and the gymnast is between sizes, it is often better to go for the smaller size. This is because after use, the leather will naturally stretch slightly and become a little larger. If grips are too big to start with, they will never be the correct size; they will only get larger and the gymnast will not grow into them.
To correctly size up for Palm Guards, you measure from the bracelet line on the wrist to the base of the fingers. You then read this figure against a sizing chart and choose the correct size. If there is not an exact match and the gymnast is between sizes, the same as above applies and it is recommended your order the smaller size.
Even after all the measuring and advice from the manufacturer you are ordering from, there is no guarantee the ones your order will be the correct size. Gymnasts should always take their new guards to their coach so that they can check the fitting carefully.
When your handguards arrive, always gently try them on with clean hands. Good retailers will be able to exchange your handguards for you if they are still “as new”. However if the product is dirty, chalky or have been used on any apparatus, they will not be suitable for exchange. White leather picks up dirt and marks easily so care is recommended!
As long as all guards are “as new” when you discover they do not fit correctly the company you have bought them from should accept a return/exchange.
You can read the previous chapter of this guide on handguards here: "Should I Choose Beginner or Advanced Guards?"
The next Chapter is here: "Which Brand Should I Choose?"
Thanks for reading,