If you have followed pickleball games closely, you probably noticed that many pro athletes use tapes on their paddles. But now the question appears why they do that and what benefits you can get by doing that.
In this article, we will be discussing it, and we will give a step-by-step guide on adding weight to the pickleball paddle by using lead tapes and some other factors. If that sounds interesting to you, then let us begin this article.
Table of Contents
- What is a Lead Tape and Why Is It Used?
- How to Apply Lead Tape on Your Paddle
- Things to Take Care Of While Applying Tape to Your Paddle
- Why Should You Add Weight To Your Paddle?
- The Bottom Line
What is a Lead Tape and Why Is It Used?
Professional athletes from different sports use lead tape to increase the weight of their gear. Players from golf use it, as well as the tennis players. Lead tape in sports is used for multiple purposes, such as adding weight or stability and balance point, which we will discuss in this article.
1. Increase Paddle Weight
Pro pickleball players add tape to the paddle to increase the paddle weight, and by doing so, they can add more power to their shots. A two-inch strip of ½ inch lead tape adds 1 gram of extra weight, which sounds less. But when you play with it, you will notice a significant difference in it.
Although lead tape can slightly increase the weight, it’s better to choose the paddle with the right weight. You can check out our article on the ideal weight for a pickleball paddle.
2. Change Balance Point
Another reason why pickleball players love to add tape to the pickleball paddle is to increase its balance. For example, if someone wants to increase the paddle’s pop and power, they can apply the tape of the paddle to the upper head. And if someone wants to divide the whole weight of the paddle and balance it, they can apply the tape to the paddle mid and lower section to increase the balance.
3. Increase Stability
Lead tape can add stability to your paddle and help you control the ball, which is important in pickleball. Adding tape also allows you to make your paddle more stable and reduce vibration.
How to Apply Lead Tape on Your Paddle
We have already discussed the benefits of using the lead tape, but now the question remains the same: how to add weight to the pickleball paddle by using lead tape?
But remember: lead tape isn’t for everyone because using lead tape has its pros and cons, but usually, we have noticed that a lot of pro athletes use lead tape.
As mentioned above, there are three main benefits of using a lead tape, and often different athletes apply tape in different directions to gain each of these benefits. We will teach you how to apply lead tape easily on your paddle to gain any of the three benefits mentioned above.
Applying Tape to Increase Paddle Weight
Lead tape is most commonly used to increase paddle weight. Not only does this increases weight, but it also increases the power of your shots. You can simply apply lead tape to your paddle by following the steps mentioned below.
- Clean the edge guard of the paddle with rubbing alcohol.
- Then apply the tape from 3’o clock to 9’o clock.
- Cut the lead tape and stick it with the top head of the paddle.
- Cover the lead tape by using black electrical tape.
Applying Tape to Change the Balance Point
Other players use lead tape to change the balance point. In simple words, they want to make their paddle weight either head heavy or bottom heavy. You can simply change the paddle balance points by following the steps mentioned below.
- Clean the edge guard of the paddle.
For head heavy
- Then apply lead tape from 10’o clock to 2’o clock.
For bottom heavy
- To move the weight towards the bottom, take off the grip.
- Then apply the lead tape to each side of the paddle
- Again, apply the grip and stick it by using black electrical tape.
Applying Tape to Increase Stability
Another reason athletes use lead tape is to decrease vibration and increase stability. Here is how to apply tape for stability.
- Clean the edge guard of the paddle.
- Apply lead tape in the middle of both sides of the paddle.
- Cover it with black electric tape.
Things to Take Care Of While Applying Tape to Your Paddle
Here are a few things to take care of while applying tape to your paddle.
1. Don’t Apply Too Much Lead Tape
Yes, the rules allow you to add weight, but it doesn’t mean you should apply unnecessary weight to the paddle because heavyweight paddles make you tired quickly during the game and cause several injuries as well.
2. Add Tape Gently
It’s advised to apply the tape carefully. But it is common to make mistakes while adding the lead tape for the first time. Fortunately, if you have misapplied it, you can remove it and again apply it.
3. Use Gloves and Wash Hands
Use gloves when applying the tape, and wash your hands afterward, as the tape leaves a few lead particles behind.
Why Should You Add Weight To Your Paddle?
Just like tennis players, pro pickleball athletes also use lead tape to increase the paddle weight, and there are a few reasons why they do that. Lead taps help the players to balance their paddle while playing power shorts.
A four-inch strip of the 1/2 inch tape weighs two grams. At first, you will see that using lead tape only increases 2 grams, but those two grams do make a difference. They make it easy to play power hits but cause more strain on your arms.
If you like to hit a pickleball hard, you can add tape to increase the paddle’s weight and add power to your shots.
Not only does lead tape adds power to the paddle, but stability as well. Some athletes preferred stability over power to control the ball, and that’s why they also used lead tape.
Using lead tapes, you can also increase the sweet spot of your paddle.
Q.1: Which lead tape should I use?
There are multiple lead types available in the market, you can choose any of them. But Tourna Pickleball tape is a popular and highly-rated choice.
Q.2: Is it legal to use lead tape?
Yes, rule 2.E.5.a of the USAPA rule book allows you to use lead tape.
The Bottom Line
In this article, we discussed everything you need to know about adding weight to the pickleball paddle. To give a recap, the lead tape is used to add weight to a pickleball paddle. There are different ways of applying the lead tape, depending on your purpose.
But if you’re a beginner, it’s better to avoid using tape, as it can affect your game if applied the wrong way.