08 July, 2011
How to Add Weighted Lead Tape to a Tennis Racket
Tennis players use lead tape to adjust the weight distribution on their racket. Proper weight distribution enhances stability, power, swing weight and balance. Lead tape typically comes in 6-inch strips or long rolls. Either version is available in 1/4- or 1/2- inch widths. Never use a strip longer than 6 inches. If you need to add more weight to a particular area, add more layers.
Cut lead tape into strips of no more than 6 inches long. Using sharp scissors, cut 1/2-inch tape in half lengthwise for a better fit on your racket.
Peel off the backing paper from the lead strip. Apply the tape to your tennis racket frame, throat or handle, depending on your weight adjustment goals. When applying tape to the frame, place the tape on both sides of the strings for balance.
Increase stability with 3 o'clock and 9 o'clock tape placement on your tennis racket frame. This tape configuration slightly increases swing weight and creates a wider sweet spot. Greater stability increases your power on shots hit off center, reducing hits that shake or jar your arm.
Change the location of your racket sweet spot with 10 o'clock and 2 o'clock tape placement on your tennis racket frame. This tape configuration moves the sweet spot higher up on the racket, to slightly increase swing weight and to add minor stability improvements similar to those gained from adding to the 3 and 9 o'clock positions.
Increase your tennis racket head and swing weight by placing tape at the top of the frame at the 12 o'clock position. This position is best for rackets that are very head light to begin with and acts to balance out the weight of the racket.
Add tape at the throat of the racket or bottom of the frame to increase the weight of the racket without disrupting the balance between head heavy and head light. Increasing the overall weight will provide more power and slightly improved stability.
Remove your racket grip tape and place lengthwise strips of lead tape on the handle. Adding weight makes a racket more head light, and is reserved for rackets that are naturally head heavy. Replace grip tape when you are satisfied with the amount of weight added.
After each piece of tape you add, take several swings with the racket to see how it feels and avoid adding too much weight at one time.
Store your lead tape in a safe place, away from children or pets. If eaten, lead tape can cause lead poisoning.
- Kevin Forest/Photodisc/Getty Images