Third Shot Drop

The Lead Tape Guide

May 29 2023

More and more pros and advanced-level players now add lead to the edges of their paddle to add weight or change the weight distribution.

Adding weight adds power to your game. Force = mass x acceleration. More mass, more force.

When it comes to weight distribution, the effects vary based on where the weight is placed. Chris over at The Pickleball Studio created a guide to visualize different weight distribution options: 

In the simplified version, there are three zones where weight can be added.

  • Zone 1 - Weight added to the top of the paddle adds power. The trade-off comes with decreased hand speed.
  • Zone 2 - Weight in the middle of the paddle has a moderate effect on power and hand speed. This zone is best for stability. It will prevent your paddle from rotating when contact is made with the ball. In turn, the sweet spot can actually feel larger.
  • Zone 3 - Weight added in zone 3 will have less of an effect on hand speed compared to weight in the other zones. It also comes with increased stability and an expanded sweet spot.
Lead tape comes in both rolls (save 10% with code 10DINK) or pre-cut strips. The placement and amount can be completely customized to your liking. We also recommend adding electric tape over the lead tape to ensure everything holds together.

Most paddles weigh between 7-8.2oz off the shelf. These days players are adding tape and playing at a final weight of 8.5-9oz.

Take your paddle from off-the-rack to custom fitted. Experiment with additional lead tape in different positions. If nothing else, at least you can blame your next unforced error on the tape.
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