Pickleball is fast becoming a trendy sport since it is easy to learn the rules. Clubs and courts are sprouting everywhere, and all you need to be able to play is a paddle and wiffle ball.
Players use lead tape to add weight to pickleball paddles. The reasons for wanting to add weight to your pickleball paddle may vary, and so does the area where you decide to add the lead tape. Every player has their preference and opinion on why and where they add the additional weight.
It does not matter if a pickleball paddle is wood, composite, or graphite. The only way to add weight to them is by adding lead tape.
Instructions On How To Add Weight To A Pickleball Paddle
Adding weight to a pickleball paddle is easy and effective, and you can do it yourself without spending too much money. Follow these steps to add weight to your paddle.
- You will need the following equipment, lead tape, good quality electrical tape, scissors, cotton balls, and rubbing alcohol.
- Clean the outside edge of the paddle with rubbing alcohol and cotton balls.
- Cut the lead tape to the correct size and apply it to the center of the paddle edge. The positioning of the lead tape will depend on where you would like to add the weight and will be discussed later in the article.
- Use the electrical tape to cover the whole edge of the paddle, covering the lead tape completely. The electrical tape protects the edge of your paddle and eliminates glare from the shining lead tape.
- Test to see if the paddle’s balance and “feel” is to your satisfaction. Removing the electrical and lead tape is easy if you are not satisfied with the outcome.
Reasons For Adding Weight To A Pickleball Paddle
As said before, every pickleball player has reasons for wanting to add additional weight to their paddle, but it all boils down to better their game. Players customize their paddles to suit their playing style better.
The following are three reasons for wanting to add weight to a pickleball paddle.
- Adding lead tape increases the overall weight of the paddle, which in turn increases the power and swing speed of the paddle.
- Adding lead tape to different areas on the paddle allows for better balancing. Players usually add lead tape on the paddle’s edge, lower down, or even at the back.
- Players customize their paddles by adding lead tape to increase the stability and reduce the vibration of the paddle.
Outcome Of Adding Weight To A Pickleball Paddle
The outcome of adding weight to a pickleball paddle depends hugely on where the lead tape is situated and what the player intends to achieve.
- The player may want to increase the power and swing speed of the paddle. Adding more weight will allow the player to hit “through” the ball. In this case, the lead tape will be stuck on the top edge of the paddle, running along the center of the edge guard. Position the beginning of the lead tape at the imaginary nine o’clock position on the paddle, and take it around the top edge, stopping at the three o’clock position.
- To change the paddle’s balance point, you can make the paddle head heavy or move the weight more towards the hand. If you choose to make the head heavier, add the lead tape from the imaginary ten o’clock position to the two o’clock position. Use scissors to cut the lead tape to the correct length and cover the lead tape with the electrical tape.
- If you want to move the balancing point towards your hand, remove the grip off the handle and place a strip of lead tape on either side of the handle before replacing the grip. The paddle will now feel heavier on the back of your hand. Changing the balancing point of the paddle is a personal preference. Cover the lead tape with electrical tape.
- If you need to increase the paddle’s stability and decrease the vibration on the paddle, you will need to add lead tape on both sides of the paddle head. Again, add the lead tape from the imaginary ten o’clock mark to the eight o’clock mark on the left side and from the two o’clock mark to the four o’clock mark on the right-hand side. Adding these two pieces of lead tape will increase the stability of the paddle on blocks. Remember to cover the lead tape with electrical tape.
How Much Do Pickleball Paddles Weigh?
Standard pickleball paddles weigh between six and fourteen ounces. The weight of a paddle hugely affects the control and power you have over your shots.
Lighter paddles offer more control but less drive, and heavier paddles produce more power but less control over the shot.
Keep in mind that heavier paddles can cause fatigue in the arm and may lead to elbow injuries. Therefore, beginner players should opt for lighter paddles and upgrade to heavier ones as they progress.
The Three Types Of Pickleball Paddles Available
Pickleball paddles are made from wood, which is the heaviest but the least expensive. Composite is the comfortable mid-range option available in different weights, and the graphite paddle is the lightest, most powerful, and most expensive option.
No matter what paddle you play with, you can add additional weight to your paddle by adding lead tape. If you would like to adjust the weight or move the balancing points, you can easily remove the lead and electrical tape and reposition everything to suit your style of play.
Pickleball is a fun, interactive, and social game that all ages and skill levels can enjoy. So go out there and play the game. Happy pickle balling!