Picture courtesy of Tennis Express
I am going out on a limb here by suggesting that most pickleball players probably do not know that some of the competitive and/or professional players add lead tape to their paddles to change the weight and feel.
Of course there are rules about what can and cannot be done with a paddle and still have it qualify for USAPA certification. I understand that many people don’t play in tournaments, but my personal philosophy is that I want to play with certified and approved equipment whenever I can.
Keeping that in mind, let’s consider what the rule book says about making changes to the paddle:
“2.E.5. Alterations. The only alterations or additions that can be made to a commercially made paddle are edge guard tape, lead tape, changes to the grip size or grip wrap, and adding name decals and/or other identification markings on the paddle face. Decals, markings, and tape can extend no farther than 1.0 inches (2.54 cm) above the top of the grip nor more than 0.5 inches (1.27 cm) inside from the outer edge of a paddle or paddle edge guard if in place. Altered paddles must meet all specifications.”
One of the professional players I follow, Sarah Ansboury, uses quite a bit of lead tape on her paddle. She has written an essay explaining why she does it and what some of the advantages might be.
She ends her blog post with encouraging players to try different things and experiment. Sarah says:
“You can buy 100″ of lead tape on Amazon for under $13, so experimenting won’t break the bank. You may find altering your pickleball paddle just feels more comfortable. And we all know comfort is a key to playing better pickleball.”
Read the entire blog post at the link below. Even if you don’t try it, I think it is an interesting option that many players don’t appreciate.
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