Should You Add Lead Tape To Your Pickleball Paddle?

If you’re a pickleball player, there’s a good chance you’ve wondered if adding lead tape to your paddle would make any difference in your game. After all, it makes sense that increasing the weight of your paddle would give you more power behind your shots.

But is it really worth it? In this post, we’ll take a closer look at whether or not lead tape can help improve your pickleball game.

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Should You Add Lead Tape To Your Pickleball Paddle?

If you’re a pickleball enthusiast, you may have wondered if it’s legal to add lead tape to your paddle. The answer is yes – according to the official rules of the game, players are allowed to make alterations to their paddle as long as those alterations don’t affect the weight or dimensions of the paddle.

So if you’re looking to add a little extra weight (and power) to your shots, lead tape is a perfectly legal way to do it.

Just be sure to check with your local league or tournament director before making any changes to your paddle, as they may have their own rules and regulations that you need to follow.

I used the Tourna lead tape and it was the best lead tape for pickleball paddles that I have found. I don’t have to swing as hard because the added weight gives the paddle more power. It is 1/4 inch wide and I cut it to fit the Selkirk Amped Epic paddle.

The paddle weight before adding the lead tape was 7.625 oz and after adding the lead tape, the weight was 8.125 oz. This is a great way to customize your paddle without spending a lot of money.

Reasons To Add Lead Tape On Pickleball Paddle

If you’re a competitive player, you might be considering adding lead tape to your paddle. Lead tape can help to increase the weight of the paddle, making it more powerful and stable. As a result, many professional players use lead tape to fine-tune their paddles for optimum performance.

Add More Power

One of the main reasons players choose to add lead tape to their paddle is for the extra power it can provide. A heavier paddle will generate more momentum when swung, resulting in harder shots. If you’re struggling to add power to your shots, the lead tape could be a good solution.

Improve Stability

A heavier paddle will also be more stable when hitting the pickleball. If you find that your shots are often going off-course, lead tape could help to improve your accuracy.

Should You Add Lead Tape To Your Pickleball Paddle?

Large Sweet Spot

Another advantage of adding weight to your paddle is the larger sweet spot that it creates. A heavier paddle will be less likely to twist in your hand when you make contact with the ball, resulting in a more consistent shot. If you’re looking for a way to improve your accuracy, the lead tape could be the answer.

How To Hold a Pickleball Paddle? Read This Detailed Guide

How To Add Lead Tape To Your Pickleball Paddle

Two primary options for lead tape width are half an inch and a quarter of an inch. The choice between these widths depends on your paddle and customization objectives.

Quarter-inch lead tape comes in two weight options: 0.25 grams per inch and 0.5 grams per inch. For a more balanced weight distribution, it’s recommended to opt for the heavier 0.5 grams per inch tape.

Half-inch lead tape also offers weight options, with choices of one gram and two grams per inch. Using the heavier options can reduce the need for excessive layering, resulting in a cleaner and more effective customization.

Tailoring Your Paddle

The way you use lead tape depends on your paddle type and your preferences. Thinner paddles, particularly those without edge guards, typically benefit from thinner lead tape. On the other hand, paddles with edge guards can accommodate thicker half-inch lead tape.

It’s important to note that pre-cut lead tape strips are a fantastic option for many players, as they eliminate the need for time-consuming measurements. These strips provide exact weights, making the customization process precise and hassle-free.

I’ve found pre-cut strips to be a go-to choice, especially when I’m experimenting with different setups on the court. They simplify the process, allowing me to adjust weight and balance in real-time during gameplay.

Determining the Ideal Weight

The right amount of lead tape to add to your paddle is a matter of personal preference and playstyle. The goal is to add as much weight as you can comfortably handle without making the paddle feel too heavy.

What’s ideal for one player may not work for another, and it can also vary depending on the specific paddle model you’re using.

Understanding Swing Weight

Swing weight is a crucial factor that often goes overlooked but significantly impacts how a paddle feels in your hands during play. It refers to how easily you can maneuver the paddle through the air. While manufacturers rarely provide swing weight metrics, it’s a vital consideration when customizing your paddle.

A mere difference of 10 points in swing weight can lead to a noticeable change in how a paddle feels and performs. Swing weight also plays a role in how your paddle interacts with the ball, affecting the power and control you have over your shots.

Placement of Lead Tape

Lead tape can be strategically placed in different areas of your paddle to achieve specific results. Here’s a breakdown of where to put lead tape:

Head Placement: Adding lead tape to the head of your paddle can increase power, but it can make the paddle harder to swing. This placement is suitable for players looking to maximize their shot strength.

Sides Placement: Placing lead tape on the sides of the paddle enhances both power and stability. It can also make the sweet spot feel larger, improving your overall game.

Throat Placement: Similar to the sides, adding lead tape to the throat increases stability and provides a more solid feel without significantly increasing swing weight. The effects are slightly toned down compared to side placement.

Handle Placement: While it may seem counterintuitive, adding lead tape to the handle does not reduce swing weight. In fact, it can make the paddle even harder to swing.

However, the handle is an excellent location for increasing the static weight of the paddle without significantly affecting swing weight. This can be useful if you’re looking for added heft without sacrificing maneuverability.

Getting Hands-On with Lead Tape

Once you’ve decided where to place your lead tape, it’s essential to know how to apply it correctly. Pre-cut strips simplify the process, as you don’t have to measure and cut the tape yourself. However, understanding how to use lead tape is still crucial.

To ensure you’re applying the right amount of lead tape, you can use a simple calculation. Decide on the weight you want to add to your paddle, and then divide that weight by the weight of your lead tape per inch.

This will give you the length of tape you need. Be sure to measure accurately, and cut the tape with precision to ensure accurate placement.

Pressing the lead tape onto your paddle’s chosen location is the next step. You can use a credit card or a similar object to ensure the tape adheres securely.

It’s also a good practice to use electrical tape, gaffer’s tape, or pro-lite edge tape to cover the lead tape. This not only conceals the tape but also protects your hands from direct contact.

Choosing the Right Tape for Covering

Electrical tape is a cost-effective option that comes in various colors, allowing you to personalize your paddle’s appearance. For thicker paddles, I recommend using 3/4-inch electrical tape, while thinner paddles benefit from 1/2-inch tape.

Additionally, some paddle manufacturers, such as Selkirk and Gearbox, offer thin-profile protective tape specifically designed for their paddles.

How Much Weight Should I Put In My Pickleball Paddle?

The amount of weight you put in your pickleball paddle is a matter of personal preference. However, most players prefer paddles that weigh between 7.5 ounces and 10 ounces. If you are a beginner, it is best to start with a lighter paddle. This will help you develop your strokes and improve your control.

As you become more experienced, you can add lead weight tape to your paddle to increase the weight. This will help you generate more power on your shots.

Ultimately, the best way to decide how much weight to put in your paddle is to experiment until you find a balance that feels comfortable for you.

Where Do You Put Lead Tape On a Pickleball Paddle?

The tape is usually applied to the handle and the top and bottom of the paddle’s hitting surface. This allows the player to maintain a good grip on the paddle while also adding power to their shots.

Lead tape can also be used to increase the paddle’s sweet spot, making it easier to hit the ball in the center of the paddle. When applying lead tape, it is important to start with a small amount and gradually add more until you find the desired weight.

You can also move the lead tape around on the paddle to change its center of gravity. Typically, lead tape is placed near the handle of the paddle, but some players prefer to put it closer to the center or even at the very tip.


So, should you add lead tape to your pickleball paddle? The answer is: it depends. If you’re looking for a way to increase the power and spin of your shots, adding a little bit of lead tape may be just what you need.

However, if you find that the extra weight makes your paddle too heavy or difficult to control, then you probably won’t see any benefits from using it. Ultimately, only you can decide whether or not lead tape is right for your game.

Tyson Moore
Tyson Moore
Hello, my name is Tyson Moore and I am a professional pickleball player. After many years of playing the game, I have started to do some depth research and testing related to pickleball. I have also interviewed many experts in the field. You can check my latest findings on my blog. I hope you find my information helpful. Thanks for reading!