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TheLambsheadrep
05-08-2011, 11:15 PM
Im thinking about starting to customize my racket, and it seems like lead tape is a popular way to improve the frame. even with this said, it seems like adding a full pack of lead tape (6 strips, 3 grams) shouldn't make much of an impact. What are suggested weights of lead tape to add/what are other recommended ways to customize a stock racket.

olliess
05-08-2011, 11:33 PM
if your'e talking about the H-shaped Power Strips, they weigh ~3 g each (contrary to what it says on the package).

The pack of Gamma 1/4" lead tape contains 72" of tape which weights 1/4 g per 1". That works out to the same amount as the Power Strips.

Worth it for $2.99 imho.

As to how to apply the tape and how much, there have been lots of lengthy threads in these forums if you just search...

SFrazeur
05-08-2011, 11:54 PM
Lamb Chop,

A few grams will have an impact.
http://www.tennis-warehouse.com/LC/customize.html

-SF

Bartelby
05-09-2011, 01:42 AM
Add 2 grams at 12 o'clock and try it, then take it off and ...

Add 3 grams between 3 and 9 o'clock

You'll then feel the difference, but the hard part is then working out what you need for the racquet you have.

Irvin
05-09-2011, 02:44 AM
No matter how much lead tape you put on the racket it will not improve your frame. If lead tape improved your frame every one would have lead on their racket.

Many time weight is added to racket to match the balance and feel of another racket. But you only have one racket. What are you trying to do?

Irvin

richsox
05-09-2011, 03:46 AM
Well, if you think mucking around with demo-ing rackets is a head game, wait till you get to the tape - my head was spinning, trying here, there, and everywhere..............changing weights, etc.etc. --- serious head games awaits you! But you gotta go through the pain barrier!

For me, it never really worked.

forthegame
05-09-2011, 04:02 AM
I think it works but has its limits. It also has a lot to do with the player as well as the racquet.
I could never make the lead work for me in say, my LM Rad but could tweak some of my other racquet.

Those who say lead has no effect are a bit wrong IMHO. My T-7 for instance, I added lead to 2/10 and the feel changed dramatically. Moved it to 3/9 and finally to 12 - tweak to your heart's content!

fuzz nation
05-09-2011, 05:46 AM
Im thinking about starting to customize my racket, and it seems like lead tape is a popular way to improve the frame. even with this said, it seems like adding a full pack of lead tape (6 strips, 3 grams) shouldn't make much of an impact. What are suggested weights of lead tape to add/what are other recommended ways to customize a stock racket.

I don't really look to modify every racquet I own with lead tape, but I have enjoyed some benefits in a couple of cases.

If a racquet feels especially light and unstable in the head at contact, it might feel more steady with a few grams of lead tape placed at 3 and 9 o'clock on the hoop. If that's not enough, you can try a little more. If you hate it, just peel the stuff off.

I also like a significant amount of head-light (HL) balance in my racquets, probably due in part to my preference for heavier frames. When I got a pair of LM Prestige mids a couple of years ago, they were heavy enough, but also only a few points HL and I could barely use them on the courts. After adding a lot of lead tape under my grips on those racquets, I got them up to 11 pts. HL. Although they were heavier, they were much more playable for me with that balance and I still enjoy using those frames.

Lead tape doesn't necessarily "improve" any racquet, but it can make it a better fit for a particular player. It won't work miracles, but I think it can help to make a mediocre frame work as a much more comfortable instrument in the same way that the right type and tension of string can make a racquet feel and perform more in keeping with a player's preferences.

TennisCJC
05-09-2011, 07:58 AM
I disagree with opinions that lead tape cannot improve a racket's performance. It DOES IMPROVE PERFORMANCE when used wisely. I have used on a Tecnifibre 320 Tfight - added total of 8 grams at 3/9 o'clock and the racket was far better with the extra weight. Also used lead on many other rackets with very good results. More power - in fact easy power - and better stability. Also, you can take a racket weight approximately 11 oz and add lead to increase the SW and stability and turn it into a beast.

PROS use lead tape.

I have seen pictures of Federer's tour 90s with 6 to 8" strips of 1/4 lead tape at the top before the top bumper gaurd was put on. The rackets were on a rack at the Priority 1 shop.

Nadal also uses lead under the bumper. Both Nadal and Fed play with SW around 355 and they get there by adding weight under the bumper.

I have seen photos and live TV shots of Djoko and Verdasco's rackets with significant strips on lead on the hoop.

Sampras used huge strips of layered lead tape on his Wilson's his entire career. And, he had 6-8" strips of lead on his blacked out racket for his Madison Sq Garden expo with Agassi a couple of months ago.

There are many threads about how to apply lead tape on these boards. Also, the TW learning center has some articles. I personally like lead at 3/9 o-clock on the head mostly with maybe a little bit at 12 under the bumper to lift the sweetspot. I also usually counter balance under the replacement grip with the same amoumt if the balance has shifted. Add 2 grams at 3 o'clock, 2 grams at 9 o'clock and 1 gram at 12 o'clock and counter with 5 grams under the grip. Your racket will have much more plow, stability, and power. It is also easier on the arm as you get easy power and the shock is absorbed by the weight. Slices, squash shot gets, and block returns also much better due to plow.

Increasing SW increase the power zone area of the stringbed - bigger sweetspot.

My experience is to start with at least total of 2 grams if you go with 3/9 o'clock, or at least total 1 gram if you go with 12 o'clock. Higher on the head has a bigger impact on SW while wider at 3/9 o'clock increase twistweight and stability.

If you already have a hi SW, then lead may not be needed. For example, if you play a BLX 6.1 95, blx tour 90, dunlop 200 series or other similar rackets, but for lighter rackets, I have had very, very good results with lead tape.

Irvin
05-09-2011, 08:03 AM
Adding tape will change the feel of the racket a lot. But adding tape will NOT improve the frame.

Before you ever add lead tape you should know how much and where to add it. If you have a racket that is too head heavy for you to start with and you add 4 inches at 12 o'clock to see what it is like you are not going to like it. If you then move the lead to 3 and 9 o'clock you will probably think this lead tape stuff is a bunch of bunk.

You need to know where you are trying to go before you just start out in one direction. How will you know when you arrive if you don't know where you're going?

Irvin

TheLambsheadrep
05-09-2011, 08:41 PM
well, Ive never really had a problems with how my frames feel. i dont know if im being too easy on them, but nothing stands out in my mind. and the tape might not improve the frame itself, but it improves an aspect of your shot you want changed. i guess the only thing i would change about my shot would be to get more height over the net; i hit relatively flat and when i try to get more height the shots go long, so its more about topspin. I do like a very solid feel to my shots, so would lead tape increase that in any way?

olliess
05-09-2011, 09:27 PM
Adding tape will change the feel of the racket a lot. But adding tape will NOT improve the frame.
It will certainly change the performance of the frame, not just the feel. Improvement is of course subjective.


You need to know where you are trying to go before you just start out in one direction. How will you know when you arrive if you don't know where you're going?
This much is true. You should at least have some idea what you are trying to achieve with the added mass.

i guess the only thing i would change about my shot would be to get more height over the net; i hit relatively flat and when i try to get more height the shots go long, so its more about topspin. I do like a very solid feel to my shots, so would lead tape increase that in any way?
Not sure lead tape would be your first solution, then. What you probably want is to work on your low-to-high swing path, hit with a more closed racquet face, and make sure you have enough racquet head speed (more swingweight is not the way to get this).

Added weight in the head might add to the solidness of the feel, but it isn't worth it if you can't keep your shots in.

SmoothOperator
05-10-2011, 04:31 AM
Like others have said, a few grams can make a difference. Also as mentioned, you need a decent frame to start with.

TimothyO
05-10-2011, 05:11 AM
Lead tape can help but it can be tough to figure out how best to use it.

I love my PSLGT but felt I needed some more oomph, especially on serves. I...

- changed the leather grip to a lighter synthetic grip

- used that weight savings to add lead at 12/6 and at the butt

- result is still 11.9 oz (same as spec) but with extra oomph in the head and 11 pts HL balance (2 pts more HL than spec!)

I should note that my particular PSLGT started out 15 pts HL unstrung(!) while most of the specimens I measured were 13-14 points HL unstrung...I got very lucky with that find since I really enjoy HL balance.

This mod required only 4"/2g at 12 and 3"/1.5g at 6 but quite a bit more in the butt. 4.5g in the head may not sound like much but at those two points the effect on feel is significant. Serves now feel more like I'm crushing the ball than having the ball stop my racquet. I had tried an extra gram or two at 12 and it felt even more like I was crushing the ball. But the racquet also felt sluggish so I backed off a bit (you can go too far with lead).

I used to use lead at 3/9 on other racquets when I first took up tennis, but as my technique improved I've given that up due to fewer off-center hits. So technique and lead are related too.

Racquet frame matters. I don't use any lead in my PB10 Mid's hoop but have added some at the butt to make it even more HL. The head already feels solid and stable so I haven't felt the need to modify it. But I like a really HL balance and so tweaked the PB10 a bit.

SOME GUIDELINES:

- a little goes a long way in the hoop, especially at 12

- you need a lot more in the butt to change balance significantly

- not every frame benefits from lead to the same degree or same way

- it can be "misused" making your racquet less maneuverable or unnecessarily sluggish...be ruthless in your care to not over use

- it can mask weak technique so ask yourself if you really need more lead or to concentrate on technique

- on the upside it can help you plow through the ball more easily, whether at serve or when facing heavy incoming shots, so your racquet gets pushed around less

- if you're using a ton of lead you might have the wrong frame as a starting point! :)

Irvin
05-10-2011, 05:59 AM
...i guess the only thing i would change about my shot would be to get more height over the net; i hit relatively flat and when i try to get more height the shots go long, so its more about topspin. I do like a very solid feel to my shots, so would lead tape increase that in any way?

Rod Cross wrote a paper on customizing tennis rackets but it is pretty deep if you would like to read it here is the link (http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/~cross/customising.pdf). In that paper Mr Cross talks about adding 30 grams of weights to various parts of the racket. I warn you though it gets into some deep physics. Here is some of his conculsion.

"However, it is clear that mass added at the tip of a racket is effective in increasing racket power and that the point of maximum power is shifted towards the tip of the racket. For a serve, this locates the maximum power point near the tip, which gives the player an added height advantage. For a groundstroke, the maximum power point is shifted to a point near the centre of the strings, where players normally impact the ball. The effect of additional weights on the feel of a racket was not studied directly in this paper..."

Except for that fact that his test racket was Topspin 660 Powerlite, topspin or the spin was not mentioned in his paper. I believe more spin is produced by technique than anything else.

Irvin

TheLambsheadrep
06-20-2011, 09:33 PM
I just ordered the Unique lead tape. I have 6 rackets, all the same specs, so there would just be 3 grams added per racket. they are 4 pts head light, is that relatively close to a polarized racket set up?

would putting all 3 grams in the handle help increase plow through more than 3 grams at 3 and 9 o'clock would increase stability? and again with only 3 grams added, would it be better to go towards the polarized set up or increase the depolarization of the racket already?

UCSF2012
06-20-2011, 10:57 PM
Rod Cross wrote a paper on customizing tennis rackets but it is pretty deep if you would like to read it here is the link (http://www.physics.usyd.edu.au/~cross/customising.pdf). In that paper Mr Cross talks about adding 30 grams of weights to various parts of the racket. I warn you though it gets into some deep physics. Here is some of his conculsion.

"However, it is clear that mass added at the tip of a racket is effective in increasing racket power and that the point of maximum power is shifted towards the tip of the racket. For a serve, this locates the maximum power point near the tip, which gives the player an added height advantage. For a groundstroke, the maximum power point is shifted to a point near the centre of the strings, where players normally impact the ball. The effect of additional weights on the feel of a racket was not studied directly in this paper..."

Except for that fact that his test racket was Topspin 660 Powerlite, topspin or the spin was not mentioned in his paper. I believe more spin is produced by technique than anything else.

Irvin

You should buy a reel of lead tape and experiment with how it changes various shots. My own personal experience has told me you're wrong in many of your claims, but there's no way for me to argue with you. You'll just counter with opinions.

UCSF2012
06-20-2011, 10:58 PM
I just ordered the Unique lead tape. I have 6 rackets, all the same specs, so there would just be 3 grams added per racket. they are 4 pts head light, is that relatively close to a polarized racket set up?

would putting all 3 grams in the handle help increase plow through more than 3 grams at 3 and 9 o'clock would increase stability? and again with only 3 grams added, would it be better to go towards the polarized set up or increase the depolarization of the racket already?

You all should buy lead tape from a hardware store. It's the same stuff without the 200-800% price markup.

KLE
06-21-2011, 05:59 AM
You all should buy lead tape from a hardware store. It's the same stuff without the 200-800% price markup.

Could not find one at Home Depot. Please point out where and product name. Thx.

TennisCJC
06-21-2011, 06:13 AM
I just ordered the Unique lead tape. I have 6 rackets, all the same specs, so there would just be 3 grams added per racket. they are 4 pts head light, is that relatively close to a polarized racket set up?

would putting all 3 grams in the handle help increase plow through more than 3 grams at 3 and 9 o'clock would increase stability? and again with only 3 grams added, would it be better to go towards the polarized set up or increase the depolarization of the racket already?

Hi, putting weight in the handle does not increase plow at all. Weight at 9/3 or 12 o'clock will increase plow and SW. Weight in the handle (either in the butt cap or under the grip will shift the balance but not increase plow or sw. Read the TW article on customizing rackets. Weight at 12 o'clock will have the biggest impact on SW. 1-3 grams at noon or 10:30 or 1:30 will lift the sweetspot and increase the sw improving plow a bit. 1-2 grams at 3 o'clock and 1-2 more at 9 o'clock will increase SW, improve torsional stability, and increase plow. Use handle weight to counter head weight. A good start might be to add 1 gram at noon, 1 gram at 3 o'clock and 1 gram at 9 o'clock. Counter this with 3 grams under the grip to maintain approximately the same balance - you can wrap 3 or 4 strips of 1/4" tape around the grip or put them running in parallel to the bevels starting low where the butt cap ends. Remove the grip and put handle weight under the grip. This is a faily basic setup but it will make a significant difference in how the racket plays. If you want more power, stability, and plow; you can increase weight at all locations.

TheLambsheadrep
06-21-2011, 12:05 PM
I crudely measured the center of ballance for all my rackets, they were all very slightly different, so I will try to add the weight so all the COBs are the same.

right now, they are roughly 4 points head light. is that closer to the polarized or depolarized end of the spectrum?

I do like the idea of balancing the lead out, though...

struggle
06-21-2011, 01:18 PM
i used a digi-scale (nearest gram only), balance board and the TW swingweight method and TW customizer "thingie" to match 3 LM Rads.

it worked great, they're still not perfect but i'll need a triple beam scale to get there (or more accurate digi-scale).

all within 1-2 grams total weight as well as swingweight (units??) and balanced at 4 pts hl.

one more round with minimal lead and measurements and i'll be good.
initially added 7g (x1) and 10 grams (x2) at the TW "thingie" locations and all are damned close.

no handle lead yet, was trying to avoid that when choosing desired specs for the first go around.

UncleRico.
06-21-2011, 03:09 PM
Is there any way to remove weight from a racket if you've got a pair, but you like the feel of the slightly lighter one?

UCSF2012
06-22-2011, 01:23 AM
Could not find one at Home Depot. Please point out where and product name. Thx.

Google "lead foil tape" and you'll find a bunch.

http://www.thetapedepot.com/cart/component/page,shop.product_details/flypage,shop.flypage/product_id,4650/category_id,26/manufacturer_id,0/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,1/

Or you can buy it from their auction (#220596545916). Cheapest price I could find on the fly.

Used to be $13 per reel, but I couldn't find that price anymore.

chippy17
06-22-2011, 03:03 AM
well I play with PS 6.0 95s and although I love the rackets I have always felt they 'wobble' a bit especially on volleys and defensive shots

being 12pts hl and reading up about adding lead, i thought I would try a small amount, I added 2gms at 9/3 and 12

now I may be imagining it but I think it has made a difference, the racquet certainly feels more stable, other than that not really sure yet

I have another PS so may add twice the weight to that and see what happens...this could go on for a while!

TennisCJC
06-22-2011, 08:00 AM
well I play with PS 6.0 95s and although I love the rackets I have always felt they 'wobble' a bit especially on volleys and defensive shots

being 12pts hl and reading up about adding lead, i thought I would try a small amount, I added 2gms at 9/3 and 12

now I may be imagining it but I think it has made a difference, the racquet certainly feels more stable, other than that not really sure yet

I have another PS so may add twice the weight to that and see what happens...this could go on for a while!

You are not imagining it. Use the TW swingweight customization worksheet tool in the learning center to see how lead at 3/9 o'clock increase twistweight. Higher twistweight is generally good as the racket does not flutter as much on off center hits. This is not imagination but rather science. The power zones of a racket will also become wider with lead at 3/9 and higher with lead at 12. Again, you can see the increase in power and plow numbers with the TW customization worksheet in the learning center. Not imagination, your customized racket has more power and plow on wider and hi-er hits in the stringbed. As long as you can handle the increased weight and are not late to the ball, heavier is better.

Sampras uses loads of lead on his PS rackets. Nadal and Fed and many other use at least a little lead today too.

TheLambsheadrep
06-22-2011, 01:50 PM
Sampras uses loads of lead on his PS rackets. Nadal and Fed and many other use at least a little lead today too.

how did sampras have so much lead at 3 and 9 and still have his racket setup considered depolarized?

ben123
06-22-2011, 02:43 PM
how did sampras have so much lead at 3 and 9 and still have his racket setup considered depolarized?

:confused:

lead at 3 + 9 = depolarizing a racket

lead at 12 and at the buttcap = polarizing

sampras had lots of lead at 3 + 9 so his racket is considered depolarized

KLE
06-22-2011, 07:26 PM
Google "lead foil tape" and you'll find a bunch.

http://www.thetapedepot.com/cart/component/page,shop.product_details/flypage,shop.flypage/product_id,4650/category_id,26/manufacturer_id,0/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,1/

Or you can buy it from their auction (#220596545916). Cheapest price I could find on the fly.

Used to be $13 per reel, but I couldn't find that price anymore.

Thx, great info.

TheLambsheadrep
06-22-2011, 08:30 PM
:confused:

lead at 3 + 9 = depolarizing a racket

lead at 12 and at the buttcap = polarizing

sampras had lots of lead at 3 + 9 so his racket is considered depolarized

what ive read on this forum- "Depolarized Setup - Basically, this setup has the most stability and power. Weight will generally be added lower on the racket, resulting in a lower increase in swingweight per gram" this is from xFullCourtTenniSx who seems to post a lot about this topic

chippy17
06-23-2011, 02:25 AM
You are not imagining it. Use the TW swingweight customization worksheet tool in the learning center to see how lead at 3/9 o'clock increase twistweight. Higher twistweight is generally good as the racket does not flutter as much on off center hits. This is not imagination but rather science. The power zones of a racket will also become wider with lead at 3/9 and higher with lead at 12. Again, you can see the increase in power and plow numbers with the TW customization worksheet in the learning center. Not imagination, your customized racket has more power and plow on wider and hi-er hits in the stringbed. As long as you can handle the increased weight and are not late to the ball, heavier is better.

Sampras uses loads of lead on his PS rackets. Nadal and Fed and many other use at least a little lead today too.

thanks for the confirmation, I will read up on the subject...which could be dangerous

I played with some younger (17yr old) guys at my club last night and used my weighted up PS again. They hit hard, and I will confirm that it did feel different and I felt much more able to 'stay with' these young'uns, there was more power and more stability. So now having played more with it it is not in my head as you say, it even sounds different when I hit it!!

I can just about handle the extra weight as it is only 6 grammes but at 37 I am getting on a bit!!!

Must stop myself experimenting even more, wonder what twice the lead will feel like...?!

Having been searching for a new racket due to the lack of power I should have done this ages ago, now where can I buy more PS95s?? Come on Wilson start making it again!

ben123
06-23-2011, 03:21 AM
what ive read on this forum- "Depolarized Setup - Basically, this setup has the most stability and power. Weight will generally be added lower on the racket, resulting in a lower increase in swingweight per gram" this is from xFullCourtTenniSx who seems to post a lot about this topic

polarized or depolarized are just 2 words to describe the weight distribution of the racket. a polarized racket has more weight in the ends of the racket (12 o clock and buttcap). a depolarized racket has a more even weight distribution.

many ppl who use lead at 9 + 3 also add lead in the upper handle so its a depolarized weight distribution.
if some1 uses much lead at 12 o clock hes polarizing the racket

Spin-A-Lot
06-23-2011, 06:32 AM
Quick question...does @ 1 gram overall distributed at 9, 3 and the throat make a difference at all?? My brother in law swears that his racquet is much more stable now than before..I told him it was all in his head! what do you guys think?

un6a
06-23-2011, 06:55 AM
Quick question...does @ 1 gram overall distributed at 9, 3 and the throat make a difference at all?? My brother in law swears that his racquet is much more stable now than before..I told him it was all in his head! what do you guys think?

1 gram at these locations is too small weight to have noticable impact on performance, however i'm for example very sensitive to adding weight at 12.
I feel difference when adding only 0.5g here.

Fuji
06-23-2011, 11:35 AM
:confused:

lead at 3 + 9 = depolarizing a racket

lead at 12 and at the buttcap = polarizing

sampras had lots of lead at 3 + 9 so his racket is considered depolarized

These terms are just something that have been coined in recent years. Depolarized is when you increase the stability by adding weight at 3 and 9, and counterbalancing if needed. It adds the most amount of physical weight without increasing the swing weight. Take a look at the old Wilson's with the PWS weighting system. They basically just added a depolarized set up to a stock frame.

Lead @ 12 will dramatically increase the swing weight but lower the overall stability. Some say that this increases spin production because of the whip through the contact zone, but I don't find it overly that great.

I much prefer a DEpolarized set up because it helps keep my racket stable while volleying and it has a very noticeable increase in plow through and twist.

-Fuji