Is lead tape cheating?

Discussion in 'Racquets' started by ihaveaquestion, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. ihaveaquestion

    ihaveaquestion New User

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    Morally speaking, do you think it's a form of cheating?

    I've been working on my serve for a good part of the last two years, being a short and slim guy, my first serve usually takes two bounces to hit the back fence, only on really good serve would I be able to hit it with one bounce. I've since concluded that I just don't have the strength to hit bomb after bomb like a pro.

    Well, fast forward to today, when I finally got to experiment with lead tape, and boy...I was just simply stunt by what it can do to my serve. I was hitting back fence with one bounce regularly. Even on serves that I don't regard very highly...

    But now sitting at home in front of my computer, it's messing with my mind. I was an avid table tennis player before, that was the time when speed glue became popular. I was working so hard to get more spin, more power on my stroke...never thought of using speed glue like everyone else did on my club. I subsequently quit the sport because I just couldn't muster the same speed/spin my friends were generating...

    Now, I have a very similar feel about lead tape in tennis. I do enjoy watching my serve hitting the back fence with one bounce...but what do I tell people when they ask how I do it? "Oh...nvm the two years of working my butt off on my serve, just put lead tape on ur racket and you are golden."


    Just not the way to do it.
     
    #1
  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    There is no golden fleece.
    For every oz you add to help your serve, you lose out in volleying and prep quickness.
    And adding more weight is not a linear result. Too much can slow your serves, your response, your quickness, and even injure you shoulder or wrist/elbows.
    Why don't you just buy a RoddickPureDrive+?
     
    #2
  3. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    IF using lead tape is cheating, then the pros out there are the greatest cheaters and should be banned from tennis forever for the reason of them customizing their rackets -- and using paint jobs, too.

    Dang! Why did I waste my time answering this ... ???
     
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  4. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    You weighted up your racquet and hit a few good serves. Let's see how your groundstrokes hold up on a hot summer day in the 3rd set.
     
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  5. ihaveaquestion

    ihaveaquestion New User

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    Am I calling out all pro a cheater? No.

    That's not what this thread is about, so let's not go there.

    I am just thinking about those people who have never been exposed to the idea of lead tape, they must be scratching their head "How did that guy hit with so much power and spin and I can't?"
     
    #5
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I seriously doubt your serves have improved more than 3 mph at most.
    Now you COULD be using a junor racket, in which case it might improve more.
    I have been playing with 3 DunlopAero500's with SW's around 308. Switching back to my old Mfil and Aero200's, with SW's around 340, makes ittle difference in speeds of my fastest serves.
    Now switching to MicrogelRadOS with around 320 SW, makes little difference in actual speeds.
    If you can serve, you can serve with any racket.
    if you can't serve before, you're just getting better at serving and can now serve better than before.
     
    #6
  7. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    Wow -- just wow. There is no difference in a racquet made heavier from adding lead tape and one comes at the same weight directly from the manufacturer. What possible thought process would lead anyone to consider swinging a heavier stick to be a form of cheating? Maybe you should stick to ping pong.
     
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  8. ihaveaquestion

    ihaveaquestion New User

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    i don't know why every response so far read as " I am offended, so I am going to defend myself!".

    Remember, I am using lead tape as well as we are having this discussion.

    If you can't discuss with a cool head, why bother? I asked a question, not making a statement, did I?
     
    #8
  9. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Making lead tape illegal would be the equivalent of making overgrips illegal. In fact, it's quite arguable that overgrips make a bigger difference than a few strips of lead tape, which in many cases actually weighs less than an overgrip. You might as well make protective racquet head tape illegal too, because that has the same effect. While we are at it, most racquet manufacturers design their frames with weight that is strategically placed. Hey, let's make it illegal to manufacture racquets with different specs! LOL
     
    #9
  10. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    no, of course ti isn't cheating.

    I don't do it because I just find a racquet with specs that suit me and play with that, but lots of people do.

    remember, you can buy anything from 8 oz to almost 13oz without messing abotu with lead tape at all...
     
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  11. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Interesting train of thought.

    Guys have asked me how I serve big, I tell them that I'm usually using modded rackets and I have a very power based serve technique. I always let them try out my sticks if they ask, and normally they don't get the same pop I do regardless. :razz:

    -Fuji
     
    #11
  12. JDMasFCK

    JDMasFCK Semi-Pro

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    no, is using heavy racquets cheating? Lead tape is essentially making your racquets heavier thus increasing sw and power etc
     
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  13. JDMasFCK

    JDMasFCK Semi-Pro

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    And lead tape doesn't solve all your problems, just because your serve is bigger doesn't mean it'll correlate to your groundstrokes, volleys etc...
     
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  14. makinao

    makinao Rookie

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    Hmmmmm ... actually you did.

     
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  15. JDMasFCK

    JDMasFCK Semi-Pro

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    agree

    10chars
     
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  16. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    The OP is correct. Lead tape is cheating. He should remove it from his racquet.
     
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  17. ihaveaquestion

    ihaveaquestion New User

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    I do hold against improvement gained not through knowledge, technique or hard work. So I do hold something against lead tape, admittedly.

    The argument that it doesn't solve every problem is a valid one. It does make you rethink about your groundstroke and net game. But without it, you will not have the access to the same power and spin. Let's just put it that way.

    People spend $199 on a new racket hoping to start hitting like Roger Federer, without knowing a $3.99 lead tape roll will do pretty much the same thing for them.
     
    #17
  18. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Candidate for overstatement of the year.
     
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  19. sundaypunch

    sundaypunch Hall of Fame

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    Not everyone benefits from a heavier racquet.
     
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  20. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    That's not correct. Seriously, what planet have you been living on?
     
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  21. bugeyed

    bugeyed Semi-Pro

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    Whatever you say??? If lead tape makes you feel uncomfortable or that you are getting away with something, take it off & be happy. Or leave it on & continue to be "stunt" by the extra pace on serves.

    Cheers,
    kev
     
    #21
  22. ihaveaquestion

    ihaveaquestion New User

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    Do you think most people buy his racket off the shelf of a Big 5 even know it's not the racket he is using now?

    If you don't expect them to know that, how do you expect them to know what a lead tape does?
     
    #22
  23. klementine

    klementine Hall of Fame

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    When I was in the army, I used lead tape to bring my razor up to 200 grams, as to get a more solid, powerful and deeper shave.

    When discovered, the General in command took away my leave for a month.

    Cheating.
     
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  24. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Obviously, you found a secret that very people know about. So keep the lead tape, go out and beat a few pros, and write back to us to let us know how you went from being a nobody to a pro because you discovered how lead tape is the magic ingredient to tennis success!

    Good luck with that!!
     
    #24
  25. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    This thread is hilarious. That being said i do know about speed gluing and it is not in any way the same as lead tape.

    The op is looking at lead tape as an unfair advantage because he does not understand what he did. By adding weight to his racquet he gets more power, but over the course of a few weeks he will see the pros and cons.

    There are no real cons to speed glue. Its what people use to get more spin.

    Speed glue is a lot more equivalent to using poly strings. Comparing it to lead tape is flawed logic.
     
    #25
  26. JDMasFCK

    JDMasFCK Semi-Pro

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    Agree

    Agree
     
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  27. pkshooter

    pkshooter Semi-Pro

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    Pretty fricken retarded question... Twenty years ago people used 20 oz. woodies, tennis has gotten faster since then.
     
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  28. pkshooter

    pkshooter Semi-Pro

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    Lead tape didn't make you better, it just didn't it simply made your racket more powerful. Is a 105 in racket cheating?
     
    #28
  29. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

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    Using lead tape is just customizing your frame to the weight/weight distribution, SW, etc. to your preference, likely because what you wanted wasn't available off the shelf.

    It could be an advantage for you if the customized spec fits your swing/game/whatever better. And by advantage I mean vs a different racket spec that might not fit your game as well. For example using lead tape to bring the weight/SW of a racket up, where it was too light in stock form.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
    #29
  30. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    OK, OP, let's see ...

    I suppose you're quite new to tennis, is that correct?

    You can lead your racket up to 1.583 lbs if you want and nobody's going to call it cheating. Why?

    Because you need to WORK hard through training and techniques to get the darn thing moving and playing with it for three sets.

    Per your previous messages:

    If working hard to be able to do it right isn't cheating,

    then training yourself to be able to handle a heavy racket (or any-weight racket) is not cheating.

    Your way of thinking has just contradicted your very own logic.

    And this applies to everybody. Pros lead up their sticks to a ton, and they are trained for them. So what? My mid size racket is modded to 370 grams to make it better suited for me, is that cheating? I have a 200-ish grams granny stick for "one of the lazy days" too, is that cheating?

    And you do know what's the on-going cheating in tennis and people are getting away with? Check the foot faults. Not many people seem to notice that anymore.
     
    #30
  31. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

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    The OP already knew the answer before asking it. He just wanted to voice it. Why are you guys answer the question for real?
     
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  32. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Boredom and I appreciated the Speed glue reference.
     
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  33. tennytive

    tennytive Semi-Pro

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    If I put speed glue on my strings, would that be cheating?
     
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  34. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    It's only cheating if they see you do it!
     
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  35. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    NO, customizing with lead tape is not cheating. It is just tuning your racket. Lots of pros do it and they pay a substantial amount of money to have their rackets setup.

    I could see where a lot of weight might make your serve hit the back fence if you have pretty good technique, but a little lead tape will only make a subtle difference.
     
    #35
  36. dgoran

    dgoran Hall of Fame

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    What if I sniff it instead :)
     
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  37. dgoran

    dgoran Hall of Fame

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    Peds are allowed as well just look at Nole Rafael ferrer and co and what it provides for their games :)
     
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  38. Smasher08

    Smasher08 Hall of Fame

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    So, let's recap here:

    Using lead tape is cheating.

    Using a OS racket is cheating.

    Using a grip size other than L3 is cheating.

    Using an overgrip is cheating.

    Using a vibration dampener is cheating.

    Using textured poly strings is cheating.

    Using insoles is cheating.

    Drinking gatorade is cheating.

    Using a lighter than average racket is cheating.

    Using a heavier than average racket is cheating.

    Did I miss anything?
     
    #38
  39. mmk

    mmk Professional

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    Using lighter shoes than your opponent is cheating.
     
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  40. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    Dang... so if I am a cheater, does that make me a hooker too?

    (If so, I gots to get me some sparkly shoes.... would my Nike Vapor 9s count as "sparkly"?)
     
    #40
  41. dadozen

    dadozen Hall of Fame

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    The thing is, you spent the last 2 years practicing your serve( and hopefully the other points of you game as well ) and then you installed lead tape.

    The result you're getting now is actually the sum of all parts, practicing and lead tape. It's not that lead tape will magically turn your serve into a bomb, but because you trained for that long, you now are able to take advantages of some extra grams. If you haven't practiced before, installing lead tape now wouldn't have the same effect.

    As others have stated, installing lead tape is not linear nor a guarantee that you'll have a better result. You might have a better serve, but it can also affect your groundstrokes or volleys, and maybe you get tired sooner. Depending on the amount you add, the racquet may become sllugish and you won't be able to swing it correctly, getting late on the ball frequently. So, lead tape might work for some players and not for others, and it also depend on the amount installed and the locations where it is installed.

    Speed glue, the example you used, is the opposite: anyone that uses it will benefit instantly, if they have a decent technique and know how to generate the right effects on the ball. And it won't affect the other aspects of the game.

    So, bottom point, it's not cheating. It's actually one of the oldest ways known to improve your game after you reach a certain point where you have trained a lot and you have proper technique to benefit from that.
     
    #41
  42. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Because your thread is an epic troll thread.

    Want to know the basic purposes of lead tape?

    Damn... Wilson quality control failed me again... Gotta use lead tape to fix it again...

    Damn... Wilson is creating these stupidly light rackets and don't have something in the weight range I'm looking for.

    Really now?

    Then let me list other things you should stop using.

    Comfortable shoes, shorts with pockets, overgrips, strings, and a legitimate racket.

    Why are you spending so much money on a racket? Use a dust pan instead!

    Strings allow you to put spin and power on the ball? Gotta get rid of those.

    Overgrips keeps the grip from being slippery? Can't have that.

    Pockets to allow you to play with two handed backhands? NOPE!

    Shoes to protect your feet? Nah. You need proper technique to move quickly around the court without ripping your skin off.

    The fact that lead tape allows you to reach a new level of power and spin is false. What did that was graphite rackets, then the strings. Want to get a heavier racket without applying lead? Then go spend hundreds on new rackets. I don't know about you, but that seems like a stupid option to me.

    Lead tape lets us use a racket that we are comfortable with. Otherwise, we'd be using a generic racket that is very unlikely to be the best fit for us.
     
    #42
  43. Dave M

    Dave M Hall of Fame

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    You should of said cups of hot tea are the only on court beverage allowed and let's not forget banning short sleeves and shorts.
    Trousers and long sleeved shirts are how it was intended.
    It should also be noted that an amendment needs to be made to the hstory books so anybody who won anything without any sleeves on their shirts at all shall be removed from the records.
    Shall we start on hairbands worn by men?
     
    #43
  44. robbo1970

    robbo1970 Hall of Fame

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    ?????

    I put lead tape all over my opponents racket while he wasn't looking and he couldnt even lift it to serve....now that is cheating!

    To the OP, I think your question has been answered. No.

    Lead tape is there to fine tune the weight and feel of a racket. I can't see that it can be wholly attributed to curing any defective strokes or techniques.

    If you can't consistantly serve bombs, and lets face, not many can serve them consistantly, don't worry. As mentioned in other threads, just learn to mix your serve up. A slow, spinny serve where your opponent has to try and generate their own power and adjust their feet at the last second can be equally effective if done properly. I would always choose placement over power.
     
    #44
  45. paulorenzo

    paulorenzo Hall of Fame

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    20 years ago, as in '92?
     
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  46. T-Smash

    T-Smash Banned

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    I never used it in my life and never needed to, I'm tall and have lots of power.
     
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