Single layer versus double layer of lead tape

Just a quick question. A high level player saw my racquet setup where I have a double layer of 1/4" lead tape at 3 and 9 o'clock, totaling five grams. He said it's better to use a single layer over a greater portion of the hoop. I'm an old guy and started doing this because of the PWS that Wilson used way back with the Ultra II Midsize that I used in the '80s.

Thinking about it, using a single layer with the same center point should slightly increase swingweight since the tape further away from the handle contributes more than weight closer to the handle, but this effect should be minimal. Twistweight should go down slightly as there is now more weight a very tiny amount closer to the long axis of the racquet.

Is there any scientific evidence that a longer strip works better than doubling up and having a shorter strip?
 

Jakesteroni

Semi-Pro
Longer strips shorter strips. It matters. If you go to the tw calculator to try and match your rackets. It’ll tell you specifically where you should put your tape. Who knows maybe if you spread it out it’ll feel better for you, but as the lead strip moves towards the head it’ll increase swing weight more significantly.
 
Longer strips shorter strips. It matters. If you go to the tw calculator to try and match your rackets. It’ll tell you specifically where you should put your tape. Who knows maybe if you spread it out it’ll feel better for you, but as the lead strip moves towards the head it’ll increase swing weight more significantly.
I think the tool tells you where to place the lead only because it's constrained by how much weight you want to add. For instance, if you want to increase the head heaviness by one point, there are an infinite number of solutions as to where you can put that weight, but if you say you want to increase the head heaviness by one point adding two grams of lead, then the placement is constrained to a small number of locations.

Just before I went to play, I replaced the double layered lead with a single longer layer centered on the same spot. I honestly couldn't tell any difference.
 

jmacdaununder2

Hall of Fame
I was told the opposite by racquet techs. i.e. layer tape up, rather than spreading it out; I've virtually always spread it out. These techs. were probably referencing Sampras as it was back in the day also. Consistency from racquet to racquet is most important.
 
I was told the opposite by racquet techs. i.e. layer tape up, rather than spreading it out; I've virtually always spread it out. These techs. were probably referencing Sampras as it was back in the day also. Consistency from racquet to racquet is most important.
Did you notice any difference when you layered it instead of using one long strip?
 

Jakesteroni

Semi-Pro
I think the tool tells you where to place the lead only because it's constrained by how much weight you want to add. For instance, if you want to increase the head heaviness by one point, there are an infinite number of solutions as to where you can put that weight, but if you say you want to increase the head heaviness by one point adding two grams of lead, then the placement is constrained to a small number of locations.

Just before I went to play, I replaced the double layered lead with a single longer layer centered on the same spot. I honestly couldn't tell any difference.
Depends on length. If you’re within 3 to 4 inches in length after not layering you won’t notice it.
 
Depends on length. If you’re within 3 to 4 inches in length after not layering you won’t notice it.
It's five grams so a five inch segment versus a 2 1/2 inch segment. Short enough to not make any difference in all likelihood.

One kind of humorous thing - a friend tried my racquet the other day and said they couldn't swing it well because it was so heavy. Today, they noticed the longer strip of lead and "you put MORE weight on it"? I just smiled and went about hitting. This guy is my nemesis player so if I can get any psychological advantage, I'll take it!
 

esgee48

Legend
The Customization Tool is for changing your frames SW and balance. If the points specified is fairly straight, e.g. centered about 3/9, then having a long length rather than layered does not matter. Similarly applies at 12 and 6. Where issues arise is when the length curves such as at 10/2. Tape above the center point is not equidistant from the calculated customization point as tape below that same point. So your SW and balance is off. I try to keep tape no more than 4" long, but will go shorter and layered if it is applied to a curved part of the hoop.
 

am1899

Hall of Fame
Depends on what you’re trying to achieve, and what you have to work with.

For example, if I have a racquet that doesn’t allow much head room for customization, then layering makes more sense, as that will minimize increasing the SW. One problem with this strategy is the possibility of creating hot spots - a lot of weight in a small area of the frame may result in certain areas of the racquet launching the ball, while others may feel dead. Doesn’t always happen, and also seems some players are more sensitive than others to hot spots.

If hot spots were an issue, and you can afford to go up a few more SW points, spreading the weight out may make more sense.

There’s really no right or wrong way. Whatever achieves the proper final spec and feels good to the player.
 

jmacdaununder2

Hall of Fame
Did you notice any difference when you layered it instead of using one long strip?
Depends on what you’re trying to achieve, and what you have to work with.

For example, if I have a racquet that doesn’t allow much head room for customization, then layering makes more sense, as that will minimize increasing the SW. One problem with this strategy is the possibility of creating hot spots - a lot of weight in a small area of the frame may result in certain areas of the racquet launching the ball, while others may feel dead. Doesn’t always happen, and also seems some players are more sensitive than others to hot spots.

If hot spots were an issue, and you can afford to go up a few more SW points, spreading the weight out may make more sense.

There’s really no right or wrong way. Whatever achieves the proper final spec and feels good to the player.
This resonates with me; there wasn't much in it, but I felt that spreading the lead out produced a slightly more uniform feel.
 
I've noticed hot spots off the stringbed from certain racquets, and on the surface it does make sense that a more localized weight right at the impact point could result in a less uniform response. Since I don't always catch the ball on the sweetspot, it makes sense to try to spread the weight out in case that helps. Even if I just get one ball back more effectively per set, it will be worth it.
 
When I start with a very lightweight racquet, I can feel the sweet spot enlarge toward the lead tape added. Lead tape concentrated at 3 and 9 will make for a wider but shorter sweet spot (assuming tip is up). After experimenting for years with every lead tape combo under the sun, I now usually like to spread evenly between 1-3 and 9-11. Any thing on bottom half of hoop can make the feel less pleasant and less uniform top to bottom. Lead on upper half of hoop makes response more uniform top to bottom.

Also, for a given combination of mass, balance, and sw, higher lead tape placement in the hoop will give a stiffer feeling impact because the counterweight in the handle needs to be heavier and higher on the handle.
 
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Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
The formula for inertia of a lead strip is I = m*l*l/3. So the question as I see it would be does a 10 cm strip of lead (.001*10*10/3=.03333) have the same inertia as a 5 cm strip of lead (.001*5*5/3=.00833) if both strips weigh 1 g? The longer strip has (.03333-.00833) 0.025 Kgcm^2 more inertia than the shorter strip. Now if that lead were placed at the 3&9 positions on each side of the racket that would make a difference of 0.1 kgcm^2 with the longer strip having the most inertia. Relative to the 10 cm SW axis though because the distance from the COM of the strips the inertia at 10 cm would be SW = I + m*r*r and assuming the 3&9 positions were 42 cm from the axis each 1 gram strip would have the same inertia increase of (.001*42*42) 1.764 Kgcm^2 plus the inertia of the strip.

Conclusion 4 10 cm 1 g strips would add (1.764+(4*.03333)) 1.89732 Kgcm^2 to a racket’s SW and 4 5cm 1 g strips would add (1.764+(4*.00833)) 1.79732 Kgcm^2. Put the tape on any way you want but the longer the bonding strip the better the adhesion.
 
Thanks for doing the math and confirming that inertial differences aren't significant with the amount of tape I'm talking about here. In the end, it does seem to make more sense to distribute the weight as evenly around the frame as I can so I'll go single layer from now on.

Trav, I went up about 3% in swingweight going to this racquet and don't feel I can handle any more as I'll be playing in an 18+ 4.5 league soon. The sweetspot is already about 4 cm further up the racquet than in my old one so I don't believe I need it any further up in the stringbed. In any event, with the weather on the improve, we should get together for some sunny Seattle tennis.
 

Addxyz

Semi-Pro
If people prefer a longer strip, how does using longer strips asymmetrically (on opposite sides) compare to shorter symmetrical strips.


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Hmgraphite1

Hall of Fame
If people prefer a longer strip, how does using longer strips asymmetrically (on opposite sides) compare to shorter symmetrical strips.


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I keep things symetrical, but carefully slice the 1/4 lead into two 1/8 inch wide strips
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
On the other if you use a 2 g strip of lead (2”, 4”, and 8” long they would have inertias of .05, .2, and .8 respectively. The longer the strip the greater the inertia. So if you want the greatest inscrease with the least amount of weight spread the tape out.
 

Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
If people prefer a longer strip, how does using longer strips asymmetrically (on opposite sides) compare to shorter symmetrical strips.


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I doubt I understand your question, but putting a 2” 2 g strip on one side and a 4” 2 g strip on the other would add .25 Kgcm^2. 0.05+0.2 g respectively.
 
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Addxyz

Semi-Pro
I doubt I understand your question, but putting a 2” 2 g strip on one side and a 4” 2 g strip on the other would add .25 Kgcm^2. 0.05+0.2 g respectively.
If someone was putting lead at 3 and 9, they would normally put for example a total of 4x 2" strips. But there used to be a thread about how someone could put a 4" strip at 3 o'clock on the side facing you and at 9 o'clock on the side facing away from you.




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Irvin

Talk Tennis Guru
If someone was putting lead at 3 and 9, they would normally put for example a total of 4x 2" strips. But there used to be a thread about how someone could put a 4" strip at 3 o'clock on the side facing you and at 9 o'clock on the side facing away from you.




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Jimmy Conners always put the lead on one side and it was always on the top as he hit his ground strokes.
 
Moving the sweet spot (COP) 4 cm up the racket is hard to do. The other sweet spot the center of the string bed never moves.
https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/calculating-cop.571447/
The difference between the location of my 27.5" Babolat Overdrive 110 with an oval head, and my 28" SW104 with a round'ish head, is about 4 cm. I've never found that adding more weight moved the sweetspot much, as I've always tended to add it close to 9 and 3 o'clock for twisting stability, or down lower near the throat to get a bit more mass behind volleys.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I have three sets of Pro Stocks. One set (Berdych) has double-layer at 3/9. The others (YouTek and IG Prestiges) had double or triple layer from 10-2. So I don't think that there's anything wrong with doing multi-layer.
 
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