Why do we rarely see visible lead on pro player's racquets (all under the bumper)?

Hidious

Professional
Hi, I was looking at the pictures from this post in another thread about P1 customizing racquets and I was wondering why most, if not all the lead, is almost always located from 2 to 10 under the bumper. Except for a few exceptions over the years, we rarely see visible lead on pro player's frames expecially at 3 and 9. Wouldn't some of them benefit from lead at 3 and 9 in addition to under the bumper guard? Lead at 3 and 9 seems to be a popular placement for most rec players on these forums.

Some pictures of P1 adjusting swingweight for pros.

 

elkabras

Rookie
Wawrinka yonex vcore 95d was leaded up at 3&9, Sinner 3&9 too...or make a custom frame or it will be visible...in the top can apply under the grommets easy

At 12 modifies swingweight more, more power but difficult to accelerate...at 3 & 9 open sweetpot and more estability. Hope it helps


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Andrew2016

New User
It’s ultimately personal preference to the player. We may see it on rec player frames more often because they tend to hit off center more often and the lead at 3&9 will increase twist weight which provides more stability on off centered hits.
Ron Yu from P1 also said that top players tend to hit the ball more cleanly, and if they aren’t, then trying to increasing twist weight is far from their list of concerns. It could also be that 12 o’clock is one of the only locations they can add weight to get the correct SW, weight, and balance. 3&9 may not be conducive to the player’s preferred spec.
 
For some players it’s a mental thing. Since the hairpins don’t all come in at the same spec different racquets will have different amounts of lead. If the racquets look different, then it’s harder to believe that they play the same.

10-2 just happens to be the most common spot for lead placement.
 

Hidious

Professional
Hey you guys have given me counterexamples, but as I said, I'm aware that some pros do have lead at 3 and 9. However, my point was that we can argue that pretty much ALL the pros have lead under the bumper, while only a few have visible lead at 3 and 9. Why is that? Is it more simple to customize a racquet with lead under the bumper? Are sponsors asking players not to have visible lead if possible?
 

elkabras

Rookie
Hey you guys have given me counterexamples, but as I said, I'm aware that some pros do have lead at 3 and 9. However, my point was that we can argue that pretty much ALL the pros have lead under the bumper, while only a few have visible lead at 3 and 9. Why is that? Is it more simple to customize a racquet with lead under the bumper? Are sponsors asking players not to have visible lead if possible?
Each racquet and each player suits lead tape in determinate locations...an example...Volkl C10 pro and Dunlop biomimetic 300 Tour for me are dead in the upper zone and 300 Tour has a lower SW, if I apply lead to this one is 10 to 2...with leather or lead tape in the handle....but in mines Hotmelt 300G I applied to 3 & 9 and leather to 335gr strung and they feel great for me...another one could feel they need to 12 too...I dont know Almagro or Mauresmo specs

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mpournaras

Hall of Fame
Anyone know what brand of lead tape the pros use
The toxic kind that makes your fingers numb :)

I think gamma makes fine lead tape and you can get a ton of it for very little. I would be shocked if they werent using Gamma or Tourna lead tape. I think the more branded ones are bad and look worse and are typically thicker as well. Just stick to the classics..

Its such a simple thing that there is no need for boutique or fancy versions
 

gutfeeling

Hall of Fame
Hey you guys have given me counterexamples, but as I said, I'm aware that some pros do have lead at 3 and 9. However, my point was that we can argue that pretty much ALL the pros have lead under the bumper, while only a few have visible lead at 3 and 9. Why is that? Is it more simple to customize a racquet with lead under the bumper? Are sponsors asking players not to have visible lead if possible?
There is a potential performance enhancement from adding weight in the upper third of the hoop simply to increase the frame’s power potential in that region where it is typically lowest. If you solely add weight at 3 and 9 to increase plow and twistweight the power potential of the top of the hoop will remain the same. Combine all of this with the fact that most pros use racquets that are more flexible than retail frames so they need to get back that lost power potential by adding weight in the most efficient way possible.
 
D

DeathStrike

Guest
The toxic kind that makes your fingers numb :)

I think gamma makes fine lead tape and you can get a ton of it for very little. I would be shocked if they werent using Gamma or Tourna lead tape. I think the more branded ones are bad and look worse and are typically thicker as well. Just stick to the classics..

Its such a simple thing that there is no need for boutique or fancy versions
I actually bought some Tourna one recently, I usually stick it on the handle but if I go down the 3 and 9 route don't want it flying off
 

Andrew2016

New User
Hey you guys have given me counterexamples, but as I said, I'm aware that some pros do have lead at 3 and 9. However, my point was that we can argue that pretty much ALL the pros have lead under the bumper, while only a few have visible lead at 3 and 9. Why is that? Is it more simple to customize a racquet with lead under the bumper? Are sponsors asking players not to have visible lead if possible?
It is not likely that sponsors are asking their players to not have visible lead, though that is a reasonable question. They probably only really care about the logo on the stringbed and frame, and that the racquet doesn't break unintentionally.
1 gram at 12 o'clock will have a greater effect than 1 gram at 3 and 9. The 12 o'clock location maximizes the swingweight added per gram of lead. Modern pro spec trends are lower static weight and higher SW so this location is ideal as it can bump up the plowthrough with the least amount of weight added. Also just to reiterate what I said earlier, better players tend to hit the ball more centered and may not notice or find any benefit to the increased stability that lead at 3&9 provides. Everyone can benefit from a swingweight change though, and everyone will feel it, so that's why 12 o'clock is more common than 3&9.
 
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