Lead Tape Pickleball: Should You Add Lead Tape for Your Paddles?

A paddle is the most important piece of equipment in pickleball, and weight is the most important factor. Players usually upgrade their paddles by adding pickleball lead tapes. It is a no-brainer that the higher the weight is, the more strength the paddle has. Therefore, the higher weight is preferred by pro pickleball players. As a beginner, people mostly buy a lightweight or midweight paddle. But as they increase their skills, they are required to buy heavyweight paddles. Instead of buying a new one, beginners can increase the weight of their paddles by adding pickleball lead tape. To help you in understanding the ruling and the addition of lead tape for pickleball paddles, we have created this guide. Read until the end to get the most benefit out of this!

Lead Tape Pickleball: Should You Add Lead Tape for Your Paddles?

What do the Rules Say About the Pickleball Lead Tape?

When it comes to pickleball, some rules have mentioned the usage of lead tape on a paddle. To ensure fairness in the game, players must abide by the rules of the lead tape for pickleball paddles.

With the right knowledge and preparation, everyone can have a fun and fair pickleball experience. The rules have been established to keep the game safe, fair, and fun for everyone, and it’s important to follow them.

So grab your paddle and get out on the court – but make sure you follow the lead tape rules! But before that, let’s understand the rules of using lead tape.

USA Pickleball Rule 2.E.4

This rule is very simple and self-explanatory. It states that there is no restriction on the weight of the pickleball paddle. Since there is no limit to the weight, you can add the lead tape to increase the weight.

USA Pickleball Rule 2.E.5.a

This rule allows the players to make alterations to the pickleball paddle. This rule permits the usage of pickleball lead tape, edge guard tape, gripe wrap, etc. to increase the grip size or weight of the paddle.

According to the official rules, the lead tape must not exceed one inch above the grip or be placed on a paddle in a way that affects its balance.

In other words, the lead tape must be placed on the paddle in an even, symmetrical way and must not exceed the one-inch limit.

Unfortunately, many players fail to adhere to this rule. They may use too much lead tape or place it unevenly on their paddle, resulting in a significant advantage over their opponents.

Where Can You Place the Lead Tape?

So far, we have understood that you have to put lead tape on the pickleball paddle. The Pickleball paddle has different parts such as grip, face, core, etc, so where exactly do we have to put the lead tape?

There are various sections of a paddle where you can place the lead tape. We have discussed different sections in detail below;

add lead tape on pickleball paddle

However, you must remember one rule of thumb; place the lead tape on the section of the paddle which is unbalanced.

For example, if the grip is heavy but the face is too light, then add the lead tape on the face section. To understand it better, let’s have a look at each section one by one.

Paddle Head

This is not the most favorite section for players to add more pickleball lead tape. The spinning action and the swings are reduced by adding the lead tape around the head.

However, this setting is perfect for those who are aiming to increase the weight of the top part of the paddle. This is also ideal for those who want to increase the power of the paddle.

Around the Edge Guard

An edge guard is a material such as plastic that is wrapped around the paddle to protect it. This also gives a slight stability to the paddle and protects it from dust and scratches.

When you place the lead tape around the edge guard, you will be able to increase the complete weight of the paddle.

So, if you are looking to increase the weight of the paddle and are not focusing on one particular section, then add the lead tape around the edge guard.

adding pickleball lead tape

In the Middle Area

The middle area is present between the handle and the top edge of the paddle. This part is often known as the sweet spot as it makes the most contact with the ball.

So if you have plans to add more power to your shots, the middle area is ideal for you to attach the pickleball lead tape.

Sides of the Paddle

By adding the lead tape on the face of the paddle, you increase the power of the shots. But what about the balance?

Balance and power are two important things to have while using a pickleball paddle. However, both of them are not usually achieved together.

To balance the paddle, you can add lead tape on the sides of the paddle. You can also add the lead tape on the sides and face at the same time to have both balance and power. But this can increase the weight of the paddle to a higher level.

On the Handle

If you feel that the grip or the handle is unbalanced, then feel free to add more pickleball lead tape to this area. To avoid messing with the grip size, remove the grip and then place the small parts of the lead tape on the handle.adding lead tape to pickleball paddle handle

Why Should You Add Lead Tape to Your Paddle?

There are multiple reasons for adding lead tape to the pickleball paddle. Here’s a detailed explanation for all of these reasons;

Increasing the Weight For More Power

Well, the most obvious one is to increase the weight of the paddle. Most beginners start with a paddle that has a low weight. Therefore, they would have to buy a new paddle as they upgrade their skills.

Instead of buying a completely new paddle, they can simply place the lead tape pickleball on the paddle. This will give them a paddle with high weight for less money.

Increased Stability and Balance

Stability and balance are important features of a good pickleball paddle. Because without any stability or balance, the player might face wrist and arm fatigue or injury.

When you place lead tape on the pickleball paddle, you are increasing the stability and balance of the paddle. Therefore, you also have more control over the ball and can generate the spin easily.

More Power

By adding more weight, you are automatically increasing the power of the paddle. This way, it is easy for you to strike the volleys and groundstrokes more strongly.

How to Add Lead Tape to Your Paddle?

As we mentioned earlier, there are three main reasons for adding the pickleball lead tape on the paddle. Before applying the lead tape, ask yourself about the purpose of applying the lead tape.

Then follow the steps by step instructions to get the most benefit of applying the lead tape pickleball.

To Increase the Weight For More Power

Applying lead tape is an easy way to get a paddle with a high weight. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of making lead tape pickleball worth it!

  • Clean the edge guard to remove any dust or debris.
  • In a 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock position, apply the lead tape on the edge guard of the paddle.
  • To remove the reflectiveness of the lead tape, apply black electrical tape on top of it.

add pickleball lead tape for more power

To Improve Stability and Reduce Vibrations

Follow these tips to improve the stability and reduce the vibrations of the paddle.

  • Clean the pickleball paddle.
  • Add lead tape on both sides of the paddle such that the 8 o’clock to 10 o’clock and 2 o’clock to 4 o’clock positions are covered with the lead tape.
  • In the end, cover this tape with the electrical tape

 apply pickleball lead tape to reduce vibrations

To Change the Balance Point

For more balance on your paddle, you can either make it head heavy or more balanced toward your hand. To make it head heavy:

  • Tape the top of your paddle
  • Apply lead tape in a 10 o’clock to 2 o’clock position

Pickleball Lead Tape: Should You Add Lead Tape for Your Paddles?

If your paddle is unbalanced and has more instability in the handle area, then it is a wiser option to add more balance there. To do that, follow these steps;

  • Remove the grip on the handle and clean this area.
  • Add lead tape to both sides of the handle.
  • Place the grip back on the handle.

Things to Consider While Adding the Pickleball Lead Tape on the Paddle

Here are a few things you must be aware of while adding the lead tape pickleball to the paddle.

Add the Lead Tape With Washed Hands

Always wash your hands before applying the lead tape. This way, you’ll wash out the oil on your hands. Otherwise, you might compromise the stickiness of the lead tape.

Also, you must wash your hands after applying the lead tape to the paddle. Lead tape is mainly made of lead particles, which can be harmful to human skin.

Therefore it is better to wash your hands before and after adding the lead tape to the pickleball paddle.

Gently Apply the Lead Tape

Work that’s done in a haste never gives the best result. The same is the case with the application of lead tape. If you install it with fastly, you might not be able to stick it properly. Therefore, apply the lead tape gently and with patience.

Don’t Overdo it

A heavy paddle is not always the best option. Some players tend to add too much lead tape on pickleball paddles.

This can increase the weight to a very high extent. Resultantly, you will have a paddle with a lot of weight which can give an unbalanced paddle.

Also, the overweight paddle might be difficult to hold. It can give you arm fatigue and may even cause injuries in some cases.


We hope that you could learn something new from this article. If you do, tell us in the comment section. If you find anything important, feel free to share it with your fellow picklers!

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2 thoughts on “Lead Tape Pickleball: Should You Add Lead Tape for Your Paddles?”

  1. Will adding the lead tape to the top of an elongate paddle “move” the “sweet spot” towards the end of the paddle? I’m thinking that a ball struck on the sweet spot is further away from my wrist, then the centrifugal force from the swing of the paddle will be greater hence generate more power.

    1. Yes, adding lead tape to the top of the paddle can shift the “sweet spot” towards the end and potentially increase power due to greater centrifugal force. However, it might also make the paddle harder to control.

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