Leaded or Un-Leaded?

This used to be a decision you made when putting gasoline in your car, but, not so much anymore.  It is, however, a decision you make when it comes to racquet performance.

For this discussion “lead” means “weight”.  There are, of course, other types of weight.

Racquet performance can be enhanced with the proper placement and amount of lead used.  Conversely, racquet performance can be frustrated when lead is used improperly.

Lead Tape Placement

Lead Tape Placement

I imagine every tennis player has experimented with lead.  This is sometimes encouraged by the racquet manufacturers by marking racquets with “place lead here” areas.  This may be OK for gross adjustments but you want the racquet to perform for you, and you alone!

You can continue to experiment with lead, and placement, or you can seek out a racquet technician that has been trained in the best location and amount of lead for your game and has the diagnostic equipment to achieve the goal.

When I “customize” and “match”  racquets it requires a few iterations based on the consistency of the racquets.  For example, out of six (6) racquets there may be six (6) different specifications. This is due to manufacturing tolerances and that is OK, but, at the point of manufacture the easiest method of “matching” is adding weight to the rear end of the racquet.  That is why “balance” is still used instead of the more definitive “swing weight”.

Typically all racquets will be matched to the “heaviest” racquet primarily because removing weight from a racquet is not cost effective (meaning it is really difficult).

When six (6) racquets are matched you may see slightly different locations and amounts of lead.  This is common and should be expected.  With the proper equipment and expertise every racquet should be within one (1) unit of each other.  This is the typical tolerance of diagnostic equipment.  In real life it is quite satisfactory to have the racquets within 2% of each other.  I prefer, however, to have each racquet return the exact number.

So, if you have experimented with lead without success please don’t give up.  The proper application of lead can really make a positive impact on how your racquet will perform.

If you have any questions about customization please let me know, and, let me know if you prefer leaded or un-leaded!

Posted on March 15, 2015, in Customization! and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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