Where To Put Lead Tape on Pickleball Paddle? 

Looking for a simple way to customize your paddle? Or do you simply want to add a little more weight to your lightweight paddle? Whatever it is, putting lead tape on the edges of the pickleball paddle can help you with both. Lead tape, a thin, adhesive tape containing lead, allows players to customize the weight and feel of their paddle. But where exactly do you put that lead tape? 

Don’t worry, this guide will help you understand the different zones for lead tape placement, the impact on your game, and how to find the sweet spot for your paddle.

Putting the Lead Tape on Pickleball Paddle – The Three Zones

If you are wondering where to put lead tape on a pickleball paddle, don’t worry. It’s a straightforward process. You will have to imagine dividing your pickleball paddle into three horizontal sections:

Zone 1: The Top Zone (Power Zone)

This zone is the top inch or two of the paddle face. Adding weight here has the most significant impact on power. Why? Well, it can slow down your paddle swing speed and make it slightly trickier to generate maneuverability for quick volleys and dinks.

Zone 2: The Middle Zone (Stability Zone)

The middle zone represents the sweet spot of most paddles – the area that comes into contact with the balls and generates the best power transfer. Adding lead tape here gives you a nice balance between increased power and improved stability. This can ultimately mean that you get a larger sweet spot, minimizing the effect of off-center hits.

Zone 3: The Bottom Zone (Control Zone)

The bottom zone covers the area closest to the handle. If you add weight here, it has the least impact on swing speed and it focuses on enhancing control. It can also contribute to a larger sweet spot and provide a more stable feel during groundstrokes.

Choosing Your Zone: 

Choosing Your Zone To Put Lead Tape on Pickleball Paddle

The ideal placement for lead tape depends on your playing style and what aspects of your game you want to improve. Here’s a breakdown to help you decide:

  • Power Seekers: If you want some powerful groundstrokes and smashes, zone 1 might be the one for you. Start with a small amount of lead tape and gradually add more as you adjust to the weight.
  • Control Freaks: Do you prioritize precision and touch shots? Zone 3 can be the one for you. Adding weight closer to the handle improves control without significantly affecting swing speed. This can be particularly beneficial for players who rely on finesse and delicate drop shots.
  • Balanced Approach: Maybe you desire a bit of both worlds. Zone 2 offers the perfect balance. Adding a little bit of lead tape in the middle zone can improve stability and power without sacrificing too much maneuverability. This is a great starting point for many players.

Lead Tape Application: A Step-by-Step Guide

Where To Put Lead Tape on Pickleball Paddle

Once you have chosen your zone, here’s how to apply lead tape effectively:

  • Gather your tools: You will need a pickleball paddle lead tape, scissors, a ruler , and a permanent marker.
  • Clean your paddle: Clean the paddle surface with a rubbing alcohol pad to remove any dirt or oil that might affect adhesion.
  • Plan your placement: Decide on the exact location within your chosen zone. You can mark the paddle with a pen if it helps to see the placement.
  • Cut the lead tape: Use scissors to cut a strip of lead tape to the desired length. Start small – you can always add more later.
  • Apply the lead tape: Peel off the backing and firmly press the lead tape onto your paddle. Make sure that there are no air bubbles or wrinkles.
  • Test and adjust: Play a few practice games or hit some balls against a wall to see how the weight affects your swing and shot control. If needed, you can add more lead tape or remove some for further fine-tuning.

Advanced Techniques

Now that you know where to apply lead tape on a pickleball paddle and how to apply it, let’s move on to some advanced techniques. As you gain experience with lead tape, you can explore more advanced techniques like:

Double weighting:

Apply lead tape in two different zones to achieve a more customized balance. For example, some players add a small amount to zone 1 for power and a bit more to zone 3 for control.


If your paddle feels head-heavy, adding lead tape to the handle (zone 3) can help even out the weight distribution and improve maneuverability.

Weight strips:

You can also find pre-cut strips of lead tape with varying weights. Experimenting with different weights allows for more precise adjustments compared to using full rolls.

Material options:

While lead tape is the traditional choice, tungsten tape has also gained popularity recently. It offers a similar weight effect but is considered less toxic.


How much lead tape should I add?

The answer to this question can vary. It depends on your paddle weight, playing style, and desired outcome. Start with a small amount (around 2-3 grams) and gradually add more until you find the sweet spot.

Can adding too much lead tape damage my paddle?

Although it is less likely to happen, excessive weight can sometimes put stress on the paddle structure. It can cause cracks or warping over time. Avoid adding too much lead tape, especially to lightweight paddles.

Is lead tape legal in competitive play?

Yes, lead tape is legal for use in pickleball as long as it doesn’t alter the size, shape, or overall thickness of the paddle beyond the regulations set by USA Pickleball.


In short, lead tape offers a simple yet effective way to personalize your pickleball paddle and improve your game. Whether you want to make your lightweight paddle a bit heavy or you want to customize your paddle, you can do so by adding pickleball paddle lead tape to the edges. By understanding the different zones and experimenting with the placement of the tape, you can fine-tune the weight distribution to match your playing style and unlock a more powerful and controlled swing. 

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