Thoughts on Weighting Rackets – Lead vs. Tungsten

I was interested to see a couple of Head Radicals come into the stringing room at the ITF Pro Circuit $15K Futures of Winston-Salem that were customized using Babolat’s tungsten tape.

As a reminder that you should have a professional match your rackets, notice how much more weight has been added to the throat of the bottom racket compared to the top racket. The weight/swingweight of these two rackets out of the factory was obviously very different.

Babolat Customization Tape

These customized rackets show that one of the easiest ways to add weight to a racket without changing the balance dramatically is to put it in the throat, since that is where the balance point of most rackets is.

In the past I have not used this approach when customizing, however, because lead tape actually has lead content. As the warning label on my lead tape packaging reads: “This product contains lead a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects (or other reproductive harm). Recommend you use gloves.”

Lead Tape Warning

Because players often put their hands on the throat of their racket, having lead tape there can be harmful. The rackets pictured above overcome this problem by using Babolat Balancer Tape, which is made out of tungsten.

Babolat Balancer Tape

I am interested in experimenting with this tape some. One potential downside of the Babolat tungsten tape is that it is thicker than lead tape and has texture created by the raised “Babolat” lettering. That could both some players who put their hand on the throat of their racket. But the innovation of moving away from lead tape is a definite positive.

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you customize rackets with lead tape, please be sure to wash your hands thoroughly afterward and try not to touch you eyes, nose, or mouth during the customization process.


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