Quickly tweak weight, balance, swing weight

To put finishing touches on a racquet's playing characteristics, most folks apply lead tape. However, lead is not considered healthy to touch. In addition, if you need to reposition or trim the tape, the glue becomes an issue too - the tape can be tough to peel off, and then quickly loses its stickiness. You might also end up with residue / marks on the frame.

Tungsten tape is not supposed to come with those health concerns, but it's quite expensive, and you still have the glue problem. I found that if I'm lucky, I can reposition that tape once before it flies off with the next swing.

If you're 100% sure how much tape you'd like to apply and where, you're good. But if you want to experiment or finetune, why not use dampeners? They usually weigh 2-3 grams, and are easy to move around. Of course you can mix and match what you have, as long as you distribute the weight symmetrically.


I found that I liked the Tourna Pete Sampras dampeners for this purpose. They are small and soft enough to squeeze into tight spots.

If you want to tweak your racquet's playing *characteristics*, you want to experiment with weight around the 3 and 9 o'clock, 2 and 10 o'clock, and/or 12 o'clock positions:


Once you're dialed in, make sure to measure weight, balance, and swing weight for future reference. Maybe add a rating and notes too. Then you can cut and stick the tape of your choice to the frame. Voila!

Any of the above will obviously make the racquet more head-heavy / less head-light. A quick way to add more weight to the handle is to replace a synthetic grip with a leather grip, which can weigh up to 10 grams more. On the heavy RF 97 Autograph, that already changes the balance point by about 10 mm, which is huge!

Need more context or want more ideas? You can find related posts to racquets and customization here.

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