How to Customize Your Own Tennis Racquet
There are many companies out there that will customize your racquet for you. However, it’s relatively easy to cheaply experiment with modifying your racquet at home with a few simple tools.
If you plan to make changes to your racquet, you’ll need a small scale that can weigh your racquet to a tenth of a gram. You can use a postal scale or some food scales to achieve this level of accuracy.
You’ll also need a balance board to monitor changes in the balance of your racquet before and after modifications.
A few other things you may want to have handy include:
- Double-sided taping to reapply the adhesive backing to the grip
- Cotton balls
- Lead or tungsten tape
- Tungsten putty
A Note on Lead & Tungsten Tape
Lead or the now more commonly used tungsten tape allows you to easily add small amounts of weight to your racquet to change the balance. Tape comes in either ½ inch or ¼ inch widths. Generally, 4 inches of ¼ inch width tape is equal to about a gram, but be sure to check the details of the tape you’re using.
These days, tungsten tape is one of the most common tools players use to change the specs on their racquets.
Customize Your Racquet’s Weight
If you want to customize your racquet weight without changing the balance of your racquet, you’ll have to add an even amount of weight on either side of the balance point.
You can add weight to the head of your racquet by adhering lead tape to the inner edge of your racquet’s frame or you can add lead tape under your grip to shift the balance away from the head of your racquet.
Alternatively, you can add lead tape to the bottom of the frame near the throat. Since this area is close to the balance point, the additional weight won’t change the overall racquet balance significantly.
Making Your Racquet More Head-Light
If you want to adjust your racquet so that it’s more head-light, you can add weight to the handle of your racquet. Most racquets have a removable butt cap on the end. Once you pop the cap off, you’ll see a space at the end of the handle where you can add cotton balls. You can add tungsten putty to the cotton before resealing the cap.
Not all racquets will allow you to access the inside of the handle via the butt cap. If that’s the case, one option is to purchase tennis racquets with a smaller grip size and then bring the racquet’s grip size back up to your preference using a heat shrink sleeve. These handy sleeves are available in full size or half size and will add weight to the handle while allowing you to maintain your preferred grip size.
If you have already purchased a tennis racquet or can’t afford to buy new ones, another reasonable way to the weight in your racquet’s handle is by replacing your synthetic grip with a leather one. Since leather is heavier, this can add some additional weight. Of course, the exact amount depending on the type of leather.
Making Your Racquet More Head-Heavy
If you want to add more weight to the head of your racquet to increase swing weight, the easiest way to accomplish this is by adding lead tape to the inner edge of your racquet’s head.
Keep in mind that it’s always easier to add weight to your racquet than take it away. If you know you’re going to want to change the balance, make sure you account for the additional weight you’ll add when buying a racquet.