lead tape - debunked in 4 easy steps

Discussion in 'Badminton Rackets / Equipment' started by amleto, May 27, 2011.

1. amleto Regular Member

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People/Manufacturers sometimes use lead tape on the wood handle of a badminton racquet to obtained 'desired' weight/balance.

Here is an argument (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument) to suggest that lead tape is virtualy as useful as putting extra rings on your playing hand:

Consider 'the system' as your arm, wrist, hand and racquet.

The racquet's handle has x grams of lead tape underneath the grip - This is the normal configuration.

Ignoring the comfort factor and coefficient of friction of the lead tape etc etc, considering ONLY the effect of the lead tape on the balance and weight of the racket:

Propositions:
1. There is no difference having the lead tape underneath or on top of the grip.
2. There is no difference to having the lead tape attached to the hand or the grip, as long as it meets hand and grip in the same fashion
3. By choosing a suitable weight and placement of lead tape, it is possible to replace the lead tape (with e.g. finger rings), such that the weight and balance of 'the system' is unchanged.

Conclusion 1:

We now have reached the point where proponents of lead tape MUST ACCEPT that adding weight to you hand/fingers (ie something external to the racquet) has the same effect (or else they must point out some problem with the proposition and conclusion).

Prop A:

conclusion 2:
If prop. A is true, and prop. 1-3 are true, the (feel of the) head-heaviness of the racket can be altered without touching the racquet at all!

"In before":
Q: But if you put rings on your hand, your hand moves when you change grip, therefore it cant be the same.
A: Only consider one grip where it is the same - the logic will follow through

Q: placing the lead tape on outside of the grip moves it further awayf from the shaft axis so it does affect the balance of the system.
A: Two points to this.
One: The balance difference is orthogonal to the longitudinal direction we are interested in.
Two: The difference between over/under grip is minimal anyway.

Discuss.

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Last edited: May 27, 2011
2. demolidor Regular Member

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Spoken like a true scientist ... Now on to the lab .

Adding rings to your fingers doesn't make your racket feel lighter, improve/affect handling. The only point you keep looking at is the point of impact or are you gripping tightly 100% of the time??

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3. amleto Regular Member

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I dont understand the question - please re-state.

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4. demolidor Regular Member

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They way I see it is only at the time you grip tightly it becomes one which most of the time only occurs when you're winding up at the final stage of your swing. The rest of the time it balances on your fingers doesn't it when you're only holding it with a relaxed grip? And during this "rest of the time" rings on your finger have no influence on the racket if only because they will be on the bottom/side of the handle.

A lot has been written about countering the balance with lead tape in tennis (not that I've based anything on it so far since I'm still reading up but to say it has zero effect is not really valid)

I see mention of a 4 inch distance from the buttcap below, above or around you could apply it having different effects. Have also seen mention of a difference in applying it on the outside or inside of the handle ...

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5. demolidor Regular Member

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What they are apparently saying is adding leadtape at that 4 inch mark doesn't increase/affect swingweight because it is the axis of rotation(?).

Should probably read some more since I haven't occupied myself with messing around with leadtape etc. and I dropped physics a long time ago . Perhaps I can mess around a bit today with a broken racket that had no lead tape on the handle (the Forza) and try putting some fishing lead inside with cotton balls (as I just read in one of the tennis discussions) ...
Just through experience in casually swinging around with a modded (without leadtape, mostly athletic tape to the buttcap and a couple of overgrips, no stock grip) to 275mm strung AT700 it feels completely different to a regular one.

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6. amleto Regular Member

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I specifically mentioned different grips/hand placements - it's irrelevent to the argument.

You cant argue at all that adding extra grips changes the feel of the swing because it drastically changes the diameter of the grip and so will feel totally different because your muscles/tendons are contracting in different states.

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7. demolidor Regular Member

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Then perhaps you can mess around with this tool: http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/customizationReverse.php

If I add the weight at the 4 inch mark the swingweight remains unchanged and the balancepoint decreases by 2.1% whilst the overall weight increases by 3.4%. Add it lower, for 3gr. the weight increases 3.4%, the balancepoint decreases 3.2% and the swingweight increases (max) ~1% ...

Regarding the grip, if it wasn't equal to stock it was barely bigger (remember the original had been removed)

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8. demolidor Regular Member

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Probably the best thread so far and by chance includes the following:

Also included in the thread different AOR's for different shots and in particular the 4inch mark should probably be 3inch but for comparison's sake is kept consistent (perhaps to do with the swingweight machines/RDC machine's software or industry standard?)

http://www.grandslamstringers.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1107045464/0

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9. demolidor Regular Member

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Just messing around with a racket I do get your point though about rings on hand. Purely for that particular moment adding rings instead of leadtape should have more or less the same effect (assuming the transfer in badminton is more efficient than the above simply because a shuttle doesn't have nearly the same impact) only the remaining time the rings on your hand don't have the same benefit in terms of reduced bp as leadtape would have (in actual and/or perceived headheaviness).

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10. demolidor Regular Member

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One thing I couldn't find though: what weight was your 296mm Panda racket according to the specs? With or without the leadtape the swingweight might not be so different ... Using the tool with a random weight of 85gr removing 5gr. of imaginary leadtape around the 3 inch mark and having put in 86gr. swingweight originally the new swingweight is still 86 gram but the bp has moved up to 310mm.
Probably flawed reasoning in there somewhere since we don't know and never will know the original swingweight and what a 296mm at the same weight without leadtape would have as a swingweight. Perhaps this would work for a badminton racket as well: http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/howto_swingweight.php

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11. demolidor Regular Member

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As ManU get's completely outclassed , ok time to watch the game .

And naturally they score the equalizer at the very moment

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12. demolidor Regular Member

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Just reading ALL the conditions again then I'd say your assumptions are correct . Under these circumstances leadtape would be roughly as usefull as adding rings on your finger. A particular good shot to put it in practice would be a backhand drive similar to a squash backhand shot.

But similar to choking up the racket doesn't adding weight below the earlier mentioned 3-4 inch mark impact the handling by acting as counterweight? I assume that is what Apacs is trying to do with that one particular model?

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13. demolidor Regular Member

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Choking up of course effectively shortening the racket which is the main factor [I submitted but the connection apparently timed out while I was away ]

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14. weeyeh Regular Member

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The presumption for proposition 2 ("as long as it meets hand and grip in the same fashion") cannot hold except in a completely rigid system. Consider the transition of your fingers on the grip when playing a netshot vs a flick.

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15. bbirdman Regular Member

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Good post amelto!
I think the effect is different in tennis becasue a tennis racket weighs more and there is more tension in muscles throughout the stroke, the tennis ball weighs more. Also a lot more lead tape will be used.
In badminton there shuld be very little tension.
The effect of swingweight is roughly related to a formula in physics where you measure the weight(mass to be precise) times distance from hand. As the mass added would be at the handle it wouldn't change the fact that there is still a a certain weight of certain distance from handle thats creating the head heavy swing feel.

Ironically as you grip the racket loosely I suspect if it did have any minimal effect it would actually make the racket more 'swingy', less stable

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16. demolidor Regular Member

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Yes exactly what I was thinking ...

You "suspect" , now into the lab and report back !

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17. demolidor Regular Member

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(15mins) The only point in customizing your badminton racket I see is to make each of them (of the same model) feel the same when you pick them up, a natural extension of your arm if you will. The actual handling should hardly differ ... (?)

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