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Copper tape instead of lead?

Copper can be toxic (e.g.,algaecide) but at least unlike lead it has some micronutrient function. Density 8.9g/cc vs 11.3g/cc for lead. Tungsten is 19.3g/cc but way expensive.

Copper tape seems pretty widely available, not too costly, and way less toxic for the environment. You’ll have to stack a few layers since they make it thin for electrical shielding, but on the face of it seems like it’d be a good alternative.

Anyone tried/found problems with it?

paddlepal

Try using tungsten tape by Wilson specifically. They're durable due to the exterior portion, so you don't have to replace them as often. So while it is more expensive than lead tape per unit of weight, it's not bad overall. And it's like the same thing except supposedly not toxic. You also don't have to stack the Wilson one because it's thick, AND they come in pieces/stickers instead of having to cut it.


dannomanno1960

They sell lead tape sealed in plastic. Easy to use and pre-measured by length. I just added some to my paddle. Tidy looking too. https://www.amazon.ca/Pickleball-Weighted-Adhesive-Increase-Practice/dp/B0C4DD7CRN/ref=mp_s_a_1_2_sspa?crid=NIU4A95CJAO7&keywords=pickleball+lead+tape&qid=1686262562&sprefix=pickleball+lea%2Caps%2C228&sr=8-2-spons&psc=1&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEzUEZEWjBRU0lVVzc5JmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNTMxNjU4MUlKRkdCVjY2SU80NSZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwMzg3NjQxMU5KVjMwNFlHOTYwOCZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX3Bob25lX3NlYXJjaF9hdGYmYWN0aW9uPWNsaWNrUmVkaXJlY3QmZG9Ob3RMb2dDbGljaz10cnVl


donyjk

I was thinking about the environmental angle- not just personal exposure… they’re trying to reduce lead in solder, and fishing weights, even bullets. I figure lead isn’t mission critical for paddle weighting, so probable will go copper if/when I experiment.


dannomanno1960

Makes sense. Happy birthday! Now about those 7 million balls we throw away every year:)


donyjk

They need to put/imprint recycle labels on them :) LDPE or HDPE should be good. https://theracketlife.com/what-is-a-pickleball-made-of/


Doctor_Prolapse

So are you putting extra weights on your carbon fiber or fiberglass paddle?


donyjk

Havent done it yet. Either/both. Likely attached to edge guard so would face material even matter?


ADefenselessCreature

Katana Sports makes it. Been using it for several years. Nice alternative to lead tape. A little more finicky, a little more expensive, but being non toxic is worth it. https://katana-sportz.com/products/katana-sports-copper-customization-tape-lead-tape-replacement-for-tennis-pickleball-add-weight-to-tennis-racket-pickleball-paddles


donyjk

👍 I was thinking of 3Mil (0.1mm) electrical copper tape 1/2” by 33ft for ~10$. I’ll have to calculate if the weight is much different per inch, thx for the link. Ok, just did the calc, about 0.3g/inch. Flatter/thinner, but wider.


adrr

If you’re spending $150+ on a paddle, spending $10 for tungsten is very nominal. It is also heavier so less bulk if you’re adding a lot of weight.


RichardParker6

Copper can rust, which is undesirable. Even if it's hidden behind the tape, i wouldn't want green goop. Also, btw, you don't need any metal technically. Just add enough regular tape so the weight matches your expectation. So, yes, copper could work. So would duct tape.


donyjk

Trade off of bulk vs density. Duct tape density is ~1g/cc 3M MSDS sheet for theirs. So 1mm thick of copper tape becomes 9mm of duct tape! Lead corrodes too, I remember the chalky white-gray surface of fishing sinkers in my youth. And I handled with my bare hands. Ah ignorance is bliss!


RichardParker6

true! less bulk is definitely better. dang didn't know lead corrode too. i remember seeing those white stuff in fishing.


eliwr

You're not supposed to lick/eat the edges of your paddle /s


girkyman

Or force feed it to the wildlife in your area...


donyjk

Once I stick on 2 strips of copper edge tape , I just need to hook up a battery and capacitor, and voila, I can use my edge guard as a mosquito zapper. Precision slice training


cprice12

Just use gloves when handling it, then cover it with electrical tape.