How To Add Texture To Pickleball Paddle in 2023

If you’re an avid pickleball player, you’ll understand the importance of having the right equipment. 

In addition to the paddle’s basic construction, there are other ways to enhance its performance, including adding lead tape to increase weight, power, stability, and grip. 

However, did you know that texture can also be added to the handle and frame of your paddle? While this can help increase spin, it’s important to be aware of the strict rules governing the texture of pickleball paddles.

The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) sets the standards for paddle construction and usage, and there are specific guidelines in place for adding texture to the surface of a pickleball paddle. 

The roughness of the paddle must meet the USAPA standards, and the surface texture must adhere to certain rules to ensure that the paddle remains legal for play.

In this article, we’ll explore the different ways you can add texture to your pickleball paddle and how you can do so within the rules and regulations set out by the USAPA. 

Whether you’re a new or intermediate player looking to enhance your game or an experienced player wanting to explore new ways to improve your performance, we’ve got you covered. 

So, let’s dive in and explore how you can add texture to your pickleball paddle while staying within the guidelines set out by the USAPA.

How To Add Texture To Pickleball Paddle

The paddle is an essential piece of equipment in pickleball and can greatly impact your performance. It is therefore important to choose the right paddle to suit your needs and skill level.

One of the main reasons why the paddle is so important in pickleball is because it affects the way the ball is hit and the amount of control you have over the ball. 

The weight, shape, size, and grip of the paddle can all impact the way you play the game. A heavier paddle, for example, can provide more power, but may be more difficult to maneuver quickly. 

Do Not Forget to Read: Latest Pickleball Paddles

How To Add Texture To Pickleball Paddle

On the other hand, a lighter paddle can be easier to control and maneuver, but may not provide as much power. It is important to find the right balance between power and control when choosing a paddle. 

Additionally, the grip of the paddle can impact your comfort level and ability to hold the paddle for extended periods of time. Ultimately, the right paddle will help you improve your game and enjoy the sport to the fullest.

Can You Add Texture To The Pickleball Paddle?

In the game of pickleball, players are allowed to add texture to the handle and frame (edge guard) of the paddle. This means that players can change the surface of the paddle to improve their grip and control over the paddle. 

However, there are some limitations on the type of texture that can be added to the paddle.

Adding Textures to the Paddle

The first limitation is that players can only add texture to the surface of the paddle if it does not change its roughness in any way. This means that the texture cannot be too abrasive or rough, as this could give the player an unfair advantage in the game. 

The texture must also be evenly distributed across the surface of the paddle.

Adding texture to the paddle can be done in several ways. One of the most common ways is to add grip tape to the handle of the paddle. Grip tape is a thin, adhesive tape that is designed to improve grip and control. 

It is often used in other racquet sports, such as tennis and badminton. Grip tape is available in a variety of colors and textures, allowing players to customize their paddle to their liking.

Rules and Regulations Regarding Pickleball Paddle Textures:

The United States of America Pickleball Association (USAPA) is the governing body for the sport of pickleball in the USA. The USAPA has strict rules and regulations regarding the materials and textures of pickleball paddles. 

According to the USAPA rules, a pickleball paddle can be made from any material that is legal, safe, and durable. 

However, the paddle must meet certain size and weight restrictions. The paddle’s width cannot exceed 8.25 inches, and its length cannot exceed 17 inches. The weight of the paddle cannot exceed 14 ounces.

The USAPA also has rules regarding the texture of the pickleball paddle. The paddle must have a smooth surface with no paint texture or sand. 

The USAPA prohibits the use of any materials that can alter the ball’s trajectory or spin, such as rubber, vinyl, or any other materials that can affect the ball’s flight. 

The use of sandpaper on the paddle’s surface is also prohibited. These rules are designed to ensure that all players have an equal opportunity to hit the ball and that no player gains an unfair advantage through the use of textured paddles.

Suitable Materials and Textures for Tournament Play:

The most common materials used to make pickleball paddles are wood, composite materials, and graphite. Wood paddles are inexpensive and lightweight, but they are not as durable as composite or graphite paddles. 

Composite paddles are made from a combination of materials such as fiberglass, carbon fiber, and Kevlar. These paddles are more durable than wood paddles and offer better control and power. 

Graphite paddles are the most expensive but are also the lightest and most durable. They provide the best control and power, making them popular among professional players.

When it comes to textures, the USAPA rules require that the paddle’s surface is smooth, with no paint texture or sand. However, the USAPA does allow for certain textures on the paddle’s surface, such as a slightly rough or gritty texture. 

These textures can provide better grip and control of the ball, but they must not alter the ball’s trajectory or spin in any way.

Limited Ways to Modify the Pickleball Paddle:

Players are allowed to modify their pickleball paddles to a limited extent, but they must follow the USAPA rules regarding modifications. The USAPA allows players to add grip wraps, lead tape on the paddle edge, or replace the paddle grip. 

However, no removable parts are allowed, and players cannot make any modifications that alter the paddle’s weight or balance. 

Springs or materials that could create a trampoline effect are also prohibited. Electrical, electronic, or mechanical alterations of any sort are strictly prohibited.

Butt of the Paddle

The paddle’s handle or butt is the part that the player holds, and it can be customized with lead tape to improve hand speed, stability, and grip. Additionally, adding textures to the paddle’s butt can enhance its grip and feel.

Adding Lead Tape To The Butt Can Improve Hand Speed

Lead tape is a thin strip of metal that is used to add weight to objects such as golf clubs, fishing rods, or pickleball paddles. 

Adding Lead Tape To The Butt Can Improve Hand Speed

The added weight can improve the object’s balance, power, and control. In pickleball, adding lead tape to the handle or butt of the paddle can make it easier to maneuver, especially in the kitchen or on the no-volley zone line. 

The kitchen is the area close to the net where players need to perform delicate shots and volleys, and having a stable and responsive paddle can make a difference in winning or losing points.

One of the benefits of using lead tape on the butt of the paddle is that it can improve hand speed. When the paddle’s weight is distributed evenly, the player can swing it more quickly and with less effort. 

This can help generate more power and accuracy in shots, especially in the backhand or overhead positions. Additionally, the added weight can increase stability, making the paddle less prone to twisting or turning during play. 

This can enhance the player’s confidence and control, leading to better shot selection and execution.

Do Not Forget to Read: Do Pickleball Paddles Wear Out?

How To Wrap Lead Tape Around The Handle Or Butt

To apply lead tape to the paddle’s handle or butt, one needs to start by cleaning the surface and drying it thoroughly. Then, cut a strip of lead tape that is about 12 inches long, and wrap it around the handle or butt in spirals. 

How To Wrap Lead Tape Around The Handle Or Butt

It is recommended to start from the bottom and work your way up, overlapping the edges slightly to create a seamless layer. Avoid covering the grip entirely, as this can make it too bulky and uncomfortable to hold. 

It is also essential to use lead tape that does not become too slippery during play, as this can reduce grip and precision.

How To Wrap Lead Tape Around The Handle Or Butt

Special Tape Made For Pickleball Paddles

Another option to improve the paddle’s grip and feel is to add textures to the butt. Textures are patterns or grooves that provide extra traction and feedback to the player’s hand. 

They can be created by sanding or etching the surface, or by applying a textured tape. 

Textured tapes are specially designed for pickleball paddles, and they come in different colors and patterns. They are easy to apply and remove, and they can add a personalized touch to the paddle’s appearance.

Adding Weight to the Paddle Frame

The weight of the paddle can vary based on the materials used, which can affect the player’s performance. 

If the paddle is too light, it may not have enough power, and if it’s too heavy, it may be challenging to maneuver. In such cases, adding weight to the paddle frame with lead tape can be a game-changer.

Lead tape increases the weight of the paddle, making it more stable and powerful. However, before adding the lead tape to the paddle frame, it is essential to know where to apply it to get the desired results.

Where To Add The Tape On The Paddle Frame

The ideal place to add lead tape to the paddle frame is just above the handle in the right-hand corner (4-5 o’clock) and left-hand corner (7-8 o’clock). 

These areas are the best spots to add weight to improve stability and balance. The added weight in these areas will create a better energy transfer, leading to a more powerful hit. 

Where To Add The Tape On The Paddle Frame

Moreover, the additional weight will also help absorb shock, resulting in less vibration when striking the ball.

If more power is desired, lead tape can also be added to the top frame of the paddle (10 o’clock and 2 o’clock). Adding lead tape to these areas will help increase the power and stability of the paddle. It will also help the energy transfer between the ball and the paddle, resulting in more powerful hits.

Adding Lead Tape To The Paddle Frame Can Improve Power

Adding lead tape to the whole frame of the paddle is also an option to increase weight, power, and speed. However, adding too much weight can also make the paddle difficult to maneuver. 

It’s important to experiment with different weights and paddle configurations to find the perfect balance for your playing style.

Balancing the weight of the paddle is also important. It can be achieved by adding lead tape to the top and bottom of the paddle. 

Balancing the weight will make the paddle more stable and easier to control. It will also improve the player’s shot accuracy and help with maneuvering the paddle.

Benefits Of A Heavier Paddle Swing

Professional pickleball players often use lead tape to add weight and stability to their paddles. The added stability from lead tape can help defend against power swings from opponents. 

Adding weight to the paddle frame can also increase the lifespan of the paddle by reducing the amount of shock that the paddle endures during play.

Do Not Forget to Read: Best Pickleball Party Ideas

Frequently Asked Questions:

Yes, you can add texture to the surface of your paddle. Adding texture can help improve your grip on the paddle and reduce the risk of slippage. There are various ways to add texture to the paddle surface, including using sandpaper, a grinder, or a specialized pickleball paddle texture tool. However, it is essential to ensure that the texture you add to your paddle does not exceed the maximum allowed roughness guidelines set by the governing body of the tournament you are playing in.

The placement of the lead tape will depend on the player’s preferences and playing style. However, generally, adding weight to the head of the paddle can increase power and control, while adding weight to the handle can improve maneuverability and speed. It is essential to experiment with different placements and amounts of lead tape to find the right balance that works for you.

Finding the right balance when adding weight to your paddle can be a trial-and-error process. It is essential to experiment with different placements and amounts of weight to find the right balance that works for your playing style. It is also important to note that adding too much weight can result in a loss of control and speed.

Adding lead tape to the center sides of the paddle can help balance the weight distribution of the paddle and reduce the amount of vibration felt during gameplay. This placement can also improve stability and control by increasing the moment of inertia of the paddle.

The surface roughness of a pickleball paddle is regulated by the USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) and the International Federation of Pickleball (IFP). According to USAPA rules, the surface of a pickleball paddle cannot exceed a roughness of 30 micrometers RA (roughness average) when measured with a surface profilometer.

Yes, you can paint your pickleball paddle, but it is important to use a paint that is specifically designed for use on paddles. Paints that are not designed for use on paddles may cause the surface to become too rough, affecting play and potentially violating USAPA or IFP regulations.

To permanently mark a pickleball, you can use a permanent marker or a paint pen. Make sure the surface of the ball is clean and dry before applying the marker or paint pen. You can use stencils or freehand designs to mark the ball. Allow the marker or paint to dry completely before using the ball.

To paint a paddle, start by cleaning the surface of the paddle to remove any dirt, dust, or oils. Sand the surface of the paddle lightly with fine-grit sandpaper to create a rough surface that the paint can adhere to. Apply a coat of primer to the paddle to help the paint adhere to the surface. Once the primer is dry, apply the paint to the paddle using a brush or spray can. Allow the paint to dry completely before applying a second coat.

To glue a pickleball paddle, start by cleaning the surface of the paddle and the rubber sheets that will be attached to it. Apply a layer of glue to the surface of the paddle and to the back of the rubber sheets. Allow the glue to dry for a few minutes until it becomes tacky, then carefully press the rubber sheets onto the paddle. Use a roller to smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles in the rubber sheets.

No, you should not drill holes in a pickleball paddle. This can weaken the structure of the paddle and can make it more prone to breaking during play.

A good pickleball paddle should be made of high-quality materials that are durable, lightweight, and provide good control and power. Popular materials for pickleball paddles include graphite, carbon fiber, fiberglass, and composite materials.

The maximum allowed roughness of the paddle surface varies depending on the tournament’s governing body. The USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) sets a limit of 30 micrometers on the RAA (Relative Average Amplitude) for the paddle surface texture.

Adding lead tape to the butt of the paddle can increase the overall weight of the paddle and shift the balance point towards the handle. This added weight can improve your hand speed by allowing you to generate more momentum with less effort, making it easier to swing the paddle faster.

A heavier paddle can provide several benefits, including increased power, more stability, and better control. A heavier paddle can generate more momentum and therefore transfer more energy to the ball, resulting in a more powerful shot. Additionally, a heavier paddle can help reduce vibration and provide more stability, resulting in better control of the ball.

Yes, you can remove the added weight from your paddle if you don’t like it. Removing the added weight can be as simple as peeling off the lead tape or removing the weight from the paddle handle. It is important to note that removing the added weight may result in a different balance and feel to the paddle.

The USAPA and IFP rules state that the authorized materials for the paddle core are polymer, aluminum, nomex, and polypropylene honeycomb. The use of any other materials for the paddle core is not allowed.

To put griptape on a pickleball paddle, you will need the following items: grip tape, scissors, and a hair dryer (optional).

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Clean the handle of your paddle with a damp cloth to remove any dirt or debris.
  • Cut a piece of griptape to the appropriate size for your paddle handle.
  • Starting at the butt end of the handle, peel the backing off the grip tape and wrap it around the handle, overlapping slightly as you go.
  • Smooth out any bubbles or wrinkles as you wrap the tape around the handle.
  • If desired, use a hair dryer on low heat to help the tape adhere and conform to the shape of the handle.

When painting a paddle, it is important to use paint that is designed for use on sports equipment. Look for paint that is durable, water-resistant, and can withstand the wear and tear of the game. Epoxy-based paint is a popular choice for paddle painting as it provides a hard, durable finish.

Adding lead tape to a pickleball paddle can increase the weight of the paddle, which can help players generate more power and control on their shots. However, adding too much lead tape can make the paddle too heavy and difficult to maneuver.

No, not all pickleball paddles are smooth. Some paddles have a textured surface that can provide players with more spin and control on their shots.

Over time, pickleball paddles can lose their pop or bounce due to wear and tear. This can be caused by a number of factors, including the age of the paddle, the frequency of use, and the type of materials used in the construction of the paddle.

There are several factors that can make one pickleball paddle better than another, including the weight and balance of the paddle, the materials used in the construction of the paddle, the size and shape of the paddle, and the surface texture of the paddle. The right paddle for a player will depend on their individual playing style and preferences.

Expensive pickleball paddles can often offer better materials, construction, and design than less expensive paddles, which can result in improved performance and durability. However, the right paddle for a player will ultimately depend on their individual playing style and preferences.


Adding texture to a pickleball paddle can be a great way to improve grip and handling, as long as it’s done within the allowed modifications outlined by the USAPA and IFP. 

These include adding weight, improving grip, and adding drawings/pictures in good taste. However, it’s important to note that the surface of the paddle should not be altered in any way other than allowed changes. 

Additionally, adding texture for the sake of it is not recommended. It’s crucial to check if the modification actually improves the paddle’s handling before making any changes. 

Remember, the only allowed modifications to grip size or wrap are adding lead or electrical tape to the edge guard or handle. Adding any substance for reasons other than mentioned above is illegal and prohibited. 

It’s recommended to check the rule book for further details or updates before making any modifications to the paddle.

Michael Stevenson

Michael Stevenson

Hi, my name is Michael Stevenson and I’m a passionate pickleball player. I’ve been playing the game for many years and I’m pretty highly skilled at it. Pickleball is one of my favorite topics so naturally, I love to write about it.

Whether it’s tips for beginners, guides for experts, reviews of new paddles, or advanced playing techniques – if it relates to pickleball then I have something interesting to write about it. So if you’re looking for entertaining and informative information on the topic of pickleball, look no further than my written works!