Read the following article to find out how to choose a pickleball paddle to improve your performance in the game.
Choosing a perfect paddle has always been my most challenging task as a pickleball player. Do you also face the same difficulty when purchasing pickleball paddles? From my experience of using different types of pickleball paddles, I have listed a few of the most significant factors to consider when investing your money in a pickleball paddle.
Although many pickleball paddle options are available, each has various features that make it ideal for a particular skill level player. If you are looking for a perfect pickleball paddle that can help to improve your overall performance during the match, the following guide can help you in many ways. Read the following factors to choose an ideal paddle according to your requirements and skill rating.
How To Choose A Pickleball Paddle?
Pickleball is one of the fastest-growing sports around the world. Though it resembles badminton, it uses a pickleball paddle instead of a racket. A pickleball paddle plays a significant role in enhancing your performance. Being a professional pickleball player, I have encountered different types of paddles during my matches.
Initially, I struggled to find a perfect pickleball paddle, but from my experiences with different types of paddles, I can now choose the perfect product for my games more effortlessly. Hence, to help my fellow players, I have gathered the most significant factors that affect your performance differently.
Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Pickleball Paddle
1. Paddle’s Weight
An equipment’s weight plays a significant role in its performance. A pickleball paddle comes in three weight options: lightweight, medium, and heavy. Considering the paddle’s weight has been my top priority when purchasing a pickleball paddle.
A lightweight paddle ranges under and around 7.3 ounces. Moreover, a medium-weight paddle weighs around 7.3 to 8.4 ounces., while a heavy-weight paddle weighs around 8.5 ounces or above. As a beginner, I bought a medium-weight paddle to practice my shots. Initially, the paddle seemed lightweight, but I could feel its weight on my hand and wrist over time during long matches.
Lightweight paddles win the race against heavy paddles regarding ball control and less stress. A few prominent pros of heavy paddles include additional power and more accessible ball hits because a lightweight paddle requires more spin for hard shots.
I prefer using a lightweight paddle because such paddles are easy to handle and protect you from various arm injuries. Lightweight and medium-weight paddles are ideal for all skill-level players, but a heavy-weight paddle works for a few players. Hence, depending on your skill level, you should prefer a lightweight paddle for additional control.
2. Paddle’s Core Material
A core is a cardboard-like material dipped in resin and is present between the two faces. Pickleball paddles have different types of cores that enhance their performance and increase their durability. Most paddles use a honeycomb core between their two faces because this material is known for its premium quality and durability factor. Honeycomb core is the best material for pickleball paddles.
Besides a honeycomb material, many professional pickleball paddles have a Nomex core, one of the most lightweight yet strong core materials. A Nomex core contains many small honeycombs that significantly increase the core’s surface area to increase rigidity.
Another prominent core material in pickleball paddles is the polymer core material. Unlike Nomex, a polymer core is a durable and flexible plastic material. This material is key in proving balance, power, and control. A pickleball paddle containing a polymer core is ideal for beginners. A polymer core is one of the most popular core materials in pickleball paddles because of its advanced characteristics.
You might be wondering why the core material is an essential factor. Well, I have the answer to your question. The core material of your equipment is an essential factor to consider because it offers additional power, balance, accuracy, and control. Furthermore, the core material is a great shock and vibration absorption source.
3. Core Thickness
Another essential factor to consider when purchasing a pickleball paddle is the thickness of its core. The thickness of a core is the distance between the two edges or faces. Usually, a thick core is measured around 16 mm, while a thinner core ranges around 11 mm. 13 mm is the medium core thickness of a paddle.
A thin core is known for its power, while a thick core provides better control and softens the ball’s impact. Now, the question arises: Which type of core thickness is better? Well, using a thick or a thin core depends on your skill in the game. I use a medium and a thick core paddle because they are ideal for additional control.
4. Surface Materials
Pickleball paddles use different surface materials, but the most common are fiberglass, carbon fiber, and graphite. Fiberglass material is the most flexible and heavy surface material for pickleball paddles. The hitting of a ball on the fiberglass material resembles that of a spring uncoiling.
When a pickleball ball hits the material, it slightly sinks in the paddle and fires off the surface material. Though fiberglass has a heavy weight and is flexible, it can generate much power to enhance performance.
Compared to fiberglass material, graphite is lightweight and is one of the strongest materials. Different sports equipment use graphite material. Graphite material creates a large sweet spot and generates more power. This material’s structural integrity helps spread the force across the surface material.
In contrast to both materials, carbon fiber is one of the most popular materials. It is well-known for its lightweight and strength. Carbon fiber is a sub-type of graphite material and provides great balance during the game. Fiberglass is known for generating power, while graphite material proved better alignment.
5. Grip Size
The grip size of a paddle is one of the essential factors I consider when buying a paddle because it helps you perform different shots. A small grip permits more wrist movement, allowing players to hit the ball with more spin. In addition, a small grip plays a key role in improving your equipment control. Increasing the movement of your wrist generates more power.
On the contrary, a large grip reduces the stress around your wrist and shoulder. A large grip is ideal for increasing the stability of your paddle. Exceeding the size of your paddle’s grip can result in elbow strain. Hence, you must choose the accurate grip size of your equipment according to your hand size.
If you are under 5 ft 2 inches, your ideal grip size is 4 inches. Players whose height ranges from 5 ft 3 inches to 5 ft 8 inches should use a paddle with a grip size between 4 ⅛ inches to 4 ¼ inches. Furthermore, you should use a grip size of 4 ½ inches if you are 5 feet 9 inches tall or more.
You might have seen good pickleball paddles with different shapes as a pickleball player. The shape of your paddle is interrelated to the sweet spot. The larger surface areas lead to a large sweet spot that increases forgiveness.
Many advanced paddles also contain an edge guard that protects your equipment from ground shots that can damage it. An elongated shape of the paddle is 16.5 inches long and provides more power and spin. If you are looking for a paddle with a large sweet spot, an elongated shape is unsuitable because its width provides a comparatively smaller sweet spot, thus leading to less forgiveness.
A widebody-shaped paddle has more width and a shorter length. This paddle type will give you a large sweet spot but less power and spin. Moreover, the classic shapes of the paddles are a perfect blend of elongated and widebody-shaped paddles, which means they have enough length and width, providing maximum power and spin with a large sweet spot.
People Also Ask
How Do I Know What Size Pickleball Paddle I Need?
You can choose an ideal paddle according to your requirements by considering the products specific to your skill level. In other words, the size of a pickleball paddle depends on your level.
What Is The Difference Between A 16mm & 13mm Pickleball Paddle?
As I mentioned earlier, a paddle has two types of cores. A thick core is 16mm in measurement, while a thin core is 11mm in measurement. 13mm is the medium core thickness of a paddle, which is ideal for many players.
How Do You Pick The Best Pickleball Paddle?
Many factors play a significant role in affecting the performance of a pickleball paddle. I have listed some of the most prominent factors in the above guide when investing money in a pickleball paddle.
Should The Pickleball Paddle Be Lighter Or Heavier?
Pickleball paddles come in three weight options. A lightweight paddle is ideal for all players, while a medium-weight paddle can work best for intermediate and professional players. In contrast, a heavy paddle works for only a few people because it is difficult to handle and causes injuries if not held properly.
What Is The Difference Between Thin And Thick Pickleball Paddles?
If you want your equipment to have maximum power, a thinner paddle is perfect. On the other hand, a thicker paddle is ideal for better control and softball impact. I prefer a thick paddle because it enhances your performance to a great extent.
How To Choose A Pickleball Paddle For Beginners?
If you are a beginner, go for midweight paddles, which best suit their gameplay because it offers a perfect blend of control and power. Moreover, they provide less vibration and more accuracy. Graphite paddles are preferred for beginners as they provide less vibration and more accuracy to get a better grip on the game.
What Makes A Good Pickleball Paddle?
A good pickleball paddle combines a sturdy yet lightweight design, offering easy maneuverability and durability. Ideal paddles have a surface that ensures excellent ball control and spin and a comfortable grip that reduces hand fatigue. The best paddles also balance power and control, enhancing both aggressive smashes and precise dinks.
What Is The Best Material For Pickleball Paddle?
The best material for a pickleball paddle depends on the player’s style and level. Graphite paddles offer a great balance of lightness and strength, ideal for control and quick reactions. Composite paddles are preferred for their power and larger sweet spot, making them suitable for aggressive play.
If you are curious about choosing the perfect pickleball paddle, the above guide can solve your problem. Various factors affect the performance of a paddle in the game. The paddle’s weight, grip size, core material, core thickness, and many other characteristics are essential. Read the USAPA guide to explore the details of each factor individually.
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I, Jeena Noven, am a renowned pickleball expert and author with over 10 years of experience playing and coaching the sport. My passion and extensive knowledge of pickleball has made me a leading authority in the game, particularly in the field of footwear. I have written countless articles for https://pickleballcard.com/, a website dedicated to pickleball, sharing my insights and expertise on the best shoes for the sport. Through personal testing and reviewing countless different brands and styles, I have developed a deep understanding of the technical aspects of shoe design that make them suitable for the demands of pickleball. In my articles, I provide valuable information for both beginner and advanced players, covering everything from the basics of shoe fit and support, to advanced tips for maximizing performance on the court. As a dedicated pickleball player and expert in footwear, I am a valuable resource for players of all levels. My articles are not only informative but also engaging, making them a must-read for anyone looking to improve their pickleball game. I am constantly researching new products and trends in the industry and my readers can always count on me to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on the best pickleball shoes available.