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Which is Better Graphite or Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle? - PAKLE

Which is Better Graphite or Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle?

Introduction

Did you know that Pickleball has bagged the spot of being the fastest-growing sport in the USA for five consecutive years? Reports from National Public Radio (NPR) have it that 19% of the adult population plays Pickleball at least once a year. With the ever-increasing number, one question that comes to mind is what is so intriguing about Pickleball?

 

Listen up! The beauty of Pickleball lies in the fact that it is an all-inclusive sport. You can enjoy Pickleball with your family and your friends regardless of how old they are. That's not all! Pickleball can be played both indoors and outdoors.

 

Do you need a sport to bond over with family and friends indoors? Not to worry, Pickleball is your go-to buddy.

 

Pickleball thrived so well during the COVID-19 pandemic because people could play the game indoors. If you're not an indoor person, there is also outdoor pickleball.

 

Pickleball is easy. However, for you to have fun with it, you need some equipment. Your Pickleball Paddle is one of the most important pieces of equipment you need to effectively play.

 

One common mistake Pickleball players make is that they randomly pick up any paddle. They do not make any effort to check out what it's made from or if it suits their needs. Not to mince words, your type of paddle will affect how good or bad you play. Hence, knowing the available pickleball paddle material and what they do is very important.

 

A graphite paddle might be perfect for your friend while a fiberglass paddle might not be so good for you! There are different types of paddles to suit different needs.

 

If you are about to make the mistake of buying any random Pickleball paddle, you are in the right place! This piece will enlighten you on everything you need to know about Graphite Paddles and Fiberglass Paddles.

 

 

Understanding Pickleball Paddles

You need to know the components of a pickleball paddle to make wise pickleball paddle choices. The following are the major components of a Pickleball Paddle;

 

  • Honeycomb Core: The Honeycomb Core is the innermost layer of a Paddle. Usually, honeycomb panels constitute the larger part of the paddles. Honeycomb panels have light structures. Hence, they are best suited for Pickleball Paddles. They separate the top and bottom face sheets of your paddle. The honeycomb must provide shear stiffness to the paddle which makes it bendable especially when other materials like wood or cardboard are added.

 

  • Top and Bottom Face Sheets: The Top and Bottom Face Sheets are what the Pickleball ball comes in contact with. They are the surface of your paddle. They are made up of layup composite materials like fiberglass and graphite which we would examine in a bit.

 

  • Handle: The handle of a Pickleball Paddle is what holds the weight of the paddle. It is usually rubber or leather made. The handle is used for lifting the entirety of the paddle and it aids playing effectively.

 

Aside from the components or the paddles, there is also the core of a Pickleball Paddle. The core of a Pickleball Paddle is an important element that determines the overall performance of your paddle. There are two major types of core;

 

  • Polypropylene Core: Polypropylene is made from rubber. It is known for its durability and it gives you a light paddle. It also has a stiffness that helps the ball bounce better.

 

  • Nomex Core: Nomex is made up of aramid fibers and resin. Nomex is known for its durability and stiffness. It's stiffer than polypropylene cores and its stiffness helps it to be stronger. One thing you should have in mind when going for this core is that having precise shots can be a little difficult especially if you are just a beginner. You might need a pickleball wrist brace for this one. Nomex cores are best suited for professionals.

 

Generally, Pickleball Paddles are made from fiber like fiberglass and graphite that are held together by a binder like epoxy.

Note that if you want a paddle that has power, go for a heavier paddle like a Fiberglass. On the other hand, a graphite paddle is more suitable for players that are heavy on control.

 

 

The Basics of Graphite Paddles

Graphite Paddles have the thinnest and lightest surface materials you would ever see. They are so light that a lot of people think that they can't smack a ball without falling apart. Do not be deceived! Graphite Paddles are made from a very rigid and stiff material.

 

You can make powerful shots with Graphite Paddles but you also need your skills. Do you prefer touch over power? Then graphite paddle is for you. These are the pros and cons that come with Graphite Paddles;

Pros

  • Lightweight For Quick, Responsive Play: Graphite Paddles are made from a light material. This makes it easy for you to easily maneuver and play comfortably. A graphite paddle has a softer feel that doesn't always require you to have a pickleball wrist brace.

 

  • Offers Excellent Touch and Control For Strategic Shots: Graphite Paddles can help you get great and smooth shots. A graphite paddle has a softer surface. What this does for you is that you get to control the ball as it is coming. No stress!

 

 

Cons

 

  • Typically More Expensive: Pickleball Paddles are generally expensive. Graphite Paddles are even more expensive. Don't be afraid — The higher the price, the more value you get.

 

  • Less Power Compared to Heavier Paddles: Graphite Paddles are not as strong as Fiberglass Paddles when it comes to power. This is due to the softness of the surface area.

 

The Basics of Fiberglass Paddles

Fiberglass Paddles are made from fibers. These fibers are compressed under high degrees of heat and pressure. They are soaked in resin after the compression to produce a glass-like texture.

 

Fiberglass Paddles are heavy paddles. They are very durable and they stand the test of time. Their pros and cons include;

 

Pros

  • Generally provides more power, suitable for aggressive players: Fiberglass Paddles generate less spin because of their rigid nature. This will help you have more control over shots. This paddle is best suited for players who lean towards speed rather than technique.

 

  • Often more affordable than graphite options: Are you looking for a cheap yet quality pickleball paddle? Graphite Paddles are your best bet. The best part is that they are as effective as any other pickleball paddle.

 

 Cons

  • Heavier, which might reduce speed and responsiveness: The core weight of Fiberglass Paddles makes it heavier. You might have a tacky game if you are not used to it.

 

  • Some players may find it offers less control: Stay away from Fiberglass Paddles if you are not accustomed to it. The result of sticking to it will be you having a bad game or worse still, hurting your arm in the process. A pickleball wrist brace might help you prevent or minimize hurting.

 

Key Differences Between Graphite and Fiberglass Paddles

Graphite Paddles and Fiberglass Paddles have quite distinct features. Both paddles are great for playing pickleball. Check out some of their key characteristics and know what best suits your needs.

 

  • Weight and Handling: Graphite Paddles are made from a strong material but they are very light when you carry them. Do not be deceived by how light a Graphite Paddle is as it is pretty strong. Fiberglass Paddles, on the other hand, are heavier than Graphite Paddles. It sometimes gets hard to make precise shots especially if you are not a pro. The weight might require you to get a pickleball wrist brace.

 

  • Control and Power: Graphite Paddles are popular for control. When a ball comes in contact with it, there is an easy “bounce back”. This helps the player to easily maneuver and enjoy the game. Fiberglass Paddles are more powerful than Graphite Paddles. This is majorly attributed to their rigid nature. It is best suited for aggressive players.

 

  • Price range: A distinguishing factor between Graphite Paddles and Fiberglass Paddles is the price difference. Fiberglass Paddles are budget-friendly.  Graphite Paddles,  on the other hand,  are quite expensive. The price difference does not make one paddle superior to the other. Note that difference in price does not necessarily make one paddle superior to the other. If you're on a tight budget, check out  pakle for pocket friendly  prices for each paddle.

 

  • Durability and Longevity: Graphite Paddles will be perfect for you whether or not you are a frequent player. Its longevity is preserved even when it takes hits back to back. Fiberglass Paddles on the hand suffer wear and tear easily. You might need to replace it often because of the synthetic composite structure within the paddle.

 

Choosing the Right Paddle for Your Play Style

Power and Control are common terms used in Pickleball. As the names imply, a power player prioritizes how hard he/she hits and how powerful the hits are. A control player is more concerned with how precise the shots are and how the shots are guided to the short pickleball net height.

 

Graphite paddles are best for control players while

 fiberglass paddles are perfect for power players.

 

For players prioritizing control and finesse (graphite):

  • Go for a Graphite Paddle.
  • Test the paddle and see how best it fits you.
  • Get your paddle from a trustworthy vendor.

 

 

For players who prefer power and a heavy-hitting game (fiberglass):

  • A Fiberglass Paddle is perfect if you want power.
  • Get a pickleball paddle wrist brace to ward away any soreness.
  • Test your paddle before purchasing it.

 

Tips on testing paddles before purchase.

Here is your pickleball paddle selection guide. Follow these tips when you want to buy a pickleball paddle;

  • Test different paddles before making a final purchase.
  • Get a demo before buying the paddle. This will help you make better choices.
  • Watch out for how each paddle feels in terms of grip comfort, control, and weight.
  • Do not shy away from comparing paddles to see which one is best for you.
  • You can borrow paddles from your friends or club members. This will help you test different paddles.
  • Pickleball expos and tournaments feature the latest pickleball paddle technologies. You can test them at the designated booths.

 

Conclusion

There you have it! Graphite Paddle vs Fiberglass Paddle; what is the choice?

 

Both types of paddles are good for playing pickleball. It is your needs that should determine which paddle you go for. Avoid the temptation of going for a paddle because every other person has it. Check out Pakle to see what you need and tailor your paddle choices to suit your needs.

 

There are other things you should also take into consideration. Things like a Pickleball Paddle grip size, paddle shape, and paddle weight, amongst others are factors you don't want to joke with. Is the Paddle’s weight hurting your hand at every swing? Does the shape feel off to you? Is the handle too big for you to grab? You need to consider all these things. Think about this, a child cannot enjoy using a youth pickleball paddle. A junior pickleball paddle is what best fits the child.

 

Remember, the end goal is to get what pleases you. Try out different paddles at every opportunity you get. You never can tell when you'll find your soulmate paddle. Good luck with your Pickleball Paddle selection race!

 

 

 

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