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PICKLEBALL PADDLE BUYING GUIDE

Learn how to choose the right pickleball paddle for you

PICKLEBALL PADDLE BUYING GUIDE

Learn how to choose the right pickleball paddle for you

 

Choosing the right pickleball paddle is crucial for this exciting game. Whether you're a beginner or a pro, your playing style determines the type of paddle that suits you on the court. Besides performance, factors like materials, shape, core, face, and handle can impact your decision.

PICKLEBALL PADDLE COMPOSITION

Paddle Shape: This includes the length of the paddle. The width must be no more than 24"
Paddle Core: This Includes the material type, density, and thickness
Paddle Face: This includes material type, number of layers, finish, and texture
Paddle Handle: Handles ranges from 4″ to 6.25,″ including the length and circumference
Paddle Weight: Weights of the paddle ranges from light, medium to heavy
Paddle Grip: Grips are available in thin, standard, and thick grips ranging from 3 5/8" to 4.5"+

PICKLEBALL PADDLE SELECTION GUIDE: KEY FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING

 

Pickleball paddles utilize a variety of materials and technologies that enhance specific play characteristics on the court. Other important factors to consider include:
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Paddle shape / Core material / Face material / Length of the handle / Paddle weight / Grip that fits your hand size / Play style

1. PICKLEBALL PADDLE SHAPES

The handle's length is crucial for deciding the height of the paddle face and where the sweet spot is. A longer handle means a higher sweet spot, ranging from 4.5" to 6" in length. However, since the total length and width of the paddle can't go beyond 24," adding inches to the handle reduces the paddle face's surface area. If you're playing with two hands, make sure the handle is at least 5 1/2" long.
STANDARD

The standard shape is the classic size you often see on the pickleball court, suitable for athletes who play a balanced game. This shape works well for any skill level. The usual grip lengths for these paddles are usually between 4 ½” and 5 ¼”.

ELONGATED

Great for solo players, an elongated paddle has a narrow body, measuring 16" or longer. It's perfect for players looking to enhance reach and power in their gameplay. The extended, slim design slightly elevates the sweet spot's position. While offering more reach, power, and spin. But, keep in mind that this paddle has a smaller sweet spot.

WIDE-BODY

For beginner players, wide-body paddles are a great option. These paddles provide a larger area for hitting the ball, making them easier to control and offering a generous sweet spot. The wider design is helpful for beginners, giving them room for mistakes and a better learning experience during play. Typically, these paddles have a width of 8'' or more.

STANDARD

The standard shape is the classic size you often see on the pickleball court, suitable for athletes who play a balanced game. This shape works well for any skill level. The usual grip lengths for these paddles are usually between 4 ½” and 5 ¼”.

ELONGATED

Great for solo players, an elongated paddle has a narrow body, measuring 16" or longer. It's perfect for players looking to enhance reach and power in their gameplay. The extended, slim design slightly elevates the sweet spot's position. While offering more reach, power, and spin. But, keep in mind that this paddle has a smaller sweet spot.

WIDE-BODY

For beginner players, wide-body paddles are a great option. These paddles provide a larger area for hitting the ball, making them easier to control and offering a generous sweet spot. The wider design is helpful for beginners, giving them room for mistakes and a better learning experience during play. Typically, these paddles have a width of 8'' or more.

2. PICKLEBALL PADDLE MATERIAL IN CORE

The core, made of material and varying thickness, plays a crucial role. Thicker cores absorb more energy, offering better control. Conversely, thinner cores return more energy to the ball, providing increased power.

FIBERGLASS

Fiberglass, a lightweight and durable material, enhances the performance of pickleball paddles. Its high strength-to-weight ratio provides excellent power and control, making it a preferred choice for players seeking optimal playability.

CARBON FIBER/GRAPHITE

Usually the most expensive paddle option, carbon fiber/graphite core materials are lightweight, easy to control and provide elite performance.

ALUMINUM

Aluminum is a smart and common choice for flexible maneuverability and control on the court, offering strength while staying lightweight in performance, especially when playing near the net.

NOMEX

The hardest and most robust paddle crafted from a cardboard-like material, ensures ample durability. Dipped in a special resin and formed in a honeycomb pattern, the material enables greater speed and power. However, it produces the loudest sound during play. It's favored by solo players for its ability to swiftly redirect the ball.

POLYPROPYLENE

The popular core material, is soft and flexible, making it the top choice for a quiet paddle that significantly boosts performance. It absorbs power, making it a versatile and ideal option for all play styles.

3. PICKLEBALL PADDLE MATERIALS IN FACE

The amount of energy absorbed or returned to the ball is determined by the face material. Since the face is the largest part of the paddle, the material significantly affects its performance. The paddle's face material is also crucial for improving spin. Athletes generate most of the spin on a ball through their stroke. A paddle enhances spin in two ways: friction or adhesion.

FIBERGLASS

For beginners, junior players, or those looking for a budget-friendly and lightweight paddle, fiberglass is an excellent choice. It's a popular face material known for providing maximum power, thanks to its textured surface, aiding athletes in achieving more spin and flexibility.

CARBON FIBER

For a mid-weight paddle, carbon fiber is the latest choice of face material. It offers massive power control on the ball, creating a large sweet spot. This is excellent for athletes who seek power.

GRAPHITE

Graphite, a top choice among competitive and professional athletes, is made of lightweight and soft material. It offers power and control on the court, making it an excellent solution for players looking for a paddle that's easy to handle for dinks and driving the ball down the court.

4. PICKLEBALL PADDLE HANDLE LENGTHS

The handle's length is crucial for deciding the height of the paddle face and where the sweet spot is. A longer handle means a higher sweet spot, ranging from 4.5" to 6" in length. However, since the total length and width of the paddle can't go beyond 24," adding inches to the handle reduces the paddle face's surface area. If you're playing with two hands, make sure the handle is at least 5 1/2" long.
SHORT < 4 3/4"

A shorter paddle, ideal for newcomers and those who prefer having one finger on the paddle face, brings the sweet spot closer to the hand. This design offers a larger surface area, resulting in a bigger sweet spot.

STANDARD 5"-5 1/4"

For all levels of enthusiasts, especially those who play with only one hand on the paddle, choosing the standard length is a smart decision.

LONG 5 1/2"+

Long-length paddles offer extended reach for groundstrokes, higher sweet spots, increased leverage on serves, and a bit more power. They become your great assistants, especially when playing with two hands.

SHORT < 4 3/4"

A shorter paddle, ideal for newcomers and those who prefer having one finger on the paddle face, brings the sweet spot closer to the hand. This design offers a larger surface area, resulting in a bigger sweet spot.

STANDARD 5"-5 1/4"

For all levels of enthusiasts, especially those who play with only one hand on the paddle, choosing the standard length is a smart decision.

LONG 5 1/2"+

Long-length paddles offer extended reach for groundstrokes, higher sweet spots, increased leverage on serves, and a bit more power. They become your great assistants, especially when playing with two hands.

5. PICKLEBALL PADDLE WEIGHT GUIDE

In pickleball, the weight of your paddle is crucial, as it determines the power and swing in your play. Generally, a heavier paddle delivers more power, while a lighter one allows quicker positioning for your next shot. This enhances shot control, and the ideal weight varies for each player.
LIGHT <7.2oz

Light paddles, easy to handle, offer a significant advantage at the net. However, one drawback is the need for a stronger swing to generate more power. These paddles are smart choices for enthusiasts with existing arm, wrist, elbow, or shoulder injuries.

MID 7.3-8.4oz

For most players, the best choice is mid-weight paddles, weighing between 7.3 oz. and 8.4 oz. They're ideal for newcomers figuring out their play style.

HEAVY >8.5oz

Designed for players seeking power and hitting hard shots from the baseline, heavy weight paddles weigh 8.5+ oz. However, these paddles are not the best choice for players with existing arm, wrist, elbow, or shoulder injuries due to their heavyweight.

LIGHT <7.2oz

Light paddles, easy to handle, offer a significant advantage at the net. However, one drawback is the need for a stronger swing to generate more power. These paddles are smart choices for enthusiasts with existing arm, wrist, elbow, or shoulder injuries.

MID 7.3-8.4oz

For most players, the best choice is mid-weight paddles, weighing between 7.3 oz. and 8.4 oz. They're ideal for newcomers figuring out their play style.

HEAVY >8.5oz

Designed for players seeking power and hitting hard shots from the baseline, heavy weight paddles weigh 8.5+ oz. However, these paddles are not the best choice for players with existing arm, wrist, elbow, or shoulder injuries due to their heavyweight.

6. PICKLEBALL PADDLE GRIP SIZE

Pickleball paddle grips typically range from 3 5/8" to 4.5"+ in circumference. Pick the grip size that suits your hand best for optimal performance.
THIN <4 1/8"

For small hands, a thin grip size is ideal, but it gives the paddle a bit less cushioning.

STANDARD 4 1/4" - 4 3/8"

Most enthusiasts prefer the standard grip size because it's popular for its feel and comfort.

THICK >4 1/2"

A thicker grip size is great for bigger hands, offering extra cushion for the paddle.

THIN <4 1/8"

For small hands, a thin grip size is ideal, but it gives the paddle a bit less cushioning.

STANDARD 4 1/4" - 4 3/8"

Most enthusiasts prefer the standard grip size because it's popular for its feel and comfort.

THICK >4 1/2"

A thicker grip size is great for bigger hands, offering extra cushion for the paddle.

7. DETERMINING GRIP SIZE FOR YOUR PICKLEBALL PADDLE

7.1 FINGER TEST

Raise your dominant palm, and observe the three main creases. Use a ruler to measure from the middle crease of your palm to the tip of your ring finger. This measurement indicates the ideal grip size. When in doubt between two sizes, opt for the smaller one.

7.2 HEIGHT CONTRAST

Refer to the chart for comparison and choose the grip length that suits you best.

7.3 INDEX FINGER TEST

1. Hold the pickleball paddle with your regular grip.

2. Put the index finger of your free hand in the gap between the fingertips and thumb of the hand holding the paddle.

3. If your index finger fits comfortably in the gap, you probably have the right pickleball grip size.

4. If your index finger is too snug, the grip may be too small. If there's plenty of room on either side of your index finger, the grip may be too large.

8. PICKLEBALL PLAYER TYPE

Find the perfect pickleball paddle based on your player type.
BALANCE

It's important that paddles are easy to swing and comfortable to hold. Look for features like a light to medium weight, a comfortable grip, a large sweet spot, and a good balance of power and control.

CONTROL

Paddles with a good touch usually come with a bigger and steady sweet spot, making them forgiving if you don't hit perfectly. Important features include a rounder shape, a thicker core, a face made of graphite or carbon fiber, a handle of traditional length or shorter, and lighter weights.

POWER

Paddles with more power usually have smaller sweet spots and offer better feedback. Important features include a longer shape, thinner core, fiberglass face, extended handle, and heavier weights.

BALANCE

It's important that paddles are easy to swing and comfortable to hold. Look for features like a light to medium weight, a comfortable grip, a large sweet spot, and a good balance of power and control.

CONTROL

Paddles with a good touch usually come with a bigger and steady sweet spot, making them forgiving if you don't hit perfectly. Important features include a rounder shape, a thicker core, a face made of graphite or carbon fiber, a handle of traditional length or shorter, and lighter weights.

POWER

Paddles with more power usually have smaller sweet spots and offer better feedback. Important features include a longer shape, thinner core, fiberglass face, extended handle, and heavier weights.

NOW, Unlock Your Pickleball Adventure!

NOW, Unlock Your Pickleball Adventure!