We offer pickleball paddles for every level of player from top-of-the-line performance paddles to our aspiring intermediate player paddles, to beginning recreational paddles. Each paddle is unique and different and finding the best paddle proven to produce results for your game can be daunting. Yet, learning the simple terminology about pickleball paddles, types of materials, shapes, faces, and weights, can help make this buying process a breeze. In this easy-to-follow guide, we will cover:
- What Paddle Is Best For You?
When you’re done learning about the top factors to consider when choosing a pickleball paddle, read through our paddle selector questionnaire to help narrow down which paddle you should play with!
The weight of a paddle affects the player’s comfort and performance. Light paddles will be easier to maneuver, while heavier paddles will generate more momentum. Paddles are available in less than 7.4 oz., which are considered light weight, between 7.4 oz. and 8.2 oz., or medium weight paddles, and heavy weight which are greater than 8.2 oz.
Paddle shapes affect the weight and the sweet spot (where you get the most control and power on your shots). Wider paddles will have a larger sweet spot, while narrower paddles will have a smaller but more concentrated sweet spot. Wide bodied paddles are the most popular because of the generous sweet spot. The standard shape has a longer handle and more torque. Elongated paddles give player a longer reach.
The core construction (material in between the faces of the paddle) gives the paddle stability while keeping it light weight. The core also provides different attributes to the performance. Polypropylene cores are quieter with a balanced blend of touch and power. Aluminum have an easier touch and an ability to soften shots made at the net. Nomex cores are balanced, strong, and durable.
The material on the face of the paddle also contributes to the weight and play of the paddle. Some paddles have a rough textured surface (to produce spin) while smoother surfaces produce better touch and consistency. Wooden paddles are for more entry-level players and are heavier and less experience. Composite paddles are harder, tend to be more powerful with less control. Graphite paddles are strong with a lighter surface with more touch and control.
Consider asking yourself these questions to help determine which pickleball paddle is right for you.
What level pickleball player do you consider yourself to be?
Are you a professional tournament player who regularly plays professionally in tournaments, an advanced player who consistently plays and competes at a high-level of play, an intermediate player who has some experience and aspiring to play at the next level, or are you a recreational beginner who is learning to play the game for the first time? If you play in tournaments or consider yourself an advanced player, look for a more expensive, higher-end paddle. If your game is not yet consistent, consider starting small and working your way up as your passion grows and you learn more about your style of play.
How often do you play?
You may play daily and never miss a day on the court, weekly with friends, monthly where you would love to play more but can only make it out once a month, or maybe only a few times a year!
What is the main benefit you’re looking for from a pickleball paddle?
If you’re looking for power, the heavier paddles produce for power and allow you to put the ball away. If you’re looking for feel, standard to heavy weight paddles allow you to focus on the ball strike and contact. If it’s control, standard weight paddles can pinpoint shots for increased control. Many players are looking for spin, which requires your paddle to have more texture on the paddle face which improves topspin and backspin on the ball. If you aren’t sure what you’re looking for in a paddle, it’s best to start playing and get a feel for different paddles and how you enjoy playing the game.