How to Choose a Pickleball Paddle?

How to Choose a Pickleball Paddle

Last updated on February 6th, 2023 at 01:49 pm

If you are starting pickleball as a new player, you may think that any pickleball paddle, also known as a pickleball racquet, will do. However, there are many factors that you should consider when it comes to picking out that perfect paddle. Some things to consider are the paddle’s size and shape, handle length, surface material, and core.


So, is it better to have a heavyweight or a lightweight paddle? Which shape will be the best choice for you? How much do they cost, and how long can you expect a new paddle to last? Are there particular brands you should be looking for when getting a paddle?


Here is the complete guide on how to choose a pickleball paddle!


Which Weight is Best for a Pickleball Racquet?

Which Weight is Best for a Pickleball Racquet

Most pickleball paddles weigh between 7 and 8.5 ounces, and there are three weight classes for paddles. Any paddle between 7 and 7.6 ounces is considered a lightweight paddle. Between 7.6 and 8.2 is a midweight paddle, and anything larger than that is a heavyweight one.


A lighter paddle will be comfortable when maneuvering, which can be a good advantage during volleys. However, a lightweight paddle is meant for something other than power; your swings might need more power if your paddle is too light.


Heavier paddles are usually considered more stable during a swing; there will be less wobble when you hit the ball. Additionally, a heavier paddle will produce more power during your swing. Whatever weight you choose is entirely up to you and what you want to do on the pickleball court.


Which Shape is Best?

Which Shape is Best

There are three main pickleball paddle shapes: elongated, widebody, and classic. Elongated paddles are longer than the other shapes, which will help you produce more power and a better spin on the ball. However, these shapes of paddles also have a much smaller sweet spot and are more challenging to maneuver.


As their name suggests, widebody paddles have a wider face than the other shapes of paddles. Widebody will also give you the largest area of a sweet spot, and you can easily maneuver it. Unfortunately, you may notice a decrease in the power you can generate with these paddles and a shorter reach.


Classic-shaped pickleball paddles are the original shape and the most common ones used by other pickleball players. These are the best paddles to choose from if you want an even mix across the board.


Which Surface Material is Best?

Which Surface Material is Best

There are also three main surface material types to choose from when picking the best pickleball paddle. The first type of surface material is fiberglass. With a fiberglass paddle, you can generate a lot of power, and it is relatively flexible. However, you will have a very small sweet spot on your hitting surface.


Carbon fiber paddles are the most popular type of pickleball paddles. You will get less power than with a fiberglass paddle, but you will have a much larger sweet spot to work with. The last type of surface material commonly used for paddles is graphite. Since graphite is a type of carbon fiber, it can be hard to tell the difference between the two paddles.


Additionally, there are often hybrid-type pickleball paddles that are used. These paddles will offer a mixture of three types of surface material, allowing you to mix and match what benefits you want and what downsides you are willing to work with. You will also want to inspect the honeycomb core on the face of the paddle. This feature will provide additional power to your hits.


Which Core Material is Best?

Which Core Material is Best

There are three main types of core material you can choose from on your quest to pick out the right pickleball paddle for yourself. These types of core materials are wood, graphite, and composite. Each of these has its own set of benefits and drawbacks.


For instance, the main advantage of wood paddles is that they are cheap! If you want to try pickleball or are a new player, get a cheap wooden paddle. However, if you want to get more serious, you will want to upgrade to one of the other types.


Graphite pickleball paddles are super strong and deliver great power while hitting the ball. They are also lightweight, which makes them the top choice of many professionals, including Ben Johns. Composite paddles are better for precision and produce little power. These are great for anyone between the beginner stage and the pro stage. Polymer and aluminum cores are other, less common types of paddle cores.


What is the Average Lifespan of a Pickleball Paddle?

What is the Average Lifespan of a Pickleball Paddle

When buying anything, you want more than a few uses out of your pickleball paddle, so lifespan is another essential factor to consider. Of course, this will vary widely based on how much you play. If you are a recreational player, you can get up to a few years out of your paddle.


However, professionals and tournament players should consider replacing their paddles more often.


What is a Good Pickleball Paddle for a Beginner?

What is a Good Pickleball Paddle for a Beginner

Wooden paddles are one of the best for beginners. They are cheap enough that you will be happy buying them if you do not enjoy pickleball. But they also provide beginner players with everything they need to get a good feel for the game.


Long story short, if you are a beginner, you want to look for a paddle with a thicker core and a carbon fiber paddle surface. These will give you plenty of control while trying to learn the basics of the game.


Do Expensive Paddles Make a Difference?

Pickleball paddles vary in price, ranging from as low as ten dollars to over 200 dollars. You will see a difference in performance the higher you go in price, but remember that the brand name may have something to do with that. Instead of going for the best-known brand, inspect the features of the paddle to see what works best for you.


What are the Most Popular Paddle Brands?

According to Forbes, the best overall pickleball paddle is made by Selkirk. Some other brands listed by Forbes are Head, which is also a popular racket for tennis players, Prolite, Paddletek, Gamma, Onix, Joola, OneShot, and Nettie.


Conclusion: How to Choose a Pickleball Paddle?

In conclusion, there is much more to consider when choosing the perfect pickleball paddle for your game. You will want to think about your style of play, how the paddle feels in your hand, and whether you are looking for finesse or power.


After this, you will want to choose the core material, surface material, shape, and weight that is best for you. Grip size and handle length are also important factors to consider. Once you have chosen the right paddle, it is time to get on that court and start having fun!


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