Pickleball is a popular sport that was invented in 1965. Today, it’s played by people of all ages and skill levels. A game can be hosted with two players on each side or five players on each team (4 paddlers and 1 striker). Pickleball paddles are crucial equipment for the game; they determine how you play your game! You will need to find pickleball paddles that suit your playing style. There are three aspects to consider when purchasing one: weight, grip size and shape. If you’re new to picking out paddle brands, these things can feel overwhelming at first but don’t worry – we’ll walk you through what you should know about these factors below!
So in this guide, we will give you the best advice on what you should be careful when buying a pickleball paddle. To simplify this process, you need to be careful of these three main things:
Buying a Pickleball Paddle
- The paddle needs to have a proper weight with which you can play best with
- It should have a grip size that will fit your hand
- It needs to have a good shape and it should be built in a way that matches your playing style
You may have difficulty choosing between different pickleball paddles since there are so many new models as this is one of the fastest-growing sports in the US. Therefore, we designed this article to better help you when choosing a proper pickleball paddle.
Factors You Need to Consider When Choosing a Pickleball Paddle
There are many factors you need to consider when choosing a pickleball paddle. The first thing is the weight; it needs to suit your playing style and not be too heavy or light for you as this can affect how well you play with it. Another factor that matters in picking out paddles is the grip size, which should fit comfortably into one’s hand without slipping during gameplay. On top of those two factors mentioned above, there’s also shape – an important aspect that affects performance as different shapes require specific skillsets from players (for example: whether they’re more control-oriented or offensive).
Factor 1 – Weight
The weight is an important factor in choosing a pickleball paddle. You should consider your playing style and what kind of weight you prefer to use when making this purchase.
You may have seen people using different kinds of paddles out there so it’s hard to choose which one suits you best without knowing more about their weights. On the other hand, heavier paddles are better at controlling shots while lighter ones allow players to hit harder shots with greater speed; this makes them perfect for offensive-minded individuals who like doing fast smashes!
The weight should be one of your top priorities when choosing a paddle. The usual weight of a paddle is between 6 – 14 ounces. 6 being lightweight and 14 the hard paddles.
The weight of the paddle will determine how you feel when you are playing on the court. Be careful though, because even if you buy a lightweight paddle, after hundreds of swings, it may become heavy. You will feel it most on your shoulder, elbow and wrist.
Factor 2 – Grip Size
Another thing you need to pay attention to when buying a pickleball paddle is the grip size. There are several sizes of grips available in the market, so it’s important that you know which one will fit your hand perfectly!
The general rule here is that players should have no more than half an inch between their palm and middle finger when holding the handle. It should be just right for them to maintain proper control over their shots while preventing any slippage during gameplay.
Grip sizing can be hard because many manufacturers use different standards for sizing paddles even if they’re similar models or brands within the same company. We recommend consulting with other people who play pickleball before making a purchase since everyone has unique preferences on how big the grip size should be.
You need to be very careful with this one, since if you choose the wrong paddle, it will feel like you’ve chosen the wrong shoes. Here are some things you need to know when choosing the perfect grip size of your paddle.
Smaller grip size:
It is good for someone who has smaller hands, but you will probably have weaker shots with less power. It does allow more wrist action though, which will make it easier to put a spin on the ball and improve the control. A smaller grip size will also give you more power to your serve.
Bigger grip size:
These are more stable, and they may improve your stroke stability, compared to a small grip size paddle. This will make the strain on the wrist a bit easier, as well as that on elbow and shoulder joints.
If you play with a paddle that has a grip that is too big, it may cause the paddle to slip in your hand. This can lead to an injury. Because of this, our recommendation is that if you are trying to decide between two sizes, try the smaller size first.
Competitive pickleball players frequently modify their paddle grips by wrapping them over again using an over-grip to match their own particular taste.
If you are not sure how to measure your grip size, this is our advice: try to increase the size by an overgrip. Remember that you can’t decrease the grip size though, therefore if you are in doubt when choosing a paddle, choose one that is 1/8 to 1/4 smaller.
To choose the right grip size do the following: Take a paddle in your normal grip and see if you can slip the finger of your other hand between your fingertips and the paddle’s heel. The space between the two plates should not require moving your fingers. If this is the case, you know that you’ve chosen the right pickleball paddle.
Choosing a Paddle Material
There are two types of pickleball paddles: the ones made out of wood and those with graphite or carbon fiber blades.
The wooden paddle is a classic one and it’s great if you want to improve your game by adding some power. It also performs well in humid conditions, which makes this material perfect for people who live near the ocean or suffer from sweaty hands when playing outside on hot days!
Pickleball players that like using strong shots such as smashes will love these kinds of paddles since they’re very durable; however, they tend to be more expensive than other models with different materials. Additionally, many beginners find them harder to use compared to bigger-bodied individuals because they are not used to it and they need more time to adjust.
The graphite and carbon fiber paddles are lightweight and provide a great deal of control. They don’t offer the same power as wooden ones, but pickleball players that need to improve their spiking skills will benefit from using them since they’re easier to maneuver; in addition, these materials do not absorb sweat well compared with wooden paddles so you may want to consider this when choosing your paddle.
If you enjoy playing in humid conditions or if you have sweaty hands, we suggest getting a model made out of wood because it’s better suited for such weather conditions. If on the other hand, you live somewhere hot but dry (desert) then get one with graphite/carbon material blades – it won’t be damaged by the sun.
There are also composite pickleball paddles. These are made out of a combination of wood and graphite. They are very durable, but they don’t absorb sweat well like the wooden ones do; therefore this is something you need to keep in mind when making your purchase.
Choosing a Shape
There are different shapes for pickleball paddles: Paddles with oval shapes have more surface area on their face compared to those with octagonal or circular ones. This makes them better for catching balls midair due to their larger sweet spot, however, it also means that if players hit the ball off-center there will be less power behind the shot as opposed to other types of paddle shapes which offer smaller areas for hitting errors to go unnoticed since they provide greater control over shots accuracy.
Core Construction of Pickleball Paddles
A less common technique that is gaining popularity among pickleball players involves the use of a softcore. These are made out of foam or rubber and they offer exceptional durability with great control over shots compared to other types, however, some people find them harder to play since there’s no pop behind their smashes due to having softer materials in the center. Some of these are also made of aluminum which makes it easier for the ball to spin.
Additional Things to Consider When Buying a Pickleball Paddle
Yes, the price is not the most important thing, but it is something that you need to consider when buying a pickleball paddle. If you are on a budget, you can always choose the cheaper models that provide decent quality; however, if money is not an issue then we suggest getting one with graphite or carbon fiber blades. These materials make these paddles lighter and they usually last longer than wooden ones without needing to be replaced frequently.
if you want to choose a good composite pickleball paddle, you need to know that their price starts around $50 USD. You also need to know that the price usually depends on the material and the size of the paddle. For instance, wooden paddles range from $13 – $36. The composite range from $45 – $145 and the graphite paddles range from $60 – $145 USD.
Now even though the wooden paddles are most affordable, they are super heavy and have a solid plywood core. You need to know that you won’t necessarily provide you the POP that you love. Therefore, if you want to consider buying a great paddle, we would recommend a graphite paddle, especially if you are new to pickleball.
I hope this article was helpful. I want to add that the shape of a pickleball paddle depends on personal preferences, but if you are new then we suggest going with an oval-shaped blade since it has one large sweet spot which makes picking up balls in midair easier and more accurate – thus giving players better control over their shots compared to other shapes where there is a smaller area for making errors when hitting miss center.
What we figured in this article is that the core construction of pickleball paddles is very important to consider, but it depends on what you want. If you are looking for the best durability then choose one with a solid plywood center; however, if you don’t like how heavy they are and would rather have something lighter weight – which also provides more POP behind your smashes (although not as much control) – then go with graphite or carbon fiber ones instead.
If money isn’t an issue for playing this game, we suggest choosing a pickleball paddle made out of graphite/carbon because these materials make them heavier than aluminum ones that provide exceptional spin when hitting balls off-center. However, even though wooden paddles are cheaper compared to others mentioned above, they are most heavy which can cause injuries, especially if you are a beginner.
Also, remember to choose the paddle according to the weight that is right for you. If you have a small hand, go with a small grip. If you have big hands, then go for the bigger ones!
If you don’t know your hand size, make sure to make a hand test that will help you choose the right paddle for you. You can do that by making a height test, finer test, and find a simple grip chart that will help you determine the right grip. However, if you are still in doubt, remember – choose the smaller grip – it will be a better choice for you.