When it comes to playing pickleball, having the right paddle can make all the difference in your game. But with so many different paddles on the market, how do you choose the right one for you?
In this guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know before buying a pickleball paddle so you can make the best decision for your playing style.
What is a Pickleball Paddle?
A pickleball paddle is a simple piece of equipment—it’s just a paddle, after all. But there’s a lot more to it than that. Pickleball paddles are made out of different materials, they come in different shapes and sizes, and they’re each designed for a specific type of play. In other words, there’s a lot to consider when you’re choosing a pickleball paddle. But don’t worry—we’ll help you make the right choice.
What to Look for in a Pickleball Paddle?
When you’re shopping for a pickleball paddle, there are a few key things to keep in mind. Here are the most important factors to consider:
Pickleball paddles typically range in weight from 6 ounces to 14 ounces. The weight you choose will depend on your personal preference and playing style. If you’re a power player who likes to put a lot of spin on the ball, a heavier paddle will give you more control. If you’re a finesse player who relies on quickness and agility, a lighter paddle will be easier to maneuver.
The grip size of your paddle should be comfortable in your hand. You don’t want it to be too small or too large, as this can affect your control of the paddle. Most paddles have a grip size of 4 inches to 5 inches.
The length of your paddle should be based on your height. If you’re taller than average, you may want a longer paddle for better reach. If you’re shorter than average, a shorter paddle will be easier to control.
The width of your paddle should also be based on your height. If you’re taller, you can usually handle a wider paddle. If you’re shorter, a narrower paddle will be easier to maneuver.
Pickleball paddles are typically made from one of three materials: wood, composite, or graphite. Each material has its own benefits and drawbacks. Wood paddles are the most affordable but also the heaviest. Composite paddles are a good middle-of-the-road option, while graphite paddles are the lightest and most expensive.
The shape of a paddle is also important. You want a paddle that has a large sweet spot and a wide body. A paddle with a small sweet spot will be difficult to hit the ball with and a paddle with a narrow body will not have as much power.
The price of a paddle is also important. You want a paddle that is affordable but also of good quality. We recommend a paddle that is between $50 and $100.
How to Choose the Right Pickleball Paddle for You?
Now that you know what to look for in a pickleball paddle, it’s time to choose the right one for you. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Your playing style: If you’re a power player, you’ll want a heavier paddle with more control. If you’re a finesse player, you’ll want a lighter paddle that’s easier to maneuver.
Your skill level: If you’re a beginner, you’ll want a paddle that’s easy to control. If you’re more advanced, you can choose a paddle that’s better suited to your playing style.
Your budget: Pickleball paddles range in price from $30 to $200. If you’re just starting out, you may want to choose a more affordable option. If you’re more serious about the game, you may want to invest in a higher-quality paddle.
Your local climate: If you live in a hotter climate, you may want to choose a paddle made from a material that won’t get too hot to the touch. If you live in a colder climate, you may want to choose a paddle made from a material that won’t crack in the cold weather.
Your physicality: If you have any injuries or physical limitations, you’ll want to choose a paddle that’s comfortable and easy to use.
The type of pickleball you’re playing: If you’re playing indoors, you’ll want a different paddle than if you’re playing outdoors. Indoor paddles are typically smaller and lighter, while outdoor paddles are larger and heavier.
Once you’ve considered all of these factors, you should have a good idea of the type of paddle you need. If you’re still not sure, you can always seek out expert advice from a local pickleball pro shop or coach.
Common Pickleball Paddle Terms
If you’re new to the game of pickleball, you may be wondering about some of the terminology used to describe paddles. Here are a few common terms you’ll come across:
Face: The face of a paddle is the playing surface. It’s important to choose a paddle with a smooth face for better control.
Edge guard: An edge guard is a strip of material that runs along the edge of the paddle. It helps to protect the paddle from wear and tear.
Sweet spot: The sweet spot is the area of the paddle face that produces the best results when hit by the ball. It’s typically located in the center of the paddle.
Grip: The grip is the part of the paddle you hold. It’s important to choose a grip that’s comfortable and won’t slip in your hand.
These are just a few of the most common paddle terms. For more information about choosing the right paddle for your playing style, consult a pickleball coach or instructor.