How To Choose A Pickleball Paddle?

Pickleball is a fun and exciting sport that’s gaining popularity in the United States. This game was invented by Joel Pritchard, who retired from being a high school physical education teacher in Seattle. 

It’s impossible to play this game without pickleball paddles. A nice paddle would even enhance your skill and better your experience. However, when picking a paddle, there are many options to choose from, as it is difficult to know which one will best suit your needs! 

Therefore, today’s article teaches you how to choose a pickleball paddle that possesses good traits and suits your playing style. Let’s scroll down to read in detail!

What Factors To Consider When Choosing A Pickleball Paddle?

When picking out a pickleball paddle, there are three essential things to keep in mind. First off, you want something light enough for you to handle easily. Then comes the size, which would decide whether you have a natural sense while swinging around on the court! It’s also important to make sure the paddle suits your playing style. 

Any player knows how important their choice will impact gameplay since racquets can vary from similar but unique designs. Therefore, in this part, we will tell you about pickleball paddles in three categories: weight, material, and grip size. Let’s have a closer look! 

Weight 

Pickleball paddles vary by weight. The light ones are less than 7.3 oz, the medium ones fluctuate between 7.3 and 8.4 oz, and the heavy ones are between 8.5 and 9.5 oz. Each type has its typical features! 

Light Weight

From our experience, these types of paddles are less powerful and more about control. They are perfect for people who like to play in a dink and hit drop shots or play at the net where they need to be quick. 

Also, lightweight paddles are suitable for beginners and people who used to play ping pong, racquetball, or any sports that frequently require utilizing the wrist. 

Pickleball paddles have different weights

Mid Weight

If you’re looking for a lightweight paddle heavier than the ultra-light ones, then mid-weight paddles should be an option. They are ideal for providing enough power to hit serves and return strong shots without having to swing hard. It also means this type of racket helps prevent tennis elbow!

Heavy Weight

This weight option best fits players pursuing powerful shots, as they can hit the ball harder than using lightweight ones. These paddles usually weigh around 8 ounces to under 9 ounces and are made of wood or plastic. 

Older folks may prefer lighter-weight rackets for more control. When using heavy-weight rackets, they tend to lose their grip on the game. This happens when they face a fastball that flies off too quickly from a high speed after hitting it hard at full strength. 

If you are a beginner, the case is quite similar. It might be good for you to start with a light paddle as a heavier one may require too much force, and it can cause injury or pain. 

The above information must have pointed out the importance of knowing what is the best weight for a pickleball paddle before purchasing one.     

Material 

Pickleball paddles’ material varies differently from wood, composite, to graphite. Wood and composite pickleball paddles are the most popular types of playing equipment. At the same time, graphite is less common and more expensive. In this part, let’s start with wood first! 

Different materials are used to manufacture a paddle

Wood  

Wood makes up the heaviest Paddle out of the three, but they are the least expensive. This is probably the fact that raises many inquiries about: are wooden pickleball paddles good? 

Players who are new to the sport or unsure about investing in sports equipment might be tempted by a wood paddle. Once again, remember that wood ones would be much heavier, creating a terrain on utilizing it, especially for newbies.

Composite

Fiberglass is a popular composite material for paddles, and it might be because of its hard hits on the ball. One thing that people like about this material is that you can make the ball go faster. 

Another advantage of using fiberglass over other materials such as graphite or carbon fiber is its wide price range. Different appearances cost different price tags. This feature makes them even more desirable to customers who are looking into getting new ones!  

Graphite

Graphite and Carbon Fiber paddles are the most expensive on our list. And many people might be concerned about which is better: graphite or composite pickleball paddle. It depends on your style of playing. 

However, we can assure you that these materials have been known to be sturdier than fiberglass. So you don’t need to worry about breaking your pickleball paddles while enjoying your game. 

These two materials would best fit those seeking controllability. Though they aren’t as strong as their wooden counterparts, they offer accurate shots. Together with controllability, graphite and carbon fiber paddles are ideal for all types of players.

Grip Size  

There are three basic grips for pickleball, the Eastern Pickleball, the Western Pickleball, and the Continental Pickleball Grip.

The Eastern pickleball grip is the most popular grip for playing pickleball. Most beginners and intermediate players should use this grip! To expose it, hold your paddle like you utilize a hammer when hitting a nail. It will give your forehand more power to strike balls with force behind them. This style also enables players to hit both backhand and forehand shots. 

On the other hand, the Continental or Hammer Grip allows you to have good control of where on the racket face that contact occurs during advanced level play such as drop shots, “lobs”, etc.

Grip size directly affect your playing style

It is important to use a paddle that is the right size for your hand. If the grip on the paddle is too big, then it might slip out of your hand and cause you to have elbow problems. When it comes to choosing between two sizes, try the smaller size first.

Smaller grips allow for more wrist action when you play tennis. This will help you put a spin on the ball, and help you play better. One extremely comfortable advantage is that it helps us switch hands during games.

Customizing your paddle with an overgrip can make a big difference to the amount of power you’re able to generate. It’s worth doing for professional players as it’ll help stop fatigue and arm pain from taking hold.

Also, people use different grip sizes for paddles depending on their purposes. A common circumference of a paddle is 4 to 4 and 1/2 inches, which is similar to tennis grips. Some people have smaller or larger increments than an inch when purchasing these types of items, so you must think about your preference before finalizing the purchase decision in this regard.

How To Measure A Grip Size?

Normally, there are two ways to choose the perfect size for your ideal pickleball paddle. Just like how you choose your tennis racquet’s size. Yet, for some reason, you need to measure it differently.

You can measure a grip size in different ways

Method 1 – Utilizing A Tennis Racquet

To do so, you will have to prepare a tennis racquet or a pickleball paddle. Its grip size should not be built up or modified yet. You need to hold the racquet in the Eastern Forehand Grip style, then place your index finger in between your palm and fingers. 

If there is not enough space to fully put the finger in between, the grip isn’t big enough. On the contrary, if the space is large, this grip is bigger than needed. 

Method 2 – Use Your Hand

There are a few steps you can take to find your perfect racket grip. The first step is measuring the length of your hand and then finding the length from your ring finger’s tip to the bottom crease on your palm. If it matches the grip size, then congratulations, you’ve found out your best companion!. 

Make sure not to go any smaller because if you do, this could cause strain on your wrist or elbow during playtime. This isn’t good at all since there’s already enough force being exerted with each swing as it is (insert reference). 

However, just in case one doesn’t fit perfectly, don’t worry because most manufacturers offer grip sizes ranging between 3-5 inches, so everyone should be able to squeeze. Otherwise, you can increase the size by using overwraps to build them up.

What Other Factors To Consider When Choosing A Pickleball Paddle?

Besides a good grip, size and material, shape, price, and color are still worth considering when purchasing a pickleball paddle.

Shape 

There are many different shapes of paddles to choose from. 

Squared shape

A square paddle is the best all-around. Its performance is good and offers a large contact surface. Some of them are called wide-bodies, and they have a wider face and a bigger sweet spot. 

They are slightly heavier than other peers, but they can be worth it if you want more of an advantage in your game. However, if you decide to use the paddle for serious competition, you will have to keep in mind the answer to the question “What is the size of a pickleball paddle?” as the size matters too. 

Pickleball paddles have different shapes

Elongated shape

The Gamma Pins are known as elongated shape paddles. They are good for groundstrokes and baseline play, and many use them in professional courses. Though this shape provides users a longer reach, it comes with a narrow “sweet spot.”

Head shape

This design is similar to a stop sign, which helps you get a more consistent shot and reach shots near the ground more easily. 

So we can see that different shapes of paddles bring about typical strengths. Longer paddles have more power, and there is a strong baseline play. Still, they are harder to use, while wider paddles are easier to use.

Price 

Wooden paddles would be a wise option for those with a tight budget, or they just want to play it for a short period because they’re relatively affordable. They also require little effort from players to utilize it. Moreover, like mentioned above, professionals would gain better power by using wooden paddles.

Wood paddles are the cheapest ones

If you have a bigger budget and can spend more on your pickleball paddles, we suggest you move your interests onto other materials. Because beginners would better benefit themselves by using lighter ones that provide you with more control and accuracy. 

The price of these paddles often varies widely. That’s why you should choose your paddle’s material carefully. To do so, you can borrow from your acquaintances to see if it fits you first, then choose your ideal one based on your own experiences.

Color 

There are many paddle colors for you to choose

Pickleball paddles come in all sorts of colors. There are multiple choices for you to choose from, especially when you want to match your outfit with the color of the paddle. 

When you choose colors, make sure they look professional and make you look like a good player. They should not be bright or trendy because that will not help you. A professional-looking paddle can create a better impression even if you are new to the game.

The Bottom Line! 

The best way to determine the right paddle for you is by trying out a few different ones. If you are not sure where to start, there are some great resources online that have compiled lists of popular paddles and their pros and cons. 

We hope this article has helped you narrow down your search so that now you know how to choose a pickleball paddle! Have fun playing the game with your friends or family members!

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