Do pickleball paddles really make a difference?
With so many paddle brands in pickleball today and competition growing by the day, the desire to create something “different” has never been greater. As we learned from talking to the people responsible for the design and manufacture of racquets, even small changes to racquet design can make a big difference when you step onto the court. We saw different weights, lengths, head shapes, and even holes cut into the face of the paddle to create a streamlined swing. The last feature that has been tweaked is the blade thickness. Before we get into the details, here's an overview of the different paddle thickness categories.
- Thinness: 13mm or less
- Pattern: 14mm - 15mm
- Thickness: 16mm or more
Blade thickness is usually measured in millimeters and typically ranges from 11 mm to 16 mm, although some blades, thin or thick, exceed the norm. A racket like the Vinsguir hits the tape measure at 19mm thick, so it's a good example of a brand coming out of the box. Adjusting racket thickness is all the rage, but how does a thicker racket affect your game?
A thicker core racket (16mm+) has the ability to absorb ball impact, creating a very "friendly" racket. This feeling is incredibly popular and is what pickleball players love. When battling over 20 shots of din-in-crickets in the kitchen, the smooth feel and forgiveness sweet spot are perfect for our rackets. It is an irreplaceable resource. Due to the additional material required to make the paddle width, and this extra weight and added thickness, a thicker core paddle typically offers more weight, stability and more room for paddles in the heavier range. offer of shovels. If you find yourself missing the sweet spot a few more times than you care to admit, a thicker core paddle is for you. In short, thick core blades offer:
- amazing feeling
- Bigger, more forgiving sweet spot
- above average weight
- excellent stability
Another beneficial benefit of a thicker core racquet is energy absorption that can extend your pickleball day (and career!). Tennis elbow and golfer's elbow are two of the most common injuries seen in pickleball (and racquet/rowing sports). Repetitive movements can take a toll on your elbows and shoulders, and ball impact isn't your friend as much as you like the feel of the ball on your racquet. It can provide the shock absorption you need to keep you from scratching and prevent pesky injuries that can keep you away for weeks on end. A thicker core racket absorbs energy from the ball, so less energy is transferred through the racket to your body. This can be a great selling point, especially if you've already suffered from tendonitis in your elbow.
The downside of thick-core blades is that they seem to "drag" in the air compared to thin blades. If you want to maximize the paddle's maneuverability, driving in a narrower direction is recommended. But for us, the pros of thicker core blades far outweigh the cons!