Does a better pickleball paddle make a difference?
Whether you're new to the sport and looking for a good pickleball paddle, or a seasoned player who already owns one or more paddles, you're looking to buy a pickleball paddle or racquet, this I'm assuming you got to the page. call it wrong.
After reading the descriptions of some pickleball racquets on the market, you might think you're buying a futuristic gadget for a trip to Mars. “Nomex™ Honeycomb”, “Liquid Graphite Paddle Face”, “Polymer Paddle Core”… Purchasing a paddle can be confusing.
Honestly, I think this trend is hype... As more people start playing, brands are competing with each other and trying to make their paddles stand out from the crowd.
However, there are three important factors when buying a pickleball racket. Some of these new technologies make a difference when upgrading to a more advanced paddle. More on this below.
We've created this guide to help you cut through the noise, simplify the buying process, and find the perfect paddle for you.
- Bring weights that you can play your best.
- Grip size that fits comfortably in your hand.
- Have a shape and build that suits your style of play.
And of course, the price of a paddle should be within your budget, as paddle prices can vary from $10 for a cheap wooden paddle to $150 or more for the best professional paddles.
If you're looking for paddles to recommend, here's a list of some of the most popular.
Paddle weights range from approximately 6 (light paddle) to 14 ounces (heavy paddle). A few ounces may not seem like a lot, but hold a can of soup in your hand and shake it for a few hours.
The weight of the paddle determines the "feel" of the paddle in your hand and the type of action you get when playing the paddle on the court. In general, paddle weight is a personal preference and largely depends on your fitness level and style of play.
One important thing to remember is that you can always increase your size by adding an overgrip...but there is no way to decrease your grip size. So when in doubt buy a size down (1/8 to ¼ size smaller) before adding an overgrip. If necessary, tape it to match your grip size. Most paddles have a standard grip of 4 to 4 1/2 inches.
To check if your grip size is correct, grip the paddle with your normal, natural grip. Next, slip the index finger of your opposite hand between your fingertips and the heel of the gripping hand. It should fit snugly on your finger without moving your finger.
If there's extra space between your heel and your index finger and your index finger isn't touching it, your grip is too big. If you choose between two sizes, choose the smaller size.
The official Pickleball rules for dimensions of approved pickleball paddles state that the overall length and width, including edge guard and cap, must not exceed 24 inches (60.96 cm). The length of the paddle cannot exceed 17 inches (43.18 cm). is not pallet thickness limit.
The most common classic shaped pickleball paddle is the "wide body", which is approximately 8 inches wide and 15 3/4 inches long (20.32 cm x 40 cm).
We recommend using a regular or wide paddle for most players. Extra long "blade" style pickleball paddles are best suited for experienced players looking for extra reach. Also, if you plan on playing singles, that's fine. If you plan to enter a tournament, make sure your new pickleball paddle meets USAPA guidelines.