How to choose pickleball paddles for beginners
Pickleball is very popular in the United States, and more than 1 million pickleball players join the game every year.
There are many choices of pickleball paddles on the market, but for beginners, it is easy to be overwhelmed when choosing the right racket for them. Pickleball paddles vary in design, quality and price, and each racket has some unique qualities. How should we choose the pickleball racket that suits us?
What factors should be considered before buying a pickleball racket?
As a beginner, the goal is to improve your skills. Therefore, you have to choose a racquet that is comfortable enough for a gentle introduction and strong enough to improve your gameplay over time.
When choosing a pickleball racket, there are several important aspects to consider, such as:
The weight of the pickleball paddle
The weight of the paddle directly affects your gameplay because it determines your speed and swing. Most paddles available are;
Lightweight: 6.7 to 7 oz
Lightweight paddles are best for beginners and those with wrist or arm health issues. It provides more control and is easy to operate.
Medium Weight: Approx. 7.5 oz
Most players are comfortable with mid-weight racquets because they provide a balance of power and control.
Weight: 8.3 to 8.5 oz
Heavy weight paddles are best for strong people. While their power is very good, they have poor control and can hurt your wrist or arm after prolonged use.
Pickleball paddle material
Pickleball paddles are available in different core and finish materials. The inner or core provides stability and dictates weight and shape, while the honeycomb pattern keeps the weight light.
External or surface contact balls, which can be Aluminum, Nomex or Polymer. Nomex paddles provide adequate control, but are less powerful and loud.
Polymer paddles are softer, quieter, and offer more power but less control. Aluminum paddles are dense and offer less power but excellent control.
The facing material is carbon fiber, glass fiber or graphite. Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle is the most common and ensures maximum power. While graphite is durable, it offers medium control and little power.
Carbon fiber is tough, durable, and provides excellent control and great power.
Pickleball Paddle Grip
Pickleball paddles vary in thickness and girth, and the right edge will depend on the size of your hand. If you have large hands, you need a larger girth and vice versa.
Using the wrong racquet girth can result in difficult grip and control. The best way to determine the proper grip size is through your height. If you're about 5 feet. 2 inches, try the small grip size (4 inches).
If your height is between 5 feet 2 inches and 5 feet. 8 inches, medium grip size (4 ¼ inches) is the best fit. Persons taller than 5 feet. 9" should use the oversized grip (4 ½").
Edge guards are optional, so it's up to your preference. It will protect your racket if you drop it during a game. The main disadvantage is that it takes up surface area in contact with the ball.
Although rimless paddles have protective tape, it's not as effective as edge guards.
As a beginner, you may not have properly understood your style or preferences. So it's best to start with a racquet that fits your budget without limiting your growth as a golfer.