Weight is probably the most important factor when choosing a paddle. Weight influences how a paddle feels when you pick it up and swing it on the court. For someone without pre-existing injuries, your choice of paddle weight is entirely up to your personal fitness level and comfort. Pickleball paddles range from six ounces to 14 ounces.
A heavier paddle will help you to drive the ball, but offers less control of the ball. However, be aware that the heaviness of the paddle also accelerates fatigue in your arm, and can strain your elbow.
Conversely, a paddle that is too light will not provide enough drive, may be difficult to support in your hand, but will increase ball control.
Weight is probably the most important factor when choosing a paddle. Weight influences how a paddle feels when you pick it up and swing it on the court.
Do not go too heavy.
For people with hand, elbow or shoulder conditions, swinging a paddle heavier than 8.4 ounces could inflame your injury or arthritis. For this reason, most all wood paddles are out of consideration.
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Frequently Asked Questions when Choosing a Pickleball Paddle
1. How do I pick a paddle? There are so many choices!
The best way to select a paddle is to try them out! Ask your fellow pickleball players if you can test-drive their paddles. Try various weights and grip sizes. If you find a paddle that feels good and balanced in your hand try to get that paddle’s weight. We will hand weigh paddles to match the weight that you are seeking.
If you don’t have access to a wide variety of paddle to test, our Paddle Guide is a helpful tool to narrow the choices.
2. I’m buying my first paddle, any advice?
Your first paddle should have a classic pickleball paddle shape. You can add specialty paddles once you have a great classic paddle in your bag. The classic paddle is approximately 7 ¾ - 8 inches wide and 15 ½ - 15 ¾ inches long. Most of the paddles we sell are classic-sized paddles.
3. What’s the difference between fiberglass and graphite paddles?
Fiberglass paddles often weigh a little more that grahite paddles. Because they are a little heavier than graphite paddles, fiberglass paddles are considered to have more power. Graphite paddles are considered to have more control or finesse. Both graphite and fiberglass paddles are lightweight and strong. There is a general perception that graphite is better but no one has studied if there is a difference in how the ball comes off a graphite vs. fiberglass paddle.
4. Why do so many composite paddle have a over lapping edge guard?
You’ll find an edge guard around the edges of a most composite paddles. The edge guard maintains the integrity of the paddle and provides a covering to the open honeycomb interior. Without an overlapping edge guard there is a risk the paddle will de-laminate, and be ruined. If a paddle de-laminates, the face of the paddle will pull up from the honeycomb interior, destroying the paddle.
5. How do I find a paddle with power?
Looking for more power? Select a heavy-weight or super-heavy-weight paddle. Power is all about weight. The heavier the paddle, the more power you have.
6. How do I find a paddle with more control?
Looking to improve control? Select a light-weight or middle-weight paddle with a smaller head size. Control is all about maneuverability and quick responses. Be lighting-fast with a lighter, smaller paddle.
7. How long should a paddle last?
How long a paddle lasts depends on how you care for it and how often you play. Top-notch players who play daily usually expect to retire a graphite or composite paddle after about one year. For people playing a couple of times a week, a paddle should last around three years. Wood paddles are extremely durable and will last many years.
8. How do I find a quiet paddle? My neighbors don’t like the happy pickleball pop.
Shhh! The results of one sound study found the following paddles are quiet: All wood paddles also, Paddletek, Revolution, Power, Enforcer, Spikes Graphite, Spikes Contour Composite and the Z5 Composite.
9. What is a “Sweet Spot”?
All paddles will have some sort of "sweet spot" in the center of the hitting surface, regardless of the dimensions, as does a tennis racquet, baseball bat, or table tennis paddle. It's a matter of physics, nothing else. The key is to hit the center of the paddle, which takes practice and coordination.
10. Are there indoor and outdoor paddles?
Paddles are not made specifically for indoor or outdoor play. Balls are made specifically for indoors or outdoors, but not paddles.
11. Are there men’s and women’s paddles?
Paddles are not made specifically for men or women. Paddles are gender-neutral.
12. I’m a former tennis player, what paddle should I choose?
Former tennis players or racquetball players often like a paddle with a longer handle like the Enforcer, Power or Elite paddles. The longer handle enables a two-handed backhand and more room for quick hand switches.
13. What difference does handle length make?
Longer paddles handles, such as those five inches or longer, provide more reach on ground strokes, added leverage on serves and slightly more power overall. Paddles with longer handles include: Aero-D, Enforcer, Evoke Teardrop, Venom, Power Play Pro, Power, Ace II and Dillers.
14. What is Paddle Deflection?
Pickleball paddles have a rigid paddle face. The USA Pickleball Association measures how rigid a paddle face is, by measuring the paddle face’s deflection. The Association tests paddles by putting a weight on the center of the paddle face and measuring how much the paddle bends under the weight. This measurement is the paddle’s deflection. Most people might think of this as “flex.”
15. How do I Check the Fit of my paddle?
Grip a paddle with your normal grip and see if you can slide the index finger of your other hand between your fingertips and the heel of your hand gripping the paddle. Your finger should fit snugly between the two without your having to move your fingers.
If you must shift your fingers farther away from the heel of the hand to get your index finger in between the two, the grip might be too small.
If you have space between your index finger and your fingers or heel of your hand, the grip might be too large.