So many Pickleball Paddles so little time…
Choosing the right pickleball paddle can be a little confusing. There are different paddle dimensions, weights, and a multitude of material composites. Each having its own purpose and benefit. Pickleball paddles have skyrocketed in quality and complexty over the last few years.
This page will give you some brief tips on choosing a pickleball paddle.
Considerations When Choosing a Pickleball Paddle
Pickleball Paddle Dimensions
Traditional Pickleball Paddles
Are more square with a large hiting serface and standard size grip. This would be a good all around option and the shape to choose if you don’t already know the particulars of your stroke and what works well with it.
Semi Elongated Pickleball Paddles
These paddles try to give you the best of both paddles being slightly longer for more reach but keep as much width as possible to give you a wider surface to hit the ball with
Elongated Pickleball Paddles
Longer paddlles are built for more reach so you will have a slight advantage at the kitchen line, or with over head lobs, the down side is has a smaller sweet spot so you need to be more precise with your paddle placement
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Paddles range from about 6 to 8 ounces with the most popular weight being in the 7.5 ounces. There are pickleball paddles that fall outside those but the majority are in that range. The lighter paddles giving you more maneuverability and faster reaction times while the heavier paddles will give you more power and stability on off center shots
Paddle Grip Size
Pickleball paddle Grip size which is the grip circumference range from about 4 inches to 4.5 inches.
People with small hands would go with a 4 1/8 th inch inch grip size
People with medium sized hands would go with a 4 1/4 th inch grip size
People with large hands would go with a 4 3/8 th inch size and above
Picking the right grip size will help you grasp the paddle correctly so you have the most control.
The way you can tell if you have the right grip size when you are demoing a paddle is to put your index finger in between your finger tips and your palm and make sure you have just enough room for your index finger to fit
Paddle Core Material Composition
Wood Pickleball Paddles
Aluminum Core Paddles
Nomex Core Paddles
Poly Core Paddles
Paddle Hitting Surface Composition
Major Pickleball Paddle Brands
What are Pickle ball Paddles Made of?
Pickleball is the emerging sport these days. Many people are starting to join an amazing community of sportsmanship and competitive playmaking. This increase in players has done a great deal to contribute to the popularity of the sport.
So, it is no wonder that more and more players are purchasing the products needed in order to play a better game. It is also no surprise that players are paying attention to what exactly is the best paddle to use.
There are many kinds of paddles that you will be able to choose from. In this article, we will help you in doing so by delving into what exactly are these items made of. Then, we will discuss how these are different from each other, so you can get the paddle that is right for you.
Why Care About the Differences?
Some of you may be thinking: Why do I have to learn the technicalities of what my paddle is made out of? Can’t I just play and be done with it?
Well, it should matter to you as a player since these paddles differ in structure and usage. Knowing the differences and how they can affect your game will help you greatly. It will allow you to choose the paddle you want for the game you want to play.
This guide will also help you with choosing the paddle you need as a developing player. If you are a beginner, it may be better to use a newbie’s paddle and not an advanced one, for example.
With that said, let us discuss what the actual differences are before seeing which paddle best suits you.
What Are the Differences?
The core of your paddle affects the “pop” of the ball as it bounces on the hitting surface of your paddle. It provides structure and stability as well. Here are the different cores available today:
⦁ Aluminum Core Paddles
This core has a honeycomb-shaped pattern and it is made up of metal. This is why paddles made of aluminum can be quite noisy. But on the plus side, they are light. Aluminum can withstand great impacts, so it helps with your game. Be on the lookout for these though as they are elusive and hard to find in the market.
⦁ Nomex Core Paddles
The Nomex core paddle is similar to the aluminum one when it comes to the shape of the core. They both have the honeycomb pattern. The material used is very hard but also very light. Nomex is a kind of aramid fiber. It is known for being strong. Because of its dense material, Nomex paddles provide power to the player. But, on the negative side, because it is so sturdy you have less control of the ball when using a Nomex core paddle. These are still considered to be the most popular type of paddle around.
⦁ Poly Core Paddles
These are paddles made out of plastic. The material is known to be flexible and durable even though it is light in terms of weight. These also have a honeycomb structure. Furthermore, plastic is known to be a softer material, making his is a great paddle to choose if you are looking to be an all-around player. Not only does it provide enough power, but it also allows you to control the ball more. Its flexible characteristic is able to make the ball bounce slower on your paddle. This, in turn, will help you control where to place your shot.
The hitting surface or the facing is what actually is on the surface to receive the ball’s impact.
This is a common surface for paddles. Although there is no such thing as a paddle made up of 100% graphite, most are made up of a majority of this material. The paddles often used are graphite and epoxy mixed together. This surface provides the player with ball control but not so much power.
⦁ Fiberglass Paddles
Fiberglass paddles are a common facing used in the Pickleball community. It provides the player with power but it is not as strong as the other paddles. Fiberglass is a kind of plastic made up of glass fibers. It is processed with a resin matrix to make it the fiberglass we know.
⦁ Carbon Fiber
Carbon fiber paddles are quite similar to graphite paddles. The only difference is that these are more durable. They can provide the player with great ball control but again, power is lost. Carbon fiber is made up of thin, strong carbon filaments. In Pickleball paddles, carbon fiber ones have honeycomb cores. These cores are made up of wafer boards.
⦁ Wood Paddles
Wood paddles were the first ones made. The material was sturdy enough and was thought to be a great material for Pickleball paddles. But it is no longer considered as such. This is because wooden paddles are harder to use, so it is not so great for beginners. But, if you are an experienced player, you might want to try this out!
Paddle Durability Paddle Durability
The average lifespan of a paddle is about one to two years. But, if maintained well, you could make it last longer. Here are ways to make your paddle stay with you for a long amount of time.
Remember to always change the handles when the grip does not feel tacky anymore. This helps with its general overall maintenance. This also helps you to not drop your paddle by accident and cause dents and scratches on it.
The material used in pallets is what determines the longevity of the paddle. Basswood is a great one to use as it is less likely to warp. This is in comparison to the balsa, which although it is lightweight and durable, warps easily. If you have a plastic one, make sure to avoid the sun as heat causes deformations. When the pallet changes, the weight and the form of your paddle change, too.
⦁ Edge Guards
Edges protect the face and the core of your paddle. If you drop it, the edge will be the first point of contact on the ground. These need to be changed regularly to protect the rest of your paddle.
A pretty paddle needs further protection. This is why there are sealants that can help prevent damage from scratches and dents to your paddle. Epoxy is a great finishing to use. It is waterproof and it gels well with the usual materials used on the face of the paddle. Some finishings can also have UV protection that can act against discolorations and distortions. You may want to check these out, too.