Pickleball is a sport that is played at various skill levels. While the game is easy to learn, it takes time and practice to become a good pickleball player. At the intermediate level, players are expected to have mastered all the basics of the game and are learning to play more competitively.
So, people often ask what type of paddle is best for intermediate players.
The best paddles for intermediate players are ones that combine power and control. They should offer a comfortable grip and a large sweet spot. However, it’s always best to experiment with different surface textures to see what you prefer.
Pickleball players at the intermediate level are good, but they still have room to improve. They would want to go for something other than the best or the most expensive paddle available on the market. So, the ideal choice will be a midweight paddle with either a carbon fiber or a fiberglass facing and a lightly textured surface.
Let’s find out how you can pick the best pickleball paddle that will help you boost your game on the court.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Pickleball Paddle
There are a few things that players take into account before purchasing a pickleball paddle. They help them choose a paddle that will offer consistent play on the court regardless of their skill level. Let’s have a look at these factors for intermediate-level players.
The weight of a pickleball paddle is important because it affects the speed and power of your shots. A heavier paddle will result in slower shots but more powerful ones. On the other hand, a lighter paddle will allow you to swing faster, but your shots will be weaker.
You’ll want to find a happy medium between these two extremes as an intermediate player. A midweight paddle weighing between 7.8 and 8.3 ounces will be a good match. These paddles offer an optimum balance of power and control for players who have not yet mastered all the shots.
The grip size of a paddle is also important when choosing a paddle for a certain skill level. A paddle with a smaller grip will be easier to control but may be uncomfortable to hold for long periods of time. A paddle with a larger grip will be more comfortable but may be difficult to control for intermediate-level players.
The ideal match, in this case, will be a 4.25″ to 4.5″ grip size.
Paddle Material and Surface Texture
The material of a pickleball paddle can affect play in a few ways. For example, a paddle made of composite material will be more durable than wood. However, a wooden paddle may provide more power and spin.
Experimenting with different facing materials is recommended to find the best match. However, the experts recommend sticking to a fiberglass surface because it is less stiff and offers more rebound, producing a powerful response.
The surface texture of a paddle can also affect play. A paddle with a rougher surface will provide more spin, while a paddle with a smoother surface will provide less spin. Intermediate-level players are still learning how to create a spin on the ball, so they should go for a lightly textured paddle surface.
Advanced-level players often go for composite paddles for an extra spin. However, you should remember that heavily textured paddles or ones with indentations or tape are illegal to use in pickleball tournaments. So, lightly textured is always the best bet.
The Best Pickleball Paddle for Intermediate Players
You can choose any pickleball paddle as long as you’re comfortable playing with it. However, if you want to improve your game and try advanced-level shots, choose a paddle that offers enough power and also serves to accentuate your topspin stroke.
To create a spin, you need a good combination of friction and adhesion. You want the ball to stick to the surface for a fraction of a second longer to create that extra spin on your strokes. Fiberglass technology is perfect for this type of response.
If you had to choose one best paddle and stick to it, make sure it has the following specifications;
- A fiberglass facing
- Lightly textured surface for practicing spin
- Large sweet spot
- 4.25″ -4.5″ grip size
- Weighing between 7.8 to 8.3 ounces
We have found three pickleball paddles that fulfill these criteria, categorized as budget-friendly, mid-range, and expensive. So, let’s have a look at these paddles.
Budget-friendly: Gamma Sports Textured Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle
Expensive: Selkirk Amped Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle
These paddles are good for intermediate-level players but are priced differently. Check out their features and choose one that meets your requirements and is within your budget. Expect to spend anywhere between $50 to $150 on a paddle that will improve your game and offer you a competitive edge.
The price is not important when looking for something that will suit your playing style and last for a long time. So, the paddles mentioned above are all super high-quality and durable, made from premium materials. So, if you choose any of them, you can rest assured that it will stand the test of time.
As you can also see from the above analysis, the emphasis is not on the shape of the paddle; the surface texture and the grip size are more important. Moreover, heavier paddles are not recommended for intermediate-level players as they can easily fatigue your wrists and shoulders and may contribute to tennis elbow. Make sure not to go for a paddle that weighs more than 8.3 ounces.
When it comes down to price, it has been seen that the cheapest pickleball paddles are made of wood, and the most expensive ones are made of graphite. Intermediate players should choose neither of these as these players are now at a stage where they are looking to improve their game and learn some advanced-level tricks. A mid-range paddle with the required features will be best suited to their needs.