As pickleball grows in popularity, a wide range of fancy and high-performance equipment is also being introduced to the market. There is a long list of equipment, from different types of balls to a large variety of paddles. The paddle you choose for playing pickleball is one of the gears that can make or break your game.
The best pickleball paddle for you will be one that suits your playing style and helps you advance your game. However, you should consider factors like weight, grip size, and material and ensure you find the right match for your current skill level.
If you can choose the best pickleball paddle, it will not only improve your game but also help you avoid injury and enjoy the play. In this article, we will explore the features that help us choose the right pickleball paddle, and we will also find out how finding the best paddle can prove advantageous for you as a player.
Why Is It Important to Choose the Right Pickleball Paddle?
A good paddle can help you improve your game in several ways. First, it can help you control the ball better. A paddle with the right grip will help you keep the ball in play and make it go where you want it to go.
Second, a good paddle will help you generate more power. A paddle with the right weight and balance will help you swing faster and hit the ball harder. Third, a good paddle will help you improve your accuracy. A paddle with the right shape and size will help you hit the ball more accurately.
You may experience wrist and elbow injuries if you buy the wrong paddle. A paddle with the right weight and balance will help you swing more smoothly and evenly, reducing the risk of injuries.
Which Pickleball Paddle Material is Best?
The material of the paddle affects how the ball will react when hit. Paddles can be made from wood, composite materials, and graphite. Beginners often go for wooden paddles because they are the least expensive. But one drawback of wooden paddles is that they are extremely heavy.
Composite paddles offer a good alternative to wooden paddles and are made of a combination of materials, including carbon fiber and fiberglass. They are lighter than wood paddles but have a smaller sweet spot.
Graphite and fiberglass are considered the best because these materials are more forgiving and will help you get a feel for the game. Graphite is also quite lightweight and easy to maneuver. It gives the players more control over how the ball spins. However, these paddles are best suited for advanced players and tend to be more expensive.
Check out this article: What Pickleball Paddles Do The Pros Use?
If you want to advance your game, it is recommended to go for fiberglass or composite paddle surfaces, as they offer the best balance between power and control. As you get more experience, you can experiment with different materials to find what works best for you.
Read more here: What is the Best Pickleball Paddle Material?
How Do You Pick the Right Sized Pickleball Paddle?
As you explore more options in pickleball paddles, you find out that there are many shapes and sizes available. Moreover, an important factor that may affect your decision is the grip size of the paddle. So, how do you know you have chosen the right size, and how will it affect your play?
If you want to go for the standard size, you should know that it measures 16 inches by 8 inches. Other paddles are either slightly elongated in shape or offer more width. Elongated paddles are known to offer more spin and power but less control. Ones that are wider in shape offer a larger sweet spot, but these are less common.
According to the USAPA rules, the sum of the length and width of a paddle must not exceed 24 inches. If a paddle has a larger face, it will have a shorter handle to make it comply with regulations.
Another specification you need to consider is the paddle handle’s grip size or circumference. It is important to choose a grip size that is comfortable for you because you will be holding the paddle for long periods of time.
If the grip is too small, your hand will cramp up. You may find the paddle easier to control, but you will soon feel it’s putting a strain on your wrist. If the grip is too large, you will not be able to control the paddle as you wish. Most paddle manufacturers offer paddles with different grip sizes, so you can easily find one that fits you well.
The ideal grip size for players is 4.25 inches to 4.5 inches. However, you can choose a slightly larger circumference with large hands.
Read more here: What Pickleball Paddle Should I Buy?
Why is Weight Important?
Weight is probably the most important factor you will need to take into account when choosing a pickleball paddle. The paddle’s weight is important because it affects how fast the ball will travel. A lighter paddle will result in a slower ball, while a heavier paddle will make the ball go faster.
However, lightweight paddles are easier to maneuver, give you more control, and help avoid tennis elbow. Heavy paddles, on the other hand, offer you more power, but at the same time, they will be difficult to control and may cause fatigue in your arm and shoulder.
The best bet is finding a paddle between these two extremes, also known as a mid-weight paddle. Such a paddle is neither too heavy nor too light. A mid-weight pickleball paddle will offer an optimum balance between power and control and allow you to practice blocking and other advanced-level drives and shots without straining your shoulder and wrist.
Ultimately, the right paddle weight for you depends on your playing style and preferences. However, a pickleball paddle that weighs between 7.8 to 8.3 ounces is considered best for beginners and advanced-level players. It is easy to maneuver, generates the right amount of power, and allows you to keep the ball in play for long rallies.
Read more about the different levels of pickleball here: What are the Different Levels of Pickleball?