There are many different types of paddles for playing pickleball available on the market to choose from. With so many specifications to consider, deciding which one to buy can be overwhelming.
You can choose a pickleball paddle by looking at its specifications, which include its shape, material, weight, grip circumference, handle size, thickness, and price. Most players like to choose midweight and standard-shaped paddles with a grip size that conforms to their height.
While price is usually unimportant, it may be the deciding factor for some people. However, it’s possible to find a reasonably priced paddle that offers many other benefits. All you have to do is conduct some research and then draw a comparison among a few paddles to make the final decision.
Let’s look at the factors you need to consider when buying a pickleball paddle for yourself to find the best one according to your needs.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Pickleball Paddle
Grip and Handle Size
The grip circumference of pickleball paddles usually ranges from 4 to 4.5 inches. Choosing the right grip is important because it not only affects your control over the ball but is also helpful in preventing tennis elbow.
A paddle with a thicker grip will give you more control, while a paddle with a thinner grip will give you more speed. However, choosing the grip size according to your height is recommended. For example, if you’re below 5’3″, you should go for a 4-inch circumference. For people above 5’8″, 4.5 inches is considered the right grip size.
However, remember that it’s just the suggested grip size, and you can experiment with different grips to find the one that suits your playing style.
Another specification that may affect your decision to buy a pickleball paddle is the size of its handle. Some pickleball paddles may have a traditional shape but a longer handle. These paddles are usually suitable for people with two-handed backhands. A handle longer than 5 inches is considered long.
Since there are no restrictions on the weight of a pickleball paddle, you can choose a light or a heavy paddle, depending on your requirements. Heavy paddles give an edge to the player as they offer more power. However, the newest and most advanced paddles available on the market are lightweight, offering an airy feel.
Some people prefer midweight paddles between 7.3 to 8.3 ounces because they offer the best of both worlds. If you’re an aggressive player who likes to swing their paddle a lot while playing, it will be best to go for a lighter paddle. A heavyweight paddle will slow down your speed, affecting your overall game.
However, since more weight means more power, pro players often stick lead tape around the edges of their paddle to make it heavier. This practice is also common among table tennis players. Ultimately, we recommend experimenting with different weights to see which one you’re most comfortable playing with.
There are a variety of shapes that pickleball paddles come in, ranging from small to oversized and having a wider width. These are categorized into five categories: wide body, oversized, teardrop, standard or traditional, impact, and elongated. The choice of paddle shape depends on your preferences.
For example, if you’re looking for more torque and a longer handle, you would want to go for the traditional paddle shape. This shape is 16 inches in length and 8 inches in width. Since it’s a standard size, it offers a good combination of power and control.
It’s also important to mention here that the combined length and width of any paddle must not exceed 24 inches to comply with the rules of this game. So, if you would like to increase one of the parameters in the above combo, the other one will have to be reduced.
Ultimately, the best paddle is the one that suits your playing style and preferences. If you want a lighter paddle that is easy to maneuver, go for a more rounded paddle. If you want more power and accuracy, go for a teardrop paddle.
In terms of price, wooden pickleball paddles are the cheapest. If you don’t wish to spend much money on your pickleball equipment, then buying a wooden paddle would be the best option.
Check out this: WIn SPORTS Wooden Pickleball Paddles Set.
However, with a little research and information, you can also find composite and fiberglass paddles at a great price.
Composite paddles typically cost more than wooden paddles. However, you may be able to find a wooden paddle that is the same price as a composite paddle. It all depends on the brand and the materials used. If wood is your preference, you may want a high-quality paddle that will last a long time.
Check out this best-seller:
USAPA Approved Composite Graphite Carbon and Fiberglass Paddle.
The most expensive paddles available on the market are made of graphite. One of the main reasons that graphite pickleball paddles are so expensive is the cost of the material itself. Graphite is a very strong and lightweight material, which makes it ideal for pickleball paddles.
Also, Check out this article: What is the Best Pickleball Paddle Material?
Other Considerations for Buying Pickleball Paddles
By now, you must know the type of paddle that suits your requirements and preferences. However, there are some other considerations that may affect your decision, but they are not as important as the above ones.
One of these considerations is the thickness of the paddle. There is no rule that states how thick or thin a pickleball paddle should be. However, thicker paddles usually offer more control and are more stable and durable. They also have a larger sweet spot, so it’s recommended to go for a thick pickleball paddle.
Some manufacturers add an edge guard to their paddle to safeguard it against damage. This makes the life of a paddle longer, and you may want to consider it, especially if you’re just starting out.
If a manufacturer mentions that their paddle is USA Pickleball approved, it means it complies with the rules and regulations and will not cause any trouble if you plan to play in tournaments.