If you’re getting ready to play for tournaments, you’ll need an official pickleball. It measures between 2.874 inches to 2.972 inches in diameter. The circumference of your ball is not the only concern you should have, though.
What Are Official Pickleballs Made Of?
Official pickleball is usually made of plastic, and USA Pickleball provides a list of approved balls you can use for play. Some of them are made for indoor use, and others are for outdoor use. You probably can use some of them either indoors or outdoors for practice, at least.
What Colors Can Pickleballs Be?
“There are no color restrictions other than the ball must be a single, consistent color,” says USA Pickleball on their fact sheet that describes the equipment that is used for the sport.
Color doesn’t seem to matter. However, I have noticed that most pickleball are neon green or bright yellow.
Other variations of these colors make up some of the approved balls for play. I also did see a couple of orange ones and pink (or ember) ones.
What Brands Are Pickleballs?
Some brands that make pickleball used for official play include A11N Sports, Pro Aviana or Cheetah Pickleball. CORE Cultec (Chung Yaw, Co., Ltd) and Durafast (Pickleball, Inc.) are some more.
Freedom Goods, Fitroverts, Scuffle, and Oso also produce their share. There are about a half-dozen other names that create pickleball for the sport too.
What Paddles Are Used?
In addition to the balls, it’s important to use the right paddles. I do, however, notice a larger number of paddles than I do balls. Franklin Sports, Smashify, Adidas, and PAC Pickleball Paddles are some of the names out there.
What Sizes Are Pickleball Paddles?
Standard Pickleball Paddle Size
The standard pickleball size is 16 inches long by 8 inches wide. I haven’t seen the size permitted for play in the USA Pickleball rules yet. The Pickler references the 16×8 standard size as one that meets the total 24 inches permitted in the rules, though.
This specific shape of pickleball is what provides the right amount of power, control, and reach during gameplay. There are other types of paddles, though.
Elongated Pickleball Paddle Size
For instance, you may have seen an elongated paddle. It’s usually 16.5 to 17 inches. It’s longer than the standard-sized one, but its width is smaller. It doesn’t provide as much control but more power and spin during gameplay.
Extended Paddle Handle Size
Some pickleball paddles have a handle that measures up to 5 inches. It’s one that is often used for professional use, but it can benefit anyone. Some players prefer the longer handle for one-handed strokes.
I’m not sure I get it, though. If I were to use a longer handle, I would have thought that it would be to fit two hands, such as for the two-handed backhand move used for hitting groundstrokes.
A Brief Word About Paddle Grip Size
The paddle grip size is the measurement around the handle. The best grip size is according to your height. For instance, people below 5 feet 3 inches would probably fit best with a 4-inch circumference grip.
People between 5 feet 3 inches and 5 feet 8 inches may play best with a 4.25-inch circumference grip. People more than 5 feet 8 inches tall may feel the most confident with a paddle that has a 4.5-inch-around grip.
I don’t think there’s a hard-and-fast rule when it comes to choosing the right grip. However, I’d stick to this general guideline if ordering online. Once you have it in your hand, you can tell if it will work for you. It’s whatever feels right.
Putting All The Equipment Together
The official pickleball rules are what most would help you determine the proportions of balls to paddle. Here’s the approved paddle list to use when deciding on which one to choose with your preferred pickleball.
Can You Use Any Other Paddles, Such as a Ping-Pong One?
You could try, but it may not have the same effect. It may not hurt to practice pickleball with a ping-pong paddle until you get an official one, though. Keep in mind that for official tournaments, you’ll need the paddle prescribed by USA Pickleball.