Oversized, extra-long, elongated, and standard are the four types of pickle balls commonly used in the increasingly popular sport. Each has its benefits as well as drawbacks and requires certain factors for consideration before you choose them.
Picking up a paddle for a game of pickleball could be a daunting task. It might be confusing to grasp what to search for when there is such a wide variety of options. To your relief, we have done the legwork for you.
This blog post serves as a buyer’s guide for pickleball paddles.
Types of Pickleball Handles
There are three main varieties of paddles available: elongated, standard, extra-long, and oversized.
1. A Standard Pickleball Paddle
The official USAPA specifications call for a paddle that is 16 inches in length and 8 inches in width. There is another name for these paddles: wide body paddles. This form is perfect for those seeking a happy medium between reach, power, and management.
As they provide more surface area for ball contact, they are an excellent option for novice players.
2. Pickleball Paddle With An Elongated Handle
It’s common for a pickleball paddle to measure 16 or 17 inches in length. As a result, its body is slimmer than that of a typical paddle. While the design does allow for greater distance, power, and spin, it also results in a loss of control.
Because of reason, many singles players like this form.
3. Extra-long Handles for Pickleball Paddles
There are a variety of pickleball paddles, some with longer handles than others. Longer handles are preferred by players with a two-handed backhand. These new paddles will have a longer handle and a larger blade compared to their predecessors.
4. Pickleball Handles That is Oversized
The playing surface of a larger pickleball paddle is proportionally longer, but the shorter grip makes the paddle more manageable for beginners. With a longer hitting surface, the sweet spot should be easier to reach. The paddles may be longer than the standard 24-inch length mandated by most clubs.
On the other hand, recreational paddles aren’t usually made for serious competition.
What to Consider When Buying a Pickleball Paddle?
There are some crucial things to think about before purchasing your first or next pickleball paddle. The paddle you use makes a significant difference in your performance. We’ll go through what to look for in a pickleball paddle and how to narrow down your options.
Pickleball shoes are an important investment if you want to improve your game.
Tips for Buying a Pickleball Paddle
Here are the things you should look for when purchasing a pickleball paddle. Below, we’ve outlined the most important criteria to look for when purchasing a pickleball paddle.
1. The Paddle’s Weight
The weight of a paddle is a crucial factor to think about while shopping for a pickleball paddle. The ability to play is affected by the paddle’s weight.
Here are some recommended paddle weight limits:
- Ultralight (7.2 oz) paddles
- Paddles with a medium weight (7.3-8.4 oz)
- Paddles that are hefty in weight (more than 8.5 oz)
2. Pickleball bats that won’t weigh you down
Lighter paddles are quicker to swing as well as provide precision and wrist motion, so they are a good choice for starting playing using an overly heavy paddle may cause you to tire out quickly. Lightweight paddles are best for touch players who dink and favor drop shots over strong strokes and slams because of their superior control. When you’re at the net and the ball comes flying at you, you’ll be able to react more quickly with these.
However, lighter paddles aren’t as effective because of their reduced weight. Pickleball, like ping pong and racquetball, requires a lot of wrist motion, thus players transitioning from other games will benefit from using lightweight paddles. For doubles, the lightweight racquet is typically the preferred option.
3. Take care not to go too Light
Using a paddle that’s too lightweight for you can lead to several issues. When using a paddle that is too light for your power, you may find that your swing speed increases, leading to missed shots. In addition, your shots will not be as effective with a light paddle.
If your shots seem weaker than normal, it could be because you’re using a smaller paddle. Power comes from the paddle’s weight, thus if you want more force, get a heavier paddle.
4. Pickleball paddles with a moderate weight
When in doubt about the optimal paddle weight, a medium-weight model is a safe bet that may be used by competitors of varying skill levels.
5. When to Use Midweight Pickleball Paddles?
Midweight paddles offer a nice compromise between power and maneuverability. Paddles that are neither too light nor too heavy are optimal for players who want to combine elegance and power in their game. Despite their lack of control and strength compared to the light and heavy paddles, they are still a great option for any game.
6. Using Heavyweight Pickleball Paddles
Stronger paddles provide for more “pop” on the ball, favoring players who prioritize power over finesse. Swinging a heavier paddle faster is possible, but it will take more work to get the paddle up to speed. Furthermore, there is a trade-off between power and control.
Because power trumps finesse in a one-on-one match, players favor heavier paddles when playing singles. In singles pickleball, drop shots and drinks are used less frequently than in doubles.
7. Be careful Not to Overdo it
Several issues can arise from using a paddle that doesn’t match your strength. If you choose a paddle that is too heavy for you, you won’t be able to direct the ball in the way you want it to go. Using a hefty paddle also increases the risk of injury.
For instance, if you play pickleball for a whole day, you can end up with wrist or arm pain. You may want to try using a lighter paddle to see if that helps.
Getting The Appropriate Paddle Weight Is Crucial
There are several factors to think about while settling on the best weight for your pickleball paddle. There is no silver bullet when it relates to pickleball paddle weights. In the first place, think about how strong you are.
Find a paddle that’s not too heavy for you to lift and avoid ones that are too light for your strength level. One can swing a lighter paddle with less effort and strain on the muscles, and the same is true for a heavier paddle. The next thing to consider is whether you value power or control more in a video game.
Carry less for maneuverability and more for strength. You should experiment with several paddles to find the one that suits your style best. Especially if you are just starting, you might have to try a few different ones before finding the one that works best for you.
Stay Away From Tennis Elbow
Pickleball paddles come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so it’s important to find one that works for you in terms of balance and comfort. Tennis elbow and other injuries can be avoided in this way. A lighter paddle may cause more vibrations and elbow discomfort while hitting the ball.
Because of this, if you frequently experience tennis elbow, a lightweight paddle may not be the ideal option for you. Heavy paddles can cause arm fatigue quicker than lighter ones. Tennis elbow sufferers may also have difficulty with this.
If you’re having trouble with tennis elbow, medium-weight paddles are a great place to start. Pickleball paddle comfort and satisfaction can also be influenced by the paddle’s material and shape.
How You Play Pickleball Can Get Affected By the Size of the Paddle’s Grip?
Choose a pickleball paddle with a grip size that suits you. The standard size for a pickleball paddle’s handle is a circumference of 4 to 4.5″. We can alleviate pickleball elbow pain by determining the optimal grip size, which can prevent injuries.
What is the Standard Grip Size for a Pickleball Paddle?
The size of the grip you use for pickleball may come down to personal preference. However, there are a few exercises you may perform to figure out the optimal grip size for pickleball.
Pickleball Index Finger Measurement
This approach is typically used to determine the correct size of a tennis racquet’s grip, but it can just as easily be applied to pickleball. This strategy necessitates a pickleball paddle with a consistent grip size that hasn’t been altered in any way. When utilizing an Eastern-style pickleball paddle grip, your palm should rest against the racquet’s bevel instead of its string face.
You can do this by inserting the index finger of your free hand into the crease between your hand’s palm and fingers. A too-small grip occurs when your index finger has nowhere to go, whereas a too-large grip occurs when there’s too much room between the palm and fingers.
Examination of Grip Size by Hand Measuring
With the second technique, you won’t need a tennis racket or pickleball paddle, only a measuring tape or ruler. The sweet spot for a pickleball grip is somewhere between the tip of your ring finger and the crease in the center of the paddle hand. A player’s pickleball grip size is determined by the distance between their ring finger and the middle of their palm when holding a paddle.
When in doubt, choose a smaller grip size. If you are on the border between two grip sizes, go with the smaller size for your pickleball paddle. Adding more pickleball grips or overgrips to a grip will expand its size, but you won’t be able to reduce its size.
Also, if you want more wrist motion in your shots, which will lead to more control and spin in pickleball, then you should use a smaller grip size.
The paddle’s material can also be a deciding factor when picking one out for pickleball. All of these materials have benefits and drawbacks. Pickleball paddles are most commonly made from the following materials:
- The most lightweight and least expensive is wood.
- Graphite is a lightweight and expensive material. That was a fantastic showing.
- Composite: a material that combines the advantages of wood and graphite. Extensive pricing and weight options are readily available.
The least expensive and most long-lasting pickleball paddles are made of wood, but they are also the heaviest and most archaic option. Since they cost less to make, consumers can buy them at a discount. Wooden paddles are popular among players just starting in the sport because of their low price and durability.
Pickleball paddles made of wood can be found in sporting goods areas or on Amazon. We advise replacing your wooden paddles with composite or graphite ones if you intend to play pickleball frequently. As a result, you can now find paddles at incredibly low prices.
Paddles built of composite materials have seen a surge in popularity for the sport of Pickleball. The surface of a composite paddle is often made of carbon fiber or fiberglass, and the core is made of composite materials. Polymers or metals like aluminum can be used for the centers.
However, Nomex, a type of hard nylon, can also be utilized for the cores. Players can get an extra spin on their shots thanks to the rough surface of composite paddles. These pickleball racquets are easier to use because they are much lighter than traditional wooden ones.
If you’re looking for a quality paddle, you can discover composite ones in a wide price range. Numerous types can be found at reasonable prices while providing excellent functionality.
Graphite paddles are the most expensive option for pickleball players. Even the most affordable graphite pickleball paddle will set you back more than its composite counterpart. Graphite paddles are well-liked due to their lightweight and manageability.
You can make accurate shots and maintain game control with these. Professionals typically opt for graphite paddles when playing pickleball. These paddles may have a paper-thin layer of graphite, yet they are as sturdy as can be.
Since graphite paddles are widely considered the best option by industry experts, they are worth considering. Six to nine ounces is the normal weight range for graphite pickleball paddles. Just like with composite paddles, a core will be used in their construction.
Aluminum, polymer, or Nomex honeycomb may be used for the cores. The fact that graphite paddles have a graphite face on both ends makes them stand out on the court. Aluminum is just one of many fundamental elements used to make paddles.
Pickleball Paddle Core Construction
When searching for the ideal paddle, it is crucial to pay attention to the core material. Pickleball paddles typically have one of three different core materials:
The most widely used pickleball rackets often use aluminum shafts and heads. Therefore, they become more durable while keeping their low weight. If you want to be as agile and in charge as possible, an aluminum-core paddle is a way to go.
Paddles with aluminum cores, on the other hand, might not be as effective. So, you can’t count on having the same amount of thrust as an individual utilizing a heavier type of core.
These paddles are manufactured from cardboard-type components. The honeycomb structure and unique resin coating make the material last a long time. The earliest composite paddles were made out of Nomex.
Paddles made with a Nomex core are favored by many players due to their lightweight and responsive nature. These cores are widely used by individuals who want both speed and accuracy. It will also be the noisiest and roughest paddle available.
It makes a significant noise every time you hit the ball. If you’re looking for silent paddles, there are various choices.
They are becoming increasingly common, polymer cores are constructed from a unique plastic combination. The polymer core is the most recent innovation among the three types of cores. A polymer core paddle is silent because of its soft composition.
If you’re tired of the constant clatter of the ball hitting your hand, this is a good option to consider. For the same reason, they are perfect for residents of guarded communities due to their low decibel levels. There are a few drawbacks to poly cores, the most notable being their inferior power to a Nomex core.
A polymer core disperses some of the force of your bullets because of its softer nature. If precision and finesse are more important to you than brute force, a polymer paddle could be the way to go.
Designs for Pickleball Bats
In pickleball, you can choose from a wide range of paddle sizes and styles. The pickleball paddle, including the cap on the grip and edge guard, cannot be more than 24 inches in length or width.
Comparison of Edge Guard with Edgeless Paddles
Wrapping the paddle with a protective material prevents damage to the paddle’s edges. Most paddlers in the game will have some sort of edge guard on their equipment. There are benefits and drawbacks to using an edge guard.
An edge guard’s primary benefit is that it safeguards your paddle from accidental damage. A paddle protector, on the other hand, might potentially ruin your swing. Having a lip around the border makes it more likely that a ball will be mishit if it strikes the guard.
Pickleball paddles with rounded edges are preferred by some players. The smooth surface of a paddle without edge guards allows for the most possible playing area with no chance of the ball being missed. However, regular usage without edge protection can cause damage such as chips and dents to the paddle.