How To Choose A Pickleball Paddle
A pickleball paddle is your most important gear, and you will obviously want a paddle that is best suited for you and the style you want to play. When you're looking for your perfect pickleball paddle, there are many factors that you need to consider. We have put together some information on how different core and surface materials, handle lengths, weights, shapes, and other paddle factors can help you decide which paddle is perfect for you.
As you'll read, there are many options available. Everyone has their own preferences, and that is why GRÜVN provides a wide variety of paddles for all the pickleball lovers out there, with more new styles on the way!
- Provides elite levels of touch and feel and are the lightest paddle surface in the game.
- Better for players who want more control at the net with well-placed drop shots.
> Graphite is a type of carbon fiber that is extremely stiff and ridged but also very thin.
- Provides the best textured surface ideal for spin and provide additional power.
- Slightly heavier than graphite paddles but provide exceptional strength, durability and power.
- Fiberglass is a bit more flexible than graphite and tends to concentrate the energy of the ball on a paddle core, providing more "pop".
> A composite pickleball paddle is composed of a hybrid of materials instead of one single material (like graphite), providing a textured surface. Composite paddles are NOT different than Fiberglass paddles.
Raw Carbon Fiber
- Provides a grainy textured surface that allows for a lot of spin and enhances control.
- Perfect blend of power and control. Designed for controlled soft shots and powerful spin shots.
> Premium T700 carbon fiber is the highest strength, standard modulus fiber available. It is very flexible and durable.
- Almost all pickleball paddles today use a honeycomb core. The vast majority of these cores are made from polymer, making them very similar. These cores are sandwiched between two thin layers of material, either fiberglass, graphite or carbon fiber, making them very different.
- Polypropylene Honeycomb core absorbs vibration and noise.
- Polypropylene Core or Polymer Core pickleball paddles are made of a plastic blend with large honeycomb cells and offer an excellent blend of control and power.
- Polymer core pickleball paddles are typically the quietest paddles on the market. They tend to be the softest paddles and most flexible where the core compresses on when the ball impacts the paddle. A polymer core paddle does dampen the shot because of the flexibility, but you can still put power behind a shot. Polymer is the most popular core among pickleball players.
- Aggressive players that like to attack the ball prefer thinner 10mm polymer core paddles.
- Players who prefer control over power like thicker 16mm polymer core paddles.
- Players who prefer something in the middle like polymer core paddles around 13mm thick.
- Thicker cores help absorb the shock of the pickleball and minimizes twisting of the paddle in your hand. You get more control, touch and consistency even when you mishit the ball. You get all the power you need as well as a more stable paddle. The biggest advantage is play at the net, especially for volleys back and forth.
- Handle/grip length is important for some players and isn’t a factor for others. If you are a player who likes to hit your backhand with two hands on the paddle, you’ll likely want a long grip length. The two-handed backhand is especially popular among former tennis players.
- If you don’t require a long handle, handle length shouldn’t be a major factor in your selection process.
- Some players state the longer handle provides better overall paddle balance and allows the paddle to feel less "head heavy."
- If you use two hands all the time then you’ll want at least 5.5 inches of handle length but may prefer more. If you don’t ever use two hands then a standard 5-inch handle length should be good.
- If you like to have your finger on the paddle face like a ping pong paddle, you’ll want a shorter handle.
There are typically two categories of handle thickness - thick and thin.
- A thin grip handle paddle is best for smaller hands, obviously, taking into consideration paddle control and grip comfort (like a ‘flat tacky’ grip).
- A thick grip handle offers more comfort for larger hands and may offer more control for players with greater arm strength. Also, a thicker grip handle is normally cushioned, which helps to absorb some of the impact shock from hitting the ball, reducing arm muscle fatigue and joint injuries over time. For this reason, a thick grip may be best for those who are susceptible to tennis elbow or arthritis.
Lightweight: 7 - 7.5 oz; Midweight: 7.6 – 8 oz: Heavyweight: over 8 oz
- The lighter the paddle, the easier it is to maneuver and generate paddle speed, which can be a big advantage while at the net when you get into fast exchanges with your opponents. The downside of a lighter paddle is that you have to swing harder to get more power out of it.
- With heavier paddles, you don’t have to swing as hard to produce power because there is more weight behind the ball. This is nice when you’re dinking because shorter swings reduce the room for error and it gives you more time to get back into a ready position.
- Heavier paddles tend to be a little more stable at impact and don’t wobble as much if you hit the ball closer to the edge of the paddle. This increases consistency and reduces errors. On the flip side, heavyweight pickleball paddles can slow down your hands and reflexes due to the additional weight.
- Some players add lead tape to the edge guard of their paddles to add weight to the paddle.
- Heavier pickleball paddles are not for everyone and can even lead to injuries, as heavier pickleball paddles may put unnecessary stress on your elbow. If you have concern about elbow pain consider using a midweight pickleball paddle (between 7.3 and 8.3 ounces).
- These are paddles with a wider face around 8.5 inches and a shorter length around 15.5 inches.
- This design offers the largest sweet spot and a little less power.
- These paddles have less maneuverability to them compared to elongated paddle designs.
- These paddles have a longer face and skinnier width, usually 16.5 inches long and 7.5 inches wide.
- The elongated shape generally provides more reach, power, easy maneuverability, and spin, but have a smaller sweet spot than other shapes.
- The elongated shape is popular amongst singles pickleball players due to this extended reach.
- You’ll also find a lot of paddles between a widebody and an elongated paddle shape.
- In general, the longer the paddle gets the smaller the sweet spot and more power. The wider a paddle gets the bigger the sweet spot and less power.
We hope this information was helpful to you! Feel free to check out our pickleball paddle collection so you can enjoy your time on the courts!