Pickleball is quickly becoming one of the most popular sports in the US and with its popularity comes a rise in competition. Players need to understand how to choose a pickleball paddle for their skill level and body type.
Besides the rise in new pickleball players, there is also new pickleball equipment coming to retail shops.
One of the most essential pieces of gear you will need to play pickleball is a pickleball paddle. Finding a suitable paddle sounds easier than done. You will need to look out for a paddle with the right weight and shape.
In this article, we find out what you need to look out for when buying a pickleball racket.
Choose a Pickleball Paddle That is Right For You
When you are looking for a new pickleball paddle, then it’s important that you find the right paddle for your play and your hand size.
The wrong type of paddle could cause wrist pain and long-term health issues over time, so it’s worth spending some time exploring the different options.
There are four main factors that you need to consider when choosing a pickleball paddle:
- Shape: The build and shape of your pickleball should match your playing style.
- Weight: The weight of your pickleball paddle should be suitable for your height and build.
- Grip: The grip or handle size should fit your hands perfectly.
- Material: The material of your paddle determines how durable and heavy it is.
The Shape Of A Pickleball Paddle
The shape of your paddle determines how well you play your pickleball game. The shape also dictates the size of the paddle and where you hit the ball.
US pickleball manufacturers use standard specifications for the size of the paddle which should be a maximum width of 60.96 cm and a maximum width of 43.18 cm.
Saying this, there are no limits to the thickness of the paddle. However, as a rule of thumb, the narrower and longer your paddle is, the higher up the sweet spot for hitting the ball.
This means that this spot is further away from your hand which gives you greater leverage when serving. This translates into a more powerful hit. There are also a couple of other factors to consider with the shape of your pickleball paddle.
A rounded shape of the paddle corners can lead to a more consistent and larger sweet spot, making these paddles more suitable for beginners.
Plus, a bigger paddle face area usually also has a longer paddle face with a shorter handle. This also increases the sweet spot area.
The Weight Of A Pickleball Paddle
When buying a pickleball paddle, you need to make sure that you buy a paddle with the right weight. The weight of your racket affects how easily you can control the paddle and how much power you can put into your hits.
The heavier the paddle is, the more powerful your shots are. On the other hand, a lighter paddle allows you to respond more quickly. The right paddle weight depends on your game as the swing weight is simply individual for each player.
On average, you will be looking for a paddle that is between 7.4 ounces and 8.3 ounces.
As the weight is individual to you, it’s important that you try a few different paddle weights and find out which can deliver the best shots without causing arm injuries.
The Grip Of A Pickleball Paddle
There are a couple of different things that you need to consider with the handle of your pickleball paddle. The length of the handle is one important factor. The grip length determines how high up the paddle face sits.
It affects how far away your hand is from the ball and where the ball will land when you hit it. A longer paddle handle has a higher sweet spot which means that you can create a lot more speed and power with this type of paddle.
On the other side, a shorter handle on your pickleball paddle means your hand is closer to the paddle face. This creates a large surface area for your ball to be hit.
This makes paddles with shorter handles ideal for beginners and everyone who prefers to have more control over their paddles.
The Material Of The Pickleball Paddle
Similar to other sports, the material of your pickleball paddle can make a big difference to your game.
There are two types of material that you will need to look out for when picking a new paddle: the core material and the face material.
Most pickleball paddles are made of a core with a polymer honeycomb. The harder the polymer of the core, the more energy can be absorbed by the paddle core.
This allows the paddle to be more consistent in performance and the player has greater control over the paddle.
On the other hand, when the paddle core is more flexible or softer, then the energy is transferred to the ball which leads to more power.
The face material of your paddle impacts how you control the paddle and how powerful you can hit the ball. The face of the paddle has direct contact with the ball, and this also influences how the ball is played.
As a rule of thumb, fiberglass paddles are soft and they allow you to play the ball with greater energy, landing more powerful strikes.
Face material made of carbon fiber or graphite creates a harder surface which means the ball will stay in contact with the paddle for slightly longer. This allows you to control your shot better.
What’s The Best Pickleball Paddle For Beginners?
The best paddle to choose for pickleball beginners is a classic paddle with a typical shape. The classic pickleball paddle is between 8 inches and 15.5 inches long.
When you plan to buy a new pickleball paddle, you will need to make sure that you choose a paddle that has the right size, weight, and grip to fit your hand and your game.
It’s essential to choose a paddle that works for you to ensure the game is fun and you don’t cause any injuries.
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