Pickleball, we think, is one of the best sports to play with friends and family. The game is straightforward and suitable to play at any age. It can offer you the most exciting summer vacation, especially when you are bored. And why not? The game was created out of boredom!
Whether you have been playing pickleball with your friends for a while or new to the game, the right paddle can take your experience to a new level and give you comfort while playing.
However, choosing one can be a bit intimidating. The simple yet significant tool comes in various price ranges, weight, material, and grip sizes.
So, we have created this guide on how to choose a pickleball paddle, to help you through the process of selecting the right one. Read on.
Why Choosing The Right Pickleball Is Necessary?
Well, the unique game pickleball is a combination of three of the popular sports played worldwide. The ball seems more like that of ping-pong, the court resembles the badminton and some basic rules coincide with tennis.
So, the game itself justifies the fact that a superior paddle is needed to play to it. The size is in-between the tennis racket and ping-pong paddle.
Within the standard pickleball size and weight, there is a lot of variations. And you can play with any without any difficulty. However, the right one for you surely has some advantages, and you will notice the difference yourself while playing with a suitable one.
The right paddle maximises your comfort, offering you to play with ease and improve your performance level. An improper paddle weight or grip can cause a lot of strain to your wrist, elbow, and arm, resulting in poor performance.
So, choosing the right paddle is undoubtedly the most crucial part of the game.
How To Choose A Pickleball Paddle?
Despite the overwhelming number of options, it’s not that hard to choose one. For your convenience, we have broken down some of the key consideration you need to look for before buying one. Let’s get into them.
Yes, yes, and yes, the first thing you look for is the right weight. This single most important factor has the potential to change your whole game and gaming experience.
And most experts say right weight is less about the measurement in ounces and more about how it feels. So rather focusing on which weigh’s paddle to get, you should give more attention to how it feels, while holding, moving or swinging.
Nevertheless, it’s always better to have full knowledge. All paddles fall within the range of 6 ounces to 14 ounces, the too light ones being less than 7.4 ounces and heavier ones being more than 8.4 ounces. And the mid-range paddles are within 7.4-8.4 ounces.
Either a light, heavy, or mid-range paddle, each one has its perks. While the light ones offer you greater comfort, mobility and control over the ball, the heavyweight paddles provide more driving force while hitting the ball following Newton’s second law of motion, Force= mass x acceleration. Also, a lighter paddle with easy to move around needs lesser response time.
However, light ones fall short on giving you the power, and with a heavy one, you have less control and experience more arm and elbow fatigue. So, which one to get? Well, a mid-range can be an ideal choice; however, again, we will be repeating the same, get the one that FEELS RIGHT.
The second important thing you see in a paddle is the grip size. As you put your hands around the grip, it’s vital that it fits in your hand without slipping and giving you wrist aches.
The grip length varies from 4 inches to 5 inches, and circumference ranges from 4 inches to 4.5 inches. It is evident that bigger grips offer robust stability, but can cause elbow strain. Conversely, with smaller grips, you have increased control as it provides more wrist action.
If you are unsure about which size to get, we would recommend to start with a smaller one and later if you feel like you can customise it with overgrip, according to your personal preference. In fact, most professional players do the same, customising the circumference with a tape to match their hand size.
In the beginning, all pickleball paddles were of wood, but with the more advancement of the game, now paddles are made of composite and graphite as well.
The material is indeed an important consideration as it determines the paddle’s weight. Wooden ones are usually the heaviest and graphite ones being the least in weight. The composite ones are more of a compromise between graphite and wooden ones, coming in a wide range of weight and price.
Choosing the material mostly depends on your level of playing. Beginners tend to get a wood paddle as they are the cheapest. However, considering the weight issue, we would recommend a composite one with mind-range weight.
Size and shape
Usually, you see most paddles are square-shaped. However, nowadays, various shapes are available like elongated, octagonal, and wide body.
Of all, the square-shaped paddles are mostly preferred by players as it’s an all-rounder, giving you an optimum sweet spot and performance. Wide-body paddles are also popular for its bigger sweet spot; however, they tend to be heavy.
Well, it’s a wrap up on how to choose a pickleball paddle. We tried to incorporate all the little details to consider before getting the right one.
Read thoroughly; a paddle has a significant influence on the game. A piece of advice, don’t just get the cheapest available one from the market and try out a few before settling with the final one.