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How To Choose The Right Pickleball Paddle

As with all other racket sports, choosing the right paddle is a crucial step in starting pickleball. It will determine if you pick up the game quickly or drop out of it soon after. Even though pickleball is a relatively new sports, customers are still spoilt for choices when it comes to choosing their first paddle. If you have experience with other racket sports, that decision is probably easier for you than for someone who has none at all. So, how do we go about choosing the right pickleball paddle? Here, we break down the answer into several parts for you.

  1. Paddle Material

The most fundamental thing to consider is the material that the paddle is made of. Paddles can be made of carbon fiber, fiberglass, aluminium or wood.  Graphite paddles are lightweight and offer great control, while composite (mixture of graphite and other materials) paddles are more durable and generate more power. Lastly, wooden paddles are the cheapest option, but they are also the heaviest and thus, the least common option as well.


  1. Weight

The next factor to consider is the weight of the paddle. If budget is not an issue at all, the majority of the consumers would probably have chosen the lightest paddles. But, is that a good decision, though?  Lighter paddles are definitely easier to maneuver and are suitable for fast play. However, they lack power and stability. You have to generate most of the power from your own strength. Moreover, you can also feel more vibration on lighter paddles in general. On the contrary, heavier paddles are the opposites. They are slower and more difficult to maneuver but they are also more powerful and stable. When you hit your backhands for instance, the heavier paddles will propel the ball further upon impact. The key thing here is, to find a weight that suits your game. A suitable weight is one which takes advantage of your strengths and minimizes your weaknesses.


  1. Face Shape

You must have noticed by now that some pickleball paddles have different shapes than others. They can have traditional, wide faces or narrow, elongated ones. The different shapes have their own purposes. The wider ones are great for beginners or players who desire more forgiveness on off-centre shots. There is a higher chance of them hitting the balls and placing them more accurately. On the other hand, the elongated ones give you extra reach and leverage for extra power and spin.


  1. Surface Texture

Pickleball paddles do not come with strings, but their surface texture play a somewhat similar role. The surface texture of paddles can determine the amount of spin you can generated. Smooth surfaces produces less spin but more power, while textured surfaces provide more control and spin but less power. Therefore, the choice of texture will depend on your preferred playing style too.

  1. Handle

The handle of pickleball paddles affect the games in two ways. First, you have to consider the grip size. For certain brands, they only make available one grip size for their customers, which is L2 (4 ¼). This is the most common size and it fits the majority of people, especially in Asia. However, in Europe and North America, there are a few grips sizes available. And, choosing the right one can determine how soon your hands feel tired or how easy it is for you to hit your shots. Secondly, the length of handles is another element to consider. A longer handle allows you to hit your backhands with a two-handed style. This will add more power to your shots, especially for those whose backhands are their weak point. Nevertheless, a longer handle might mean a shorter paddle face. So, like the previous factors, you have to take into account your playing styles or what you wish to gain from your paddles, when deciding on the ideal handle length.