Shopping for the best pickleball paddle is pivotal for anyone getting into the game as it can have a lasting impact on your performance. Advanced pickleball players might also benefit from investing in a better quality pickleball paddle to improve their pickleball game. This is why it is so important to make an informed decision before purchasing your next paddle. The amount of information out there can be a lot to sift through and there are just too many models out there to choose from without some idea of what you are looking for. Fortunately, Tenniszon is at your service and we’ve compiled a list of relevant pickleball tips and tricks to help you choose the best pickleball paddle for your needs. In this article, we explain what you should look for when choosing your next pickleball paddle including the thickness and material, weight, grip, as well as the shape and size of the paddle surface. Now let’s get into it so you can be on the field as soon as possible.
1. What thickness and material should you choose?
The first thing to consider when choosing a pickleball paddle is its thickness. When we talk about thickness, we are referring to the central part of the paddle, commonly called the core, which often varies depending on the model. The thickness of the core can vary depending on the model from thin, to medium to a thick core. The thickness is important because it gives the paddle its manageability or lack thereof. A thin core contributes to the paddle's lightness for a greater sense of maneuverability when playing and is often used by a player that wants to focus on power during the game. A player whose technique relies on control will prioritize a thicker and denser core. It is important to keep in mind that the type of paddle core you choose should be based on your playing style. As a new pickleball player, we recommend starting with a thin core whilst still trying out various types of paddles to find out which is best suited.
The material one's paddle is made of is another important element to consider when choosing a pickleball paddle. Each type of material has its own advantages and disadvantages that can have a great influence on striking power, shock absorption, and control of both the ball and the paddle itself. For example, the material commonly found in the core of pickleball paddles is honeycomb polymer. This material provides flexibility and lightness, to allow for balance and control when being handled. Polymer pickleball paddles are thus considered the best pickleball paddles for beginners and are even a must-have for advanced players. Below are the materials commonly used for core manufacturing:
- Honeycomb Polymer
- Hybrid (a combination of different materials)
For the surface of that paddle, it’s about finding an equilibrium between materials that allow for power and lightness. To achieve this fine balance, the following materials are often used:
- Composite polymer
2. The weight
In order to find the best pickleball paddle for you, your pickleball paddle weight must be considered as it can have a great influence on your pickleball game. However, there is no basic rule and the weight you require can only be learned through playing! Here are some things to take into consideration. The weight of your paddle affects the control and power of your shots. A lightweight paddle offers faster reaction time and better control over your shots and the ball. The drawback is that a player will need to put more effort into their swings as the paddle does not offer that extra weight, which could potentially lead to early fatigue during a match. A heavier paddle provides direct shot power upon ball contact. The heaviness of the paddle means it's often geared towards intermediate or advanced players who already have the skills to handle it properly and can maneuver the extra weight. For a new pickleball player, we often recommend choosing a medium weight pickleball paddle, which is a great option to work on reaction time and basic techniques, without compromising shot power.
- Light : 7.3 oz and less
- Medium : 7.3 to 8.5 oz
- Heavy : 8.5 oz and more
3. The grip and handle
The paddle grip can be long or short and will impact the distance between your hand and the striking area of your paddle. When the distance is short, the striking area is lower on the paddle, whereas a greater distance moves the striking area up the paddle. A player looking for power will want to purchase a paddle with a long handle and a player looking for control will seek a paddle with a shorter handle.
Another element not to be overlooked is the size of the grip. The circumference should match with the width of your hand when you hold the paddle. This helps in preventing wrist and elbow injuries during long matches. To determine the ideal grip size for you, measure the distance between your index finger and the center of your palm to determine the approximate circumference. Our experts are available to assist with this.
4. The shape and size of the surface of the paddle
The shape of the paddle influences performance on multiple levels. Generally, an intermediate or advanced pickleball player shopping for a paddle will prioritize length and narrowness. An elongated shape raises the striking zone, contributing to greater leverage. The greater the leverage, the more power in the strike. That said, many paddle shapes are available on the market, each contributing in their own way to good gameplay. The most common shape is that of the oval or teardrop which is characterized by its rounded corners. It is popular as it offers a good balance between control and power, favoring a more versatile game for all experience levels. This is why Tenniszon suggests an oval or teardrop paddle for beginner pickleball players in their learning phase or for a recreational player.
Continuing on this theme, the size of the surface area of a pickleball paddle is important. A beginner might want to consider a paddle with a wide surface area as it is more forgiving of off-center hits due to a larger striking zone. This allows beginners to have increased leeway during strikes so they can work on developing their gameplay technique. A narrow surface requires more striking accuracy when the paddle is in use. That's why narrow surfaces are often sought after by intermediate or advanced pickleball players. It allows for more controlled shots and precise ball manipulation.
Ultimately, there are four factors that are crucial in finding the best pickleball paddle for you: thickness and material, weight, handle, and the shape and size of the surface area. At Tenniszon, we understand choosing a pickleball paddle can be overwhelming with all of the information out there. The pickleball tips above aim to help you understand the requirements of the sport better and discover what to look for in terms of a paddle.
Don’t hesitate to contact us and speak with our experts. Tenniszon offers you the best pickleball paddle models and brands at the best prices, not to mention unparalleled customer service. Whether you are looking for a pickleball paddle or a pickleball set, we have it all. If you are a beginner pickleball player, we encourage you to learn more about the thrilling pickleball game.