Picking a Pickleball Paddle
PICKING A PICKLEBALL PADDLE
Choosing a pickleball paddle tailored to how you play the game is essential. The team at Pickles & Paddles has curated this high-level paddle guide (weight, grip size, material, core, shape, and edge) to help players get the most out of their paddle - and game!
THE WEIGHT OF THE PADDLE
How much your paddle weighs amplifies your style of play. Lighter paddles are well-suited for touch players who prioritize ball control (paddles weighing less than 7.3 ounces are considered lightweight), while heavier paddles (paddles that weigh more than 8.3 ounces) benefit players who value power.
If you’ve just discovered the game of Pickleball, this one might take a little trial and error. We advise starting at a low to mid-price point as you work to find the paddle elements that best fit your needs. The “consequence” you’ll read most is the wrong grip size causing tennis elbow - paddles are not purely aesthetic (there are certainly some fun ones out there); it’s physical too. Pickleball Union offers a few ways to measure grip size.
When Joel Pritchard and Bill Bell created the game of pickleball, they improvised with ping-pong paddles. As their families embraced the game, they soon realized that the ping pong paddle was not a great fit for the game - it wasn’t very durable. So the dads set off to shed some plywood, and a hand saw with their friend McCallum to design a wooden paddle. The paddle drastically improved the pickleball experience; it launched a better playing experience and remained a pickleball staple for 20-25 years. As technology and materials made advancements, so did the pickleball paddle - The most common pickleball paddle materials are graphite, carbon fiber, fiberglass, wood, and hybrid options. Each material enhances control or power.
PICKLEBALL PADDLE SHAPE
You’ll find 3 basic paddle styles (elongated, standard, and wide body) however, the length and width must not exceed 24 inches. A standard paddle measures 16 inches long by 8 inches wide. Elongated pickleball paddles are a good match for skilled players looking to add more reach and power to their game. The extended shape slightly raises the positioning of the sweet spot. Standard-shaped paddles have a little bit of everything; they are a popular option for a balanced game - power, control, and touch. Widebody paddles are a good choice for those just getting started; they offer more area for ball contact.
PICKLES AND PADDLES
We loved the game so much that we turned our favorite elements of the sport into a shop. The sport is social, easy to learn, and fun for all ages; we hope you pick up a paddle soon - here’s a go-to resource for finding a court near you! When you leave the court, click our link for more pickleball fun!