While pickleball is a fairly easy sport to learn and play, players can easily turn fun games into competitive ones. Given this situation, players need a versatile paddle that’s great for both beginners and professionals. Not only that, the paddle also has to be durable and made of high-quality materials. Here are some of the best pickleball paddles in 2021.
This balance-focused paddle from Pickleball Central is made with a durable honeycomb composite polymer core to ensure powerful and smooth hits. It has a larger sweet spot with a ball-control edge.
It’s designed with a wide paddle face, edge guard hits will be minimized. The paddle face is also textured to help with enhancing spin and ball control
With a larger sweet spot, performance is improved even during off-center shots
Its weight of 7.7 to 8 ounces is ideal for players of all levels.
The cushioned grip is ergonomically designed for maximum comfort and less slipping
With all the focus on performance and comfort, there’s no mention of materials used to make the paddle durable and long-lasting. So, there’s no guarantee if this material is as durable as it is powerful
Pickleball’s popularity has surged in recent years. With this surge in popularity, more people are picking up the sport. Whether you are a newbie or an old player of the sport, the availability of various types and brands of pickleball paddles can put you in a dilemma when picking out the best paddle.
Our review of the best pickleball paddles available has given you a glimpse of the best paddles out there. This buying guide takes you to the nitty-gritty of pickleball paddles to help you choose the ideal paddle. The guide includes a section dedicated to frequently asked questions to answer common questions about pickleball paddles and pickleball as a whole.
What is the Difference Between a Tennis Racket and a Pickleball Paddle?
Pickleball borrows from three distinct sports, table tennis (ping pong), badminton, and tennis, where players on opposing sides hit the ball over a net with a piece of equipment. Tennis players use a racket to hit the ball, while paddles are used in pickleball.
The two are similar in that they both have a handle attached to the hitting surface. However, the size and the design of the hitting surfaces vary. The pickleball paddle is the smaller of the two - a pickleball paddle is closer to a ping pong paddle in size.
A tennis racket’s hitting surface is considerably larger than a pickleball paddle’s. Also, a pickleball paddle’s hitting surface is made up of a flat material – wood or graphite while a racket’s hitting surface is made up of catgut or strings.
What are the Things to Consider Before Buying a Pickleball Paddle?
Since there are various pickleball paddles available, choosing a paddle that best suits your needs could be a little difficult. Different variables that differ from one player to the other are involved. Below are the various factors you should consider before purchasing a paddle for pickleball.
The first factor to consider when choosing a pickleball paddle is the paddle’s weight. Pickleball paddles typically weigh between 4 and 14 ounces. A heavy paddle will drive the ball better than a light paddle. Conversely, a light paddle gives the player more control over the ball. However, players with a previous history of elbow or arm injuries should be wary of using a heavy paddle as it could aggravate their injury.
Paddles for pickleball are usually made of three materials – woods, graphite, and composite materials. Paddles made of wood are the most traditional of the three. They are also the cheapest option. However, they are quite heavy and may be difficult to use over long periods.
Pickleball paddles made of graphite are the most expensive of all three types. They have the advantage of being lightweight and usable for long periods. Composite pickleball paddles are the middle ground between wooden paddles and graphite paddles. They are more expensive than wooden paddles but not quite as expensive as graphite paddles.
Elongated Paddle vs. Wide-body Paddle
The choice between elongated pickleball paddles and wide-body pickleball paddles has to do with the dimensions of the paddle’s hitting surface. Elongated paddles sacrifice width for a longer hitting surface.
On the other hand, wide-body paddles have a wider hitting surface. Wide-body paddles are the most common of the two. Wide-body paddles are suitable for players that are just learning the game, while elongated paddles may help experienced players improve their reach.
Getting a pickleball paddle with the correct grip size for the size of your hand is as important as getting the correct shoe size for your feet. A paddle with a larger grip gives you more stability and reduces the pressure on your arm.
Using a paddle with a large grip may result in the paddle slipping from your hand when playing. Paddles with smaller grip sizes give you more control over the ball and allow you to add spin to your shots. Also, it is easier to switch hands when playing with a paddle with a small grip size.
When in a dilemma between two pickleball paddles with different grip sizes, go with the smaller one. This is because you can upsize a paddle with a small grip size with over-grips. A paddle with a large grip size cannot be downsized.
If you want to enter the court in style, you should consider your paddle’s color. Apart from the aesthetic import of your paddle’s color, choosing a distinct color could help you to pick out your paddle from a pool of paddles at tournaments.
The color of the paddle’s face could also give you an advantage. It could make it difficult for your opponents to read your shot. For example, a yellow-colored paddle face blends with the ball’s color; this could help you catch your opponent unawares.
How Much do Pickleball Paddles Cost?
The price of pickleball paddles varies from one brand to another. The price is majorly dependent on the type of material used to make the paddle. Wooden pickleball paddles cost between $15 and $35. To get composite pickleball paddles, you will spend between $40 and $100. Graphite pickleball paddles cost between $90 and $200.
Pickleball Paddle FAQs
Do pickleball paddles wear out?
Yes, they do. How soon a pickleball paddle will wear out is dependent on how often it is used and the type of materialist it is made of.
What is the best weight for a pickleball paddle?
The best weight for a pickleball paddle is dependent on your playing style. If you prioritize power over control, a heavy paddle will be suitable for you. If you want more control, opt for a lighter paddle. Paddles within the 7 and 8.5 ounces offer a balance between power and control.
Can you lose weight playing pickleball?
Yes, you can. Pickleball is a sport that requires constant movement. Constant movement helps you to burn calories.
Do pickleball paddles come in different sizes?
Yes, they do. Pickleball paddles are available in different sizes.
Aaliyah's very familiar with the heat of competition. Playing golf and tennis all her life, she knows the equipment you keep is 25% of the game. A lifetime fan of golf, tennis, and other racquet sports, Aaliyah brings a versatile skillset to our reviews, with knowledge of how to succeed on multiple different courts. Aaliyah is excited to combine her love of sports and writing to bring you the best.