If you're average he's one of the 3.5 million pickleball players in the US. You may be thinking of upgrading your paddle. Or maybe you are a beginner. Help make pickleballs a sport that combines tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It's the fastest growing sport in the country. Whatever the case, the right paddle can make a huge difference to your competitive advantage and enjoyment of the game. It doesn't matter what your reason is for playing.
To help you find your next pickleball paddle, we've purchased some of the most popular and widely available beginner-to-intermediate paddles. Then have a few veteran players try it out on the court and get an expert opinion.
Some experts say finding the right paddle is highly dependent on your budget and personal preferences. But there are other factors another number to consider
Thickness: The thicker the core (at least 16mm), the more control you have. A bigger sweet spot (bull's eye on the paddle) gives you more chances to spin. This makes it harder for opponents to return the ball, and thinner cores (13mm and below) deliver more power. Smaller sweet spot and less control
Weight: Heavier paddles (8 ounces or more) provide more power and stability. But that has to be traded for hand speed. Light paddles are the easiest to use for beginners.
Shape: Long paddle allows you to apply more force. But the wider pie (square) has a bigger, more controlled suite.
Handle Length: A short handle is perfect for a ping-pong player who likes to squeeze the handle. Using a longer handle (at least 5¼ inches) can slow down your hand speed somewhat. But tennis is more comfortable for players and players with a two-handed backhand.
Face Material: Most beginner and intermediate paddles have a fiberglass face that delivers power. Carbon fiber and graphite surfaces offer better control and quicker rolling.
Most importantly, you need to feel comfortable holding the pickleball paddle. Not too heavy, not too light This means avoiding wood and aluminum. "I'm not going to force my nemesis into a cheap aluminum paddle," he says Eric.
Whether he's just starting out or he wants more power or more control, read on to find out which paddle has won your heart.