Pickleball continues to rise in popularity as the game that best incorporates other racket sports like badminton, tennis, and Ping-Pong. Its versatile nature allows for indoor and outdoor games on a badminton-size court and modified tennis nets. The game is enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels and can be played in doubles or singles. Whether it is in a competitive or fun setting, the way to make the most out of the game is by choosing the right paddle to play the game with.
There are lots of options for paddles in the market making this picking process something in between fine art and a terrifying process. The varieties of shape, size, color, weight and material among other things could throw you off balance easily, especially as a beginner. Well, here are some guide points to help you through this process and leave your opponents in the cloud of your victory and in awe of your paddle:
The weight of your pickleball paddle will undoubtedly affect the way that you play from your grip and the thrust power needed to propel the paddle. When choosing a paddle, weight considerations come in three forms: the light paddle which is below 7.3oz, the medium paddle which is between 7.3 to 8.4 Oz, and the heavy paddle which is between 8.5 to 9.5 oz.
Light paddles are best when you prefer drinks to hard slams. They promote a touch and control game and require less arm strength for the right thrust forward. However, It does require more energy to swing the paddle and might not be best for those with shoulder injuries or arthritis. It is also the more popular pickleball paddle for doubles players.
The medium paddle is good if you are still trying to figure out which paddle to use and as you try on more weights you may settle on a thinner or heavier paddle. It is also the best paddle for those playing with injuries or arthritis as it does not apply too much pressure on the shoulder. Players with both arm power and finesse would also do well with a medium paddle.
Heavy paddles are best for players with more power plays with bigger shots and less finesse. It requires more arm strength and can cause fatigue for your arm more quickly and is therefore not a good choice for those with injuries or arthritis. It is more popular with single players and is best for light hitters as it generates less speed and provides more power and pop.
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Size and material
The size of the handle and surface together with the material determines how your paddle will feel while you play. Smaller handles tend to improve your game because of the limited vibrations in your arm after ball contact. Bigger handles increase your power but they decrease the level of control you have. Smaller face sizes are better for beginners because of their expanded sweet spots while larger face sizes give more power but make it difficult to keep the ball low as you play on the court.
The materials for the paddles may be wooden or composite. Wooden paddles are durable and less expensive although they tend to be heavier. Composite paddles are made using different materials such as graphite and fiberglass. They are more expensive but provide more savviness with their light feel.
The investment you make on your pickleball paddle depends on the level you are at. Typically, beginner paddles are less expensive while advanced paddles are more expensive. When playing in a professional setting it is always best to pick the best paddle for the game while friendly and beginner matches can suffice with beginner paddles.
The best way to know the right paddle for you is to feel it for yourself. Before you buy online, try out some of the pickleball paddles that your fellow players use or those in stores to have a feel of what you like and then buy it. As your game and expertise evolve, so will your paddle needs but not to worry because we will be with you at every stage.