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Pickleball Paddle Buying Guide

pickleball paddle buying guide

TLDR: This pickleball paddle buying guide provides information on how to choose the right pickleball paddle, including different materials, weights, sizes, and prices. There are three main types of paddles: graphite, composite, and wood. Each has its own unique qualities and is suited to different playing styles. It’s important to consider your skill level, preferences, and budget when selecting a paddle, as well as the shape and size of the paddle, and the weight.

Highlights:

  • Pickleball paddle types: There are three main types of pickleball paddles: graphite, composite, and wood. The type you choose will depend on your budget and playing style. Graphite paddles are the most popular, while wood paddles are becoming increasingly rare.
  • Pickleball paddle materials: There are different materials used to make paddles, including graphite, fiberglass, aluminum, polymer, and wood. Graphite and fiberglass paddles are designed for control, while aluminum paddles offer more power and stability. Polymer paddles are lightweight and durable, making them popular with beginner pickleball players.
  • Traditional-shaped paddles are square and provide a balance between power and control, while elongated paddles have an extended length that provides more reach and power.

Introduction to buying the right pickleball paddle

So you’re interested in buying your first pickleball paddle, but don’t know where to start? Don’t worry; you’ve come to the right place! This guide will take you through all the key elements of choosing the right pickleball paddle, including the different materials, weights, sizes and prices to look out for. You’ll also learn what to watch out for and which brands are most reputable.

When it comes to picking your first paddle, it’s important to do your research. With so many different types of paddles out there, it can be hard to decide which one is best for you. That’s why this guide will be a useful resource for understanding what makes a great pickleball paddle and how to make sure you buy one that will perform well for you.

All of this requires getting the fundamentals of playing down also. So read this next – beginners pickleball tips.

Types of Pickleball Paddles

If you’ve ever stepped onto a pickleball court, you know that paddles come in all shapes and sizes. But what material is the best option? The answer depends on your budget and playing style. Here are the three main types of paddles you’ll come across when shopping:

Graphite Paddles: Graphite paddles are the most popular type. They’re usually lightweight, making them great for players who want to move quickly around the court. Graphite paddles provide a good amount of power, and have a bit of flex so they won’t feel stiff as you make your strokes.

Composite Paddles: Composite paddles come in different combinations of graphite, aluminium, carbon fibre and other materials. They are slightly heavier than graphite paddles and provide more control over your shots. Composite paddles last longer than graphite ones because their construction is more durable.

Wood Paddles: Wood is the original material for pickleball paddles and are still used by some players due to their classic look and feel. A wood paddle has an average weight, which gives it good balance between control and power. If you’re looking for something unique that stands out from other paddles on the court, a wood paddle might be worth considering.

Pickleball Paddle Materials

Choosing a paddle material is another important decision you’ll make when buying your first pickleball paddle. Here are the main materials used to make paddles:

  • Graphite: This material is lightweight and designed for control. Graphite paddles have a softer feel and are known for their power and spin.
  • Fibreglass: Fibreglass is heavier than graphite, but still provides good control. Fibreglass has more of a forgiving feel and is great for players who prefer not to put in too much effort when hitting the ball.
  • Aluminium: Stiffer than graphite or fibreglass, aluminium offers more power and better stability, but also less control compared to paddles made from other materials.
  • Polymer: These lightweight paddles offer great power, control and durability. They tend to be cheaper than other paddle materials, so they’re popular with beginner pickleball players.
  • Wood: Wooden paddles were once the most common choice for pickleball players, but now they are becoming increasingly rare due to their lack of durability compared to the other materials mentioned above.

When choosing a material, think about your skill level, preferences and budget – all these things will help you decide which material best suits your game style.

Pickleball Paddle Shape and Size

Choosing the right paddle shape and size for you is key. There are three main shapes of pickleball paddles out there: traditional, elongated, and wide-body.

Traditional shape

Traditional pickleball paddles are the most common type found on the court. They are square shaped and provide a great balance between power and control, making them an ideal choice for players first starting out.

Elongated shape

Elongated pickleball paddles have an extended length that provides more reach and power behind each swing. These paddles require more precision to put your pickleball shots in just the right spot, so they’re best suited for more experienced players looking to take their game to the next level.

Wide-body shape

Wide-body paddles have a wider surface area than traditional and elongated paddles. This gives you more power behind your shots and ensures better ball control, but it can also slow down your arm speed. For this reason, wide-body paddles are usually best suited for players seeking more control over their shots than speed.

When it comes to size, pickleball paddles typically come in two varieties: standard size and oversized. The former is about 15 inches long by 8 inches wide, while the latter tends to be around 17 inches by 8½ inches in size – so you’ll want to decide which size fits your playing style best before investing in one!

Pickleball Paddle Weight

Making sure you’re familiar with the different weights of pickleball paddle is essential for becoming an ace in the sport. Your paddle’s weight can make a big difference in your approach to the game, so understanding the different options available is key.

Weight Options

Paddle weights are typically given in ounces, and range from 6-12 ounces or more. You can usually see this number stamped on the handle of the paddle.

Lightweight Paddles (6 – 8 oz.)

Lightweight paddles are great if you’re looking for control and finesse on the court. It takes less effort to swing since they are light, making them ideal for more experienced players who want to focus on their technique and hitting precision shots.

Mediumweight Paddles (8 – 9 oz.)

Mediumweight paddles pack a good amount of power and control. It’s a great option for all-around players who want a balanced approach to the game. It can help you achieve that sweet spot between power and control whenever you need it.

Heavyweight Paddles (10+ oz.)

Heavyweight paddles offer maximum power and heft, making them ideal for playing with powerful full swings and shots—especially when reclaiming powerful serves from your opponents! They can be heavier than some would like, but if used correctly they could be beneficial to your overall playstyle.

The weight of a pickleball paddle depends on personal preference, so it’s important to find one that works best for you depending on your style of play

Pickleball Paddle Grip

When it comes to selecting the right pickleball paddle, the grip size is just as important as the weight, size, and material. It’s not only about comfort—it’s also about control and playability. After all, if your grip isn’t secure while playing, you won’t be able to maintain control over your paddle movements. We have dived into this topic in more depth in our guide on how to hold a pickleball paddle.

Different grip sizes available

Pickleball paddles come with a variety of different grip sizes that usually range from 4”–5” in circumference. Most players tend to favour a round shape but octagonal and oval shapes are also available. The length of the handle will depend on how long you want it to be—as you may have guessed, longer handles mean more power behind each stroke whereas shorter handles offer much more control. You can even get partially-wrapped handles that allow for both types of playing styles.

How to choose the right grip size

The best way to determine which grip size is best for you is by trying out different ones in person or online before buying your paddle. To measure yourself accurately, place your hand naturally around the handle (not clenched) and measure the circumference between middle and index finger.

Different grip materials available

Grip materials range from synthetic rubber (most common), silicone, leather, rubberized cork, and cotton-tape wraps etc. Leather grips are often used for their softness and ability to absorb moisture — meaning there is less chance of having sweaty hands mid-game! The choice is yours — just make sure you pick one that feels comfortable in your hand!

Pickleball Paddle Price Range

Do you know how much to budget for your first pickleball paddle? Good news – there’s a wide range of prices, so no matter what your budget, there’s an option for you.

Entry Level Price Points

For entry level or casual players, the range starts at around $35-$45 dollars. You can find quality paddles in this range, but you won’t see any of the bells and whistles that come with higher-end models, like composite or graphite paddles.

Advanced Price Points

At the mid-tier price range—from $50-$70—you will start to see more advanced materials used, such as graphite and fibreglass composites. These materials add extra speed and power to your shots, making them ideal for intermediate players.

Professional Price Points

If you’re a serious player who always aims to win their match then you might want to consider going up to the professional level price point which is around $90 or above. With this price tag comes some of the finest paddles available on the market; made with carbon fibre and Kevlar composite materials they offer ultimate control with sizzling power.

How to Choose the Right Pickleball Paddle for You

Figuring out the right pickleball paddle for you can seem daunting at first. With so many options on the market, it’s hard to know where to begin. That’s why it’s best to start with assessing your skill level, as this is one of the most important factors in choosing a paddle.

Next, consider your playing style. Are you an aggressive baseliner? Do you prefer to play at net? Knowing this will help you when selecting a style of paddle that works best for you.

Then, think about your physical attributes—height and arm length are key here. It’s important not just to look at the size of the hitting surface, but also how it fits in your hand and whether or not it allows you to move freely when playing.

Lastly, if all else fails, ask for recommendations from experienced paddlers or coaches who have greater insight on what type of paddles perform best for different skill levels and playing styles. They might even show you a few demos so that you can get a feel for various types of paddles before committing to one.

When it comes to pickleball paddles, there are tonnes of great brands out there. Every major sports equipment manufacturer makes pickleball paddles, and it can be overwhelming to figure out which one is best for you. We’ve put together a quick list of some of the most popular brands and styles, so you can make an informed decision when shopping for your perfect pickleball paddle!

  • Wilson: Wilson is probably the most recognisable name in racquet sports, and they make some excellent pickleball paddles. Their paddles are renowned for their balance between power and control and come in a range of sizes, weights, and price points.
  • Onix: Onix produces some of the most popular pickleball paddles on the market. They focus on creating lightweight paddles that deliver great power without sacrificing control and accuracy.
  • Selkirk: Selkirk produces some of the best-rated pickleball racquets on the market today, with a focus on spin technology and aerodynamic design to give you maximum control over your shots.
  • Gamma: Gamma’s pickleball paddles offer incredible control thanks to their ergonomic designs that minimise vibration while maximising feel. Their products are also designed with a focus on durability to ensure your paddle stands up to heavy use over time.

No matter which brand you choose for your first Pickleball paddle, make sure it fits your playing style, preferences, budget and skill level—and don’t forget to check user reviews before purchasing!

Where to Buy Pickleball Paddles – Getting the Right Deal

Now that you know the basics of buying your first pickleball paddle, the next important step is knowing where to buy it. As with any purchase, you’ll want to get the best deal for your money, so research and compare prices.

Online Retailers

One of the most convenient ways to buy a paddle is online, as many retailers offer free shipping and no tax. If you’re looking for a wide selection of paddles and don’t mind waiting for delivery or have time to pick it up from the store, this option may be for you.

Local Retailers

Another great option is local retailers, like sports stores and specialty stores. While they might not have as many options as an online retailer, they usually offer more of a hands-on experience when it comes to purchasing your paddle. This allows customers to test out the paddles and get advice from experienced staff members. This is especially helpful if this is your first paddle and you want some personalised guidance in making your decision.

Online Auction Sites

Finally, there are also auction sites available that let people sell their own used paddles at discounted prices. However, these paddles might not be in mint condition or have a warranty so keep that in mind before making any purchases from these sources.

Final Thoughts: Pickleball Paddle Buying Guide

So that’s it, that’s our pickleball paddle buying guide. All in all, there are many factors to consider when buying your first pickleball paddle. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, invest in a paddle that will best suit your skill set, arm strength and playing style. Finding the right paddle that fits your budget, needs and personal preferences can take time, but with the right tips and tricks, you can find the one. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and do your research so you can purchase a quality paddle that will give you an enjoyable and memorable pickleball experience.

David Mason
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