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Pickleball paddles come in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Some paddles are smaller and more lightweight, making them easier to maneuver. Other paddles are larger and heavier, providing more power behind each hit.
There are also a variety of materials used to make pickleball paddles. The most popular materials are wood, graphite, and composite. Each material has its own benefits and drawbacks.
In this article, I will explain 8 types of pickleball paddles along with their most important features, pros and cons. Here you go:
- Graphite Paddles.
- Composite Fiberglass Paddles.
- Wooden Paddles.
- Polymer Core Paddles.
- Nomex Core Pickleball Paddles.
- Aluminum Core Pickleball Paddles.
- Light Weight Pickleball Paddles.
- Mid Weight Pickleball Paddles.
1. Graphite Pickleball Paddles
Graphite Pickleball paddles, made of graphite or carbon fiber, have been used for decades by players that enjoy the sport. With graphite, the paddle becomes lighter than wood.
They are thinner than wood as well. This makes them easier to maneuver and control during gameplay. Graphite is also more durable than wood so it can last longer before it needs to be replaced or repaired. The main advantage of graphite is the grip it provides because it does not get slippery when you sweat as much as a wooden paddle does.
- Graphite paddles are designed with a honeycomb interior and a graphite coating on both the front & back of the paddle-face
- Though the graphite layer is very thin, it can still be felt through a microscope. It is about as thick as someone’s fingernail or a little thicker.
- They might be a little costlier than the paddles made out of fiberglass paddles.
2. Composite Fiberglass Pickleball Paddles
Composite Pickleball Paddle can be used to describe a paddle that is constructed from more than one material. Generally, an open-celled honeycomb core is covered with a solid surface that touches the ball.
Composite Fiberglass pickleball paddles are made of a composite material. This is the same material that is used to make golf clubs, tennis racquets, and various other sporting goods.
The advantage of a composite pickleball paddle is that it will last much longer than a wooden one. Composite paddles also have a better feel and control than wooden ones have.
Most Important Features of Fiberglass Paddles
- Fiberglass paddles provide more pop
- Fiberglass surface is famous for taking longer shots.
- You can get steady control over your shots.
- Overall, you get more power and spin with fiberglass ones. (Check out my favorite spin paddles)
3. Wooden Pickleball Paddles
If you are looking for durable pickleball paddles, wooden ones would be a better choice for you. I would suggest buying a wooden paddle for beginners who are just looking for something easy and fun to do. Before deciding on any wooden paddle, you’ll want to make sure the heavy part is there and that it’s not too large.
- one of the cheapest options for pickleball paddles
- Less playable than with any other type of paddle
Other than wooden ones, there are some excellent beginner-friendly paddles in the market. Check out my loving beginner type paddles.
4. Polymer/Polypropylene Pickleball Paddles
Polypropylene Core or Polymer Core pickleball paddles are made of a plastic blend and have large honeycombs to keep them relatively quiet – making them the best option for those looking for an affordable, premium product.
These types of paddles are one of the better options for pickleball lovers that play in a locality that have noise restrictions. Besides, they are typically the quietest paddles out there.
Paddles that are made from a polymer core are the softest and most flexible as well. That makes them perfect for beginners! What’s interesting is that because of the flexibility, they don’t dampen your shot as much when you put power behind it.
- They offer the best of both worlds: power & control. Plus, they are very common which means you will have an easier time finding one.
- If you’re looking for a little more control, Polymer Core Paddle is a great option.
Let’s learn all about Paddle Core from the Video below:
5. Nomex Core pickleball paddles
Composite pickleball paddles are generally made of three layers – a material like cardboard, a honeycomb design, and resin. The first material that composite paddles were made out of was Nomex Core.
The harder paddles allow them to be the loudest ones on the market, which can make it hard to play in quieter areas. Pickleball paddles with Nomex cores are much better for those looking for strength and speed.
Nomex is an excellent choice for many industries, with aerospace and industrial being just two. The material is flexible, durable, and lightweight; it absorbs less energy than poly which helps the ball keep moving.
Pickleball paddles tend to be made with Nomex cording, which is popular among singles players because they provide great speed and power.
6. Aluminum Core Pickleball Paddles
Aluminum paddles are great for players who like to feel the ball. They’re lightweight and durable, not to mention that they come with a dual-plated finish. Other features:
- Lightweight paddles
- Good choice for the players who generate their own power
- Great choice who loves to have fast hands on the nets and easy maneuverability
- Also preferred by those who had the experience of previous injuries and now want to stay safe.
Is wood or aluminum better for pickleball?
For lighter paddle needs, you might want to try aluminum. In contrast, for an affordable one, it is wise to start with a wooden one.
7. Light Weight Pickleball Paddles
The lighter weight of the paddle makes it easier to give more rapid ‘hands’ at the net. The weight of the racket also helps you to maintain control when playing.
Pickleball is a game that relies heavily on close shots and fast reactions, which means you’ll need a lighter set if you want to move quick on the court. Heavy balls can weigh you down and can make it difficult to use your touch.
For this reason, it is recommended that you select a paddle between 7 oz and 8.5 oz. Keep in mind that the lighter the paddle, the more energy you need to put into your swing – which can inflamed on impact with your forearm.
8. Mid-weight Pickleball Paddle
Mid-weighted paddles are the most versatile as they allow for more force to be exerted. As a result, you can hit heavy short shots from way out on the court with more power so that your opponents stay back at their line.
The extra weight at the blade really helps with blocking. It forces the ball back up high instead of just dropping it so that it doesn’t even make it over the net.
Heavier paddles range in between 7.9 ounces and up. They have lately seen a growth in popularity with the legalization of outdoor modes of play.
As the sport has increased in speed and players have mastered more about how to properly put power behind their swings, there has also been a shift towards larger paddles.
Read our Full Pickleball Paddle Weight Guide.
Type of Pickleball Paddles based on Shape
There are mainly three shapes available for pickleball paddles.
- Standard shape Pickleball Paddle.
- Elongated Pickleball Paddle: normally these types of paddles come with a length of 16 inches or longer. Skilled players who want more reach and extreme power typically look for elongated shapes. Selkirk is famous for making elongated shaped paddles.
- Widebody Shape. Pro Pickleball players will typically use a paddle with a large body and good “sweet spot”. Onix Brand typically makes wide body shaped paddles for many years now.
Other than these, you can find pickleball paddles based on different sizes of handles as well. Gamma and Head make some really long-handled paddles ranging from around 5 to 6 inches long.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which is a better pickleball paddle composite or graphite?
In terms of weight, graphite paddles are a bit lighter than composite ones. But, composite paddles can provide you with the quality textured surface that generates spin to your shots.
Is fiberglass or graphite pickleball paddle better?
If you’re looking for a high-flexibility pickleball paddle, it’s important to consider our Fiberglass Pickleball Paddle. These have a pinpoint accuracy that will help your skills improve.
If you think there is more info you need to know on the topic, here is the best guide ever on the web so far. Check that out.
Are textured pickleball paddles legal?
According to the pickleball rules, your pickleball paddles should not have any kind of holes or rough textures in it. Any uneven surface on the paddle is also not accepted by the tournament committee or institution.
So, you see Pickleball paddles are made out of various materials and come in different shapes and sizes. The best pickleball paddle for you depends on your playing style and preferences. Choose your type and roar on the court.