How to Choose a Pickleball Paddle: Complete Guide

December 10, 2022
Read Time:17 Minute, 26 Second

In recent years, pickleball has emerged as a fascinating sport, spreading its fame throughout the United States. If you thoroughly understand the games and their rules, you can succeed in any game, but choosing the correct gear is the second most important factor for improvement in any game.

The same is true for pickleball, which is played with a paddle and a Wiffle ball, but your chances of winning are reduced if you do not choose the right paddle!

To be successful at pickleball, you need a paddle that’s a good fit for you. This guide will help you find “how to choose a pickleball paddle.” So let’s begin right away.

How to choose a pickleball paddle: 5 Steps

How to Choose a Pickleball Paddle: Complete Guide - Pickleball paddles

This 5-step guide will simplify your work if you need help choosing a pickleball paddle. Follow it to select the best paddle for you!

Check the paddle’s weight

The first step in “how to choose the right pickleball paddle” is to check the paddle’s weight, which is one of the most crucial factors when picking a pickleball paddle. You can only play the game if the paddle is light enough.

There are three different types of weight paddles for pickleball players, depending on their expertise and strength.

  • Lightweight paddles – Below 7.3 oz
  • Mid-weight paddles – between 7.3 to 8.4 oz
  • Heavyweight paddles – 8.4 and above it

Lightweight paddles

A lightweight paddle is your best bet if you’re getting started playing. Experienced players of racquetball, ping pong, tennis, etc., or any other sport that relies heavily on wrist actions, will know that lightweight equipment is preferable.

But Avoid Using An Extra Lightweight Paddle

While the lightweight paddle is a good option, you shouldn’t go for paddles that are way too light because they will make it difficult for you to play the game. 

This is the only thing that you should ever bear in mind. Many players’ worst nightmare is playing with a paddle that is too light, as this can cause them to flub their shots and reduce their ability to generate enough force to make solid hits consistently. 

When you start to feel like your game is weakening and you’re missing shots, you may be using a paddle that’s too light. 

So, in that case, you must immediately switch to a slightly heavier paddle.

Mid-weight paddles

A mid-weight paddle is a good option if you feel confident playing with a light or heavy paddle but want to give yourself a little more leeway.

Midweight paddles are powerful and controllable. They’re similar to the light or heavy-weight paddles for precision and power, but they’re adaptable enough to use in any match.

Heavyweight paddles

Many players prefer simplicity over complexity, while others favor power over clarity, and those individuals should choose heavyweight paddles.

Those who can handle the extra strain while delivering a powerful shot should opt for heavier paddles. 

Only select a heavy-weight paddle if you are confident in your strength, as it will be challenging to hold and control.

Don’t choose the most severe paddle for you:

You will have trouble maintaining the ball, picking it up quickly to hit it, and so many other things with a heavy paddle. It will also travel in the opposite direction of where you intend.

On top of that, you’re increasing your risk of injury by picking up a heavy paddle yourself. For instance, you might feel wrist or arm pain right after playing or after a day of pickleball. 

How To Choose Pickleball Paddle Weight

So, how to choose the right pickleball paddle? Is this the thought circling in your head? Then the answer is that it is entirely up to you. 

You can go with the heavier paddle if you’re confident in your shot control, or choose the lighter one if you find it easier to hit your targets. Anyone here is free to use any pickleball paddle they want.


Before choosing any paddle weight, there are a few considerations that you should make.

You have to avoid tennis elbow

If you wish to reduce the risk of injury like tennis elbow, it’s crucial to choose a pickleball paddle that offers stable stability and feels pretty good in your grip.

A lightweight paddle may not be the best option if you are sensitive to tennis elbow due to the enhanced vibrations and tension they can cause when you strike the ball.

Paddles that are too heavy can render arm fatigue more quickly. It’s also a potential issue for tennis elbow sufferers.

If you have a tennis elbow problem, a good place to begin would be paddling with a weight in the middle.

However, the comfort and satisfaction you get from your pickleball paddle may also depend on its material and shape.

Always pay attention to the paddle’s grip size

If you are concerned about how to choose the right pickleball paddle, then the grip size of the paddle is another critical factor for you to think about.

You should look through the many sizes of grips available on the market to find the most comfortable for your hand.

A pickleball paddle’s perimeter is generally around four and a half inches.

In the unlikely event that you are unaware of the importance of using the proper grip, allow me to caution you that picking the incorrect grip size could also result in pickleball elbow pain.

You can measure the grip size according to your height

Since everyone’s height varies, I’ve created a quick chart to make your choice easier.

Below 5’2’’4’’ Grip 
5’3’’ to 5’8’’41/8’’ to 41/4’’ Grip
5’9’’ and above41/2’’ Grip

How do you measure a pickleball paddle grip?

Now you must be wondering how you will measure the grip on a pickleball paddle. 

No worries, I’ve got you covered. Below, I’ll explain a few tips and tricks to help you precisely measure the paddle grip.

Choose the proper pickleball grip by using the index finger

You can use your index finger to determine the paddle’s grip size. You must put your paddle’s palm on the string side and use an Eastern paddle grip.

Now, you have to use the index finger of another hand to fill in the spaces between your fingers. 

The grip is either too small for your index finger or too big for your palm, leaving a lot of room around your fingers.

Hand-measure test for grip size

Another way of your query of “how to pick the right pickleball paddle” is a hand-measure test for grip size. 

With this technique, you won’t need a pickleball paddle—just a ruler or tape measure will do!

A decent paddle hand grip can be calculated by measuring the length of your hand from the mid-inner corner to the end of your ring finger.

A player’s grip size in pickleball is based on the distance between their ring finger and the palm’s center crease. 

If you’re not sure what grip size to use, go smaller.

The smaller ones are the safer bet if you’re undecided between two different grip sizes.

Pickleball grips or overgrips can be added to increase the grip size, but they cannot be removed.

The player will have more control and spin with a smaller pickleball grip because they can use more wrist action when making a shot.

Materials in paddles

How to choose the best pickleball paddle? It’s simple to compare their materials to decide which one appeals to you more.

The following kinds of materials are used in paddles the most:

  • Wood
  • Graphite
  • Composite


If you want to buy a heavyweight paddle, but you don’t want to go over your spending limit, nor you want to compromise on the quality of its construction, then the wooden paddles are the best option for you to go with.

When shopping for heavy paddles, wood paddles are your most budget-friendly option.

But, the paddle made of wood is less potent than other materials, in my opinion.


It is known as a super-premium material. Graphite paddles are designed for those who prefer lightweight paddles but come at a higher price than ones constructed from wood or composite.

The Graphite paddles have become increasingly popular because of their light weight, ease of control, and accuracy.

Professional players typically use graphite paddles for pickleball. Even though the graphite used to make this paddle is paper thin, it is very sturdy.

Therefore, if you want to make an expensive and lightweight purchase, look at graphite paddles.

Graphite paddles typically weigh 6 to 9 ounces. Furthermore, these paddles have a core in their construction. 

The cores can be made of various materials, including aluminum, polymer, and Nomex honeycomb. The pickleball paddle has graphite edges across both ends, which separate graphite paddles from other types.


Most paddles on the market currently have fiberglass or composite surfaces, which are less costly than those built from more sturdy materials like graphite or carbon fiber. 

The player who is a hard hitter prefers this surface because the ball has more of a reaction to it when smacked with a fiberglass surface.

Also, they’re easier to swing because they weigh less than wooden pickleball paddles.

You can buy composite paddles at many pricing points, and they provide excellent performance at a fair price.

Core Construction

The “core construction” is something else to look for when trying to figure out how to pick a good pickleball paddle. Paddles must have the correct core construction.


Not only does it last longer than polymer core paddles, but it also absorbs less force, making it the optimal choice for more experienced players. 

When compared to other materials, the Nomex has a lot more power, allowing it to return the ball with greater strength and more rapidly.

Many paddles use a NomexTM honeycomb core, which is coated in a polymer and organized in a honeycomb pattern for toughness and is, therefore, suitable with the cardboard-like substance of the paddle.

So, Nomex is the clear favorite among experts and novices regarding the material used for the core of pickleball paddles. 

In addition to being the most potent paddle available, it will also be the loudest. Whenever you make contact with the ball, it will create significant noise.

Therefore, if you prefer a silent paddle because you don’t like the sound of your shots, you would be better off choosing one of the other options.


Aluminum frames are the standard in the world of pickleball. They’re light but have incredible strength. 

The power of an aluminum-core paddle may be less. You won’t be capable of propelling yourself as far as you could with a paddle built of higher strength.

If you’re a player with a light swing who wants a paddle with great touch and pinpoint accuracy, look no further than the aluminum core paddles.

Due to the slightly slower ball launch, players have more space to move. An aluminum paddle is a way to go if you value maneuverability and control.

You might experience a slight decrease in your overall power when using aluminum.


More and more people opt for polymer cores constructed from a unique plastic blend.

A polymer core is one of the core styles developed more recently. The supple polymer core of the paddles makes them a quiet choice.

If you don’t want to be greeted with a resounding noise every time you stroke the ball, this is the one for you! 

Because they are pretty quiet, they are also a good choice for people who reside in residential areas. *So your neighbor doesn’t get disturbed*

Compared to Nomex cores, poly cores are weaker. A polymer paddle may be preferable if you value precision over brute force.

Players benefit from a little more control as a result, as they are given an extra millisecond to work with the ball. 

Look For Pickleball Paddle Shapes

The pickleball paddles are available in various designs, but the maximum width and length they can be are 24 inches. This size restriction applies to both the paddle’s length and width.

Follow this video to get the right pickleball paddle shape.

Types Of Paddles Shapes

How to Choose a Pickleball Paddle: Complete Guide - Types Of Paddles Shapes 1024x683

There are many different types/shapes of paddles:

  • Standard
  • Elongated
  • Long-handled
  • Blade
  • Teardrop
  • Widebody

1 – Standard pickleball paddle shape – Great Choice For Novice Players.

Standard, or more traditionally styled paddles, are ideal for players who want to keep an even excellent distribution of power, control, and touch throughout their game.

These paddles have a standard size of 15 to 15 34 inches in length and a width of about 8 inches. Popular paddle grip lengths range from 4.5 to 5.5 inches.

It’s possible to strike an outstanding balance of power, distance, and grip by utilizing this form in conjunction with the appropriate length and width. 

They’re helpful for novices because there’s more surface area to make contact with the ball.

2- Elongated pickleball paddle shape – Best For Skilled Players.

Pickleball paddles with an elongated shape are used by experienced, wide-body players who want to take their game to a greater level by hitting the ball harder.

The paddle used for pickleball is 16 and 17 inches mostly, and the elongated paddle is the same length, so it is ideal!!

However, rather than offering control, the elongated provides more power, reach, and spin. This has led to the shape’s increased popularity among those who prefer to play alone *Single game*.

If you need to become more familiar with the pickleball rules singles, click this link to learn more about the game’s regulations.

3- Long-handled pickleball paddles

Different pickleball paddles have different length handles, and players who use a backhand with both hands tend to favor long-handled paddles. 

Long paddles will generally be oversized, with a shorter blade and a longer handle.

Because of its length, this versatile piece of equipment is an excellent choice for players who want to cover the entire court and revert any chance to shoot.

Both doubles and solo players will enjoy using this paddle.

Discover how to play pickleball with friends and family by learning the pickleball strategy doubles.

4- Blade pickleball paddles – Ideal For Beginners.

The blade pickleball paddles are unlike any other on the market because of their unusually long and narrow structure.

These paddles are a favorite of lone players because of their compact size and pleasant hitting surface. 

However, transitioning players will love it (tennis players who are just starting to play pickleball)

5- Teardrop pickleball paddles – Perfect For All Skill Level Players.

Teardrop pickleball paddles are characterized by a more rounded design than traditional paddles. 

There is a wider sweet spot higher up on a teardrop paddle because the paddle’s weight is distributed more evenly. Players of all skill levels will enjoy the teardrop’s large and forgiving sweet spot.

6- Widebody pickleball paddles – Perfect Choice For New Players.

The widebody design of a pickleball paddle is by far the most common and widely used. A standard for a wide-body paddle is a width of eight inches or more. 

Because of its extra width and expansive sweet spot, a widebody paddle is an excellent option for players starting pickleball.

7- Oversized pickleball paddles – Good Pick For Everyone.

The term “oversized paddles” can be understood from the name on its own. It’s been found that players who rest their forefinger and thumb on the paddle’s ground have more success with their shots when using an oversized paddle because they have a better grasp on the paddle.

Edge guard vs. edgeless paddles

Edge guard

An edge guard for a paddle is a thin plastic or rubber band that encircles the paddle and prevents it from scratching. It’s mostly an option for safety, so if you accidentally touch the ground with your paddle, you don’t have to worry because the edge guard will protect your paddle.

Edge guards are standard equipment for any sport involving paddles.

There are pros and cons to using edge protectors.

  • Although a paddle guard helps protect your paddle’s edge, it also presents some playability issues. 
  • There is no chance of missing a ball on pads without edge guards. 

Edgeless paddles

The Edgeless pickleball paddles are a little less popular, but they have pluses. These pickleball paddles are designed to assist players in using as much of the paddle’s surface as possible. 

Due to the lack of edges, these paddles have excellent responsiveness, making them ideal for those who prefer to play in more prominent sweet spots. 

One problem with an edgeless paddle is that it doesn’t have a protective edge. This means that the edge of an edgeless paddle is more likely to get chipped during play.

The edgeless paddles are favored in specific scenarios because they allow for a larger playing surface for the players.

Lightweight vs. Heavy Paddles – Which One Is Best?

You should now know which paddle would be the best choice for you, whether lightweight or heavy. 

You can choose any paddle that best compliments your playing style and physical capabilities.

If someone is very new to the game and is still in the practicing phase, then they should choose the lighter paddle.

Also, heavier paddles are the best option for skilled players who know how to deliver a powerful hit and want a firm grip on the object.

Final Thoughts

Picking the right paddle for your game of pickleball is vital, as it dramatically impacts how well you play. 

Your game will change as soon as you change the paddle’s weight. Lightweight paddles are more excellent for players who favor ball control, while bulkier ones are preferable for gamers who prioritize strength.

Take into account the various grip size options when picking a pickleball paddle. This could take a little practice to identify the perfect game for your individuality and preferences could take a little practice. 

If your pickleball grip isn’t the right size, you could get hurt in ways like tennis elbow.

Most paddles for pickleball are made of wood, graphite, or a combination of the two. Competitive players frequently use graphite paddles. 

Not only are these paddles lightweight and durable, but they also fold up neatly for transport.

However, wooden paddles are super popular, despite being just the thickest yet most classic choice. 

Use graphite or composite paddle alternatively of wood if you frequently play pickleball.

Now that you know that there is a wide range of paddles available, you can select one that best suits your playing style and level of expertise.

However, the length or width of the paddles can’t surpass 24 inches. A paddle’s standard length and width are 16 and 8 inches, respectively. 

A more extended set of paddles can generate more power, reach and spin, but at the expense of accuracy. An official tournament cannot be played with a paddle that is too large.

Before settling on a paddle, it’s a good idea to test different options. Finally, it’s essential to have fun while playing pickleball. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is a heavier or lighter pickleball paddle better?

More control is available but less drive with a lightweight paddle. A bulkier paddle, on the other hand, reduces your sharpness but enhances your strength and swing. 

One of the most significant issues with using a heavier paddle is its toll on your elbows and arms. You should probably begin with a paddle that is not overly heavy until you have built more strength in your arms and shoulders.

How do I know what size pickleball paddle I need?

One end of the ruler should rest in the second (or middle) crease of the palm of your hand, while the other end should be equivalent to your third (ring) finger. 

How long your ring finger is relative to your bottom lateral palm crease will give you an idea of what size paddle grip you need.

How do you pick a pickleball paddle weight?

You’ll likely feel most at ease using a Midweight Pickleball paddle if you typically play tennis with an estimated bulkier paddle. Lightweight pickleball paddles are popular because they resemble the feel of a tennis racquet but are much more manageable for casual play.


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Hey, fellow pickleball player!

My name is Ethan Josephson. I am a pickleball enthusiast who has been playing this fantastic game for more than 5 years. Before that I had almost 20-years-experience with tennis and table tennis, but pickleball fascinated me completely.