Choosing The Right Pickleball Paddle 101 | Ultra Pickleball
If you have been playing for awhile now or have just started the pickleball game choosing the right paddle for you can be a difficult challenge, especially with all the options on the market today. We have alot of options on our site and I want to help narrow down a paddle for you. Today I want to take a very simply approach to helping you determine the best paddle for your game. This may or may not be the best approach in the industry but it is definitely a simply approach. First my disclaimer, I'm not a professional player but I'm not necessarily trying to boil down all the analytical aspects of choosing a paddle. I'm really just trying to simplify the buying process into a couple of steps that are easy to choose from so that you can find your paddle. Here are the 2 main areas I want to look at today.
- Power vs. Control
Power vs. Control
Depending on the type of paddle you choose to play with will determine how much power and control you receive from that paddle. When a paddle has a lot of "Pop" it means that it generally has more power with minimal effort or less effort than other paddles. Paddles with more "Pop" can be great for players that have previous elbow injuries or suffer from to much shock when hitting the ball. The lighter the paddle the more shock you will absorb in your arm.
Playing with more of a power paddle gives you more distance as well when you are in the back court. The obvious disadvantage to playing with this type of paddles is that if you are a beginner or even a seasoned player it is harder to control the ball. When you are playing in the kitchen area closer to the net it also makes it more difficult to "dink" and you will often be hitting the ball higher than you should over the net, thus giving your opponent a great shot in their favor. Power paddles are most often classified as graphite paddles, cork centered, and most fiberglass paddles. For control paddles you will want to look at composite pickleball paddles.
Overall, power paddles can be a great choice for more seasoned players or even those with a tennis playing background, but it will require some fine tuning in your game. If you are willing to stick with it this can be a great advantage to you if you can master the power paddles. If you are just starting out in pickleball I would recommend a composite paddle which will provide more control on the courts, especially if you are playing doubles in pickleball. You can always work your way up to a power paddle if you want.
We have tried to divide our paddles by weight in order to help our customers choose a great paddle for their playing style. Paddle weights range in ounces on our site. As stated previously lighter paddles will be more "shocking" to a players arm, elbow etc. Lighter paddles are not often recommended for players with injuries or for players that are not wanting to swing at the ball as hard when playing.
The heavier paddles will provide more distance and power for the amount of effort you are putting into the swing. I personally play with a mid-weight power paddle because I like to get in the fastest power shot possible when I'm playing. This however can leave me over hitting on the dinks, allowing my opponent to slam the ball down. A trade I'm willing to sacrifice and also it helps me to really work on my power game and become a better player.
I would say that at the end of the day choosing a paddle that is right for you is easier than most people make it out to be. First determine if you are a power or control player. That narrows down the options considerably. Then choose a paddle weight based on your preferences. To play it safe choose a paddle in the mid-weight group. The fact is, if you are an avid player you are going to experiment with a lot of different paddles throughout your life and love of pickleball. Its a great thing to have a bag full of your favorite paddles for when you want to crank of your game up. And at the end of the day it is all about just having fun anyways. Here's to the great game of pickleball. Game on!