After discussing the top three criteria needed to look for when purchasing a Pickleball Paddle, let us now cover some good to know information about paddles.
Let's talk about Paddle Materials:
Wood: Heaviest and cheapest
Graphite: often the most expensive option but also light and powerful performance on the court.
Composite: a compromise between wood and graphite paddle. These come in a variety of prices and weights and have been gaining popularity because the paddle face texture helps impart spin on shots. There are now some higher priced composites.
Wood pickleball paddles
Wood is still a viable option for beginning pickleball players looking to invest a minimum amount on their first paddle and are fine if you like a heavyweight pickleball paddle.
It is important to remember that the original pickleball paddles were made out of wood so they are definitely usable and these newer wood versions have improved over the original paddles with the addition of grips and safety straps to prevent the paddle from flying out of your hand,
Purchasing a large quantity of pickleball equipment (for schools, community center, summer camps, etc) can be a decent option for wood paddles. These types of sports programs where paddles are heavily used, the wood can take quite a beating so can be a good option due to durability and low cost.
Wood paddles are a good solution when you have visitors coming for social play. It is a cheap and easy way to have a few extra paddles around for friends that want to try their hand at pickleball. We sell a paddle called the Onix Recruit 3.0. This paddle is made of fibreglass and has a wooden handle. It is a quality paddle that combines the technology available today with the durability of a wooden handle that absorbs vibrations. This is a great choice for players starting out at Pickleball.
Composite pickleball paddles
Composite paddles, or sometimes called fiberglass paddles focus more on precision, rather than power. The light flex of the material offers pinpoint accuracy for your pickleball play.
These paddles are constructed with a composite core and of a fiberglass or carbon fiber hitting surface. The core of the paddle is made of either Nomex (rigid nylon), polymer or aluminum. Composite pickleball paddles are also becoming more popular because the textured surface makes it easier to put spin on the ball. We recommend fiberglass for players looking to elevate their game by improving their accuracy. Here are our recommended paddles for spin:
Graphite pickleball paddles
Weight is often associated with power. Generally, the heavier the paddle, the more power you get. However, graphite is a material that breaks this line of thinking. With the majority of paddles weighing 6-9 ounces, graphite paddles are also built with a core (Nomex, aluminum, polymer) similar to composite paddles. The graphite face on both sides of the paddle is what differentiates this type of pickleball paddle. Because it is such a strong material, you can get plenty of power from a very thin layer of it.
The layer of graphite is thin, usually only a few mm (about the thickness of a fingernail). Light and strong, graphite paddles are some of the best selling paddles. Competitive players like the quick action of the graphite face. Since graphite pickleball paddles are both light and strong, they give you fast action off the paddle and a powerful boost. We recommend graphite paddles for players looking to gain more power without sacrificing control. Here are our recommended pickles for graphite paddles: