What Is the Right Pickleball Paddle for Me?

Pickleball is a fun, relatively simple sport to pick up and play—that’s why it’s the fastest-growing sport in the United States. But playing pickleball requires the right equipment. No piece of equipment is more critical to playing your best than your pickleball paddle is.

Like tennis, badminton, or other racket-style sports, you want to start with a pickleball paddle that’s suitable for beginners, then graduate to a more expensive paddle that helps you play better. That said, your first paddle should still be long-lasting and constructed of high-quality materials, so before making your decision, here are the various factors to look for, from weight to the type of material.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Pickleball Paddle

If you’re looking for a pickleball paddle, here are three things to keep in mind.

1.    Price

If money is no object, then go for the best pickleball paddle you can afford. Paddles for pros can range well over $800. But if you’re just starting out, you can get a really good paddle for between $100 and $150. Try a few paddles to see which ones feel comfortable in your hand. A more expensive paddle may not feel as good as a less expensive one, so find the one that’s right for you within your price range.

2.    Weight

Weight is important because it determines how fast you can react; it affects both your control and power. Weight equals control and power: The lighter the paddle, the more control, but there will not be as much power. Inversely, the heavier the paddle, the more power, but there will be less control. Most of the top paddles are made of composite or graphite and weigh between six to nine ounces. Paddles around eight ounces seem to be the weight where most players gravitate.

3.    Grip Dimensions

Grip is as important as weight because a broader grip will provide you with more stability and make your arm work less. Smaller grips allow for more wrist movement, which helps put a spin on the ball and improves control. The bottom line is this: Starting out, find the paddle that has the most comfortable grip for you—and this could be a broader grip for now—and then move to a narrower grip as you get better with your game.

What Kind of Pickleball Paddle Should You Get?

There are so many pickleball paddles to choose from, and the easy answer is that whichever paddle feels best in your hand that you can afford is the right one for you. Shop around and ask other players. If you’re playing in tournaments, invest in more advanced equipment to increase your chances of playing better. If you’re playing for pleasure, try not to sweat your decision because, after all, the whole point of playing is to have fun!