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14mm vs. 16mm Pickleball Paddles: Choosing the Right Thickness for Your Game

14mm vs. 16mm Pickleball Paddles: Choosing the Right Thickness for Your Game

14mm vs. 16mm Pickleball Paddles: Choosing the Right Thickness for Your Game

The core of a pickleball paddle, along with its surface material and shape, plays a significant role in how the paddle performs. One key aspect of the core is its thickness, which typically comes in two options: 14mm and 16mm.

14mm Pickleball Paddles

  • Advantages:
    • Power: A thinner core allows for more flex and greater power transfer on strokes. This makes 14mm paddles ideal for aggressive baseliners who like to hit the ball hard.
    • Maneuverability: A lighter paddle due to the less material allows for quicker swings and easier handling. This can be beneficial for players who rely on reaction volleys and fast reflexes at the net.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Control: The thinner core can lead to a less dampened feel on contact with the ball. This can result in less control on finesse shots and difficulty placing the ball precisely.

16mm Pickleball Paddles

  • Advantages:
    • Control: The thicker core creates a more solid feel and reduces vibrations on ball impact. This allows for greater control over shots and a more precise feel, especially for dinks, drop shots, and soft volleys.
    • Touch: A thicker core can provide a softer feel on contact with the ball. This can be advantageous for players who prefer a more dampened feel and a softer touch for strategic shots.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Power: The thicker core can lead to a slightly less powerful stroke compared to a 14mm paddle.

Which Paddle Thickness Should You Choose?

The ideal pickleball paddle thickness depends on your playing style and skill level:

  • Beginners: For beginners who are still developing their strokes and focusing on control, a 16mm paddle is typically recommended. The added control will help them improve accuracy and consistency.
  • Intermediate Players: Intermediate players who are starting to develop more power in their game can choose between a 14mm or 16mm paddle based on their preference. If they prioritize power and aggressive play, a 14mm paddle might be a good option. If they still value control and touch, a 16mm paddle can be a good choice.
  • Advanced Players: Advanced players with a well-developed game can select their paddle thickness based on their playing style. Power players can benefit from a 14mm paddle for maximum power, while finesse players might prefer a 16mm paddle for more control and touch.

Ultimately, the best way to choose between a 14mm and 16mm pickleball paddle is to try both thicknesses and see which one feels more comfortable and suits your playing style better. Many paddle manufacturers offer demo programs or stores will have paddles you can try out.



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