Skip to content


Selecting the Weight of Your Pickleball Paddle

Most top pickleball pros would say that the weight of your paddle should be the top factor when selecting a paddle. Pickleball Paddles range in weight from about 6 ounces to about 14 ounces. Most paddles above 9 ounces are wooden paddles. Using a lightweight paddle of the same material construction, you need to generate more swing speed to generate the same power that you can with a heavier paddle and less swing speed (Force = Mass * Acceleration). However, the lighter paddle will always give you a faster reaction time when volleying at the kitchen line. The difference in weight might not seem like much but a tenth of a second on a reaction volley can make all the difference. This isn't to say that a lighter paddle is always better. Construction materials used for the paddle surface and core material play a factor in the weight also. These materials can change the playability of a paddle between higher power or more control.

There are three types of Pickleball paddles by weight:

Lightweight Pickleball Paddles - under 7.2oz

Midweight Pickleball Paddles- 7.3 to 8.4oz

Heavyweight Pickleball Paddles- over 8.5oz

Lightweight Pickleball Paddles - Control over Power

Lightweight paddles are known for being more about control and are the perfect fit for touch players that like to dink and hit drop shots. These paddles are usually under 7.2 ounces. They also have the advantage of a quicker response time when you are at the net and have the ball blasted at you. If you are just starting out in pickleball and coming from ping pong or racquetball light weight paddles are a great fit because of the wristy action of the swing in those sports. One drawback is the lighter the paddle the more vibration and stress your elbow must overcome when hitting the ball. If you are prone to tennis elbow a lightweight paddle might not be the best fit for you.

Midweight Pickleball Paddles - Control + Power Mix

Midweight paddles are a good combination of power and control. These paddles are usually around 7.3 to 8.4 ounces. They are good for hitting serves and serve returns with power without a very fast swing but also still have control when you want to dink at the net. Mid weight paddles are also a good fit if you suffer from tennis elbow, light weight paddles have to overcome the weight of the ball stressing your elbow while heavy weight paddle overcome the ball weight more than a lightweight paddle they do add extra weight that can fatigue your elbow over time. Midweight pickleball paddles are one of the better choices for players coming from tennis because tennis players tend to use less of a wrist action to generate power.

Heavyweight Pickleball Paddles - Power over Control

Heavyweight pickleball paddles are usually used by players that prefer power over control. These paddles are usually around 8.5 to 9.5 ounces, paddles over 9.5 ounces are usually made of wood and are rarely used. For older players that have a very slow swing speed a heavier paddle can help generate more pop on the ball... again Force = Mass * Acceleration. The drawback of the heavy paddles is the heavier weight can fatigue your arm faster, it can also be a problem for players with tennis elbow. If you play singles pickleball a heavier paddle may also be right for you because it is played more like singles in tennis where power beats finesse. In pickleball singles dinks and drop shots aren't a large part of the game like in doubles pickleball.

Pickleball Paddles - Power v. Control

The power vs. control debate in pickleball has gone on for years now. A pickleball paddle's playability comes mainly from the paddle weight and composition. The paddles surface and core materials are the biggest factors in the weight and the paddles performance.

It is generally said that a heavier paddle is better for power (Force = Mass * acceleration) and that, for control, a lighter paddle with a graphite surface is ideal. In the past, there have only been a few materials used in the construction of paddle cores, with the material determining the weight. With the introduction of many new core materials in recent years, paddles now offer a nice mixture of power and control with varying weight options.

The 3 main pickleball paddle Core types:

  • Nomex - Less compression on Impact for more power, has louder than other materials.

  • Polymer - tough of a material used in a control paddle.

  • Aluminum - usually heavier than polymer but also a material used for control paddles.

The 2 main pickleball paddle Surface types:

  • Fiberglass -Provides more Pop for power paddles

  • Graphite (Carbon Fiber) -Used for control paddles

With more brands entering the game each year they are all trying to differentiate themselves through the introduction of new Technologies. In many cases these technologies relate to the materials used for the hitting surface and core materials

How to Choose a Pickleball Paddle Grip Size

There are 2 commonly used methods to select a grip size for a pickleball paddle, these are the same methods used for a tennis racquet grip size.

Method 1 - Using a Known Grip Size Tennis Racquet

The 1st method requires you to have a pickleball or tennis racquet with a known grip size that has not been modified or built up. Hold the racquet with an Eastern Forehand Grip, the palm of your hand should be placed against the same level as the string face on the racquet. Place the index finger of your other hand in the gap between the ends of your fingers and the palm of your hand. If there isn't enough room for your index finger then the grip is too small, if there is a lot of space between your fingers and palm then the grip is too big. Using a grip that is either too large or too small for a long period of time not only adversely affects your game but can cause problems with tennis elbow.

Method 2 - Measure your Hand

The 2nd method doesn’t require a tennis racquet or pickleball paddle but you will need a ruler or tape measure. With your hitting hand palm facing you open it with your fingers extended and closed together. Your hand has two long creases running horizontally across the center, measuring the distance from the bottom crease to the top of your ring finger. This distance should match your optimum grip size.

Note: Grips can be increased in size by building them up but you can't decrease the size, most overwraps increase the grip size by 1/16". If your measurement comes out between grip sizes go with the smaller size. Grip Sizes: (0) - 4", (1) - 4 1/8", (2) - 4 1/4", (3) - 4 3/8", (4) - 4 1/2", (5) - 4 5/8"

Note 2: Using a smaller grip will allow for more wrist action in your swing

How to Increase the Grip Size of a Pickleball Paddle

If the maximum grip size a paddle comes in is still too small for your hand you can use a pickleball overgrip to build up the diameter of the grip. 1 layer of an overgrip builds the grip up by about 1/16 of an inch. You would wrap the grip until it was built up to your desired thickness.

Selecting a Pickleball Paddle Size

When selecting a paddle size, a player needs to take into account how they plan to play the game. Traditional shaped paddles are squarer and offer a good amount of surface area both horizontally and vertically. On the other hand, oversized paddles  are longer, giving the player extra reach at the cost of paddle width. For most players, a traditional shaped paddle is the way to go. Here are some guidelines to help you decide which shape is best for you.

Traditional Pickleball Paddles

  • Excellent for everyone, beginners to pros

  • More squared design allows players balanced surface area both vertically and horizontally (harder to miss the ball)

  • More surface for players that play a lot of English (spin) on their returns

Oversized Pickleball Paddles

  • Good for more experienced players.

  • Increased length allows players to get to shots that would otherwise be missed.

  • Longer "sweet spot" allows for a greater amount of quality strikes.

Cart 0

Your cart is currently empty.

Start Shopping