Let’s talk about Pro Pickleball Paddles. I retired 8 years ago and have been playing pickleball for the past 5 years. When I started playing there were no pickleball courts and no pickleball equipment to use, so we taped lines on one of the tennis courts and played over the tennis net. One of the club members cut some wooden paddles and wrapped the handles with electrical tape to build up the grip. Now in 2021, we have 8 permanent pickleball courts and in high season here in the desert we get up to 50 players per day.
Pro Pickleball Paddles - Making A Selection
We have players at all levels from a rating of 2.5 to 4.5, and we have some visiting 5.0 plus players from time to time. I have played with a variety of paddles over the years and am still looking for that one perfect paddle. I wanted to know what paddles others use, what they look for in a paddle, and what they like when selecting a paddle. This was like opening Pandora’s box as there were so many opinions that it was hard to tell what is a good paddle to play especially for a highly rated player, so I focused on the higher-rated players and picked their brains as to what works best for them.
Pro Pickleball Paddle Guidelines
Before we get into what paddles work best let’s just talk about paddles. There are a variety of manufacturers that make a variety of paddles in a variety of shapes. No matter what shape the paddle is in it must conform to the USAPA approved overall size dimensions. Paddles will have different weights, different surfaces, and different grip lengths and grip sizes. Most paddles have honeycomb cores, but there are some solid composite paddles that do not have cores. There are a variety of paddle weights and surfaces. Heavier paddles produce more power and lighter paddles produce more touch. Paddle manufacturers will put the specifications in the description of each paddle along with some comments on what you can expect from the paddle in play, such as good control, liberal sweet spot, more spin, and more power when you need it.
Pro Pickleball Paddles - Things To Look For
Pro Pickleball Paddle Grip Length Varies
Pickleball Paddle Grip Thickness Comes In Multiple Sizes
Weight: Pro Paddles use a variety of materials that affect weight
Sweet Spot/Spin Control
The question of "how to choose a pickleball paddle" is actually easier to answer than you think. It just took me a while to figure it out. And after interviewing the higher-level players, it finally hit home for me. It's less about the paddle specs and more about the "feel" of the paddle. You could have a paddle that is perfectly balanced at 7.2 ounces with a polymer core and a state-of-the-art carbon-fiber hitting surface, but if it doesn't feel good in your hands, then none of that even matters.
What matters is that you like the feel of the paddles in your hand, you have confidence in the paddle hitting area, and it plays well on the courts. So the bottom line is to find a paddle that suits your style of play that feels good in your hand and that you have confidence in when playing.
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