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How to Choose a Pickleball Paddle?

Paddle Shape
The shape of the paddle affects the size, power and maneuverability of the sweet spot. As a rule, the sum of the length and width, including any edge guards and butt caps, cannot exceed 24 inches and the paddle length cannot exceed 17 inches. Therefore, when we look at paddle shapes, these are the parameters that brands must use.

  1. Elongated shape
    This shape is longer, usually about 16.5 inches long and 7.5 inches wide. The elongated shape will give you more reach, power and spin, but it has a smaller sweet spot and less maneuverability than other shapes.
  2. Wide body shape
    These racquets have a wider face of about 8.5 inches and a shorter length of about 15.5 inches. This design offers the largest sweet spot and high maneuverability at the expense of reach and power.
  3. Classic Shape
    This shape is the original paddle shape, usually about 16 inches long and 8 inches wide. This shape is somewhere between a slender and a wide-body shape and, as you might guess, offers a balanced combination of power, spin, forgiveness and maneuverability.

How does the shape affect my choice of paddle?
You’ll find a wide variety of shapes out there. As long as the shape compliments the core and front, then you’ll be good to go.

For example, if you want an elongated paddle for extra reach and power, then try looking for a paddle with a carbon fiber face to help increase the size of the optimal hitting point. If you have a slim shape and a fiberglass face, then that is two elements of the paddle that narrow the sweet spot, which may not be the best combination.

Handle Length
The handle length can vary between 4.5 and 6 inches. Since the total length of the paddleboard plus the width cannot exceed 24 inches, the surface area of the paddleboard surface decreases a bit for every inch of handle length.

The longer the handle, the more power and spin you can generate
Longer paddles equal more power and spin
Lower level players with shorter, wider paddles generate more power on average because they are less consistent when hitting the center of the paddle.

How does handle length affect my choice of paddle?
Some players prefer to always hold the paddle with both hands, while others always use only one hand. Then there are players like me who like to hit backhand shots with both hands, but only use one hand at the net.

If you use both hands all the time, then you need a handle length of at least 5..25 inches, but may prefer a longer handle. If you never use two hands, then the standard 5″ handle length should be fine.

If you like to keep your fingers on the surface like a ping pong paddle, then you will need a shorter handle.

Weight
Paddles weigh between 7 – 8.5 oz. Anything in the 7 – 7.6 oz. range is considered light weight, 7.6 – 8.2 oz. is considered medium weight, and anything larger than 8.2 oz. is considered heavy weight. Some brands may use slightly different ranges in each weight class, but these classifications give you the general idea.
How does weight affect my choice of paddle?
The lighter the paddle, the easier it is to handle, which can be a big advantage when you are engaging your opponent quickly at the net. The disadvantage of a lighter paddle is that you have to swing harder to get more power out of it.

With a heavier paddle, you don’t have to swing as hard to generate power because there is more weight behind the ball. This is very useful when you are eating because a shorter swing allows less room for mistakes and gives you more time to get back to a ready position.

I find that heavier paddleboards also tend to be a little more consistent when hitting the ball, and don’t wobble as much if you hit the ball close to the edge of the paddleboard. This adds consistency and reduces errors.

It is not uncommon for players to put lead tape on the guard edge of their paddle, so if you get a lighter paddle and want it to be a little heavier, then you can always add some lead tape.

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2024-06-16 11:25:21
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