Pickleball Paddle Buying Guide

When it comes to selecting a paddle for your pickleball game, there are many things to consider. Grip size, core material and surface material all play an important role in how well your paddle performs on the court. Graphite, carbon fiber and fiberglass composite are the most common surfaces used on modern paddles. They each have their own characteristics that, when paired with a core material, give paddles a performance profile that fits the needs of a wide range of players.

Core Materials

The core material used in a pickleball paddle is one of the most important decisions to make when choosing a new paddle. The vast majority of pickleball paddles made today use polypropylene (or PP), an advanced plastic blend that offers power performance with soft control for touch shots. PP is the most popular core on the market and has earned its reputation as the quietest. Its reduced deflection allows players to manipulate the ball with greater precision, resulting in a more controlled strike that feels both powerful and under control.

Nomex is another popular core material. It is a paper-like material that has been dipped in resin to create an extremely hard, yet lightweight material. Nomex is a great choice for players who want to generate lots of power but are worried about noise. Nomex paddles can be a bit harder to maneuver than aluminum and graphite but they are well liked for their durability.


The surfaces used in pickleball paddles have a significant impact on how you play. They determine your serves, return shots, speed and power. Fiberglass and composite paddles are the most common surface material. They are durable and come in a range of weights.

Graphite and carbon fiber paddles are also very popular. They are lightweight and thin, giving you a great touch and feel. They can be a little stiff, but they offer exceptional ball control. They are a good choice for players who want to use their entire body to control the ball. Using a textured paddle face helps you put more spin on your shot. This is helpful for hard hitters who want to add more oomph to their game.


When it comes to choosing a pickleball paddle, weight can be an important factor. Paddles come in three weight categories: light (less than 7 ounces), midweight (between 7.3 and 8.4 ounces) and heavyweight (8 or more ounces). A lightweight paddle will be easier to swing and reduce wrist fatigue. It may also be a good choice for petite or new players.

On the other hand, a heavy paddle can provide more power and make it more difficult to miss shots. It can also help increase your reaction time and accuracy. The right weight for you depends on your strength, style of play and budget. A lighter paddle will allow you to dink and hit drop shots faster, but it will not be as powerful.


Using the correct grip on your pickleball paddle can make a huge difference in your playing abilities and reduce the risk of injury. A wrong grip can lead to a variety of problems including loss of control, wrist strain, and even worse, the paddle slipping out of your hands! There are a few ways to determine the grip size that works for you. The first way is to use the index finger test. Place your index finger on the handle between your fingertips and palm and then slide it down until it fits snugly in the gap.

The second way to test your grip size is by using a ruler. This can be more accurate than the index finger test, but it isn’t as accurate. Players can also customize the circumference of their grip with tape by wrapping it at a steeper angle. This allows the tape to overlap less, allowing them to add more grip size.


A paddle is the most important piece of equipment in your pickleball game. It’s what helps you hit the ball with power and control. There are many factors that influence a paddle’s performance. Different core and surface materials, weights, shapes and more can help you determine which one is best for you.