What is a Pickleball paddle?

A Pickleball paddle is the main equipment with which a player hits the ball with. This paddle has its own set of rules and regulations based on grip, shape, material and dimensions.

The initial Pickleball paddles were simply a single plywood shaped like a thicker version of a kitchen spatula. However, as the game gained popularity, these paddles took a more modified shape.

To begin with, the wood itself improved in quality with technological developments. It is now known to be the most heaviest material for Pickleball paddles and is also the cheapest in the market. Professional Pickleball players now prefer graphite or composite as their preferred material of choice. Graphite is more expensive than wood but is lighter in weight and goes easy on the hands. Composite is more of an intermediate option between graphite and wood. Composite paddles are moderate in weight but their main advantage is that a player can impart a spin on their shots. 

The core of these paddles can be of various types: Aluminum, Nomex, Polymer, Fibreglass and Hybrid. 

Players can hit a softer shot near the net with more control if the core is made of aluminium. However, paddles with an aluminium core lack power. 

Pickleball paddles

Nomex is the most preferred core for professional Pickleball paddles. It is made up of a combination of a dipped cardboard and resin arranged in a honeycomb pattern. It often produces a popping sound that is often heard in Pickleball matches. 

A polymer core is simply a mix of different plastics that are tightly packed. These cores produce the softest sound and is more often used by players who do not really look forward to hit a powerful stroke. 

Fiberglass core paddles are a flexible version of graphite and generate a popping sound as well. They are more expensive and also have a textured touch to it. 

A combination of any of the above materials make a paddle with a hybrid core. 

The dimension of the Pickleball body should not exceed 24 inches, of which the length should not go beyond 17 inches. The grip size is standardized between 4 to 4.5 inches. The entire paddle should be ideally between 207 grams to 240 grams. 

A Pickleball player should thus take into consideration the above mentioned factors before opting for the apt paddle.

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