Pickleball Paddles for Beginners: A Comprehensive Guide - Grip On Golf & Pickleball Zone

Pickleball Paddles for Beginners: A Comprehensive Guide

Starting out in pickleball and looking for the perfect paddle to begin your journey? Look no further! As a beginner, finding the right paddle can be a challenging task with so many options available. Understanding the characteristics that suit your playing style and level can make a massive difference in how quickly you can progress. In this blog, we will break down the key features and types of pickleball paddles that are most suitable for beginners.

1. Weight: Finding the Balance

Pickleball paddles come in different weights, ranging from 6 to 14 ounces. For beginners, a medium-weight paddle (7.5 to 8.5 ounces) is often ideal, as it offers a good balance between control and power. A heavy paddle may provide more power but might be difficult to handle, while a light paddle can be maneuverable but might lack power.

2. Material: Selecting the Substance

The material of the paddle affects both its weight and performance. The three main types of paddle materials are:

Wood: Wooden paddles are typically heavier and offer a great way to start as they are usually more affordable.

Composite: A mix of different materials like carbon fiber and polymer, composite paddles provide a balance between power and control, suitable for most beginners.

Graphite: Lightweight and robust, graphite paddles are excellent for those who want to invest in a top-tier paddle that will last longer.

3. Grip Size: Holding it Right

The grip size is essential for comfort and control. Generally, a grip size of 4 to 4 1/2 inches is suitable for most players. You can measure your grip size by using a ruler to measure the distance from the tip of your ring finger to the second crease in your palm.

4. Core Type: The Heart of the Paddle

The core of the paddle plays a vital role in the paddle's overall feel and performance. Three main types of core materials are:

Polymer Core: Soft and quiet, it offers excellent control and is often preferred by beginners.

Nomex Core: Hard and noisy, it gives more power but can be harder to control.

Aluminum Core: A middle-ground option providing both control and power.

5. Shape and Size: Hitting the Sweet Spot

For beginners, a traditional wide-body shape is often recommended. It provides a larger sweet spot and surface area, allowing for more forgiving and accurate shots.

6. Edge Guard or Edgeless: Protection vs. Play

Some paddles come with an edge guard to protect against chipping and damage, while others are edgeless for a more consistent feel across the paddle. As a beginner, you might prefer a paddle with an edge guard for added durability.

Conclusion: What to Consider as a Beginner

When selecting your first pickleball paddle, the most crucial factors to consider include weight, material, grip size, core type, shape, and whether or not it has an edge guard. Start with a medium-weight paddle made of composite or wood, and consider a polymer core for a good balance between control and power.

Remember, the perfect paddle may vary for each individual, so it's always a good idea to try out different paddles if possible before making your final decision. As you progress in your pickleball journey, you may find that your preferences evolve, so don't be afraid to experiment and find what works best for you.

Happy playing!

Back to blog