Pickleball is a fantastic game that has experienced a surge in popularity over recent years. However, one of the aspects many players overlook when starting is the thickness of their paddle. The thickness of a pickleball paddle affects how the game is played, influencing factors like control, power, and feel. This blog post will dive into the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of paddle thickness and offer tips for players choosing the right option.

Paddle Thickness: A Brief Overview

Pickleball paddle thickness typically ranges from about 7/16 inch to 1 inch. There are three general categories: thin (7/16 inch to 1/2 inch), mid-range (1/2 inch to 5/8 inch), and thick (5/8 inch to 1 inch). Each thickness brings unique attributes to the table, impacting your game in various ways.

Thin Paddles

Thin pickleball paddles are favored by players looking for improved control and better feel of the ball. The thinner design allows for a more precise shot placement and an enhanced sense of where the ball is on the paddle.


  1. Control: Thin paddles tend to offer superior control, allowing players to maneuver the ball with more precision.
  2. Feel: These paddles provide a heightened feel for the ball, which can increase a player's responsiveness and accuracy.

  • 1. Lack of Power: With a thinner paddle, players might find it challenging to generate a lot of power, making it less ideal for powerful slams.
  • 2. Durability: Thinner paddles can be slightly less durable, as they can't absorb impact as well as their thicker counterparts.

Mid-Range Paddles

Mid-range paddles attempt to provide a balanced combination of control and power, making them a versatile option for many players.


  1. Balanced Play: Mid-range paddles offer a balance between control and power, appealing to players who don't have a specific playing style or who enjoy both aspects of the game.
  2. Versatility: These paddles are suitable for various situations, from driving slams to controlled drop shots.


  1. Jack of All Trades, Master of None: While they provide balance, mid-range paddles might not excel in either control or power, which could be a disadvantage for players with a specific playing style.

Thick Paddles

Thick paddles are typically the choice for those seeking maximum power, allowing for stronger shots and serves.


  1. Power: The increased mass in thick paddles results in powerful shots, perfect for aggressive players.
  2. Durability: Thick paddles are often more robust and can withstand strong hits better than thinner ones.


  1. Reduced Control: With a focus on power, players may find that their control is slightly compromised.
  2. Less Feel: Thicker paddles tend to reduce the feel for the ball, which might impact a player's accuracy and touch shots.

Choosing the Right Thickness

When choosing the right paddle thickness, consider your playing style and what you value most in your game. If you're a player who thrives on precision and finesse, a thinner paddle could be your ideal choice. Conversely, if you rely on power shots and fast-paced play, a thicker paddle might serve you better. For those who like a mix of both, a mid-range paddle can be a great choice.

Remember, it's not just about thickness, but also the paddle's material, weight, grip size, and shape. Take your time and try out different paddle types if possible. Above all, remember that the best paddle is the one that feels most comfortable and natural in your hand.

In conclusion, while paddle thickness may seem like a minor detail, it plays a crucial role in shaping your pickleball game. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of different thicknesses will guide you to a paddle that can enhance your strengths, complement your playing style, and ultimately, boost your pickleball experience.

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