Guide for beginners on how to select a paddle


1. **Consider the Material**

Pickleball paddles are made from a variety of materials, each offering different benefits:

- **Wood**: These are the most affordable paddles and are great for beginners who are just trying out the sport. However, they are heavier and may not provide the best playability.

- **Composite**: These paddles are made from a combination of materials like fiberglass and polymer. They offer a good balance of weight and power, making them popular among players of all skill levels.

- **Graphite**: Graphite paddles are lightweight and provide excellent touch and control. They are typically more expensive but are favored by intermediate and advanced players.


2. **Weight Matters**

The weight of your paddle is crucial for your comfort and performance:

- **Lightweight (6-7.5 ounces)**: Easier to handle and better for players who prefer quick, finesse shots. Lighter paddles reduce player fatigue but might offer less drive.

- **Medium weight (7.6-8.4 ounces)**: Provides a good balance of power and control, suitable for players of all levels.

- **Heavyweight (8.5 ounces and above)**: Offers more power and drive, ideal for players who want to hit the ball harder. These paddles can be more tiring to use over long periods.


3. **Grip Size**

Selecting the correct grip size is essential for comfort and to prevent injuries:

- **Small grip (4 inches)**: Suitable for players with smaller hands or those who prefer a tighter feel.

- **Medium grip (4 1/4 to 4 1/2 inches)**: Works well for most players and provides a balance between control and comfort.

- **Large grip (4 3/4 inches)**: Best for players with larger hands, offering more stability at the cost of some maneuverability.


4. **Paddle Shape**

Paddle shapes vary, and the shape you choose can impact your reach and sweet spot:

- **Widebody**: The most common shape, offering a large sweet spot.

- **Elongated**: Provides extra reach and power, ideal for players who play more aggressively.

- **Tear drop**: Focuses the weight towards the top of the paddle, offering more power but a smaller sweet spot.


5. **Core Type**

The core of the paddle impacts how it feels and plays:

- **Nomex honeycomb**: Very hard and lightweight, providing excellent power and speed.

- **Aluminum honeycomb**: Offers good touch and control with moderate power.

- **Polymer honeycomb**: The softest and quietest, great for control and ideal for communities with noise restrictions.


Written by Pickleball Panther

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