How to choose your paddle
There are so may paddles to choose from nowadays that choosing the one for you can be a bit daunting so here are three key considerations for anyone considering which pickleball paddle to purchase.
My advice is that you first decide on your budget and only look at paddles that fall within it. To make that easier to do I've grouped the paddles into the following price ranges: under £50, £51-£70, £71-£90, £91-£110 and over £110. I've worked hard to source great paddles at each price point so you should be able to find something to suit you whatever your budget.
Weight is an important factor when choosing a paddle. Pickleball paddles can range from 6 to 14 ounces with most graphite and other composite paddles weighing from 6 to 9 ounces. Weight influences how a paddle feels when you pick it up and swing it on the court. A heavier paddle will help you to drive the ball with power but might give you less control or “touch”. A lighter paddle won't provide as powerful a drive but should increase ball control and feel. So if you feel you need power then go heavier or if you need more touch then go lighter. If you're unsure then plump for a mid-weight paddle as that should give you enough power when you need it but still allow you to have the control and touch you'll need.
3. Grip Size.
It is a good idea to play with a paddle that has the correct grip circumference for your hand. If you don't know your hand size then here are a couple of ways to find out:
- Height test: this informal test is supposed to work for both men and women.
Under 5'2": 4 inch grip (small)
5'3" to 5'8": 4 1/4 inch grip (medium)
5'9" & taller: 4 1/2 inch grip (large) or build up a medium grip by adding an over grip
- Ring Finger test
Hold your dominant palm up. Notice your palm has three major creases. Take a ruler and measure from the middle crease of your palm, up to the tip of your ring finger. This measurement should reflect the perfect grip size for you. If you are unsure between two sizes, choose the smaller size.
- Paddle Test: when trying several paddles use the following method to verify sizing.
Grip a paddle with your normal grip and see if you can slide the index finger of your other hand between your fingertips and the heel of your hand gripping the paddle. Your finger should fit snugly between the two without having to move your fingers. If you must shift your fingers farther away from the heel of the hand to get your index finger in between the two, the grip might be too small. If you have space between your index finger and your fingers or heel of your hand, the grip might be too large.
If you're unsure about what grip size you need then go smaller as it is relatively easy to build up the size by adding a more cushioned grip or overgrip to your paddle but it's not easy to make a grip smaller.