selecting a pickleball paddle

What should you look for in a pickleball paddle? With over 400 paddle companies, it can be a difficult task. Paddles vary in head shape, weight, core construction, surface material and grip.

The shape of the head will affect the size and location of the “sweet spot.” Weights vary from 7.2 oz. to 8.5 oz., affecting power versus control, with more weight helping to stabilize the paddle and add power. The typical racquet has a honeycomb-style polymer core and the thickness varies from approximately 13 mm to 16 mm. The thicker the paddle, the more power—the thinner, the more precision. Both Master and Selkirk have come out with new one-piece construction paddles. The face of a paddle can be graphite, fiberglass or carbon fiber, and a little bit of “texture” will help generate more spin. Grips are usually 4.25 inches in circumference but can always be made bigger with an overwrap.


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With so many variables in racquets, try to find a program or store that has a large selection and allows you to demo racquets before you buy. Everyone likes a different “feel” and what a friend or a pro likes might not be the most suitable for you.

The gear most important for your safety are your sneakers. Please, do not wear running sneakers. Get a good pair of tennis sneakers, now marketed as “pickleball sneakers.” These should be comfortable and give you the lateral support you need on court—with a sufficiently spacious toe box and room in front of your toes. A lighter sneaker is helpful. Instead of ordering online, find a store with a large selection of court sneakers, where you can try them on and walk around.

Now get out there and enjoy pickleball!


Article by Mel Siegel, owner of Sportech, a retailer of sporting goods and recreational equipment in the Rye Ridge Shopping Center in Rye Brook;; 914-934-0001


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