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If you’re thinking of buying a pickleball paddle you’ve come to the right place! Our comprehensive pickleball paddle guide covers everything from pickleball paddle dimensions & weights to paddle materials & grips, meaning you’ll find all the information you need to buy a pickleball paddle with confidence.
What are the dimensions of a pickleball paddle?
The official USAPA rulebook, states that:
“The combined length and width, including any edge guard and end cap, shall not exceed 24 inches (60.96 cm). The paddle length cannot exceed 17 inches (43.18 cm). There is no restriction on paddle thickness”.
In other words, pickleball paddles can be a range of widths and lengths, but the total length + the total width, cannot exceed 24 inches. With this in mind, if you opt to use a pickleball paddle with an elongated, longer face, the paddle will have to be narrower than traditional designs to meet regulation criteria.
The majority of pickleball paddles available have a width of between 7 inches (17.78cm) & 8 inches (20.32cm) and a length of 15 inches (38.10cm) - 16 inches (40.64cm). Pickleball paddles within this range offer all-around power, control and balance.
How do pickleball paddles compare in size with rackets & paddles used in other sports?
One of the distinctive features of the sport of pickleball is the pickleball paddle. Pickleball paddles must adhere to the USAPA regulations mentioned above, meaning they are bigger than a table tennis bat, but smaller than a tennis racket.
Interestingly, the official rules for table tennis state that "The racket may be of any size, shape or weight but the blade shall be flat and rigid", meaning that in theory, you could play with a giant pickleball paddle if you wanted to.
Having said that, most table tennis bats are around 10 inches (25.4cm) long and 5.9 inches (15.0cm) wide. The average weight of a table tennis paddle is approximately 3oz (85.0g), making them much lighter than pickleball paddles.
Tennis racket sizes can vary. Tennis rackets have a maximum length of 29 inches (73.7cm), although the vast majority of tennis rackets, including those used by top professionals, have a length of 27 (68.6cm) - 27.5 inches (69.9cm), and a width of 10.63 inches (27cm). Squash rackets have a similar length of 27 inches (68.6cm) and a maximum width of 8.46 inches (21.5cm).
Pickleball paddles and table tennis bats both have a solid face, whilst tennis rackets and squash rackets have taut strings that criss-cross vertically and horizontally within the racket frame.
How much do pickleball paddles weigh?
Whilst there is no restriction in the USAPA official rulebook regarding pickleball paddle weight, most pickleball paddles weigh between 7.2oz (204g) - 8.5oz (241g). Heavier paddles tend to provide more power, whilst lighter paddles give more control & precision. Most first-time players will opt for a mid-weight paddle, to get a good balance of both power & control.
Getting the right grip size can be important for performance and comfort. Using a pickleball paddle that is too big for example, can cause your grip to fatigue relatively quickly, and can even cause tendonitis in the elbow or wrist in the long term.
How do you measure grip size for a pickleball paddle?
•Hold your hand out in front of you so your palm and fingers point straight up into the air
•Place your fingers together - your thumb can point out to the side
•Align the bottom of the ruler with the bottom lateral crease of the palm of one of your hands
•Measure to the top of your ring finger
In the image shown above, the pickleball player's grip would be 4.5 inches or a size 4 pickleball paddle.
Once you’ve measured your grip, you can use the chart shown below to determine what size you need.
|Pickleball Grip Size Chart|
|Size in inches||Size in cm||European Sizes||US Sizes|
|3.94" - 4.06"||10 - 10.3cm||0||4 inches|
|4.06" - 4.17"||10.3 - 10.6cm||1||4 ⅛ inches|
|4.17" - 4.33"||10.6 - 11.0cm||2||4 ¼ inches|
|4.33" - 4.45"||11.0 - 11.3cm||3||4 ⅜ inches|
|4.45" - 4.65"||11.3cm - 11.8cm||4||4 ½ inches|
|4.65" - 4.72"||11.8 - 12.0cm||5||4 ⅝ inches|
|4.72" - 4.84"||12.0 - 12.3cm||6||4 ¾ inches|
What are the different parts of a pickleball paddle called?
Below you'll find a breakdown of the different parts that make up a pickleball paddle.
Face - The face of the pickleball paddle is used for hitting the pickleball ball. The face is made from graphite, wood or a carbon polymer.
Edge Guard - The edge guard is situated around the perimeter of the paddle's face. The guard protects the face from damage and helps to maintain its shape
Throat - The throat is the part of the paddle that connects the handle to the face. The throat is usually made of the same material as the face of the paddle.
Handle - As you'd expect, the pickleball paddle handle is the part that a player holds during a game. It is often made of wood, graphite or a carbon polymer.
Grip Tape - The grip tape, or grip, is the outer part of the handle; the part which your hand makes contact with when you hold the handle. Pickleball paddle grips are usually made of rubber or a synthetic material such as polyurethane (PU).
End Cap - The end cap is found at the bottom of the handle. End caps, also known as "butt caps" protect the bottom of the handle and can extend the length of the handle slightly.
How do you choose a pickleball paddle?
With so many designs available, it can be overwhelming when it comes to buying your first pickleball paddle. A good place to start when researching pickleball paddles, is to think about which shape, weight, and material is best for you and your style of play.
The vast majority of pickleball players opt to use a pickleball paddle with a traditional face, which is 7.0 to 8.25 inches wide. Some players, however, opt for an elongated, longer face, which can provide additional reach, but less power & control. The table below compares the pros and cons of both paddle designs:
|Standard vs Elongated Pickleball Paddles Comparison Table|
|Centre of gravity||Middle of paddle’s face||Near top or bottom of paddle|
|Weight||Typically lighter||Typically heavier|
|Speed/Agility||High speed & agility||Low speed & agility|
|Reach||Shorter reach||Longer reach|
Heavier paddles weighing more than 8.5oz offer additional power, whilst lighter paddles, weighing less than 7.3oz, offer more precision & control. Most players opt for a pickleball paddle that weighs somewhere in between, for a balance of power & precision. Medium-weight pickleball paddles are ideal for beginners, who are yet to establish a specific style of play.
A number of materials are used in pickleball paddle faces, including fibreglass, wood and graphite. Graphite is a type of carbon fibre that has a reputation within the pickleball community for providing more precision than a fibreglass pickleball paddle and more power than other carbon fibre materials. Despite its strength and durability, graphite is also a relatively light material, meaning that your grip and arms are less likely to fatigue during a pickleball game when using a graphite paddle. If you are a beginner or someone looking for a cost-effective paddle, then you may also consider investing in one with a wooden face. Paddles with wooden faces tend to be solid wood and substantially cheaper than paddles made with other composite materials and provide a similar level of performance in terms of power. Wooden paddles are also said to be longer lasting than composite paddles.
The first pickleball paddle cores were made with the material Nomex. Developed in the late 1960s for industrial clothing & appliances; Nomex quickly became the go-to choice for pickleball paddle cores. However, in more recent years pickleball paddles with polymer cores have become the most popular, thanks to the superior level of power and control that they offer. Providing a flexible and soft touch, paddles with a honeycomb-style polymer core can also provide an additional level of precision & a better “feel”. Another reason why polymer core paddles are so popular, is that they are not as loud as paddles with cores made from wood or Nomex. Something that is often an important consideration for players who have a pickleball court at home.
Another thing to look out for when buying a pickleball paddle - is to check whether it is USAPA (United States of America Pickleball Association) approved for competitive matches. Without USAPA approval, you may not be able to use a specific paddle in a regulation game or competition. The Vermont Venom Pickleball Paddle has been approved by USAPA and approved for competitive play.
How long do pickleball paddles last?
How long a pickleball paddle lasts, depends largely on how often a player uses it. If you are a professional pickleball player, playing almost every day, then a paddle will usually last 6 months to a year. However, if you only play once a week, you can expect a graphite pickleball paddle to last 2-3 years. Despite the cheaper price tag, wooden pickleball paddles tend to last the longest, typically 3-5 years depending on the frequency and intensity of use.
Where can you buy a pickleball paddle?
At Net World Sports we stock wooden and polymer pickleball paddles. With a graphite face and honeycomb polymer core, the Vermont Venom Pickleball Paddle is a fantastic paddle for players of all levels and abilities. USAPA (United States of America Pickleball Association) approved for competitive play, the Venom model is a middle-weight paddle, with a perforated PU grip for control and comfort.
Perfect for beginners and recreational pickleball players, we also supply wooden pickleball paddles. Sold in pairs, our premium cottonwood paddles feature a durable and comfortable PU grip, and at 240g are lightweight for a wooden paddle. We also supply a wide range of pickleball nets, posts, balls and training equipment.