SELECTING THE WEIGHT OF YOUR PICKLEBALL PADDLE
Most top pickleball pros would say that the weight of your paddle should be the top factor when selecting a paddle. Picklball Paddles range in weight from about 6 ounces to about 14 ounces. Most paddles above 9 ounces are wooden paddles. Using a light weight paddle of the same material construction, you need to generate more swing speed to generate the same power that you can with a heavier paddle and less swing speed (Force = Mass * Acceleration). However the lighter paddle will always give you a faster reaction time when vollying at the kitchen line. The difference in weight might not seem like much but a tenth of a second on a reaction volly can make all the difference. This isn't to say that a lighter paddle is always better. Construction materials used for the paddle sufrace and core material play a factor in the weight also. These materials can change the playability of a paddle between higher power or more control.
While shopping for you paddle at PickleballGalaxy you can filter your search by paddle weight on any of our paddle category pages. We also grouped our paddles into 3 categories below for easier selection:
- Light Weight pickleball paddles - (under 7.2 ounces)
- Mid Weight pickleball paddles - (7.3 to 8.4 ounces)
- Heavy Weight pickleball paddles - (over 8.5 ounces)
Light weight paddles are known for being more about control and are the perfect fit for touch players that like to dink and hit drop shots. They also have the advantage of a quicker response time when you are at the net and have the ball blasted at you. If you are just starting out in pickleball and coming from ping pong or racquetball light weight paddles are a great fit because of the wristy action of the swing in those sports. One drawback is the lighter the paddle the more vibration and stress your elbow must overcome when hitting the ball. If you are prone to tennis elbow a light weight paddle might not be the best fit for you.
Mid weight paddles are a good combination of power and control. They are good for hitting serves and serve returns with power without a very fast swing but also still have control when you want to dink at the net. Mid weight paddles are also a good fit if you suffer from tennis elbow, light weight paddles have to overcome the weight of the ball stressing your elbow while heavy weight paddle overcome the ball weight more than a light weight paddle they do add extra weight that can fatigue your elbow over time. Mid weight pickleball paddles are one of the better choices for players coming from tennis because tennis players tend to use less of a wrist action to generate power.
Heavy weight pickleball paddles are usually used by players that prefer power over control. These paddles are usually around 8.5 to 9.5 ounces, paddles over 9.5 ounces are usually made of wood and are rarely used. For older players that have a very slow swing speed a heavier paddle can help generate more pop on the ball... again Force = Mass * Acceleration. The drawback of the heavy paddles is the heavier weight can fatique your arm faster, it can also be a problem for players with tennis elbow. If you play singles pickleball a heavier paddle may also be right for you because it is played more like singles in tennis where power beats finesse. In pickleball singles dinks and drop shots aren't a large part of the game like in doubles pickleball.