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  • Writer's pictureTeam Game-Set-Match

How to Choose a Pickleball Paddle: Your Essential Paddle Guide

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

Playing with the right pickleball paddle can improve your game. Our Essential Paddle Guide helps you identify the top factors you should consider when picking a paddle.

Two women playing pickleball

How to Choose a Pickleball Paddle

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the nation – with over 4.8 million active players nationwide. If you’ve stepped foot on a pickleball court, you likely know why this fun and fast-paced sport has grown so fast. You also likely know that the most important piece to a successful game of pickleball is the paddle.

Does it really matter which pickleball paddle you buy? And how do you know which pickleball paddle is best?

The pickleball paddle you play with has a huge impact on your game. That’s why we’re here to help you pick the best pickleball paddle for your game.

What’s the best pickleball paddle to buy?

The best pickleball paddle to buy varies greatly from player to player. The ideal paddle for you could be different than a teammate because of price, weight, material, and many other factors.

We highly recommend coming into a racquet sports store to hold different paddles and chat with a pickleball expert before purchasing your paddle. Countless pickleball players come into our stores looking for one specific paddle but end up purchasing a different paddle once they hold a few different types.

One of the best ways to know if a paddle is right for you is holding it. Even better, demo the pickleball paddle to ensure it’s the perfect fit.

What to consider when buying a pickleball paddle?

In addition to holding and playing with a paddle to see if it’s right for you, there are a few more factors to consider in your pickleball paddle search.

Pickleball paddle prices

Pickleball paddles can range in price from roughly $20 to upwards of $250. A variety of factors impact this price: from the materials that make up the surface to the inside core of the paddle and much more.

Your budget will influence your paddle choice, but you should also consider the quality of the paddle. Higher quality paddles often have a better, more textured surface, higher quality core, better vibration dampening, and more power.

Does a pickleball paddle surface really matter?

A pickleball paddle’s surface material does matter, especially if you’re a more experienced player. A higher quality surface gives you a more consistent playing experience and can produce more spin on the ball.

For example, a paddle made with fiberglass or carbon fiber can give you more texture and spin compared with less expensive paddles made of wood or plastic.

Pickleball paddle shape

When choosing a pickleball paddle, you should also consider what shape would be best for your game. Pickleball paddles generally have the same overall size (surface area), but their specific length and width can greatly vary.

This is why some paddles are square and others are more rectangular or even oar-like. You’ll likely experience more control with a shorter paddle because you’ll be hitting the ball closer to your hand, whereas playing with a longer paddle will provide more reach due to the additional length.

Pickleball paddle grip size and length

You may prefer some paddles to others due to the size of your hands and preferred grip size. The thickness and length of the grip varies from paddle to paddle. Most paddle brands come in one grip size, but you can change the grip of a paddle by making it thicker or by changing the texture.

Your swing is another aspect to consider when choosing a grip. If you prefer to use a two-handed backswing, you’ll want to make sure your grip is long enough to fit both hands.

Pickleball paddle weight

Pickleball paddles typically range from around 7 to 8.5 ounces. Lighter weight is more maneuverable and heavier will give you more power. Weight is one of the features that’s best to feel for yourself as you’ll be able to tell your preference by holding the paddle.

Pickleball paddle brands

Some of the most popular pickleball brands are JOOLA, Selkirk, Paddletek, Babolat, Head, ProKennex, and Gearbox. These are all great choices, and there are many more to explore at your closest racquet sports store.

Visit us today to find the best pickleball paddle!

There are so many factors that impact the best pickleball paddle for you. That’s why we highly recommend simplifying the process by coming in to test them out at one of our four Game-Set-Match, Inc. locations today.

We have a wide selection of pickleball paddles at all four locations: in Denver, Centennial, Boulder and Las Vegas. We offer a pickleball demo program that allows you to test paddles for a week. We even have a demo court at our Denver location for testing paddles inside the store.

Come see us at our stores and speak with our friendly staff for expert product advice you won’t find anywhere else. We also invite you to subscribe to our weekly emails for more pickleball tips, discounts, local happenings, and more.


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